Monday, April 27, 2009

My First Travel Trailer

Do not try this at home! I bought this shiny hunk of aluminum last week from off a craigslist ad in San Deigo. I live in St. Louis. That's about a two thousand mile distance. So I kindly asked the owner, Brett (a vintage car aficionado from sunny Southern California) to meet me half way in Albuqurque, New Mexico. Amazingly he agreed. The worst part of buying a trailer 34 hours away and planning to meet half way is closing the deal. I was speaking regularly with the owner of this trailer, Brett, for about a week. He was a really nice guy and it was a gut feeling alone that he was an honest guy that kept the deal alive. Once my mind was set that I would buy the trailer, I just went to work making it happen. We both had so much to do.

He had to get plates, apply for a California title, repack bearings, buy new tires, and work his regular job. I had to get roadside assistance, have trip check inspection done on my car, get two new tires and a spare, work weekend hours to build up time off at work, talk Gary out of thinking I had finally lost my mind, and talk myself into giving my new San Diego friend a big old deposit, trailer sight unseen. And work a regular job. Exactly 12 hours after sending Brett the deposit, we get a call from him saying that a photographer wants to use the trailer in a GQ photo shoot in Malibu. This was the one moment in the whole deal when I hung my head and kissed my deposit goodbye. I don't even know why it sounded whacked out all of a sudden. After all, I was the girl driving half way across the country for a trailer like it was no big deal. What's a little detour for a GQ photoshoot. It just sounded too surreal, like a joke. So I called Brett back and told him that the idea of the trailer going to Malibu instead of straight to New Mexico was giving me heart palpatations. Without another word, Brett says, "Ok, then I won't do it." I'll leave Friday morning to meet you. And he did. We met up in New Mexico and the trailer looked lovely.


Road Wings. I love them. The wings were added in the 60's and became an identifying feature for these inexpensive but sturdy travel trailers. Seems to me that they have cheaper laminate walls inside and the shelving and wood work looks flimsy to me. This 1968 cutie is very clean though. I've seen a few of these Lo Flytes for sale in my search for my own travel trailer, but not in this shape. This trailer was probably manufactured in Goshen, Indiana unless it ended up in Michigan from California where the original Shasta manufacturers were. This one sold for $1812.87 A great deal for the shape this trailer is in. I'm a little envious of the winner. I'm also surprised that a trailer from Michigan has so little water damage. This baby was kept inside most of it's life. Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and surrounding northern midwestern states are what us travel trailer searchers affectionately refer to as the rust belt of America. That translates into Lots O' Water damage, dry rot tires, and rusty underbellies. Well ususally, there are exceptions such as this one. So check out those windows! When it comes to windows, I'm old fashion. Meaning, I adore those super cool Jalousie crank windows even if they rattle sometimes and don't create a perfect seal. Oh well. If perfection is your cup of tea, then you are probably not reading a travel trailer blog. One more thing about that trailer that I find interesting, I don't know if it will affect the resale of these vintage travel trailers, but Coachman who owns the Shasta name, started making a vintage replica trailer in 2008, complete with wings and it apparently includes a 19" LCD television. Fancy!

As usual, I included the original seller's description with a very thorough description.

Description as found on Ebay:
Vehicle Description
This is an all orginal 1968 Shasta Lo-Flyte Travel Trailer that is 15' in length(including tongue) and just over 7' wide. The interior head room measures in at just over 6' from floor to ceiling.