On April 1st, 2022, Nicole Young, a member of Bitches with Hitches of northern California, pulled her 1977 Cardinal, Love Bird, “Oopsy Daisey” into Ann Lockett’s 3-acre field for the annual Poppy Fest campout. Little did Nicole know that her trip to Poppy Fest was about to change the life of Oopsy Daisy forever.
The Bitches are a hands-on group of women who camp together all summer long throughout northern California. Several of us noticed that Oopsy’s rear end was being held together with packing tape, foam, and yes, even hot glue. The rear cargo doors were pretty much non-functional. The rear, door side, and passenger side of the trailer bowed out like someone was kicking them out from the inside. Looking at her, it became obvious that Oopsy needed some serious repairs. Several suggestions for fixing her were tossed out there. I was asked to take a look at her and give my suggestion for repairing Oopsie. Kathy Lawson sent us this story for the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine and appears in issue #63. Click on the "Read More" link below to read the rest of the post.
Issue #63 of the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine features a 1947 Aero Flite on the cover. We tracked down Michael Rieth of RIETH CREATIONS who fabricated a 1947 Aero Flite in 1/48 scale.
Michael Rieth watched the gas station scene from the 1979 movie “1941” what seemed like hundreds of times to gather information for the diorama. He did additional research online, gathering information on everything from the trailer, the buildings, the 1939 Ford pick-up truck, and even the vintage gas pumps (1939 Tokheim). He spent quite some time on the Gilmore Gasoline and Lion Head Motor oil signs and recreated the artwork that matched the signs in the movie.
Everything is scratch-built except for the Hasegawa P-40E and the cab of the Wespe Models Ford 917, converted to a 1939 Ford pick-up truck. The scene was made from several screen grabs from the movie using known measurements like door height. Michael was able to create scale CAD drawings, which were used to laser cut the buildings, gas pumps, signs, pick-up truck bed, reptile farm fence and cages, and the 1947 Aero Flite Falcon Travel Trailer. He made signage artwork using Photoshop Elements. Click here for more details on the build.
Michael wasn’t going to include the Aero Flite in the diorama, but he had some dead space to fill. Michael said, “I thought, well, maybe if I can find some info on the internet, I’d build the travel trailer.” Micheal found dimensions, patent sketches, and photos of restored campers online, enough to do some CAD drawings and laser cut the parts from .0625” acrylic and .020” sheet styrene. Click here for more details on this project.
There has been an increase in stolen items recently at vintage trailer rallies. Most of the items were cut from the cables that were “securing” them in the wee hours of the morning. Theft and other crime are not something we have had to deal with over the 15 years we have been camping. Many of the ideas in this article are good measures to stay safe while camping in general, and focus on preventing the theft of your personal property. This is an excerpt from an article in Issue #62 of The Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine.
Part of the appeal of camping is the wholesome family atmosphere created when you get together with friends and meet new like-minded people. In the past 15 years, we have stayed at over 100 RV parks. Our kids grew up roaming the parks enjoying the park’s outdoor spaces without fear. I can only recall a couple of instances where anything was stolen. A recent weekend experience has caused me to rethink how we will camp in the future.
Crime on the Increase
While many types of crime can occur at an RV park, I want to focus this article on preventing theft while camping—the kind of camping we do at vintage trailer rallies. We are surrounded by friends and fellow trailerites (and the park’s long-term residents). I don’t believe that these people are a threat. It is more likely that the lawbreakers from outside the park are preying on trusting travelers.
Stop RV Park Theft
I have very little interest in catching or confronting thieves. I want to direct my energy to keep them away, slowing them down or scaring them off. If campers take personal responsibility to safeguard their possessions, thieves will not return if it is not easy pickens. High-dollar, high-demand e-bikes bring the best return for the lawbreakers. Bicycles, scooters, and motorbikes can be an easy ride or roll away. They bring quick, easy money and are worth the risk for the prowlers. Here are some ways to protect your toys and collectibles and play an active role in stopping thefts where you camp. Don’t let the fear of crime in RV parks keep you from having a great time. Camping is generally safe and a great way to get away from the daily grind.
Before you hit the road, do a little pre-planning.
Camping gear and toys can be a substantial investment. Should a theft occur, be prepared with the information you will need to report a theft or recoup your losses.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Taking precautions while camping will ensure that you do not become a victim. The park should be making reasonable efforts to protect their guests, but ultimately, they are not responsible for your losses. Here are some ideas to help prevent you from becoming a victim.
Bike Locks, Alarms, and Covers
(Use a combination of two or more.)
“It doesn’t do any good to report a theft. The cops won’t do anything.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. If you don’t report a crime because you think nothing will come of it, you facilitate the problem. Crime reports help direct future patrols and prevention and aid in returning your property to you if it is found. A police report may also be necessary for an insurance claim.
Be a part of the Solution
Build a Vintage Trailer from Scratch
This is an excerpt from an article by John Palmer in issue #59 of the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine.
Photos by Hal Thoms
The Vintage Trailer hobby is just over twenty years old. I have been active in the hobby for the past twelve years and have witnessed extensive growth. For example, we now have lots of vintage rallies to choose from attending within a day’s driving distance. In California this past month, we had three very large Vintage Rally’s scheduled on the same weekend! We now have The VCT print magazine, we have had T.V. shows about our hobby and vintage trailer rebuilding, we have our annual Boot Camp Learning Experience “sold out” each year, and companies are now opening that specialize in the restoration of vintage campertrailers. We have parts vendors that have invested their resources into the tooling necessary to build reproduction parts to help save our old trailers. Major insurance companies are developing special policies targeted to our specific vintage trailer insurance needs. You cannot watch a primetime T.V. show or a T.V. commercial without seeing a vintage trailer used as a prop in the background. Mainline R.V. companies have tried to jump on the vintage bandwagon by releasing modern versions of the old Vintage Trailer designs.
Anyone remotely watching this hobby has already seen the significant increase in prices for restorable camper trailers, only to find them already sold when you call. So, what are your options to just accepting the increase in cost and limited availability of core trailers to rebuild that are in popular camper sizes? How about building your own hand built vintage trailer? Read the intire article in issue #59 of the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine.
Click "Read More" below for more pictures.
75th Anniversary Spartan Trailer Rally
By Clint Cox
In July of 2020, I transported a Spartan Carousel (10x50) through Tulsa, OK. Knowing that the Spartan factory had been razed a year (or two) earlier, I decided to leave the highway and pull the trailer onto the factory floor (located at the south end of the western runway at Tulsa International Airport). I figured I could take some pictures for the new owner of the Spartan I had in tow. I wasn’t there all of 10 minutes when a car pulled up on the pad, and a lady jumped out and was in awe of the trailer. She introduced herself as Tonya Blansett, the executive director of the Tulsa Air & Space Museum (TASM). She asked if I could bring the trailer to the museum, to which I happily agreed. I opened the trailer up so that all of TASM’s employees and volunteers could have a look. In exchange, I was given a quick tour of the museum hangar, which houses three Spartan airplanes, including the last one built, an Executive! An instant friendship was made, and upon departing, Tonya casually mentioned that they had a flat, open field next to the museum, in case we ever want to organize a rally.
The idea of a rally stuck in my head. I had been involved with Spartan trailers for about eight years since purchasing my own 1959 Royal Manor. It dawned on me that 2021 would be the 75th Anniversary of trailer production’s beginnings. I became excited about the rally idea and spoke with a few trailer restorers. They all felt that a rally in Tulsa would be a great idea. A Facebook page was started to gauge interest and Chance Ty, one of the group members, was a graphic artist, so I asked him to design a rally poster. Early in the fall of 2020, I posted the rally poster and announced that there would be a rally a year from now. Ryan Rice, another graphic artist in our group, who had just purchased a 1956 Executive Mansion, offered to help me with merch. We designed hats, T-shirts, bath towel sets, and a beautiful commemorative blanket depicting five popular Spartan trailer models from 1946 to 1959. Read the entire article in issue #59 of the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine. Click "Read More" below for more photos.
Don't Spoil the Vintage Look with a Modern Fridge! Try an Energy Efficient Fridge Alternative
We can think of about a million things that we love about vintage trailers, but the original "ice box" food storage solution in our 1957 Sportcraft, was not one of them. Designed for a simpler time, we appreciate both the minimalism and the sweet, mid-century hardware on this poorly insulated aluminum box. But, the original ice-to-food-storage ratio just wasn't going to cut it for longer than a weekend, let alone full-time living.
During our 2011-12 remodel we considered a modern replacement -- 3-way fridge, 12V cooler, etc. We just couldn't find anything that would fit the space while keeping the vintage look and budget, and provide us with enough cold food storage. With our launch date to full-time living approaching and with no viable solutions on the horizon, we settled on a hasty compromise.
We used the vintage ice box inside Hamlet as a dry-goods storage space and kept all of our cold food in a cooler out in our pick-up truck bed. This forced us to stick with the tried and true habit of picking up 10 lbs of ice every 3 to 4 days. Planning ahead to avoid being somewhere far off-the-grid with a melting bag of cold water instead of a robust block of ice, just became part of our routine.
Call it procrastination, call it just settling in to the way we did things, but the constant draining and cleaning, the sweaty cheeses, the partially liquified lettuces, the trips to the store -- it all finally got the better of us. We needed a different solution that would allow us to store enough food without having to compromise our inside space or vintage esthetic. We were not alone. With all the folks transitioning to life on the road in RVs, vans, and vintage rigs, the 12V product options just keep opening up!
We settled on the ICECO VL45 Single Zone Portable Fridge Freezer, with its simple design, very reasonable price tag, efficient compressor, low-profile but durable handles, as the perfect solution for our situation. Many 12V fridge options were either too bulky, not powerful enough, too expensive, or simply too large for the allocated storage area. When your whole life fits into a 72 sq ft camper and the utility box of a truck, reallocating space is, well…complicated. Note: It's also perfect for those families who need extra fridge/freezer space beyond what they store inside their trailer.
We wanted to run our fridge off solar power to extend our boondocking adventures well beyond the lifespan of a block of ice. It also seemed like a wasted opportunity to not include an engine charging option into the mix, without draining the truck battery. The folks at Renogy thought so too, and created the Dual Input DC to DC Charger. We became aware of this product while installing a DC to DC charger between my parent's towing vehicle and RV and it really got us thinking.
This ingenious device takes an engine charge input (via the starting battery) as well as a solar panel input. It allows us to run a 12V fridge off of our 12V-50Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate battery and be able to charge it while driving, or with our portable 100W Folding Solar Suitcase while camping off-grid.
One extra feature of the Dual Input charger is that when connected to solar and the service battery is full, the charger will trickle charge the starting battery in the engine. So, no matter how far out we might be, or for how long, we won't be stuck with a dead starting battery.
The installation was pretty straightforward and can be done with minimal tools, as you can see in our step-by-step video. We had to design some vehicle specific solutions for mounting and securing components, but with the truck bed topper providing a water-resistant shelter much of the challenge for this installation was already solved.
Click on "Read More", (below) right for the rest of this article, a downloadable pdf, video product review and coupon codes.
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