New Member Interview with Chuck Giovanniello

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

 I guess I owe it to two of my children, Erika and Anthony.  I raised my family in the Boston area but soon after they graduated college my daughter moved to LA to pursue her doctorate degree, and my son moved to San Diego in pursuit of a young lady he met on a cruise ship.  As a result, I started seeing very little of them both and it didn’t feel right to me.  So I started looking for a “home base” on the west coast where I could spend part of the year and be close to them. Southern California housing costs were very expensive and I could barely afford a studio apartment.  One day an open house that looked promising led me to Pacific Palisades, CA.  Upon arriving, I realized the property was in a mobile home park.  I nearly turned around and left.  But as I drove through the park people were smiling and waving at me even though they didn’t know me from Adam.  It reminded me of the neighborhood I grew up in.  That was the first in a series of pleasant discoveries that helped me realize how special and unique this community was. One thing led to another and two months later I was the proud owner of a lot in the park and the classic trailer home that had been sitting there for over 50 years. The trailer was in pretty rough shape, but the bones seemed solid to me.  I’ve been slowly working on cleaning it up and fixing some issues.  It’s been a labor of love and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it despite the dent it’s putting in my wallet!

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

My first and only trailer so far is the one I’m living in.  It’s a 1957 Airfloat.  I can’t figure out if it’s a Landyacht or a Flagship model.  Currently, I’m leaning towards Landyacht.  It’s one of those gold anniversary models, but unfortunately the gold outside was painted over.

 What do you tow with?

 I’ll let you know the day I try towing it!

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

I have not attended any rallies, but I’m pretty sure that will change in the near future. One of the reasons I joined the Tin Can Tourist community was so I could meet other members who are experienced in the care and feeding of vintage trailers.  There can’t be many of these 60+ year old vehicles that are still operational.  Now that I own one, I feel like I have a responsibility to care for it in a way that preserves its historical integrity. A rally has got to be a great place to meet people who understand my concern and can help me do this the right way (without going broke).  I’ll be looking for a local rally in the southern California area and would welcome any suggestions that come my way.

 Why did you decide to join the Tin Can Tourists?

 In searching the internet for information about the trailer I was living in, the TCT website was the only resource I could find that was somewhat comprehensive in terms of the information it provided. Beyond the nuts and bolts info; you could sense the community behind the portal right away which was impressive.   It seems like a good place for a newbie like me to get advice and help from people who are not only knowledgeable, but also have a real soft spot for these old “tin cans”. 

 What are your camping plans for this year?

I feel like I’m camping every day that I wake up in my trailer by the sea.  But by the end of the summer I have to make some decisions regarding the future plans for my trailer.  It has to leave the park I’m in as it no longer meets the standards they’ve set for dwellings here.  Originally, my intent was to sell it once I lined up a new place to put on the lot.   I wasn’t expecting the emotional attachment that has formed between me and the old trailer.  So I’m now exploring other options that include keeping it.  You’ll have to check in with me later to see how that all turns out.   

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