Tucked into the heart of the Willamette Valley’s wine country, The Vintages Trailer Resort is a delightful, updated, mid-century throwback to one of the best parts of your parents’ or grandparents’ childhood summer vacations.
The charming resort, alongside Highway 18 in Dayton, is located amidst some 300 lush wineries, the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum and the charming towns of Dayton, Dundee and McMinnville.
The resort began in 2014 with eight retro trailers painstakingly restored by Bend-based FlyteCamp. The menagerie of colorful vintage trailers are a virtual “fruit basket,” says resort manager Therese Straight, nestled inside the tree-dotted, 14-acre Willamette Wine Country RV Park.
The collection of now 31 trailers, flanked by flamingoes and vintage cruiser bikes, has been an instant hit with the traveling public since opening day. Trailer options range from a 1947 Spartan Manor – a smaller airstream-style trailer – to a “newer,” white-and-buttercream-striped 1965 Boles Aero boasting one of the bluest suede couches west of the Mississippi.
“The trailers are very timeless and very nostalgic. We get lots of feedback, which makes our job a lot of fun,” she says, noting that the trailers are kept “as historically correct as possible” while maintaining a certain level of comfort.
“We want everyone to enjoy the vintage trailers and at the same time we want them to be comfortable while they’re staying with us,” says Straight. To that end, each uniquely decorated trailer has its own driveway, complimentary cruiser bikes, air conditioning, a propane grill, pour-over coffee systems, flat screen TVs and high-speed internet.
Choosing a trailer, Straight says, is the hardest – and best – part of visiting The Vintages. A guest favorite is the 1947 Spartan with an open floor plan, comfortable queen size bed and western motif with bold red countertops and an overstuffed brown leather loveseat.
“It’s our oldest trailer but it’s nice and big. You can walk all the way around the queen size bed, which is very comfortable. It looks like an old silver bullet and has that mid-century modern look. It’s a very rare trailer,” Straight says.
The pint-sized silver Neutron “Couples Edition” is a pod-style camper that sleeps two adults and offers enough space for a full-size soaker tub and an L-shaped vinyl avocado-colored bench surrounding a cozy dining nook.
The 1953 Vagabond M31 is one of the park’s larger trailers with a distinct “breadbox” shape, floor-to-ceiling windows and a bold blue paint job. The Vagabond is suitable for families traveling with youngsters or couples looking for extra space.
The 1954 Anderson 315 TB was considered top of the line in the 1950s and has claimed the distinction of being one of the resort’s flagship trailers with its teal and chrome exterior, crisp white appliances and chrome-gray-and-teal interior.
Project developer James Piper, who helped create the resort for investment company SIMA, says it has transformed from a property geared at increasing lodging options to a fun and quirky destination in its own right.
“A lot of people show up because of memories they have of family vacations in their parents’ old camper trailers and they just absolutely love it,” says Piper. “It’s a fun way to make new memories with something they remember from their childhood.
Straight adds, “Nowadays, people are hopping on a plane and going to Mexico or Hawaii. These trailers remind them of a time when families piled into their car, took a weeklong road trip and went to places like the Grand Canyon.”
Whether you’re drawn to the inviting retro trailers, the bright pink flamingos or the potential of riding an old cruiser bike to the nearest vineyard, the possibilities at The Vintages are truly timeless.