Vintage Trailers Supply had it's grand opening in Sante Fe, New Mexico in September of 2019. VTS has moved its operation from Vermont to the South West. I was honored to have been asked to speak at the festival. I gave a talk on “Selling your vintage trailer.”
Here are 7 things that you can do to sell your trailer quicker and for more money:
Consider selling (and buying) on the Vintage Camper Trailers Classifieds. Sell your trailer parts on the classifieds for FREE! People LOVE vintage trailers and there seems to be no end to the families that want to be involved in the hobby. Magazine subscribers always get 20% off of their classified ads.
Consider this your warning:
What can you do to ensure that your vintage trailer doesn’t get that funky musty smell? Mold and mildew can make your trailer stink and do damage to the soft surfaces inside your RV. The musty smell when you walk into the RV is an indication that there are damp areas where mold could be growing. A dehumidifier in your RV when it is stored for extended periods of time will prevent the build-up of moisture.
Mold can occur during winter as windows are closed and the surface of walls and windows become colder because the outside air temperature is lower. Simply opening a window is not a solution in the winter months, this is where a dehumidifier comes in. It will reduce the level of humidity in the air by sucking in air from the room at one end, removing the moisture, and then blowing dehumidified air back out into the room again.
Many RV owners find that compressor dehumidifiers would not work well at temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and there were often problems with the compressor dehumidifier machines icing up. These dehumidifiers address these issues, functioning consistently well at all temperatures.
You can also attract and remove moisture from the air with a scented moisture absorber. For $10-$30 you can protect your vintage trailer from moisture damage while you eliminate musty odors. Excess moisture is absorbed into the white calcium chloride crystals. The white crystals begin to harden and form a solid mass. Hardened crystals must be discarded and re-purchased as they are used. Another trick is to place open containers of coffee (a cup or so) in your cabinets. The coffee grounds can help neutralize any odors that you may already have.
Courtesy of the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine
We visited these museums on a recent trip through the Midwest...
RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum. Elkhart, IN.- More trailers than cars, The RV Founders Hall displays trailers, photos, and memorabilia reaching back to the 1920's and 1930's. The museum presents chronological and technological advancements in the industry from before WW I to the present. It is a must see for anyone that appreciates the history of the RV industry in America. www.rvmhhalloffame.org
The Volo Museum. Volo, IL- A family owned and operated museum that is also home to Volo Auto Sales, one of the most respected names in the industry. Many of the displays feature vehicles that are for sale, so the collection is always changing. Well organized, labeled, and displayed, this collection is a “must see”! There are iconic classic and muscle cars, and original cars from movies and TV. There are at least a half a dozen Duesenberg cars, a self-playing orchestra, a Disney gallery, and a vast collection of pop culture and Americana artifacts. From boats and scooters to juke boxes and bicycles, there is something for everyone. Eight vintage trailers and RVs are on display; two that were featured in the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine. www.volocars.com
Pioneer Village. Minden, NE- Founded in 1953 by Harold Warp, a Chicago manufacturer, the museum is a complex of 28 buildings on 20 acres with a total collection of over 50,000 items. 100 antique tractors. The world's oldest Buick, a 1902 Cadillac and a 1903 Ford, both designed by Henry Ford. There are 350 other antique cars, all displayed in their order of development. Many look like time stood still in the mid 60’s. The shear quantity of items at this attraction takes a full day to walk through. Only one pre-war Masonite Vagabond trailer on display. www.pioneervillage.org
The Henry Ford, Dearborn, MI- Experience firsthand the sights, sounds and sensations of America’s formation. Over 80 acres showcase 300 years of American perseverance serve as a living reminder that anything is possible. See the building where Thomas Edison had his lightbulb moment or the workshop where the Wright brothers repaired bikes and pioneered flight. Take a ride in a real Model T, or a walk through four working farms. The museum has some fantastic cars but also showcases many other aspects of American ingenuity. www.thehenryford.org
Pioneer Auto Museum, Murdo, SD- This long-standing museum featuring 275+ classic cars, tractors & motorcycles was recommended to us by several people in the area. Having recently toured several other similar attractions, this display was the least impressive. I was told “everything is for sale”, but nothing was priced, and most items weren’t even labeled. Most of the cars were behind flimsy hog-wire in a hodge-podge of barns. They had a 1921 White RV that claimed to have traveled from “Ocean to Ocean then Around the World” www.pioneerautoshow.com
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by Simone Ritter
An inner fire makes me long to paint; this fire frees my spirit and feeds my mind. The minute I put my brush on canvas or paper my thoughts seem to calm down, as if to focus and make sense ‘of it all’. This process often results in vibrant, bold colour applications. When I apply pigment- strokes of vibrant juicy and rich colours- a painting takes shape and I feel that inner glow - brilliant, beaming, glorious, joyful radiance. I forget about time and space, it is like meditating and letting my mind ‘float away’. Once I finish a painting I feel mostly tired, but happily ‘empty’ as my emotions, my fire and energy got transferred onto the canvas leaving me refreshed to soak in anew what life has to offer. My approach is very simplified and focused by only using the three primary colours. However, the best available artist’s paints make it a joy to create a limitless number of different shades, values and colours. I enjoy painting from life. When I paint outside, ‘en plein air’, I try to capture the moment, the light, the sound and the smell of the air as if to take the viewer with me to the place, but still leave enough room for their own interpretation. Because the winters are very cold in New Brunswick, I am forced to paint indoors during the colder months. During those times I explore new ways, try new products and approaches.
Have your trailer painted. www.SimoneRitterArt.com
Hard Work Paid Off
I got it livable and stayed in a week. I did some more work and took it out on a 2 month road trip. During my trip I met lots of people with trailers and Airstreams and visited some Airstream shops. Turns out I was on the right track all along and many people have asked me to share my story. As of this writing it’s at about 90% now, but she will never be done of course!
We couldn’t be more happy for Eric and glad to hear his restoration was a successful one. Every photo Heffrons receives from customers is unique because a little part of the customer can be found through their hard work and vision. No matter the project, big or small, we hope this story give you insight and inspiration of what is possible and help you come up with ideas for your own camper, trailer or motor home. To learn more you can visit our website: www.Heffrons.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
...continued from issue #41 of The Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine.
By Leon White
I knew the ceiling over the kitchen area had leaked in the past because it sagged a bit and was soft to the touch. This I would repair in the future. Well, the future arrived sooner than later! During the winter months, I was smelling mildew? While inspecting the ceiling, pushing on it harder, IT ALL FELL THROUGH!!! Wet rotted wood and insulation. Oh Crap!
I learned a lot while working on the Scotty, which made the second round easier. I hope that some of my repair descriptions will help others with their projects.
Of course, the first thing was to inspect the roof when the weather was decent enough to remove the tarp. After cleaning it, I removed all the old dried caulking that was peeling away around the vents. After applying new caulking, I had purchased one gallon of “Kool Seal” 63-600 White Reflective Roof Coating with a Ten-year Warranty. This product is made for roofing and half the cost of the advertised “Flex Seal”. Their calculations said that I would need one and one-half gallons for my eight by ten roof. I thought that I would test the coverage of one gallon first. You can roll it or brush it on. I used a brush, going cross direction on each dried coat for tensile strength, while covering the caulking for an extra seal. The one gallon with three coats was solid enough. Of course, the amount of roof seal will depend on the condition of one’s roof.
With the roof now weather proofed, I replaced the rotted ceiling supports and insulation. The thickness of the old paneling left a gap large enough that I did not have to remove the cupboards to install a sheet of patterned vinyl from Home Depot. After cutting out the section for the refrigerator area, I applied contractors glue onto the new supports. I was able to slip the flexible vinyl through the gaps between the walls and the ceiling, which covered the ceiling in the cupboards and the closets without having to piece it. The patience (with Two people) was to slide the edges into the existing plastic groves which held the paneling. Then white upholstery tacks were used on the supports for extra hold.
I was going to paint the yellowed vinyl tack paper over the back half of the ceiling white. But, figured that after I had taped off areas and probably painted two coats, it would be easier and faster to install the same matching vinyl that’s over the kitchen area. After my cuts, we test fitted the vinyl. Then applied the glue in lines about five inches apart onto the back side, then put the sheet in place. Continuing with the upholstery tacks into the existing wood ceiling about twelve inches apart. Well, we weren’t going to stand there with our arms up, holding it until the glue dried! I pre-planned having two, two-by-fours about five feet in length running the width of the trailer with two-by-four posts pushed against these and the floor to hold it all up until it dried for two days. Not only did this white vinyl add a fresh new look but gave the effect of a taller and larger space.
At our age, we wanted a toilet. The full-length closet was not large enough for the porta potty and maneuverability. I removed the wall between the full closet and the storage closet. Narrowing the storage closet and widening the toilet room by eight inches. I then painted the brown paneling an off white to make the toilet room brighter and less claustrophobic. After returning two different porta potties that were more for children. I highly recommend the Thetford Curve Pota Potti Toilet. The seat and the height are just right for adults. Plus, the battery flush button allows for a small flush first, so the (you know) doesn’t stick to the trap door when flushing. Don’t forget to remove the batteries when in storage so they don’t corrode. I replaced the old 12-volt light fixtures with new 12-volt LED fixtures, including one in the toilet room. Replaced the 110-volt bulbs with LED’s.
Since I was going through all the work removing, cleaning, polishing the outside aluminum trims, and applying new butyl tape. I was not going to put on the old dull and rusted bolts and screws. I invested in stainless steel. (About 300) SWEET! It all looks shiny and new!
I had taken some photos to the auto repair shop that advertises nationally to paint your car for $399. to ask on the cost to have them paint the trailer? “WHAT? That cost more than I paid for the trailer!”. “Well that’s not going to happen!” BEWARE for trickery advertising. Those ads we see on TV for a car paint special for $399. THAT IS FOR THE PAINT ONLY! That price does not include the prep work, the taping, the actual painting! I decided to repaint the entire trailer myself. This was not difficult for me as an artist to get the nice consistency to achieve the final sheen. The trick to not getting runs, is to spray many light layers until all was evenly covered. (about four-five layers). We wanted an antique look, not the pure white that it was. It took twelve cans of “Gloss White Canvas” to paint the entire trailer. (Three green for the accents, Two black for the tongue and rear bumper). About $85.00 total in paint! It looks great until one day I can get it professionally painted.
I repainted the outside red trim and the red wooden wings a green trim that is a close color to my SUV. Adding the arrow head shapes to the front and the back for some pizzazz. The same on the wheel hubs. We kept the wonderful original lime green speckled linoleum which is a nice contrast to the darker inside paneling. I am attracted to the color of green. With many hues to coordinate, greens are pleasant while having a calming effect, as the color spectrum throughout nature. We purchased green coordinating fabrics, and I sewed the cushion covers, new curtains, and accent pillows. We kept the overall color theme solid due to the small space. We enjoy seeing the wild decorated trailers, but, too many things and patterns would send my head spinning without having a cocktail!
Because the interior was too dark with the original solid aluminum ceiling vent. I replaced it with a white plastic one. (Big difference having natural light coming through) TIP: To keep the trailer cooler on hot days with the sun and heat coming through the white vent. I cut a one-inch thick piece of sheet Styrofoam that has the foil on one side, the size of the vent facing up to reflect the heat. Adding two small wing bolts opposite to hold it in place. This probably can be done with foil over cardboard.
Not needing the folding bunk. I removed the larger platform (saving it and the cushion for future sell) and put a piece of three-inch floor molding across the front of the smaller platform to keep things from falling off while traveling. I decided to leave the white primer as it accented the white ceiling and white table top. Also, as a reminder to not hit our heads when sitting. An idea came to raise the front of that platform by six inches, so it didn’t feel like sitting under a shelf. I cut two pieces of wood that is one half by one and a half inches at six-inch lengths and then stained them. I glued Velcro on the ends, and Velcro where the ends will rest to raise the platform after the trailer is parked. “Voila!”.
Since the old paneling had scuff marks. I went over all of it with dark, scratch covering furniture polish. That looked nice for a couple of weeks until the old dried paneling had soaked it all in! Dull again? It took two quarts of stain to cover all the paneling. The wood was so dry that the stain didn’t drip much as it was sucked in! The paneling now looks new!
The previous owner had reversed the axles, which raised the trailer about 4-5 inches. This looked odd at first. Then, I remembered how the Scotty Trailer’s rear end would hit the ground of a sloped driveway or when other obstacles interfered. We want to be able to take it off road, so the extra height was fine. Stepping up into the trailer was awkward, so I had a fold out step installed.
While at this rally, I noticed a trailers canopy with a curved upward crown, giving the under canopy extra height, instead of sagging, especially when it rained. Inquiring? He purchased some quarter inch diameter flexible tent poles. Since his wife had sewn the canopy herself, she added little pockets to the inside corners to hold the tent poles. While cutting one tent pole shorter to fit the diagonal. He did not know that there was a cable inside to hold the flexing.
He described how difficult it was to pull the cable out and reattach it. During my research on EBAY tent poles. I found one-half inch Chimney Cleaning Poles in a set of six, each at four feet long. (solid without a cable inside). I took our custom-made 8’x 8’ canopy and sewed pockets into the corners. NOTE: Do not cut the rods by the square root for the diagonal because they will be too short for the uplift of the canopy. With your canopy installed, take three rods screwed together, put one end of the rod into a pocket, bend the rod upwards to figure how tight you want the uplift, then cut the length if needed. Once the rods are set into the diagonal corner pockets, you need to tie or (Velcro) the crossing top rods so they do not snake out of position.
The icing on the cake for our KEEPER, are the new Baby Moon Hubcaps!!! Christening it with a logo designed and made by my brother-in-law, Monte Williams, in the shape of a hammock, “Relaxin”. Notice how the X hangs over like a leg! We’ll christen our Shasta on a camping trip to celebrate our thirtieth anniversary!
A vintage trailer rally may best be described as something between a car show and a camping trip. The popularity of “glamping”, or glamorous camping, has introduced a whole new type of camper to the outdoor lifestyle. Many of these “campers” are not inclined to rough it much more than maybe having to walk to the restroom at their favorite RV park! A vintage trailer rally can draw anywhere from a dozen trailers to a couple of hundred trailers, all of which were originally manufactured before the disco craze was over.
Vintage trailers can be the perfect solution for the part-time or beginner camper. Often a vintage trailer can be picked up at the fraction of the cost of a new trailer and simple repairs or decorating can be made as time and money permits. Vintage trailerites, are often drawn to vintage trailers because of their classic styling and the memories that they evoke. If you are considering the purchase of a vintage trailer, or just admire their timeless beauty, visiting a vintage trailer rally may be something you want to add to your bucket list. Vintage trailer rallies and shows are held across the USA. Chances are, there is a rally not far from you.
Many rallies offer an “open house” during the weekend long event. We host several large rallies a year and have our open house from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday. Our rallies have 150 to 250 trailers, and most of the trailer owners will invite you in to their trailer and share with you, their passion for the hobby. (Find rally dates at www.trailerfestrally.com) Visiting a variety of different makes and models of trailers will give you a better feel for what you would like to purchase for yourself if you are in the market. If you aren't looking to buy, it is an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon reminiscing about the good old days while touring mid century coaches. We took our vintage trailer experience and put everything we know about rallies in a book titled “Vintage Camper Trailer Rallies”. Whether you are attending a rally, considering hosting an event, or just want to live vicariously through hundreds of photos, our book is packed with information and a lot of eye candy. (Available at www.vintagecampertrailers.com)
Having attended and hosted vintage trailer rallies for over a decade, I can tell you that far and away my favorite time in the park is after dark. The trailers’ natural wood interiors take on a glow that can be admired through the window or screen door as you stroll through the park. The exteriors are often illuminated with colorful lights that create a sense of whimsy. With crackling campfires, laughter and usually a guitar or other instruments heard throughout the park, all of your senses can feel the camaraderie and friendships that are formed on each and every trip.
Vintage trailer rallies are not open to the public at night. Unless you are participating in a rally you may never have the chance to see a couple of hundred vintage trailers lit up after hours. Photographer Rick Rajewski captured photos of vintage trailers at night with the moon and stars overhead. An avid camper, Rick and his wife Cheryl purchased a 1964 Silver Streak and hit the road to find others who shared their passion for the past. Rick’s calendar, “Vintage Nights” showcases more than a dozen of these high quality photos. The calendar is available in the Camp Store at www.vintagecampertrailers.com. The Rajewskis (and their two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, River & Woody) live in Palos Verdes, California.
By Richard Cook
After corresponding with vintage trailer expert Tim Heintz, I knew it was possible to get my non-titled 1969 Shasta Compact titled in Florida if the paperwork was correct, which included a bill of sale signed by the seller and the buyer, the old Georgia registration slip showing the trailer’s serial number listed on the registration as the VIN, and a completed Florida title application. However, when I brought the required paperwork to a local tag agency in Broward County, they told me additional paperwork was required before a Florida title could be issued to my trailer. The additional requirements included getting a certified weight slip from a company that operated a Florida-certified scale, as well as having an active police officer sign a certified document stating he/she checked and matched the SN/VIN on the trailer’s frame and registration slip. (Note: When I told Tim about this, he told me neither of those documents are required by Florida law and that the tag agency was wrong in having me go through the additional steps.)
To get the weight slip, I went to a full-service truck stop that had a Florida-certified scale, towed the Shasta onto the scale, unhitched the trailer from the tow vehicle, and drove the vehicle off the scale. The scale operator weighed the Shasta and printed out a certified weight slip. After hooking up to the trailer, I towed it to a local police station and showed the person at the information desk the document that needed to be signed by an active police officer. A policeman came out and looked at the old Georgia registration slip and told me the VIN doesn’t look like any VIN he’s ever seen. I explained that most vintage trailers don’t have VINs because they weren’t issued back then, but they have serial numbers that are used in place of VINs. Either he didn’t believe me or was just curious, but he took the registration slip and went into an office to log onto Georgia’s DMV website. He came out a few minutes later and said the number is legit. He then followed me outside and matched the number on the Shasta’s frame to the number on the Georgia registration slip, then signed the certified document with his name and badge number.
With the additional documents, I went back to the tag agency and was issued a Florida title, registration, and regular license tag. I tried getting a special antique license tag for the Shasta, which Florida issues for vehicles at least 25 years old, but I was turned down because Florida doesn’t consider a trailer to be a vehicle because it doesn’t have an engine. Yet, they want a VIN...Vehicle Identification Number...so go figure! On the positive side, my wife found a vintage Florida license tag from 1968-69 at an antique shop, so once we’re off the road at rallies we’ll attach it to our 1969 Shasta as part of our display.
This is the process in Florida. Is it different in your state? Let us know your experience. www.vintagecampertrailers.com
Camping may be a fun activity, but it comes with some safety issues if you aren’t prepared. Campfires, grills, rough terrain on the trails, weather, and animals/insects are all things you need to think about, and when you have your pet with you, it’s important to consider his safety and comfort as well. Here are some of the best tips on how to do just that.
Taking a few precautions before leaving for your camping trip will ensure that your dog stays safe. Make checklists when packing so you don’t forget anything, and take your pup to the vet a few days before the trip to make sure he’s in good health.
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