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?


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?


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?


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.

 Posted by at 12:27 pm
Jun 222011

A friend on the Board of the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento has asked me to help notify vintage travel trailer owners about an upcoming Car (and Vintage Trailer) Cruise being held August 6th in Sacramento sponsored by the California Automobile Museum and was hoping you could help spread the word.

The Museum is really interested in getting vintage trailer owners to join in. It isn’t necessary that the trailer be pulled by a vintage auto.

Here’s the scoop:

The California Automobile Museum is encouraging travel trailers to join in their “Cruise” this year and will have a special display space on Fulton Ave, where the Cruise ends. Participants will gather at lot 1 (shaded) at Sac State College, cruise down Fair Oaks Blvd with a Police escort, left on Fulton and then we are closing Fulton Ave from Marconi to El Camino. The car and the trailer will be charged at the single car rate. Vintage trailers can be pulled by modern or vintage cars.

The museum is requesting that entries for trailers be made by July 31st as they will need to do a special display for them and will need to know how many trailers there will be. Participants should
also say if they want to display their vintage tow car or place it elsewhere.

Registration and online payment for the event can be found at

The following is an excerpt from the CAM website:

On Saturday, August 6th, 2011, get ready for Sacramento to come alive with the sights and sounds of hundreds of unique cars from all eras and manufacturers as they celebrate an American summertime tradition of cruising with community-wide participation.

The 3rd Annual CAM Car Cruise, hosted by the California Automobile Museum (CAM), will be a fun-filled day for the whole family as we cruise through the streets of Sacramento and along Fulton Avenue where we will conclude with a huge car show on Fulton between El Camino and Marconi.  Attendees are encouraged to enjoy the local fares of Fulton Avenue merchants, plus we will have a beer garden, live bands, vendors and more!

Price for car cruise is $39 early registration, $49 after July 15 with an extra $5 off for CAM Gearhead members.  General admission is free for spectators.

Rob Collins (’61 Kencraft owner)

 Posted by at 6:19 am
Mar 272011

4th Annual California Rally

Brief description of event: Come join us for some great vintage trailer camping snuggled along the American River in the Historic Gold Mining town of Coloma California. You can join fellow Trailerites for a weekend of fun at the Coloma Resort. So make your reservation, pack your fishing poles, and your gold panning supplies and come join us.

Date: Sept 30 – Oct 2, 2011

Location: Coloma Resort, 6921 Mt. Murphy Road, Coloma, California 95613-0516

Number of units allowed at event: 41 River Sites available (electric and water only, no sewer in River front sites)

Registration procedure: Register using Paypal or Print Form and mail check
Confirmed camping rates for the Tin Can Rally members for 2011 will be: $49.00 per night

Contact person: Penny Cotter, 332 S. Branciforte Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062


 Posted by at 10:15 am
Dec 102010

We are very pleased to announce that Rob and Shari Davis have accepted the position as the Colorado State Representatives for the Tin Can Tourists.

Rob Davis, an architect and his wife Shari, an interior designer living in Edgewater, Colorado. They were initially drawn to vintage trailers by their classic ‘Americana’ design. Knowing nothing about them, in 2002 they bought a 1964 Airstream listed in the local classifieds which needed only minor work. When a 1956 Airstream with a floor plan that Shari just loved became available in 2008, they snapped it up and jumped on the slippery slope of a major restoration. 27 months and 3,900 hours later they now have the perfect trailer for their needs and wish to use it to meet as many like-minded folks as possible. After associating with the single-brand trailer organization for 9 years, they desired to extend their camping experience to those with various makes. What better way to do that than to join the Tin Can Tourists? Viewing pictures of TCT gatherings it appeared there was a large number of vintage tow vehicles owned by the membership, so they have recently taken that next step and acquired a 1963 Suburban to pull their mobile abode.

Rob & Shari have been integral in hosting large vintage rallies in the Rocky Mountains for the last 8 years. They are excited to help grow TCT membership in Colorado through networking, personal contact and assisting Karen Campbell with the 2011 TCT Gathering.

Rob & Shari Davis
2520 Gray Street
Edgewater, CO 80214

Editor Note: Many of our Regional areas are geographically too big for an individual to host Gatherings that would be suitable for many of the regional members. Penny Cotter is the representative for California and hosts an annual event in Coloma. Karen Campbell, Southwest Representative, has hosted Gatherings in both New Mexico and Arizona. It is our hope that other members might want to host an annual event in their home state. The Regional Representative for the area would work with the state representative providing suggestions and promotional support. TCT would do the same through the website and other social media outlets. This would be coordinated by our webmaster, Terry Bone.

Karen Campbell will be working with the Davis’s on the following event:
Name of Event: 3rd Annual Enchanted Encampment Gathering
Brief description of event: Come join us at this unique campground, with fresh mountain air, million dollar
views, shady level pull through spaces and a collection of permanent vintage campers to tour. Yes, you may even rent one for the rally.
Date: May 19-22, 2011
Location: Starlite Classic Campground, 30 County Road 3A, Canon City, Colorado 81212 The campground is located west of Canon City, CO at the intersection of Highway 50 and Country Road 3A-the turnoff to the Royal Gouge Bridge. It is just two hours from Denver, 45 minutes from Colorado Springs and 30 minutes from Pueblo.
Number of Units allowed: 40
Registration Procedure: Total cost is: $145.00 for 2 TCT members, $ 165.00 non-members-(includes a new TCT membership) for full or E/W only hook-ups. Karen Campbell your SW TCT rep is hostess, and will email registration form and more details. or 505-294-6000.

Tentative Agenda: Meet and greet cocktail hour, trailer tour and open house-flea market, pot luck dinner, campfires, trailer trash gift exchange, and lots of time to explore on your own.

 Posted by at 6:59 am
Jun 272010
Thought some of you might be interested in the tour – Karen Campbell is our Southwest Regional Representative.
Here it is, the official press release for the NM Route 66 Motor Tour, if you need any more  Hope to see you on the road.


Karen Campbell
TCT (Tin Can Tourist) Rep for the SW
New Mexico Route 66 Association

June 24, 2010
First-Ever New Mexico Route 66 Motor Tour Revs Up
It wouldn’t be summer without an old-fashioned trip along the Mother Road and the Route 66 Association of New Mexico aims to please with its first-ever New Mexico Route 66 Motor Tour July 23-25, 2010.
Up to 150 vehicles – auto, motorcycle, travel trailer or bicycle, classic to contemporary – will traverse the state from Tucumcari to Gallup. The tour is not a race; participants are free to stop whenever and wherever the mood strikes. Each community along the way will join in the festivities, be it a car show, sidewalk sale or barbecue cook-off, like the one planned between Moriarty and Edgewood.
“Our intent is to promote tourism by showcasing New Mexico’s segment of the Mother Road and the communities it passes through,” said Vickie Ashcraft, president of the Association. “This is a great way to see the scenery and meet the friendly people of our Route 66 communities. And you know it is something you’ve always wanted to do.”
The tour begins in Tucumcari July 23 with registration, then heads west on June 24, following the old Route 66 alignment. In Albuquerque, tour participants can take part in the annual Neon Cruise to Nob Hill where a section of Central will be closed off for “Route 66 Days and Nights.” There will be car shows, live music, vendors and entertainment. July 25, the tour again heads west to Gallup, where it concludes with Indian Dancers, prizes and awards.
“For more than 50 years, travelers got their first real look at New Mexico while traveling Route 66,” said Michael Cerletti, Secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department. “Even while New Mexicans look to the future, they keep their history alive and kicking with remembrances of Route 66, such as this year’s ‘Route 66 Motor Tour.’ The long weekend will have a little something for everyone – family entertainment at its down-home finest.”
The New Mexico Route 66 Association is dedicated to education, the preservation and promotion of historic Route 66 in New Mexico.
Visit for registration forms and a brief itinerary; or contact Vickie Ashcraft, at the New Mexico Route 66 Association, 1415 Central Ave. NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, or by calling 505-831-6317.
Mike Stauffer, Communications Director, New Mexico Tourism Department
505-827-7379 or
 Posted by at 1:24 pm
Mar 042010

Rich Luhr is the publisher of Airstream Life magazine and a TCT member.

Desert Bloom Weekend

When: March 26-28, 2010

Where: Picacho Peak State Park, Arizona

All TCT members and interested RV’ers are invited to join us in Arizona for a pleasant weekend of camping at the beautiful Picacho Peak State Park in southern Arizona, March 26-28, 2010. This will be a very informal, “just camping” event, at one of the nicest times of year. Expect sunny, warm weather (typically 70s during the day), with spectacular desert flowers thanks to the rainy winter.

This park is slated to close in June 2010 as a result of state budget cuts, so this may be your last chance to camp here!

I’ll be leading a hike up the Hunter Trailer to the summit of Picacho Peak for anyone who cares to give it a try. (Strenuous, 2 miles, but fun! Bring gloves, camera, snack, and plenty of water.)

The campground has 85 RV sites with and without electric ($20/$15), plus centrally located water and dump station, picnic tables, fire rings, shade ramadas, and modern restrooms with showers. All sites are first-come, first-served. For more info see The park is located midway between Tucson and Phoenix directly off I-10.

Registration procedure: Arrive anytime you like and register yourself with the state park upon arrival. The park may fill up this weekend, so try to arrive early. Email Rich Luhr, or call 802-877-2900 extension 3 to let me know you’re coming.

– Rich

 Posted by at 8:10 am
Feb 022010

Brief Description of Event: Thirty sites on the American River at the Coloma Resort. There are accommodations for 85 units if needed. Coloma is located near the famous Sutter’s Mine and panning for gold is available to attendees. The setting is perfect and the fun is beyond that.

Date: Oct 1-3, 2010

Location: Coloma Resort, Coloma California

Number of units allowed at event: Maximum of 85 – Thirty riverside sites available. Register early to get a site on the river, they a booked early.

Registration procedure: Contact Penny Cotter for registration information – Registration will be available at a later date at

Contact: Penny Cotter –

 Posted by at 1:35 pm
Jan 222010

The Annual Gathering at Camp Dearborn was the event that renewed TCT. During the past year, we have gotten a commitment from both our Southwest Representative, Karen Campbell and our Northeast Representatives, Bill and Denise Fletcher to develop a Regional Rally in their Region on the same weekend as the Annual Gathering. We want to give as many members as possible the opportunity to attend an event in their Region. It is hoped that over time most of the geographical regions will have an event. A weekend when TCT members are gathering together all over the country.

These Regional Gatherings are filling up fast. Sites are limited and we encourage you to register early. The Annual Gathering at Camp Dearborn has 70 sites already reserved. The electric only sites go first and that number is decreasing daily. The Northeast Regional Gathering has a total of 60 sites available and many of those have been reserved. The Southwest Regional Gathering has a very limited number of sites (30) available at Rancho Sedona RV Park.

The registration forms are all available on Rally Registration page on the site:
or select “Rally Registrations” under Camp Office on the menu

Name of event 13th Annual Gathering

Brief description of event: Annual Gathering at Camp Dearborn; The Bowlus Trailer will be this year’s featured trailer

Date May 20th to 23rd, 2010

Location: Camp Dearborn, Milford Michigan

Number of units allowed at event 161 sites reserved – electric only and full hook-up sites available

Registration procedure: Must register for the Annual Gathering prior to site reservation.
This must be done before you reserve your site. Your name will be on record as registered for the event and you will be allowed to pick and reserve your site through the Camp Office 248-684-6000 on or after January 15th. You must be registered with Forrest Bone for the Gathering, before you can select a site through the Camp Office.

Contact person – Forrest Bone – 941-748-1483

Registration materials/On line registration:

Name of event: Third Annual TCT Northeastern Regional Gathering

Brief description of event: The Third Annual Gathering is being presented in the spring rather then the fall as the first two Gatherings. This Gathering has proven to be the place to be for vintage owners.

Date: May 20th -23rd, 2010

Location: Sampson State Park, Finger Lake Region, New York

Number of units allowed at event: 60 sites have been reserved – they sold out in 2009

Registration procedure: on line at or by contacting the Fletcher’s or Denise at or call 607-387-5838

Contact person(s) – Bill Fletcher at or Denise Fletcher at or call 607-387-5838

Name of event: Enchanted Encampment SW Rally #2

Brief description of event: We will camp in the heart of Sedona, Arizona at Rancho Sedona RV Park, a classic 1960’s style campground. Your trailers will surround our gathering spot: a large grassy area with a BBQ and fire pit and of course we have use of newly remolded men’s and women’s showers. From your camp site you can hop the free shuttle or walk to town. Sedona is a picturesque city surrounded by red-rocks, whether you’re into history and archaeology; arts and culture; power shopping; outdoor sports; or the spiritual and metaphysical, you can enjoy all this, with some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.
Our TCT agenda will include, a welcoming cocktail party, grilling up something on Friday night, Saturday show and shine open house, pot luck dinner and more. This will be a wonderful opportunity to see what Arizona is about, and meet up with some other trailer enthusiasts from the region. As they say: If you like trees with lots of shade, grass, quiet and a cool stream, you will love Rancho Sedona RV Park.

Date: May 20-23 2010

Location: Sunny Sedona, Arizona at the Rancho Sedona RV Park.

Number of units allowed at event: 30 register quick

Registration procedure: Email me, of your interest, then I will reply via email with the form and mailing instructions for both the forms and check. Rally fee for 3 nights is $ 135.00, Sedona is expensive, but you can park and ride the shuttle for most of your sightseeing and shopping.

Contact person: Karen Campbell your SW TCT rep. Home: 505-294-6000 or

Forrest & Jeri Bone
Tin Can Tourists
Winter Address:
4 High Street, Bradenton, Florida 34208

 Posted by at 10:23 am
Nov 052009

The Sac Auto show has requested six vintage camper trailers for display at the show Nov. 13-15th at cal-expo.

If you would like to show one of your collection let me know ASAP. The trailers will be housed indoors. We only have room for six (and possibly your vintage tow vehicle). You will get a parking pass and an admission pass to the event. I believe you get a pass for each day but I will need to confirm that.

Contact me ASAP and I’ll reserve your spot and get you the form to get your passes.

Paul Lacitinola Jr.

American, Trailerist

775-721-8197 cell

 Posted by at 8:24 am
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