Monday, 25 April 2016

Starting the skin removal...

This was my first day of stripping down the trailer. All of the aluminum skin needs to be removed from the frame so that I can assess the damage, and make repairs etc. So I arrived at the dealership ready to do that this morning, only to find a surprise. I was locked out of the trailer! It turns out that the vintage handle on the door "locks" simply by moving the handle to the down position.

Not only did I not know that, I don't have a key. I did not want to have to take a window off right away, so the only way into the trailer was through the back hatch, which I had removed last week.
I felt pretty squeezed going through there, but I got the door open and a lesson was learned.

Then it was onto the skin removal. Most of the screws on the trailer are 1/4 inch hex, and my dad gave me a special drill bit to remove them. However once in a while I would find a 3 or 4 inch screw that the previous owner had tried to use for repair.    

When you take the aluminum skin off of a vintage trailer, the first step is to remove the trim along the edge, also called the j-rail. This sits over a layer of putty, that was used to seal the seams. On a trailer  this old, the putty is degraded and dried out. It is no wonder these old trailers have water damage.
I won't know the extent of the damage until I remove all the skin, but it is likely there is some.

                                                                                                                                       Once the j-rails were off, I cleaned the putty off of the inside, carefully labeled them and then scraped all the old goop off of the edge of the trailer. You can see a close up here of the seams after the rail is off. There was even one small spot on the trailer (shown below) where the aluminum had a small piece missing. You can imagine how easy it is to damage the interior if any water gets past that. I will be very carefully sealing that hole on the reassembly. 

By the end of the day, I had all of the rails off, the sides scraped and the front window guard removed. Next week I will
start the windows. 

Monday, 18 April 2016

And so it begins...

This week we got the Golden Falcon moved into her new home in Murray's auto dealership.
This will allow me to work on it all year round.

When you do a full restoration on a vintage trailer, all of the aluminum skin has to come off at some point to inspect the framing, repair any rot, and run any extra wiring you are hoping to add.

I spent a day removing the upper double bunk which was keeping the trailer closed in visually, and which needed to go, as we will not be bringing any children with us in this trailer. (I hope my kids are reading this. lol)                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                                 As well as this I removed the mahogany cabinet doors and hardware. Every loose piece of a vintage trailer must be put in a zip lock bag and labeled, so you know how to find them and put them back.

Then today my parents came by for a consultation.
I am very thankful to have my parents input on my project. They converted a Blue Bird school bus into an RV in the 1970's, so they know just about everything there is to know about whats involved and how to solve the problems that arise.

After they looked at everything with me today, it was decided that adding a shower would be impractical for the size of the trailer, and so that also allows me to keep the systems very simple. Just a tank of cold water and an old fashioned RV pump on the counter.

I just found this cool old pump with starbursts on it. This means you boil water to do your dishes, which I actually find very relaxing. (The slow down, and live simply aspect).

In addition to all this a marine style toilet will be installed in the bathroom, and my dad has come up with a genius way to add a black water tank to the trailer to make it self contained.

So the porta-potty that was in there is headed to the curb. There was actually something swishing around in there, so I think that will be Murray's job!

And a final bonus discovered in the last two days, is that we plugged in the cool vintage refrigerator and it works perfectly!

My next task will be to start peeling back the skins on this tin can trailer!


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Meet my Golden Falcon

I stepped into the trailer restoration world a couple of years back, when I impulsively bought a 13 ft Glendale trailer. That experience did not turn out very well.. it was a proverbial "tin can of worms".. lots of troubles, and a huge learning curve on what it takes to properly restore vintage trailer. 
Somewhere along the way I fell in love, with amber tinted woodwork, and mid century kitchens, and so when this very original Golden Falcon came available I decided to take the plunge into a slightly bigger, much older trailer with more potential.

She had been stored under a Gazebo type roof in a trailer park for 30 years, and so has much less body damage, and interior damage than one would expect of a trailer of this vintage. I am still trying to determine her age, but it is looking to be very early 1960's. Some of her interior features are earlier in style than any I have seen in other Golden Falcons. Perhaps I will find a clue somewhere inside. Here are a couple of photos of how I found her. 

She is scheduled to be moved into our auto dealership this weekend, and will remain there through her complete makeover. I'll talk about her needed repairs in

my next blog.