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Step into some vintage RVs at the Tin Can Exhibit

The Tin Can Tourists came about with the creation of the Dixie Highway, the first road that ran from Detroit all the way to Miami.

TAMPA, Fla. — There are a lot of ways to travel. You can fly, drive or hook up an RV and really get a chance to explore.

Florida has been a popular tourist destination when it comes to families traveling in RVs dating all the way back to World War I.

And this weekend, you can step into some of those vintage RVs at the Tin Can Exhibit on Main Street in Bartow.

The Tin Can Tourists came about with the creation of the Dixie Highway, the first road that ran from Detroit all the way to Miami.

After World War I, it was really a place to take a vacation. With the sadness of the war, it was a very family-oriented period, and they had some money and bought these campers to travel.

Families were hitting the road and they needed a place to stop. So, in Tampa, you see the founding of the Tin Can Association. 

It's where people came across the country to Florida and camped out in their cars and RVs and visited places like Bock Towers, Wonder house, Mystery House, Cypress Gardens. Some even claim the high traffic that came through was probably the reason Disney is where it is today.  

There’s an exhibit people can visit any time of year at the Polk County History Center that got started back in 2015. 

To complement its history, the Polk County History Center teamed up with Tin Can to invite anyone with a vintage trailer to set up near the museum on Saturday and Sunday.

Since the start of the COVID-19 era, there’s been a rise in the use of campers. RV sales are up 40 percent since the pandemic. 

Polk County has opened two new RV-friendly campsites in Resort at Canopy Oaks and Cabana Club RV Resort in addition to the historic Camp Mack, now a Guy Harvey Resort.