A pair of adventurers through and through, residents Chuck and Toni Miltenberger, both 75, have been sharing their love for travel with each other for more than 55 years.
“Our honeymoon in 1963 was taken in a tent,” Toni Miltenberger said. Over the last six decades, the couple has grown together and restored multiple old historic trailers.
They currently have three trailers: a 1950 Westcraft Coronado Pollman, a 1941 Westcraft and a 1936 Airstream Silver Cloud.
Their Silver Cloud has the original tag emblem, produced as trailer No.199 — one of the oldest original Airstreams still in use. The trailer was originally found by Sue Murphy from “Iowa Boys,” once located in the San Fernando Valley. The Miltenbergers got the trailer when “Iowa Boys” closed.
“I used to work on trailers,” Chuck Miltenberger said. “She had this trailer for a long time.”
“Sue and Chuck knew its historical value,” Toni Miltenberger said. “When Chuck came home with it, he was smiling from ear to ear.”
It took Toni years to see its historical beauty, as the trailer sat on their property before being restored.
“Somewhere along the line, I started doing historical research and fell in love with it,” she said.
When they first brought the trailer home, it was brown and white with a metallic frame.
“I knew it was one of the oldest trailers around,” Chuck Miltenberger said. “I’d never seen another one.”
Not knowing if it was worth restoring, Chuck pulled the metal off, revealing the original wood and masonite painted blue and white.
“It was because of the history, I had to restore it,” he said.
They decided to restore it to the original plans.
“We tried to keep it as original as we could,” Toni Miltenberger said.
During their restoration, about 70 percent of the cabinet material was saved and the door faces, closet, front bed frames, trim, hardware and everything else is original, they said.
Since they restored it in 2017, they’ve made about a half-dozen trips, to rallies and the Airstream International meet-up in Oregon.
“The minute you show up, people are interested,” Toni Miltenberger said about traveling. “It’s a hobby and it’s a lot of fun. You meet interesting people around the U.S.”
People are interested in the history and the story and while traveling they pull their 1936 Airstream Silver Cloud with their blue 1937 Chrysler Airflow — which is also a classic in its own right.
The first time traveling in their newly restored Airstream was spontaneous, they said. “We were just going to join our friends in Lake Cachuma.”
They were driving their Chrysler and thought, “We gotta practice driving this for the Oregon trip.”
So they hooked it up and went on their way to meet friends for lunch.
“They convinced us to stay overnight,” they said.
Today the Miltenbergers travel one to two times a month, depending on the season.
They travel in all their trailers and continue to restore more historic trailers and boats.
“We have always traveled and camped,” Toni Miltenberger said. “We are do-it-yourself kind of people.”