How this all started: My sister and I have talked about old trailers before, she is a big trailer fan, and while Gale and I were on a trip with her in her big trailer we started seeing restored canned ham trailers on the road around Colorado, where we were traveling. My wife said, wow, those are so cute, that would be a great project for you. So, over the next couple months I started actually giving that some thought and looking around at trailer sites, prices, and stuff on the web, about restorations.
However I had no intention of doing anything at that time. I repeat, I had no intention of doing anything right away.
Then, in an online ad, I ran across a trailer for sale in Denver, but in the pictures it looked pretty bad so I just passed it over with no further thought. And then a guy on a trailer site I was watching mentioned that very trailer and the fact that it was in Longmont, where I was living ,not in Denver. It was just around the corner from me, in fact.
So I called the owner and went to look at it.. Why not, it was so close?
It was perfect........................................... Close to home, it was an aluminum trailer with the metal in good shape, it was 16' and big enough for a bathroom, it was also cheap. I couldn't just walk away and leave it to the scrap pile. It had been it the yard, where it was being used as a storage shed, for years. The house had been sold several times and the trailer stayed each time. The current owner was selling the house and was hoping to get something for the trailer and get it out of the yard.
He wanted $600 but I offered $200, thinking that the raw materials were worth at least that, and I got it.
In the meantime, unknown to me, my wife had reconsidered the trailer project idea and is still pretty mad at me for buying it.
Here it is as I found it. It had no door and the hubs had been lost sometime over the years. I found a salvage axle with wheels and tires I could switch in so it could be moved. I don't know that I would trust the old 1949 axles anyway. But on the bright side the aluminum was in great shape. No one had backed into it or anything for over 60 years. That's pretty cool I think.
Gale and I at Beaver Creek, in Colorado.
A little about me. I'm a semi retired furniture maker, having worked at this craft for 38 years. I have a full shop in my back yard in Houston but I started this trailer while living in Longmont Co. My plan with this is to get it rebuilt to a rolling condition in a couple months so it can be registered and pulled back to Houston. We have our house in Colorado for sale. Hence Gale's anger at me for buying this at this time. She is sure I will run into problems with this plan. I will say here that I did underestimate the time just a bit. However, it took the house a year and a month to get sold so I was just getting finished with the outside in time to close. So no problem. I think I worked on it for about 4 months by that time.
I had done an on line (on the Vintage Shasta site) history of the build as I did the work but it got lost when they shut down that site so I am recreating it again 2 years later using the same photos and what I can remember of the text.
I was trying to do this project as cheap as possible, of course, but I have spent almost $4,000 on the outside rebuild. I'm really hoping to spend no more than an additional $6,000 to finish but I'm not real hopeful. I'd like to finish for around $10,000, total.
I doubt I could sell it for anything like that amount though, I know.
I'm a builder, I've completely remodeled our house in Houston, twice. I've build the outbuilding for my shop and the garage apartment above the shop. I've build a sports car from scratch. I do concrete counter tops, stained glass work, tile, wood work and metal work. Some times I do art pieces. This isn't really a big stretch for me but everything is unique and there is always a learning curve. I have and will continue to make mistakes. I learn every day, maybe that's why I'm doing it.