Finding The Right CamperThis is the story of Coralee. She is a 1960 Shasta Airflyte.
To start at the beginning I love old stuff. It doesn't matter what it is cars, furniture, people, Campers, I love old stuff. For years I have wanted a camper to pull behind my 1960 Ford Starliner. You see I like to road trip in the old girl and don't really care to stay in hotels. For me a camper would be perfect and of course it had to be a canned ham. I looked for a long time to find just what I wanted. It was that whole thing of " I'll know it when I see it". So that is how I found Coralee.
A friend of mine (Dave) knew that I wanted a canned ham trailer. One day he came into my shop to tell me he had seen a couple in a storage yard a few miles from where I was. He didn't know what they were but they were old. So the following week I had a meeting in the next town over and on the way back I decided to stop and take a look.
There she was. Lonesome. Sitting by herself, out in the weather. It was love at first sight. I still didn't know anything about her, but I knew I wanted her. I stopped in at the office to find out if she was for sale. She had been there a few years, the man said. He took my number and said he would pass it on.
A couple weeks later I received a call from the elderly lady who owned her. She said she loved the old girl and had lots of great memories in her, but couldn't use her anymore due to her health. Turned out she was a 1960 just like my car. That was fate. We struck a bargain and $300 later she was mine.
I called my Dad ( isn't that what dad's are for) to please come help me get her home. Out he came, we hooked her up and away we went. She towed great. No problems getting her home. Once at home we tucked her into her spot and waited for my hubby to come home. He came home took one look at her and shook his head. Luckily he said he knew I was nuts years ago. He opened her door, took a deep breath and said "Boy do I love the smell of these old trailers" That was it, he was hooked.
Coming Up With A Name
Every camper needs a name. Kind of like an old car, finding the right name takes time since you have to find out their personality. When We got Coralee home and started to try and clean her, we called her Dirtball. She had been used as a hunting camper and for huckleberry picking. They would drag her out into the woods and leave her for sometimes months on end. I'm not sure if she ever had a good cleaning until we started in on her. So Dirtball it was. Than as I started to strip the paint off her , her real colors came through. Under all the baby blue and white paint she was really Coral on the bottom and Cream on top. I could envision her repainted Coral and Cream with her polished Z stripe. How beautiful. This is when we changed her name to Coralee. A beautiful name for a beautiful girl.
The Rebirth of Coralee
Well I started to strip the paint off her. It looks like shes only been repainted once. With a brush! Poor thing. They even painted a new Z stripe. Of course its totally in the wrong spot. It took me about 3 days to strip it off the sides. I wonder how she'd look polished.....
I started cleaning the insides. There for a minute I had that "What the hell am I thinking" thought running through my head. I put that thought aside and went back to work. She cleaned up fine inside and it didn't take as long as I thought. I did find that she needs pretty much all her paneling replaced. I was actually ready for that.
Oct. 31, 2010
Took Coralee over to my Mom and Dads today. My Dad gets the honor of redoing the woodwork on her. This serves a dual purpose. I get my wood done and Dad has something to do. He's retired and doesn't like to sit around. Winters here can be tough so a project is a must. Plus my Mom gets tired of watching the Discovery Channel and needs him out of the house. He's awesome with wood and is the perfect person for the job. Getting her in their shop was another thing. It took a couple days to clean a spot and move his Mustang so we'd have room. As we were pushing her in the shop we notice her chimney for the furnace was going to hit. We let the air out of the tires and in she made it. Now shes in her new home for the winter. Can't wait to get to work!
This is Coralee on her way to my Mom and Dads to start her renovation.