Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Trails - Vintage Camping Part I : The Journey


I had high ambitions to have a Vintage Camping Party for my birthday this year and with the help of my good friends and family, we were able to pull it off!

It took a lot of effort and hard work to just get hitches installed on the two 1960's vehicles we wanted to use to tow our vintage trailers.  Stephanie discovered that U-haul had a pattern to make a hitch for her  '65 For Falcon and placed an order for one well in advance. Then she got the run-around for about a month from U-Haul but two days before the trip they finally came through!  She had a friend install it and do the wiring.

Left: Lucy the 1963 Dodge Dart Wagon aka Diamond in the Rust
Right: Shirley the 1965 Ford Falcon - Pre Trailer Hitches

Hitching my '63 Dodge Dart wagon was a bit harder because there were no existing patterns for it.  I exhausted every possible venue of locating one and finally had to have some talented fellas at Ojai Valley Muffler fabricate one for me.  They got it done the day of our trip and I had my dad do the wiring as my B-day gift!

After all our trials and tribulations with just getting hitches installed, we came up with a new car club...we are now the B*tches with Hitches!  Once we were equipped to tow, we crossed our fingers and prayed that our old jalopies could tow our vintage trailers!

Packing and prep work.  Top off fluids, check air in tires and bring tool kits!
We did a lot of running around town to get everything we needed.  Once back at the house, we prepped the cars and trailers.  We hitched up the Falcon first witch towed the '63 Shasta knock-off trailer (weighing in at about 1,000 lbs).  The Falcon had a transmission upgrade and now sports a truck tranny which made it the better candidate to tow our "big" trailer.

Backing it up.  She's gonna get hitched.

All coupled up and ready to pull!

 But wait!  There was a problem with the trailer lights so we called in a professional, Ray to the rescue!

Ray rewiring our ground so the taillights will operate.  Notice he already has his fishing license on!
Okay, back to the regularly scheduled program

Houston, we have taillights!
Stephanie was all hitched up and now its was my turn.  The tent trailer comes in at a whopping 250 lbs!  We can literally pick it up and move it to the car.  Easiest hook up ever! 

Easy as 1...2...3!
Taillights, check!  Easy to tow, check!
 We hit the road much later than expected (about 8 hours later!) but weren't dissuaded, we were taking this show on the road baby!

From my car, you can see the camper up ahead, totally eclipsing the Falcon.
We headed up in to the hills of Casitas Springs, just before dark.  Once we got to our original campsite, discovered it was totally booked up!  We weren't too discouraged, and headed further up into the hills to Lake Casitas where we were fortunate enough to nab a spot in the "Over Flow" area  right before they shut the gates!

Check out Happy Trails - Vintage Camping Part II : The Destination - Coming Right Up!


  1. Would have loved to see you guys driving!!! Seriously can't wait for the rest of the pics. :)

  2. Yea, happy birthday! 21, right? Those cars/campers look great together

  3. Yea, that's it I'm 21(+11)! Finally old enough to drink and tow old trailers with old cars! :-)

  4. Totally f'in awesome! I wanna go!


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