I mentioned the other day that a new project has arrived at the house. One that is full of vintage charm, character and lots of possibilities… and yes, a bit of work on the to-do list.
A vintage travel trailer
We have been on the lookout for a vintage trailer project for awhile. And we found one in a 1961 Avion Trailer that is just waiting for a little bit of love. Or a lot of love depending on how you look at it.
My husband and sons have been talking about fixing up a vintage trailer for fun -and of course I would love to use it for special photography projects. I mean- can you just imagine all the things that I will be setting up and photographing here? I have a list a mile long in mind already. haha.
The main things we (okay I) had on the list- the right price, the photography cute factor, mostly original and functional with a bathroom as we also planned to use for an extra guest room on the property or for camping obviously. We didn’t mind if it needed some work (or to be put back together) as long as it was not crazy crazy. And a bonus if the yuck factor work was already wrapped up. I also did not want a beast of a trailer- I wanted something on the smaller size.
Vintage Avion Trailer
A cousin of those famous airstream trailers- Avions are quite similar in look on the outside- some with a metal body that can be polished to a mirror finish.
On the inside, it reminds me more of the canned ham type trailers with their details and solid wood cabinetry. We looked at Airstreams as well and we kind of preferred the underdog here. Though, I do have a couple of airstream models that are favorites, a lot of them just didn’t talk to me. Fixed up- older Avions can fetch a similar price as Airstreams- but they are harder to come by so are a bit more unique- which I think is a bonus. And also the interior is solid wood and a lighter finish- which I prefer. Isn’t the kitchen so cute?
This is a 24′ Avion and it tows so light and easy. This floor plan has a dinette area, kitchen, 2 twin beds and a bathroom with a wee tub/shower combo. The cupboards are in fairly good shape and a beautiful blonde color. And of course, the little vintage pink range which is also the original.
The Before has good news and not so good news- as most projects do- but Kevin and Clover seem to approve.
The body outside is in pretty good shape. Not too many dings, dents or other issues to contend with. One thing we noticed was a lot of the outsides of the other trailers were quite damaged. And it can be repaired- but we really wanted something for a good price with more easily doable work. Inside there has been some rebuilding work already. We also have most of the originals and are able to put back in place.
I love that the outside on the 1961 Avion can be polished to a mirror reflection finish. Unlike the after 1963 versions that have what is called an anodized finish and look more like a matte silver.
We considered a couple of the later versions but decided we did not want to take on the task of stripping the finish off to get to the ‘raw’ metal. There are a lot of chemicals and we were not so comfortable with the whole process of doing that with harsh chemicals. If you decided to do that- once the finish is off- you then have the task of polishing it. Which we will have to do with this one either way.
The not so good? Remember that old McDonalds or something other commercial that talked about ‘Pieces. Parts’ ? The trailer is definitely in pieces. parts. So it needs to be put back together. Kind of like it was in process of being remodeled and then- it sat waiting for the vision to get it all back together again.
And with the recent rain we noticed that there are still some leaks happening that we need to fix.
The interior shell is also metal under the paint. A lot of what looks ‘dirty’ and damaged on the inside is just grunge that should clean off. But we do plan on removing the paint in a couple of areas and refreshing the paint in others. .
I really want a time capsule – meaning as much of the original aesthetic and feeling as possible. I am not on the rip everything out and reimagine it train. So for me, it was important to have as much of the original as possible to work with. Which this one has a lot of- so that is a good thing.
We are starting with scrubbing and refreshing any areas of paint inside and then laying flooring and then will start rebuilding the inside.
Do we know what we are doing? Absolutely not. haha.
Are we crazy? I think yes, probably so.
We have never tackled anything like this before- but the boys are looking forward to the project and it should be fun learning. If anyone has done this before- please give us all the tips! And I will take you along each step of the way to share ups and downs on the renovation in case you want to tackle something like this too.
What do you think of this sweet little Avion travel trailer? And maybe the most pressing question of all: I am told that we should give her a name- so what should we name her? 🙂