Grandparents Travel – Summary

As noted in earlier posts, Malcolm has been digging through his grandmother’s journals and logging his grandparents’ travels through the years. Here are a few interesting summary items about their full-time adventures (some may be subject to change):

They brought home their first Airstream on May 13, 1970. They headed out on their first trip a couple weeks later on May 29th.

They went through five tow vehicles – a 1970 Olds 88, a circa 1973 International Harvester Travelall (like a Suburban), a 1975 International Harvester Travelall, a 1980’s Chevrolet Suburban and a 1990’s Chevrolet Suburban.

They had two different Airstream trailers – a 1970 model 27′ trailer and a 1977 model 31′ trailer.

They returned to Florida in the fall of 1992 and sold their Suburban and Airstream, thus ending their travel trailer days. By that time, my grandfather was 85 and grandmother was 83.

They would generally travel from approximately April to October of each year and spend the remainder of the year in Orange Harbor Mobile Home Park in Ft. Myers, Florida. In 1982 or 1983, they bought a mobile home in the park and would only live in the Airstream when traveling.

On June 22, 1977, while traveling west through Nebraska, a tractor-trailer truck passed my grandparents traveling at a very high rate of speed. My grandmother was driving at the time and the buffeting wind from the passing truck caught her off-guard. She over-corrected, the trailer started sliding off the roadway, the entire unit (truck and trailer) did a 180 spin, then gently rolled over onto its top before sliding to a stop on the interstate.

Nobody was hurt, but the truck (the first Travelall) and the trailer (the 27′ one) were both totalled. My uncle, who worked for International Harvester at the time, found another Travelall for them in Buffalo, NY and they found their replacement Airstream a couple months later. They were back on the road in September of that year.

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