This 1955, 24-foot Boles Aero Ensenada was sitting in the back of a massive barn on a wheat farm in eastern Oregon. This was a real barn find! The current owners’ son discovered it in 2011 as he was putting equipment away in the barn after a day of cutting wheat on a combine. He knew his folks enjoyed their teardrop and Lakewood 12-foot “canned ham,” so he couldn’t wait to text them a photo of this perfectly preserved RV. A few months later, they got up there and made a deal with the owner, whose parents had bought it new. After a month of cleanup, tire and axle replacement, and clearing the barn to get it out, it headed to its new home in California.
This preserved RV was tucked away for 40 years
The door to the trailer had not been opened since it was last used in 1974. It was full of clothes, items from the last time it had been camped in, and mice. Incredibly, the mice, having lots of wheat to eat, didn’t chew or destroy any parts of the trailer but had gotten into every crevice they could and nested. Their entry was through the open sewer connection and the air duct under the trailer for the diesel furnace.
Beautiful birch interior
As the years of mice poop and dirt were cleared off, the beauty of the preserved RV’s interior shone through. Not one piece or part was missing or broken. The original curtains, Venetian blinds, upholstery, knobs, gaskets, and Bakelite handles, were all there. All of it! And even more amazing, each and every item was in perfect condition, including the beautiful birch interior. No need to sand and refinish! No chips, dents, dings, or cracks. The exterior was in good shape, too. Just an afternoon with some of Vintage Trailer Supply’s plasti-coat removal product and the old, yellowed, peeling remainder hanging onto the exterior washed away.
Pristine park model
The windows and gaskets were still soft, as were the darling plastic ruffled curtains over the porcelain bathroom sink. The 3-gallon flush toilet got new innards, the 200 pounds of galvanized sewer pipes were replaced with lightweight ABS pipes, and the old water heater was replaced with a new 5-gallon model.
This is technically a “park model,” with no holding tanks or freshwater tanks. The “Lucy and Desi” twin beds are easy to make and maneuver around. The owners live in the Boles Aero for a month in Palm Springs, CA, during the winter and can’t get over all the storage and the great layout of the interior. It is a well-preserved beauty that is functional for camping and pristine enough to show.
This trailer was featured in the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine clear back in issue #26. The Magazine has been in print for more than ten years now. Receive a copy of the current issue (#61) digitally in your online dashboard when you subscribe.
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.
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