Wednesday, January 3, 2007
The start of the saga
Welcome to our blog about restoring a rare vintage travel trailer. As a Christmas present to ourselves in 2006 we found a 12 foot 1955 Empire Travel Trailer on www.craigslist.com for $600. We thought it was a great deal and had been interested in way to enjoy camping on the weekends but without the tents and cold ground. I know, I've always praised the great outdoors as a means of escape and the only way to properly do so was to haul a pack and a sleeping bag out into the woods and curl up in the dirt.
Well, times have changed as I have gotten older and value a good night's sleep more. So we embark on an unknown journey.
Let's get a couple things straight right off the bat. My wife is a veterinarian and I am a physical therapist. Our collective knowledge of electrical wiring, repairing dry rot, and painting aluminum exteriors is, well, nil.
Here are some pictures of the trailer on the day my wife went up to Dayton, NV to buy it from a woman who had already stripped the old (Black!) paint and had begun some electrical work.
So the kitchen looks in disarray due to the original icebox and oven doors being repainted by the last owner. Most of the interior birch paneling looked pretty good.
We had it towed to our house in Minden, NV and the process of finding out what the heck we just bought and what we were gonna do with it begins. An exhaustive search of google resulted in not a single hit on a reliable source for what the Empire Travel Trailer was. No legacy, no restoration club, no shop in Skokie, IL that specializes in fixing them up. We found some great sites that highlight similar vintage travel trailers, such as the Shastas, Fans, and Serro Scottys. So were are going off of their recommendations and winging the rest of it.
Hope you enjoy our blog and we welcome questions, comments, and diatribes.