Winnie-born in 1962
WARNING: Owning a vintage Shasta trailer can lead to an addiction. There is just something about a Shasta that says “AHhhhhh. More, please.” Some members of the Vintage Shasta Trailer Forum say we Shasta owners could be called a cult. While it’s very hard to admit I’m a member of a cult—it may be true. After we sold our compact, Gina I caught myself (daily) skimming the Craigslist ads, over a three-state area, looking for old Shastas. I even thought I had found the perfect replacement for Gina and drove from Great Falls, Montana to Pocatella, Idaho—a 12-hour round trip–all ready to purchase and bring home a 1969 Shasta. That trip was a total bust since the trailer was in the roughest shape I’d ever seen—complete with a metal plate welded onto the wheel well to keep the floor from dropping to the ground.
I was disillusioned for about a week and kept my eyes averted from all trailer ads. The withdrawals were horrific and lasted for days. After a week’s recovery period my innate need for the hunt returned and I commenced the Shasta search. Imagine my pleasant surprise to find one within 3 hours of home. In a town where we have relatives and friends! Our niece and nephew-in-law lived within 1 mile of the target trailer. They jumped at the chance to be a part of the experience and undertook the job of checking over the trailer. They gave it the “go ahead it has potential” sign. The timing was perfect as it was New Year’s Day weekend and we could combine two pleasurable experiences. Visiting fabulous people AND checking out a vintage trailer.
We arrived in Bozeman, traveling on snow- and ice-covered roads, with plenty of daylight to check out the 1962 Shasta 16SC. Embee and nephew-in-law crawled under the trailer to check out the belly and I checked out the interior. The trailer passed muster as far as restoration potential, but Embee was still tepid about buying it. I am a firm believer in Fate and so I suggested that we back up our Trailblazer and plug it in. If the trailer tail lights worked, we should buy it. If the lights didn’t work—then the trailer wasn’t for us. The lights worked!! So since we were all backed up and plugged in it was a small job to hook her up and head out. In the snow and ice.
The new trailer is now stowed securely next to our garage and is awaiting our TLC. Some of the work can be done in the driveway, but some of the work will require a shop or garage for the tear down. Now our search is for a smallish shop to rent for a few months to bring this lovely piece of USA’s history back to her former glory.
Details on her are as follows:
- Original paint job was white on top, white on bottom, with a bare aluminum stripe down the middle. Some previous owner painted the bottom a sort of poo-brown (hence the name, “Winnie”).
- She has the original flooring/linoleum and it is in great shape.
- Some of her cushions have the original upholstery fabric but it is really butt-ugly.
- She has leaked in the past so we know there will be rot to replace and a few interior birch panels to replace. The entire inside will need to be sanded and re-shellacked.
- She needs her round tail lights replaced since the previous owner removed them and put square ones on.
- She needs wings. Her original ones are missing.
- She will need all windows and j-channel to be removed and resealed.
- She needs a new ice-box.
- Her stove/oven needs checking out and certification.
- Her little toilet needs repair/replacement or removal.
- This list could go on and on and on—but those are the major items to start with!
I am so excited to have another Shasta on which to work! Deciding what theme to decorate will be a hard choice. I’m vacillating between Montana Fishing Lodge or U of M Griz décor. This would make a fabulous tail-gating trailer for the Griz football games.
Stay tuned for updates as the restoration process begins!