Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vintage trailer Restoration - The End

So we went camping again with our Ramblin Rose and this time I remembered my good camera.

She is a gem to camp with.

It's so nice to have everything we need, games, cooking supplies, bedding, chairs, first aid etc.
Before, I always would to forget to pack things camping such as, paper towels, knives etc.
Rosie keeps everything we need... except for my good camera hehe.

So this is our finished project!

Our 1957 Honorbuilt Romer.
It took us 5 months to complete, which I must say, is pretty good time.

One of my husbands friends was over and was a little confused as to why
our camper is done up so girly. He kind of thought we should have
used greens and browns and more manly colors in our color scheme.

Greens and browns?!?!!? Gah!

I told him there were two reasons we didn't use "more manly colors".

#1. I bought the paint.

#2. This camper is a woman. "How do you know it's a woman?" he asked.
"Just look at her curves!"I replied with indignation.

He couldn't argue with that.

And truly she would have looked so out of character if she was done up in greens and browns.

I just know she wouldn't be happy about it.

She would probably give us all kinds of trouble instead of being the delightful little gem she is.

Greens and browns! Really, some people have no vision.

I talk like this trailer has a personality. To me she does. 
She and I have spent so much time together we've gotten to know each other.

Like the author of a book knows about the characters they write,
each has it's own personality. It is built in with them.
And you can try, but you cannot change that personality.
If you try and force a change... It just won't work.

That's how I feel about Ramblin Rose.
She told me what color she wanted to be painted.
When I was out shopping her voice would pick my brain and say things like,
"That would be perfect fabric for my windows." or "Oh! Look at that cute potato peeler!"

She wasn't super excited for the diamond plating on her front, because it may have been a little too industrial looking. But she became resigned to it because it was sparkly and shiny,
it would protect her paint and it had the word "diamond" in it.

This is who she is. A sassy, classy, darling of a lady.

And so ladies and gents, I present to you...

Ramblin Rose

There will be A LOT of pictures in this post and I will just write a sentence or two  above the pictures to explain things. But I promise not to ramble on (pun on Ramblin Rose's name ha!).

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I will just let them do most of the talking here ;-)

This is a reproduction I did of an original sticker that was on the front of the trailer.
My hubs very carefully peeled off the cracked & faded original one (he did it before I could get a picture of it, dang it!) and I scanned it into the computer. Then I had to play with it, color in the cracks, and reshape somethings until I was satisfied.

If you are in the trailer restoration biz and would like a sticker like this for your lady
send me an email, I would be happy to hook you up.

I made a few other stickers with her name for the sides and back.
Our Rosie has some pretty bad-to-the-bone body art haha!

Here is the view as you walk in the door.
Above the oven is a propane lantern that is original to the trailer that we will use
if we need bright light inside.
I secured those cute plates to the wall with command velcro strips,
and they have held on perfectly.

Electricity, always a conundrum in these old girls.
We decided we didn't want to worry about electricity, power sources and what-not so we
pulled out the old, bulky light fixtures, covered up the hole with a little wooden disk and stuck one of those battery powered push lights in their place.
These are not bright lights but for basic, teeth brushing
and pajama finding these little push lights are fine.

The icebox holds a lot of stuff, but sadly,
despite the numerous layers of styrofoam insulation I put around it the ice box
does not keep in the cold very well.

Things stay cold enough, but I have to watch it, and I freeze as many food items as possible before we go. Then we put in a milk jug and soda bottle that are full of frozen water on each level and things will stay cold for 2 or 3 days. So I guess thats really not too bad.
We were only were overnight camping here, so we didn't need a whole lot of food.

Sink, countertop, and oven. Rosie's water tank is almost 60 years old so we only use that water for washing dishes. I bring our own drinking water.
Also, I used the elastic looped through an eye hook method (explained later when I talk about how I hung my curtains) for securing the curtains on the top and bottom here so they wouldn't get in the way of cooking etc. Behind the stove is our salt and pepper shakers secured in a little crate with a cute, silk peony. All held in place with double sided velcro ;-)

The sink, icebox and oven are original to the trailer.
As well as the cabinets and drawers, but we did have to re-do the counter top.

Close up of above the stove.

Lets take a peek inside the cupboards.
The original cupboard hardware was still in great condition.
So I was able to re-use it. Lucky me!
I screwed some hooks into a thin board and then screwed it to the cupboard above to
hold our hot-chocolate mugs.

This long shelf holds my mixing bowels, kettle and pots and pans.
The little striped tin on the right hold the matches.

My kids love this, I cut out the match strike strip
and taped it to the bottom for easy match lighting.

This is one of the drawers, I found a few vintage place mats at a thrift store and
I cut them down to fit in the bottom.
My hubs complains that we have better knives here in our trailer then we do in the house, hehe.
Many of the utensils I got at the doller store or thrift shops, but I did splurge on knives.
I just hate slicing potatoes with a crappy knife.
But they weren't too costly either, I found the set for $6 at Ross. 

Here is where we eat and play
These vinyl benches and table are original to the trailer.
The table is a little wonky, but it works.

I love these cute little shelves above the table. We keep our books and games here.
We also keep bread and food that I don't want smashed up on the other side.

Our card games and chess pieces etc are kept in these tins that I found at thrift stores.
I painted them to match, but I should have done a clear top-coat because the paint is scratching.
It adds to the feel though right? *wink*

Here is where we replaced the wood panel on the ceiling.
We also replaced the ceiling-vent.

The curtains have to be one of my favorite things.

Here is a close up.

I should talk about how when we pulled out the windows the old aluminum trim surrounding them got ruined. So I replaced it with wood trim. This was a little pricey, but I like the look. 
I used little cafe rods to hang most of the curtains.

But on the curtains I couldn't find a cafe rod to fit I screwed in an eye hook and ran some elastic through them. This worked just as well as the cafe rods, and it's less expensive.

We need a place to keep our stuff.
This little closet is perfect.

It can hold a surprising amount of stuff.

Here is the back bench, this folds into a bed.

It only looks like a bench while we are driving and setting up.
The rest of the time we prefer it folded out into a bed.
Perfect for afternoon napping.

Lets go back to the outside.
In previous posts I talked about what paint we used and how we fixed some of the aluminum trim.

But I did not talk about Rosie's diamonds.
This diamond plating was a little expensive ($75 at Lowe's) but it's so shiny.
And it helps protect the front from rocks our car tires might throw back.
We've been asked by a few people if we replaced the tongue.
Nope, I painted it with some truck-bed-liner-spray-paint (can all those words be hyphenated?).
It took only about 30 minutes and it looks great.

The hubs figured out how to secure the propane tank on.
He used some steel "L" brackets that had holes in them and then wired the propane tank on.

I put extra weather-stripping around the front door.

We caulked around the windows with silicone.
Not just paintable caulk, but actual silicone because it is supposed to hold up really well.

The hubs kind of slapped it on since he didn't think you would be able to see it because it's clear.
But I wish he would have done a cleaner job since you can see it. 
You can't see it very well here,
but it is holding onto dirt so it will be more noticeable down the road.

I am happy to answer any questions that I did not already address here.
Post a comment or send me an email, you can see my email address on the side bar to the right.

Happy trails to you!

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


Pam from Washington State said...

She is a real doll! Georgeous. You guys did a fantastic job and in 5 months is really impressive. I have lots of questions, but first I want to look again at your beautiful photos and absorb them. I'll send questions via email so you can answer at your leisure. I do know that I would love for you to make me a sticker with my trailer's name (when I finally figure out what it should be.) Beautiful Job!

Jillian McKenzie said...

She look fabulous! Green and brown! eeeeeeeeckgh!

Jill said...

Rach, she is beautiful. You guys did such a good job. Maybe we can move our late night drive way chats into Rosie when the weather gets colder!!! :)

Jill said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jo said...

Your style is awesome! I love your white and wallpapered birch walls. Your Rose has the same kinda homey feel my Holi does. We even used the same blue and rose covered fabric. Hope you have a very enjoyable summer in her! Thanks for sharing your project.

Unknown said...

I have a new Golden Falcon and most of the ceiling needs to be removed. How did you do it and what did replace it with- how much did you tear out?

Anonymous said...

I love her and I'm so proud for you and of you!!! You both encorage me and inspire me to try it myself. I want one for my 40th b'day coming up in Dec. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi! Very cute! We are fixing up our 1965 Shasta and plan to do the work ourselves! For your name stickers, did you use a regular printer sticker paper or something specific for vehicles? Also, what fabric did you use for your pennant flag? Super fun!

JTR said...


catfish said...

Way to go Rachael.

Anonymous said...

Great Job! Thank you for sharing.

Erika said...

Very Nice Job!! It is gorgeous.
The colors are just lovely and bright .
Even though it cost money to fix it up and lots of labor-it's yours and you don't owe a monthly payment on it(best part). Plus it's always a great feeling fixing something up yourself!!!
again, great great job all of you!

Unknown said...

She's so cute! My husband and I are just finishing a redo on a 13' 1982 travel trailer. I can relate to how much time you've put in yours. You did many things we have also had to do. It's kind of overtaken our lives of as late. But we're taking her out next week camping.. You are right. These vintage campers are just so cute! I really enjoyed reading your blog, and finding out someone else did the same things we've been doing.. Reassuring ;o)

Unknown said...

Awesome job. Love your dedication, and eye to detail. DIY is the best fun isn't it!? Haha

I'm currently renovating a caravan, I've ripped all the interior walls and roof off, put in insulation batts, and put on new walls and roof. I've removed all the cupboards, oven, sink, fridge, beds, everything! I'll be putting in a bigger bed with storage under it to remove the want of cupboards, so the caravan seems bigger inside.
I'm still to update my blog:

Unknown said...

Absolutely gorgeous now this is the only way I will camp!

Gina said...

Nice job. You have inspired me, but so hard to find this little trailers where I live. Thank you for sharing and all the great photos. Love Rose!

jtp513 said...

Beautiful trailer redo! You mentioned you removed the J channel trim on the exterior. Did you buy new or reuse? How did you attach it back on?

Unknown said...

Have you spent any cold nites with her? How hard (easy) was it to stay warm, and hold heat in? Do you suppose a small Marine heater would fit in here and do well? How bout a tiny wood stove?

Unknown said...

LOVE your trailer. It's an inspiration to the little guy we just bought to fix up. Could you tell me what shade of Valspar you used? I'm agonizing over a paint color and yours is perfect!!! Much appreciated -- Chelsey

Blue Yonder Studio said...

Oohh - I love the interior blue paint! Can you tell me what brand/color you used?


burnt eyelashes said...

LOVE! I loved pouring over yr posts- we just bought a Sprite 400 that needs work, can't wait to get my 4 kids out in it. You are an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic restoration! We bought ours cheap, and it has some water damage. I was all gung-ho on tearing it apart but our original intent was more like yours - just get it clean, functional, and let the authentic-restorers gasp. My goal is family fun.

All the little imperfections are inspiring, and help the [recovering] perfectionist in me settle down. I haven't come across a restoration more singly tuned to my heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Anonymous said...

been looking for a camper van as on a low budget, was going to buy one for just over a thousand... but I am wondering if you know the rough budget of how much one of these trailers usually cost and how much you paid

Jody said...

Love your little camper make-over. Hope to do it myself someday.

Unknown said...

I really like that this a real world build . I am redoing a Winnebago trailer and the forums are often filled with restoration and not practical or affordable for me. Your trailer is a great of getting something nice without selling your soul to have it.Thanks

Romantic Country Living said...

LOVE Rosie!! My husband and I hauled home a 1960ish Shasta today that is in pretty rough shape, but we are so excited to re-do it. I just looked through all 6 of your posts and am feeling very inspired and motivated! You made it look soooo good! Thank you for all of the tips too...happy camping! ;)

Jill Schrader said...

I've been dreaming of fixing up a little camper just like this! And have been cruising Craigslist looking for something just right. No authentic spendy restoration, just clean and cute for the family.

One of the things I can't figure out is how much to estimate on spending on repairs. Would you mind sharing how much you all spent? Or a range at least?

Rosie is beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

redvixen said...

She came out beautifully! I loved this whole series, I found your blog to be refreshing, funny, and fun to read, too. I would love to find an old, small camper (keeping my eyes out for one) and your straight forward ideas and decorating/restoring tips made me want one more!

LisaLivesNorth said...

This was great to look at your blog with all your trailer details. My husband & I absolutely are addicted to these trailers! We have a 1965 Aladdin! We completely restored her, "Penney Lane". We refinished all her interior wood, her seats got new foam & we covered one side of them in Pendleton wool. We made her new curtains to match, took all her windows out, resealed them, hand polished all her chrome (even surrounding her windows). She has a new floor & sports a new top of the line automotive paint job on her exterior. She's our baby! My hubs & I designed some vintage trailer logo shirts to contribute to a great cause of helping at risk youth get off the streets as Portland Oregon has the highest number of homeless youth then any other place in the US. Check out the four designs we did! There's even an Aladdin!!!

G.R.I.T.S. by Mimi said...

This camper IS incredible! I love that you kept the original colors and details. I want to do one myself, if I can ever convince my husband! Maybe next year!

You guys did an incredible job, and I love the posts you did.

I also have a blog, and maybe will do a series of articles on RV and camper updates, I would love to use a couple of excerpts from your article. I saw your note that it was ok. I have my website to automatically notify the original site whenever I post something of someone else's. But I will notify you anyway whenever I get to that point!

Thanks again for the article!


Unknown said...

I just found your blog via Pinterest. I bought a67 Scottie that had supposedly been redone two years ago, all I thought I had to do was decorate then go camping. I found out she leaks and by crawling under her found terrible rotten wood. I am 70 and not able to do a skin off replace wood job. I am afraid it will come apart on the road. What would you do? Did you look underneath yours?

Unknown said...

ROSIE IS AWESOME! Just found this blog and have devoured every word and photo. Y'all did great. I have access to a camper that we are thinking about purchasing from our son, and want to make my craft space in it - not to use it for camping, but to leave enough inside to let it be usable as a camper if necessary. Thanks for all of your wonderful ideas. You did such a great job and the timing on my finding this was perfect.

Lyndsey said...

I’m late to the party, but thanks so much for sharing your adventure! I love how your Rosie turned out, appreciate your tips and updates, and laughed with your story. This is a great resource and I appreciate you keeping it posted!

Unknown said...

I love this. Thanks for sharing. I have a dream of having a trailer like this to go traveling with when I retire. Your boys are lucky to have such creative, and talented parents. Enjoy.

Mary, Windy Meadows Farm said...

I just discovered the vintage camper! We were lucky enough to find one of our own about a year ago and I agree SHE is so much fun! Thanks for the sneak peek at the the inspiration. I also love the Salt Lake Temple photo...I'll have to create one for myself. I'll be back to visit again and catch up on older posts!

Windy Meadows Farm


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