Travel Tip: Fun Lodging at Shady Dell, Bisbee Arizona

The Shady Dell in Bisbee Arizona provides vintage trailers from the 1940s and 1950s—all fully restored and authentically furnished. Shady Dell is one of the most fun campgrounds in the US and staying there is like stepping back into the 1950s, as you can see from my pictures below.

People sometimes ask me, “What is the best place you have stayed?”

It is difficult to pick the best place—or for that matter, the best meal, event, adventure, etc.

However, one of the most unique and memorable places I stayed was The Shady Dell in Bisbee Arizona. This place is fantastic.

Fun Lodging at Shady Dell, Bisbee Arizona

When I visited Shady Dell in 2011, I stayed in their vintage 1949 restored Airstream trailer.

1947 Airstream Trailer at The Shady Dell

Instead of a window or maybe a balcony, I had this lovely courtyard with fake plastic grass. Somehow that was just perfect.

1949 Airstream at The Shady Dell

I rocked out with some 45s from the 1950s.

old 45 records and turntable at The Shady Dell

Unfortunately, the is no longer there but you can choose from a dozen other classic trailers. All are fun!

Most but not all trailers have enclosed bathrooms with a private toilet and sink. A community full size bathroom and shower facility is on property.

All trailers also have air conditioning and heating units. Cooking, smoking, pets, or children are not permitted in any of the vintage trailers.

Below are pictures of some of the other Shady Dell trailers.

vintage trailer at The Shady Dell


1957 El Rey trailer at The Shady Dell

1947 Tiki Bus at Shady Dell

small vintage trailer at Shady Dell

1947 Chris Craft Yacht at Shady Dell in Bisbee Arizona

For more vintage RV funness, visit the RV Museum in Amarillo Texas and see our article 8 Great Things to Do in Amarillo Texas

Below are some other pictures from the Shady Dell property.

This instruction sheet was in the laundry room. I am so glad there was no atomic attack during my visit.

atomic bomb attack instruction sheet at Shady Dell

Dot’s Diner was built in the 1950s and served as a diner in Los Angeles. Now it serves Bisbee residents and visitors. Dot’s was packed for breakfast on the morning of my check out.

vintage Dot's Diner at The Shady Dell

Hard to say which incredible trailer I would select next time. If I am by myself, I might select the 1952 Homemade at only $55 a night. The 1947 Chris Craft Yacht or the 1947 Tiki Bus seem like the most unusual and fun.

See also Where to Stay in Phoenix: Cool Resorts for an Arizona Getaway.

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12 thoughts on “Travel Tip: Fun Lodging at Shady Dell, Bisbee Arizona”

  1. What a flash from the past those trailers are! I wish I’d seen them when I was in Bisbee. I stayed in a silverstream once at a place up in the California wine country … I don’t remember exactly where anymore. Maybe Calistoga.

  2. I want to return to Bisbee just to stay in one of these Shady Dell trailers. What a perfect hotel for a funky little corner of Arizona.

  3. That looks like a great way to spend a vacation. I’ve seen airstream’s in places like Lakedale Resort in the San Juan Islands (just off Seattle) but that was quite expensive. This looks rustic and quaint.

  4. What a cool place to stay! I would feel like I was back on I Love Lucy or something with some of those fixtures in the room

  5. A trip down memory lane, indeed! Love this. For some reason, I am suddenly smitten with vintage Airstream trailers. Thanks for sharing.

    • Well, this is your place if you are near Bisbee, Arizona. There must be other places with nostalgic aluminum trailers. Related but not, one of the gals from B-52s runs a kitschy inn, I think in the Poconos.

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