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View classic campers and motor coaches in Estero

October 31, 2018
By MEGHAN BRADBURY ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The public is invited to step back in time while experiencing what older campers and motor coaches looked like in the 1940s to 1970s in Estero.

Tin Can Tourist Royal Chief Forrest Bone said the club was established around Ybor City in 1919, which was the world's first automotive travel club in Model T's at the time.

"We did a trademark search to make sure we were not stepping on an existing group," he said, which resulted in them finding out the club went out of existence in the mid 1980s.

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A renewal gathering was held in 1998, about 32 miles outside of Detroit, Michigan.

"We had 21 trailers show up. Since then the growth has been phenomenal," Bone said. "We have well over 200 members, registered campers in the group, in Florida. Nationally we have about 2,200."

In 2019, Tin Can Tourist will be celebrating their centennial anniversary with a year long celebration.

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The club is holding a Vintage Trailer and Motor Coach Gathering from Nov. 1, through Nov. 4, with an open house for the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Koreshan State Park, 3800 Corkscrew Road, Estero. Although there is no admission fee for the open house, individuals have to pay for the park's parking.

The members of the club will have their own personal campers and motor coaches on display, ranging from the 1940s to 1970s. Bone said due to limited sites, 20 will be on display.

He said when they first started the open house they had to encourage people to step inside the campers and coaches to get the full effect of what the older trailers are like.

"Whether it's an Airstream, an Airfloat, an Ace, or an Aristocrat, our members absolutely love showing off their trailers," TCT member Alex Alexander from DeFuniak Springs, Florida, said in a prepared statement. "During the tour, many of us display vintage luggage, camping items, tools, and appliances along with our campers."



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