Friday, October 12, 2012

1955 Traveleze comes home - evaluation of the shell and some thoughts on reconstruction

We rented a U-Haul cube van to bring the Traveleze trailer home on Wednesday.  It was quite the undertaking, but everything went smoothly.  I even made an extra special bento lunch just for the occasion:

mmm, sukiyaki beef on a bed of rice,
with boiled veg and fresh fruit for dessert.

The first thing I wanted to do was to see what I have to work with.  So we lay each piece of aluminium skin out on the driveway and did a cursory evaluation.

Left Side 

Right Side - with home built cat door at no extra charge :p
The two sides are in fair to good condition.  The last fellow obviously had trouble getting the nails out, so some of the edges are slightly torn, but that can be covered with extra wide trim.  No serious dents or rips in it.

The Right side has a 'cat door' cut into it near the front.  This could be transformed to an 'extra storage' compartment with minimum trouble.  

The only serious problem with the skin is at the front and back bottom where the aluminium has corroded.

See the old repair?  This is the front panel.  As the tong on the trailer is so short, and in the 1950s they had fins on the back of cars (because apparently it looked cool), it was quite common to impale the trailer with your car if you took a corner too tight.  

I am thinking I might be able to incorporate the repair of the corroded parts with my idea for the floor.

I would like to put something under the floor to protect it.  I was thinking an aluminium layer, followed by your standard trailer subfloor, a light weight bubblewrap like substance that helps insulate and encourage  the floor to breath (thus avoiding mould - leftover from doing the hardwood floors in the house), and then the inside floor.  That way the metal layer would protect the wood from moisture, splash back from the road and mice.  

This aluminium layer could extend up the front and back of the skin, covering the nasty corrosion.  

It's just an idea at the moment, and depends on availability of materials and cost.  

For reassembling the skin, I was thinking of doing something like this: Aluminium outside, a layer of something like milar (or space blankets) for insulation  the wood frame with all the gaps filled with a light weight foam insulation  then the interior pannaling.  

The original trailer had all wood inside but given how small it is, I fear I would be claustrophobic if the interior was too dark.  Because of my allergies, I'm not keen on painting the inside, so maybe I can find a light colour wood or keep my eyes out for some other option.

All in all, I think I'll keep it fairly close to the original, with a few changes to accommodate my health and ... well... I'll talk with you about that soon, with a post about what I hope to achieve. 

What I really wish is that I could find an active community with people who can help advise me as to how to do all these things I would like to do.  There are lots of repair vintage trailer groups - too many - but very few of them are active, and those that are seem to be for just one kind of trailer.  So if you know of any that would help me, please leave a comment and let me know.

No comments: