Can you tell us about how you got into the vintage trailer hobby?
My wife and I belong to several car clubs and have enjoyed driving our cars (and truck) to various events in the Southeast. One of our favorites is the Moonshine Cruise that used to take place in Blairsville, Ga. In 2016 on the way to Blairsville in our ’34 Ford Roadster, we began seeing vintage cars and trucks towing vintage campers. We were thinking of buying an older diesel pusher motor home and towing the car behind us on a trailer but loved the idea of towing a vintage camper. We poked around several of the trailers at the campground and talked to some of the people and they all loved camping in their vintage campers and raved about what a great
group the vintage camper folks are.
What type of trailers have you owned and what do you have now?
We have only owned one so far. We started searching for a vintage camper as soon as we got home from the Blairsville show. Before you could say Nit Nac, I was up to my ears in researching vintage campers. We fell in love with the natural wood finished interiors and the 50s to 60s era trailers and began looking. We looked at several in Florida and decided that to start out we would stick to a 16’ 2200 – 2500 # trailer that we could tow behind our Kia Sorento. We fell in love with a Shasta Airflyte that we found in Portland Maine. I contacted the owner and made an offer. She accepted my offer and the following Saturday we were on the road to Maine.
I called the owner a few minutes after we left. She told me that someone showed up with cash in hand and sold it out from under us. I guess it was not meant to be. We scoured craigslist, Tin Can
Tourist classifieds and every vintage camper publication that we could get our hands on. I saw Tim Heinz’ s ad somewhere and called him and asked for advice. He added a couple of trailers to our list and told me he would keep his eyes open. Sometime around June of 2017 a 64 Airflyte popped up in Topeka, Kansas. The owner had restored 95% of the interior but the exterior was rough. I researched repairing and replacing windows and learned as much as I could about what to look at when we actually saw the camper. I called Tim again to find out if he could replace a piece of the siding where someone had cut a hole in the side and stuck an AC unit in. He said no problem and gave us a price. I called the owner in Topeka around late July and made an offer that he accepted.
Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Jacksonville and by August 9th we evacuated and headed to Topeka to pick up our new girl, now named “Irma”. For those that are working on restoring a trailer, I would highly recommend Mobiltech videos from Larry on YouTube. They were a Godsend to us.
What is your dream vintage trailer?
We are thinking about a 20 – 22’ trailer with a shower and toilet. 50s or 60s Avion, Airstream, Boles, or another cool older vintage trailer. Need to make sure that we don’t fall in love with one that exceeds our ability to tow with our Kia Sorento which is rated for 5000 GTW.
What do you tow with?
2016 Kia AWD Sorento
Do you attend rallies and what do you like the most about attending a rally?
We have been to four Tin Can Tourist rallies, three annual conventions in Brooksville and one at Topsail beach. We have been to one in Jekyll Island with another group. We love the people, the atmosphere and the feeling of leaving all your troubles at home and campfire jumping with friends. We always meet someone new and wonderful!
Why did you decide to join the Tin Can Tourists?
Tim Heintz recommended that we join and after we talked with several vintage camper owners, we joined and attended the 100 th anniversary rally in Brooksville. We really enjoyed the event and the organization that we saw. Plus, there is a ton of good advice, parts and trailers for sale on the web site. Got a lot of great references for repairs.
What are your camping plans for this year?
We are attending a rally over New Years at Salt Springs, the TCT rally in Brooksville in February, and hopefully another rally at Jekyll Island in the Spring. We are in the talking stages of planning a trip out west, perhaps Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, etc.