Tin Can Tourists Vintage Trailer Club Rolls into Little Orange Creek Nature Park in Hawthorne

A group of automobile-camping enthusiasts known as “Tin Can Tourists” formalized in 1919 with a goal to “to unite fraternally all autocampers.” This historic club, once the domain of travelers in the early who drove Model T Fords and tented along the sides of Florida’s two-lane roads, represents the very beginnings of our nation’s $13-billion-dollar recreational vehicle industry. Archer and Gainesville were homes to original campsites, with the Gainesville location estimated to be at the current home of UF Innovate | The Hub.

The Vintage Trailer and Motor Coach Club will hold an Open House on March 23, 2019 from 10am to 3pm at Little Orange Creek Nature Park in Hawthorne, Florida, with a gate fee of $4 per person.

“Our tour of vintage campers is a reminder of a simpler time and place,” said Forrest Bone, the club’s Royal Chief. “Our members are eager to display their own personal campers and motor coaches, ranging in age from the 1940’s to the 1970’s. Each one is a beautiful example of America’s love affair with the emerging concept of leisure time, family recreation, and freedom on the open road”.

“Whether it’s an Airstream, an Airfloat, an Ace, or an Aristocrat, our members absolutely love showing off their trailers”, said TCT member Alex Alexander from DeFuniak Springs, Florida. “During the tour, many of us display vintage luggage, camping items, tools, and appliances along with our campers. There are also lots of classic tow vehicles on display, often triggering nostalgic memories of past family holidays.”

The vintage trailers and coaches can be toured during this one-day event. It’s well worth the drive to see these adorable vintage campers and meet the people who have lovingly restored them to be usable, beautiful and fit their needs. But be forewarned, visitors may leave this event with a firm urge to start searching for their own piece of vintage camping history!

Learn more about the history of Tin Can Tourists at 

Old image from around 1920 of a large sign reading "Tin Can Tourist Camp, Gainesville, FL"
Tin Can Tourist Camp in Gainesville, FL from State of Florida Archives
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