Saturday, August 31, 2013


I'm on HOLIDAY!  Two weeks away from the toil and trouble of work.  Two weeks to relax and enjoy my life at home.

And slightly away from home, in just a few days.

Occasionally I go on a bit of a music binge.  I won't drag you through everything that got me to this place, but I eventually hit upon this delightful montage of classic country music - so fitting to our vintage trailer lifestyle!

Enjoy these lovely ladies!

What driving music do you like?  You are taking your trailer on long trips, aren't you?  You must need good music to keep you going over the mountain passes and through the desert straights?  So many directions to go, and I'll be getting my iPod primed up before we head out on Wednesday. Sadly, I don't have this tune, but I can watch it on YouTube anytime!

I will watch it over, and over, and over, and over, and over and over again!  And then again!  She's got such a beautiful voice.  And a clown!  There's a clown in the video!  It's not quite trailers, but it is trains... close.  Sort of.

You might not know it, because I've not said much about it but I love clowns!  The creepier the better!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Counting down...

Not long before our first trip with the trailer!  We're getting very excited about it, and working on getting everything ready.

Syd is also looking forward to the trip.  He enjoys spending time in the trailer.  Today I was sitting at the table for a bit and he just had to sit right next to me.  It was a bit cozy, but I did manage to catch a good picture of him.

He's still a bit nervous in the trailer, but getting used to it.  We want him to think of it as his second home!  I'm sure once he gets fed in the trailer, and sees us eating there it will fully hit home.

Syd in the trailer

Home is where the kibbles are.

Now that we've been bitten with the vintage trailer bug (what does that bug look like, anyhow?), I've become hypersensitive to trailers of all sorts.  I was waiting at a stop light today and saw this bugger drive by ~

Don't be fooled - it's not vintage!

Don't be fooled like I almost was.  At first I thought maybe it was a "newer" vintage trailer (!) but no - it's probably not more than a couple of years old.  It looks a bit better than most of the modern trailers, but DON'T BE FOOLED!  It's no canned ham.  It's a Starcraft AR-ONE.

Then there's things like this little modern teardrop trailer.  Cute, but did they have to put the ubiquitous swish design on it?  I have more to say about trailer design, but I'll save that for another day.

A modern trailer

Built after 1975?  Pish posh, I'll have none of you.

Oh dear, I'm already a vintage trailer snob.  HA!

More and more we realize how lucky we were with our find - all original, and in such good shape!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Getting the hang of this!

Today we had to pick up the trailer after having the bearings packed, and we figured while we were out we should fill up the propane tanks (just across the street).

I'm sure you're just dying to find out how it went.

I didn't crash into anything, and even got my first taste of backing up the trailer!  Oh boy.  When we pulled in to Skagit Farmer's Supply for the propane, there was a large motorhome ahead of us.  I pulled in directly behind them, figuring they would just drive away and we could pull in straight away.

But no.  Motorhome guy insisted he needed to back up to pull his motorhome out the other direction - which meant pulling up alongside of him, then waiting for him to get out of there before maneuvering our way closer to the propane fill-up area.

Which required backing up.

Oh boy!

I actually did much better than expected the first time out, and the propane filling guy was very patient.  Heck, he was getting paid to stand there and wait!  Michael is very good at directing, though after he said "other way" about five times in a row I lost track of which "other way" he meant.  Good thing we get along so well!

While we were waiting, I noticed somebody stopped at the light taking a picture of our trailer with their phone.  Then, while I was inside paying for the propane Michael gave a little tour of the trailer to the guy that came up after us to fill a propane tank.  I think this attention is something we're going to have to get used to...

Here's the very exciting moment of propane filling ~

Filling up the propane tanks!

Wow.  Look at that, will you?!!

And here's the first of our trailer admirers - El Sticko.  He was quite impressed with the trailer, and very happy that I didn't run him down.

Out for a little spin

Now we're ready to really get ready for our first trip.  Leaving in six days!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cleaning and another tow...

The one week countdown until our first trip has begun!

We still have a few things to do to get the trailer ready.  Michael has been doing little bits every day to clean things up - shelving, the fridge, etc.  Yesterday's task was cleaning all of the running lights.  Look what came out of one of the taillights!

This is just one chunk of moss Michael cleaned out of the trailer taillights!

That's just one big chunk of the moss he cleaned out of the lights.  Crazy!  I'm a big fan of moss, probably more than most people, but we just don't need this dimming our lights.  I'll have to find a spot for it in the garden.

It is perfectly good moss after all!

Another thing we wanted to get done before taking the trailer on a long trip is to have the bearings packed.  So off we went to Les Schwab today!  It was the second towing of the trailer, and I must say much less stressful than our first adventure.  Sure, it was barely a mile, and it wasn't raining AND it was light - but overall it went great!  It's going to take some getting used to, but I think I'll be towing like a pro in no time!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday Treasures


It was a good year, so I hear.  The summer of love and all.  I was only two, so I don't have much in the way of memories of that year.  I probably had a favorite teddy bear, and played with some toys.

But lots of people were making memories with their trailers.  It was the year our trailer was built, and plenty of people were out and about having fun with trailers of their own.

Hook 'em up and hit the road!

1967 Chevrolet Suburban with Ideal Travel Trailer

Leona had a good time in 1967.  She got out, saw some mountains, and stood near some snow.

Leona by travel trailer in 1967 

Leona, pickup, travel trailer

Grandpa's trailer parked somewhere in 1967

Leona's trailer, parked in front of her house presumably!  Is that an airplane shadow?

And how about some camping in sunglasses style?


How did they fit all of those people into that trailer?!!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013


Whirlwind on Hauraki Plains

What's this?  I've been writing this blog for one month already?  ONE MONTH?!  Last week felt like one year, how could this be?

I demand answers.

How on earth did I decide I was tired of sleeping on the ground when camping and that I wanted a vintage trailer, convince Michael, search Craigslist, find the wrong trailer and not go look at it (twice), find the right trailer, look at it, enlist the help of my wonderful dad, buy it, run around fixing the electrics on our car, buy a hitch, bring the trailer home in a rainstorm with hazard lights instead of tail lights, cancel the first trip we planned, and plan a different trip ~


When did I sleep?

Not to mention work and pick beans from the garden?

I should also mention I joined and unjoined vintage trailer Facebook groups, read books, blogs, and various websites about vintage trailers, and somehow still managed to walk our dog three times a day.



I can't wait to take the trailer out on our first trip next week.  We still have a few things to do to get ready, but for the most part we're ready to roll.  I've been very particular about posting to the blog every day, but when we go on vacation that won't be the case.  It's vacation, after all, and for me that means shutting down the technology and touching dirt.  I do take a lot of pictures, so I'll be able to report back when we return.  I'm looking forward to writing about where we go in our trailer - that's what we bought it for after all!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Book Review - Trailerama

Trailerama - Phil Noyes

If you're looking for a book to satisfy your lust for visual images of vintage trailers, then this is it!  Noyes has pulled together an impressive collection of ephemera related to these old beauties, and organized it in a manner that even a librarian could love!  I sat for an hour or so and paged through this book, enjoying every image and the sparse but pointed commentary.  Trailerama is an interesting peek into the world of life in a mobile home - small or large.

Advertisements and old photos combine to create this nostalgic look at the culture surrounding trailer life.  A lot has changed over the years, but the love for a little mobile home away from home hasn't diminished.  We still yearn for the chance to get out and see more of the world around us, and this glimpse of the trailer lifestyle will inspire even the most immobile to head for their nearest state park, trailer in tow.

It's all about hitting the road and having a good time.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Quiet before the storm...

Or something like that.

It's been pretty quiet in trailerville for the last few days.  I've been busy working, and we've got some other things going on that have been keeping us busy.

For instance, today we went on a "wild chicken chase" in search of organic chickens.  We drove out to the Skagit River Ranch, but they have sold out of broiler hens for the year.  Huh.  When we were getting into the car a man came up to the window and said, "Pssst - I know where you can get chickens.  Go to Well Fed Farms, on the other side of the highway around Cook Road and Avon Allen Road.  The chickens are sooooo meaty!"

Okay.  Maybe he didn't say "pssst."  And maybe he had his directions a bit wrong, and the farm is really on the east side of the highway.  So maybe we drove around in circles a little bit (but gave up quickly in favor of research for details).  But damn, I bet those chickens are meaty!

What does this have to do with trailers, you ask?  Not much, but we did see this abandoned beauty along the way.

Abandoned trailer

It was quite a ways from the road, but I was still able to get a decent shot.

We also stopped for lunch at the Longhorn Saloon in Bow.  Home to the most fantastic piece of art of I've ever seen.  Ever.  In the whole entire world.


Don't lie - you love it!

In other news, we're getting the bearings packed next week.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Once one has a trailer, one must find a destination!  Today we go to state parks, national parks, and RV parks - depending on what's available at our intended location and how much we want to pay.

But back in the day, "back in the day" (as they say), people hitched up their trailers and headed for trailer parks.  Or trailer courts.  Either way, a term we associate now with permanent living used to mean the same thing as RV park.  A temporary tourist destination.  At some point meaning and intention shifted, but the signs for these early parks are still out there - the shining beacon meant to lure the weary traveler in.

walnut trailer villa, west sac ca

El Rovia Trailer Village

Trailer Court - Northern California


Sunset Mobile Home Park

I bet these were quite the places in their heyday...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Eye Candy

I'm not going to lie - if money was no object, I'd rush right out and find my own Holiday House trailer.  I love the big window!  The beautiful aluminum features, so striking when polished!

Holiday House

The Holiday House trailers are rare indeed.  There are so few of them that I keep running across the same pictures no matter where I go online.

Holiday House

Oooooh.... aaaaaahhhhhhhh...

The Holiday House trailers were built by the employees of Harry and David (the fruit people!) during the off-season as a means to  retain skilled employees in the off season.

Fruit.  Trailers.

An obvious connection!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013



The trailer came with a lot of kitchen gear already stocked, and today Michael went through all of it to clean things up.  He's purging close to 30 pounds of utensils and frying pans and rolling pins from the trailer!  There's just no need to carry all of that superfluous stuff.  There's a handful of things we'd like to add - a set of wooden spoons, and a tiny coffee maker.  We each just drink one cup in the morning, so nothing too fancy is needed.  But we do want something, and a little maker will be the best option.

There's even a set  of plastic plates and cups  with a little fish on them - we'll be keeping those, and whichever items Michael sees fit for camp cooking.  Some of the things will stay here at home, and others will head straight to the thrift store.  Michael will just have to make a good list of what he needs for his stripped down kitchen.

Oh dear, I'm fading fast...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday Trash

Tuesday already?

I was sitting in a meeting this afternoon, and we were discussing a blog I'm scheduled to write a couple of posts for this week.  All of a sudden I thought to myself - TUESDAY!  Trash day!  Time to bring out the decay.

So many trailers have been abandoned, just left to rot where they are.  Sad, yet beautiful in their own way.  Slowly crumbling to little bits of nothing - once loved, now lost.  Each has a story to tell, but we'll never hear those stories since the owners have long gone on to other things.  We're just left with images of human ingenuity, crumbling slowly as the seasons pass - wind, rain, searing heat and snow eating away at the edges until integrity fails and collapse occurs...

pinon canyon abandonment 2


Last Vacation


abandoned trailer. mojave desert, ca. 2013.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Our First Trip - BOOKED!

The point of getting a trailer is for the camping, isn't it?  ISN'T IT?

Yes, yes it is.

We originally thought our first trip would be all the way to Yellowstone, to pick up Nolan after his summer of what turned out to be hell.  But the hell was just a bit too much, and he's put in his notice and will be heading home on his own by way of adventure.  Somebody laughed at me earlier because I said "I don't have to go to Yellowstone now."  WHO says that?!!  In ordinary times, I'd be horribly disappointed that we're not going.  But we have been before, and Michael's bum leg means there wouldn't be much walking around of great distances - thus, it's no skin off our backs.

Kind of a relief actually.  It was a bit nutty to think we'd go so far on our first trip with the trailer!  But hey - we're still going on a trip.  Just not so far.  The trip to Yellowstone was going to be long days of driving and very little time to relax.  The replacement trip will be shorter drives and more fun time!

Our first stop will be two nights at the Yakima Sportsman State Park.  My parents live in Yakima, and we want to spend a bit of time with them.  Michael wants to pick every bit of knowledge about trailers from my dad's brain - which hose goes where, etc. etc.

Yakima Sportsman State Park

Looks like a pleasant place.  One of the things I'm looking forward to is writing about the places we visit on our travels.  It won't be too long before I can start with that!

Next stop will be Lake Chelan State Park, though it won't be this autumnal...

lake chelan state park

Our final stop east of the mountains will be Pearrygin Lake State Park.  I sure hope we see an owl like this!

Long-Eared Owl, Pearrygin State Park

Finally we will venture back over the mountains and spend one night close to home, at Bayview State Park.

Padilla Bay Sunset

Those sure are some pretty sights!  Soon I'll have my own pictures and commentary about these camping spots.  We are really looking forward to getting out on the road.  Now that we have the means, we want to make the most of the state park system here.  Whether it's just a few miles down the road or five hours away, we plan to camp there.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Yeah, I know...

I've been obsessed with this trailer.  It's hard not to be!


The more time we spend in it, the happier we are.  The trailer appears to be mostly original, with only the slightest of modifications (crappy flourescent light, anyone?).  Almost zero restoration - just well taken care of!

What a score.

And that means we aren't going to do too much to it.  A bit of cleaning.  Oiling the wood, but no paint.  Lots of touch up work, some new cushion covers and curtains.  But not much otherwise!

We're very excited to both get to work on this trailer and start taking it out on camping adventures.  Soon!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Trailer flipping...

Wow.  Just wow.  We've just noticed something on Craigslist that's a bit disgusting.  We've been looking at trailers long enough to start seeing the same trailers pop up again very quickly on CL - and the new owners are asking just a bit more than the first sellers.

The first we notices was this lovely little gem up in Canada - a little beyond our budget, slightly small, but GORGEOUS!  Asking price was $2950 - not bad for the condition.

The listing is gone now, but last night we saw the exact same trailer for quite a bit more - no doubt it was the same trailer!  We were shocked to see it listed again so soon.

And today, it happened again.

Remember the silver spray-painted nightmare we were almost sucked into?


Rare 1968 Little Dipper Vintage Travel Trailer Camper - $2900 (Edmonds)

A little more info (including a brand name and year), a few more photos, a different location and $400 more dollars tacked onto the price.

Same crappy trailer!  Same spray painted tires!  Same painted stove and floor linoleum counters!  Totally different location...

"We just purchased this trailer and have had something come up so we cannot fix her up like we wanted!!"

What - in the ten minutes between when you bought the trailer and listed it, "something came up?"


Now what?

Oooops.  Forgot to hit publish again... this was meant to go up last night.

Our trailer at home!

Where do we begin?  What do we do first?  Micheal took care of a few window pieces that were about to fall out, so that is good.  He's also working on getting rid of the "Dad's Pad" decal (but leaving the star).  His library card is working well to scrape off the decal without ruining the paint underneath.

I'm not really going to have to do much, but I will be in charge of sewing new cushion covers.  That's going to be a good winter task for me.  I'll have to start looking at retro fabric...

I'm still so tired.  Time for bed.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Today I was exhausted.  It's been a bit of a whirlwind, these last three weeks.  From the moment we (I) decided we should get a trailer, to the moment we pulled into home last night was a very quick, intense, STRESSFUL crazy time.

Would I change it in any way?  No.  Well - I'd skip that whole U-Haul debacle.  But it's done and I survived my encounter with a parallel dimension.

The important thing is the trailer is home.  We can deal with any little things now without having to run around too much.  I'm just glad this trailer wasn't too far away!  We can now decompress, and learn all the little nooks and crannies and idiosyncrasies of the trailer before we take it out.

Not to mention, our dog Syd needs to get comfortable in the trailer!

I'm not sure what to think, but I think maybe I can learn to like it

He's not quite sure what to make of it, but was happy enough to hang out with us this evening while we were out there poking around.  He'll have an opportunity to spend a lot of time in the trailer while we're out there, so by the time we actually go somewhere he'll associate it as an offshoot of home.  We can tether him to the trailer hitch.  That will be a good thing.

 He tried to claim a bed, but no.  That one's taken Syd!

Syd claims a bed

Don't worry Syd!  It will seem like home in no time!

Home at last

Here we go!

I'm in a bit of shock at the moment, but it seems that we actually managed to get our new trailer home!  The trip wasn't without a bit of stress - something I'm getting used to these days.

The electrics on our Durango were rewired and working fine, and when we hooked up the trailer everything worked - sort of.  If you held the connection just so.  Every light worked, but  unfortunately the connection was just a bit dodgy and my guess is the first pebble we drove over knocked it loose.  What it left NOT working were the taillights - of course.

Did I mention it was pouring rain today?

Figures.  The one thing that shortens daylight and otherwise makes driving a bit stressful decided to show up the first time I towed a trailer.  Thanks rain, at least you're watering my garden!

Anyhow, we got the trailer hooked up and ready to roll - and headed for our first stop just a mile or so away.  The Shell station, to add air to the tires and check the lights.


The lights.  The lights that we got to work just fine when we were sitting in one spot, but which decided to stop working the minute we ran over a pebble.  See!  They're working!

The lights were working at this moment

And then they stopped.  Probably two seconds after we started driving.  We knew this was probably the case, but we started for home - it was still light and we wanted to get home as quickly as we could!

We also forgot to put the temporary towing mirrors on (too excited), so I didn't have the best visibility.  We drove quite a ways, but it kept getting darker and darker and eventually somebody flashed us to let us know out lights were out.  We made it to our exit from I-5, and stopped on the shoulder to try and straighten things out.  It was raining, and quickly became clear that the only way to keep the lights on was for Michael to hold the connection in place.  Since it wouldn't be acceptable for him to ride on the hitch, we had to come up with another solution.


We drove the rest of the way home (as it got darker, and darker) with the hazard lights on.  The brake lights worked too, and so did the turn signals (as long as the hazards weren't on).  Michael coached me on when to switch the hazards on and off, and provided general driving tips.  He's really good with things like that.

And it was still raining like mad.

We finally pulled into our front yard, and I was able to sigh a HUGE sigh of relief.  Michael will be able to fix the electric connection easily.

I'm exhausted.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday Trash

Last week was the inaugural "Tuesday Trash" post, and I highlighted some great book covers that fit the bill.  Then I started to think of what I could write about week after week, since I don't really want to spend time delving into "trailer trash" culture - real or imagined.


How about trashed trailers?  I started with a Google search for trashed trailers, and got a lot of hits for the trailer for a movie called Trashed.  I also got pictures of Lindsay Lohan.  I'm not going to investigate that one any further, though I imagine a tantrum in a stage set trailer or some ridiculous thing.

Then I tried "abandoned trailers" and hit the jackpot.  There are so many abandoned, trashed, broken trailers out there.  I've always found images of decay to be very beautiful, and there is no shortage when it comes to trailers.

So there you go.  Abandoned, broken, decayed trailers will be my Tuesday Trash focus - for now.

Our first trailer is a much photographed pink beauty left abandoned on the shores of the Salton Sea.

Decaying in Pink 5

Poor thing!  But no worries, if you'd like to spend the night, there's still a few amenities available.

Pink Oven

And if you'd like to do a bit of touch up work, there's still a can of paint available!

Pink Paint | The Salton Sea

You can even call your friends on the phone!

What's your favorite color?

One ringie dingie, two ringie dingie... I'm sorry, there's no answer.

Nobody home.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The big hitch switch

Which hitch?  This hitch switched out without a glitch.

Vintage trailer hitch

This hitch didn't fit the fitting on our Durango, and we wanted to upgrade to modern towing technology, so away it went!  We upgraded to this lovely hitch kit.

The Hitch

And we'll be able to tow anything we can possibly dream of!  Not to mention, should somebody rear-end me I'll be in great shape.  They won't!

We had the trailer towing electrical rewired today too - that should take care of everything!  Turns out there was an issue in "THE MODULE."  It has been fixed now.  Our plan is to pick the trailer up on Wednesday and bring it home.

Syd is wondering what the big deal is.

What's so great about this thing anyhow?

He has yet to learn how this adventure will improve his life.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A better day

Oh my goodness.  Yesterday was so much better than the day before.  We're still not completely sorted, due to an electrical issue in our car.  We have a 1999 Dodge Durango, which we got last November.  Back then, we had no inkling we'd be getting a trailer.  It appears that nobody ever towed anything with it, and it needs fixing!  So into the shop it goes tomorrow morning.

Anyhow, our itinerary for the day worked well, and went smoothly for the most part.  We added a couple of things last minute, including a stop to grab a couple of donuts from the local shop.  The woman ahead of my, who's toddler was getting a pink sugar encrusted donut they called  "princess donut" ordered something called a mocha round (and a large hazelnut latte).  The mocha round turned out to be a Bavarian creme donut infused with shots of espresso.

I'll take it!

Donut Master

We hit the road and headed for Camping World, the one and only place that had the sort of hitch we were after in stock.  We got there, found the guy we had talked to on the phone the previous evening, and he got us sorted in no time.  We had to join the Good Sam Club in order to get the sale price he promised us (online price plus the $80 shipping = $313 + $25 membership price < $379.99 regular price).  The guy was really hyper and stressed out and tossed in a 2 inch ball for free, and somehow the entire bill came to $322.  Hmmmm.  At this point one walks away and does not question the new math.  He actually said "the receipt will look really weird but I'm doing the right thing!"  I'll say.

The next stop was the credit union, nothing to report as removing money from one's account is rather straightforward and dull.

WAIT.  What - did we just join the GOOD SAM CLUB?  What are we becoming?  What's going on here?  Other than campground and propane discounts, and discounts at Taco Bell (as we were told), I'm not sure what benefits we get.  I guess we'll find out soon!

Where was I?  Oh yes - the next stop was the Dodge dealer that was holding the trailer relay that we needed.  While waiting in line as Mr. Juggalo Tattoo went on and on about the anomaly of his engine to the parts guy (tell it to the mechanic, dude) we noticed a couple of interesting things.  Hemi Powered BBQ Sauce!  And drag races nearby!  We are so there.

Wahoo!  Drag races nearby, on a day we can go!

It turned out the part they were holding for us was not the right thing - no surprise.  We finally got a relay that fit, so off we went to the trailer.

At last!

As expected, the electrics still didn't work.  A disappointment, but at least now we know what needs to be fixed.  We got the official sale details sorted though, and the trailer is OURS!  All ours.  I took some photos of it, here they are!

So pretty!


Love that tail bump!

The master suite

Look at that lovely metal backsplash!

The more we look at it, the more we love it!

Despite the electric issues, we were much happier with how the day went and we can go back and pick up the trailer when we're ready.  The guy we bought it from is really nice and understanding - and has plenty of room to store it until we can pick it up!

The last thing we had to deal with on the way home required another visit to Camping World, because the 2 inch ball was too tiny for our hitch.  A different guy helped us, and they found a ball with a bigger fitting that would more easily be switched to our hitch.  He disappeared briefly, and when he returned the job had been done!  Fantastic.  But when it came time to settle out, we had to explain that the ball we walked in with hadn't actually been paid for... he was a bit confused, and we didn't want the other guy to get in trouble.  Just pretend it never left the store...

And so we paid for the ball, and returned home - trailer owners but still without.