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updated: 10/11/2013 3:50 PM

Classic campers transport owners to a simpler time

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  • Vintage trailer rallies are becoming increasingly popular.

      Vintage trailer rallies are becoming increasingly popular.
    Courtesy of Prestige MotorCar Photography

  •  

  • For that true yesteryear look, many of the enthusiasts opt to tow their vintage trailer with a vintage car. Jeff and Paula Higdon, of Whitesville, Ky., are overhauling this 1960 Chevrolet Impala Nomad and use it to haul their 1963 Shasta AirFlight trailer.

      For that true yesteryear look, many of the enthusiasts opt to tow their vintage trailer with a vintage car. Jeff and Paula Higdon, of Whitesville, Ky., are overhauling this 1960 Chevrolet Impala Nomad and use it to haul their 1963 Shasta AirFlight trailer.

  • The rally has rapidly grown in popularity and excitement builds months in advance. Muffley reports that 90 percent of the campsites have already sold out for next year's event.

      The rally has rapidly grown in popularity and excitement builds months in advance. Muffley reports that 90 percent of the campsites have already sold out for next year's event.

  • The campground is dotted not only with vintage trailers but other whimsical touches from the 1950s and 60s, such as bicycles, party lights and yard decorations.

      The campground is dotted not only with vintage trailers but other whimsical touches from the 1950s and 60s, such as bicycles, party lights and yard decorations.

  • The trailers' interiors aren't dark or uninviting but rather bright, colorful and festive.

      The trailers' interiors aren't dark or uninviting but rather bright, colorful and festive.

  • Mike and Cheryl O'Conner, of Portland, Mich., restored their 1969 Streamline trailer and 1966 GMC pickup. Mike said: "The rally is like a car show you get to sleep at!"

      Mike and Cheryl O'Conner, of Portland, Mich., restored their 1969 Streamline trailer and 1966 GMC pickup. Mike said: "The rally is like a car show you get to sleep at!"

  • Beth Brickler, of Plainwell, Mich., purchased this 1966 Frolic Standard trailer sight unseen. She then embarked on an 8-month restoration. "I love the retro themes and the vintage aspect but more than anything, the friendships!"

      Beth Brickler, of Plainwell, Mich., purchased this 1966 Frolic Standard trailer sight unseen. She then embarked on an 8-month restoration. "I love the retro themes and the vintage aspect but more than anything, the friendships!"

 
 

Life can be hectic. Days can be long.

To get away from the hustle and bustle of modern-day home and work life, many turn to camping and "RV-ing."

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Some of these outdoor aficionados are opting for an even more whimsical approach to their recreational escapes. Increasingly, campers are participating in vintage trailer rallies.

Much like classic car groups that gather to discuss and show off their favorite rides, these rallies are composed of enthusiasts who have diligently restored their vintage camping trailers and, more importantly, aren't afraid to use them. They gather for days at time to enjoy their handiwork, as well as the people, places and scenery around them.

The Northern Indiana Vintage Trailer Rally s now in its sixth year and was held this summer in South Bend, Ind. The gathering featured more than 200 participants and 77 trailers; 70 of which were pre-1970.

"When we first started, we had 10 trailers show up," said Sandy Muffley, who organizes the event with her husband, Mike. "There was no intention to have it grow this large. It was always a memory thing for us and reliving family camping trips."

Wandering the campground's gravel roads, you'll find all kinds of trailer makes and models, but the main draw remains the people inside them. "Unlike the new trailers, these vintage units have their own personality. But without a doubt the best part is the owners. They're down to earth; you could camp next to a diplomat and never know it," Muffley said.

Participants come from around the Midwest and East Coast, driving from as far away as Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Minnesota.

The weekend activities consist of such things as a Dutch oven cook-off, a live band and a trailer open house where the public and community are invited to come walk through the campground and check out the trailers. More than 450 spectators from the surrounding community stopped by the campground to check out the trailers.

Despite the extensive planning that goes in to the weekend, Muffley ensures the days aren't too overwhelming. "We like to have fun things to do but also try to keep it loose. It is a vacation after all!"

If you have a vintage trailer or want to see some firsthand, be sure to attend the sixth annual Woodstock Vintage Trailer Rally at Will Oaks Campground in Woodstock on Oct. 10-13.

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