By Grace Usher
When it comes to camping, some hit the tent while others enjoy the simple amenities of a homestead. When it comes to trailer life, one can experience the best of both worlds. At this year’s Vintage Trailer Campout at Lake Havasu State Park, there are some interesting folks who shared their trailer life stories.
The best part of a mobile trailer is the freedom to go as far as the car can drive. Michele and Gary Schleuning are here this weekend for their first Lake Havasu campout all the way from Deadwood, S.D.
There, the couple owns a campground and has a love of the outdoors. This weekend, they debuted their newest home-on-wheels, Ally Lou Minum. Miss Ally Lou Minum is a 16-foot 1959 Bulls Arrow.
“We had it over a year and worked on it through the winter. I am partial to the old trailers. They have such nostalgia and good quality,” said Michele Schleuning.
This is their second trailer and is almost completely original, including wooden panels, the signature vintage turquoise-powder blue, and refrigerator/icebox.
A common trend among trailer owners is self-restoration of their vessel. For Brooke and Brian, they have made restoration a business. Owners and operators of American Travelers Restoration, the couple is from Hemit, Calif., with a part-time home in Lake Havasu.
Their latest restoration, a 1948 Black Hawk , was given last finishing touches Monday to be displayed for sale this weekend.
With 85-90 percent of the 20-foot trailer being original, the couple put more than 1,000 hours in to the restoration; 300 of those hours focused on the wood paneling alone.
A trailer reflects the personality of the owner. It may be a representation of a different time, a modern twist, or simply eclectic. From Racine, Wis., Terry, an artist, and Hardy, an electrician, first decided they wanted a trailer back in the ‘70s when inspired by the travelers of the Renaissance faires.
In 1990, they had stalled on their dream enough and put their minds together to create their first rolling home, the Wayzalot. Unfortunately, in 2010, the beloved trailer was totaled in an accident so the couple when back to the drawing board to create The Wayzless.
The 22-foot trailer is completely custom built from an empty trailer bed frame. The walls are real wood with a signature green metal roof. All wiring is pre-1930, and the interior walls are lined with treasures galore.
“My artist friend made our illuminated sink, the back window is a mosaic by another friend, and my sister made the other stained glass window. The bathroom sink is from an old train, the kitchen is bordered with yardsticks and train tickets. My friend just made me a pillow with me and my dog on it,” said Terry Evans.
The two travel six months out of the year and spend the rest of the time living in Terry’s art studio in Wisconsin.
Come this weekend to Lake Havasu State Park and visit these three trailers and many more at the 2018 Vintage Trailer Campout. Admission is the State Park daily fee of $3 for an individual or $20 per vehicle. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.