Wednesday, March 25, 2009

1965 Franklin 18 footer

What is it about the travel trailer that appeals to you? I keep getting asked this (and not rhetorically like first assumed). I think it is a matter of ascetics. There is something so minimalist to me about a self-contained travel trailer, with all the amenities and no room for anything too extremely unessential. I like the built-in design, it lends itself to organization. I like the old birch interiors that have the patina of 50 years. I like the colorful appliances, turquoise or yellow, though I could live without brown and that awful green. It feels like if I were to crop my house so that only the kitchen remained and moved a pull-out bed against one wall and put the whole contraption on wheels I'd have a travel trailer. The kitchen is usually every one's favorite room right? And it might be no surprise that I have immaculately maintained 50's cabinets in my kitchen, pale yellow metal cabinets that were so well built that only a scratch here and there exists after 50 years of cleaning and cooking. I found them in my mom's basement stacked behind books and boxes and put them up in my 100 year old brick house. I love them. They are pretty and they take the wear and tear of nightly meals and pots and pans. This kitchen is just as I pictured it would be, it turned out perfect for me and not ironically it looks a lot like the inside of some of my favorite trailers.
This 1965 Franklin really reminds me of home. It has a the feel of what I love, the vinyl floor and sparkly walls in the bathroom. The ladder for the top bunk turns into a guard rail for sleeping children. The turquoise matching appliances and upholstery make decorating a non-essential. I can see myself pulling up a stool and sitting near the heater on cold nights while soup cooks on the stove. I should have bid on this one on eBay. It closed out at "reserve not met" for $3000. It sold the next day on craigslist for $3350. At this price it was stolen, but then again love is sometimes blind. It's still a little soon to write about this actually. Sniff. Sniff. Rip my heart out 18 foot Franklin!

Vintage, Unrestored 1965 Franklin Travel Trailer - 18ft
Vehicle Description
Vintage 1965 Franklin 18 foot Camping Trailer
You are bidding on a completely original , Un-restored, Vintage, 1965 18 foot Franklin Trunk Back Camping Trailer.
Sleeps 6 people comfortably, with a rear Couch pull-out, a Front Dinette Fold Down, and an Upper bunk section that slides out.
This trailer has all of its original appliances in perfect original working condition, with all of the original user and installer documents. The Stove is so pristine it actually appears to have never been used. The Fridge is a 110v/Gas version and has not been used by me, worked perfectly According to the previous owner. Its interior condition is impeccable. The Heater works exceptionally well, lights and operates like a dream.
The exterior does not have its original paint, having been over-coated by the previous owner. But it is in a nice period color scheme and can easily be redone.
All interior 110v wiring works, and has been updated to include some additional convenient locations.
There is a 12v battery system located within the trunk for the 12v lights, but I have never used it since I took possession. Since everything else works perfectly on this trailer I feel it is safe to assume that by simply adding a battery would make all the 12v lights work as well.
All of the exterior lights worked when it was towed, to its current location. Trailer Hookup is a standard 7-Pin round connector.
The trailer is equiped with electric brakes but I have neither tested them or checked them.
The original Birch interior is in exceptional condition with two minor water damaged sections by the front and rear windows. But, they are well within a repairable state.
The original floor is in beautiful condition, with a few minor divots underneath where the rear Bed slides out.
The cushions are ORIGINAL and are still in very decent condition considering their age.
All Bathroom pieces are in working condition but have not been utilized since I took possession of the trailer.
Buyer is responsible for trailer pickup and/or delivery.
The Tires have a tremendous amount of tread and minimal dry rot, so they should be fine for a medium length tow(2-4 hours) from Southeastern Massachusetts. The bearings WILL be greased and lubed prior to new owner pick-up.
The Trailer has NOT been registered or titled while in my possession.


  1. My wife and I are the proud owner of this little beauty. Drove up to the Mass and pulled it back to NC with out any issues. Since getting home have replaced the tires and rims. Have just rec'd the material for the curtains and pillows. Have had new foam cut to size for the new covers being made. Will keep you updated with the progress.

    1. I just bought a franklin travel trailer just like this! But in much worse condition.

  2. I am impressed with this article. I do believe in my heart I never embellished it's condition in any way. I am truly excited to see what
    Dominic & his family do with my little gem. She was a beautiful trailer.

    To the author of this blog, I thank you. To Dominic & family, keep me informed.

    Oh! By the way, one correction to this article. As of now, Dominic uncovered the serial # & had talked to the family that built Franklins. Don was extremely informative to me & also Dominic. I wish them much luck as they restart the Franklin Factory. This trailer can attest to the quality Franklin built.
    Todd Brunengraber Prior owner

    1. Hi,my name is Andy and I bought a Franklin ,I can't find the vin number anywhere can you help me located? Thank you

    2. Hi,my name is Andy and I bought a Franklin ,I can't find the vin number anywhere can you help me located? Thank you

  3. What a great way to keep a memory alive. I was the photographer for all of the images above, and got to see this trailer 2 or 3 times during the time my friend Todd had it (the prior owner). I simply couldn't belive the condition of it every time I stepped inside. It was like walking back in time.

    When Todd asked me to take pictures of it so that he might be able to sell it, I was thrilled to assist, as it also gave me a visual document of this truely beautiful trailer. The first image in your posting with the title looks like a magazine cover!.. very flattering to a non-professional shutterbug. Thank you for using the images with your blog!

    Congrats to the new owners! After hearing how well it went with their return trip, I am even more pleased I had a small hand in getting it to the new owners. Best of luck with your NEW/old baby.... keep us all informed with any updates or restorations you tackle.

    Best regards,

    Brian Ernst

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  5. Thanks for your comments everyone. I was so excited to read them. Your photography, Brian, definitely had me sold on this trailer and I hope to buy one similar to this Franklin some day. This whole transaction from presentation to price was the right way to sell a trailer. It means taking such a chance to buy something sight unseen and Todd seemed to understand that. I'm glad you all like the idea behind the blog. If you ever want me to put any newer pictures up of restorations, I'd be thrilled to do it. Soon I'll be posting about my new/old travel trailer and its restoration process. It's a 1961 Scottsman, I bought it from San Diego and brought it back to St. Louis believe it or not. It weighs a whopping 900 lbs!

  6. Hello I have been looking for info on a 1964 Franklin Travel trailer I just bought. I cant seem to find any info on it I have seen a very few and the best being the 1965 on your blog. Mine looks the Similar inside but different outside. Do you know where to find info on it or how much it really is worth? I got a great deal on it. I also need one panel of veneer to fix one spot of water damage, but don't know where to get it. Here is a link to a pic of it. If you have some info for me. Thanks a whole bunch in advance.
    Thanks Piper

  7. My first camper was the previous posts style, same layout, same wood paneling (don't remember the kitchen counter being that big tho:), the outside was a faded white. We bought it to park in my mom's yard on the lake so we could 'camp' out on weekends (and not drive my dad nuts staying in his and mom's house). Hubby, I, and five little children packed in there like sardines. Fun fun fun. A tree murdered our old camper. Good memories. I look forward to reading more of your posts:)

  8. I have a 1966 Franklin and am considering selling it. We may be adopting in the very near future and this would no longer be big enough. If there is any interest you can email me pleasantnye at yahoo dot com.

  9. Hello
    I am about to look at a 1960 Franklin travel trailer myself today if it has not sold I am sure the person selling just above my comment has sold, but I do have some questions about their 1966 Franklin.

  10. This post was so helpful. We're going to look at a 1965 Franklin tomorrow and seeing the trailers interior in all it's original glory really helped. One question, if you know. I know it's an 18 footer but do you know the full width of the trailer?

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  12. We just recently purchased an old travel trailer to use as a storage unit for my son for a year or two. I thought at first that it was a Forester, but I've found a couple of emblems on the side by the door that indicate that it's an old (60's?) Franklin.
    It's really in pretty darn good shape, with original sink, fridge, and stove/oven in turquoise (that was painted-over with black on the stovetop, and beige on the oven door and fridge door; the sink is still turquoise. I plan to carefully remove the black and beige and restore them!
    The original wood on the walls and most of the doors are in good shape. Laminate flooring was laid, but is lift-able. Original cushions were wrapped and stitched with beige upholstery/drapery fabric and I'll unwrap them.
    There were a couple of places where there was a fair bit of water damage in the ceiling, in the cavity that runs up and over from the door to the bathroom, and the cavity nust back of that (the previous owner had tried to repair but had done a poor job).
    The bathroom had been stripped-out by the previous owner and only contained a porta-pottie; the plumbing had been closed-off, and the toilet, shower head, and sink are missing.
    I have stripped out what needs stripping (including the 'pink' insulation the previous owner had put in which had become water-logged though thankfully not moldy).
    The more I read about these rare old trailers, the more I am sure that, once the trailer is no longer needed for storage, I will restore it.
    But - I have a question:
    *where* would one find a VIN# on a Franklin? I've looked all around the outside (there are the Franklin emblems, etc., but no VIN on the outside that I can find), and in all the drawers and on the cupboard doors. Any more ideas/suggestions? Thank you!
    Lynne Courtney, on Vancouver Island, in BC, Canada

    1. I believe the vin is usually on the tongue or elsewhere on the frame itself. If it has been painted over it might be hard or impossible to find. Goodluck!

  13. Thank you, Travelling Trailers - I've been looking on the tongue, inside in the cupboards/on the back of doors, but haven't got right under to look at the frame... I may do that.
    However, here in British Columbia, I can apply to get a new VIN assigned, and so get the Franklin properly registered, and begin work on restoring it as soon as is possible. :-)
    Seeing this article has inspired me!

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  16. Brings me back to my childhood memories camping with my parents and little brother. After college, I lived in it for one winter while working in ski area in Killington, Vermont
    We had a 19' with an overhang bed above the dining table... I especially remeber the goucho couch in the back as my parents bed... My dad was 6'4" and mom 5'2". The turquoise appliances and birch wood.. ooh la la I'm getting ready for retirement... How can I find one?

  17. Anyone selling one of these please contact me

  18. Any info on where to buy parts? We have 1965 franklin very similar to yours, without the bunk overhang, and are in desperate need of a new door. Any suggestions?