1962 J.C. Higgins Camper
I found this 1962 J.C. Higgins camper trailer at one of the VW swap meets I go to. It’s made of mostly aluminum so no rust. J.C. Higgins was actually a brand sold by the Sears Roebuck Catalog. The original manufacturer was Apache who later mas produced the more recognizable Popup campers you see today. But these grey aluminum beauties were some of the original trailer campers produced.
A little refurbishing on the wiring and lights and we are road legal! The camper came with a full canvas tent that covers the trailer and extends about 6 feet to over to one side.
The canvas on the floor / bottom needs to be replaced and I haven’t quite talked my wife into that project but more to come…
Since someone asked for an update, here it is!
So we have used this old girl on many camping trips since last we spoke. But before we left, i spend some quality time cleaning up her aluminum. Using different grades of polishing compound and a buffing attachment to my drill, I was able to bring back the original mirror finish on the camper.
Purchased the compound at “Runnings”
We primarily use the camper for storage when camping which has 4 large compartments 2 on each side. Also added my families original igloo cooler.
We did actually put up the tent one night and used an inflatable bed, but i never made it through the night and ended up back in the warm quiet VW bus.
Last season, i actually added Solar panels from Harbor Freight to the top which power two deep cycle batteries. This could power our camp for a week or so, but mainly used for cool lights around the camp.
New tires were also purchased and back spare painted.
New wiring was added for lights / inspection
More to come!
Sunday Morning we set out at 2pm. Rounding up my wife sometimes takes a little while. Drive was great, sunny and fall conditions the whole trip, 3 hours or so. We arrived Sunday night around 5pm or so and proceeded to the nearest Indian Reservation grocery store. Smokes every block! Duty free. We needed some provisions such as Eggs, Bacon, Wood, tomahocs, teepee, etc.Monday! We hit the trails. Our cabin was at the Summit of the state park and was next to the Mountain Biking / Cross Country Skiing center. The hills were really fricking rockin’ jockin’. Here is a little glimpse of what we saw.Dave coming up hill
I’ve always wanted to visit the famous Algonquin Provincial Park. I had a few weeks vacation due me and my wife Amy was able to get the same week off. So, I spent some time researching the best place to go camping and found the following site useful http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/ Based on a few different sources, Lake of Two Rivers Campground was recommended and was the oldest and most established parts of the Park.
Our plan was in effect! We would leave Monday June 2, 2008 and travel up north to Algonquin Provincial Park for a week of camping. Due to some minor problems with our current Coleman 8 person tent (hole) we needed to buy a new one. We looked for days and hours online to find the best family tent for our excursion. Eureka 8 person for $350, Kelky $400 but finally decided to bite the bullet and purchase the $29 Hillary Tent from Sears on Clearance!
So we took off from Cleveland at 12 pm on Monday using our faithful GPS to guide us. I knew my Garmin Nuvi 200 would only get us to Niagara Falls but technology is so comforting sometimes…
The weather was great and the hours went by quick. We reached the Canadian border sometime around 3:30pm and dealt the the strick Canadian customs. “Where are you going? For how long? Go ahead. After that, TORONTO. Let me just say that I’ve been to quit a few cities in my days on this earth and I would say Toronto is on the top of the “Worst traffic in the World” list. We kept up travelling at 130+km/hr weaving in and out of beat up Le Shoppe bread trucks and various maintenance vehicles. Top if off with a 3 hour traffic jam fortunately going the other way but warning us for the return trip.
After that, the beauty of Ontario begins to increase with every kilometer. (After Hamilton) 3+ hours after Toronto, we started to enter obvious camping and canoeing country. Every other store was a wilderness outfitter or canoe rental. A few more miles and we passed a young gentlemen with what we thought was a costume of sorts. This costume turned out to be a Mosquito Net suite which we laughed at and drove on.
Finally Alqonquin Park Gates ahead of us. Hours of operation 6am-6pm and it was 7:30pm. For some reason there was someone there that fielded our questions and pointed us in the right direction. As we walked from our air condition SUV to the Welcome center, we were amused at the amount and voraciousness of the bug life there.