Posts Tagged ‘vintage trailers’

It’s hard for me to get anything done now, I want to just set in here and admire my work.  Now, waiting on the aluminum countertop edging to arrive so I can get that on, and I need some aluminum strap to make the little railings for all the upper shelves.  I can also hook up the plumbing and test that, no that the counters are in.  My wife Kim is making the curtains and seat cushions, we’re edging closer to my having to polish this thing!

I took advantage of a beautiful sunny and warm late winter day here to finish up (almost) the wiring on the Spartan Manor.  I’d pulled wires months ago, but hadn’t gotten the boxes cut in, circuit breaker panels wired up or devices wired.  Everything is done now but the rear outside plug.  I would have plugged it in and powered up, but I don’t have the twist lock adaptor needed for the marine 30 amp plug in, so that’ll have to wait until I can go get one at the RV store.

All the interior lighting is 12V LED, I have several fixtures to temporarily mount, but we are using some with standard base bulbs and need to get the 12V standard base bulbs for those.  Still, I’ll be able to light it up.  I decided today too not to use the rather ugly 12V florescent fixtures in the kitchen and bath salvaged from the motorhome, so tomorrow maybe a trip to a big box store for some low voltage LED under counter fixtures to replace them.

I think I’m on schedule to have it done for our May outing in Milford with the Tin Can Tourists!

Put a big “DONE” stamp on the Spartan floor, it’s wrapped up.  I found another soft spot on the street side, ahead of the wheel well, this was replaced in the same manner as the other bad spots, and the underlayment is down, covering all the scars.It feels good to have this part of the job done, even though it’s a small part, it’s the basis on which the rest of the restoration sets.  We ordered a carton of red VCT 12×12’s to mix in with the vintage 9×9’s, I’ll cut them down to the same size.  The primary color is green/grey, with black and the red to be mixed in, probably randomly, but we’ll lay out a couple different options.

I also got the rest of the Kimsul insulation cleaned out, so it now smells like new wood and construction adhesive, not rotten old cellulose!



'47 Spartan Manor

’47 Spartan Manor

I moved the ’47 Spartan up from its hiding place way back in the woods, next to the temporary garage the Tini-Home is taking its long winter nap in.  Here, it’s possible to run extension cords from the shop to start pulling the panels out (I’ll save the corner panels for patterns), and it’s close to a brush pile, to dispose of said panels.  It’s exciting planning the work and the new interior.

Continuing the planning and getting ready for work, I moved the T’Bird over in the shop to the opposite side, where I can work on the driver’s side, as opposed to it being up against the junk covered bench on the other side.  In doing so, I was painfully aware of a major styling gaff I was overlooking before.  The newly shortened roof exposes what had been the old package shelf area.  This is about 6 inches now outside the rear window, and while it looks natural with the roof off, it looks wrong with the top on.  So, I think I’ll have to pull the tonneau cover off, shorten it, weld the cut off rear section the body, and create a new lip for the back edge.  I sort of hate to cut into this finished panel,  but I think it’s going to make a big difference in the look of the car when it’s painted and done.

IMG_3847 IMG_3849 IMG_3856

We're here! Ari was ready to bright and early, and took her co-pilots seat on Kim's lap the entire day. We drove south to Fort Wayne, then east on Rt 30 to Ashland, where we found more than a dozen of our TCT friends already camped at Ashland Co. West Holmes Career Center to welcome us.

The drive here, through America’s heartland was beautiful, and once off the freeway, very relaxing.
THe Diamond T performed flawlessly, we were both a little concerned with cooling, as we haven’t had any hot weather yet at home, but no worries. It ran at it’s normal 220, right where GM intends the LS engines to run. We got a little warm by mid-day, but with windshields cranked open, side windows down and cowl vents open, the cab stayed cool in the afternoon heat. A little traveling music, cranked up loud enough to hear over the wind and exhaust, made for a great day for a summer road trip.


Tomorrow there’s an antique truck show at the county fairgrounds just up the road, Kirk Olmstead and I are going to hit that in the morning with the Diamond T while Kim and Beth check out some antique shops nearby. In the afternoon we’ll all be back for the open house, catered supper and then a bluegrass band to round out the evening.

I’m sure some evening libations, and a toast to our friends Ken Hindley, Diane Fliss, who had planned to come but couldn’t make it due to life’s having other plans for them, and to John “Canner” Culp, who I know would be here if he could, will be made as well!

Get ready for more notes from the road as our journey through the Heartland continues, we’ll make sure there’s room for you and Ari in the co-pilots seat. It’s going to be a great trip!


What happens your wife gets her own trailer, a woody wagon, a fridge full of wine and cocktail fix’ns?  She takes her sister and goes camping without you, that’s what!

Kim and her sister Julie are headed out to South Haven to spend the weekend camping with their friend Cheryl, who stays the summer in an RV park there.  Kim packed up the Tini-Home last night, and she and Julie left after Kim got home from work today.  I spent the morning trying to get the gas gauge in the wagon to work, without success, but I did manage to not make anything else not work, and got the dash back together. 

The car got washed, the brake controller on the trailer was adjusted so the brakes don’t lock up and slide the tires (it was tricky to the controller set properly), and the girls are off to the shores of Lake Michigan.  I’m sure they’ll be the hit of the campground.  I told Kim to sell the trailer if anyone wants it badly enough, but I don’t think she’d part with it!

Here they go!














Yes, it’s a wonderful life.  Cold and snowy, but I’m getting the little things out-of-the-way.   One of those little things was replacing the original, rotted out wheel wells in the Tini-Home.  This had to be done before the flooring goes in, and the cabinetry can be built, so yesterday was a good day to do that.  Too cold in the shop to glue the floor down, so I had at it.

The new wheel-houses are a pair of  14″ wide aluminum trailer fenders I’d found at Bontragers RV Surplus (my new favorite place to shop), and some of the trailers original skin for the sides.  They fit perfectly, and aside from a couple of  hammer marks from encouraging them to nestle into place, look perfect.  The originals were rusted beyond repair, this was an easy and cheap way to get the  job done.








You’ll notice also the new underlayment, 1/4″ Luan.  It’s always tempting for me to just sand that stuff and lay down about 6 coats of Polyurethane (I think it’s pretty), but we have two boxes of Armstrong vinyl floor tiles in a brick-red color to lay down.  I’ll wait now for a little warmer day, fire up the heater in the shop, turn on the little electric heater in the camper, and lay the tile down.

We’re debating now whether to mount the little A/C unit up on the side in a cabinet as we originally planned (and I have wired), or put it under the table in front on the floor.  The body would then (mostly) outside on the tongue, but since the tongue has been extended about 3 feet, that wouldn’t be bad.  It would certainly be easier to build in, and it could be hidden in the planned storage box.  We’ll see.

I also finished up the framing around the front and rear windows, got the last little pieces of foam cut and fitted around them, so the interior is ready for cabinets as soon as the floor goes in. 

Now we really COULD roll out sleeping bags and go camping in it!

Well, not really.   That actually came from a headline on my MSN page, which announced that 1.7M was found in Jamie Olivers restaurant.  I didn’t read the story, so I don’t  have any of the details.   The only thing found in this was a nice double-bitted axe, and three bars of Irish Spring soap, no doubt left in a (futile) attempt to keep rodents out. 

I DID however, find that I’d laid the three cross stringers on the roof out wrong, and the roof panels are 1/2″ out of square.  Luckily, they were screwed AND glued to the sides, so there’s no taking them, nor the two full sheets of paneling also glued and screwed down off.  That means the three ceiling pieces of the interior will all have to be cut to fit, with no square corners.  This will challenge my abilities, but, that’s what trim is for, right?

All the wiring is DONE, 110V and 12V, so now, I can get the insulation fit and glued in, the outer skin, seen here temporarily fitted on the sides to cut the window and door openings out, permanently on.  It’s been fun, and I haven’t committed too many of my usual construction goofs, other than the slightly out of square roof panels.   That little error will make fitting the interior panels on the ceiling a little tricky, but I think I’ve got that figured out.

Here are a couple more pic’s:

Next up, trim the exterior roof panels, fit the side luan, cut the window/door openings, glue in the insulation, screw/glue the luan back on the exterior, and then get busy on the interior cabinets and flooring.  Easy, right?

One thing I did discover, on hanging the exterior panels, was that I’d completely neglected to consider that when I decided it’d be a stronger construction to NOT have the exterior panels cut the same as the interior, thus “staggering” the joints, I’d not considered that I had allowed no batten at the joint.  So, another batten, another row of screws inside, and another cut in the insulation board.  No big deal, just a reminder that if I HAD a plan, it’d be easier.  Maybe Tini-Home number two will be, if I build another one…

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode!

Just got back for a short drive with the wagon, and WOW!  It’s a different car with new ball joints and the front suspension raised an inch.   No more “darting”, no more bottoming on the bump stops, and the speedometer reads 54 with the GPS on a steady 55!  I couldn’t be happier, it’s great, and well worth the time and expense of swapping rear axles.

And the old axle?  Going to the recycler on Monday with a load of other scrap metal, it’s spring cleaning time!