Sunday, December 6, 2015

Meet Gidget

2 weeks, 3 days.  That's all it took for these two DIY junkies to crave for our next project.  I suspect family members were taking bets on how long it would take us to become stir crazy in a rental house with no "next project" around the corner.  Andy and I tried to fool ourselves, planning minor furniture rehab projects and filling our time with outdoor pursuits but, alas, renovation is in our DNA.

This last Wednesday, I was chilling out with the boys and surfing on Pinterest.  Not something I do on a frequent basis as it can quickly get hobbyists into trouble.  A scroll or two down the "Popular" page reveled a finished vintage trailer remodel project.  It was love at first sight.  A really quick search on Craigslist yielded a 1954 King vintage trailer for sale a mere 2 1/2 hours north of Portland.  At $1750, the price was incredibly reasonable considering how rare they are and that restored ones can go for $9000+.  I knew convincing Andy of our new endeavor was only an email away.  Considering I am a mega planner and preparer and never do anything spontaneously, Andy jumped on my one act of madness and quickly contacted the seller and put all the other steps into motion.

New trailer hitch installed on our mini van, which amazingly enough has plenty of power to tow the caravan, we loaded the kids up at the crack of dawn and set out to meet our newest project.

Named "Clarice" by it's current owner, the caravan is an 18 foot, 1954 King canned ham.

Clarice is a pretty cute, old fashioned name but considering it immediately puts us into mind of a people-eating psychopath, we have decided to rename her "Gidget", a 1950s fictional character portrayed by Sandra Dee that spent her chasing after Moondoggie, surfing and having beach parties.  As far as we can tell, Walter King manufactured the trailers in the 1950s out of California.

"Canned ham" refers to the iconic curved shape of the roof.  Many of the trailer's original features are in intact and ready for restoration such as classic 1950s light fixtures, hinges and knobs and Martha Washington stove.

Andy and I have no experience with campers but are excited to dive into this new arena.  We plan to carefully disassemble the camper, repair the "guts"and then build it back up, using as much of the original materials as we can.

"Bedroom" light

Fridge Missing
Built-in bedside table

Open exterior windows
Bedroom area with recent loft addition that will be removed
Dining area with folding table and benches that lay into a bed

What we can't use, we hope to build or purchase period-accurate reproductions.  Our goal is to have this camper ready for the road (I won't say "done", because when is a project every truly done) by summer so we can take her on the road, visiting the amazing National forests, parks, oceans and lakes all within a days drive of our new home.  Follow along as we learn on the job breathing new life into Gidget.

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