Welcome To My Blog

Weekends are for wandering Wisconsin. That's what Rick, my guy, and I do. Occasionally we wander during the week, too. Sometimes we just drop in on other people's lives.

This blog is my way of sharing where we've been, neat places and things to do that we've found.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Midwest Vintage Trailer Rally

Most people would think a canned ham is something to eat. To those who’ve been bitten by the classic travel trailer bug, it’s definitely delicious. Envision a trailer that is the shape of a canned ham on its side, and that’s what Rick and many of our neighbors at this year’s Midwest Vintage Trailer Rally in Montello were pulling.

A teacher, Carol, who dressed in the same colors as her
trailer, owns this one.

This "canned ham" is owned by a man from
Chetek. He has 14 more trailers in his collection.

While some enthusiasts maintain the original essence of a bygone era with their vintage trailers, others personalize their rigs into modern travel units with all the appropriate decorations and accoutrements. Of the 40 vintages trailers at the rally, no two were alike. Nor were their owners. Except everyone knew how to have a good time!

The weekend started on Thursday night with a progressive cocktail party. Even spending 5 or 10 minutes at the 20 or so trailers that came early took us well into the evening. The drinks and hors d’oeuvres offered were just as diverse as the trailers themselves. Camaraderie abounded even though for many of us it was our first time at such a rally. Friday featured burger and jello mold contests. Competition was stiff.

Anna, from Freeport IL, took home the presentation prize
for her rainbow jello. She spent HOURS preparing this beauty.
The public was invited to the "Show'n'Shine" on Saturday to look at all the trailers. The owners at Buffalo Lake Campground figured that nearly 250 visitors climbed in and out of our rigs. I had my spiel down pat: “The shutters are a signature of the Trailblazer brand. The ’65 trailer and the ’64 Chevy Panel Truck that pulls it were made in Wisconsin – the trailer in Spencer and the truck in Janesville – both Wisconsin originals.” The adjective used by many who visited our site was “cute.” I couldn’t disagree! We were delighted that my uncle, Oscar, who has a summer home near Pardeeville, and our friends, Gary and Pat from Milwaukee, dropped by.

Green signs in the area directed visitors to the "Show'n'Shine" on Saturday.
A Trailblazer gas stove and a Trailblazer lantern were two accessories
we "exhibited" with the trailer.
Norm and Julia from DeKalb IL have Ronald McDonald
as a guest in their trailer that is painted to look like
a cheeseburger.
I hope Ronald doesn't notice Big Boy at the table.

Vintage trailers have become a new way of life, not just for my “vintage” generation, but for those that follow as well. I was surprised by the number of single women and families with younger children who were at the rally. Vintage travel trailers are growing in popularity as witnessed by the many clubs and rallies that flourish across the country.

A few of the rigs at the campground.

In the 17 years that Rick has owned his '64 Chevy Panel
Truck he has never seen another one at any of the car shows
he's attended. So imagine our surprise when a twin showed
up at the rally only three sites away from us. This beauty
is owned by Neil and Loretta from Illinois!

And then what should pull in but this '66 Chevy Carry-All
Suburban. It's like a panel truck with windows! Who knew
that the trailer rally would be such a great car show, too.
The rally’s organizer, Kimberly Steiner, was amazing. Every morning we had “mail” that included the day’s schedule as well as vintage magazines and other surprises. She’s been coordinating this rally for 10 years and does an outstanding job. We couldn’t have had more fun – and I had a most memorable birthday. We’re signed up for next year’s rally and are looking forward to having another great time with new friends.


  1. OH....Jeanne......I am SO jealous! One of my pastimes while on the computer, is to look through Craigs List at campers and I LOVE the vintage ones. I do own a 22', 1976 remodeled Fleetwing that I bought to use as a "guesthouse" while at my son's visiting (in Michigan), but the furnace and bathroom had been taken out, which I do miss, but I certainly do enjoy the "great room" effect, too.
    I wish Don and I had a small trailer that we could pull with our 4 cylinder and have here to go adventuring in, too. Not sure I could get Don to go though.....he does love his comforts....."and space". ;)

  2. Howdy , finding inspiration from groups like yours has proven fruitful, we have purchased a 1962 Trailblazer 13 ft. with the front overhang. Its not in too bad of shape and naturally needs some work. We are missing the gas heater and will begin cleaning ASAP. It made it home from Brainard to our home in Kelliher MN. We will soon be working on a tow vehicle and with a little luck you might see us at an event?Until then I hope groups like yours can be helpful with information on the vintage Trailblazer Trailer?

    We have 240 acres without cows, we once bred Highland cattle and Arabian horses, should you find yourselves near Redlake Minnesota look us up.... there's plenty of room to park and a nice beaver dam with woods to walk in nearby. Tall tales come naturally, we are Blue Ox Farms, located where the county road #34 is on your map Kelliher-Saum Minnesota.


    Michael and Jeanine McDermott
    Blue Ox Farms
    17776 Cormant rd. 56650