Jan 252015
 

Tin Can Tourists’ 2015 Chautauqua Exhibit

January 25, 2015

DeFuniak Springs, FL

After a good nights’ rest, I was happy to awake to a much warmer and sunny morning! I fixed the coffee for the morning and set out all the donuts I had for the members out under my awning. All the other members started to get up and about ready for the last day of open house. The crowds were rather slow most of the morning, which is typical at the event every Sunday but with one last Civil War Re-enactment after lunch the crowds would start growing as that time grew near.

We took advantage of the slow time to induct our new TCT members, and we had quite a few first timers at this event!!!

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By 10am things were really slowing down and since we had heard from a visitor yesterday about a real old trailer just down the road on some property for sale Tommy was ready to get out and go for a drive! So we jumped in the truck to try and find this ‘old’ trailer. We just knew it would likely end up a late 70’s or newer trailer just like so many other fruitless excursions. After driving a short distance there it was! A 1952 Royal Spartanette just off the road next to an old house that was falling in. There was a real estate sign right between the house and trailer. The trailer has likely seen the last of its pulling days but there are still some great pars on the exterior and it appears to have all the original pieces inside the trailer, although the rear bedroom and front living room is trashed the center kitchen and bathroom appeared to be all original through the window. We may just have to research the real estate agent to find out about parting this trailer out before it all ends up in a dumpster once the acreage sells.

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After driving around a little more and finding a few other trailers we decided to head back to our trailers. I decided it was finally time for me to fix my truck that was overheating all the way up to the event. I assumed it was a pretty simple fix of changing out the clutch fan…..since I already changed the water pump, radiator cap, water lines, and thermostat just this week! Changing the clutch fan was not as simple of a fix as I forgot to put my tool box in the truck. Tommy drove me around town to get the tools and the parts I needed to fix my truck. Thankfully with such a slow show day I was able to focus all my time on getting the truck fixed before the event was over this afternoon.

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About 4 hours later I was finally done with changing the clutch fan on the truck. Just in time to start packing up the trailer and getting ready to head home. Everyone was walking around and saying their good byes, and started to pack up and hooking up their trailers. We all had to hook up one at a time as the first in line would have to pull out before the next trailer could hook up. Thankfully everyone timed it just right and as one trailer would pull out the next was just ready to hook up and move forward. I was one of the last to hook up and just pulled forward a bit to wait for Jim and Donna to get hooked up and ready to pull out as we were going to follow each other as we live in the same town.

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By 5pm we were ready to hit the road! I was in front and Jim and Donna were behind with their 1958 Yellowstone. As my luck would have it, my truck started to overheat AGAIN only about 15 miles down the road. I called Jim on his phone and told them to drive on, as I figured it was only the fact that there may have been air in the radiator and it would just need some more water put in it once it cooled down. So I pulled off the side of the road and waited for the truck to cool down a bit, added water to the radiator and hit the road once again. Another 10 miles down the road and here we go again! Thankfully this time I made it to a gas station, but as my luck goes there was no water hose or place to get water at the gas station. So I parked the truck and walked to all four corners in this little one red light town looking for water….nothing at the closed car wash, but there was a small gas station on the other corner with a long water hose out back. So I walked back to the truck which had cooled down enough to cross the street and pulled behind the gas station into the grass field. I filled the truck up with water as well as the extra jugs I had in the back of the truck and the onboard water tank in the trailer that was empty from this weekend’s camping. I felt much better having a full water tank on the trailer, there is very little between this last little town and home! Onward again! Once on the road I slowly watched the truck heat back up, made it about 12 miles and had to pull over, as I suspected in the middle of NOWHERE! Thankfully I had more than enough water to refill the radiator which was not really leaking water, just replacing what was boiling out/over flowing. By this time I realized it was going to take forever, so I called my father and told him to call a couple of our employees and get the other truck and head my way. I knew I could likely make it to the next town where there was a place I could park and have the guys take the trailer to our shop and my father and I could figure out a way to get the truck home. After making that call the truck was cool enough to hit the road again and I made it to the next little town of Bruce FL were the truck was overheating again and it was just starting to get dark, but I decided to make one more last ‘trip’ once the truck cooled down and I refilled it again I decided to drive the short 6 miles trip, over a long bridge to the little town of Ebro where there was a good size truck stop with plenty of lights and space to hook the trailer up to the other truck once they arrived. So ONE MORE TIME I hit the road and made it to the little town (more of a four way stop!) of Ebro FL. Finally I was a little over halfway home, so I parked the truck and went inside the truck stop to grab a bite to eat at the Subway store inside. By the time I finished eating the guys pulled in the truck stop. We looked at my truck for a while and could only determine that the radiator must be clogged enough to overheat the truck after running for about 10 miles. So we hooked up the trailer to the other truck and my father and I jumped into my truck to see if we could get it the rest of the 25 miles home. Amazingly luck was on our side and without the trailer in tow my truck made it all the way home without overheating, it did get warmer than it should, but not enough the actually over heat. I finally pulled into the driveway by 730 pm!!! WHAT A TRIP!

Tim Heintz

Tin Can Tourists’ Southeastern Representative

1953 Viking Coach

Jan 242015
 

Tin Can Tourists’ 2015 Chautauqua Exhibit

January 24, 2015

DeFuniak Springs, FL

Today is a promise of much a bit warmer weather, but awoke to 30 degrees when it was only forecasted to reach 38 so it is not looking good so far! I walked down to St Agatha’s Church once again for a hot breakfast and the rest of our group was not far behind me. We all enjoyed our hot to order breakfast in a warm setting. After breakfast it was time to head back to our trailers and get ready for the public to come tour our rigs. Thankfully the weather was starting to clear up a bit and the threat of rain was moving on out, but there was still a cool breeze going on making it feel a little cold if you were not right in the sun.

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There were many great vendors offering everything from drinks, BBQ, frontier cooked meals, Dutch oven cooked food, and of course more conventional stuff like deep fired Oreos, Twinkies, and Funnel Cakes!!!!

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There were many more people out today to view the trailers, and we kept a steady flow throughout most the day. By lunch the crowds slacked a little but likely due to lunch time as well as the Civil War re-enactment that was scheduled across the lake. After lunch the crowds picked back up, especially since most people had to walk right by the trailers on their way back from the re-enactment.  Later in the day we were surprised by this great looking 1959 Ideal trailer that drove by to meet all the other TCT members and to see our trailers that were on display, of course we all wanted to see their trailer!

 

 

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Finally by late afternoon the weather had warmed up a bit and all the hit or miss rain mist was over. After the event was over for the day we all gathered by the fire and had a fun telling all kinds of stories! I decided to hit he bed around 9pm as it had been a long day, but many of the other members sat around and used up the last of our large stock of fire wood well past 11pm!

Tim Heintz

Tin Can Tourists’ Southeastern Representative

1953 Viking Coach

 

Jan 232015
 

Tin Can Tourists’ 2015 Chautauqua Exhibit

January 23, 2015

DeFuniak Springs, FL

Woke up not long after midnight to the sound of rain on the roof of the trailer and it wasn’t long before it was really coming down hard! I looked outside to make sure the awning was still standing strong and after a quick leak check of all the windows and roof vent I jumped back into bed(thankfully no leaks! This is the first hard rain this trailer has ever seen since being restored so I was a little nervous). There is no better sound to sleep to than falling rain on the roof of a vintage trailer.

Around 4 am I woke up again as the rain was really coming down now! In fact the street all our trailers are set up on looked like a river when I took a look out the window. No strong winds or storms, just a hard strong rain or as a good friend calls ‘A Toad-Strangler’ (Google it). After one last leak check I decided to go back to sleep. Once again I awoke around 530am to the sound of my awning collapsing a little from all the heavy rain, seemed one of my stakes pulled up from the soaked ground and was allowing the awning to collect a lot of water. Thankfully the rain was slacking off a little so I put on my shoes and coat to head out and do battle with the rain and awning. Got the awning back up and slanted it quite a bit to allow the water to flow off. By now I was wide awake and decided to just stay up and get on the computer for a while since breakfast started at 7am.

As 7am approached I got dressed and headed down to St. Agatha’s Church who was cooking a hot made to order breakfast for all our members (will do it again tomorrow). They have 4 different choices that rival Cracker Barrel! I enjoyed the 2 eggs (poached) with 4 slices of Bacon, 4 pieces of Toast, a huge pile of home fries, and orange juice. Most of the other TCTers followed shortly behind me and we all enjoyed a hot breakfast together.

After Breakfast the weather was clearing up a little and we went back to our trailers to set up for the open house. Even with a light rain there were quite a few people out and about to tour the trailers. Most of the day was hit or miss with the rain and the crowds were pretty good for the weather and being a Friday. Later in the afternoon the weather started to get better and more people were out walking around. Tomorrow should be much better weather with Sun all day and clear skies.

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At 5 pm we all headed over to Alex’s house just a few blocks away for a pizza party. Alex was a great hostess and gave us a tour/history of her 1938 home in the historic district as well as all the great personal artwork that she has done not forgetting the great art pieces from fellow TCTer John Murphy. After dinner we all gathered and had a gift exchange party which was a blast! Around 830 most of us headed back to our trailers to get a good nights rest for tomorrow. With much better weather forecasted tomorrow it is sure to be a very busy day.

Tim Heintz

Tin Can Tourists’ Southeastern Representative

1953 Viking Coach

Jan 232015
 

Tin Can Tourists’ 2015 Chautauqua Exhibit

January 22, 2015

DeFuniak Springs, FL

Once again time to hit the road for a TCT Rally, well more of a historical trailer display for the Defuniak Springs Florida Chautauqua Celebration. I woke up this morning a little later than most morning that I travel since the event is only about 45 miles away. So I headed down to my storage shop to pick up the trailer I plan to take, this time I will be bringing a 1953 Viking Coach to display. We will also have 7 other TCTers bringing their trailers as well.

I arrived at my shop around 9am and finished packing a few last minuet items in the trailer, hooked up the trailer, checked all the lights, washed the trailer, and filled the water tank. I was now ready to hit the road, but realized I forgot my coffee pot so I figured I would stop back by the house as it was on the way out of town. When I arrived back home I realized my truck was running a little hot, but not bad so I just checked the radiator and it was a little low, after filling it all the way up I headed out for the road once again.  I only made it about 20 miles north when the truck started to overheat again! Couldn’t figure out why this was happening…..I just changed the water pump as well as the thermostat just this week! Anyway the truck cooled down and I had two empty jugs in the back of the truck, took them back to the trailer and filled them with water from the trailers fresh water tank using the water to refill the radiator from the water that was lost from overheating.  Finally back on the road again!10928727_10152945372270901_1012860926_n

Another 15 or so miles the truck started to overheat again!!!! Pulled over at a truck stop hoping they would have some tools that I could buy/use to take the new thermostat out of the truck just to make it to the venue. No luck!!! So I waited for the truck to cool down again and used the trailers water tanks again to fill the radiator back up.  I was hoping to make it another 15 miles to the next town, as I pulled out I was passed at the cross intersection by a Jim and Donna pulling their 1958 Yellowstone (they were going to the same event) so as soon as the red light changed I tried to catch up with them, I figured Jim would have the tools I needed to fix my truck. For 10 miles I tried to call Jim on his cell phone, blew the horn right behind him, swerved over the line trying to get him to see me, flashed my lights, and even waving like an idiot with my hands out the window……but no luck, Jim and Donna were in their own world! I was forced to pull over again as the truck was overheating again!

 

AGAIN, pulled over, waited for the truck to cool down a bit, refilled the radiator from all the over flow that steamed out and back on the road. Looked like I was only going to get their 10 miles at a time! So once again I was limping along trying to keep the truck as cool as possible. Just my luck……ROAD CONSTRUCTION, with one lane closed on a two lane highway! At least it gave me a chance to sit for about 15 min never moving with the engine off….once traffic started moving again I cranked the truck and it had enough time to cool down quite a bit and I was finally able to make it to a large enough town with an automotive shop. I pulled in and went inside to buy the tools I needed to take the thermostat out of the truck, but of course I ended up making three trips inside the store buying all the parts and tools that I needed….next time I will remember to pack my tools, this is the first time I have ever forgot to pack the tools in the truck!

10949836_10152945372190901_1059215160_nFinally got the thermostat out and bought a new radiator cap just in case that was the problem as well.  Had to refill the radiator AGAIN, and back on the road hoping this was the last stop. Only 15 miles from the destination, surely I could make it no matter what…..WRONG! 10 miles down the road, same thing!!! No water was leaking out of the truck, just overheating and boiling over of water!!! I cannot figure it out!!! So once again on the side of the road, waited for the truck to cool, and refilling the radiator from the trailers water tank. I also took the radiator hoses off to make sure they were not blocked somehow!

Last leg, only 5 miles away, surely I could make it now! AGAIN, WRONG!!! 1 mile from the finally destination, as soon as I passed the Defuniak Springs City Limits Sign…. I saw what can only be described as Old Faithfull under my hood!!!!! WATER and STEAM everywhere…..pulled over at a gas station and opened the hood (for once the temperature on the truck was very low….all the water spraying on the engine cooled it down quickly) However it came from a broken water fitting on the engine. One last time I filled the radiator with water, knowing it would start coming out the broken fitting, but figured I had less than a mile and would take my chances in getting to the exhibit area just a few blocks away. I took it easy coasting to each red light and shutting the engine off when I reached enough speed to make it to the next red light / stop sign.   It worked and I made it to my final destination!!!!!!!

I backed the trailer into place, parked the truck and decided not to even bother with the truck until tomorrow.  I set up the trailer and helped get all the other trailers that arrived parked into place. So far today we have a 1965 Aristocrat Mainliner, 1958 Yellowstone, 1963 Shasta, 1953 Viking, 1965 Shasta Compact, 1948 Spartan Manor, and a 1966 Norris…..one more to come tomorrow, a 1952 Vagabond.

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At 5pm we had a small meet and greet and sat around the camp fire until 930pm. hopefully the weather tomorrow will not be too bad, it is forecasted to rain quite a bit tonight and most of the day tomorrow.  It has been a VERY long day and I am ready for a good night’s rest.

Tim Heintz

Tin Can Tourists’ Southeastern Representative

1953 Viking Coach

 

Jan 032015
 

Names and location – position 

  • Kim Hoke
  • State Rep – NC, SC & GA

Trailer and tow vehicles

  • 1969 Avion Argonaut A25
  • 1948 Spartan Manor Tandem (in restoration)
  • 1948 Spartanette 24 (#144) – waiting for restoration
  • Tow Vehicle – 2002 Toyota Sequioa

Where did you find your trailer/tow vehicle?

In 2009 we purchased our first vintage trailer.  (Travelmate) My husband, John wasn’t so sure about owning a vintage trailer as we were long time tent campers when we lived in Texas.  I convinced him to give it a try and we found an 18ft on Craig List that seemed like a good deal so we purchased it.  I set about to painting and fixing it up.  We camped in it a few times and fell in love with having a vintage trailer but it didn’t take long to determine that the floor plan didn’t work for us.

Avioninside

69 Avion Argonaut A25 – While our friends were visiting from Texas, we all went camping.  They enjoyed the trailer so much that we did a quick search on craiglist to see what was available… we didn’t find anything for them but we did find our Avion.  It was a really good deal so we were sure that the photos were deceptive… they weren’t and we brought it home and sold the other one.

spartanette

48 Spartanette 24 – In 2013, I found a Spartanette for a friend and as payback she scored this 24 ft for us.  She called and said, “can you come up this weekend, I have something you want to see”.  We purchased it from her and started restoration.  We love the lines of the Spartanette trailers and while most prefer the Spartan main line of Manors and Mansions, we prefer the Spartanette. It needs lots of work and we are stalled at the metal work needed. We’ll get back to it.

spartanmanor

48 Spartan Manor Tandem – In Dec. 2014, frustrated with the slow process of the Spartanette, I reached out to someone who told me they’d found a Spartan Manor in a town close to us. They gave me the info and met us to introduce us to the owner.  We purchased it that day.  It is all original down to the sconces and Kimsul insulation.  Our goal is to make this our event trailer and once completed with the Spartanette, we will sell this one.

When and who did the restoration?

We have always done the work ourselves.  Luckily we have a wonderful group of TCT members who are always willing to offer suggestions to a variety of questions.

What is unique or interesting about your trailer?

The 69 Avion is unique in that it is mostly original.  We’ve been told it looks too new and folks don’t think it’s vintage.  That would indicate we’ve done a good job with it.  While not the show piece that a Spartan is, we absolutely love it. It tows like a dream and is incredibly comfortable.  We don’t plan to sell it but to use it as often as possible.  The 1948 Spartanette 24 is a first year production model and #144 to come off the line.  This trailer will eventually be restored and be our event/rally trailer.  The 1948 Spartan Manor Tandem was a special order as there were not many Tandems made in 1948.  The manor will be our first full restoration and will be used as an event trailer until the Spartanette is restored.

What do you like about vintage trailers?

I’ve always had a passion for vintage.  It’s the memories of a bygone era where people slow down and take the time to get to know each other.  Becoming a member of TCT has given me the opportunity to pursue my vintage passion and share it with others.

Have you been to many rallies and what do you like about them?

As a state rep for TCT, I’ve been hosting rallies and gatherings for over 4 years.  Unfortunately I’ve never attended rallies in other areas and as the participation in the area that I cover has grown (NC, SC & GA), I never have enough time to get to any other events. My goal is to go to MI for a big event in the near future.

What clubs do you belong to? – Just TCT

Can you share an interesting bit of information that most people don’t know about yourself? – I’m pretty much an open book; I love to cook, I’m an avid photographer, enjoy our Australian shepherds and am an amateur genealogist.  Something people don’t know is that my earliest memories are sitting on my grandfather’s knee in his workshop learning to use a hand held plainer.  I must have been 4 at the time.  In the years that followed learned to refinish antiques and do a variety of antique restorations with my father.  I’m been drawn to beautiful wood and woodwork my entire life.

How did you get involved with the TCT and what made you decide to become a rep? After searching for years for a vintage trailer, once we acquired our first one I contacted TCT about events in our area.  There were none within 8-10 hours of us.  Terry suggested that I host an event and I agreed.  While small (16 trailers) it was a fantastic event and everyone had fun.  The next year we added a spring event and a facebook page for NC, SC and GA.  One day I received a message from Terry Bone offering me the opportunity to become a state rep.  I was hesitant, what did I know about being a state rep?  I told him that I would accept when I sold out my first rally.  Thinking that would be a year or so down the road.  I was wrong as just 3 weeks later we were sold out and I received another message from Terry.  Now over 4 years later we are selling out events 6 months in advance with 82 trailers attending and our little facebook page has over 1,000 members.

What is your favorite part of hosting a rally? What is your most memorable rally experience?  Hosting a rally is no small task, even with just a few in attendances.  Being able to provide vintage enthusiasts the opportunity to meet others with the same passions as they have has to be the most rewarding part of every event is what drives me.  Each rally/gathering is special but there is always one time that is incredibly fulfilling to me.  (Generally on Thursday mid-day) I stop for a brief moment and watch as all of the trailers arrive.  You can feel the momentum and energy rise while you hear people yelling “hello” to old friends they hadn’t seen in a while, others running to great folks as they pull in and the look of amazement of the new folks as they wait in line.  It is a dream realized and in that moment the clarity of what we’ve accomplished in this area is clearly visible.  For me, this is a moment I cherish.

What is unique about your region/state in terms of camping or the community? Our region provides opportunities to attend events almost every month out of the year.  The lower portion of the region hosts events from November – April while the upper half hosts from April – November.  The area I support (NC, SC, GA) is unique because we are located in close proximity to other border states.  We also have the advantage of a gorgeous coastline and beautiful mountains.  We have had a supporting facebook page for over two years that allows for internal communication for our area as well as states that surround us.  That group is Southern Vintage Trailer Friends on Facebook

What future plans do you have for the region/state? In mid 2014 we took a survey and from that we found that participants wanted more gatherings.  So our goal for 2015 is to host more gatherings and provide various opportunities throughout the area for members to host casual weekend trips in their area. We will have two structured formal rallies in April (Tybee Island, GA) and in September (Maggie Valley, NC) with numerous casual gatherings throughout the area from April – November.

Every rally host brings their own unique flavor to a rally, what is it that you bring? My background as a corporate trainer and HR director has given me the opportunity to plan corporate events of all sizes.  I utilize these skills when planning an event.  I take pride in having developed a rally pack that provides a great deal of information for each participant to review prior to and during the event.

How can members/participants help in your region or at rallies? As our area has grown so has the need for event hosts.  Last year Joy Taylor and Wayne Colson stepped up to head events in their area.  This year we are adding Brent Walker, Matt Whitesides, Penny Stith and Kelly Sloop to the list of event hosts.  If anyone in our area would like to host a gathering, all they need to send me a message and I’ll do everything I can to help them with it.  As our rallies have grown we have implemented a “Rally Committee” and each committee chair is responsible for coordinating their responsibility area.  We are very lucky to have a committed creative group of volunteers in our area and I take full advantage of their skills.  Each and every one of them is the reason our events are so much fun and now sell out so far in advance.  Breaking it down into committees has helped streamline the process of planning and executing the particulars within an event.    Our committee chairs always welcome volunteer assistance so should anyone want to get involved on a small scale, that’s the best way to get your feet wet in the event.

 

 Posted by at 9:12 am
Dec 272014
 

What is your name, location and TCT position?

I am Karen Campbell your Tin Can Tourist SW Regional Representative.   My husband Kenny and I live in Albuquerque, NM and have a lake house at Elephant Butte, NM, we share with our retired German Shepard service dog-Duke.

What trailer and tow vehicles do you own?

P1030081+1

Currently, we are restoring a 1976 23’ GMC shorty motorhome, we bought in Phoenix,AZ Spring of 2014. We have a restored 1958 Jewel 16’ with ½ bath trailer, we use as a guest house.  For girl get togethers, I use my 1986 Sunlite Saturn. 13’ with full bath, awning, A/C and sleeps two.   To tow the Sunlite, I have a 1995 Ford Sport Trac. When we tow the Jewel, it looks great behind our 1967 F250 truck. For long distant travel (to the East coast)  we also have a 2011 Pleasure Way 20’ class B van motorhome.

Where did you find your trailer/tow vehicle?

We find our trailers/tow vehicles everywhere.  Years ago, before, the internet was so popular we knocked on doors, and bought several from just asking.  Now, we also knock doors if we see something special, but look on line, and from talking to people at shows and events.  Sometimes they find us too.

When and who did the restoration?

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We first got interested in the trailer hobby about 12 years ago, and have restored or made usable again, 39 trailers since that time.  With exception of my 1957 Mobile Scout (just sold) a frame up restoration was done by our friend at Retro Restorations previously in Albuquerque, we have done all the work ourselves. My talented husband, does plumbing, wiring, electrical, and wheel stuff, I do, painting, caulking, upholstery, and everything else.  After this GMC motorhome, we are done; this will be our last vintage unit. I say never say never so…..

What is unique or interesting about your trailer?

Our GMC motorhome, is called the “hotrod” of motorhome.  Being 23’ long, powered by 455 Olds engine, it floats down the road-rather quickly too.  There were only 1100 of these built, most were designed for, airport shuttle use.  Many of the 26’ units are still on the road, few of the shorty’s are around today.   This one will have all the modern stuff, (TV, micro, air bags, A/C, generator) and the charm of yesterday.

Round wood corners, a mint green working refrigerator and stove, gleaming wood walls, ½ bath, and permanent full bed, make our Jewel trailer the perfect little extra guest trailer.

What do you like about vintage trailers?

P1030079+1

For me, I like the small easy to tow size of the canned hams.  Also the sense that for some reason, this trailer has survived. Most have been exposed to  years of being outside  and perhaps I can help it, with some work, and preserve if for generations to come. Guess it is its history – which it has been used and loved by others, wishing the walls could talk.  Anyone can buy new, but history has no price. Kenny is a totally 1950’s retro type of guy, and he liked pulling one behind his 1957 Ford, to get out of the sun at car shows.

Have you been to many rallies and what do you like about them?

I went to my first rally in 2004.   A couple of us had trailers then, and heard that there was going to be Shasta Rally in Taos, NM, about 150 miles north, and we said lets go. Not knowing what to expect, take or plan for.  We tow up our trailers, to a rather true vintage trailer park and was met by a frazzled lady almost in tears.  She said she had no idea what she had gotten herself into, but could not cope and to please take over this rally. Well, this was our first rally, so we had no idea why she asked us, or what to do, but we said ok.  If I remember right we just hung out, looked at trailers and had a good time meeting everyone.  Since that time, we co-started the Southwest Vintage Camper Association, and put on at least two events per year since then.  I guess my favorites are the themed events like the trailer trash queen, western and red neck. (A chance to get into costume and character) It is nice to have something else to do at the rally location like:  shops-restaurants, town to explore, a dance, a parade or a water to play in. Also I think no rally is complete without a few functions to meet each other and an open house.  I love seeing other trailers.  I love swap meets too.

What clubs do you belong to?

Of course we belong to TCT, also CCNM – Classic Campers of NM.  Three car clubs: the Route 66 Rodders, Divco Club of America, and the Driving Divas.  Many on line groups/clubs and a few civic organizations.

Can you share an interesting bit of information that most people don’t know about yourself?

Twelve years ago I retired from the real estate world, where I flipped homes and brokered a property management firm. During my working life, I never had a chance to be involved in a motel or campground. So, one day, I told my husband that I always wanted an old motel/campground, what did he do, he bought me one.  The Flamingo!  Now it is O gauge, (large scale model train)  but it gives me a great place to display my collection of trailer toys/models.   They look great scatted among the other scenery on our 10’x20’ train lay out.  It is a Christmas scene set in the mid 1950’s.  It  stays up all year, in its own room.  Guess I’m a model railroader-who knew.   Here are a couple pics:

Anything you’d like to share that wasn’t asked?

Enjoy this fun hobby, go to as many events as you can.

How did you get involved with the TCT and what made you decide to become a rep?

I found TCT on line while scouring for trailer parts years ago.  I liked that TCT had a purpose other than rallies. They were about preserving history, offering help and educating people.  I decided to join, in 2005, I think, I was member number 53 and the only one from New Mexico, then. TCT seemed different from other trailer groups, they offered information. When asked to be the rep, I thought about it, and then said ok. I was surprised and flattered that my new little trailer hobby here in New Mexico was recognized by a large national group like TCT.

What is your favorite part of hosting a rally?

My favorite part of a rally must be seeing the interiors of all the trailers.  I always get great ideas for my “next” trailer, and like creative use of space.  I think it is just about mandatory to have open house – open for and to include the general public. I get a little tired of hearing “I had one just like that”, but it is rewarding in so many ways.  Otherwise rallies are just for us.

What is your most memorable rally experience?

I had a couple, Kenny and Suzie, which were coming to my event to celebrate their 30the wedding anniversary, and without them knowing, we arranged a mock wedding ceremony for them. I found her a dress, flowers, minister, cake, and wrote vows for them. All done completely trailer trash style, and they loved it and were just thrilled.  Almost every rally has some great moments and wonderful people.

What is unique about your region/state in terms of camping or the community?

That is a good question.  I think with the weather in the SW, most of the year is good for camping and we have unspoiled delightful scenery. It is also great for trailer hunters, as we don’t suffer from winter road salt or rust.   New Mexico is unique, due to its large geographical area we are 5th in square miles, and 6th most sparsely populated.  So the people that have the trailers mostly live in the Albuquerque area. Here in Albuquerque we have two TCT friendly campgrounds that love vintage and sponsor their own vintage camping annual events. Enchanted Trails Campground has 3 of my past trailer, and offers overnight camping in them, like the Shady Dell in Arizona.

What future plans do you have for the region/state?

I would like to incorporate more state reps, into the master plan. With me, the regional rep, training, and overseeing the state reps.  I think most areas are best served by having a local state rep that knows the people, where to camp, what is wanted, and the best time of year etc.  I started off with the idea of wanted to do a rally in each state of my territory, and have participated in 4 out of state events now.  I plan on hosting my yearly rally the Desert Diamond, at Elephant Butte, NM.  Kenny and I will be on the road next year visiting and traveling-I always keep TCT brochures with me and pass them out along the way.   The Camp Dearborn rally that Forrest and his crew host, is fantastic, and would love to attend it again in 2015.

Every rally host brings their own unique flavor to a rally, what is it that you bring?

I like to think I bring, organization, a planned agenda, and try to offer something different at each event. My last rally, Desert Diamond, we included a boat ride around the lake, and a cocktail/desert  party at my vintage triple wide mobile home.  For door prizes, I like to ask trailer questions, with the correct response winning a prize. Mix things up a little, ad some fun while sipping on Margaritas.

How can members/participants help in your region or at rallies?

I am always open to any help or suggestions.  Members are welcome to host their own events, in their state/location, and I will offer guidance and direction. If I can I will travel to attend, their event. Showing interests and getting your local campers/friends interested in hosting rallies is a great help.

For my events, I am going to start a sign-up sheet, for volunteers. I think if people get involved they will be better participants and might be willing to host their own event.

Thanks,  
karen
 Posted by at 12:27 pm
Feb 232014
 

Tin Can Tourists’ 2014 Winter Convention

February 23rd 2014

Brooksville, FL – Panama City, FL

I woke up quite early this morning, probably a bit anxious to get on the road and head home, hoping to have no trouble on the way home unlike on our trip down. I started to pack up most of our outdoor items, including all my parts and the golf cart onto the utility trailer that we pull behind the motorhome. At 8am I headed over to the pavilion were we were having breakfast. A few of the members pulled out quite early this morning, but most everyone else was still around. We got to stand around and talk and say our good byes. Every Rally seems to go by so fast, never long enough but it helps knowing the next rally will be just as fun!

By about 10 am we were all set to head out towards home. My parents would be following us in their little truck and I would be driving the Motorhome with the trailer in tow. The motorhome drove great with all new tires!! A few hours down the road I noticed my parents were not behind us anymore, so I slowed down a bit to see if they would catch back up to us. About the time I was getting concerned I noticed my cell phone was on silent and there were several missed calls.  I turned the cell phone back up at the same time it rang again, my mother was calling to let me know they had a front tire coming apart on the front of the truck and had pulled off the Interstate about 30 miles back! They had found a tire center and were going to get the front two tires replaced just to be safe. They told us to continue on as it would take us another 45 minutes to get back to them and by then they should be back on the road. So we continued on home running into hard rain not far up I-75. The rain continued all the way up I-75 and by the time we made it to I-10 it was starting to rain pretty heavy. We pulled over at a rest area not long after getting on I-10 and discovered it was getting cold outside; I even had to change from shorts to jeans. We continued down to interstate making taking our exit towards Panama City. By 4 pm we were pulling in at home and at the same time my parents called to tell us it took forever to get the tires changed and they were still about 4 hours behind us at this point. They finally got home around 8pm.

What a trip! No matter what kind of travel trouble I have, I am always looking forward to the next Tin Can Tourists Rally!!!!

 

Tim Heintz

Tin Can Tourists Southeastern Representative

1995 Fleetwood Flair

Feb 222014
 

Tin Can Tourists’ 2014 Winter Convention

February 22nd 2014

Brooksville, FL

Woke up this morning to a few dark clouds and a heavy fog, but there was the promise of clearing skies and warm weather to come quickly. I made my way over to the pavilion where we all had donuts/pastries and coffee for breakfast.  Soon after most of us headed back to our trailers to get ready for the open house, as I headed back to set up the rest of my parts for sale since I did not bring a vintage trailer to the winter convention this year.

Before the dark clouds cleared out we did have a very short light rain, just long enough to get everything a little wet, but thankfully the sun came out and dried most of it up rather quickly. The flow of visitors was a good steady flow, and not too busy allowing for an easy day. I sold quite a bit of parts as well as antique accessories to go with vintage trailers.

I missed not having one of my vintage trailers with me, but it was nice to bring modern once and being able to enjoy the rally and walk around seeing all the trailers on display. (Pictures can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tbone2/sets/72157641453933663/ ) The weather throughout the day was great and the sun was out for most of the day. We had a lot of visitors who had recently purchased vintage trailers and can’t wait to get involved with the Tin Can Tourists and start using their ‘new’ trailers.

Around 1pm we called to see if there was a tire shop that would come out to change the last two tires that needed to be replaced on the Motorhome. There was only one tire shop located in Dade City and could not make it out, but said if the motorhome could be driven there by 130 they could get the last two tires replaced. So my parents loaded up the motorhome and headed to Dade City while I stayed behind with all the parts I had for sale. They were only gone for about an hour before returning with the two new tires installed on the motorhome. Now we will be driving home on all new tires!!!

By 5 pm the open house was over and it was time for dinner which was a great BBQ dinner supplied by the Youth Ranches volunteers. When dinner was over I showed the TV Episode of Extreme RVs from the Travel Channel that featured our shop ‘Heintz Designs Vintage Trailer Restorations’ (www.HeintzDesigns.com) since the featured restored trailer was in attendance at the Winter Convention. It was a gold colored 1957 Airfloat Landyacht Coach.  After the Extreme RVs they showed the movie ‘The Long Long Trailer’, many people came out to see the movie. I decided to walk around a bit and see if there were any groups gathered around a campfire as I had already seen the movie a few hundred times! I found a group gathered at Harvey’s 1970 WilliamsCraft Trailer and we sat around and talked trailers for a few hours before it was well past 10 pm so we all decided to head to bed as we were all pulling out in the morning.

Tim Heintz

Tin Can Tourists Southeastern Representative

1995 Fleetwood Flair

Feb 212014
 

Tin Can Tourists’ 2014 Winter Convention

February 21st 2014

Brooksville, FL

I slept very well last night after such a long day of travel and roadside tire problem on the way down. The rest of the family slept in, but I went ahead and got up for breakfast at the pavilion to see everyone who was still wondering if I had made it to the campground last night. Everyone was happy to see that we finally arrived in one piece last night. Breakfast was supplied by the youth ranch volunteers and it was great to have a big warm breakfast.

After breakfast we had a memorial service for John ‘Canner’ Culp, who had passed away earlier this year. John was the last of the true Tin Can Tourists having attended the original TCT Rallies in the 1930’s and 1940’s with his parents. John also lived full time in a 1947 Westcraft Trailer that he bought brand new with his father in 1947. John pulled it all over the US well into his 80’s when he finally retired from the road about 4 years ago and parked the trailer in central FL to live in.John Culp with his 1947 WestCraft

After the service we had the rest of the day to do whatever we wanted to do. I was happy to spend most of the day walking around and talking to everyone at the rally. Many of the TCTers at the event I had not seen in at least a year or more. We had some really great trailers attend this year, although many of our Airstream Friends were drawn away from our winter convention with an Airstream Rally in FL the same weekend, but we still had a good supply of vintage Airstreams at the event.

I eventually made it back to my rig and started to unpack all of the vintage parts I had packed to bring down with me to sell at the rally. I had four large tubs full of parts that I still needed to go through, price and layout on the utility trailer. I had also brought a lot of antiques for vintage trailers such as coffee pots, dishes, and even vintage clothing. Even sold a few items early as I was unpacking.

At 6 pm it was time for a pot luck dinner with chicken provided; there was a ton of side dishes including some awesome deserts.  When dinner was over we had a band providing a great selection of music. There was quite a bit of dancing as well with a couple of surprise fire dances from one of our fellow TCTers!!!! The music lasted well into the night, until we all could not stay up any longer and finally headed in for the night. Been a great day and can’t wait until tomorrow!

 

Tim Heintz

Tin Can Tourists Southeastern Representative

1995 Fleetwood Flair

Feb 202014
 

Tin Can Tourists’ 2014 Winter Convention

February 20th 2014

Panama City, FL – Brooksville, FL

I spent all day yesterday packing all the vintage trailer parts and antiques that I want to bring for the flea market on Saturday at the TCT Rally. Since I am not bringing a vintage trailer this time I may as well bring part of vintage trailers. After packing all my parts, I finished packing all my clothes and other items I usually take. This time I will not be pulling vintage, I will be bringing a more modern Motorhome with a utility trailer in tow behind with all my parts onboard.

At 6:30am I loaded up all my stuff and headed a few blocks away to my grandparents place. They will be tagging along with me and allowing me to drive their Motorhome (they are TCT Members too and love to attend the rallies) Although they have never owned a vintage trailer, they have owned MANY new trailers that would be considered vintage today….their first was a 1954 Continental Trailer 35’.

By 7:30am we were all set to hit the road. Felt a bit weird at first, I am used to driving a shorter vehicle with a longer trailer in tow, this time I have a 30’ tow vehicle and a 13’ trailer in tow….I feel backwards! But quickly got used to how the motorhome handled. Starting off traffic was a little heavy out of Panama City as this weekend starts our Spring Break Season, and traffic was already quite a bit heavier than usual, but thankfully it was all incoming traffic and we were heading out of town.

About 120 miles down the road the motor home started to shutter and it felt like a tire was getting ready to blow. So I pulled off at the first exit off I-10 and of course as my luck would have it we were in the middle of nowhere right outside of Madison FL. The only thing at the exit was a gas station, but it was better than the side of the highway. Got out of the rig and looked around but saw no signs of tire trouble, so after driving around the station thought it may have been the road. As soon as we got back on the road and before getting back on the interstate it started again so I did a U Turn….all 43’ of us in the median and headed back to the gas station. Called the road side service and they my cell phone was cutting in and out really bad being out in the middle of nowhere, I had to climb up the rear ladder and get on the roof of the motorhome…..just like Robin Williams in the movie ‘RV’ And as if that was not a sight for all the people as the station, I always pace when I am on the phone, and didn’t realize until the call was over that I had been walking back and forth the length of the motor home for about 30 minutes!

Road side service said they would have someone out in about 20 minutes, which I was very happy with since usually it takes hours! Best of all after only 10 minutes the repair guy was there to change the inner rear dually with our spare. It didn’t take him long and he finished up the tire change and put the old tire on the back where the spare was located. He left and after eating a quick lunch we were ready to get back on the road

Roadside……or so we thought.

As soon as we got back on the road the same bouncing started. So again I made a tight U turn and headed back to the station.  Called road side service again and they asked how bad the bouncing was which I told them it was bouncing quite a bit, but not too bad. They asked if I could make it 7 miles to the next exit where there was a large tire and truck shop. So I told them we could make it and I would take it slow on the interstate, otherwise I would have been waiting for hours.  Got back on the interstate and finally made it the 7 miles at 35mph. After turning onto the exit I looked for the station but did not see it anywhere. Thankfully the lady on the phone gave me the stations number, so I called it and they informed me that they had not been at that location in over 2.5 years!!!! And they moved 50 more miles down the road. So I called road side service and told them what had happened and how aggravated I was at their outdated information.  The ‘new’ lady on the phone was very helpful and found another tire shop 6 miles down the road, but the good thing about it was I could travel on the exit road and not get back on the interstate. So off towards Madison FL to find the tire shop.

After circling the town about three times we finally found the tire shop. They looked at the rear tires and found an inner dually on the street side was bad, and the tread was warped. So they had a tire in stock and changed it out. Didn’t take them too long, and to find out the very first repair guy was from this same shop.  After the tire was installed we packed up and got ready to hit the road. Within a block of the tire shop (by the time we got up to speed) the rig was doing it again!!!! So we turned around and headed back.

The guys were surprised to see us back, but we told them what it was doing and upon inspecting the front two tires they found that they too were warped. So we asked them to put two new tires on the front. One problem…..they were out of tires for this rig and could get them delivered by morning! They owner told us to hold on and he would call and see if he could get any from town even though it was already 4:30 pm. Just our luck he located two tires and went to pick them up and his crew even stayed late to help make sure they were installed for us to get back on the road.Madison FL Tire Shop

The tire guys told us that the make and model of tires on the rig had been recalled due to failure, it was an older recall and the tires have been on this rig for years already, so no wonder we were having all these problems. Unfortunately there were not enough tires to replace them all, but he told us to make sure to get them all changed (ones still not replaced) and he didn’t like the look of the two on the curbside, but they might make it the remaining 150 miles to Brooksville.

After the two front tires were installed we headed back out once more……this time there was no bouncing for once!!! Everything seemed to be fine. Even started to make good time on the highway.

BUT………………………… after getting on I-75 I could start to fell a slight shuttering/bouncing, so I slowed down a bit, hoping it was the road or at least that slowing down would help to make to Brooksville or at least to a place to pull over. About the time I turned to my Grandfather to tell him I thought another tire was going bad, there was a huge bang and I could fell the curbside of the rig lower. We had blown a tire, but at least it was an outer dually this time (a bit easier to change). This time there was no spare, so we called roadside service again. They told us they would find someone to come out and bring us a new tire. Took quite a while for them to call us back as they had a hard time finding a place opened after hours with the tire we need.

Within an hour the service truck arrived on site. I-75 Road SideThe guy was great, within 20 minutes he had the bad tire off the rim, new tire installed on the rim (by hand), installed on the rig, and had us ready for the road. We pulled out on the interstate and were ready to finish the last 120 miles of the trip. Thankfully the last leg of our trip was eventless and we finally made it to the campground by 11:30pm. We found a great spot right by a few friends and did a little bit of setting up before grabbing a very late dinner. I can’t believe it took us from 7:30am to 11:30pm to travel just 343 miles!  That’s an average of 21.5 miles per hour!!!! I could have made it faster by moped!!!!!

Time for a well-deserved good night’s sleep!

Tim Heintz

Tin Can Tourists Southeastern Representative

1995 Fleetwood Flair