Truck bed campers exploded in popularity in the 1970s. They offered an impressive amount of space and amenities in a small footprint for people who didn't want to tow a trailer or drive a motorhome. Still popular today, a modern truck bed camper makes an ideal overlanding rig. As for the 1970s version, they add a cool retro vibe to that versatility and have become very collectible. 

Take this vintage 1976 Chevrolet Blazer Cheyenne Chalet featured recently on Bring A Trailer. Built on a Chevrolet Blazer K5 platform instead of a standard pickup truck, it's a rare one of about 1,800 Chalet campers built across a two-year production run. With just 57,000 miles, it was recently refinished in two-tone tan and bronze paint. Mechanically it retains its 350 cubic-inch V8 and three-speed automatic transmission. Factory-rated at 165 horsepower, the engine is equipped with a four-barrel carburetor, an HEI-style distributor, tubular exhaust headers, and Flowmaster mufflers.  

Gallery: Chevrolet K5 Blazer Chalet Camper

The camper shell has a steel frame covered in fiberglass-reinforced plastic and includes a pop-top, sliding windows, and a full-sized door. Inside, it has a dinette seating area, air conditioning, and a cassette stereo. The small kitchenette includes a propane stove, refrigerator, sink, and standard 110-volt power outlet. The dinette converts to a bed, and the tan, gold, and brown carpet and upholstery look original and in excellent condition.  

America's interest in campers and RVs increased significantly in the 1970s, in parallel with the popularity of outdoor activities. Among the most popular options were pop-top trailers and truck bed campers, combining most of the comforts of home in a small package. However, the Chevrolet Blazer Chalet was unique in that it offered a go-anywhere capability thanks to its four-wheel drive. 

This form of off-road camping, or overlanding, is even more popular today with vehicles like Jeeps, Ford Broncos, and Toyota SUVs like the 4Runner or Land Cruiser outfitted with rooftop tents. Then there are surplus military vehicles which are transformed into off-grid tiny homes. But it's hard to beat something like this vintage Chevy Blazer if you want something equally capable with a cool retro vibe.     

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