Trailer Remodel

After casually looking at ads for trailers for over a year, I came across an ad for a 1978 Traveliner Rover trailer located in Windsor, ON on August 15, 2019. While I would have loved to get a Shasta or an Airstream, this little (13′ long x 7′ wide) trailer was local, within my budget, and would fit perfectly in the parking spot next to our garage.

I enlisted the help of my co-worker Tim to call the owner, ask multiple questions, and arrange for a time to view her. Tim couldn’t come with me to see her, but assured me that this was a good deal, and that he was prepared to buy her if I didn’t. Here’s how she looked initially.

My husband Matt reluctantly agreed to meet me after work to go check her out. Long story short, we ended up purchasing her for $1300 cash (plus $241 for tax, registration, and a license plate). I figured it wasn’t a huge investment, it would give me a project to work on for the next several months, and if all else failed we could probably make a profit flipping her. In exchange for Matt agreeing to let me purchase her, I had to agree to stop talking about building a tiny house in our backyard and doing random house renovations for the next year. That will likely be a challenge, but I’ll try.

Choosing a name for her was a bit of a process, as I wanted something a little cutesy but not too common. After brainstorming with my super creative friend Kimmy, we narrowed the short list to seven names (Rhonda, Alice, Josie, Dolly, Della, Jezebel, and Bessie). From there, my daughter Gwen, her boyfriend Ryan, Matt and I voted, and Jezebel won out. Here’s Matt backing up Jezebel into the driveway and giving me a dirty look for taking his picture.

It was evident that there had been some previous roof leakage, which is totally typical for a trailer of her age. The previous owner indicated that he had resealed the roof within the last couple years, redone the electrical and added an electric fridge. All the interior and exterior lights were working properly, however they hadn’t used the propane cook-top or furnace, so weren’t sure if the propane system was still functioning at all. I was thinking that the overhaul would be mostly cosmetic, as all the decor was still circa 1978. However, once we started pulling out the old vinyl tile flooring, it was apparent that the entire sub-floor needed to be replaced. In order to do so properly, all the existing fixtures/walls/cabinets/benches etc. would need to come out. So I enlisted the (reluctant) help of my 17-year old son Nigel to salvage everything that we could (drawer/cupboard pulls, hinges, doorknobs, fridge, microwave, stove-top, sink).

After a crappy week dealing with our rescue dog passing and a frustrating potential customer, I went to yoga a couple times, but was still feeling angry at the world. So, I decided to take a sledge hammer to the trailer in hopes of alleviating some of my PMS-rage. I can’t tell you how good that felt! Never before have I had an opportunity to take a sledge hammer to anything. It was seriously amazing… trust me… you should try it sometime if you haven’t before. She still needs cleaning out, but there’s no turning back now!