Finding Your Vintage Trailer
No trailer required
If you already have a vintage or late model trailer, great! If not, we can guide you in finding one. Our experience can help you select the best trailer for your project.
Many owners find the adventure of hunting down the trailer of their dreams part of the fun! There are many resources for locating vintage and antique trailers and other vehicles. While we do not specifically endorse any specific method we do offer the following ideas to help you in your quest:
If you are going to have a complete restoration or retrofit, you are looking for a vehicle that has good 'bones'. Most travel trailers were built for a limited service life and are well beyond those design parameters at this point. Sealing materials in joints and around doors and windows have dried out and may be admitting water causing rot and mold problems. With this in mind, it is best to try to find a vehicle that has spent most of its life in an arid climate. Don't rule out units from humid climates; just be more careful in your inspection. Trailers from coastal areas frequently have serious corrosion and wood rot issues. As with any used vehicle, you may encounter previously repaired damage that cannot be observed from even a thorough, non-invasive inspection. Poorly completed collision or rollover damage can be hidden with good sheet metal and paint! One sign of trouble is unusual tire wear.
Trailers of all-aluminum construction generally have fewer problems than wood framed trailers. Airstream is the most familiar all-aluminum trailer brand but there are many other vintage brands out there. All Airstream trailers are all-aluminum but not all aluminum trailers are Airstreams.
If you would prefer to start with a new shell and build-out from there, we do that too.
- Look for a trailer that hasn’t spent much time in extremely humid climates. The less time spent in humid climates, the less likely there is to be rust and rot damage to the chassis and tongue.
- Do a walk-around inspection and check for dents, scratches, and other scars.
- Check for water damage and leaks around exterior penetrations such as vents, A/C units, and windows.
- Look to see if hardware is missing—particularly on windows as these are hard to replace.
- Find out the last time the trailer was used and the last time the appliances were tested. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TEST APPLIANCES YOURSELF!
- Find out what updates have already been to the trailer and how thoroughly they were done.
- Some vintage parts just aren’t made anymore.
- Rotted floors and chassis damage (these can be fixed, but add cost to do so )
- Missing window hardware (windows for most vintage trailers are hard to find and no longer made).
- Rodent infestation in the walls/insulation and belly pan.