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!