The Tin Can Tourists 18th (Consecutive) Annual Gathering

The Tin Can Tourists 18th (Consecutive) Annual Gathering

                                                         by Hunt Jones

Camp Dearborn in Milford Michigan was once again host to our Annual Gathering over the long May 18th weekend, Royal Can Opener and Openette Forrest and Jeri Bone presiding.  This year’s rally was the largest ever with 194 registrations as the Electric Only option opened up availability.  Also new this year was a revamped registration procedure using USPS postmarked envelopes which greatly reduced the enormous effort by both the Bones and Camp office staff.  The lone drawback to this was that old sites now often contained different rigs, so get your registrations postmarked early next year.  Now in its 96th year, Tin Can Tourists is the world’s oldest camping/RV club.

Some of us arrived Wednesday or earlier to help with tasks or assignments, and it’s always a treat to witness the parade of Thursday’s arrivals with a favorite libation in hand of course.  Thursday evening’s festivities began with a catered dinner and lots of potluck desserts.  This was followed by the New Member introduction and indoctrination after the accepted singing of “The More we Get Together.”  Anyone who stayed until 7:30 witnessed Hunt Jones’ Power Point presentation on the history of American diners.  After Friday’s breakfast, the day was On Your Own, but the afternoon offered two presentations, the first on Agreed Value Insurance for RV’s by Hunt with a subsequent seminar by Forrest and Hunt.  (By the way, we do not have knowledge of a Canadian insurance company which offers this special coverage, so please contact Forrest or me if you have experience with one/some).  The second presentation Friday afternoon was Dan Hershberger’s fascinating show ‘n tell of his 1927 Auto Kamp trailer Pop-up/pop-out along with a great array of early camping equipment including kitchens, stoves, burners, lights, chairs, washtubs, and even a folding bathtub.  Friday’s big dinner gave members a chance to work it off by dancing to the music of Bugs Beddow and the Good Stuff.

Some rain Saturday morning ended before Open House began at 11 mostly in part to fervent prayers by the Concours d’Elegance judging team.   As Forrest announced later, “It has never rained during an Open House here.”   Dan Hershberger reprised his Auto Kamp presentation that afternoon for the public. 

After dinner, Dan Piper, our Concours Chair announced the winners and awarded plaques for:


“Beater” Award (new):  1955 Scotty Silverdome, Curry 

Friday night Lights:  1963 Wolfe cabover, Boutelier/Gonczy

Special Interest (John “Canner” Culp):  5 foot mini-Shasta, Starner 

Awesome Interiors:  1958 Catolac Deville, Lampen

Reserve “Ready to Roll”:  1952 Vagabond, Brown/Mastin

Best in Show “Ready to Roll”:  1948 Palace Royal, Pain

Reserve “Silver Palaces”:  1964 Airstream Bambi II, Bulerna/Van Tholen

Best in Show “Silver Palaces”:  1952 Silver Streak Clipper, Emily/Long

Reserve “Mobile Mansions”:  1985 Airstream Classic, Trueman

Best in Show “Mobile Mansions”:  2003 Peterbuilt, Gray

Reserve “Tiny Trailers/Teardrops”:  1957 Shasta Compaq, Rese

Best in Show  “Tiny Trailers/Teardrops”:  1963 Comanche, Bertinelli

Reserve Tow-Trailer Combination:  1952 Plymouth Savoy wagon, 1967 Scotsman,  Paul Broxon

Best in Show Tow-Trailer Combination:  1977 VW Westfalia/ 1978 Trillium,  Hubanks

The final award was presented by Forrest Bone to Terry and Hardy Evans as the newest members of The Tin Can Tourists Hall of Fame for their exemplary dedication to TCT.  Terry Bone finalized the evening with rounds of Playing Card Bingo and multiple prizes during an absolutely massive downpour.  Sunday morning’s breakfast was punctuated by the standard endless Midwest Goodbye rituals. 


Thanks to all who volunteered to make this year’s event so successful.  Special thanks to The K-Row Klub for set-up, clean-up, and Rally-Pak distribution, Terry and Michelle Bone for minding the store, John Truitt and Terry for photos and Michelle again for keeping our food safe from freeloaders, Forrest and Jeri for organizing it, Steve Hingtgen  of Vintage Trailer Supply for sponsoring it, and Ken Hindley (TCT’s Chief Mechanic) for repairing defunct vintage haulers.


Additional photos here:



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