In The Beginning...

In The Beginning...
Before it all began

Monday, February 27, 2012

The old girl is dead

Unfortunately, my trailer was totally collapsed in a windstorm a few months ago. I'm sorry I took so long to post this, but was just reminded of this blog by an email from a very nice lady with a similar trailer. I had totally gutted my Shasta Compact, and had removed a great deal of her skin. Because there was so much rot in the framing, I had the skeleton braced up to keep it standing. I went to bed one night fully expecting to work on the trailer in the morning, only to find a pile of rubble where I left my trailer!

The damage was so extensive that I scrapped everything but the frame and Shasta badges, as well as the door an a few parts that may get reused. I plan on building a new trailer on the frame much like the original, at least in spirit. She will no longer be a true Shasta, but she will still wear the decals.

I will probably start a new blog about building the new trailer, and don't intend to post anything further here. I will, of course, provide a link to the new blog as soon as I get things started.

Thanks to all of you for following along.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Better Look At The Old Girl

Sorry to take so long for a new post. I took the pictures that follow as soon as we got her home, and really did intend to make this entry right away. But, just like when I brought her home, things don't always go as planned.

Anyway, my grandson and I went through the trailer and removed all of the debris that was in her, and took the dinette cushions out. They will all need replaced anyway, since they are dirty and really stinky. Then we went about taking an objective look at what we have to work with, and also discussed possible changes in the floor plan. What we found was a trailer with much more water damage than I had initially expected. I was really surprised at how little I had really seen when I first looked at the trailer. It's amazing how blinded we can be by an initial meeting. The heart sees things much differently than the eyes do. That's undoubtedly a good thing, though, because my eyes would have said NO! But my heart was already in love, so this is going to be a long-term relationship, warts and all.

The pictures that follow make the old girl look much prettier than she really is. Her makeup (white paint over the walls) covers up a lot of rot. Underneath it, she is really wrinkly and soft, rather than smooth and firm. But this is who she is right now, and I love her anyway. At my age, she and I have a lot in common.

The door needs completely rebuilt.

The glass will need replaced. Duct tape is covering broken edges.

Streetside rear corner has been mashed a few times.

And so has the curbside rear corner.

Glass is missing from the front jalousie window. You can see some of the deteriorated interior through the window.

The electrical panel is in the closet, and the AC outlets still work, believe it or not.

The 120 VAC light with electrical outlet mounted on the rear shelf still works, but is in pretty bad cosmetic shape.

The fresh water tank has stuff growing in it and will be replaced. You can see rot at the rear corner of the floor.

The refrigerator doesn't work, and it is pretty rusty. Door is twisted and doesn't close properly.

All of the jacks are present and work. The closet has a divider wall for the Fridge. This will be modified to make a Porta-Potty room.

The front galley will be removed and new cabinets built. I plan to put an electric Fridge where the drawers are. The range is rusted badly and the trim has been sprayed with aluminum paint.

The Fridge will be removed so the closet room will accommodate a Porta-Potty.

My extremely handsome and intelligent grandson, Max, is really excited about the project. He has already made several great suggestions for the new layout.

The Range top works, but the oven does not. The range will be removed and replaced by a 3-burner cooktop, or perhaps just a portable propane camping stove. This is still under consideration. In either case, we will probably put a small microwave under the counter top in the space currently occupied by the oven.

The gas light is broken and will be replaced by a 12 VDC light.

The paneling on the rear wall shows evidence of severe water damage. Unfortunately, it is no worse than the rest of the walls.

Severe water damage around the roof vent. Previous owners patched a LOT!

Water damage from roof leak extends well beyond the vent.

The metal Shasta emblem by the door is in one piece. I'll have to figure out the best way to clean it up.

The counter top is stained and the sink cover is broken. An all new galley will be built, although we will try to salvage the sink and faucets.

The closet and half closet will be removed and replaced with a potty room and a full length closet.

Water fill line and fresh water supply line are present but damaged.

Poles from what was likely an awning are stored under the seat.

Before the weather turned too wintery, we started tearing out the interior.  That's when the real surprises were uncovered.  I'll post a few pictures  soon.  As of right now, this old charmer is resting under her nice warm tarp, just waiting for a little warmer weather before she shows me anything new.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

An Unexpected Adventure Begins

I really, really, wanted to build a Teardrop Trailer, or "TD", as they are often called on the Internet forums that cater to people who are into them.  Honestly, though, I have never seen a TD in real life - only on the Internet.  But that doesn't really matter.  I saw them on-line, and I fell in love with them.  You can see them too at Teardrops & Tiny Travel Trailers, or at such sites as  Teardrop Trailer Project,  or even Kuffel Creek Teardrops. They are just so darned cute you can't help but want to build one.

But then, life intervened. My wife, Cheryl, - always supportive of anything that I want to do, no matter how silly, goofy, outlandish, or expensive it may honestly seem to her at the time - decided that I really didn't want a Teardrop. She knew that what I wanted was a Tiny Travel Trailer that I could stand up in, go to the potty in, and even cook in. It's just amazing how she always knows what I really want, even when I don't! I guess that after nearly 45 years, she actually does know me pretty well.

Cheryl started looking on Craig's List several times a day for a small camping trailer that would enable me and our 9-year-old grandson, Max, to travel a bit and do some camping and fishing, and the three of us to spend in luxury for a few weekends at campgrounds with "facilities". I, of course, wanted no part of this, because a Teardrop was what we really needed, even though it was not really likely that she and I could sleep in a trailer that was not as wide as the two of us together. But, let's not go there.

But, wouldn't you just know it....she found a 1969 Shasta Compact for only $750.00 (reduced from $900.00) on Craig's List, and it was only a few miles away. And, the darned picture actually made it look pretty nice. A little on-line research informed me that the trailer's cabin dimensions were only 10 feet long by 6.6 feet wide on the outside. Very small, almost like a Teardrop! And then I found the Vintage Shasta Trailer Forum. I was hooked. These things have a real cult following, and they are just so darned cute! I had to go look at it.

We called the owner and set up a time to see it. One look, and I was a goner. This trailer had everything I would ever need (except a bathroom). Even though there had been a serious roof leak, the basic trailer seemed very sound. It had a stove and a refrigerator. The stove worked, but the fridge was untested by the current, but short-term, owner. The 120 volt and 12 volt lights worked. Just add a porta-potty, and it was usable! Tear out the interior and customize it a bit, and it would be amazing! So, I bought it. $700.00. What a deal! I towed it home that day, even without a license plate!

Of course, the trailer was 41 years old. Obviously, she would have a few problems that would need fixed. Even I was amazed at what those problems entailed. I'll fill you in on my next post.