Friday, July 1, 2011

Craziness! I got a trailer!

Now I have been researching trailers for at least 6 months seriously, and joined Sisters on the Fly in May... but I somehow didn't really think I would pull the trigger and go for it.

Somewhere along the way my husband realized that I was obsessed and he would have to give into this obsession to rid me of it. He also did this with the chickens and second dog which I researched and researched also. Both of those actually made more work for me, and so has my latest obsession.

Day 1: Went to see trailer, looked in every compartment, underneath and as far as I could on the roof. Talked to the owner on the phone, got my questions answered and agreed to purchase. Met up with owner and he gave me the run down of all of the systems. No hitch, no where to store the puppy!
This is me totally freaking out at buying her.
Day 2: Convinced my Dad (who already had trailer hitch) to go with me to pick it up. All the way I was regaled with stories of how wonderful an airstream was and how he would take me over to the dealership to get a new one (with what money? not his!). I bought a 2 inch ball because his was smaller. Somehow he ended up keeping it. I installed it after removing the disgusting old one that was all greasy. We somehow got the car backed up exactly eventually - this was the most frustrating part of the whole thing. Ball was not sitting all the way in the hitch. I figure out that it wasn't all the way open and got it to sink down on the ball. At this point Dad is much better and is more on board now that he hasn't had to do a lot of grimy work as he expected. He has a four prong plug for electric, this is 7 and newer. We pull away, but go slow home (he takes the corners way to tight for my peace of mind). At home I had planned to park it in front of my house, which had a slope, but it didn't look too bad or narrow... until I had a 16 ft trailer sitting there. At this point I call around first to the place I had scoped out on the internet that was close-ish to our home. $35 a month sounded great now that I have this behemoth with nowhere to put it! $35 a month buys you a spot in a fenced but somewhat sketchy u-haul/junk shop parking lot. I realize when we get in there that there are a lot of NICE trailers and boats there, so any potential vandals would go for them first before my little trailer. :) This might work. We lock her up and take off. That was a crazy day and it was only 1pm. Problem is that she is now away from the house and I can't go out and look at her so instead I browse ebay for interesting items to decorate her. I come up with the name Sugardolly, which my grandma used to call me, and it sticks after a family brainstorming session.

Days 3-6 - Work... storage place closes at 5pm w/out prior arrangement so there is no way to go see her after work without planning.

Day 7 - I work from home which allows me a quick run over with son in tow in the morning. Picture above. He squeals when he sees her and I wonder if it was wise of me to create another generation of trailer fans. We look around. I take pictures of the 7 prong power cord. That afternoon I head over to the auto accessory store for my hitch appointment. They don't seem to know anything about sway bars - I need to research more. They also ask if my husband can look at it for me. I give them a "you're kidding" look, and he backs off. I buy the extender car mirrors in addition to hitch and power... of course the 7 prong costs more too for wiring your car. Now I have a brand new hitch and a trailer (no trans-cooler yet), so I can pull to get new tires on Tuesday. Tuesday will also bring a trip to the DMV!

Here's the caption on craigslist of the one I ended up getting:

1965 Kit Companion: Cute and cozy vintage "canned ham" in good condition. 14ft. with flushing toilet and holding tank. Exterior recently painted by Auto Body Shop. Dry and clean. Winterized at ollinger's travel with roof sealed, furnace cleaned and serviced, new holding tank plumbing. Interior is original condition with baked bean brown appliances (full propane stove and refrigerator) retro light fixtures. - all appliances original and in excellent working condition. New battery, electrical hookup, plus 20 gallon water system (hook-up or fresh water tank). Dinette and rear couch are upholstered and fold down into beds. Tires still have good tread and the trailer is light (1800 lbs) and easy to pull. New zippered awning installed! Windows are louvered and in working condition. Great for on or off grid use. Lots of cool little compartments and cubby holes.


  1. Congratulations to you on your adventure with Sugardolly. I was reading your blog with great interest. On fathers day June 2011, I bought a 1965 Kit Companion via Craigslist. My appliances are aqua turquoise instead of baked bean, but from your photos, they are sisters. I have done a bunch of clean up and painting as she was a mess and lived in by a teen for awhile with a fair amount of neglect. Now she is cute as a bugs ear and she has a the disposition of a summer picnic. I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about the process and costs of replacing the blackwater tank (waste water). My fresh water tank is in good shape and I have replaced the plumbing from the tank to the sink and back to the toilet, but the holding tank leaks like a seive so I have NOT used it at all. We just dry camp, and I have a little bucket inside the toilet bowl I just empty in the morning for any nighttime pit stops. I just wondered how much it was to replace that holding tank for the blackwater? I have the toilet, but have not used it yet since we have no tank. I have enjoyed your process with Sugar Dolly. My girls name is Thelma-Lou which has a story but it's a bit long. LOVE my girl and am finally pulling her with some confidence on my own. Not backing her up with confidence yet, but getting her on the hiways and biways of Oregon. Do you have any owners manual stuff with her? I don't have a thing and would like some way of copying someone elses. My heater is propane and looks like a mini radiator in the floor. Is that what Sugardolly has? I'd like your thoughts on it if you do, I haven't run mine yet after a high temp paint failure caused some drastic smoking. I have to sandblast it before using it, but if you use yours, I'd like to hear your thoughts. It is a pleasure to meet you via Sugardolly. -JF Oregon

  2. OOps, I meant to tell you that I have a blog if you'd like to see a few photos. The page currently is a diary of my second trailer 'Roxy' the Aristocrat LoLiner. I am learning to restore her from the ground up, but because I don't have a shop, it has come to an Oregon Winter halt. You might enjoy taking a peek though as one enthusiast to another.

    I have photos of before, during and after of Thelma Lou my 1965 Kit Companion on Picassa if you want to peek, including the craigslist offering photos. She is still a work in progress but we have used her several times since June.


    some more recent photos although they don't reflect carpet.

  3. Hi Jalet!
    So glad to hear from you, that made my day!
    Love your pics and blog. Yes, they are pretty much twins. The only real difference I could see was that you had a loft above the dinette and I had cabinets. I have holes in my kitchen wall where you have the canopener... so it must be original as you supposed.
    I have the cabinet notes, but not the manual. I will post the pics since it sounds like you don't have them.
    The toilet and tank were done at Olingers/Camping World in Troutdale by the previous owner so I don't know the cost, but they will give you a quote probably if you call. I also got my propane checked out there and met a great gal who loved the trailer and was full of knowledge. Oh, yes, I am in Oregon too.
    I am in Sisters on the Fly #1927 if you belong too...