Special Announcement about Forrest & Jeri Bone

With 2022 coming to an end, we have some very exciting news to share with you! Three years ago, Dal Smilie (TCT Representative) wanted to recognize those that were considered the first sparks in the vintage trailer movement. His idea was to see if it would be possible to get Forrest and Jeri Bone inducted in the Recreational Vehicles / Motor Home (RV/MH) Museum Hall of Fame. He did the research on what was required and began the journey.

The first step was to work on the required documentation. The museum has a list of criteria, eligibility requirements and a complicated process. What made it more complicated is that this nomination was going to be atypical of the normal submission. All but one of the HOF inductees have been RV inventors, engineers, manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, or trailer park operators and only .002% are club/community leaders. Also, their inductees are for individuals and not for a married couple who shared the responsibilities and work.

Undeterred, Dal gathered the supporting information. He received support and references from vintage trailer community leaders including Steve Hingtgen (Vintage Trailer Supply), Tim Heintz (Vintage Trailer Restorer and Historian), Chuck Cayo (Avion Coach Corporation and Cayo Incorporated) and Hunt Jones (Tin Can Tourists Historian).

The Hall of Fame nomination submission was completed and submitted in 2019, the year Forrest and Jeri retired as leaders from the Tin Can Tourists after having led the club for 21 years culminating in the centennial celebrations (1919-2019). Then we waited and waited, while keeping this all a secret from Forrest and Jeri.

In 2020, we were respectfully informed that the nomination was declined but we were told that rarely does anyone get in the first year of nomination and that the submission was good for 5 years. Dal felt that the time was right and based on some conversations the RV/MH were warming up to the idea of recognizing club/community leaders.

A few weeks ago, Dal surprised us with an email that Forrest and Jeri Bone will be part of the 2023 Hall of Fame Inductees with a ceremony on Monday August 21st at the Recreational Vehicle / Motor Home Museum in Elkhart Indiana!!!! Tickets for the dinner will be available by January 31st – so mark your calendars and buy your tickets for dinner!

Forrest & Jeri Bone renewed the Tin Can Tourists in 1998 and led the organization until their retirement in 2019

In typical TCT spirit, the plans are already in the works to have a celebratory rally during the induction weekend and really enjoy this moment. We are hoping to be able to pack the hall for the induction dinner. Watch the website and look for emails as we share the plans, and we hope that as many TCTers as possible can join us and share in the fun!

We personally want to thank Dal Smilie for the pushing hard for this and for his persistence. Thanks to Steve, Tim, Chuck and Hunt for their support and encouragement.

My parents are beyond excited and have plans to spend a couple months in Michigan this summer, so it will be a short drive to Elkhart!


  1. TCT Florida State Representatives Denis & Ginger Blaquiere will be heading up for the induction and festivities. This is a well deserved recognition for Forrest and Jeri. We have had the pleasure of knowing them since joining TCT in 2007. A truly lovely couple.

  2. So happy for Forrest and Jeri. Happy to have spent time with them.

  3. Congratulations Forest & Jerry.

    Thank you for all the things you’ve done for the TCT and me personally. This is such a well deserved honor for all the TCT members lives you changed through your hard work and organization.

    Doug Hardekopf

  4. Everything about this induction is so sweet, awesome, and well deserved! Thank you Forest and Jeri for working to the bone to support our passion of vintage trailering!

  5. So we’ll deserved! I’m really looking forward to the HOF installation rally celebrating this. It will THE place to be this summer.

  6. Thank you both for your outstanding effort to rediscover the Tin Can Tourists! Enjoy your Retirement and Safe Travels. Wheels to the road and eyes to the adventure! Well deserved you two are very much appreciated.

  7. Congratulations to Forrest and Jeri. Such a well deserved honor. Looking forward to helping them celebrate in Elkhart.

  8. Shows again that TWO heads are better than ONE! Congratulations and Thanks for your long Service & Enthusiasm!

  9. Congratulations to both of you, truly deserved, you are the backbone of our vintage trailer hobby.

  10. Just proves that the Tin Can Tourist Org is chock full of remarkable people with fruitful talents! I’ve just fully retired and joinrd up and excited about meeting you all at the Ft. Mcoy FL roundup coming up the end of Feb.

  11. That is fabulous news and they are well deserving of this recognition. Congratulations to all of the Bones, especially Forrest and Jeri.
    Kim Brown

  12. Congratulations Forrest and Jeri! We’ll deserved and long overdue.

  13. Both Kat n myself are planning to attend the RV. Hall of Fame induction.We first met the Bones in Vicksburg @ the rally and joined asap and 3 days later ran into them and a contingent of TCT MEMBERS at the Hall of Fame in Elkhart and think of them fondly each time we have overnighted there.Looking FOREWARD to this GREAT CELEBRATION

  14. Congratulations Jeri and Forrest. It is a much deserved honor. We are looking forward to joining you in your celebration.

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