RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

RVing with Alice and Jaimie

Vintage Trailers & RVs, by Alice Zyetz

Hawaiian-themed trailer
Alice Zyetz
Cindy & Bob Ross's Hawaiian-themed Ideal

Hawaiian decor
Alice Zyetz
Pineapples & island ambience: Hawaiian decor in the Ideal's dining area

1957 Jewel
Alice Zyetz
Classic 1957 Jewel

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In addition to sharing the samples from their collections, many people also restore trailers for sale. In fact, Dayton confessed that he really hates camping, but he got into vintage trailers four years ago because his wife wanted a 1958 Airstream for sentimental reasons. He had so much trouble finding one that he realized it would make a good business. Prior to this he restored hot rods. Cindy and Bob also sell a few each year, as do Pam and Don and many others.

Buyers enjoy the sentimental value and the fun of restoring the trailers. In addition, most are easy and inexpensive to maintain, increase rather than decrease in value, are lighter to haul, and look great towed behind a classic car or truck. You never know what you'll find at these shows. A Prevost (a large, luxury bus-style motorhome) was parked among the vintage trailers. Well, it was turquoise and for sale at a reduced price - only a quarter of a million dollars!


Although the glistening silver Airstream is the most familiar vintage trailer, there are many other brands and colors. Some people prefer traditional restoration; others like to use their imagination like an artist's palette. There were red, orange, yellow trailers. One little teardrop had been given a wood finish. One little trailer had a window box full of geraniums painted on the wall above the front hitch. One 23-foot Westcraft Coronado (circa 1950) had been used as a permanent house trailer. The owners gutted the entire inside and were planning to install a traveling style bathroom, kitchen and other amenities.

An interesting book is Silver Palaces: America's Streamlined Trailers. Photographer Douglas Keister has included more than 300 images of classic travel trailers from the '30s, '40, '50s and '60s.

Some vintage trailer links are:
Tin Can Tourists
Airstream Vintage Travel Trailer Link Library
Vintage Trailer Links
Southern California Teardrops

You no longer have to watch reruns of the "Andy Griffith Show" or "Leave it to Beaver" to step back into time. Here's an invitation to a rally from the Southern California Touring Teardrops (S.C.T.T.):

A beautiful weekend of vintage Americana and old time camping fun awaits you as we fall back through time to a place where Opie Taylor still lived in Mayberry, ice cream was still a nickel, and you could still take your sweetie to the drive-in. Hawaiian shirts, poodle skirts, Hula hoops, leisure suits, TV dinners, Vegas Winners, Seein' Ronald at the new McDonalds, Gettin' kicks on Route 66! It was all part of fun in America and that's the theme for this year's trip. If you remember it, we want to see it. Bring back those great memories of times past and share them with us.

Happy travels!

Alice Zyetz

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