New Member Interview with Jim & James Schaal Jr

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

I have always been fascinated by Airstreams.  As a child I would notice them on the road and dreamed of owning my own one day.  Years later..we got our first Airstream in 2015 and my oldest son James caught the bug!  We enjoyed it for family camping but had a desire to own a vintage one.  We stumbled across a 1966 Caravel that had been sat in a driveway untouched for two years and bought it.  My son was 15 and wanted to rebuild it himself but obviously did not has the skill set so we acquired a 1975 Argosy that he could work on in and learn.  He tore it apart and put it back together and we could see that he had some talent and that opened the door to restoring the 1966.  During this whole time, we went to rallies and made great friends and mentors. Now we have 10 trailers and our hobby has become a business for James and I.  Our company is called Polished Aluminum and we rent out our trailers.  We also collect Airstream memorabilia.

What type of trailers have you owned and what do you have now? What is your dream vintage trailer?

  • 1947 Tourette
  • 1948 Airstream Liner (my dream trailer but stilll in search of a 1936 Clipper!)
  • 1960 Caravel Custom International (one of two left in the country)
  • 1964 Globetrotter1965 Ambassador (we converted into a bar and lounge)
  • 1966 Caravel
  • 1975 Argosy
  • 2015 International Signature
  • 2020 Globetrotter (for Mom!)
  • 2021 Basecamp (James drove this cross country to California to attend Vintage Boot Camp in Hollister last August)

What do you tow with?

3500 RAM

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

Yes!  We do a lot with Palmetto State and love Silver in the City that takes place in York, South Carolina.  We have been to two International Airstream rallies so far.  We love seeing all of the friends we have made on this journey and the opportunity to always learn more.

Why did you decide to join the Tin Can Tourists?

It was recommended to us and we have heard nothing but great things and that your events are a lot of FUN!

What are your camping plans for this year?

So far….The Tin Can rally in February, Asheville in March (so our younger son can go mountain biking), Silver in the City in South Carolina and Region 3 Airstream rally in Georgia both in April and Airstream International Rally in Maine in July.

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