In 2016 we had started looking for our next project. We had finished our 1963 HI-LO the year before. We wanted something different, and older than our last project. I was leaning towards a bread box style trailer, but we figured the right trailer would come along eventually. In August, a fellow trailer friend (enabler) sent me a message. She knew of a free trailer that was going to be posted on one of the groups. She gave me the woman’s name and sent me photos.
I quickly ran to my husband and showed him the photos. We knew it was a much larger undertaking than we had planned. We also knew, that if we passed it up it would be something we would regret. We quickly decided to at least go see it. The person who had posted the trailer, was not the owner. The owners lived off the grid on the far northern end of Humboldt County (near the California/Oregon border). We made an appointment with our contact to head up the following weekend and view the trailer.
We enlisted help (thanks Andy and Matty) and made the 7 hour trek the next weekend where we met Neil and Holly. They had purchased the trailer in 1980 with plans to move it to their property in Humboldt and live off the grid. They lived in it for 4 years with their young family while they built their house. Once they moved into the house, the trailer was demoted to guests and storage. They had been trying for years to try and find their trailer a home. He had thought he was going to have to cut it up and take it to the dump. As a last resort he mentioned the trailer to the local post master, who in turn said something to the person who had ended up listing it .
I think we had both decided on the trip up we would take her no matter what condition she was in, if she was towable. We made a quick inspection and told them we would be back in the morning to start the process of prepping her for the trip back to Sonoma County. We had brush to clear, trees to cut, and bearings to pack before we could even think about moving it.
We returned the next day and started helping Neil clear away the detritus from her body. He had built a bath area on her street side and a storage porch on her curb side, the care he had taken, doing this year’s before was amazing. He never nailed or screwed anything to her precious skin, He started pulling out parts he had saved……thing like the round window he had removed (to vent the pot belly stove that was their heat source) and the original window inserts that would have been used when the trailer was stored. He even had the original split rims from her tires.
We knew it would take a second weekend to finish digging her out, so Todd pulled the hubs to bring back home. We left that Sunday after clearing a trail to pull her out.
Stay tuned for weekend 2, the rescue!