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GMC Class A motorhome, c. 1973-78, at 2008 Vintage Trailer Rally

GMC Class A motorhome, c. 1973-78, at 2008 Vintage Trailer Rally

Those worried about the future of the recreational vehicle business can pause for a moment this week to celebrate the industry’s beginnings.

The second annual Vintage Trailer Rally, which will be Friday to Sunday (July 31 to Aug. 2) at the South Bend East KOA in Granger, Ind., will display dozens of vintage trailers, according to the South Bend Tribune.

About 35 campers dating back from the early 1950s to the ’80s will be on site. Some of the RVs will include Shastas from the 1950s and ’60s, Avions, Terras and Winnebagos. “It’s a positive event for the RV business,” said Patricia Schenk, one of the organizers. “It shows that people are still camping, and that there was good stuff made here in Elkhart. These things last for one reason: They were built right.”

Owners of the vintage campers will be available for tours throughout the week. Many of the trailers from yesteryear are smaller than the ones on the road today. 

“Back then, a family of four could comfortably fit in a 20-footer,” Schenk said. “Now two people need a 40-footer to be comfortable.”

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Al Hesselbart, RV historian at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in nearby Elkhart, will give a DVD presentation on the history of the business. On Saturday, there will be a swap meet and a local band will play in the evening.

The event is free and open to the public. The campground’s hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.