Vintage Trailer Rallies Across America
You’ve likely seen them on the road, alone or in caravan: tiny, gleaming travel trailers that look as if they’re straight out of Mid-century America, being jauntily towed to destinations where fun happens. A fascinating niche community, vintage trailer enthusiasts attend events where folks congregate to admire these retro works of art and craft. Vintage rallies have become extremely popular among camper trailer enthusiasts; so much so that events happen throughout the year across America. This is not an exhaustive list — call it inspirational. Find a rally near you that has public viewing hours, spend an afternoon marveling at some mobile mini mansions, but be forewarned — you’ll likely catch the vintage trailer bug. And if that happens, read on to discover a cure in March 2020.
6th Time Vintage Trailer Rally
January 30–February 2, 2020
Lake Havasu State Park
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
With a rally name about as straightforward as a name could get, the 6th Time Vintage Trailer Rally starts the new year off right in Arizona. The trailers can be viewed along the shore of huge Lake Havasu, and organizers note that all vintage trailers are welcome. The show has two public viewing open houses, on Friday January 31st from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and on Saturday February 1st from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Organizers kindly note that it costs $3 per person to enter the park, and classic cars are welcome as well.
2020 Modernism Week Vintage Trailer Show
February 22–23, 2020
Palm Springs, California
An event that has grown in popularity so much over its 15-year existence, Modernism Week in Palm Springs now spans 11 days in February. Billed as an annual event celebrating Midcentury Modern architecture, art and design, the schedule includes vintage trailer viewing during the last two days of festivities on February 22–23. A highlight of the trailer viewing: attendees on Saturday cast ballots to pick the People’s Choice Award for the most popular vintage trailer on site. This meticulously curated event is a local fundraiser and costs $25 for adults (kids 12 and under are free). Both street and paid parking are available, and the show location is ADA accessible.
Vintage Camper Trailer Boot Camp
March 5–8, 2020
$199 per person, $379 per couple
For those who have been bitten by the vintage trailer restoration bug, the Vintage Camper Trailer Boot Camp in Hollister, California, is the ticket to gain valuable knowledge about trailer restoration in a short period of time. Boot camp combines demonstrations and classroom learning that can save attendees much time and money, from attempting to figure out how to tackle particular aspects of a trailer restoration project to sourcing vintage trailer parts. Experts and industry professionals are part of VCT boot camp, so attendees gain valuable contacts and build camaraderie with their newfound friends. Please note that this event is not a trailer rally and not open to the general public — it is a workshop for attendees only.
David Crockett Vintage Camper Rally
March 26–29, 2020
David Crockett State Park
Hosted by the group Deep South Caravans, the David Crockett Vintage Camper Rally at David Crockett State Park in Tennessee is open to camper trailers manufactured before 1980, no matter what make or model, and there is no need to be affiliated with any organization to register a trailer. These fun folks say that March 26 in National Nougat Day, and they will be giving out Snickers and Baby Ruth candy bars to rally attendees! Call it sweet fun. On Friday the 27th from 5–8 p.m. in Lawrenceburg there will be an event around the town square featuring music, with a few select camper trailers from the rally set up for public viewing — a prime spot for folks to see what vintage trailering is all about.
TCT Florida Spring Campout
April 16–19, 2020
East Bank Campground
Another Tin Can Tourist event, organizers say the Florida Spring Campout at East Bank Campground will be simple and laid back (admirable traits that vintage trailer enthusiasts share). They even say camper registration is optional, so those TCTers who feel the need can register, but those who don’t will not be punished. The campground is on the shores of Lake Seminole, one of the best fishing lakes in the nation containing 80 fish species, so those vintage trailer enthusiasts who also consider themselves anglers may want to bring a rod, buy a license and try their luck. Organizers also state that daily temperatures will be in the 50s to 70s, so dress accordingly for some outdoor trailer ogling.
April 16–20, 2020
Bonelli Bluffs RV Resort
San Dimas, California
Located at the beautiful Bonelli Bluffs RV Resort and Campground, this Trailerfest spring event is Cajun-themed. There will be an open house for public trailer viewing on Saturday April 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. — classic cars are also invited. The four-day weekend for campers includes Cajun-themed potlucks, parties, live music and even ukulele lessons. Trailerfest organizers also note that this event welcomes all years of camper trailers, not only vintage units. That said, the vintage units (1972 and under) will have their own section of the park and all other units (1973 and older) will be in another area so open house attendees can plan their viewing accordingly.
Golden Village Palms Vintage Trailer Event
April 22–26, 2020
Golden Village Palms RV Resort
Hosting a bevy of beauties, the sixth annual vintage trailer event at Golden Village Palms promises to be a worthwhile trip. The park will host a big trailer-viewing open house on Saturday April 25 with parking available all day. Vintage motorcycle and collector cars will also be on display. Vendors will be on hand, as well as live music by various artists. The Golden Village Palms welcomes vintage viewers, who can park and enjoy all the festivities connected with this vintage trailer event.
Crossing Into Spring
April 23–26, 2020
Three Island Crossing State Park
Glenns Ferry, Idaho
This rally in April will have vintage trailers occupying the Trailside Lower Loop of Three Island Crossing State Park in Glenns Ferry, Idaho. The park is perched above the Snake River, and the spot was once a major river-crossing site along the Oregon Trail. For vintage trailer viewing or simply taking in the serene surroundings, crossing into spring is a fine thing.
Groovy Beach Bash
April 23–26, 2020
Jekyll Island Campground
Jekyll Island, Georgia
Southern Vintage Trailer Friends
Organized by another group that knows how to party, the Southern Vintage Trailer Friends will host a Groovy Beach Bash rally April 23–26. Although the word groovy typically gets associated with the ‘60s, this beach bash is ‘80s themed. Organizers are encouraging trailer attendees to shop early for parachute pants, neon bracelets and such, so be prepared to see some wild stuff come April at Jekyll Island Campground. The number of trailers participating is nearly 100 (yes, one hundred) so there will be a lot of vintage mini-mansions on hand to tour. Public trailer viewing is on Saturday the 25th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A fundraiser for a local scholarship fund, event tickets to view are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 7–12 (kids 6 and under free).
4th Annual Best Dam Vintage Trailer Rally
April 24–26, 2020
Bull Shoals, Arkansas
A Tin Can Tourists event, the Best Dam Vintage Trailer Rally takes place in late April at Bull Shoals-White River State Park in Bull Shoals, Arkansas. A destination in itself, Bull Shoals is a 732-acre park boasting one of the “nation’s best trout-fishing streams.” Event organizers say rally attendees should bring their kayaks along with their trailers, but it sounds like a fly rod might be a good idea as well. The trailer event has a Saturday open house from 12:00–2:00 p.m. Event organizers also note that the dogwoods should be in bloom, making the site that much more picturesque. Tin Can Tourists celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2019, making it the longest-running travel trailer club in the U.S.
Shaconage Vintage Trailer Gathering
May 7–10, 2020
Moonshine Creek Campground
Sylva, North Carolina
A new event in the Smoky Mountains, the Shaconage Vintage Trailer Gathering takes place early May in Sylva, North Carolina. The Facebook page for the event indicates around 30 trailers will be attending; there are no details about public viewing. That said, if you are in the area, take a quick detour and see an incredibly picturesque campground and check out some amazing rolling rooms. (Event organizers say the name is pronounced “Sha-kon-a-hey” — a Cherokee word for the Smoky Mountains.)
2020 23rd Annual Gathering
May 14, 2020 – May 17, 2020
Yet another Tin Can Tourists event, this gathering in Michigan is a surefire way of catching the vintage trailer bug. A large event that is always well attended, the 23rd Gathering’s theme is “Old Americana,” so folks will surely see plenty of trailers, vehicles, fashions and products from days of yesteryear. Even with room for more than 120 trailers, registration for this event fills up quickly, guaranteeing there will be plenty of vintage viewing for open house attendees. The four days are packed with events for trailer rally participants; the public open house is Saturday, May 16, from noon until 3:00 p.m. (Calendar year 2020 is officially the 101st anniversary of the Tin Can Tourists club.)
Hot Springs Vintage Camper Rally
May 29–31, 2020
Hot Springs National Park KOA
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Hosted by a group with a name the exudes fun — the Arkansas Vintage Trailer Nuts — the second-annual Vintage Camper Rally takes place at the Hot Springs National Park KOA. The camper trailer open house runs Saturday May 30 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Look for site section D and any overflow trailers in section B. Event organizers encourage trailering folks to arrive a day early and tour the historic downtown, bath houses, lakes, Magic Springs theme park, and Garvan Woodland Gardens. They also say they look forward to seeing some old friends and making some new ones. These trailer nuts also have a Facebook page covering the event.
June Bloom Vintage Trailer Rally
June 4–7, 2020
Held in Rosland Park right on the Little Deschutes River, this rally is sure to be picturesque and fun. The long weekend event starts Thursday the 4th for those bringing trailers. An open house is set for Saturday the 6th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Organizers say if you like to float rivers bring a floaty. Since it is only June in Oregon and the water in the Little Deschutes flows from the Cascade Range, we might suggest alternative plans to chilly bodily immersion — or possible submersion.
2020 Aloha Vintage Trailer Rally
June 5–7, 2020
L.L. Stub Stewart State Park
A rally to celebrate vintage trailers manufactured from 1954 through the 1970s by Aloha in Oregon, this rally is open to Aloha trailers only. Event organizers say plans are in the works for registered trailer attendees, including an open house. Also note that trailers will be in Dairy Creek West Campground within the state park. These adorably fascinating trailers are a niche group within a niche group, so owners are likely to be real authorities on the Aloha brand in general, and their personal model(s) specifically.
2020 Western Illinois Vintage Trailer Rally
June 25–28, 2020
A new vintage event hoping to take root this year, the 2020 Western Illinois Vintage Trailer Rally will happen this June at Geneseo Campground, a private facility in Geneseo, Illinois. The quiet, picturesque campground is located next to the historic Hennepin Canal. Organizers say the campground is excited for the event and hopes it can become a community affair, so the public will be welcome. The event will have more than 40 attendees with plenty of unique trailers to view. Plans are still taking shape, so potential attendees should check the event’s Facebook page closer to June.
2020 Roslyn Vintage Trailer Rally
June 26-29, 2020
Held on a large field at Pioneer Park in the historic mining town of Roslyn, Washington, this rally grows in popularity each year. A rather laid-back affair, the event is open to pre-1970 travel trailers, truck campers, buses “or anything with wheels made for camping,” according to organizers. They also note that no tents are allowed, but any newer trailers that hark back to vintage trailers are welcome with prior approval. Vintage tow vehicles will be on hand as well. An open house for the public will be held Saturday the 27th from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
All American Vintage Trailer Rally
July 2–5, 2020
Powerland Heritage Park
Calling it “Oregon’s largest vintage trailer event,” the All American Vintage Trailer Rally supports the Antique Powerland Museum Association. This unique rally hosts without preregistration; they say just show up with your trailer — no size limit — and join the fun. (Our kind of people.) The trailer open house is Friday July 3rd and Saturday the 4th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The rally celebrates Independence Day as well as “great folks and neat old travel trailers and motorhomes.” There are numerous on-site museums at the Powerland park including a Northwest Vintage Car and Motorcycle Museum, the Oregon Electric Railway Museum, the Antique Caterpillar Machinery Museum and too many others to mention here. One more: Willow Creek Railroad, which is a 1/8-scale ride-on train.
Audrey’s Jingle in July 2020
July 9–12, 2020
River Plantation Resort
A welcoming group of good-hearted folks who call themselves the Southern Vintage Trailer Friends will be hosting this fifth-annual rally in July. The rally’s name has a touching story behind it, and the open house held on Saturday the 11th from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. will benefit a local charity. Trailers will be decked out in Christmas decor, in keeping with the rally’s theme. The River Plantation RV Resort is a beautiful location to spend a day experiencing some fine trailers, meet some friendly folks and have some fun outdoors.
Rally on the River
July 16–19, 2020
Billed as “the best kids and adult rally in the Northwest,” Rally on the River takes place at the picturesque 26-acre Pioneer Park in Brownsville, Oregon. The park and trailer area sit within a big bend of the Calapooia River. Brownsville’s claim to fame is being the location of the Rob Reiner-directed film “Stand By Me,” based on a Stephen King novella, “The Body.” Visitors will be able to view well over 100 vintage trailers in a relaxed, family-oriented atmosphere. From their Rally on the River Facebook page, it looks like the 2020 edition will have plenty of activities for adults and kids alike.
2020 Fiddlers Picnic Vintage Trailer Rally
July 31–August 2, 2020
Another Tin Can Tourists event, yet open to all, the eighth-annual Fiddlers Picnic Vintage trailer Rally in Livingston, Montana is quite unique. Organizers say rally attendees will see some beautiful vintage trailers and hear about 500 string pickers to boot (we’re not sure if the trailer owners are pickers, or if the pickers are vintage trailer owners;). The event takes place on the beautiful grounds of the Old Mercier Ranch in south Livingston, gateway to the spectacular Paradise Valley.
Port Sanilac — Antique Boat, Vintage Camper, Classic Car Show
August 13–16, 2020
Port Sanilac Marina
Port Sanilac, Michigan
Another Tin Can Tourists event, this rally on the shores of Lake Huron offers antique boat, camper and classic car viewing — all at one venue. Organizers say the show takes place on Saturday the 15th — campers will arrive midweek and leave on Sunday. Based on the images from their Facebook page and around the web, this family-fun event is a Michigan must-see.
13th Annual West Coast Glampers Trailer Rally
August 20–23, 2020
Nehalem Bay State Park
A rally at a wonderful location on the Oregon Coast, Nehalem Bay offers scenic views yet is close to services in the nearby towns of Nehalem or Manzanita. Organizers note that West Coast Glampers is a new name — the previous 12 rallies took place when the club was the Pacific Northwest Glampers. They also note that the time of year will be great weather on the coast, and more information about the rally will follow, so check out their Facebook page closer to August.
TCT Northeast Rally
September 17–20, 2020
Sampson State Park
Romulus, New York
The official Tin Can Tourists event of the Northeast takes place in Upstate New York on the shores of Seneca Lake within the 2,000-acre Sampson State Park. This 13th-annual TCT rally will have yard sales, presentations, happy hours, music, friends, food and — of course — an open house. Organizers have not posted the day or hours yet, but odds are the open house takes place on Saturday. You can’t go wrong with the Tin Can Tourists — it’s like they invented fun.
Trailerfest: The Golden Age of Hollywood
September 24–27, 2020
49er RV Resort
Celebrating the Golden Age of cinema, this Trailerfest rally in Southern California promises to be days filled with fun and nights filled with stars — of the Hollywood variety. The weekend’s events for trailer-towing attendees includes breakfast, a walk of fame, a movie night, a red carpet party, and live music and dancing. Open house hours for public viewing will be Saturday the 26th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00. p.m. Based on past Trailerfest rallies, as well as organizer and attendee excitement for this one, it will be an event to remember.
Goin’ With the Flo’ Vintage Trailer Rally and Exhibit
October 9–11, 2020
Port of Siuslaw Campground
The third-annual Goin’ With the Flo’ takes place during a great time of year to be on the Oregon Coast. The event hosts more than 50 vintage trailers from the 1950s and ‘60s, and all will be staged for a free public viewing. Organizers do not have details up for 2020, but a good bet would be that the official open house takes place on Saturday the 10th.
2020 Little Orange Creek Rally
November 26–29, 2020
Little Orange Creek Nature Park
This Tin Can Tourists event in late November boasts a lot of activities for trailer-towing attendees, including a talk at the Hawthorne Historical Society, dinner and bingo (with prizes), breakfasts and of course an open house for trailer appreciation and admiration. The public open house is on Saturday November 28; organizers have not posted the hours yet, so check in closer to the date in November. Note that most vintage trailer rally events seem to have a Facebook page, so that is always a good source for the most up-to-date, event-specific information.