History of the Tin Can Tourists:
The original club was eventually disbanded but in 1998 Forrest and Jeri Bone renewed the club as an all make and model vintage trailer and motor coach club. The first gathering in May of 1998 was held at Camp Dearborn in Milford, Michigan with 21 rigs attending. By the end of the year, 50 members were accepted as charter members of the renewed version of the Tin Can Tourists. The group has grown steadily to over 2,000 members and has a large following on social media sites. Currently, there are annual gatherings in Michigan, Florida, and regional rallies at various locations in the U.S. The new version of Tin Can Tourists is open to all. Its goal is to abide by the original group's objectives and guiding principles as well as the promotion and preservation of vintage trailers and motor coaches through the gatherings and information exchange.
In 1948 the Tin Can Tourists members numbered 80,000. Typically the Tin Canners were around age 50 to 65 and either had no children or had grown up children. Families of two owned 61% of the trailers; families of three or four 38%; and larger families 1%. The sentiment of the older trailerites was that a trailer camp was not the right atmosphere for children. Most parks had an area designated for families with children, but families with dogs were not zoned. A big percentage were retired farmers, policemen, firemen, and civil servants, living on pensions or the rent from houses they owned.
With the arrival of the 20th Century, Americans continued in the pioneering spirit of their forbearers and took to their automobiles to explore the great unknown. Thousands of Americans packed their vehicles with their tents, an extra 5-gallon can of gasoline, lots of canned food, and a spare tire or two, and began exploring the country in a manner not unlike Lewis and Clark. They became the symbol of restless, adventuresome America, overflowing with curiosity. These were the Tin Can Tourists.
These pioneers weren't traveling because of economic hardship in search of a better source of income. These were quite often middle-aged folks who had their fling at earning a living and now wanted to live "the life of Riley." They were families of retired and working Americans and Canadians, many of whom were businessmen, lawyers, doctors, dentists, merchants, policemen, war veterans, jewelers, and people in show business who worked in the summer.
The following are pictures I took of the vintage trailers and automobiles at this year's rally. But don't worry, I did not show pictures of all 200 trailers - I put them in a You Tube Video that you will find at the end.
|1947 Westcraft Coronado 25 foot|
|Our friend Jim|
|1956 Lincoln Pioneer Station Wagon (Custom Built)|
|1959 Nash Metropolitan|
- Evelyn Is, Miss America 1955
- James Bromfield, Actor
- Elvis Presley, Singer/Actor
- Paul Newman, Actor
- Jimmy Buffet, Singer
- Prince Philip/Princess Margaret
- George Romney, AMC Chairman/MI Governor
- Jay Leno, Comedian
- Steve Jobs, Apple
- Hunt & Susan Jones, Tin Can Tourists (current owner)
Here is my You Tube Video: