Vin­tage trailer en­thu­si­asts ren­o­vate and dec­o­rate their own lit­tle piece of Amer­i­can his­tory.


VIN­TAGE TRAIL­ERS HAVE BEEN A HOT TREND, AND “FINDING THE ELU­SIVE TRAILER TO RE­STORE IS HALF THE FUN,” WRITES VIC­TO­RIA OCKEN IN HER NEW BOOK, Vin­tage Trailer Voyeur: A Peek In­side the Unique Cus­tom Trailer Cul­ture. The other fun, of course, is when vin­tage-trailer en­thu­si­asts dec­o­rate the in­te­rior of their trail­ers. “Ev­ery garage sale, junk store and auc­tion is ripe with dec­o­rat­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties,” writes Vicki. Vin­tage trailer own­ers “feel the tingle of an­tic­i­pa­tion run up their spine as they sort through the past, thrilled with the slight­est piece of mem­o­ra­bilia. A post­card, orig­i­nal up­hol­stery hid­den un­der slip­cov­ers or a for­got­ten toy—any­thing that tells a tale of the past and the ghosts that lurk there,” she writes. Why are these trail­ers so ap­peal­ing? “It’s prob­a­bly rooted in many things,” she says. “Nos­tal­gia for the past, a sim­pler time. Or the de­sire to un­plug from the tech­nol­ogy that we can’t es­cape in our daily lives. The in-

ter­est in re­con­nect­ing with fam­ily and mak­ing new friends. These old trail­ers are sim­ple, but in­ge­nious at the same time. They in­spire us to go back to a time where we could take plea­sure in bak­ing a pie, do­ing dishes by hand, eat­ing un­der the stars, finding en­joy­ment in the small­est mo­ments.” Vicki has been im­mersed in the quirky and ob­ses­sive world of the vin­tage trailer life­style for much of her life, and in this, her first book on the sub­ject, she takes read­ers along to places like a vin­tage trailer rally and an all-girls’ camp. You’ll love the dé­cor of these road-go­ing jew­els, from a che­nille bed­spread to a pe­riod-per­fect Dixie stove, all on dis­play in the book’s 300 pho­tos. That’s be­cause trailer own­ers fin­ish off their metic­u­lous restora­tions in one of two ways: ei­ther with care­fully cho­sen ac­ces­sories ap­pro­pri­ate to the pe­riod of the trail­ers or us­ing an equally care­fully cho­sen—and quite pos­si­bly out­ra­geous—mo­tif. Vicki has seen trail­ers dec­o­rated with vin­tage wall­pa­pers, old maps, spe­cial paint ef­fects and even pen­nies glued on. “Any­thing that will fit through the door and doesn’t make the trailer too heavy is a pos­si­bil­ity,” says Vicki. “Claw-foot tubs sur­rounded by gauzy vin­tage cur­tains. Old feather beds with cro­cheted linens. An­tique dressers. Brass beds.” How­ever, to­tal weight and weight dis­tri­bu­tion do need to be taken into ac­count for a trailer that will be mov­ing. The beauty of trailer dé­cor is that noth­ing has to be per­ma­nent. “You can trade things out as your whims change or as your shop­ping trips find new trea­sures. The fun of dec­o­rat­ing the trail­ers is the jour­ney. It never ends; it just evolves as your life and in­ter­ests do.”

“Ev­ery garage sale, junk store and auc­tion is ripe with dec­o­rat­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties.”

The pas­time of vin­tage trailer restora­tion is very pop­u­lar with women. Vicki thinks it’s be­cause many women spend their lives tak­ing care of oth­ers, and have com­mit­ments rang­ing from fam­ily to jobs and homes. Trail­ers, she says, “of­fer an es­cape and in­de­pen­dence. There is noth­ing like mak­ing your vi­sion come to life, then hook­ing it up and hit­ting the open road. Meet­ing other like-minded women or trav­el­ing on their own, women find so­lace in these lit­tle trail­ers. It is a peace­ful re­treat, even if you are just sit­ting in the drive­way—a lit­tle piece of heaven shrouded in alu­minum.”

A TRAILER NAMED “RIVET,” en­joys his nat­u­ral habi­tat: a scenic moun­tain range.

BUT­TER­CUP SITS UN­DER STORM CLOUDS, her alu­minum skin. wait­ing for the rain to cool

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