Travel Trailers of a

Different Time

Pauline Nevins  July 27, 2020 - Auburn Journal

 

 

I stood with my back to the garage door and watched our travel trailer slowly being driven down the driveway and out of the gate by a lovely couple from Marysville. We were the original owners of the 2005 camper with the menacing name of “Prowler” scrawled in large letters over the face of an amiable tiger.

My husband, Jim, was more sorry to see the trailer go than I. He, like his late father, has difficulty letting go of things. I once told my mother-in-law she and I need never worry that our husbands would one day trade us in.

Jim and his family have a long and loving relationship with camping trailers. Many summers they’d haul a tiny Aristocrat trailer up winding Highway 50 to an open field in Hope Valley. The men (my husband, his father and grandfather), would go fishing in the trout streams, and the women (my mother-in-law and I) would loll outside the trailer waiting for the men to return and for the fish fry to begin.

Jim’s French Basque grandfather, lovingly called “Poppa” by all, emigrated from the Pyrenees at age 16. He introduced the family to the camping area having driven herds of sheep from Clements in the San Joaquin Valley to grazing land in the foothills.

My early experience with travel trailers was different. My first home as a teenage mother and wife – in that order – was a caravan, the British word for travel trailers that didn’t travel. They were mostly inexpensive sea-side holiday lodging rented by young families. Or, as in my first home, parked in a lido in Wilby, a village a few miles from my mother’s house.