Tin Can Tourists Convene in Florida RV Park

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January 28, 2011 by   4 Comments

Tim Heintz might still be looking for a wife, but in the meantime, he has given his heart — as well as his time and his cash — to Rosie the Riveted.

“That’s what I call my 1950 Spartenette trailer,” said Heintz, from Tallahassee, Fla. “It was built by the Spartan Aircraft Co. like they build airplanes, so everything was riveted.”

Heintz is one of the dozens of Tin Can Tourists who are pulling their vintage campers into Cedar Key, Fla., this weekend for their fifth annual gathering in the island city, the Gainesville Sun reported.

On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the restored and refurbished campers built between the 1940s and the 1970s will be open for public tours at no charge. The campers are parked at the Sunset Isle RV Park on State Road 24.

Heintz, an architect by training and a self-proclaimed vintage trailer addict since his college days, said his Spartenette had been abandoned for 40 years when he took possession of it several years ago. “When it was built in 1950, it cost $4,995, or about what two houses would have cost back then,” Heintz said.

A few spots over from where Heintz set up his trailer was a gleaming 1962 Globe Trotter Airstream trailer that Hunt Jones pulls with a restored 1955 GMC pickup. Jones, from New Jersey and Bradenton, said the advantage of a trailer built of aircraft aluminum is that it will not rot like wood. But he conceded that rust can be a constant threat, especially when parked next to salt water like his trailer is this weekend. He buffs or polishes the classic trailer at least five times a year, he said, and each time it takes about a week.

So why haul an aluminum trailer to a saltwater environment like Cedar Key for a weekend every winter?

“This place is great — it’s kind of lost in the 1950s,” Hunt said. “That works for us.”

Buzz up!

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4 Responses to “Tin Can Tourists Convene in Florida RV Park”

  1. Tim Heath on January 28th, 2011 2:33 pm

    Nice story but it would be better with pictures…

  2. joe on January 31st, 2011 12:22 pm

    Pictures – visit the YOUTUBE with (only a small fraction) about the event.

  3. Steve Bibler on January 31st, 2011 1:11 pm

    Thanks for the tip, Joe. That video is now posted on our website!

  4. joe on February 1st, 2011 12:19 pm

    THANK YOU! I’m excited to be there. Sunset Isle RV Park really is that “1971” feeling I’ve been looking for. The park’s fabulous website is – well worth a look.