Jul 172020

Since I don’t have much to talk about today I thought you might enjoy doing some time traveling, back to a blog in July,  2016, when a vintage travel trailer rally to Elkhart, Indiana while we were there.

Today’s blog is going to be more show than tell because I’ve got some really neat old RVs to show you! The Northern Indiana Vintage Trailer Rally is going on here at Elkhart Campground, and yesterday Miss Terry and I, along with our friends Ron and Brenda Speidel, spent most of the afternoon wandering around the campground admiring the neat old rigs.

It was kind of like my old car show days; everybody brought their cars out and sat around and enjoyed being together, and the crowds came by to admire their rigs. There are some amazing old trailers here, and their owners have done awesome jobs of restoring them or customizing them to fit a theme. Here’s one with a log cabin theme to it.

Log cabin trailer

And this yellow and black beauty has a bumblebee theme. How cool is that?

Bumble Bee

A lot of the owners were gracious enough to invite us in to see what they had done inside. Here’s one with a 1950s diner theme. It felt like Fonzie could walk in at any moment.

Diner theme

A number of people had fires going with Dutch ovens and things cooking on them or kettles of water heating up for coffee. Some even brought their own portable fences!

Small Stuff

My buddy Ron was like a kid in a candy store. Or maybe a pinball, bouncing from one side of the park to another, drooling over all the wonderful old rigs on display.

Besides the trailers, there are some beautifully restored classic cars towing them, including this 1955 Pontiac station wagon.

1955 Pontiac

This is an amazing car, and truly one-of-a-kind. Somebody had told me it was a hearse, but that wasn’t true. It started life as a Lincoln sedan, then the owner had it stretched 7 inches at each door, and put a lift gate in the back. And trust me, the inside is as beautiful as the outside.


And here is his trailer, a 1953 Spartan Manor, painted to match.

1953 Spartan Manor

I spent about an hour talking with him, as he pointed out the details of the customization. I also got to meet his beautiful great Dane, Jill, who is just a little bit bigger than a pony, and as gentle as a lamb.

This 1963 Shasta looks like a fifth wheel, but it’s a bumper pull trailer. The design is kind of like a forerunner to today’s fifth wheels.

1963 Shasta

Here’s another neat old Shasta, a 1959 model.

1959 Shasta

If you’d like something a little bigger, check out this old Vagabond.


I bet it takes a lot of elbow grease to keep this 1961 Holiday House looking so good. While Indiana is the capital of the RV world, these were made in Medford, Oregon.

1961 Holiday House

For a moment I thought I took a wrong turn somewhere and wound up in Florida when I saw the Flamingo Trailer Park.

Flamingo trailer park

Now here’s an oldie for you! This is a 1932 Gilkie. The couple who have it had just located it on Craigslist and bought it a few days ago. This is only the second one of these I have ever seen, the other is on display at the RV Museum here in Elkhart. They were made in Terre Haute, Indiana.

1932 Gilkie

There’s a lot more to see here, something like 125 units, and a few were for sale. I guess I could tow one behind the motorhome as a mother-in-law quarters. What do you think? Everybody is very friendly and I’m glad we got to see so many wonderful old trailers and meet so many nice people. If you ever have the opportunity to be anywhere near where these folks are having a rally, make it a point to stop in.

Be sure to enter our latest  Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of undone, the first book in my buddy Jason Deas’ Burt Bigsley mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – They say with age comes wisdom. So I don’t have wrinkles, I have wise cracks.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  2 Responses to “Vintage Travel Trailer Rally”

  1. My dad had a Gilkie. If I slept in it I was too young to remember and I’m 73….. but my older sisters remember!

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