Yep, we now have three Spartans sitting on the property. We found a very rare 40' 1953 Imperial Spartanette. This trailer was only in production for about 6 months in 1953. It has been bumped up to the top of the list for restoration. This one really is a "long, long, trailer" so it will reside on our lot at the lake. We have spent the summer working on the lake project but not working on the trailer. We had to do a ton of clean up, dismantle a mobile home, make repairs and side the garage. We also rehabbed a small building as a bunkhouse for the grandkids.
For now, our 24' Fan is at the lake. Only down side to that arrangement is that we don't have a working hot water heater. This means luke warm showers after long, hot days. Have to say that Mark has been a trooper about it. We actually planned on installing a on-demand water heater, just haven't gotten around to it. Once the weather turns cold we'll put the Fan into winter storage. We'll still have the bunkhouse in case we want to do any winter camping. Not too sure if Mark will be game for that but I'm up for it!
Happy to report that the trip to Mississippi was uneventful. Had to replace a missing U bolt on the axle but nothing compared to the trip to South Carolina for Spartan #1. We met some very nice people on our trip, those folks in MS are great! Happily, Spartan #2 has all of the exterior lights we were missing along with most of the interior lights as well. We knew before going to get the trailer that it was in rough shape but was still disappointed by how bad it really is. Guess we were kinda hoping that we might be able to save it. It's just not going to happen. It's sad to sacrifice a trailer but at least the good parts of the trailer will be used to bring others back to life and back onto the road.
Mark has started the rear door repair and I've started the polishing process. For some stupid reason I thought the Spartan would be easier to polish than the Fan..maybe due to the smooth aluminum. Guess what? It's not! It is going to take me forever to get this thing done. It will be awesome when it's finished!
Last month Mark and I took a trip to South Carolina to pick up our 1950 Spartan Royal Mansion. One week from today we'll take a trip to Mississippi to pick up another 1950 Royal Mansion that will be used as a donor trailer. Since picking up the Spartan we have been busy collecting parts and supplies, prepping if you will for the rebuild of the trailer. As of now we have all of the 1/8" birch for the interior as well as most of the window and vent seals. We located a missing step for the rear door and have replacement cranks for the rear windows. Rivet gun and rivets have been purchased, 12V and 120 wiring has been stock piled. The Nuvite polish has been replenished as well. Two new door handles, 3 gear sets for the roof vents are on hand. Wish I could say that we have all necessary parts and supplies but that wouldn't be true. We do have a good start but many more supplies and materials will have to be purchased. For now we have enough to get started and weather proof the trailer. This is a project that the two of us are looking forward to and we're both anxious to get started.
Camping season is quickly approaching and even though I made a resolution last fall to NOT attend as many rallies as the past few years, our schedule is full once again. Just can't bring myself to turn down the opportunity to take the trailers out and spend quality time with good friends and family. The reason I mention this is that we'll be taking the '72 Shasta out for the first trip of the season. We're meeting 10 couples in SW Indiana for a weekend get-together and it will be the first time the Shasta will be out, sporting her new "original" rear window and step. After years of keeping my eyes open I finally found a window last fall and we'll be installing it in the next few weeks. As much as we love our Shasta, and we really do..we have found that it is just a tad too small to spend more than a weekend in. She's our first love and we'll never get rid of her. If not for her then we wouldn't have found our passion for vintage trailers and she'll always be our "baby". Once again we'll be towing her with our '72 F100 (just love taking these two out together) and touring the Indiana covered bridges while in the area. It should be a great weekend and a great photo opportunity. For the rest of our camping season we'll be using the Fan. She's bigger, capable of carrying her own water and much more comfortable than our Shasta. Having the separate sleeping makes a huge difference. I'm an early riser and Mark enjoys sleeping late, the Fan just works better for us.
Speaking of the Shasta and the Fan. Each have found their own use and function in our vintage trailer family. Mark and I are blessed to have them going into the rebuild of the Spartan. We have no reason to be rushed or to feel any type of anxiety or pressure in regard to the Spartan project. So why do we both feel that we have to get it done NOW? When we decided to purchase the Spartan we both agreed that it would be at least a two year project. Well, that lasted until we pulled her onto the property. Heck, I thought we'd wait till warmer weather, not be obsessed with getting started, not be busting our butts on getting 'er done! Maybe after the newness wears off Mark will settle down. Maybe after the anticipation to see how well she'll shine up then I'll not be rushing the weather to warm up just enough to polish her. We shall see!
It's true, I'm an unfaithful blogger :( Seriously, I knew it had been awhile since I'd updated here but had no idea it had been this long. This is a picture of our 1976 Fan Luxury Line. It was taken at the Lake Shelbyville Rally that Mark and I hosted in October. We had a great turn out and the rally was a blast. A leason learned was that I need this years rally to be closer to home. So with that decision made we have decided to hold the 2010 rally at 34 Ranch here in Southern Illinois. It a great location and think that the rally attendees will be pleased with the new location. Please note that the Fan is sporting it's new polish and paint job. Wow, that was project was very labor and time consuming although the result was well worth it.
Well it's official, I'm now the proud owner of 4 vintage trailers. I could say that I wasn't really in the market for another trailer but that wouldn't be 100% true. There are a few models on my "most wanted" list but can say that a 1956 Arrowhead wasn't one of them.
Last fall while my older sister was here for Dad's funeral she saw our '72 Shasta. I have to thank my youngest daughter for this one cause I really didn't want to show it to her. It's not that we aren't proud of the Shasta, of course we are..it's gorgeous but it is sitting next to the '70 Dodge Challenger that I purchased from my sister in the early '80's. I had actually gave this car to my son years ago with the agreement that he would restore it. While at college in Nashville he decided to start on it, pulled the engine and trannie and that's the end of that story. So now it sits torn apart in pieces and looks very sad. When my brother-in-law saw it I thought he was going to burst into tears. This car was my sister's high graduation gift from my parents. We lived in Vegas at the time and they search high and low for this car and finally found it in Scottsdale, Arizona. It had to be Plum Crazy Purple and have a white interior. So after finding it they traveled to Arizona and drove it off the show room floor. Let's say it wasn't one of my proudest moments to have them see the shape that it's in.
Anyway, she saw the trailer and decided it would be her mission to make sure I received the old trailer that's been sitting out on our ranch in Colorado. Now here's a fact. This trailer has been a staple on the ranch and has been sitting there since before I was born. I haven't been out there since 2003 and at that time I hadn't caught the vintage tin disease yet so paid as much attention to the trailer as I always had in the past which is none. Let's face it folks, it's pink! Now I know for some people this would make this trailer even more desirable but I'm just not a pink kinda girl, not even when I was young. Anyway, while in Colorado last month my sisters and brothers took a vote and have decided that the trailer now belongs to me. So now I have to figure out a way to get the trailer from Colorado to Illinois, get it rebuilt and then back to Colorado. This trailer really does belong in Colorado, it's a part of the scenery. I do know that it will cost at least $650 to have it hauled to Illinois. No telling how much it will take to rebuild plus the cost of taking it back. So here it is, my latest addition
As with most of us, I've been very busy over the past few months and have found that I'm way behind here. Since I've updated several things have happened. We finally finished the 1400, can you see me doing my happy dance? It turned out wonderful and I couldn't be happier with the result.
We took it to a rally in Southern Indiana and came home with a 1976 24.5' Fan. Good thing we had taken two trucks :) So we tucked the '72 Shasta and '72 F100 into the pole barn, cleaned the Fan, moved the camping supplies from the 1400 to the Fan and hit the lake for 10 days. We had to be able to check all the systems, right? So far everything works although the fridge did give us a scare. A friendly neighbor said that it may take up to 6 hrs for it to start working correctly, guess he was right as it did start working and continued to work just fine the rest of the trip.
We really didn't have any intention on buying another trailer. We already had the 20' Shasta waiting in the wings for her rebuild but the hubby really liked the Fan and I must admit that the idea of having a dedicated sleeping area really appealed to me. So here is our plan, the 1400 will be used for vintage trailer rallies, the Model Twenty will get a face lift verses a rebuild and will find it's home in the backyard in a permanent camp spot and the Fan will become our traveler and everyday camper.
Our plans for the Fan include removing the carpet and the 1970's paneling. New birch walls, tiled floor, curtains, cushions and polish the exterior and it should be ready to roll. We'll start on it this fall after the camping season is over.
All I can say is she is a tough old bird. I felt for sure that it would have a branch going through the roof, a broken window..some type of damage. After coming home today, being dead on my feet, I just couldn't stand it anymore. I pried open the door, crawled inside and to my amazement...no damage at all. Thankfully our pole barn did not receive any damage so our other Shasta and matching truck are still tucked away safe and sound. The only other damage we received on our home property was loosing a apple and pine tree which sits on the 2 acres behind where the pics were taken. Thanking God for our good fortune.