Vintage Restoration (TimeKeeper Service)
Some people are seeking factory original vintage trailers and feel that they carry a higher value similar to all-original classic automobiles and to a certain extent this is true among collectors. However, there are more travelers and campers than there are collectors and curators. For the user group a comparison to an old, original house from the 40s to the 70s is more applicable. In the case of a travel trailer, it is a house that is under constant earthquake conditions. Very few people are interested in all original houses including furnaces and kitchen appliances. There is no market for “fix & flip” trailers because the cost of restoration usually meets or exceeds the market value. The value is in the use and enjoyment you get out of using your coach.
If you are looking for a factory original trailer you should begin with the most complete and original trailer in the best condition possible. The main reason is economics. There is a plentiful supply of good condition vintage trailers that contain many parts which are simply no longer available. To start a restoration project with nothing more than a shell will be cost prohibitive. Shell trailers are great candidates for custom projects. We can help you locate the perfect coach for your project.
- 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.