Extendable trailer designs

The vintage trailer club will host a rally and invites new members

Vintage and old always seem to be coming back into mainstream, and the same goes for caravans and motorhomes.

With over 25,000 members from across the country and abroad, the Tin Can Tourists run events to get people interested in what they offer, including education and other benefits on trailers and camping. -vintage coaches since 1919.

The club was originally launched as a traveling club to “unite all car campers” for early RV users. In 1998, Terry Bone and his parents Forrest and Jeri Bone took over the club.

“My dad loved vintage Airstreams and was their club president,” said Tin Can Tourist Club president Terry. “He heard about TCT and wanted to reinvent the club and do something more than Airstreams.”

Terry’s parents still wanted to follow the plan of the original group as well as show and educate people on how to camp properly and the preservation of vintage trailers and RVs, while providing benefits to the community and making it a more diverse club. The group grew rapidly, holding annual rallies and gatherings in Michigan and Florida.

On the 100th anniversary of the club’s founding date in 2020, Terry and his wife Michelle took over the club, after Terry’s parents gave the title “Royal Chief”.


“I did a bit of camping growing up,” Terry said. “My dad got closer to retirement and the idea of ​​the vintage motorhome was affordable. I helped him restore things. It helped me fall in love with motorhomes and caravans.

Soon after, Terry himself bought his own little trailer and started working.

“I started with something small and fixed it, then I wanted to move on to something bigger,” Terry said.

In 2021, Terry started the Thumbs Up Rally, bringing people together from across Michigan’s thumb region. Held at Wagener County Park during camping season, the park was filled with 50 trailers and 70% of the campground was filled with TCT members.

“Last year was the first time we had anything in a campground and there weren’t really any expectations,” Terry said. “You always wonder how people and campgrounds are going to react or not. It’s kind of like an extended wedding party. There’s been a lot of planning and work ahead.”

The inaugural gathering was not as Terry had planned, but due to the pandemic, many things and activities that are done at other gatherings and gatherings could not be done.

“It was an interesting challenge because I got the club just before COVID hit,” Bone said. “I was excited to lead, but it was difficult to manage during the pandemic. There were a lot of virtual things, and we took the opportunity to discover the club, the insurance and the maintenance of old trailers. My wife and I started Tin Can tutoring to keep people engaged and active. We didn’t want to lose the momentum my parents had started.

During this year’s rally, which takes place July 28-31, Terry is adding some of the old activities from the past to the itinerary. This includes open houses, which are one of the main ways the group encourages new members to join the club.

“Our open houses are like car shows, but very different,” Terry said. “They want you to look and not touch, but here we encourage that. It’s a great way to see what people have done and show off their work and trailer. A great opportunity to see the craftsmanship of some of the vintage trailers like the woodwork, types of materials and design elements. You see so many different styles, sizes and colors.

Terry anticipates that this year will be back to normal, which includes having cafe catering, eating gatherings, a corn hole tournament, and checking out some local restaurants and breweries in the area.

“We tried to come up with something fun and thought a cornhole tournament would be great,” Terry said. “We’re going to be asking people to dress up in their best country attire to add to the excitement, and it’s a great way for people to engage. It’s going to be a lot more casual and less formal. We’re going to give people time and space to explore the community and try new things. I hope to get out and kayak and see the lighthouses. I also want to visit some breweries in Ubly.

After being asked to stage the event again, the rally will take place at Wagener Park.

“They loved having us there and we loved it,” Terry said. “It was great because some workers came to see some of the trailers and talked to us. It makes for a great event.

The rally is exclusive to Tin Can tourist members, but the group is always accepting new members.

“If you’re interested in vintage trailers, you should join,” Bone said. “We have gatherings where there is no membership required, and that’s how a lot of people hear and see about the club, especially at our open days.”

Those interested in joining or viewing the group can visit their website, tincantourists.com.


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