Every year, a gathering of campers and their vintage trailers and motor coaches takes place in Michigan and Florida and rallies take place across the United States. The group of owners and their friends are known as the Tin Can Tourists in reference to the soldered tin can made popular on radiator caps in the twenties and thirties. The group, which was originally founded in 1919, ceased operating as a cohesive organization in 1985 until 1998, when Forrest Bone and his wife, Jeri, renewed the club. Since its first renewal gathering in May of 1998 when 21 rigs showed up, the club has grown steadily to more than 1,000 members who meet annually to celebrate and exchange information about vintage trailers and motor coaches. I spoke to Forrest Bone who gave me a little bit more history and current events of this organization.
Just hearing about it isn’t enough. The point of the meet was for owners to collaborate on maintenance and history of each others pieces, but on top of that, each trailer was open to the public to explore each corner inside and out. Vintage trailers were not the only item on display. In some trailers the interior was the original or remodeled, old toys and calendars could be found as well and few owners set up shop with antique license plates, and other amusing trinkets. See for yourself in the 31 images in the following slideshow.
See a few more photos and detailed explanations of what there is to be seen at a Tin Can Tourists annual gathering.
Photos by Matt Arnold and Agnieszka Spieszny. Video by author.