This 1962 Streamline Countess trailer is one of a fleet of restored vintage trailers or “mobile mansions” in the backyard of Craig and Diana Thomas. It was designed and built by the owners. The restoration pays respect to its mid-century design and incorporates modern amenities.
A backlit feature that runs the length of the ceiling adds interest and houses the controls for the air conditioner. The ceiling is painted with gold automotive paint that adds glitz and glamour to the pink accents. The Jetson’s style “control center” in the galley area appears to be right out of the space age. In fact, Craig just dreamed it up! A booth-style seating area dominates the living area. A flat-screen that rises into view from the side table is a modern feature that can be tucked away when not in use. This stunning trailer has also been featured in issue #39 of the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine.
Backyard mobile mansions
The Thomas’ backyard is home to a half-dozen vintage trailers. They are connected by paths through the well-manicured landscaping. Diana, a natural hostess, enjoys sharing the vintage trailers with friends and family when they visit. The private oasis in California’s East Bay is not open to the public. Although it would make a great Airbnb, Craig and Diana are holding their reservations for their personal guests.
Learning to restore vintage trailers
Craig, a visual effects artist, knew very little about restoration when he started restoring trailers but was willing to learn. The VCT Boot Camp is a restoration learning event that teaches owners how to retore their trailers. Boot Camp is held in August in Hollister, CA. Boot Camp is open to beginners and more experienced builders. Craig used the internet to learn the restoration skills necessary to complete the process. He mentioned that restoring a trailer requires mastering several different skills, but they can all be accomplished if you take your time.
The vintage camper trailer hobby was a natural progression with the couple’s shared interest in antiques. Craig and Diana have enjoyed the gratification of sharing something they have poured their hearts and souls into while making something classic usable once again. They also have a 1964 Kenskill vintage trailer that they use to attend several vintage trailer rallies every year.
You can learn to restore vintage trailers, too
VCT Boot Camp is for all lovers of vintage camper trailers. Beginners are welcome! This experience is a combination of intensive classroom learning and demonstrations. VCT Boot Camp is an opportunity to meet with industry pros, many that make their living in the hobby and are willing to share their expertise with you. You will have the opportunity to work closely with the experts as they answer all your questions and provide step-by-step instruction on a variety of aspects of trailer restorations. You will be a part of a network of fellow restorers! Not experienced? No need to be, this event is for both novice and experienced restorers. We provide a comfortable environment for you to pick up the skills you will need to begin, complete, or restore your enthusiasm for your project.
What participants say about boot camp:
I don’t want to miss the sign-ups!!!! I must declare that registration was money well spent. I have used so much of the information. It was the best investment I made before beginning my renovation project. The information I learned at Boot Camp gave me the confidence to tackle tasks that had previously intimidated me. The community that was built from the Boot Camp experience has provided support when I have detailed questions. The value of Boot Camp extends beyond the event itself. Thank you for hosting this amazing opportunity. I can’t wait to go again!!!
About the Author: Paul Lacitinola and his wife, Caroline, have published the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine for ten years. The Lacitinolas also host The Trailerfest Vintage Trailer Rallies and the VCT Boot Camp Restoration Learning Experience. They have authored two books on vintage trailering and are advocates for the hobby from coast to coast.
Beautiful work! These trailers are part of our heritage and I’m glad these people take the time to restore them.