Vermont Man Grows Vintage Trailer Business
Steve Hingtgen of Montpelier, Vt., has already had multiple careers, including serving as a legislator and urban planner. But one of his hobbies, restoring vintage travel trailers, has completely taken over his professional life.
The Rutland Herald reported that Hingtgen is the president of Vintage Trailer Supply, a growing company housed in a small brick storefront on Barre Street in Montpelier. Hingtgen started the company, originally called AirstreamDreams.com, about a decade and a half ago with an architect friend from California who advised him that his little hobby was about to explode in popularity.
At the genesis of the idea for Vintage Trailer Supply, Hingtgen had only seen vintage trailers as a retro way to go camping that would also allow him to bring his dog along happily. The canine friend would be happy and comfortable in the trailer while his owner ran errands to the store or anywhere a dog might be unwelcome. His first purchase, in 1998, was a 1967 Airstream he found in Grand Isle that he began restoring with a intensifying passion, but he kept running into a problem: replacement parts weren’t available.
Not long after getting into vintage trailer ownership for the first time, and complaining vocally about the parts shortage, Hingtgen’s architect friend from Los Angeles made a business proposition: Take your hobby and convert it into a business that will eventually solve your parts problem, and catch onto the nascent stage of a growing wave of interest in vintage trailers.
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