Saturday, November 6, 2010

Vintage Travel Trailer-part1-the history

I just bought a house. And that changes everything.

Now I have the space necessary to make it possible to begin working on some of the projects I'd kept locked up in the corners of my mind.

The vintage travel trailer for instance.

Somewhere around 2007 or so, my father-in-law had obtained possession of a beat-up, vintage travel or camping trailer. His buddy who'd sold it to him claimed that it had been built in 1957, and had an old black and white photo of said trailer from around that time to prove it. Unfortunately, my father-in-law had discovered that aside from being "vintage", the trailer also leaked through a series of holes punched through the aluminum sheeting of the roof. (The result of a late night attack with a wood awl by an enraged former acquaintance of the past owner.) All of the cushions were missing, and it appeared that there was some minor dry-rot in the wood paneling.

My father-in-law took the trailer on a couple of camping trips and then parked it. He'd found another vintage travel trailer that was in much better condition and offered the first trailer to me for $400.

I did some internet research, fell in love with the idea of owning a vintage travel trailer, and bought the old thing, hook line and sinker. ..heh..

At the time, my wife and kids and I were living in an apartment. And there was no-where at all to park a vintage travel trailer. So, my father-in-law agreed to keep the trailer on his property until we could get our hands on our first home.

Unfortunately, three years sailed by with no luck finding a house. And every time we visited my wife's father, I visited my poor little trailer. It was painfully obvious that the damp conditions, the rain, and the snowy winters of the high mountains were taking a serious toll on the old, birch plywood.

Fungus had entered the trailer. I could see it crawling over the wood surfaces of the interior paneling like an obscene lover. Yet, all I could do in my impotence was to curse at the dry-rot before leaving.

Finally, my wife and I found a home. And I was ready to go rescue the trailer from the treacherous pine forests of the San Bernardino mountains.

However, I got a call from my father-in-law to inform me that the trailer had finally collapsed that winter from the combined weight of the snow on the roof and the dry-rot decay that had infected the wood. The next time I visited, I beheld the fullness of the disaster. It really was a wreck.

He wisely suggested that I give this particular project up as a lost cause. He was right of course. But I didn't listen.

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