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campbell_karen_kenny

I guess my love of travel sprang for my childhood as a military brat. Born in Germany, lived from Georgia to Massachusetts then graduated high school in Tokyo, Japan class of 1972. After traveling Asia for a year, I flew to Albuquerque, NM to visit my family where my parents had retired. I guess the area agreed with me too, because I have made the Duke City my home.

Attended trade school here, received a degree in Fashion Merchandising, (what was I thinking) there was no work here in that industry, although now, I use that color wheel in planning the interiors of all my trailers, (LOL) so I started working in the real estate world. Started off as an apprentice, while obtaining my license and quickly I began working with buyers and sellers. Found my specialty was in property management and open my own firm handling other people’s homes. Somewhere along the line, I found time to start flipping homes, (before home flipping was cool), and decided to sell out the property management and become a full time flipper. Real Estate has been good to me over the years, and after several dozen homes rehabbed, I hung up the hammer a few years ago.

In 2002 life turned the corner and I shortly found that trailers were soon in my future. In that period, I was struggling through a long torrid divorce and started internet dating. On the web, I met my now husband Kenny, retired from Sandia National Labs. We were married on Valentines day, one year later, standing in the bed of his 1967 Ford 4×4, that is now undergoing a total rebuild to be our new trailer toater. Kenny and I had many common interests, including hot rods and collector cars. Now, here is where the good part starts. One day Kenny comes home from visiting a friend’s junk yard (he is a car guy) and asked what I though about buying a small little trailer for behind our 1957 Ford. I say “let’s buy it!”. Well, after $700.00 and 5 quarts of stripper for graffiti removal, we had our first trailer. The inside was full of rat’s nests and spiders, so with a respirator on my face, bug spray in one hand and Clorox in the other, our 1954 Aloha was reborn.

Now, our hotrodding friends Larry and Patsy Hill loved our idea of this accessory for cars, and jumped at buying the second trailer we found a 1962 Tepee. With both of us now owning trailers and fixing them up, we thought what fun it would be to really use and tow them somewhere. Not finding any other trailer heads around, one night in November 2003 while sipping down a few, we co-formed the Southwest Vintage Camper Association. We attended our first rally with the Shasta group, and promoted at least, two annual rallies there after, trying to have to as much trailer fun as possible.

For the next five years, I think, Kenny and I bought up every cool trailer we could find. He would fix the broken water lines, electrical, or mechanical stuff and I would clean, reupholsters, refurbish or decorate. Then some newbie or trailer friend would want to purchase our latest find, so we would start the process all over. We have put 23 trailers back on the road and in use: a 48 Aero Flite, 69 Shasta Compact, ’72 Shasta 1400, ’68 Fleetwing, ’59 Boles Aero, ‘5? Traveler by Airstream, ’62 Streamline Duke, ’59 Spartan and the list goes on.

In 2008, I formed the Classic Campers of New Mexico, a Yahoo group, http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/ClassicCampersofNewMexico/ to unite everyone interested in vintage campers/trailers locally. We plan on taking our ’75 Silver Streak, 30 ft, on the road to many TCT events, behind that old ’67 Ford. For local use we have our ’57 Mobile Scout 13’ that looks great behind our 1957 Ford Tudor.

What do we do for fun? Come to our diamond in the desert lake, known as Elephant Butte, where we have 1956 Spartan Imperial Mansion trailer completely furnished and equipped in original 1950s’ styling. Spend the night in a total step back in time, encapsulated in the silver aluminum skin. Apart from cars, trailers and camping, we love the lake, dancing, movies, computers, junk hunting, traveling, shooting, family/friends, and enjoying each new day.

Thank you for asking me to apart of the Tin Can Tourist and your SW TCT Rep.

Sincerely,

Karen Swafford-Campbell

campbell_karen_kenny.txt · Last modified: 2013/06/29 20:23 (external edit)