Thursday, December 16, 2010

Twins ?

So the 68 was tucked away in the garage awaiting the first stage of rennovation when something popped up..literally. I have an RSS reader that searches Craigslist every 15 minutes for a variety of items and one of those searches is for 'Shasta' if the sales price is under $1000 dollars (thats how I found the 68). Well, while working one day last week I got a little pop up window that said '71 Shasta Camper-$100'

I opened the Craigslist listing and there was what looked very much like our current camper, only a little cleaner, for $100 about 25 minutes away. I contacted the seller right away.. My only real question was 'Will it tow home as it sits?' and the answer was a very confident Yes. Furthur discussion revealed that he had started to strip the interior to replace some water damaged paneling and never got around to finishing. He mentioned it had the cushions in good shape, the original awning and poles, leveling stands, a nice newer fridge, and that the stove, table, heater and sink were all there in ready to use condition. No further discussion was needed, I quickly made arrangements to pick it up.

The ride home was uneventful, it towed beautifully at 65 - 70 with no sway. We have a Ford Expedition with an 8000 lb tow rating and it was almost like I wasn't even towing anything. Maintaing highway speed was no issue, it didn't even drop out of overdrive going up the hills on the way home.

Once I got it home and got a good look at it I determined that the 71 was actually a better starting point for us to refurb than the 68 we paid so much more for. The exterior is a little better, the door is definitely better, the original L66 handle works and even has the original keyset, the windows are not encased in silicone and they all work well, and the inside is already partially apart making it easier for me to finish and refurb.

The new plan is to finish gutting the 71, replace the interior paneling, put down a new floor, reinstall the kitchen area and rebuild the closet/fridge area. I'll move the new propane tanks over.. the new tires as well.

Here are pictures of the 71 as purchased.. Interior obviously looks worse due to being partially apart, but overall, this one is in better shape:

So there it is.. looks somewhat daunting, no? I'm actually glad its half apart as now I can see how things are put together on these old campers and it will be easier to finsh stripping it.

Once I swap the tanks and tires between the campers, I'll decide what to do with the 68. I may part it out and dismantle it so I end up with a decent utility trailer.. I may take what I need for the 71 and sell it whole to reduce our overall cost. I'm just going to play that by ear as I see what I need as I go along. For now, I've moved it out of the garage and moved the 71 in for the winter.

Some who read this I'm sure will disagree with this next decision.. The first thing I did was take the wings off. To be honest, I don't care either way if they are there or not, especially on this 'toaster' style Shasta. If I had a really cool 50's model in the canned ham shape, I'd want them, but on this particular camper I really don't mind them not being there. I threw them on ebay for 99 cents with no reserve and the end result is that after all fees etc I've paid for the 71, the NH tags for the next year, a tank of gas plus I've got some cash left over... and thats just fine with me.

Updates won't happen real often but as I get to working on it I'll take pictures and post progress as I go. Keep in mind, I'm no expert, I'm sure I'll screw up plenty along the way, but it will be fun to tinker on it, and it will be very worth it in a few months when we take our maiden voyage with the kids~

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