February 6, 2009

Kitchen Cabinet Repair - Vintage Travel Trailer

                                               This is a 1957 Cardinal Travel Trailer.
The charred wood upper kitchen cabinet was believed to be caused by someone leaving the stove unattended - lucky thing they didn't burn the trailer down!

                                                              Wood skin was removed.
Burned / bad framing pieces were removed and used as a template for new wood.

New birch "Wiggle Wood" was installed - glued and clamped.

With 5-6 coats of amber shellac. The original door and copper lights reinstalled.

Another view.
Thanks for looking, and happy camping!


Liz said...

I am just getting interested in owning a small vintage travel trailer. I have very limited budget, want to use it as an art studio, so I dont need it to be historically accurate. What do I look for? I need it to be watertight. I am somewhat handy with construction How do I know if it can be easily repaired? How do you fix What brands are reliable in the leak proof department? What extras do I need to know about? (leveling jacks, propane tank, etc)

Dixon said...

Hi Liz -

If you are going with an old trailer - there really is no such thing as a guarantee on it being water-tight. It is just the nature of these old trailers to have an issue with water somewhere - past, present, or future - especially if they have been kept outside in the weather for decades.

Usually leaks are found around a window, a roof vent - or a loose roof seam, etc. But they can be found basically anywhere.

I would suggest taking something called a "Moisture Meter" (Found at Home Depot or Lowe's - not expensive) with you to check for moisture in seams by windows and where the walls and the roof meet. Mind you - if it is the dead of Summer and hasn't rained in months - this will probably not be helpful - in that case, you just have to look for signs of water damage - stains, black marks, mold, etc.

You want to make sure the floor feels solid. Also - be sure to look underneath the carriage for signs of rot, rusted out bolts, etc.

And very important - no rodent droppings! (My personal opinion, some people don't mind cleaning up mouse urine and poo - but I do).

I could go on and on and on...The absolute BEST thing I can suggest is joining a Vintage Trailer Forum, and asking questions and listening to the people there - most of them really know their stuff in my opinion.

I belong to a great forum on Kuju -it is called "Repairing Yesterdays Trailers". You should consider joining them, or a site like them before you dive in...there is quite a bit to know before you buy.

I will see if I can figure out how to put their link on my blog - I think you can get there by typing in: http://www.repairingyesterdaystrailers.kuju.com

I just LOVE your idea for using a trailer for an art studio BTW - What a great concept!

Good Luck, and Happy Trailer Hunting to you :-)