Story of the $200 Vintage Trailer

After looking for awhile, having others on the search as well, it looked like I was not going to find an affordable ‘fixer upper’ small trailer before summer.

That would have been tragic; fiercer proactive measures were instituted.

Craigslist ads, that usually were bunk (crap trailers way overpriced), were searched morning and night.

Out of state vintage trailer sellers were contacted, and my comfortable set amount of cash to spend rose quickly. I’ll pay a little more to get something of decent quality, needing little work and that I know is a decent buy; those were my thoughts.

Story of the $200 Vintage Trailer. Now the Fun Begins... Need a Cool Art Decoration for the Trashed Icebox
Now the Fun Begins… Need a Cool Art Decoration for the Trashed Icebox

I made a deal after days of negotiations and phone calls, with a vintage trailer dealer in Utah, initial $2k outlay delivered the following morning via cashiers check.

I awoke to an email saying the deal was off, someone offered him $500 over our agreed-upon sales price and he cared crap about our deal (those were my words, not his).

Money in hand is always a good thing so not too upset or undeterred I went back to scanning online ads, hoping to find a new tin can jewel I could make my own.

Story of the $200 Vintage Trailer. Striped Colorful Cushions... Made out of Old Foam That Was in the Trailer.  That's the Plan.
Striped Colorful Cushions… Made out of Old Foam That Was in the Trailer. That’s the Plan.

Low and behold, a $200 ad was listed in our area. It read something like this:

“1968 15ft Aloha travel trailer, $200”

I assumed it was a dump, but if it towed it could be worth it to fix-up. All About Aloha Travel Trailers

I was the second person who called, and offered $400 cash after hearing that not only did it tow, the floor was solid. No sagging floor? So what would need to be fixed? New ceiling, seal the walls…

Someone had an appointment to look at it a few hours later, but she promised she would call me back if they didn’t show. “They will show.” I thought, “It will be sold.”

Low and behold, a few hours later I got a phone call from this lovely lady that the trailer was still available. “Can you send me a few pics?” I asked while asking a few more questions… “Is the title clear?”

Story of the $200 Vintage Trailer. Ceiling Needs to Be Sanded, Sealed and Painted
Ceiling Needs to Be Sanded, Sealed and Painted

Clear title, no water damage, and it tows? Was this seriously the luckiest day I’d had in quite a while? Well, yes it was.

MoneyGram sent, trailer was towed to our home in the evening. They wanted to get it out of the yard, so they could focus on their new rig they had recently bought.

“You don’t want to know about our new trailer,” nice lady joked. “No, that would be mean…” I offered back jokingly.

But really, I wasn’t jealous in the slightest… too content with my new little 15ft Aloha trailer jem that I got for a steal.

Can’t wait to fix her up and get to roadtrip in the U.S. with the awesome teen.

Update June, 2016: I did just that, and had some fun. Loved this trailer, sold summer of 2015 to help my son attend culinary college. Living Full Time in a Vintage Camper.

8 thoughts on “Story of the $200 Vintage Trailer

  1. Congratulations on your new trailer! From the outside, it looks like our first trailer, a 1963 15-foot Aristocrat. The last owner was a family with five kids, so you can imagine what the inside looked like. We gave it a new look by painting everything inside with leftover paint. I made new curtains and we put down indoor-outdoor carpeting on the floor. If the refrigerator is an ice box, I’d strongly suggest getting one that works on propane. When we bought our new-to-us trailer two years ago, we sold the old one on craigslist for $375 — it went in 20 minutes, no haggling. The new trailer is positively palatial compared to the old one, and I really love that the refrigerator switches automatically between propane and electricity. On summer camping trips to the Cascades, we used to spend about $50 a week for ice to keep the food cold. Happy travels!

  2. Thanks Cheryl and I think I will look into that (propane fridge) as $50 a week is a LOT of cash! This one is just dirty, dirty, dirty – bought face mask today at dollar store, not sure what is in that dust but it is slowly and surely getting cleaned out and I have the decorating scheme all decided upon, fun times 🙂

  3. Hi,

    Congrats on the trailer, a year later! How is it holding up?

    I was wondering what resources you used to find this? You looked at “vintage trailer sellers,” but are there any specific websites/other infrastructure with which I could find a trailer? I’m looking to spend no more than $250, on something that can sleep at least 2 people (so teardrop trailers are preffered). Googled, but to no avail!

    Thanks!

  4. Paul I am so sorry this is so late and thank you! The trailer is awesome, but we just sold it – $3,200 USD. I just go lucky really, these trailers have become really popular so if you want a cheap one you have to sort-of scout it out yourself (drive around country roads, etc.) and then make an offer in hopes someone doesn’t want it anymore. Ones that are advertised are usually pretty pricey for the age and condition of the trailer… $250 would be pretty tough to find I think.

  5. I just bought a 1969 aloha t.t. for 300. the kids I got her from were towing it with a mini-van. DMV has the wight wrong on title so I see why they had trouble pulling it from Eugene to Florence Oregon. Sadly my plans are to turn her into a gypsy vardos so she will be gutted
    out inside and due to the frount end dry rot i’ll proubly strip her down to the frame and rebuild and get my dream wagon. I plan to use her primarily to store my wool and fibers.

  6. Did you ever post after pictures of this?! I have the same camper and am fixing it up. I would love to see what you did with it !

  7. Aw, that is so nice of you to ask – and I should have posted more (took a ton when I was selling it but couldn’t fine this a.m.) but here are a few: http://www.mollymchugh.com/living-full-time-vintage-camper/.

    Loved that little camper – was comfy and cozy for the 6 months or so I lived in it and took some trips with my son.

    A great Facebook group for motivation and to connect with other doing what you are doing is “Glampers on the Loose”. Really nice gals, everyone shares tips and pics of what they’ve done to their trailer. Highly recommend 🙂

    Have fun! Molly

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