Teardroppers of Oregon and Washington
Serving those who are or wannabe teardroppers
FREE #8 April 2004
Marty Boehme – Editor
20232 S Jasan Drive
Oregon City, OR 97045
SHASTA 2004 – OUR NEXT GATHERING
This will be the 11th time for this grandfather of all teardrop gatherings. It’s being held at Antlers RV Park and Campground on Shasta Lake in Northern California. That’s about 25 miles north of Redding next to the I-5 freeway. The dates are April 29th to May 2nd.
Grant and Lisa Whipp put on a great event with lots of camaraderie centered around our teardrop trailers. Saturday night starts with a chili feed around a BIG bonfire with future event announcements, the most outrageous story contest and door prizes. The registration fee is $10 with a camping fee for each teardrop at $11.00 per night. For more information and to put in your reservation, call 530-275-6728 or e-mail of firstname.lastname@example.org.
81 TEADROPS AT SPRINGWATER THIS YEAR
By Barb Ester
Our planning started by scheduling a two-week trip and including Sweetwater as the primary goal. Ed and I left Wednesday morning on Feb 25th for the Sweetwater Summit County Park in San Diego, CA. On our way south, we stayed two nights in rest areas off the freeway. When we began our trip, gas prices were about $1.59 per gallon. But as we headed south, the prices definitely increased. We were paying up to $2.25 per gallon in the San Diego area. All the way down the I-5 corridor it rained!!! But finally when we arrived at the Sweetwater campground on Friday mid morning, Feb 27th, the rain had quit but it was still cooler than we expected for San Diego. Our Chrysler LeBaron towed our black tear.
We were greeted by David Locke, one of the hosts, and landed a nice campsite close to the bathrooms and showers. Since others were still arriving and setting up, we dropped the teardrop off and took a side trip to Tijuana, Mexico. We parked on the U.S. side and took a bus ride over the border leaving our car in a secure parking lot. We have visited border towns before so we knew what to expect. Our shopping experience as always was exhilarating. Ed purchased a "Rolex" watch for such a deal and I bought a suede leather hat and a seven-piece Mariachi band figurines.
We returned to the campsite later in the evening. The next morning (on Saturday), there were 81 teardrops throughout the camp area. When we got up, we could hardly leave our campsite since we were greeted by fellow teardroppers and also people who came in from outside the campground interested in seeing all the teardrops. We were surprised to see Cindy and Bill Birt who we met at last year’s Glassett Spring Fling. At 2:00 PM, an ice cream social was planned. David & Deane Locke and Brad & Jackie Romaine, hosts of the campout, spoke during the event and held a raffle giving away great prizes. For the teardroppers coming the farthest to this event, we were outdone by a nice couple, Sonny & Dixie Rossi, from San Antonio, TX. We didn't get to see all 81 teardrops but did see and meet some very nice people that we invited to Washington to join in Pacific Northwest teardrop gatherings. I guess we will have to go again to this event so we can meet the ones we missed!
By Sunday afternoon, everyone had broke camp so we continued our trip east to Arizona. We arrived that evening in Yuma, AZ. We stayed in a R.V. park where our friends stay during the winter months with their 40 ft. motor home. We parked right next to them. Actually, only self-contained trailers were allowed but they made us an exception. Of course we were very popular since we were surrounded by 40 ft. motor homes, fifth-wheels, and park-models. We were greeted and photographed just like celebrities. In Yuma, we went out to the lettuce fields and watched how the lettuce was harvested, wrapped, and boxed, ready to be sent to the grocery stores. What a process!
We stayed in Yuma for two nights then headed north to Lake Havasu. AZ. In Lake Havasu, we stayed at Crazy Horse Campground where another set of friends were camping. Ed drove a Seadoo around the lake and even drove under the London Bridge which I believe was reconstructed there in the 70's. After three days of visiting and relaxing , we took off to Laughlin, NV, which was only an hour away. My parents were in Laughlin vacationing at this time. We parked the tear behind the Ramada Express Hotel/Casino and a group of "Snowbirds" my parents know kept a good eye on our so called "rig" while we stayed with my parents in the hotel for three nights. Only in Laughlin we stayed in a hotel, otherwise, we spent every night in the teardrop, and yes, we still are speaking to each other. It was a great trip, we enjoyed it and hated for it to end.
SIXTH ANNUAL GLASSETT SPRING FLING
This year’s Spring Fling will see us at the Cascade Peaks RV Resort and Campground. The important date to put on your calendar is the Memorial Day Weekend. We start to gather on Friday, May 28th. When you arrive, stop at the office and pay the park for the number of nights you will be camping. The charge is approximately $13 per night. You will be directed to the group camping area that’s reserved for teardroppers. There are lots of individual sites around the area’s gazebo to park your rig. Restrooms are located just across from our area. There are a limited number of RV hookups for an additional fee. There are no pet fees, but they must be kept on a leash.
This park is located 55 miles east of exit #68 off the Washington State I-5 freeway on State Highway 12. The neatest feature of this location is that it’s only a couple of miles from the town of Packwood. This entire town turns into one BIG huge swap meet/flea market with hundreds of vendors displaying their wares.
The gazebo offers a place for meals, fellowship and entertainment. We’ll enjoy camping Northwest style with potlucks, Dutch oven cooking, games, campfires and the great outdoors next to the Cowlitz River. One thing to remember about meals - our hosts will be serving Sunday and Monday breakfasts!! The main potluck for everyone will be Saturday evening so plan on fixing one of your favorite camping recipes.
We expect a large turnout of new teardrop trailers that everyone will be interested in seeing. Visitors always come to this event; many to get ideas for building their own trailers.
To register, send $10 to Rod/Trudy Glassett at 7400 - 56th Place NE, Marysville, WA 98270. For more information, you can contact them at 360-659-1082 or via e-mail at email@example.com. These people are the greatest hosts!!!
YOU COULD BE CAMPING THIS SPRING
By Bob Book
I’ve an urge to build another teardrop, so our 2000 homebuilt is for sale. It’s 10 foot by 5 foot. This trailer was made for real people as it’s taller inside and has wider doors for easy entry and dressing. It’s aluminum on the outside with a satin finish (not bright). It rides on a Dexter torsion axle with 15” wheels that have a 5 x 4½ in. bolt pattern. The trailer weights about 1200 pounds plus whatever you may add. We’re asking $3500. For more details and pictures contact Bob Book at 253-939-6910 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Editor: We remember Bob at LeMay 1999 with tape measure and camera in hand to harvest ideas so he could build one. At LeMay 2000, the Books showed up with a really beautiful homebuilt teardrop trailer.)
THE KELSON KAMPOUT
June 11th and 12th is the weekend for the Kelson Kampout. This is a campout that is inviting all teardrops as well as vintage camp trailers. Ed and Linda Kelson have lots of land on which we can park our rigs. As you drive into their unique place, you’ll notice a vintage-looking village that includes storefronts and a gas station. Inside the station’s lube bay, you’ll see many collectable gas station memorabilia items on shelves, in displace cases and hanging on the wall. Outside, you’ll see dozens of old gas pumps awaiting restoration or being cannibalized for parts.
The location is in the Kent, Washington area. Actually, if you use MapQuest to find their place you should enter 15045 SE 256th St, Covington, WA 98042. Ed tells us that from Washington Route 18 you should exit the 272nd & Covington Exit and drive west until you find his property on the south side of the road. His place is across the road from a modern housing development. Right next to the road you will see large antique farming equipment such as threshing machines, manure spreaders, etc. If you have any questions, please call for directions at 253-630-3423 or e-mail the Kelsons at email@example.com.
As usual, we’ll all enjoy the fellowship of us trailer owners; people who really like the simpler times from long ago. And remember, a Dutch oven cook-off will be one of the features of the weekend.
This year’s campout will not feature the huge motor homes that hosted us little teardrops last year. Instead, we’ll be able to view the Kelson collection of 11 vintage camp trailers, many of which were acquired within the last year. Ed reports that they own a rare UltraVan motor home with a 1970 Corvette motor and transaxle that’s suppose to hold the land speed record for RVs, a 1930’s Bolus, a 1948 BolesArrow, a 13-foot all-aluminum beautiful homebuilt camp trailer, a ’55 Yankee, a 1971 Airstream, a 23-foot 1947 Admiral Caravan and the ’48 UltraFlite they brought to the Mid Winter Potluck. These don’t add up to 11, so be prepared to see others.
STATE OF TOW ANNUAL REPORT
It’s time to settle the financials for TOW. Because of the participation in the Northwest Car Collectors Show and Swap Meet in 2003, TOW put $960 into the coffers. The net proceeds are going to be distributed to hosts who put on teardrop gatherings throughout the year. For this last fiscal year (April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2004) we added LeMay 2003 and Midwinter Potluck 2004 as recipients of TOW money.
Many are asking what TOW is and how it came about. A bit of history is in order.
The LeMay gathering at the annual open house to visit the LeMay car collection started in 1998. Enthusiasm demonstrated by the campers in showing off their teardrop trailers to the visiting public led us to put on a display at the 2000 Northwest Car Collectors Show and Swap Meet. Our display was something new for the car show, was well received and fit into the theme of the event. We did it again in 2001.
After the 2001 show, we were asked to petition the NWCCA for full membership. Expressed by NWCCA: “Teardroppers have many vintage cars and would qualify as members”. So that we could have a name to submit to NWCCA, our founder came up with “Teardroppers of Oregon and Washington” or TOW for short. That’s a fitting name for people who tow their teardrop trailers. The name is registered with the state of Oregon. We have a logo crafted by teardropper Donya Wiland and a checking account. All that’s OK – so far we’ve not been forced to have by-laws or club officials. We’re unorganized, underground teardrop enthusiasts!!
We call everyone an “affiliate” of TOW, not a member. Everyone is listed on several rosters around the Pacific Northwest, California and other parts of the USA. Fortunately, almost everyone has an e-mail address and receives the TOW Line, our newsletter, free. Postage is paid for about 35 affiliates without e-mail access.
To protect the privacy of those affiliates on our various rosters, e-mails are sent out as blind copies (Bcc:). That way, no one has access to any other e-mail address. The roster has no other function except for TOW activities. It will always be that way.
All profits from past car show displays have been distributed to the two other grandfather teardrop events in Oregon and Washington. They are the Great Oregon Campout sponsored by Northwest Teardroppers and the Spring Fling hosted by Rod and Trudy Glassett.
Shown below is the report of monies spent for the fiscal year April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2004 and disbursements for the upcoming 2004-2005 fiscal year.
$94.17 – Postage, copying, office supplies
42.50 – Copying 400 teardrop brochures
20.00 – Oregon name registration
25.00 – NWCCA membership dues
204.41 – NWCCA show decorations
100.73 – NWCCA food, refreshments
75.00 – NWCCA show gas money
70.15 – LeMay 2003 mailing, awards
50.00 – Midwinter Potluck 2004
NWCCA income at $960.00
Total expenses at 681.96
Net total $288.04
Future total disbursements of $300 to:
1. Spring Fling 2004
2. LeMay 2004
3. Champoeg 2004
4. Midwinter Potluck 2005
CARNATION’S FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
An invitation from Ken Masden
Please join us for the third annual “Fourth of July Teardrop Fun in Carnation”. We welcome you to camp on our five-acre property just outside of Carnation, Washington from July 2nd through the 5th (hopefully the 5th will be a holiday for most folks).
On the Fourth join in the fun of a real small-town celebration including a Pancake Breakfast, Hot Rods & Harley’s show, and parades in downtown Carnation. Then, it’s back to our place in the afternoon for a potluck dinner. At dusk we’ll caravan back to Carnation to see the fireworks. We will have Model T, Model A and 1936 vehicle rides (including rumble seat rides for the kids and young at heart). This year we will also be able to hear the unique sounds of a 1938 John Deere tractor and perhaps get a wagon ride around the property.
On the days surrounding the Fourth we may caravan to Snohomish to view antiques and old cars, picnic at Snoqualmie Falls and perhaps find a car show to attend. We will provide breakfast on Saturday the 3rd and Monday the 5th. We recommend the Pancake Breakfast in Carnation on the day of the Fourth. Friday evening the 2nd, we will pool our resources and have something to eat together just before our 8:00 PM kick-off meeting. On Saturday evening (July 3rd) we recommend either the Spaghetti Feed at the Carnation Senior Center or the Barbeque in Carnation. I guess we can’t squeeze in a Dutch oven cook-off this year.
For more information call Ken or Marty Masden (425) 333-5219 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Please let us know as soon as possible if you think you can attend so we know how to plan our gathering.
TOW AFFILIATE INTERVIEWED ABOUT TEARDROPPING
A great article about our enthusiastic interest in teardrop trailers was pulled off the web recently. It’s entitled “Nostalgic Camping in a Teardrop Trailer” and came about after Ed Kelson talked to a reporter for Journal Newspapers. The writer wrote that these “vintage camping vehicles look like beads from a weeper’s eyes”. He continued, “First manufactured in the 1930s, the diminutive, lightweight, and aerodynamic trailers were designed to accommodate low-horsepower cars. Today, teardrop trailers built a half-century ago and more are the pride and joy of collectors who take pleasure in meeting up with other enthusiasts at campgrounds and car shows.” That’s it in a nutshell for us die-hards!!
The reporter continues with commits from Ed about the campouts we have in the Pacific Northwest, the types of original trailers built years ago as well as sources for getting more information from websites devoted to images of and blueprints for teardrop trailers.
There is an item of interest for those of us that know Ed. It’s reported that at a recent car swap meet, Ed acquired, at no cost, what he calls his “mystery trailer,” an unusually large (5’X6’X13’) teardrop of uncertain origin that he believes was made in 1940. In addition, it was noted that this TD is in “serious disrepair”.
We like the quote at the end. Ed says, “This is a fun, old way of camping, and it helps keep a certain history alive”.
RV MUSEUM LOCATED IN ELKHART, INDIANA
If you have a chance to go through Elkhart, Indiana plan to stop at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame, Museum and Library. It’s just loaded with all types of real old, vintage RVs. Those who find their way to the museum see 27 exhibits of RVs that date from 1913 to the 1960s. This foundation was established in 1972 to create a permanent home for historical documents, photographs, publications and memorabilia related to the recreation vehicle and manufactured housing industries. If you have a RV of unknown origin, you might send an inquiry to the museum at www.rv-mh-hall-of-fame.org.
The oldest is a 1913 Model T Runabout that’s hitched to a 1913 travel trailer. The trailer is thought to be the oldest travel trailer in existence. It was custom built by a carriage maker in Los Angeles for a scholarly botanist to use on field trips. There’s a picture of this combo in the March 2004 RV Life magazine that features a story about this one-of-a-kind museum.
One of the many exhibits from the 1930s is a Gilkie Tent Trailer that folded out, much as today’s pop-up campers do. The tent trailer was built so well that the owner used it on camping trips for more than 50 years. Seen in the article is a picture of two Serro Scotty trailers built in the 1950s, one of which resembles the teardrop owned by Ed Colvin.
CUTE RV – DUMB NAME
Believe it or not, this was the headline seen on a web site for a new model camping trailer. Many of us saw this trailer the day of the Midwinter Potluck because its owners stumbled onto our event and decided to check us out. They told us they lived nearby and invited everyone over to see their brand new trailer. We all agreed – it’s cute! It’s a 16-foot walk-in with the shape of a teardrop. The galley’s in front. The main bed is across the back. A fold-down table serves as an additional bed. It has the neatest porthole window in the door with a pull-down shade. The all-aluminum frame contributes to its light weight. This trailer retails for around $12,000.
The dumb name refers to the acronym T@B and was coined by the Dutchman Manufacturing Company that makes the trailer. They claim that it means “Taking America Back”. The marketing idea is that the vintage teardrop shape will “take America back to a simpler side of life when things were not as complicated”.
To quote an article in Trailer Life magazine: “With an overall height of 7 feet 6 inches, the microlight T@B can be stored in a conventional garage. Light enough to move by hand, it’s been fitted with a parking brake for storage purposes. And with an overall weight of around 1200 pounds, the one-piece aluminum towable can be pulled by almost any vehicle on the road today”.
Owners, Dave and Sherry Christensen, say they will target being with us at the Spring Fling. Then we’ll all have a chance to see this great looking trailer.
MIDWINTER POTLUCK A GREAT SUCCESS
No one went away hungry!! In fact, Bob Book and Jack Jacobson, our hosts for this second annual potluck were begging us to go back for seconds and thirds. One guy on his first time through glommed onto a piece of the delicious apple pie made by Peggy Birley. He didn’t think it would last for seconds!
The location was in a building on the grounds of the Veterans Memorial Park in Auburn, Washington. Our event was marked with a teardrop-shaped sandwich board on the main street. Congratulations to our hosts for finding a great place with inside restrooms and plenty of tables and chairs for all. Two banquet-style tables were loaded with many main dishes and desserts. A display table held all sorts of memories in the form of pictures and notebooks of teardrop gatherings and projects.
When the final count was made, we were a total of 32 TOW affiliates eating dinner. Everybody had a chance to introduce themselves. Announcements were made of upcoming gathering events for the summer. See the calendar on the last page for details.
Ron and Peggy Hoffer have been affiliates for a long, long time as teardrop wannabes. Last year, Ron started building teardrops and is working on his third TD to be done in time for the Spring Fling. His first two teardrops went to friends. They are Rick and Ida Elbey, and Bob Kriedenman who were also at the potluck.
. Another guest couple was Tom and Dena Pitts who brought their Kenskill-style teardrop that is in the process of being restored. They were looking for advise and suggestions for the galley cabinets.
Ed and Linda Kelson brought a recently acquired vintage walk-in camp trailer. It’s a 15-foot long 1948 Aeroflite. It’s in stellar shape and has a beautiful vintage look to it. The wood paneling is absolutely beautiful for a trailer that old. It has been well taken care of for something 56 years old.
Two rides of note were present. Matt Basher drove an all-original 1950’s Packard. The other vintage car was a 1953 Chevrolet four-door street rod that was towing the teardrop for Elbeys.
WEB SITE FOR TEARDROPPERS TO ADVERTIZE THEIR TRAILERS
I ran into an old friend at the Portland Roadster Show that has an interesting deal for all us teardroppers. It has to do with selling our trailers or for someplace to look for a teardrop trailer that’s for sale.
Three years ago, Jim and Patsy Haggerty established a business called Northwest Classic Auto Mall. Their main activity is selling 1980 and older cars. They’ve had a number of people who have listed their street rods for sale. Some came with teardrop trailers that were for sell too. They don’t have a “Trailer” section, but have put a number of teardrops as well as car haulers in their “Parts” section.
Thousands of people interested in classic cars are reached every month on their site. Lots of them pull teardrop trailers. For $7.50 they will advertise your trailer (with picture) for six-months. Any time during the term of the ad, if you want to make any changes, such as price adjustments, additional forgotten features or even a new phone number, they will make the change for free.
There was a teardrop advertised during the month of the Portland Roaster Show.. Call up www.northwestclassicautomall.com for a look-see or more information about advertising your car of teardrop. Their phone number is 503-723-9552.
A GREAT MODEL OF A TEARDROP TRAILER
The Message Board alerted us that there was a model teardrop for sale on e-bay. When called up, we saw that the TD came with a model car. In tracking down the builder, we found that it was a model maker in Pendleton, Oregon. His name is John and he wrote us:
“The teardrop that was on e-bay was 1/64 scale, the car pulling it was a custom Hotwheel. This one (the TD) didn't have anything that opened up, but that could be done, and in a larger scale, like 1/25, one could be very detailed!!! Yes, I do a lot of model shows, Hotwheel conventions, have won over 100 awards and have had cars featured in five model magazines so far!!! That little trailer was done on a dare. The response to it was very overwhelming!!! I do plan to do more, and in different styles too.”
AN INTERNATIONAL TEARDROP GATHERING NEXT YEAR
We’re all encouraged to mark our next year’s calendars for June 23rd to 26th. Planning is underway for a teardrop gathering with international overtones. It’s international because trailers from Canada and Mexico will join us in Minden, Nebraska for this event. Rumors are that some Australians will be with us too. For them it’s the fly, rent and drive trip.
Minden is the home of Pioneer Village. Their campground is across the road from the historical grounds that’s the largest collection of Americana anywhere. Historical building with antique cars and airplanes are everywhere. Many 100 anniversary displays celebrate such things as the Wright Brother’s first flight and the founding of the Ford Motor Company.
Teardroppers Ken and Marty Masden tell us that it’s similar to Williamsburg, Virginia where you see people walking about in period dress, many practicing their craft of bygone years.
Nebraska was selected because it’s close to the geographical center of the USA. Minden is just 12 miles south of the I-80 freeway at Exit 279. Pioneer Village can be called up on the web at www.pioneervillage.com.
Getting there will be a trip in itself for many. A planning campout is planned for this coming June 18th to 20th in Monterey, California. Teardroppers can help plot out a caravan route to Nebraska. Word has it that most of it will be on back roads to see attractions and sites along the way. The Monterey gig is called the “West Coast Warm Up”. To get more information, you can call up the universal teardrop web site www.teardrops.net and tag Destinations.
The international event is being organized by fellow teardropper George Thornton. It will involve many teardroppers working on the various committees needed for an event of this scale. Stay tuned for more information by logging onto the official web site that’s linked to www.teardrops.net.
TIME FOR SNIPPETS
1. Harmon’s Coca Cola themed Ben Roy TD for sale. 503-774-7962 & Rchieftan@aol.com
2. Scadabout tear for sale in B.C. Canada. 604-796-0001 & email@example.com
3. Pat Ewing’s ’51 Comet 14-ft camp trailer at $3500. 360-966-4253 & firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Pat Ewing’s homebuilt rear-entry teardrop with canvas attached room for sale at $2500.
5. Primed/undercoated steel fenders for sale. 360-834-9593 & email@example.com
6. Don Ferdinand’s “The Call of the Wild” teardrop plans for sale at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Bill/Cindy Bert moved to Rosamond, Cal. 661-256-0570 & email@example.com
8. Rumors are that Northwest Teardroppers will have ROAST PIG at Champoeg 2004.
9. Kathy Gant is heading up the 2004 Portland Expo RV show TD/vintage trailer display.
10. The Teardrop Fix-It-Shop has moved to Montana. It’s still www.teardropparts.com.
11. Will there be a teardrop caravan from the Pacific Northwest to Minden, Nebraska??
12. Ed Kelson has cast aluminum plaques being made featuring the TOW car/trailer logo.