Friday, July 17, 2009

Road Trip - Vintage Trailer Gathering - Part 1

You can see by the title that we're going to a Vintage Travel Trailer Gathering. This is guaranteed to kick start your wanderlust.

Fasten your seatbelts because I don't put the car into reverse until everyone is buckled up. That means you Rue!!!

Just to clarify the difference between a field trip and a road trip, our field trips are nearby locations which are less than 10 miles from the homeplace. Road trips are over 10 miles and require us to stop for sustenance.

All great road trips involve road food and we're going to bookend this trip with some wonderful finds.

It's cloudy as we pull out and I'm hoping that the rain holds off. We're going to head about an hour west to Rockford, Illinois where we'll pick up our co-pilot.

Polly, the navigator.

It's my mom, Polly. She's a good sport and always willing to ride shotgun on our adventures. She looks a little cranky here but that's just because it's started to rain and she's hungry.

The weatherman has promised that the rain will subside in about an hour and that's how long it's going to take us to drive to our destination - Rock Falls, Illinois.

Look! Here's an example of the make-do spirit. If your bumper is torn off and you don't have the money to replace it, attach a sturdy 2 x 4 with carriage bolts. It works.

Before we leave Rockford we're going to stop at Beef-a-Roo. They serve some serious burgers at reasonable prices. Mom needs to be fed and we decide on an Olive Burger (served with mayo and swiss cheese). We've added blue cheese crumbles to send it over the top. You can order one for yourself or the Western Burger (bacon, cheese, grilled onions, BBQ sauce). Oh heck, here's THE MENU. Let me know what you'd like. No salads allowed on this ride.

Let's not forget the hand battered onion rings.

Yes, they're that good! And they're REAL onion rings, not the chopped up stuff.

Mom's in a better mood now. Instead of taking the interstate, we're going to head down Route 2, which is a beautiful scenic ride.

Just outside Oregon, Illinois we spot Chief Blackhawk, looking west and pondering the fate of his tribe. This statue is huge and stand atop a bluff overlooking the Rock River. We'll visit him another day.

The rain has stopped but it's still cloudy as we pull into the Jeff Bright RV Dealership. They're hosting the gathering. The big event, a cookout and open house, is on Saturday but unfortunately we've got other plans that won't allow us to be here. As we pull into the back we see the vintage trailers in a semi-circle. It's kind of like circling the wagons in the old days.

Even though it's not an official open house day, the campers welcome us and are willing to show off their trailers. To be honest, this works out well because on Saturday this place will be mobbed and photos and interviews will be more difficult.

Here's a Camp-Inn Teardrop trailer. Remember when we visited the Camp-Inn factory in Wisconsin?

Here are the owners Jerry and Tina, who are members of the Tearjerkers Club. They were gracious enough to pose for a photo. They are from Savanna, Illinois, home of the country's scariest bridge. We'll visit it some day and I'll let you decide.

They've devised a way to protect their kitchen and sitting area from the elements. These pop-up tents are great.

Across the way is this great old Airstream. The owners aren't home but they're decorated their awning.

Here's a cute little trailer. It's a Santa Fe.

I'd say it's just the right size. So cute!!

Here's Rhonda, the owner (on the right). She's enjoying the fresh air with her dog and her friend. They're parked next to a soybean field. They drove down from Janeville, Wisconsin.

Rhonda bought this 1965 Santa Fe from her neighbor and here's the pictures of the restoration.

She did an incredible amount of work. This is what the interior looked like. Scary!

Look at the cool table top inside the trailer. It's made up of beer bottle caps.

Oh look, there's one that's colorful.

It's a 1958 Hiawatha, owned by Norm and Julia from DeKalb, Illinois. If you notice there's a camp shower tent just to the right. You go inside, zip up and take a shower! I'm wondering, does your partner need to stand outside to hand you your towel?

The weather was threatening again so I think they're safely tucked inside.

My feet are starting to hurt. How about you? We're going to sit down and take a break. Come back tomorrow and we'll tour Kimberly's 1963 Shasta that she's decorated in a Moroccan Gypsy theme, a wonderful Airstream and the cute little Shasta Daisy.

And.........of course, there will be a Road Trip Giveaway!

See you tomorrow.


Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Fair warning: I am commandeering your distinction/definition re: "road trip" v. "field trip." V and I love, love, love road trips, and you're right: that road food is an integral part!! C

sarah said...

love your explanation of road trip and field trip...which means tomorrow I am going on a treasure hunting field trip, yeehaw

Susan said...

It is amazing all you can find just a short distance from your home. Enjoying this a lot.

Jenni said...

Those teardrop trailers sure are cute, and I love the beer bottle top table. I can't wait to see this gypsy trailer!

PamKittyMorning said...

The burger scared me, sorry. What if I actually like salad? Can you make an exception?

Growing up we had a 15 foot trailer my family camped in. No bathroom. We pulled it all over California. It was a Diablo, but I suspect maybe might have been a regional name as we lived in Clayton by Mt. Diablo. It looked a lot like those Shasta trailers. It was fun, but no bathroom and that little crazy shower you showed just don't cut it for me anymore. Thanks for the photos!

Anonymous said...

That sandwich looks like a heart attack in a bag! Yikes. But I'll bet someone was hungry and enjoyed it. :-)) Our neighbor has started building a tear drop trailer. Can't wait to see it when finished.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Kitty said...

It's great people are restoring those old trailers--what a variety, too! Looking forward to seeing the others tomorrow.
P.S. Those onion rings look yummy!

Becky said...

Great road trip, Suzanne! We had a little Scotty turquoise & white camper when the kids were young. We had a blast in that until they grew to big to sleep in it and we moved back to W. Va. where the fam lived so we didn't need to camp anymore...just visit relatives.
I wanna see the gypsy one!

Rue said...

Me?! I already had my seatbelt buckled ;)

What cute trailers!! I would take any one of them. Oh and I ordered the Grilled Tuna sandwich ;)

Have a great weekend! I'm headed back to purgatory.... you do remember what that is right? LOL


Piecefulafternoon said...

Wonderful roadtrip - we sure meet a lot of wonderful people on these trips - love the campers.

bv said...

man, i am so lucky to get a place in the car! i LOVE vintage trailers. i love to eat. i love road trip with the gf's. thanks. this is sooo much more fun that the house cleaning i was going to do...
Bv your trailer trash friend

Jody Blue said...

I'm liken' the shower tent~~serious about not going to bed w/out a shower-family thinks I have issues;) I'm havin what your havin' that olive burger looks great! I'll have to share this post w/ my guy so we can revise our "what we're going to do for fun when the kids are all gone-plan" As always thanks so much for sharing!!

marbea said...

I had a 2x4 bumper back in '75 and got a ticket.

CamperTrailerFolk are the BEST! I've had many wonderful breakfasts in trailers like these (I'm aging myself here)-the ladies would take pity on the young couple in the pup tent! And the best campfires too. Met wonderful people.

LDF said...

I think i'd be happy joining your road trip just for those onion rings! I really love the creativity those trailer owners! Show us more please.

Chris said...

Love the little trailers! I'd love to have a teardrop myself...

Fun day so far...can't wait tosee what's next!


Leslie T. said...

What a great road trip!
Uh-oh, I think I shorted out my keyboard, drooling over that sandwich....

Farmchick said...

I'll take an olive burger to go with a side of onion rings. I am also game to shower in that litle tent. Can't wait to see more about this road trip. I am loving it!

Liz in PA said...

Hi Suzanne~ What a fun time you and your MOM had....great pics. too!
I remember our Pick-up Truck w/the Slide in CAMPER UNIT days!
I used to spend practically 24 hours cleaning the Camper, loading all the clothes and food for the 4 of us......then about a half hour down the highway, Hubby and I would pull into a Rest Area.....and take a 30 minute nap, while the kids colored in their coloring books!
....Yep, that's all it took to revive us....and we'd be on our way to our Vacation!
Great memories!

Steph said...

This makes me want to go back camping again.

Cottage Rose said...

Hello Suzanne; Wow not that is a burger, and very huge burger... not sure I could eat it all... lol what great looking campers, they are all so pretty... but I would love to see yours too. Have a great weekend... oh and thanks for the road trip how fun it is..


Mary said...

oooh those beefaroo onion rings. And a good beef sandwich with horsey sauce?

Thinking lunch there on the way to see Mom in Freeport next TH might be perfect. Have to squeeze some time out from the wedding planning

Barb, sfo said...

Love these camper photo essays! This almost makes me want to camp, which is a BIG stretch for this suburban mom :)

Moose Ridge said...

I just sold my 73 Scamp to someone who fell in love... since I wasn't using it as much any more and she will, "Dust Bunnie" has moved to Florida!!

Dunlap TN

Louise said...

The onion rings. I order the onion rings. And I'm dying to see the scariest bridge. And those trailers are too cute!

George Gaston said...

What fun! And some amazing travel trailers. Your are a terrific guide, too. Thanks

Shower Trailer said...

I think the explanation you gave for the difference between a road trip and a field trip was perfect...

I'm a big vintage trailer guy.... I've even got some old shower trailers that were used for the old mines in Miami, AZ where I live.

palani said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

My dad use to own Santa Fe Trailers. Memories! Santa Fe was a subsidiary of Traveleze Trailers, which were manufactured in Sun Vally, CA from late 50's into the late 80's.

Dante Mallet said...

Oh really! I thought they were the same! I grew up in a family that loves road trips and other adventure trips. Every summer, we would drive around the neighboring towns, grill barbecues and spend the whole night as a family. Ugh! I miss those times and I miss our trailer truck!

Port a John Rental said...

I loved the little trailer very much. Excellent weather for road trip, wish i have one very soon :)

Porta Potty Rental said...

Nice weather, yummy food with a nice road trip...waiting for my day :)