In recent years vintage trailers have made a comeback. Vintage travel trailers are a part of the tiny house movement, and many people refurbish old-worn-out trailers and create beautiful retro living spaces. Regardless of whether the trailers stay stationary or are used as mobile houses, this new trend is fun and nostalgic.
About a year and a half ago, I got interested in buying and restoring a vintage trailer. I did some research and searched around to find my perfect purchase. After months of looking around, I finally found my ideal trailer. I drove 8 hours to see it and then returned the following week with my dad to tow it home. My trailer is a 1951 40-foot New Moon trailer. Yes, That's right, I said 40 feet long! Because of its size, my trailer is a park model. That means I won't be towing it around anywhere. After getting home, I started sweeping, dusting, and scrubbing every surface. I also ripped out the old flooring and replaced it with new. The wood paneling is all cleaned and is waiting to be waxed and polished. I still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but I have enjoyed every second of it.
You can buy a fully restored trailer if you have the cash, but the prices are higher. If you aren't afraid of some hard work and getting your hands dirty, you can take on the challenge of a fixer-upper project. When buying a fixer-upper, you want to ensure it is in towable condition. New tires and axels can be very pricy, so finding a trailer where that doesn't need to be replaced is ideal. You also want to make sure the floor and subfloor are solid. Wet and rotten floorboards can mean that the framing and structure of your trailer are unstable. Fixing this can be a big hassle, so I recommend passing on trailers that need a new subfloor. Some other things to keep an eye on are dents, plumbing, and electricity.
When looking for a trailer, you must think about its practicality. You have to decide if you want to use it for vacation or full-time use. Small trailers have significantly less storage space, so they are more of a challenge when trying to cram all your stuff in them. Bigger trailers are more spacious but harder to tow. Either way, you must weigh the positives and negatives before purchasing.
Deciding whether you want to gut the old interior of your trailer or restore it to its former vintage glory is a big decision, but one you must make. Gutting a trailer can be tricky, but a vintage trailer can look fantastic with a modern flair. Keeping the original interior requires restoration. Often time replacing broken, worn, and missing pieces is required. If you decide to go this route, there are several websites and online shops where you can buy original or reproduction replacement parts for your trailer to keep the authentic retro look.