|Vintage Trailers & RVs, by Alice Zyetz|
What is an RV? Is it the mammoth 45-foot million-dollar motorhome or the 40-foot fifth wheel trailer hauled by a medium duty truck? As you know from reading our columns, RVs range in size and price down to the little Class C motorhome that looks like a truck with a cab over the front. This month we'll look at another class of RVs-vintage trailers from the '30s, '40s and '50s. Once relegated to the junk heaps, they have become popular with "Boomers," helping them relive their childhood camping experiences.
GO BACK IN TIME
The photos accompanying this article are from a recent vintage trailer rally organized by Dayton Taylor to bring together more than 100 trailers from the 1930s to the 1950s, as well as vintage hot rods and trucks. One of Dayton's trailers is a 16-foot West Coast from 1951, pulled by a 1941 silver Lincoln. Stepping inside, you are transported to a '50s diner, with turquoise and white upholstery, fake marble Formica tabletop, black and white tile floor, CD playing '50s rock and roll in a holder designed to look like an old table radio, and big dice hanging from a turquoise light fixture. One of the joys of owning vintage trailers is searching through second hand stores and garage sales looking for the old paraphernalia.
Pam and Don Plante bought the teardrop trailer, a 1946 Kit, twenty years ago as a luggage carrier. They discovered it was a great little trailer for their sons who were little boys at the time. It is still used, now painted bright yellow to match the yellow 1937 Ford. Three generations of the Plante family enjoy the vintage trailers. Son Christopher now owns Grandma's 17-foot Airstream (circa 1968), which has the distinction of having a bathroom AND a working air conditioner. This was enjoyed by many visitors to the rally, which was held at the beginning of the July heat wave in Southern California.
About nine years ago Cindy and Bob Ross had a
1917 Ford T-Bucket and needed something small they could pull
with their hot rod. They bought a 1962 teardrop made by Scad-A-Bout
in Pasadena, California and now own more than ten trailers,
all of which retain their original parts except for the paint
and upholstery. "Each trailer has its own theme and personality,"
Cindy says. "This one (pictured on the
next page) is Hawaiian including the pineapple and flamingo
pillows. It is like playing in your own dollhouse." Bob
shares Cindy's affection for the trailers although he is not
into the dollhouse aspect. Bob, a tool and dye maker by trade,
loves to work with wood. He restores the old trailers and
enjoys the challenge of recreating the parts that can no longer