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!!!

g

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.

h i

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.

c d

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.

k

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.

a b

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!!!!

e

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!

 

 

f

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.

10945740_10152946440995901_4052627669098806210_n10931449_10152946437570901_4141062630366187637_n1503359_10152946437755901_5350809651574967641_n

10933700_10152946437065901_8071362837260640020_n10933860_10152946440060901_3876219580286651810_n10420053_10152946440165901_1021238176203186359_n10952137_10152946440295901_36941994566732792_n10941442_10152946440420901_5317997606323683919_n10945674_10152946440590901_8272275386173580936_n10686648_10152946440915901_7219224311485329146_n10931001_10152946438245901_1332717606108042824_n10301536_10152946437945901_4523420314584305769_n1794529_10152946439620901_5752828171512098655_n10940611_10152946437245901_2204738788792484395_n10943717_10152946439965901_4020780374132014151_n10941824_10152946440755901_7440679432062197416_n10475665_10152946438875901_6391103946413415092_n10408630_10152946438950901_192768760093893851_n

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.

10941723_10152945371850901_231206482_n

10943896_10152945372065901_2106868160_n 10941293_10152945372130901_439541719_n 10949807_10152945371955901_1157014828_n

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

 

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

Jan 262014
 

Tin Can Tourists’ 2014 Chautauqua Rally

January 26th 2014

DeFuniak Springs, FL – Panama City, FL

Last night must have been a bit warmer as I had to get up and turn the heat down during the night as it started to get a little too warm in the trailer. Still was a bit cool outside this morning but the wind had calmed down and it felt promising for a warmer day.  Around 8:00 am one of the event staff came by and invited all of us next door for a pancake breakfast so we all walked over to the old hospital building where they were cooking the breakfast. It was a great breakfast and we got to eat in a nice warm building.

After breakfast we all made our way back to our trailers for the last show day. Finally the temperature was starting to feel better and for once I did not have four full layers on, just a T-Shirt with a wind breaker jacket. The event was supposed to start around 8:00 am but the event grounds were empty with even a few other exhibits packing up late yesterday and leaving. Unfortunately the weather this year has been horribly cold and has kept the crowds in out of the weather.

Around lunch things started to pick up a bit with the weather finally warming up quite a bit and the sun had even broken through the clouds. I am sure the Church crowds helped with so many Churches around the lake, as well as the Civil War battle that was scheduled around 1:00 pm. We had quite a few people stop by from lunch time until the time for the Battle. After the Civil war battle there was another increase in people wanting to see the trailers as they walked back to the parking areas.

When 3:00 pm came around the crowds had finally stopped and it was time for the events to be over. All of us started to pack up, say our good byes, and get ready to hit the road. It was just our luck; the best weather of the entire weekend was when we were packing up. By 3:30 pm the first trailers were starting to pull out, the first three had the furthest to travel home while the rest of us only had about 50 miles to get home and a few only had 5 miles or less! By 4:00 pm the last three trailers in the line-up would be those of us from Panama City, so we all traveled home together as it is fun to see everyone on the road get excited when there is a caravan of vintage trailers traveling down the road together.

By 5:00 pm we were driving into Panama City and I was the first one to turn off the highway for the last mile of my trip home, the other two trailers passed by blowing their horns and waving as they went by. It has been a great time regardless of the cold weather, in fact because of the cold weather we had some of the best time sitting around a nice warm campfire and enjoying each other’s company. Looking forward to the next time we are all together, because “the more we get together”……well you know the rest!

Tim Heintz

Tin Can Tourists Southeastern Representative

1950 Spartanette Tandem

Jan 252014
 

Tin Can Tourists’ 2014 Chautauqua Rally

January 25th 2014

DeFuniak Springs, FL

Slept very well last night and stayed quite warm as last night was not as cold as the last few nights. In fact there were a few times I almost got hot last night, of course the heater was on full blast! As much as I did not want to get out of bed but finally, after hitting the snooze alarm a few times, I got up and started the large coffee pot for everyone and put out all the breakfast treats on the table out under my awning. It still felt quite cold this morning but there was the promise by the national weather service that we would reach in lower 60’s today, however with it at 38 degrees we had a ways to go.

Around 9:30 am there were a few people starting to walk around and wanting to look at the vintage trailers. Everyone that came through seemed quite interested in the vintage trailers and the TCT. It was still quite cold and the crowds were rather small and came in quick shifts, likely just small groups walking from the parking areas to the main event areas. Since it was rather slow I decided to walk down to the Vintage Car show to check out a few cars that were arriving, I was surprised to see fellow TCTers and good friends of mine Herb and Sidra Spies who had brought their 1925 Ford Truck with a 1916 Expanding Apartment on the back of it. If you have never seen their rig you should look it up, an awesome rig similar to what the early TCTers would have used in the very early days of our existence.

By lunch time the weather was looking a bit better and I was even able to take my heavy coat off and just have on a sweater. As the weather warmed up the crowds started to get larger and for a while we had a steady stream of people moving through the vintage trailer area. Many people were thrilled to see a new aspect of the Chautauqua Fair by having the TCT at their event. In fact may of the spectators asked if we would be back for next year and if we would bring even more trailers, which was a surprise coming from the general public as it seemed they really enjoyed the vintage trailers and the history of tourism in Florida.

At 3:30 pm the crowds slowed down a bit again, but all the sudden by 4:30 pm there was another rush of people, probably on their way back to the parking areas as many of the other events were closing down. We were happy to show our trailers to anyone that showed interest in the trailers or the TCT group in general, as many of the spectators had toured our trailers earlier but came back bringing more friends and families to see the trailers.

5:00 pm arrived and it was time to shut our trailers down and get ready for dinner. Since we had such a busy day I had planned just sub sandwiches, chips, and cake for dinner. Everyone made their own sandwiches to order, we had Turkey, Chicken, and Ham. Best of all we had a nice large campfire to sit around, which we could finally enjoy since the weather has warmed up quite a bit. The last few days have even been too cold to sit around a campfire! Tonight we were able to enjoy a long night of sitting around the camp fire eating cake and talking late into the night. Eventually fewer and fewer people were left around the fire until the rest of us were so tired and ready for bed that we decided we better get some good sleep as we still have about 7 hours to show our trailers tomorrow before the event is over and many of us will be driving home tomorrow evening as well.

Tim Heintz

Tin Can Tourists Southeastern Representative

1950 Spartanette Tandem

Skip to toolbar