Time to add another chapter to Tallulah Belle’s archive! The weekend of April 7-9th was the annual spring rally of the Texas Vintage Trailer Club at Wolf Creek Park on Lake Livingston, Texas. Blessed with glorious weather and sunshine, 53 trailers attended, and it was an overload of vintage trailer goodness.
Working on some last minute items to get Tee Girl ready, I moved the water pump from under the sink to the outlet of the freshwater tank under the streetside dinette bench to minimize hydrostatic backpressure, cut and installed hardwood quarter-round moulding on the edges around the flooring, and finally, troubleshooting the on again/off again Marey tankless heater. All of these tasks were finished when April 7, 2017 finally rolled around and we hitched Tallulah Belle to Pearl, the new truck, for the first time.
This was also the first time we had towed the trailer since having the new springs installed in the fall, and we were relieved to find that the increased ride height allowed the trailer to handle dips and bumps without bottoming out. The new truck pulled the trailer without effort, BUT being 2 feet shorter and about a half ton lighter than the 2006 truck, the motion of the trailer influenced the truck MUCH more than we were used to. Driving in sidewinds is especially when you notice the swaying and jouncing. Looks like a set of sway bars/ride control is in the works for our trailer!
Arriving at the park in early afternoon, many of the other trailers were already set up, and the owners enjoying the sunshine. We had a spot between some great friends from last year’s rally, so we got to catch up on happenings in their lives. The three main loops of the park were all filled with vintage trailers, and some lakeside spots a bit further on had several rally attendees as well. A good number of the Shasta reissue trailers were present, and many restored Airflytes, Deluxe, Astrodome and Compact Shastas, but there were some highly creative homebuilt teardrops and customized vintage trailers. The ingenuity and creativity involved in some of these restorations is mind-boggling!
Our favorite was the 1970 Ford F-100 truck with the slide-in camper, and it’s owner had done a magnificent job recreating the original look of the rig.
Friday night arrived and we all gathered at the pavilion for bbq brisket and sausage, beans, coleslaw and dessert, and got to mingle and socialize with other owners. As darkness approached, we clustered around campfires and enjoyed embers and smoke blown into our faces…(doesn’t that always happen?)
Saturday morning dawned radiant and golden, and as we sipped coffee and came to life, an omlette breakfast was set up and prepared by our neighbors. We had never seen “omlettes in a bag” before but it seems to work well. Crack your ingredients into zip-loc baggies and toss them into boiling water for a few moments, they all turn out perfect without burning. Pretty slick way to feed over 100 guests with minimum prep and fuss!
Saturday afternoon was the open house/tour of campers, and this year we were able to actually go to look at some other trailers, thanks to the son of some friends who cat-sit our kitties and allowed us to wander around and play tourist.
One of the benefits of touring the other trailers is getting to see the mods that owners have done, and taking inspiration from them. We have wanted to incorporate a three-flag holder onto our trailer for flags of the US, Texas and Acadiana, and we saw a setup that we are going to copy on our trailer.
The owner of a 1954 Clipper had built a bracket with built in lighting on the hitch of his trailer, and it seems to be just the thing we have been wanting to do ourselves. Seems to be a perfect solution for this application!
Saturday evening rolled around and the potluck dinner was served. Melinda had prepared several dozen ultra deluxe deviled eggs, and there were many iterations of pasta salad, beans, and casserole, so there was plenty of food for everyone.
After dinner, the door prize drawing was held, and then once full dark arrived (?), the cornhole tournament began. It was fun but being able to actually see the target to toss bags at would have made it more enjoyable. Following this, the campfires were lit and we got to share fellowship and Melinda’s trademark Mexican style cinnamon hot cocoa. It doesn’t get any better! Friendships and campfires are the payoff for the whole camping experience!
Sunday morning dawned as another cool beautiful morning, and Melinda set up the Camp Chef stove to prepare eggs benedict breakfast for us and our neighbors. For most of them it was a revelation, getting served a four-star breakfast in a camp setting. You Only Live Once, right?
All too soon it was time to break camp and pack up all the ‘stuff’ that goes with a vintage camper, and to make our way back home again. In this case we were only 60 miles away, but due to idiot drivers on US 59 the trip took us almost 3 hours to traverse those 60 miles. Made it home safely and got Tallulah Belle parked back in her spot, and the trucks unloaded. Why do the really great events have to end so suddenly?
And so with another rally behind us we prepare for the summer camping season, and possible plans to caravan with some other owners to a remote camp destination as well as our annual trip to Fredricksburg. We will update as these events happen. Happy camping!