Our Tini-Home, the “Tin Canned HAMB” project starts.

Posted: January 17, 2012 in Tin Can Tourists, Vintage trailers

Here we go!  Kim registered the Tini-Home for this springs TCT Rally in Milford, which means we can’t put off working on it any longer.  Yesterday she and I got started pulling it apart, and found exactly what we expected.  I’m surprised it didn’t fall apart hauling it either home, or over to the shop.  There’s literally nothing left of what originally passed for framing left in large areas.   I’ve looked at loads of similar trailers listed on eBay and Craig’s list which looked worse, which along with a rosy description and some new curtains, were sold for pretty large amounts of money to starry-eyed “vintage camper” enthusiasts.

Here are a few pictures of the carnage, I’ll let them tell the story:

"Water stains""A little delamination of the paneling"


"Siding needs to be re-attatched at the back corner"A little elbow grease and TLC will have it ready to roll!

Once we got the windows out, and door off, the skin could come off.  That was easy, since the door frame and window frames were about the ONLY things holding any of it together.  The “insulation” is pretty funny too, as we’ll soon see…

Let's peel the rind off this thing.Yikes.


The "reflective insulation". And a big hole.This is the "framing". Black holes are real!


Right side, naked.Now, let's peel the back off.


More "insulation".


Interesting construction.

So, that’s where we left off.  The picture above, right, showing the back-end, shows how the entire ceiling is framed.  Those 3/4×3/4 strips stapled to the two aluminum bands are not fastened at all to the interior paneling, nor the exterior skin.  The just hung from the two bands, evidently to keep the exterior skin from oil-canning.  There is a 1×3 under, and above the window, and then one 4 feet up on the roof, and one more at the crown in front, then the front window framing.  That’s it for framing across the roof.  Amazing.
So, it’s under way.  The plan is for a trip to Home Depot for some new birch paneling, a couple of 2×4’s to rip up, some new 1×6’s and 1×3’s to rebuild.  I’m going to use 3/4 foam sheet for insulation in between the wood frames, and it’ll all be glued and screwed to the interior paneling.  Which, really, is the sole structural element of the entire body.  We’re planning on polished aluminum sheeting for the exterior, the clear-coated stuff horse trailers are paneled with, if we can get it yet from a friend in the TCT who’s an RV manufacturer.
I think my expression here sums it all up!  Share the enthusiasm, and the dream, as we turn this sows ear into a, an, um, ahh, well, it’ll be something.
  1. Sara Ashley says:

    I can’t wait to this little gem when it’s all finished!!! This is my favorite “shape” as far as the vintage campers are concerned! Someday, hopefully, I will have a vintage of my own! 🙂

    Good luck~ Sara Ashley

  2. Karin says:

    can’t wait to see your progress! Our little Scotty is one of my favorite ‘things’ we own. Love those vintage ‘canned hams’! 🙂

  3. MikeH says:

    Wow, not much structure to work with, a little scary looking right now. Sure you’ll end up with a trailer that is substantially more sound than when it was new.

  4. Kim says:

    Not that I have ANY doubt that you can get this together by May but I registered the Spartan!! We can always change!

    Ideas are swirling in my head!

  5. brother barry says:

    Oh my.. water and time don’t seem to make for a very good cocktail under aluminum… No question as to where you’re spare time will be spent.. enjoy.

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