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Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
6/17/14 1:00 p.m.

I know, I know--I don't really want one. As Paul Suddard would've said, "Might as well want a dose of the clap." But I do want a vintage trailer, one of those crappily built, leak-prone, tiny old Shastas or the like from the '50s or '60s. Not to over restore and do the odiously-named "glamping" (look it up); more because Tommy camps and it'd be a great Mother Ship base for family camping trips. And I think I've about got Tim convinced: He wants to pull it with the Edsel. We even tried one on for size on our last road trip after we found a place (Tinker Tin trailers) that rents them by the night. Here's a photo of the one we were in:

Talk me in or talk me out, but talk fast... we're already shopping.

Margie

Ditchdigger
Ditchdigger UltraDork
6/17/14 1:04 p.m.

Add me to the list of "wants a canned ham"

I don't even like camping but I want one.

For now the inflated prices and reading a few of the in depth restoration threads have me scared away. It is amazing how much work they seem to take to make road worthy again.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
6/17/14 1:08 p.m.

they look like fun actually

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UberDork
6/17/14 1:11 p.m.

SVRex built a teardrop trailer from a set of plans - hopefully he'll chime in here. They do look like fun if you can avoid the mold, drips, and mildew part of the experience.

mtn
mtn UltimaDork
6/17/14 1:15 p.m.

Buy used, buy simple. The simpler they are at the outset, the less repairs necessary and the return is greater. The ones that we lose the least amount of money on (reposession/remarketing in collections) are those that were smaller trailers bought used.

The repairs that I see on these are probably 80% due to electronics (not trailer wiring, but TV stuff), plumbing, and leaks. Don't use the toilet. The only things that should be plugged in are an AC, heater, and lights. Skip the AC if you can.

I'm not convinced that making one isn't the better solution. The way I would do it is to buy a cargo trailer, put down a rug, cut a hole in the top for a vent (box fan for exhaust purposes), and one of these AC units vented out through a hole cut specifically for it http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/121150158324?lpid=82.

I've yet to see any that were well made, other than an Airstream.

Cotton
Cotton UltraDork
6/17/14 1:20 p.m.

I like the vintage truck campers, in a vintage truck. That's a pretty cool combo. Of the factory Blazer Chalet/GMC Casa Grande. I'm actually picking another one of those up on the 27th for my Suburban camper build.

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
6/17/14 1:22 p.m.

We're looking at the canned-ham era campers, as Ditchdigger picked up on, so no worries about simplicity--most of them don't even have a bathroom. Most are so primitive they even have iceboxes, as well as gas lamps to backup the 110 fixtures, but I'm thinking we won't use the gaslights much because I hate being on fire.

We're still on the fence as to whether a toilet is a necessity, though: Campground bathhouses are widely spaced in this era of bus-style luxury coaches, and Tim and I are getting too old to want to hike a few hundred yards for our middle-of-the-night pit stops. Yet I hate to give up the room to a toilet, and don't want to go much bigger than 14-16 feet. Basically, I want something that's almost like a super-cool rolling tent with a comfy bed, a dinette, and some rudimentary food storage and prep abilities.

Margie

Ditchdigger
Ditchdigger UltraDork
6/17/14 1:28 p.m.

Shastas have wing though

stuart in mn
stuart in mn PowerDork
6/17/14 1:31 p.m.

I think having to take a walk for that middle of the night pit stop is the lesser of two evils here, particularly after you return home at the end of the trip and have to deal with emptying the full potty.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper PowerDork
6/17/14 1:35 p.m.

Hmphf! I think Glamping is serious under rated. I see no reason to be sweaty stinking and miserable just because I'm camping, or RVing as my wife calls it. I will not go without an air conditioner! Camp grounds with running hot water are wonderful and worth seeking out.

Oddly, after lambasting me for my glamping wimpyness, my much more hard core wife dearly loves little tear-drop campers, from an eye candy perspective.

I personally have little love-loss for many so called vintage campers (old junk is still junk); but a truly functional and pretty little camper of whatever age strikes my fancy quite a bit. Scamp is one I find especially interesting, but there are others.

Camping:

Glamping:

I just don't see the point of not embracing glamping.

singleslammer
singleslammer GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/17/14 1:40 p.m.

I buddy of mine grabbed a pretty clean Airstream from '65 for 3K. It has a little body damage and needs some improvements but he will be on the road with a very livable interior for 5K. Plus it is a freaken' Airstream!!

Ditchdigger
Ditchdigger UltraDork
6/17/14 1:43 p.m.

My concern is that every "went to fix a leak" story looks like this within a week

Bianca is riding me pretty hard about a Glamper though. I will knuckle under soon.

ArthurDent
ArthurDent HalfDork
6/17/14 1:44 p.m.

The Canadian made Bolers are wonderful little things. Well built and fiberglass so they are light too. Probably a tough find in Florida unless you can find a snowbird unloading one.

mtn
mtn UltimaDork
6/17/14 1:46 p.m.
stuart in mn wrote: I think having to take a walk for that middle of the night pit stop is the lesser of two evils here, particularly after you return home at the end of the trip and have to deal with emptying the full potty.

This, times infinity and beyond

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
6/17/14 1:46 p.m.

In reply to Ditchdigger:

We've actually spoken to some folks who restore these little gems, and they had some very valuable pointers. Their most interesting observation? Homebuilders/contractors make the WORST trailer restorers. Apparently quite different techniques are required. (Did you know that the last thing you should do is remove the interior from an old camping trailer? Those panels provide most of the structural integrity, so if you gut one, you're likely to end up with a parallelogram.)

Tim's chomping at the bit to dig into one, but he's got a Mini to finish and a Tornado to do first, so I'm counseling patience. You know where that usually gets me, though...

Margie

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
6/17/14 1:55 p.m.

if you are going to run power in one. take a hint from the sailors.. LEDs are your friend.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn PowerDork
6/17/14 2:00 p.m.
foxtrapper wrote: Glamping: I just don't see the point of not embracing glamping.

This would be great, if you had a truckload of porters who set it all up for you ahead of time.

Ditchdigger
Ditchdigger UltraDork
6/17/14 2:28 p.m.
ArthurDent wrote: The Canadian made Bolers are wonderful little things. Well built and fiberglass so they are light too. Probably a tough find in Florida unless you can find a snowbird unloading one.

These are still made under the name scamp.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltraDork
6/17/14 2:37 p.m.
stuart in mn wrote:
foxtrapper wrote: Glamping: I just don't see the point of not embracing glamping.
This would be great, if you had a truckload of porters who set it all up for you ahead of time.

I could probably teach my kids to set up for me. Of course then they'd want to stay.....

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/17/14 2:43 p.m.
ArthurDent wrote: The Canadian made Bolers are wonderful little things. Well built and fiberglass so they are light too. Probably a tough find in Florida unless you can find a snowbird unloading one.

Yea, uh, http://www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com/ one can spend some time looking. Seeing the Boler resto on the projects board, well....

foxtrapper
foxtrapper PowerDork
6/17/14 2:44 p.m.
stuart in mn wrote:
foxtrapper wrote: Glamping: I just don't see the point of not embracing glamping.
This would be great, if you had a truckload of porters who set it all up for you ahead of time.

I'm all for that! Besides, isn't that what the wife and boy are for?

freestyle
freestyle Reader
6/17/14 2:48 p.m.

Me and the Mrs. have had four pre-1960s canned hams. They can be great fun. Our favorite was a 19' Shasta, turquoise and white with red wings. But yeah...they're all a bit leaky, and have dry rot. You can get along with patching and fixing stuff as you go. The frame off is the proper way of course. And as previously mentioned, they're built kinda backwards from a real house. cabinets then the walls. With that said, I'd do it again, had a great time camping with the our young boys.

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
6/17/14 2:53 p.m.

"Glamping" in the vintage trailer world usually refers to overboard restorations along these lines:

That's exactly the kind of in-your-face vibe I go camping to escape. I'd just like to do an honest restoration of a nice little trailer with lotsa wood and character (okay, maybe a touch above honest, but with an eye to functionality and structural upgrades). Then I want to, you know, go camping with it with Tim.

Margie

oldtin
oldtin UltraDork
6/17/14 3:03 p.m.

Mrs. oldtin is in for an airstream/suv combo. I lean toward a bus that could drag a car/trailer. Neither is much of an option until we have a place to park it.

ryanty22
ryanty22 Dork
6/17/14 3:13 p.m.

Home Owners associations are the spawn of satan and unamerican

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