After my discouraging trip to the Sonoma RV rust belt, I resumed my vintage trailer search in earnest. I found a decent 28′ Airstream in Sebastopol with good skin, but all of its interior character had been obliterated by a total gutting and laminate flooring (meh). My search took me all the way to Peru, Indiana (virtually) where I found a nice 1950 33′ Spartan Royal Mansion in good condition and with lots of interior wood remaining. Shipping costs (nearly $4 k) killed that deal, however, so the search continued. About two weeks ago I stumbled upon another Craigslist posting that appeared too good to be true. It was a 1957 45 foot Imperial Mansion (apparently imperial sounds bigger than royal) that had a super clean exterior, few dents, most of it’s glass and good tires. What’s more, the posted price was only slightly more than the shipping costs for the smaller trailer from Peru. Next day I was driving to Fresno, the place of my birth and a generally pleasant childhood, to buy what could be my final resting place (perhaps that’s a bit melodramatic, but it sounds profoundly cyclic). On my arrival to a scruffy patch of land southwest of Fresno, I found a near perfect example of 1950’s Americana, glorious in its unabashed excess reflective of that “can do, so why not” period of post war America. Although oxidized, it skin glistened in the Spring sunshine (in my mind’s eye). Never mind that the insides were trashed. This was a thing of beauty. I bought it that day, not even knowing how I would get it back to Santa Rosa.
As I type, she is still in Fresno and awaits the 200 mile journey, an 18 month Sonoma County stop-over and a whole lotta TLC.