Can you tell us about how you got into the vintage trailer hobby?
It was actually as a result of an idea which came to me about a year ago. At that time, the production of the new Tesla Cybertruck was announced, and I loved the extreme, futuristic look of it. Since I was in the market for a new truck, I decided to reserve one, although it’s still 2+ years before I will get it. I already had a travel trailer, but I thought, “how cool would it be to tow an old-looking, vintage travel trailer behind such an extremely modern looking truck—really old, and really new, side-by-side?” So, I started mulling the idea over, and began researching vintage trailers. As soon as I started looking, I was hooked!
It was not surprising that I came to admire vintage trailers. My 1966 kitchen in my home is yellow formica, with the original canary yellow GE range and oven. I collect rare, mostly fiberglass boats from the late 50’s, many of which have huge tail fins, headlights and taillights. I also collect old outboard motors, toy outboard motors from the 50’s & 60’s, and cars from that era as well. So, you might say my brain is sort “hard-wired” for vintage stuff.
What type of trailers have you owned and what do you have now?
I currently own a 27’ Keystone Hideout travel trailer, and 22’ Gulfstream RV. But the prize is my new (to me) 1963 Silverstream Duchess.
In addition to several motorized RVs, I’ve also owned a big fifth wheel toy-hauler trailer.
What is your dream vintage trailer?
I really think it’s the Silverstream Duchess. Actually, I was going to wait much closer to the time I get my Cybertruck to find a trailer, but I came across the Silverstream and couldn’t resist. It hit so many of my hot buttons that I wasn’t confident I would find something comparable, and I didn’t want to miss out. I bought it sight unseen, just based on the description and pictures from the seller. I then had it shipped to me in Florida from Oregon.
Even before considering a vintage trailer, I had compiled a list of characteristics I valued in a trailer. Based on lots of trailering miles, I greatly prefer a dual axle trailer. That setup has prevented serious damage more than once. But, that tends to conflict with my next key desire, which is a very lightweight, compact trailer. From my experience, it’s hard to find both in a vintage trailer. Other things which are important to me are A/C and heat, a dual door propane/electric refrigerator, a 3-burner range, an oven, a permanent bed, reasonable storage, a dry (separate) shower, and gray and black water holding tanks. Remarkably, the Silverstream has ALL of that, in a dual-axle, 22’ overall (19’ box) package, weighing only 3250 pounds! It was if I went back in time and custom-designed the exact vintage trailer I wanted.
As icing on the cake, I love the style and shape of the Silverstream. While I also really appreciate the “canned ham” style, I lean toward the “aircraft” type construction, with the converging, riveted front and rear panels, rounded bread loaf tops, sloping rear ends, and the ability to have a mirror shine. In short, the Silverstream really is my dream trailer, as least as far as I can tell so far.
What do you tow with?
My current main tow vehicle is a 2011 GMC Sierra 2500, with a Duramax diesel. On shorter trips, I’ve towed it with my Hummer H3 Alpha. Eventually, however, I plan to tow with the Tesla Cybertruck I have on order.
Do you attend rallies and what do you like the most about attending a rally?
I haven’t attended any rallies yet, but they look like fun, and I hope to.
Why did you decide to join the Tin Can Tourists?
It looked like a fun organization to be associated with, plus I’m sure there is a huge body of knowledge I will benefit from tapping into. I especially like that all are welcome, regardless of “trailer status.”
What are your camping plans for this year?
Well, not too long ago I finished up a month long, 3,000 mile tour of the Pacific Northwest with some dear friends from Monterey, CA. They mostly stayed in hotels, AirBnB’s and cabins, while my dog and I stayed in their 16’ Airstream Bambi. More recently, I took the Silverstream on its first “shakedown cruise“ to the Washington DC area, where I stayed in it for about six weeks. In a few weeks from now, my dog and I will be heading up through New England and Maine, and on to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. That will be about a two month adventure the way we have it planned. Beyond that, probably weekend trips here and there, and I would like to attend a vintage trailer rally.