As 50's canned hams become harder to find and therefore more expensive, you may want
to consider the advantages of the later 60's campers. I found this 1968 Frolic for
sale on Craig's List for a very reasonable price, and could see the potential to
build it into a very cool vintage camper. A bit larger at 18' it had the unique
double entrance doors, a nice size rear kitchen and a full bathroom with shower.
It did have real birch paneling and cabinetry (only way I would buy one, I hate
the cheap photo laminate paneling) except it did have the 60's style vinyl ceiling.
Good news, most everything on it worked, including the AC unit on the roof.
After we pulled the aluminum skin we were able to access the damage. About 75% of
the wood was in beautiful condition, with some damaged areas under the front windows.
The worse part... the vinyl headliner was actually like a cardboard material that
had gotten wet and was moldy all the way through, as well as the laminate lining
the bathroom and kitchen areas. It all had to go. We could have lined the bathroom
with some of the very cool laminates available today , but this was a budget rebuild
so we used FRP paneling, a plastic sheet commonly used in commercial restrooms and
showers. It's waterproof, and very easy to clean. We rebuilt the walls using new
birch paneling and replaced the ceiling with birch. Not only did that get rid of
the mold, it looked so much nicer and more vintage than the vinyl headliner. Of
course, we replaced any damaged structural wood and reinsulated it with polyisio
insulation. While it was apart, we took out all the damaged copper water lines and
re-plumbed the trailer with all new PEX plumbing. We like PEX as it is much more
cost effective over copper, and it is much more forgiving if frozen, the PEX will
expand where copper will split easily.
Final step of course is all new aluminum skin, this time a combo of white and a 60's
Options we installed for the customer was a built in microwave and a flat screen
We pulled up the nasty old carpet only to discover the linoleum floor was damaged.
We laid a new hardwood floor everywhere but the kitchen and bathroom.
Finished just in time for the new owners to enjoy our 13th annual Trailer Trash Bash
rally before taking it home to California. It's a great trailer for the money, and
very comfortable to stay in.