Old Ford Rangers are some of the coolest pickup trucks money can buy. They’re cheap, dead simple, handsome, and compact. But while that last trait might make you think the Ranger isn’t suited for life as a camper, at least one company tried it anyway in the 1980s, and the result is just awesome.
It’s called the Ford Ranger Roll-A-Long, and it’s just one of a number of offerings—including vans, pickup truck conversions (check out this Courier!), motorhomes, and even slant load horse trailers—that California-based upfitter Roll-A-Long built over its long history.
The Ranger here appears to be a V6, two-wheel drive automatic with a dually rear axle and a wide fiberglass camper in place of a box.
Inside, there’s a pair of benches that can fold into a bed, and there are two counters. Though not shown in the Facebook Marketplace listing, one counter likely houses a sink and cooler, while the other likely has a two-burner stove on top. I say “likely,” because these cool accessories can be found in this YouTube video from 2016, in which YouTuber Tiny Home Tours provides a detailed look inside a similar 1984 Ford Ranger Roll-A-Long:
It’s actually quite impressive how roomy this little converted pickup looks on the inside, and I must say that the brown color scheme works well with the wood to give this a thoroughly old-school look. I think a bit of beige wallpaper could really finish it off beautifully:
I especially like the huge window on the side, and the enormous door out back:
I called up Roll-A-Long just to learn more about the company, since it seems as though it’s still in business, and yet confusingly, its website says it was “established in 1988"—well after this Ranger was built.
Roll-A-Long rep Bruce Landfield picked up the phone, and told me that the original Roll-A-Long company with which he was also affiliated—and which had operations in Anaheim and Placentia—went out of business a while back, but he started it back up and actually plans to make campers out of all-wheel drive Ford Transits.
Yes, an all-wheel drive Ford Transit is coming to the U.S. That could be a fun little off-road rival for the Mercedes Sprinter camper, though let’s be honest, it will never be as cool as the Ranger camper, especially the V6 five-speed like the one in the video above.
As for the automatic model in the pictures, it was for sale for $4,300, and appears to have been snatched up by a very smart human being, because that seems like a damn fine deal for the only home I could ever need.