Archive for 'Trailer'

September 27, 2012

During our slow period (ie the dog days of summer) we started overhauling a vintage camping trailer. Catch up on the entire saga here, here, here, here and here (in that order).

I bet you thought were were done with demo? Yeah, us too.

But we have a vision for this trailer and we’re not going to let an immovable counter top stand in the way of our dreams. So we did what any rationale sane trailer perfectionists would do, we took out the entire base kitchenette cabinet. Don’t worry, Aaron will just build a new one. Actually, what we were worried about is what we’d find behind the cabinet… more water damage??

Nope! All clear! Whew!

A little Dremel action to square off the remaining paneling and we were good to go.

Elsewhere in the trailer, Aaron ran electrical for our interior lights (sweet LED pucks), exterior marker lights and outlets. He’s converting everything except the outlets to 12 volt so that the trailer can be off grid if we want.

It’s getting there… slowly but surely.

September 24, 2012

Fun fact about Aaron: He can’t take naps. Ok, so that’s not really a “fun” fact, but it’s pertinent. Technically he can take naps, but he doesn’t because he can’t really wake up post nap.

So when I came home to him passed out on the couch, I knew this particular trailer project was much tougher than these few pictures suggest.

In the quest to make this trailer as water tight and long lasting as possible, Aaron decided to address the undercarriage. It wasn’t in bad shape, but a little sanding, priming and painting would offer a little extra protection. First he sanded the undercarriage to remove as much surface rust as possible. Then all the metal got a coat of Rust-oleum Auto Primer, followed by Rust-oleum Semi-Gloss Protective Enamel.

Sounds easy enough, right? If you take on this type of mini project, just make sure your schedule allows for a nice nap afterwards.



September 19, 2012

We’re mostly done with demo! Woot! Who wants to see this trailer start to come back together? My hand is up!

This project took a bit of re-engineering. The original trailer was sandwiched together: inside framing, paneling, outside framing. That didn’t make a ton of sense, so we opted to construct a much stronger exterior frame and build onto that.

The only hiccup was defining the shape. The water damage was severe so it didn’t leave a great template to follow. Aaron used the metal skin for the outside curve and the little framing that was left helped outline the inside curve.  He also framed out the windows and added extra cross bracing. Then he bolted the wood frame onto the trailer frame. Basically, this thing is no longer a trailer, it’s a tank. Boom.


September 14, 2012

I had a lot of possible names for this post. Most were too long and some were not PG:

The vintage trailer – That escalated quickly
The vintage trailer – How our small project ballooned to a ginormous project
The vintage trailer – Holy $hit! Are you kidding me with all the wood rot?

I’m not going to lie uncovering the problems with this old trailer is starting to wear on me. Just last week, I referred to it as “The Money Pit” so many times that Aaron suggested that we may have found a name for it. Of course, we can’t name it that (and honestly I’m not fully on board with whether we NEED to name it, which is a popular required custom in the vintage trailer world.)

I think this week we finally turned a corner with the project. it feels like we’re taking serious steps towards a working, refinished trailer. But in blog land, we’re back in the dark days of demo.

Let me refresh your memory. The goal was to buy a trailer in decently good condition and focus on refurbing the inside to make it a sweet, updated modern haven for traveling the US. We were OK with minor exterior work. (If you haven’t been playing along at home, read this and this to get fully up to speed.)

The more Aaron pulled out, the more evident it became that this trailer needed serious structural work, as in “How did this stay together going down the road?” serious. For that the metal skin would have to come off.

So, for your viewing pleasure: The vintage trailer – We like open concept, but this is going a little too far.


September 5, 2012

(If you’re looking for awesome images, feel free to browse some recent weddings. We will continue to post new sessions and weddings, but we’re on a mission to get you up to speed on this project… because the trailer looks nothing like it did in our first post.)

The entire process of buying a vintage trailer took what seemed like a million steps. Finding the right one at the right price within driving distance was no small feat. Having put those steps behind us, we were eager to dive into the next million steps that would end with a renovated trailer.

Step 1: Secure garage or semi-enclosed workspace.



Step 2: Start pulling out the pieces and make a giant list of mini projects that will get us on the road with this baby.

The propane tank is an easy swap and the lines will need checked and possibly rerun.

All of the windows are coming out so they can be refurbished and resealed. Apparently the screens are just stapled onto the paneling.

The bed/couch in the front is coming out, but we can probably save most of the pieces.

We knew there was some rot in the back so none of this scared us.

The mini bunk over the front bed will get changed to a smaller shelf to hold luggage.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a very rusty stove. No reason to salvage it.

Ready for more rot? We knew the back needed some work.

We missed the hints of rot in the front. (You can tell we’re facing front be the hail damage on the metal skin.) Eeee… that’s not good…. But we accounted for about 20% more work than we originally thought. So we’re still in good shape.


Step 2: Demo… we’ll call it half-ish done.

August 28, 2012

If you’ve been following either of us on Facebook or my ramblings over at Modern Meals for Two, you know that earlier this summer we picked up a vintage trailer with plans to restore and modernize it. (Well, actually we bought three trailers, which you can read more about here.)

The goal is to make it into our luxury suite on wheels and spend some time over the next few years vacationing stateside. But first we had to find the right one.

Our first spur of the moment trek left us trailer-less and disappointed, so we were much better prepared for the second go. We had a list of trailers to see (along with back ups) that would take us into Iowa and from there possibly farther North or possibly to Kansas City. We figured no matter what if we ended up in KC sans trailer we could drown our sorrows in barbecue.

We never made it that far because this lovely lady was the first on the list: a 13′ 1967 Trailblazer.

It wasn’t love at first site. Aaron groaned when we pulled into the driveway and saw all of the hail damage that wasn’t apparent (or mentioned) in the Craigslist post. See all those dings in the picture above? Those are no beuno and a lot of work to repair… like buckets of bondo. My first thought was “Well, we’re not buying this one.”

After such a long drive (plus stopping at a US Bank in Iowa because we accidentally left our cash in St. Louis) we still wanted to take a peek.

So the shutters aren’t our style, the dings and dents are not limited to the front, the paint is peeling (though the ombre effect on the backside was kind of cute and totally on trend), some of the lights needed replaced. So she’s a little rough. That’s ok, we wanted a project. And look at ALL those windows! It should be no shock that we both love light filled spaces.

The interior was actually not bad. I’m not a trailer expert (Aaron is now. Before he argues, he was made an admin on a vintage trailer Facebook page. That’s official.) but I’ve seen a few interiors in this hunt. This one had me at hello. 1. It didn’t smell musty. 2. The legs on the couch/bed are mid-century (and perfect).


Sure, the styling doesn’t exactly scream “Aaron and Heather”, but we knew we’d make drastic changes to the interior of whatever trailer we eventually brought home (and kept). The cabinetry is solid, there’s no bathroom (which would be gonzo because I am not dealing with that sht – literally), and it feels downright spacious. Aaron spotted some slight water damage along the back and figured that would be the biggest problem spot (foreshadowing), but besides that the trailer seemed well maintained and fit with our desire for a medium to small project that would focus mostly on beautifying and updating the interior. (How I laugh at our naivety.)

Cut to Aaron using his expert negotiating skills and trailer knowledge (it pays to be a trailer expert sometimes. And by sometimes, I mean, when negotiating the price of a trailer) to take the total down to less than half of the asking price. Woot!

We found “the keeper.”

Construction is in full swing. We’ll be back next time with some details on the demo.