Sometimes even free is too much…

Posted: July 9, 2010 in backyard builder, Hot Rod, Vintage trailers

FREE, FREE, FREE!  What could possibly go wrong with a deal like that?  All I have to do is tear down the (admittedly poorly built) addition, clean up the sight, haul away the rubble, and then haul away the 28 foot 1950 trailer.  Scream’n deal right? 

A couple we are acquainted who are retired and “manage” a small campground called to ask if we’d be interested in rescuing this 1950 Peerless coach.  Old lady owner dies, daughter inherits the thing, doesn’t want it, lot is sold, has to go.  Get it out, clean up the mess, and it’s “free”, even has a title.  Parked in ’63 and not moved since, stayed in every summer.

Of course, I was excited, as the photos look pretty good, and I’m hopelessly optimistic.  Kim and I headed over last night, about a 45 minute drive, to see our new acquisition, to assess what might be involved in moving this brute.  I’d already talked to an unemployed neighbor with a dump trailer, 3/4 ton pickup and Bobcat to assist, I wanted to let him know what we were in for.

Turns out, more than I bargained for.  The ceiling is totally loose from whatever little bit is left of the framing, the walls are likewise free, and the sagging Homosote board underbelly covering revealed wood frame stringers and the beginnings of a black hole.  And poison ivy…

I was still relatively interested, but Kim was able to talk some sense into me on the way home.  Realistically it’d take two ambitious guys at least three days to dismantle the shed, and get the trailer out intact.  After that, the trailer is on 195o tires, the structure is so bad that moving it even 5 miles, let alone 25 or 30, might well result in it simply falling apart on the road.   Then, what I do with the debris from the shed, which is 12×25, no nearby landfill, and what would I tow it with? 

After all that, assuming it would stay together and not kill somebody on the way  home, it’d cost 10’s of thousands to make it even remotely useable (by our standards), and take up years of spare time.   Not to mention the likelihood of getting hurt, or the neighbor guy getting hurt, trying to get it, and the fact that I don’t really like working in the humid summer heat.

Did I mention that they really wanted it gone by today?

So, like the first guy they had lined up to move it, I called and backed out.  I felt kinda bad, but sometimes free is just too much money…

  1. John says:


    The best “not to” decision that you have ever made. Congrats, you really did not need to take on the old trailer restoration. Bad roof, bad floors, questionable walls and who knows what else.
    If you really want that type of project you would be better to start with a new flat bed trailer. 🙂


  2. Brian Rowley says:

    Wonder if you could just gut out the interior for parts and cool trailer stuff before it’s trashed?

  3. Sally says:

    Smart move!

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