Friday, May 22, 2009

1961 Shasta Renovation

1961 Shasta travel trailer

Ever wondered what it would look like to take a can opener to one of these sardine cans on wheels? Before I open up my own travel trailer to access the integrity of the walls, I’ve been trying to learn my trailer anatomy by reading restoration blogs. Here is an example of a trailer restoration of a 1961 Shasta. Look closely at the pictures with the skin removed. Looks to me like the aluminum skin’s connected to the plywood. The plywood’s connected to the floorboard. The floorboard’s connected to the steel frame. You get the picture. However, what I’ve noticed in the case of my own trailer is that the plywood underneath has grown spongy in spots causing the aluminum screws to lose their grip and the plywood at the base no longer connects to the floorboards at the front of the trailer. Both the floorboards and walls will need to be replaced in these spots. It’s customary to come up with a name for a trailer before beginning any restoration, but all that comes to mind right now is how it resembles a very large vacuum cleaner, zipping down the road sucking in every bug and particle of dust that comes across our bath. Sneeze central has a nice ring to it. You would not want to sleep in my trailer after a drive down a gravel drive, but with some TLC these little trailers can be given a 2nd life. This Shasta is a predecessor to the winged Shastas that have come to define this make of this trailer. What I like about this trailer is that the person who restored it brought it back to its 1961 glory and stayed true to it's original design.

Vintage Shasta Camper Travel Trailer, canned ham
Vehicle Description
Up for auction is Blue Heaven. A 1961 Shasta travel trailer that has undergone extensive renovation, bringing it back to all of its original glory. The exterior has been professionally painted with automobile paint in the original color scheme, and the body is really straight, but does retain the small dents and dings a vintage trailer is bound to have. I call 'em character!
This little beauty has a super cool and unique interior design, with a sofa across the front end that lies down into a bed. This is a really great place to hang out and read a magazine (which you can keep in the original rack near the front door!), cuz it is surrounded by windows behind and on either side. It feels really open, and when it's time to eat, tables on either side fold down to create a dinette area! There is another sofa at the left rear of the cabin, which also folds down to a bed, and has a built in nightstand. The front bed is 78" x 44" and the rear is 74"x 46".
The sofa cushions are all new materials, in black and gray vinyl, as the originals were missing. They match the new linoleum flooring, which also has tiny cobalt blue specks throughout. The original powder blue with gold sparkle tables and counter tops needed to be replaced cuz they were too damaged (DANG!), and a formica powder blue boomerang pattern was used, staying with the original scheme that sported a white backsplash. Interior storage slider doors also need fixin', and were re done in the original white scheme.
I tried to keep everything as original as possible. Original Morphy Richards "Astral" refrigerator works perfectly, is super clean inside and out and has all grates and door rails. There are some cracks, and some damage where the racks insert, which I have pictured. The Princess stove/oven combo also works perfectly and is in very good condition inside and out. All cabinetry is original with original pulls and hinges, though some of the catches were broken and needed to be replaced. All windows are also original and work fine. Windows have all been removed, polished and re installed with putty tape. Also removed and re installed with new putty tape are all drip guards, storage/access doors, new roof vent, all running, tail and brake lights, as well as the external corner trim (which contains the awning rail) from front to rear entirely. Heck, even the emblems, door handle and grab handle have been installed with putty tape at the screw holes. No leaks here, folks. All windows have new screen, with the exception of the rear closet, which is still in decent shape.
The rear closet was formerly a bathroom with a bi-fold door and spring loaded hinges at the seam, but the toilet was removed, the floor was rebuilt, and now is an empty space with plenty of room for a porta potty, or just to be used as a closet (the original T.P. roller is there, just in case. wink wink.) The humphrey propane lamp works perfectly, as do the 110v kitchen and sconce lights. The rear "cone" light is not original, but is an original 1960's Shasta light. Each sconce has an outlet to plug in whatever you need to plug in, and there is also a standard outlet located under the upper right kitchen cabinet. A breaker box is also located there, and a new external power inlet has been installed. A new municipal water inlet has also been installed, along with all new lines to the original faucet and sink.
Tires are in excellent condition with original hubcaps, wheel bearings have been packed and the break mechanisms have been removed as they are not necessary in a trailer this light, and I have had them lock up on me on a previous trailer. The propane bottle is new and full, the hold down is original. There is a flat 4 plug, and all running, tail and brake lights work. Original Bargman license plate light has a red glass lens. All storage doors and the front door have keys.
As I said at the beginning, this was an extensive renovation. The entire front end was removed below the front and curb side windows to the front door and re framed with fresh wood, and rotted wood was replaced near the door and front end. The roof vent leaked, and so old wood was removed and the roof was re framed. The rear end also had water damage and though not as bad as the front, was also re framed. All repaired areas were covered with fresh birch and coated with amber shellac to give it that "glow" these old crumpets are known for, and all original wood got a fresh coat, too!! I have posted a couple of "in progress" pictures so you can really get an idea of just how solid a trailer this really is.
If you've been looking for just the right vintage trailer to come along, this is it. No leaks, No hassle, No smells, No WORRIES!! Also no title. Just a bill of sale.