The Shasta

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The Renovation of a Rough, 1960ish Travel Trailer into a Stylish, 2000ish Getaway

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The Renovation of a Rough, 1960ish Travel Trailer into a Stylish, 2000ish Getaway

Welcome to the start of my Shasta Travel Trailer renovation website.  While researching my purchase of a travel trailer I surfed lots of websites and tried to get as much information as possible.  Well, I got a camper and I'll let everyone follow along through thick and thin as I renovate my new trailer...

HOW IT ALL STARTED...

A few months ago I bought a couple acres of lakefront land on Lake Greenwood in South Carolina as investment/retirement property.  Although I don't have enough cash on hand to build a cabin down there right now I still want to go down and enjoy the lake and work on the land so I thought a travel trailer would be a good idea.  I originally found a FAN camper locally that I was really interested in.  It was in pretty decent shape but had a few issues and lacked a title.  As you can see, it isn't a bad trailer.  It is in good shape but the woman selling it wanted $1600.  Not knowing a whole lot about trailers, we offered $800.  She said "no," so we told her that she had our number if she changed her mind.  A few days later she called up and said it is ours!  Unfortunately, I was out of town and couldn't pick it up at the moment so we wold her that we'd pick it up Saturday morning when I got back from Washington, DC.  Saturday came, we called her up and wouldn't you know it!  She sold it out from under us.  For someone who had the camper staged with a bible opened up on the table it didn't seem like a very Christian thing to do but whatever.  So, off to find another trailer in our price range.

E-BAY IT BABY...

After a lot of time scouring E-Bay we came across an ad for a Shasta Trailer up in Siler City, NC.  From the pictures it looked like a pretty good camper and Siler City is only about 2 1/2 hours from Charlotte.  Definately an easy ride. We put in a bid and about $780 later, we wound up winning the auction and our new camper!  It was very exciting and I couldn't wait to get camping...but wait, this website is called the Shasta PROJECT page not the Shasta CAMPING page.  We got the back woods of Siler City about 5:30pm and found the trailer. The folks were nice enough but it was country up in those parts.  The spelling on The Ebay Ad should have prepared me for the experience to come, but hey, I try not to be judgemental. We found a trailer that was pretty sound but it had some water damage and things that didn't see quite right.  The fridge was gone, a few bugs around and it was quite musty smelling. All said, it was not up to the caliber of the FAN trailer that got away from us, but it was E-bay so a deal was a deal.  I figured it just need some TLC. 

LET THE FUN BEGIN...               So, the first problem that we ran into was the hitch.  I hooked the Shasta up to the Suburban, went to plug in the trailer lights and found that the trailer was wired backwards.  The 4 prong plug on it was backwards. No big deal, there is a auto store down the way about 10 miles, I'll just go there and buy a new plug.  As I was cranking the crank I also realized that the front trailer wheel was only a few inches off the gound.  Not good, but again maybe it will work until I get home.  As I was driving off the sellers land that wheel started scraping like nobody's business.  I stopped and took a close look at the wheel.  There was a thumb set screw that looked like it would allow me to remove the wheel so I took that off and tried to take the wheel off...no luck.  That wheel is set in there with 30 years of rust so I did the next best thing...I took off the three bolts holding the hitch jack to the frame, pulled the whole unit up and tied it to the propane racks with a rope.  Not pretty but it got the job done.

Once we got her over the hump and headed down the road we pulled into the Auto Zone and bought a new plug so I could rewire the electrical connection properly.  After a few minutes, I had the connections crimped together and plugged the cord into the truck.  I hit the hazards, went back and took a look...nothing.  Not a running light, not a turn signal, nothing.  Susan hit the brakes, still nothing.  I double checked all the connections, found nothing wrong and shook my head.  The rest of the way home we ran dark and illeagal as all get out.  It wasn't too bad until we got close to Charlotte and it started to get dark.  The whole way and only one person beeped their horn to tell us the lights were out though.

We made it home safe and sound, put a bug bomb in the Shasta to kill some ants that seemed to be hanging around and sat around talking about how great it will be to camp on our land in our new camper.

 The next morning it was time for A Closer Look