Ok, so I am a current vintage Canned Ham resident basically boondocking with no power/water in Alaska. My little trailer is a heap, but I don't mind because I only paid $200 for it and it paid for itself in saved rent within two weeks. (Pricey little ski town.) It has water damage, but doesn't actively leak on me, so I'm leaving well enough alone since it's just a "summer home" and is meant to save money, not be a money pit.
The point is, obviously, not about my Tin Can. It's about my next prospective Tin Can.
A 1970 Sovereign
. You know, that long one, the 31-footer. Rear bath model. Came across an ad for it near my home town that I will be moving back to in the next year or so to go back to school.
This gal is probably far more literally a tin can than my current abode. It is gutted, even the floor is pulled with temporary walkways in place. All wiring exposed, et cetera. The thing is, the frame is straight and solid, the axles, while I'm sure are far from pristine, ought to get it to wherever I plan on living in it. (Recently made the trip from FL to north MS just fine.) No major dents on the exterior according to my dad who checked it out for me yesterday. All the windows are either installed and working or inside the thing. I think dear old Dad also said all the interior wall bits and pieces were there.
I think the price is right-ish. $1200. From what I've seen, this isn't the best price, but not the worse. Probably about right in the middle somewhere. And the way I figure, it seems like most of these things need to be gutted out to this stage anyway to reno right, so they saved me a lot of work.
So, here's the thing. Reading through this forum has taken me from fairly confident (Helped my parents finish houses, worked in a little bit of light reno construction for a while, fairly mechanically inclined and ridiculously determined,) to terrified.
Does it have to be so difficult? I don't even want to restore the thing to vintage glory. I want a mostly open studio apartment with a kitchen counter and a closet attached to the frame and most everything else floating.
I figure we check out the plumbing/wiring while all's off, add insulation, throw in a good marine grade plywood floor and either put a clear coat on that or pick up a bit of lino or something off Craigslist or one of my builder buddies. A little less sure about the inside skin. I like the look of the birch in my Tin Can, but never installed the stuff and not sure what it costs, anyway. Hoping that's the hardest part, along with fitting out the kitchen cabinets and closet to fit the walls.
Not too concerned about making her road ready. This will be more of a mobile home than a travel trailer. I'd even prefer standard "apartment size" appliances (range/refrigerator) if you all thought that might be ok for the rare short haul she might make throughout the rest of her life.
In my head, this stuff doesn't sound easy, but it doesn't sound nearly as forboding as some of the "Before you buy a vintage Airstream" caveats.
What's your thoughts?