New Member Interview with Neal and Rose Rourke

Can you tell us about how you got into the vintage trailer hobby? My wife wanted me to build a “she shed” and I didnt want to spend the money and this was a good compromise. If and when we ever get another trailer this one will be a permanent fixture in our backyard.

Another thought to add to how we got started:

Rose had been watching the online market place sites for a few weeks and really liked the picture of a small in named trailer a couple hours south of home. 

We arrived the property and proceeded round back to what could only be described as a cross between a scene from a horror movie and a long defunct junk yard. The four pictures we’d seen of the trailer were from the very best possible and only four parts of the trailer worth seeing. We politely excused ourselves and wished the sell’s luck. 

Feeling dejected but not defeated and two hours from home we combed kijiji and as soon as Rose said the word Rocket I said fire up the gps. It was a Friday afternoon and the owner got home from work early at 4:30. With the speediest of inspections we sealed the deal and needed to get the transfer and plates at the dmv. We ran into the village dmv (in the rear of a hardware store) at five minutes til close. The operator laughed and welcomed us in and had us back out with plates in hand a couple minutes past 5. 

That’s the tale of how our relationship with who was to become known as “Hilda” began. She’d been butchered inside; closet and stove gone to make way for a double mattress, bathroom wall gone and replace with a curtain to conceal the storage area and one of the most hideous paint schemes imaginable. But, between being a carpenter and married to a great seamstress with great curtain making and reupholstering skills we’ve turned back the years and are quite happy. 

I totally lucked out finding another Rocket in a farmers field not far from home. Was able to get some cupboard doors, hinges and hardware, kitchen vanity complete with stove and sink and a host of other bits and pieces for next to nothing. 

There’s very little information online about the Rocket trailer company but I knew pretty well how things needed to look and work. You see, my father was colourblind so I learned 12V wiring by being his eyes on an old trailer when I was about 8. That trailer took us to the west and east coast of Canada and was a ’68 Rocket!

What type of trailers have you owned and what do you have now? What is your dream vintage trailer? This is our first. It’s a 1969 Rocket build in Kitchener Ontario, Canada

What do you tow with? ’02 GMC Sierra 

Do you attend rallies and what do you like the most about attending a rally? We have not yet attended a rally. Hoping to attend one or two in the coming years that are reasonably close such as Michigan, Ohio or Upper New York State and someday host a rally near the Canadian Lake Huron shore

Why did you decide to join the Tin Can Tourists? We had been enjoying following the group on Facebook for almost a year. The people and the content, commitment to maintaining and sharing the history of vintage trailers etc was just too enticing not to become a member of.

What are your camping plans for this year? We stayed close to home and spent about 5 weeks total at Inverhuron Provincial Park. Next year we will be heading to Nova Scotia to attend a wedding and more mid western Ontario provincial park camping.

We keep a rather low profile on social media; booking our preferred sites is like winning the lottery and tough enough without advertising the parks lol.

Proudly wearing our TCT shirts and talking up the group and looking for new members.

Neal and Rose Rourke (and Mr. Jimmy)

1 comment

  1. I love your color scheme and decorating. I purchased a 1969 Coachman Cadet, a total rebuild. I too have those turquiose features. Lovin the RV Life!

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