The Lonely Cabana

Periodically I’ll get requests from readers of The Small Trailer Enthusiast asking about the identity of a particular vintage trailer. I readily admit I’m not the best historian when it comes to vintage trailers, as my forte is more on current offerings. I typically direct those inquiries to various forums or Facebook pages that cater to vintage campers, such as Tin Can Tourists where the vast membership base will likely yield positive results for the person inquiring facts about their unit.

Recently I got a similar inquiry from a reader that I chose to do this post on due to the uniqueness of his trailer. The reader’s name is John and his trailer he owns is a fiberglass gooseneck called a Cabana. The best John knows is that it dates back to around 1976 and was built by the same Oregon company that built motorhomes during the some general time period.

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While Cabana motorhomes aren’t easy to come by, a Cabana trailer is apparently impossible to come by. Says John, “I’ve been unable to find another Cabana.  It could be the last of its kind.    I had acquired it with hopes of restoring it or at least making it more usable but it is in Oregon and I don’t have the time and money to travel there to keep working on it.” John resides in Canada.

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The Cabana is a fiberglass shell with a rear door entry, shower/toilet combo, refrigerator, furnace, and table. Since John owned it, he started cleaning it out. “I’ve removed all the moldy 1970s carpeting on the walls and ceiling and have patched a few holes that were in the ceiling to hold various items.   I replaced the skylight since it was broken and brittle. I also repainted the roof just this month.”

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John’s decided to sell it as is instead of continuing with the project. For anyone with some good restoration skills, this could be a pretty fun project to take on, considering the rare quality of the Cabana. John’s looking at about a $2,000 price tag for anyone interested. He can be contacted via e-mail at john_layman@hotmail.com

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John has done some extensive research on the Cabana company and its parent company Forest Grove Industries from Forest Grove, Oregon. After my own sleuthing, it’s apparent to me that John has likely turned over every rock on the Cabana planet there is. This has moved my opinion to one where the Cabana trailer very well could’ve been a prototype that never made it to the production stage. I’ve never seen one during my online travels and if there were multiples built, one would think there’d be pictures out there somewhere, but that’s not the case. Which is why I came up with “The Lonely Cabana” for the name of this post, since this might just be the only one you’ll ever see.

And as a side note, this Cabana is not to be confused with the Cabana that Keystone RV made from the late 1990’s to the early 2000’s. If any of you who read this have a Cabana or have seen this before, feel free to send me some pics at pat@smalltrailerenthusiast.com or leave a comment below.

12 Comments

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12 Responses to The Lonely Cabana

  1. Tammi

    Hi,
    My father, Evan Danielson is the the founder of cabana motor homes. He built the first one in our garage back in the 1960s. His dealership was in Forest grove, Oregon. He is now Almost 83 years old and I’m trying to find one to purchase for his birthday. He hasn’t had one since he sold the company in the 70s. He loves to reminisce of the old times and often talks about his days building cabana motor homes. He could tell you anything you would like to know about them. Let me know if you would like to get in contact with him. Also are you interested in selling yours?
    Thanks,
    Tammi

    • I just acquired one, a Grande Royale 1975. All original. I’m astounded that there is no site dedicated to this unique and rare vehicle.

      I would love to fix that by creating one. I would also love to write a book about them. I’m going to be living in mine for the foreseeable future.

      Please get in touch with me if you get this, and I’ll keep trying other means of getting in touch with you.

    • I have created a Facebook group called Cabana Owners Unite! and posted a link to this article on it. If anyone sees this comment, please go there and leave a message. Trying to gather up the Cabana owners and spread the appreciation of these unique vintage rigs.

      I will also chronicle my build there, so check it out and leave a message!

    • Hi I don’t know if you are still looking for a Cabana Motorhome but I have a 71 Class a Cabana It is sitting in My storage facility and I am in the process of lien sale that should be done by the end of August 2016 it is located in Central Point Oregon it is sitting on a International chassis. It hasn’t been registered since 2004 but it looks complete. if you need more info you can call Me at 541-476-0245 ask for Doug

    • Helvi

      Hi,

      I like to collect Forest Grove memorabilia and recently purchased a Cabana emblem from eBay.

      That got me searching for information on the company. Like, where was it and how many they produced and such.

      I would love to get in touch with you and chat.

      Thanks,

      Helvi

      • Thor Forrest

        Helvi

        I have a 73 Cabana motorhome that’s missing her front emblem.
        She’s my pride and joy and rightfully so deserves all the original bling.
        Do you have any interest in parting with that emblem?

        Thor

  2. eric nelson

    i now own the 1975 cabana goose neck trailer it is a rough old girl needs a total gut well be useing the frame and shell only the shell needs some work frame may get different axel i well totaly redo the in side most of it is trash a lot of rot in the wood i plan on pulling it with a 1970 chevy el camino

    • Mykopy

      If you still have it,would you be interested in selling it to me? I want to pull it behind a 1965 Dodge truck . You can contact me at Mykopy(at)hotmail.com

  3. Donna Hunt

    My husband and I owned a Cabana motorhome in the ’70’s.. can’t remember the year. We were traveling in CA from SD and he got “the bug”.. found a dealer, and we drove from CA to Yuma to close the deal. It was, at that time, one of the nicest motorhomes to be had.

  4. kelly

    trying to sell my 1970 cabana 2087397533

  5. Tammy Johnson

    We also have a Cabana gooseneck fiberglass camper. It is identical on the inside as your pictures! The outside stripe is a dark blue. If we are right, it is #6.

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