New Member Interview with Lutz Engelmann (from France)

Can you tell us about how you got into the vintage trailer hobby? 

We live in the south of France, and for a long time we had been looking for a way to build a missing private guest-room in our garden. In 2018 the idea of an Airstream popped up. But during the first excursion of research, we were lodged in a 1947 Spartan Manor, and were startled by its design & the charm of its old birch interior. We said “that’s it!” and by enormous chance – for France – there was one on sale, 200 km further, in excellent condition! We bought it a week later and then, of course, we were hooked. You will easily understand, as this particular trailer might be familiar to some of you…

What type of trailers have you owned and what do you have now?

The 1948 Spartan sits in our garden, for friends, and – even more – for our own pleasure.

In 2019 we were lucky enough to find a 1951 Royal Spartanette, again in France. It was in not too bad condition, so after some consideration for the amount of work to invest we fell for it. So I have spent a good part of the last 18 month on this project, especially the lockdown periods, restoring about everything from electrics, plumbing, insulation, sanding, polishing… Now this one is sitting in a corner of the parc of our hotel business, the Auberge du Cèdre, much appreciated by paying guests. 

Then, end of 2020, there was again an occasion to beautiful to be missed : a 1954 Spartan Manor for sale in France, bought by my sister in law, who caught the “bug” in the process. After some refreshing it is now on rent for guests, too.

The last in line is a small, but very cute french trailer, a 1968 Notin Goëlette, which found us this summer, in excellent condition.

What is your dream vintage trailer?  

I’d like to take on the restoration of a 1951 Royal Mansion, once retired. I hope we’ll find one…

What do you tow with?

Well, to be honest, for now everything is static here, but we think about going on the road with the small french Notin trailer, which should tow with our VW Sharan. 

Do you attend rallies and what do you like the most about attending a rally?

We are members of the french Vintage Camper Club RCCF, and are very keen to attend one of their rallies next year, once retired. Meeting like-minded people and discovering other trailers. And we’d like very much one day travel in the US and attend one of TCT’s rallies. 

Why did you decide to join the Tin Can Tourists? 

We have found lots of information on the TCT’s website, and appreciate its no-fuss and opend minded mood, so we are glad to be a small part of it, even at the distance. 

What are your camping plans for this year?
No plans for this year, but next year we’ll take the Notin on the road.

We are not on social media privately, but the Vintage-Trailer-Page on our website might be enjoyed by fellow members :


  1. Simply beautiful….and so inviting. I checked out your hotel and that is fabulous also. Many trips to France but have not been in your area. Thanks for sharing!

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