Sunday, November 27, 2011

Michigan Bound

On Monday, June 28th, Becky and I took off on a road trip to Michigan...Jackson, MI to be exact.  The only two objectives for this jaunt were:  1) meet Tony at Y-Not Camper Restoration and 2) pick out a little camper.  Two decisions had already been made:  1) I would choose either a Shasta Compact or a Serro Scotty Sportsman  2) I would have Tony do a re-frame instead of a repair or restoration.

My excitement level was kinda off the chart and Becky will tell you I was experiencing a small anxiety attack on the drive north.  It's funny now, but it was so real and actually kinda frightening then! 

What in the world was I doing?  Going to Michigan?  Picking out a vintage trailer from a perfect stranger? Trusting him to bring it back to life while I was hundreds of miles away?  OMG...can you say CRAZY LADY?

When we drove up to Tony's place, we saw dozens of campers sitting both inside and outside his lot.  It didn't take very long for me to go into total overload!  I proceeded to spend the next three or four hours looking at them all, but zeroing in on the Shastas and Scotties.  At one point, Both Tony and Becky went back inside to leave me to my madness!

When it was all said and done, I picked out a 13' 1973, Scotty Gaucho.  She was wedged tightly in between another Scotty and a Shasta, but we were able to push and pull them around enough to let me inside.  I measured...I drew pictures...I took notes...I jotted down ideas.  

When we finally took off, I was loaded down with books of fabric and vinyl samples to look at and hopefully make some decisions about with Becky's help that evening at the motel.  I had all my measurements and drawings, notes and day dreams and I needed to translate them into something that I could leave with Tony on Wednesday.  What a day!  I was yet another step closer to the realization of my Coffee Cup Dream!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Spring Fling At The Holler

Time for another chapter in this quest to find my very own vintage trailer!  After talking to Tony in Michigan and learning he had quite a few Shastas and Scottys on his lot, I was desperate to see some in person.  I was starting to narrow my focus and pretty much had decided by mid-May that I would concentrate on these two trailer brands.

On one of my nightly searches online, I ran across the USA Vintage Trailer Network and seeing that they had chapters in every state, I immediately clicked on the NC button.  Up popped a link to the Yahoo Group Forum for the Club North Carolina.

Their current postings were talking about a gathering at Raccoon Holler Campground over the May 20th weekend.  So I requested to join the group and after being approved, I found out there were still a few sites available for the gathering.  I made a quick decision to attend, called the campground and got a reservation.  To be perfectly honest, I had no interest in the teardrops, I only wanted to see the Shastas and Scottys and talk to their owners.

Raccoon Holler Campground is only an hour from home and sits within yards of the Blue Ridge Parkway, so I knew it would be a fun weekend even if I didn't know a soul I was camping with.  Murphy the Camper Dog was going along with me for company, so all would be well.

There was a Shasta Airflyte, a Shasta Compact and one Scotty Sportsman there.  Other than a Yellowstone and a Sunspot, all the other participants were in homemade or factory-produced teardrops.  Although they were cute, there was no way I was taking that vintage route!

I met the owners of the Shastas and Scotty, chatted with them about their trailers and then took pictures.  I guess you could say I was doing research, and sadly, I don't even recall their names, just their campers.

Of the three, I was most drawn to the little 13' Scotty (the second one pictured).   I had a nice weekend and folks were certainly friendly, but in no way did it even compare to camping with the Sisters or my T@Bbin' buddies.  Murphy the Camper Dog and I had a fun little camping weekend and my quest to find the perfect trailer was getting clearer and clearer, closer and closer!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Search Begins

Obsession.  That's the best and actually, only word to describe my frame of mind after returning home from Tybee Island and those bodacious Sisters on the Fly.  Every evening with Mac on lap, I was searching for websites and blogs about vintage trailers and their restoration.  I was taking names!

Here's what I knew to be true:
  • I was going to locate a vintage trailer, somehow, someway!
  • the ones for sale on the East Coast seemed to be far and few between
  • I didn't have the skills or tools or space to do the work myself
  • I didn't have a clue about choosing a trailer and what to look for
  • I needed to find someone to do the work for me
  • I had to choose which route to, restoration, re-frame

In the back of the Sisters on the Fly book was a list called "Fixin' It Up" and it seemed to me to be the logical place to start.  And so the research began.  After weighing in on all the possibilities, I chose to contact Y-Not Camper Restoration.  On Saturday morning, May 14th, I made a phone call to Jackson, Michigan and talked to Tony Secreto.   For 45 minutes I asked questions and Tony answered.  And as the story goes, the rest is history.

From the beginning of our conversation, it felt right.  Call it good vibes, camping karma, or serendipity, I knew I had found the right fellow to make my dream of owning a vintage trailer come true.  I had taken the next step in my Java Journey and it was exciting!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Totally Hooked In Tybee

After reading the SOTF book, collecting all the magazine articles I could get my hands on, and bookmarking umpty-ump blogs about vintage trailers, I was totally hooked in Tybee after seeing them in person!  It's one thing to see these vintage gems in print, but in person, all I could say was, "OMG!"

I had seen this beauty at the Country Living Fair, but wasn't able to actually go inside to see the details.  Red is not a color in my decorating palate, but I have to admit that this Lady Bug motif was off the charts!

Beth's tropical theme was darling both inside and out.  I felt like I was parked right on Tybee Beach!

I loved so many things about Rebecca's "Bookmobile"...the size, the interior layout, the birchwood interior, the simplicity of her decorating.  

As I moved from trailer to trailer, taking pictures and making mental notes, I was starting to realize what I was truly attracted to...a trailer around the size of my SplashT@B, late 60's or early 70's, a Scotty Sportsman or Shasta Compact, earthy colors, comfy looking and feeling inside.  While I appreciated the cowgirl, western theme, that wasn't for me.  While I loved the wild, bold colors, I knew I wouldn't head in that direction either.  No comic strip characters, no animals, no fru-fru-lacy-girly stuff either. 

So I spent the entire weekend looking at the outsides, peeking in the insides, gathering ideas and getting totally hooked on the idea of owning my own vintage trailer!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tybee Island Here I Come!

I put on my Big Girl Panties, hitched up SplashT@B, and headed south to Tybee Island, GA on April 5th for my very first outing with Sisters On The Fly! I was a bit nervous about the drive because it was the longest one I had ever done going solo. I was a bit nervous about the gathering because I simply didn't know what to expect from the Sisters.

The minute I drove into River's End Campground I began to feel at ease.  Under a canopy of live oaks and Spanish moss sat the cutest vintage trailers I had ever seen.  And on the face of every Sister that I encountered on that Tuesday afternoon, I saw a smile.

My sweet SplashT@B was just a baby among those old gals.  But that didn't seem to matter to one single Sister!  My site was # 30 and was the perfect spot...perched on a little sand hill, in the V of two intersecting roads, and centrally located in the campground.

I tried really hard not to rush setting up, but I was itching to grab my camera and start snapping pictures.  I was immediately drawn to one group of trailers in particular.  They were arranged in a semi-circle and looked like they came straight out of a magazine photo shoot for Sisters On The Fly.  I didn't know who they belonged to or even what kind of trailer I was looking at.  All I knew was that my Vintage Trailer Fever just got kicked up several degrees!

I remember lying in bed that Tuesday night on Tybee Island hardly believing I was at my first SOTF event and not being able to imagine all the fun I would have in the next 5 days!