The #vanlife phenomenon has taken over social media and the outdoor community over the last few years, but what about the original #trailerlife?
Georgian Bay Park family campground celebrated this vagabond lifestyle in its first-annual Vintage Trailer “Show and Shine,” which took place this past weekend.
By the time the sun reached its peak on Saturday, Sept. 14, more than 10 vintage trailers opened their doors for attendees to glimpse into a simpler lifestyle.
The trailers ranged in size and style, from a 1959 Shasta to a classic 1970s Winnebago RV. Some showcased the original decor, some revived the 50s feel, and others put a modern spin on the old school interior, but they all radiated something that felt like home.
Lisa McPherson, along with her husband and two dogs, packed up their Shasta and drove in from Alliston for the evening.
“I saw the Facebook event and was like, 'ya, I really want to do that,'” McPherson said. It was the first time she participated in an event of this sort, but she loved the community she felt the minute they arrived.
McPherson affectionately calls her trailer Angel because of its wings, which are a Shasta signature.
“A previous owner must have taken the wings off, but when I repainted it, I knew I needed them back,” she laughed.
The trailer now matches McPherson’s car, and she said the combo has been trusty for many adventures around Ontario and into Quebec.
Trailer owners were ecstatic to tell stories of the adventures they had been on, or the years it took to revitalize their trailers to be as beautiful as they are today.
Tyler French serenaded the park with live music while people milled about skimming through photos of restoration processes and enjoying a barbeque lunch. According to park staff, more than 200 people showed up to attend the event.
“It was way more successful than we ever could have hoped,” said Michael Mead, an employee at Georgian Bay Park and the brains behind the event.
Mead has always been interested in anything vintage, and he got the idea when he saw a vintage car pulling a vintage trailer earlier this summer.
“There are a lot of vintage car shows, they’re called Show and Shines and people park their cars and just hangout. I knew there were a lot of vintage trailers out there, too, but I’ve never heard of an event that showcases them,” Mead said.
After a bit of research, he pitched the idea to the owner of the park, and they pulled the show together in less than a month.
In order to qualify, the trailer must have been manufactured prior to Jan. 1, 1980 and be in a renovated or restored condition.
Prizes were awarded to the trailer with the best interior and exterior.
The winners for best interior were Berns Bedard and Dalibor Horvat with their 1979 22’ Glendale Golden Falcon, also known as “Glenda.” Glenda boasted a cozy and eclectic feel in her restored interior.
The winners for best exterior were Henry and Debby Gilas for their 1968 Orbit, which was dubbed “Sparky” after someone found out they restored it after a major fire.
Georgian Bay Park opened its grounds to the public earlier this year. The park staff are always thinking of new and fun events to attract guests, and Mead said they will definitely do this event again next year.
“It was too successful to not do it again next year,” Mead said. “And it promotes the trailer, camping, and outdoor lifestyle.”
Mead said they will likely expand the prize categories in the future as well. He thinks it’s important to celebrate whatever you choose to do with your vintage trailer - whether it’s using the original frame and completely rebuilding the rest, or maintaining its original condition perfectly.
“It’s all valid in my mind,” he said. “One guy actually bought his trailer brand new all those years ago. It was like stepping into the past.”
If you live a #trailerlife lifestyle, or are fascinated by the vintage vehicles, this event is definitely for you.