Past Trips & Adventures

                

Stay tuned - there are miles to go before I sleep

I didn't think to take many pictures of our 2005 trip to the Tin Can Tourist rally in Michigan, but I'll be taking a bunch in 06. This is a shot of Denise and our 79 GMC and 66 Avion somewhere in Ohio on our way to the rally.

Hey, whaddaknow, we made it. 8 mpg (gas sucking 454) and a few quarts of oil, but not much passed us. This shot was taken at Camp Dearborn, note the Spartans in the background.

Here's the line up of all the Avion truck campers that were present.

Did they have entertainment at the rally? Well of course they did!  Sword swallowers, unreal what these folks could do, what a show.........

I can't say enough good things about the Tin Can Tourists, great people, great trailers, great times. Every trailer enthusiast should be a member.

A rather crappy picture of what we took to the 2006 TCT rally in Milford Michigan. It's a 66 Avion H-24 that towed like a dream behind our new (to us) F-250 power smoke, er, power stroke. Man, what torque the newer diesels have.  Set the cruise on 70 and it just keeps going and going.

Another shot with this one taken on the way back home (can't you tell?) What you can't see is how hard the wind was blowing! But again, with a 7.3 under the hood and a good Reese dual cam sway control, towing was no problem.

This was taken inside a 51 Spartan Royal Mansion that belongs to Mike Breedlove from Peoria, Illinois. Mike did a real nice job on this trailer, both inside and out. Here he is shown on the right with my good friend (and outstanding banjo player) Stan Ink on the left and Stan's wife Lynn in the middle. Had a great little jam session that lasted until we ran out of beverages. Mike was a gracious host, many thanks to him.

This is the trailer that took top honors at the 06 meet. It's a 53 Vagabond owned by Henry Wallace. What a super trailer, sharp, sharp, sharp.  We own a 52 that is in rather sorry shape, but hope correct that in the future. Hey who knows, perhaps we'll drag it to Milford one of these years.

Here we have a 49 American owned by none other than the head cheese's of the Tin Can Tourists, Forrest and Jeri Bone. Another outstanding trailer to be sure, the roof is fabric!  The interior looked as good as the exterior, an A+ job.

You should have seen the trailer that this guy came in with, it was really, really small.

Speaking of small, here's Chica our pooch. She may be small in stature,  but not in determination.  I swear, she isn't scared of anything, except perhaps my cooking. An old guy once told me "I can make a meal in 15 minutes that a dog wouldn't eat in a week". I leave the culinary end of things to Denise!

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Living here in upstate New York we're blessed with having the Adirondack mountains within a days drive. We have been going to Lake Placid for over 20 years, but this year was the first ever with a trailer. Yes, we use to stay in a motel (cabin).
We made reservations at the 'Whispering Pines' campground which was unnecessary as there didn't seem to anyone else there. A nice funky little campground about 6 miles from Placid. It's hard to imagine that although I've been in the trailer business for almost 32 years, I've never really camped, weird huh?    We had a ball.

 

We took a side trip from Lake Placid north to Plattsburgh. There is the home of Colin Hyde and GSM vehicles (518-561-4784).  Shown here is just a small portion of the Airstreams (and one Spartanette) that await restoration.   What a sweet sight  to see all these Airstreams in one spot!
Colin does some fantastic work and has a back log of jobs.  Currently he's working on one for a famous Hollywood actor.  Stupid me, I didn't take any pictures of it, oh well................

I'd recommend Colin and his staff to anyone who wants a quality restoration.

 

Although this picture is rather blurry, I think you get the idea that this is a tattoo of an Airstream on someone's hand.

The hand belongs to our friend Brad who really, really loves his trailer...................ouch.

I'm running the next three pictures in reverse order. This is a picture of our good friend Chuck who is willing to go on wild goose chases with me. Why is he smiling?  Cause he survived one such adventure and made it back home in one piece.

 

We found this Spartan in Somerset county Pennsylvania. Here it's shown by a busy intersection somewhere on Rt. 220 on the way home.
Nothing could be finer than a Spartan right behind ya in the morning.

OK, so it was in the afternoon.

The main thing is it's still connected to the truck.

When was the last time you saw a Bambi that hasn't been on the road in over 30 years?

This is an absolute time capsule with everything just like it was in 73 when they parked it.

Is it bad inside?  Not nearly as bad as you might imagine.

A fine original example that I hope to show more pictures of as time goes along.

 

Denise sez "We're keeping this one"

For a unprecedented third time we are on our way to the Tin Can Tourist spring rally held in Michigan.     Here we find Chica taking Denise out for a bit of a walk.
Can you pick out our rig in this picture?   I'm sure the owners of these 'lumbering ladies' were all very jealous of our quick and nimble little combination although none of them would admit it or even talk to us for that matter.   Do we smell funny or something?
This incredible Bowlus was the cream of the crop at the 07 rally. Remarkably restored by Gar Williams it truly deserved the title of Best of Show. You can see more of this trailer at:

http://users.aol.com/bowlustrlr/

 

Great looking old Shasta with an even better name. These folks were the only other New Yorker's we could find in Dearborn.

 

 

 

Yikes! the Gypsy's have invaded!!!

Actually this vardo (that's Gypsy lingo) belongs to a great guy named James who has a sign business that he runs from an equally cool Dodge van which can be seen at his website at:

www.gypsytrailers.com

 

We recently had the good fortune to run across this 52 Spartanette. It had been owned by a customer of ours who had passed away some while ago. The trailer then went  to his sister and her husband.  The husband  stopped by the shop to have some work done on a cattle trailer when he mentioned that they had an old 'round roof' trailer that may be for sale.  Hmmm.......
Long story short, a deal was struck and the old girl had found a new home. I needed to cut down a tree, and slide the trailer sideways about 2 feet to get it out of its parking spot. It took about 3 hours, but the efforts paid off and soon we were on the road.  BYW this was about as close to home as you could want, I had to travel a total of about 14 miles round trip to pick it up.
This trailer is going to be another one of our 'keepers'. The interior is super original and in good condition.  We haven't yet decided whether or not to go back to the original silver exterior (the outside isn't all aluminum, there is also quite a bit of steel) or maybe some retro paint scheme/color. Any thoughts?    I would like to thank the folks that we bought it from. We'll sure give it a good home.
For the past 17 years Trumansburg has been the site for the Fingerlakes Grass Roots Festival which runs for 4 days with 4 stages going from mid morning until 4:00am or later. With 80 plus bands needless to say, it's quite a spectacle. Check out their website at: http://www.grassrootsfest.org/Trumansburg/
It seems that every year more and more vintage trailers show up. This year the hands down winner as the coolest thing to camp in was this out of this world gypsy wagon. I had the pleasure of working on the brakes and hitch of this before the festival and I can tell you that the quality of workmanship is second to none, a real museum piece.
With vintage fabric from the 20's, a real wood stove circa 1851 and a crystal ball, this looks like it's Professor Marvel's rig from the Wizard of OZ......................
OK, so this isn't quite as nice as the Gypsy wagon, but this old Shasta has quite a history. We've owned it for about 40 years. It has been used as housing for at least 3 of my friends (one for 2 years, winter and summer) it was a regular at the Grand Prix races here in the late 70's, needless to say it's been around and around. This year it served faithfully as part of the camp for the EMS services at the festival.  Good girl!
By now you must think that we only go to about two different places, one being the TCT Rally in Milford and the second being the Adirondack mountains of the good old 'salt and tax' state (New York). The truth is we love the North country and can't wait to get back every year. I mean, just look at the smile on Denise's face!  She is soooo happy. (She got a good buy on the sunglasses the day the picture was taken.)

 

Remember our buddy Chuck from a couple pages ago? Well here he is again standing atop Whiteface Mountain.  He claimed he could see where our campsite was from this vantage point. Sure. Anyway, he and his Missus (Martha) joined us for the trip in their trailer dubbed 'Martha's Playhouse'. We sure were happy to have them along,  you'll never have a better breakfast than what Chuck can whip up.

 

Here I am proud as punch that the old Powerstroke made it all the way to the top of Whiteface and so far part of the way back down.   The highway to the top as well as the related structures were constructed as part of a WPA project started in 1929.  If you ever are in the area and the weather is favorable, don't pass up an opportunity to drive this great road. Be advised, no motorhomes or trailers are permitted, duh.

 

Bet you haven't seen one of these around your neighborhood lately. The guy that pulled in with it told me that it's a VW body on a Mercedes chassis..............It was put together in Norway, had German plates, and I have no idea about any other details. The guy just keep saying Yah.......yah........yah.
I received a telephone call back in May about this 46 Spartan Manor. Located in Syracuse NY at the old Foland Sales lot. Foland's started selling Spartans in 49 and continued until the mid 50's. This trailer was a trade that they had taken in and eventually ended up as storage for propane tanks.
At first glance you'd think that it's not worth saving and if were just about any other trailer I'd say you're right.  I've said this many times, Spartans were the finest trailer ever constructed. With over 20 of aircraft experience under their belt before they even built their first trailer, building these must a been a piece of cake.
Now how are we suppose to move something when it looks like this? Long story short, we took hubs from another Spartan (same year, but oddly enough different bearings which we found out much to our surprise) The outer bearing would just about work and by using some old rope we found to act as an inner bearing we got it to roll on the trailer.
Luckily I was able to borrow a friends trailer to get the old girl home. Pretty new straps plus chains to the frame held it with no problem.
Despite our best efforts to broom and blow all the crap from the bottom of the trailer it still took a good run down the NYS thruway at 70 to get rid of all the cobwebs.  This trailer will be going to the Albany area this spring after the addition of a new axle, coupler, and temp lights. Another happy ending of a trailer that was destined for the scrap yard.