Friday, June 29, 2012

Vintage Trailer Restoration - #2

We really want to go camping, but our trailer still has a long way to go.

So in order to inspire us to work on it faster I have made us a reservation at Yellowstone in August.

And by August, it's going to be as cute as can be!

But we really have our work cut out for us.

It has been fun, and exhausting!
But it will be worth it in the end I think.

I anticipate many a happy camping trip with a bright eyed well rested mom (me).

Well rested because I don't have to sleep on a crappy air mattress staring at the top of the tent just waiting, (and shivering) and waiting, and WAITING for the sun to rise so I can get up.

Am I the only mom who dreads camping for this reason? Don't leave me hangin here ladies!

And I will also be happy because I get to camp in cuteness - meaning the cute trailer, not myself (hehe).
I don't bring make-up or cute clothes when I camp, so I am definitely not the cute one.
Cut off sweats, a bandana over my hair and dirt under my nails.
Have I scared you all away from wanting to camp with me?

And bonus! It is much less expensive to go vintage so maybe we can actually afford to go camping.

We tore out the carpet (5 layers) to reveal cool vintage linoleum floors.... and a sheet of plywood???

The plywood extends all the way under that bench.
We don't want to tear out the bench at this time and reveal all of the surprises we
may find in doing that, (yuckso, we will have to work with the plywood.

We tore out the ceiling pannel that had a lot of water damage, reframed it and got a new skylight.

And we drove all over the valley looking for birch paneling we could replace it with...
No luck. So we went with the cheap option and we will have to paint the whole inside.

It is really a shame because the rest of the paneling on the ceiling is in pretty good shape.

But the paneling on the walls is not.
A lot of is just being held together by paint. The wood is really old and brittle.
And parts of it have already been replaced with various mis-matched panels anyway.

You really can't imagine how gross 60 years of dust, spider webs and dry rot can be.

My plan?


We just cannot replace the paneling right now.

Paintable wallpaper.

It has to be done.

All of you awesome trailer restoration pro's are shaking your head at me.

And I would love to tear this trailer down to it's bones and start from scratch, but we have a budget.
And a time frame (I would like to be able to actually go camping in it! *wink*).
The whole point of getting an older trailer was not to spend a lot of money.

So we need to go the affordable and time-saving route for now but maybe down the road we can
fix things up with more attention to the awesome vintage details.

The hubs tore into the cabinets and found out why they were leaning.

The very old piece of wood that the oven was resting on had snapped in half.

He also found out that someone had fixed the sink by duct-taping a water bottle to the drain and to the drain hose. Gotta love duct tape!

The wood holding up the oven snapping in two was kind of a big deal.

This caused the surprisingly heavy oven to fall backwards, which bowed the wall of the trailer and made the cabinets crooked. Which was bad because the icebox would not close without a great deal of coercion.
So operation oven stabilization took place. 

We will have to replace the sides of the cabinets because the original sides will no longer fit,
but at least I can shut the ice box now!

Yay for small victories!

The ice box needed some insulation.
The original insulation was made of an unrecognizable substance...
The hubs thinks it was probably asbestos. YIKES!
We put on some gloves and masks and prepared to wrestle with it, but it just lifted right out easy-peasy. 

I picked up a sheet of 1/2 inch styrofoam insulation to wrap the fridge in because
I wanted to be able to really layer it up.

I put between 2 and 5 layers of styrofoam insulation around the icebox.
5 layers on the side next to the oven and 2-4 layers everywhere else I could reach.

Hopefully that will help keep our food cool.

Things are coming along, I've made a list of something to get done on this every day.

The kids have been great about helping me.
The hubs has been needed elsewhere
(our washing machine broke and some of our front sprinklers too.)
so he hasn't been helping as much as he would like too.

But he won't get a break for much longer because he is in charge of the outside.
He's an airplane sheet metal mechanic so fixing up the outside of this baby should be right up his alley.

August is only a month away!

Supplies - Lowe's and our local Camper Repair Shop
More supplies - Vintage Trailer Supply



m @ random musings said...

I think you guys are nuts! (in a good way) can't wait to see how it turns out :-)

MuseBootsi said...

I am loving reading about your restoration! We would be in the same boat (trailer?) as you. Buy something to fix up, do it on the cheap and keep with the vintage.

I'm making mental notes and preparing to steal ideas. Can't wait to see the finished trailer!


Ramblings of a Southern Girl ~ Rhonda G said...

Can't wait to see it finished! Hope you'll keep us posted of your progress! She's a cutie!!! :)

Peggy said...

Looks like lots of hard work but so worth it in the end! I can't wait to see more pics.

Anonymous said...


I like your blog! We jut bought a 1969 Aristocrat 17' trailer. I was very excited until I got it home and realized it has more water damage then we expected. Also the exterior is so ugly it must be dealt with right away or our neighbors will run us out of town :) The good news is that the previous owners have been camping in it every year so I think just some sprucing will get it camp ready fairly quickly. I hope... I think I am going to paint the water damage for now and strip the paint off the trailer. My husband wants to tear out our paneling but from what I am reading you need to take the outside off to do it properly, there goes camping if that happens. I am hoping the trailer will look better if it's just aluminum and not chipped, old painted yuck... Anyway any other ideas you have for the fast track restore please share.

Jes Streng said...

"the valley looking for birch paneling we could replace it with...
No luck. So we went with the cheap option and we will have to paint the whole inside"

I'm having to repaint most of the interior of my '57 Roamer due to a previous bad paint job, and also need to replace a chunk - what kind of board did you use to replace the ceiling piece? I'm trying to figure out what would work best to sister into the existing panels.

Medryn Kilpatrick said...

I second this question... for these types of blogs it's really helpful if you actually give the information of the materials you used... "the cheap option" which is ???? Also, replying to the comments and questions on your blog and being interactive really is the icing on the cake for a good blog.


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