Restoring a Vintage Shasta Trailer

By Olivia Deangelo
Vintage shasta trailers can be restored for use when vacationing.

Family vacations are just around the corner once you restore a vintage Shasta trailer. Before the world of luxury RVs and campers, travel trailers were the gateway to cross-country road trips and spur-of-the-moment vacations. The unique compact size and shape supplies adequate sleeping space while easily being towed behind a car. Do-it-yourself restoration work is the ticket to bringing one of these travel gems back to life and embarking on affordable vacations in an instant.

External Repair

Inspect the outside of the vintage Shasta trailer for damage. Wear and tear from years of travel can leave cracks in metal siding and rotting wood. Also inspect the tires, wheel system and hitch.

Repair any damaged outer materials. Vintage Shasta trailer parts can be found through scrap metal yards, antique restoration artists or through trailer parts catalogs or websites. The original design was fairly simple which makes removing damaged parts as easy as unscrewing nuts and bolts.

Sand down any areas with chipped paint or rust. Start with 1,000-grit sand paper and gradually work to 36-grit to create a smooth working surface on the trailer.

Tape plastic sheeting to the windows and door of the trailer to protect it from spray paint.

Spray the outside of trailer with primer. Follow the directions on your type of primer. Depending on the color you plan to paint the trailer and its original color, it may be necessary to apply multiple coats of primer.

Paint the trailer siding according to the design and color scheme you have chosen. Antiquing enthusiasts will stick to the original colors of the era when Shasta trailers were popular.

Plumbing and Electrical Repair

Inspect the plumbing and electrical lines for broken pipes and faulty wiring.

Remove any pipes that are faulty or unstable. Replace with vintage pieces ordered from a Shasta trailer marketplace.

Replace any wiring that appears faulty. Double check all connections and switches to ensure that the entire trailer is properly wired. Poor wiring can result in an electrical short and possible fire inside a trailer.

Remodel the Inside

Clean the interior of vintage Shasta trailer. Use an orange cleaner to break up the grease on interior wood and a steam cleaner to clean the carpets and upholstery. Determine what aspects of the interior you would like to replace.

Remove the interior carpet and replace with carpet remnant.

Measure the seats with a cloth measuring tape from the bottom of the back of the seat, up and over the top of the seat and onto the portion of the seat where you sit. This is the length of fabric you will need to reupholster. Measure the width of the widest part of the seat. Fabric should be this wide plus two inches.

Drape new fabric over the seat. Start at the bottom of the back of the seat and fold the edge under for a clean hem line. Tack in place using upholstery tacks. Continue this process creating even seams along the side of the seat.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 of Section 3 for other seating in the trailer.

Add your own personal touch with new drapes, blinds or curtains as well as pillows, wall hangings and bedding. Pictures and books can make a vintage Shasta trailer feel like the perfect home away from home.

About the Author

Olivia Deangelo has been writing since 2003 and has produced content for legal, medical and automotive websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the State University of New York, Oswego and a Bachelor of Arts in secondary education, English focus, from SUNY Oneonta. Olivia is currently pursing a master's degree in secondary education.