The iconic travel trailer makes a comeback for old-school camping fun with some modern conveniences
Introduced in 1957, the Serro Scotty was the quintessential working man’s travel trailer and one of the most recognizable RVs of its time. Many of these vintage trailers are still on the road and are sought after by collectors. The trailers were built until 1997 when the manufacturing plant burned to the ground and production of the Serro Scotty ceased.
Fast-forward to 2016 when Little Guy Worldwide, working with John Serro’s family to acquire the rights to the brand name, reintroduced the Serro Scotty with the same basic old-school camper feel of the original but with just a few modern amenities. The company hit the mark with the S188RBR, which we tested at Mystic KOA Campground in North Stonington, Connecticut. The park, which offers everything expected of a resort-area facility, is only 9 miles from the popular seaport destination of Mystic.
The 2017 S188RBR is a product of a unique collaboration between Little Guy, a company specializing in compact trailers, and Gulf Stream Coach. Gulf Stream was the ultimate builder of the trailer but followed exacting specs from Little Guy. This model is one of five floorplans introduced for 2017 and features a front queen bed, a rear bath, a center kitchen and a dinette.
Like the original Serro Scotty, the S188RBR is a stick-and-tin trailer (wood frame and aluminum exterior), and its small size and single axle mean it’s light and easy to handle, and can be towed by many of today’s smaller vehicles. This is a modern RV in many respects, but with a back-to-basics equipment list and classic-styling cues, which really make it stand out, whether at an antique-car rally, a campground or even one of the burgeoning retro RV parks springing up across the country.
The new Serro Scotty is designed for true outdoor camping. Like its earlier counterparts, the trailer doesn’t even have a built-in radio (one is available as an option). For the more important home-comfort stuff, it does come with a microwave and conveniently spaced 12-volt DC LED lights. Options include a 3-cubic-foot Dometic two-way refrigerator-freezer, a 6-gallon LP-gas DSI water heater (manual pilot is standard) and a TV antenna (no TV, though).
The front bed is a standard queen, flanked by closets on both sides, and is pretty easy to access and make. The bed lifts to open a storage area, a chunk of which is taken up by the 34-gallon freshwater tank and pump. The bed deck is a bit underbuilt with two small hinges and no props to hold up the platform, but we had a broom handle that worked just fine. The mattress is comfortable, and we had plenty of room to get dressed. The aforementioned closets have more than enough space to store necessities for a week away.
The kitchen is small, as you’d expect in a compact trailer, and the dinette is directly across from it. The table is nice and stable, utilizing two pipes that can be removed to make a bed. Each of the retro-look dinette cushions in the test unit lifted to reveal storage space. A large escape window above the table opens like a jalousie window for ventilation.
In the kitchen, a two-burner Suburban cooktop is packed sideways between the stainless-steel sink and a large pantry. With the design of the kitchen, this setup was unavoidable and makes the burners suitable for small pots and pans. The under-counter refrigerator is part of the Plus Package ($980), which includes a TV antenna, a spare tire and two rear stabilizer jacks.
The test trailer was also equipped with the Retro Package ($700), which gave it a neat classic feel and included chrome wheel-trim rings, a Serro Scotty-logo bedspread and pillow shams, and aqua valances, cushions and curtains.
The back wall of the dinette sports the system-monitor panel with water pump control by Lippert Components. The TV backer and appropriate connections are located here for a wall-mounted HDTV. The switch for the water heater is on the opposite wall in the kitchen, and it would have been nice if these could have all been placed together. Above the dinette is an ample sized cabinet, perfect for dishes and other necessities.
Moving to the rear of the trailer, the well-equipped bathroom has a tub/shower and a standard-issue RV toilet and sink with a vanity. The vanity is nicely sized with plenty of counter space and has room below for towels. The tub/shower is a bit tight for those with a 6-foot frame, but is workable, especially with the skylight. Again, it is quite appropriate for a trailer this size.
The exterior is a step back in time, as the retro appointments are standard, except for the chrome trim on the wheels. The shape is more reminiscent of a contemporary Gulf Stream Ameri-Lite trailer than the original Scotty, but that’s OK. The additional aerodynamics and living space afforded by modern RV design are worth it.
The 2017 Serro Scotty has many of the amenities RVers are looking for, including tinted radius windows, a radius entry door and radius compartment doors. The optional Lippert electric awning with LED lighting is a nice touch, and the black trim goes with the black-framed windows.
Exterior storage is quite limited, with a narrow cross-trailer cabinet up front. Plan on carrying your bigger gear, like folding chairs, barbecue grill and other camping equipment, in the tow vehicle. Exterior doors to access the under-dinette storage would have increased this but might have detracted from the streamlined appearance. Considering that this is an 18-foot trailer, and the original Scotty had no outside storage, we’re good with it. The S188RBR does have the standard 4-inch-square-tube bumper for the sewer hose.
The test trailer lacked front stabilizer jacks, which we found odd, but as it turns out, they were an option ($126) that wasn’t selected for the evaluation unit. Other options include a touch-screen radio with speakers ($252), an 8,000- or 13,500-Btu air conditioner ($385 and $693 respectively), an Airxcel 16,000-Btu furnace ($371) and a Fan-Tastic Vent fan ($217).
Exterior siding is standard aluminum adorned with an aqua diamond-pattern panel across the midsection that gives the new Serro Scotty its retro appearance. The S188RBR sits atop a standard Lippert trailer platform with a single axle and a 3,500-pound gross axle weight rating. The trailer is equipped with a manual front jack and comes with a single 5-gallon LP-gas cylinder.
On top, the trailer features a one-piece-TPO crowned roof with the usual accoutrements, including two standard crank-up vents and the previously mentioned shower skylight. The trailer has a full two-year warranty on the structure and all major components.
The Serro Scotty S188RBR is a great little trailer that is ideal for small families or couples who want what we all do: to get away and enjoy the great outdoors in comfort and style.
Serro Scotty Trailers | 877-545-4897 | www.serroscottytrailers.com
Chris Dougherty is technical editor of Trailer Life and MotorHome. Chris is an RVDA/RVIA certified technician and lifelong RVer, including 10 years as a full-timer. He and his wife make their home in Massachusetts and hit the road with their travel trailer every chance they get.