Here we go again!

Look what we found! Title reads 1955 but we think it’s closer to 1959/1960. Either way, needs ALOT of work! Notice the doorway threshold- very uneven. The outter walls are attached to nothing at the bottom and are free floating causing the wall to sag and the threshold floor shows the outcome. We will try to keep it original but we’ll see once we get into it.

Trying to deconstruct without destroying!

Carefully removing appliances, lights, and then sections. Nothing makes a better template than the original. Pictures also help with remembering what that 3″ piece of wood was used for…
Kitchen cabinet finally out and in one piece!
The walls are this wonderful rustic tongue in groove pine. Underneath the original Birch is totally destroyed. Four layers of flooring, and red painted everything! But the beds are almost intact.
Here is the kitchen cabinet. It really relies on the outside walls for support so the oven side is a little loosey goosey.
OH LOOK! Original floor in the closet!
Notice the outside wall was not sitting or attached to the frame. I think we could add a few more boards and make it work!
Walls were pulled off as whole units. We will use these as templates. Frame is almost down to get it looked at to make sure its road worthy.
Here is the closet in one piece. Too bad the other side was painted red and is riddled with holes from the pine siding and add ons like extra lights, and switches to nowhere. They will have to be remade.
Kitchen cabinet face was remade and stained, drawers are sanded and stained, door face is sanded and stained. A few coats of Polyurethane and on to the next section.

What is the ice box made of?

Decided to keep the ice box original. Too many are being taken out of these old campers and destroyed. The little fridges that fit are just too small to hold anything worth keeping cool. I like portable coolers, or the marine fridges (but this camper is too simple for something so sophisticated). This camper was made with simplicity in mind, so I will use the ice box from time to time with ice in it, or use it as a cupboard to hold food.

removed ice box from kitchen cabinet and removed door. notice mold on cardboard exterior

They used staples to attach EVERYTHING-Face frame off.
icebox is encased with corrugated cardboard, then fiberglass insulation, and finally the metal interior box.
Yuck – a little mold in the upper corner of the picture
outter box dimensions
Lower half of ice box. the drainage hole needs to be connected to down pipe from upper shelve used to hold ice block. Also need to repaint white walls – I think previous owner tried to repaint with that yellow color flat house paint.
Sanded as best as I could. Top of box is painted. Notice the interior metal box is very simply made with seams that are crimped and in the corners are sealed with calk.
Finished painting inside. Notice upper area is not painted where the ice goes. The ice block is placed on that shelf and the water would loosen the paint. The ice melts and drains down the tube in the back and out the hole in the bottom(which I have to connect so there isn’t a puddle of water). Food in the ice box is stored at the bottom where the wire shelf and white bottom are located. (that’s just an FYI for the newer kids)
Instead of the fiberglass insulation, I’m replacing it with rigid insulation from Home Depot. It has an R value of about 5. Added bonus that it will help with stability. Rounding the corners with aluminum foil tape (used in HVAC ducting work).
Finally, putting on new cardboard. Using brown packing tape around all corners. This really gives it a nice finish. After sanding and air brushing that ugly brown on the door and frame pieces, they will get reattached.
Viola! I think the paint came out okay. I don’t have any special equipment to get a smooth finish, but I think it will look fine in this little bitty Shasta.
The finished interior with face frame on. I replaced the foam seal around the door with weather seal I found in the Home Depot insulation isle (BIG mistake). Its almost like double stick tape!
Close up of foam that seals the edges of the door. Gotta figure out how to make it not seal so well!!

Interior Finishes

So this project is so basic. The whole camper is a minute big. It was built to be simplistic so by making it overly modern or trying to make it something its not would ruin what this camper is all about.

To keep it simple, I think the wood walls stained in an amber hue with polyurethane to seal is perfect. Flooring is marmoleum in an exact match to the original (except in sheet good not in 9″ squares). I’m keeping the original ice box and range but fixing them so they are clean and functionally safe. The gas lamp will be rewired to accept an LED light but will look like it is the original gas lamp – mantle and all.

Marmoleum sheet flooring in withered prairie

For the soft goods, I’m turning to JoAnn Fabrics but getting a commercial grade upholstery that can withstand wet bathing suits and sand. Its pricey but with the coupons 60 percent off! it is affordable and it brings the brown and teal together! Then maybe a welt around the cushion to bring in the pinks.

The curtains I tried to go for a Hawaiian print to match the new exterior which will be that teal that our vintage 1957 Chevy truck is painted. Looked everywhere online (Search is limited online because the world is quarantined due to Covid) so on Ebay I could only find a close match. I tried all sorts of formicas for the counter but all seemed to fight with the fabrics. Then I found the pink on the Panolam website. Since there’s not much countertop or table, I think It’s doable-I’m not much of a pink person. The laminate slides in the cabinets will be (white with gold/brown speckle) from a craigslist find that was a freebee – I just need to delaminate it from the counter its already on.

The Trailer Frame

Now we’re down to the real problem-why the whole trailer is sagging.

underside of floor – front of trailer (Jack) is at top. Everything past the wheel well (tubs) to the floor is overhang. The metal frame only went to behind wheel tub. Later models had a longer frame to accomodate the long overhang.
First order of business, take the wheel (wells)tubs off and determine the condition of them.
Both wheel tubs have been determined to be too flimsy and unable to keep out moisture and pests, so they’ve been sent off to be remade.
Tubs removed from frame – trying to organize a bit.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch we are addressing the metal frame.
A little bit of sandblasting in 100 degree heat.
Then off to my trailer repair guy to make sure there’s no hairline cracks or weak welds.
Here is what the earlier compacts frame looked like. The red lines are the wood under structure that sits on the metal frame.
Rattle canned some paint on both the wheel tubs and the frame, painted the underside of wood with latex house paint and it’s time to start putting on the wood. Wheel tubs go on next.
And then the subfloor
The subfloor was painted with gray (underside).
Notice the gray 2×4 side. It will be cut under the wheel tub before putting the skins on. It will give the trailer the correct look for the side profile. BTW- the springs are turned incorrect on the axle and this trailer is sitting too high off the ground. The previous owner changed out the axle and we haven’t addressed that part yet since we can access it better. It will have to be done at a later date.
All screw holes, seams and crevasis are puttied and sanded. Ready for the Marmoleum flooring. Covered with a heavy paper to protect from kids and grandkids etc.
Took time out for this!
Rented a roller at Home Depot. Watched YouTube on how to lay linoleum. So now I’m an expert.
But of course there’s always critics…
Flooring is finished and heavy weight paper is placed on top to protect the marmoleum. Time for some clean up.