Welcome to Little Trailer Love! I’ve always had MAD love for vintage trailers, but my true obsession has begun with the purchase of our very own 1960 Aloha canned ham style trailer. This beauty is 51 years old and just as rocking as she was the day she was born.
I havent named her yet, any suggestions?
I knew there would be some repairs but I wasnt thinking it would be this involved, which is part of the reason for the blog. YES, vintage trailers are adorable, but I want people to know what they are getting into before they make the purchase. $400 may sound like a great deal for a trailer but if your trailer has serious issues you didnt see at first you are either looking at costly repairs or a $400 waste of space in your driveway.
Here is what we have run into so far:
- Mold. I didnt inspect the closet well enough before purchase, it was the one place there was visible water damage, and mold. Due to this (and water damage in other places) we removed the entire ceiling. This was an involved, sweaty (its hot as heck in a metal trailer when the sun is shining on it, and its 90* outside!) dirty, fiberglass filled process.
- Water damage. Simple enough… its 51 years old! Leaks happen, wood buckles, wallpaper wrinkles, you get the idea.
- Shoddy Repairs. At some point someone tried to repair a leak by simply putting a line of screws through the roof down into the insulation. Problem is, those screws then created a place for even more water to seep in. Someone attempted to put up pieces of trim to shore up the now sagging roof, which only made it sag more with weight. Wet spots had been painted over, there were three layers of wallpaper, and three layers of flooring.
- Dry rot of the wood floor frame. This was a simple repair, we just needed to add a new 2×4, and liquid nails it in. We used expanding foam to fill any small remaining cracks. Large woodworking clamps sucked the wall back to the frame.
- Leaking windows. Funny enough, the original windows do not leak! Woohoo! BUT, two windows replaced two years ago by the previous owners (safety glass windows, good thinking!) DO! They even had them professionally installed, but obviously not well enough.
So, my simple plan to just paint and spruce up the interior became a complete and total overhaul.
Could we have saved some of the interior? Maybe. But working around the interior was simply more work than removing it all. Out came the hammers and we VERY carefully pulled out the kitchen, the current bed frame in the back, the closet, and soon the table bench. The table was already missing, so we’re starting from scratch there as well.
We’re lucky to have basic construction knowledge, a shed full of tools, and the space to do these repairs. If you dont have those things, this can become costly quite quickly.
In my upcoming blog posts I’ll go into each repair, as we do it. I will show you how we’re going to take this empty metal shell and design it to fit OUR needs, instead of letting it become scrap metal. It wont be a vintage restoration, its a vintage re-imagination! Along the way I’ll be sharing others fabulous restorations, tips, tricks, and products that have helped.
Thanks for joining us on our journey!