Hi -- I'm Renee O'Brien's mother-in-law... she had e-mailed you about our Heilite camper. Yes, it's been in the Dempsey Reid family of Macomb, Illinois, since about 1952-1953. My father was a college professor and we had our summers free to travel, but not much money. So... we bought a Heilite and took to the campgrounds. We got so much enjoyment from our Heilite that Dad decided to try to sell them to other faculty members. He and I actually gave demonstrations on setting it up -- camp kitchen and all -- in less than 5 minutes. I was 7 years old at the time. I(I don't recall that he sold many, though.) He converted the single wheel to the double wheel a few years after we got it.
Our Heilite has been to every state in the continental United States except for the extreme Northeast. We traveled and camped every summer for about 8-9 years, and then the folks decided to upgrade and buy what they called a "real trailer camper" and I called the "metal box". The poor sad Heilite stayed unused in the shed behind the garage until I married, divorced, and then appropriated the Heilite to take MY two kids camping in Wisconsin's upper peninsula (Door County). The Heilite's probably only been taken out five or six times since the late 60's. Lots of wonderful memories...
Mom and Dad passed on a few years ago and the Heilite was passed on down to the grandkids. We brought it up to the Chicago area (where we live) from downstate Illinois three weeks ago, set it up in the yard to check it out and air it out, and it's now been officially resurrected. It's in great shape... patched in a few places, a snap or two missing, but overall... it's magnificent! My 3-year old grandson and I spent a night out in it and made hand shadow puppets on the tent wall just like my Mom and Dad had done with me and my brother almost 50 years ago. Brought tears to my eyes... smiles to my heart.
My daughter and her family live in the Denver, Colorado area and belong to a camping club (The "Mountain Dewers"). They came out here and drove home with the Heilite trailed behind them. So, the ol' Heilite is on the road once again. You've already received a copy of the brochure/owners manual that we had on file -- my son-in-law, Terry McDonald, sent it to you for your website. I'm going to attempt to attach an old photo to this e-mail -- from a camping trip in 1959. When and if I find more pics, I'll e-mail them to you. Feel free to post them on your website. Glad to hear that there are other "Heiliters" out there.
-- Elizabeth Reid Bauer (e-mail: email@example.com)
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