When I made the decision to buy a trailer I had no dream ideal and no previous experience with trailers, and really, no desire to own one, it just happened.
After the deconstruction of my camper, I intended to build onto a double axle trailer. I had a place to build and a summer ahead. I built my camper and I intended to build my next house too. For inspiration I looked on craigslist at trailers for sale, read tiny house blogs, shopped for ideas on sites like pinterest, and had an excess of bookmarks for sites dealing with trailers, tiny houses, and RV’s in general. I also had this little itch in me to have a gypsy caravan. When I saw the Silver Streak ad I was curious and decided to go look at it. After my first inspection of the trailer I thought the owner out of his mind for the asking price. I was not alone, it sat on craigslist for several weeks listing the same as ever price. But I could not let the idea of having it fade away. I decided to take a friend out with me for another look. I think once a person has an idea in their head it’s hard to let it go.
My main reservations about purchasing any trailer mostly revolved around the event that I would discover an abundance of leaks, electrical problems, and too many systems out of my knowledge base. And in the end I did, but it’s okay. I paid the asking price of 2,000 bucks and prepared it for the tow home.
When you buy a new toy, especially a large one, it’s hard to get a grasp on it’s entirety. Each little portion has to reveal itself over time until eventually you can open yourself to details previously hidden. In the beginning I just sat and looked at a shiny metal thing with some stuff on the inside that I had no idea what to do with. Exciting for sure yet intimidating.
The trailer was mostly intact on the inside; cabinets in place, counter, sinks, pluming, LPG set ups, etc. yet, I really had no idea where to start. I guess I just decided to clean it up. I looked online for sites that discuss the average overhaul, remodel, and repair of vintage trailers. My first forum found by searching for anything Silver Streak opened to someone asking the best way to begin taking apart their vintage trailer for remodel. The first response? “Don’t take it apart!”
That single event left me high and dry followed by a long journey of conflicting desire between restoration and redesign. It looked so big with so much potential. And indeed I was going to live in it.
My situation was strange during those first days, I had a few decisions to make: I had taken apart my camper in haste as well as purchased a trailer in haste, I had no plans. Also finding a place to park a trailer is very different than parking my truck and camper. I had to move from where I was and find a place for the trailer so I could live in it and work on it. Okay done.
I am reminded of the evening I paid for the trailer. The owners wife didn’t seem to like the trailer. He had mentioned that fact to me on my first trip out to look at it. I think she thought it was a waste of time and money with no potential. He said he planned on restoring it but hadn’t gotten around to it. Perhaps she was the force behind the sale. She was very talkative and excited the evening I was taking it away. She handed me bags of curtains, and extra light bulbs, discussing some things in her thick accent.
“Thanks,” I said.
“I intend to stay in it right away.” I said.
“Oh yes, stain it,” she said with her tongue curling, ” that’s a great idea.” I giggled a bit and was thinking….. I don’t think any amount of stain is really going to help the inside of the trailer.
Regardless, I stayed in it a week after I bought it.
With all of my things in storage, I had a mattress and a few random items to keep me comfy enough while repairs began. I found a parking spot in my friends yard and our long summer of 2012 was in full swing.
And so, the first leg of the journey had begun.