There’s no place like home-on-wheels
Vintage Trailer Style will have you pining for the open roads
Is there anything finer than meandering through the back roads? Well, yes, if you get to do it in your newly revamped home away from home. The modern equivalent of the covered wagon, camping trailers have long provided a wanderluster with the means to answer the call of the open road. Vintage caravans, which were popularized in the 1930s and perfected throughout the ’70s, have become sought after today not only for their relative economic appeal (although they are getting ever pricier) but also for their kitsch cache. If you think about it, there are few things cooler than a dolled-up vintage Airstream.
Author Lisa Mora, in her new book Vintage Trailer Style, shares her passion for restoring neglected caravans to their former glory. As much as you might want to get right to the fun part (decorating!), Mora addresses the numerous steps involved in refurbishing a trailer – the first of which is actually finding one. Because demand exceeds supply, it can be hard to acquire a vintage caravan, and she suggests your efforts might be best spent locating a forgotten one. Although, even if you are lucky enough to find a trailer that has been tucked away in a barn for a couple of decades, it will most likely need a makeover on the outside as well as the inside.
For those of you who love DIY, this can be the mother of all projects. You will have to invoke your inner handy-ma’am, because fixing up vintage caravans can involve anything from restoring rusty exteriors and sealing windows to fixing brakes and updating electrical systems. If you are not planning to take it on the road and are only interested in creating an extra living space, the refurbishing process will be easier and less expensive. As Mora reminds us, the journey is more important than the destination, and enjoying the refurbishing ride is what she ultimately encourages.
Once your caravan is structurally sound, you can start on the crafty bits: interior design and redecorating. What look are you going for? Sleek, shiny, and streamlined? Gypsy caravan? Fifties rockabilly? Vintage Trailer Style has plenty of decorating ideas specially designed for small spaces.
Whether your caravan is permanently parked or tooling around the countryside, you will have your own little oasis of handcrafted retro style to curl up in. And, as the increasing popularity of vintage trailer rallies implies, a lovingly restored vintage home-on-wheels is truly where the heart is. Vintage Trailer Style: Buying, Restoring, Decorating, and Styling the Small Spaces of Your Dreams, by Lisa Mora, published by David and Charles