Can you tell us about how you got into the vintage trailer hobby?
Vintage trailers have always been a family affair. My uncle used to tinker with old cars and boats, and eventually restored a 1951 Silver Streak Clipper (with the alien eye windows). That trailer now belongs to my parents, who have kept the project going and have taken it on numerous adventures. Another aunt and uncle also own a 1960s Silver Streak Sabre, so we all would get together for family camping trips. My wife and I have always loved the vintage charm and craftsmanship of these old trailers, and so a few years ago thought we should join in on the fun as well.
What type of trailers have you owned and what do you have now? What is your dream vintage trailer?
We started out with a 1951 Hanson Love Bug canned ham trailer that was in need of a lot of work. My father and I originally got it together, and it turned into my own project. I have completely refurbished the interior, rewired it (including solar) and have just recently had it polished. That trailer has taken us on many adventures, but foremost was a feature at our wedding and took us on our honeymoon trip up and around the Tetons/Yellowstone. When it isn’t being towed around it doubles as a cozy spare bedroom in our backyard. We also own a 1958 Alaskan 8′ Non-cabover Camper that we use a lot (mostly up the harder to get to off road trails that the trailer won’t go), and have just passed our little 1950s Apache tent trailer project on to some friends who plan to use it with their kids. Our dream trailer is probably less about a single trailer, but several. We would love to get some land with a view to set up a permanent family camp site, with a few trailers circled around as a vacation getaway. Something like an XXL Spartan Mansion would be ideal!
What do you tow with?
Along with my love for trailers, I am also obsessed with cars and in particular have a special love for “old body style” diesel Ford pickups. Our main tow vehicle started as a single cab ’97 F-250 Powerstroke 4×4, but now that we have added a kid to the mix, we have upsized to a crew cab ’95 F-350 Powerstroke 4×4 (both long beds for when we want to use the Alaskan camper). We camp almost exclusively dispersed/boondocking off grid, so the four wheel drive, extra storage, and big tires really helps make that happen. We used to tow the Hanson trailer with my old FJ60 Land Cruiser rock crawler, but it was so appallingly slow going up hills that it had to go!
Do you attend rallies and what do you like the most about attending a rally?
We have attended the Virginia City trailer rally in the past, but that is about it (outside of our own family vintage trailer get-togethers), but are excited to attend more! I love being able to check out everyone else’s creativity, hard work and innovative solutions to shared problems, whether it is retrofitting old systems or sourcing hard to find parts. Lots of passion and elbow grease on display!
Why did you decide to join the Tin Can Tourists?
I have heard about the Tin Can Tourists over the years, love the history and longevity of the club, so figured it was high time to join and participate in the community some more.
What are your camping plans for this year?
We usually try to camp at least once a month – this has been harder to achieve since having a kid recently but are hoping to get back on track soon. We typically plan a large desert playa trip in Nevada with friends and family for late in the summer. Beyond that, we have plans to camp at some of our favorite spots in the Sierras in July, up on a great beach in the Lost Coast area in August, and back to Death Valley later in the year once it cools down again!