Penny the Trailer: Full Renovation


In July 2020, we bought a 1964 Shasta Model Twenty, that we named Penny. What we thought was going to be some simple updates became a total teardown and rebuild. Sound familiar? Yes, we did that with our first trailer, Tinsel, as well.

What did she look like when you purchased her?
Penny was a complete trailer with no missing pieces. She appeared to be structurally sound and included all of the main components: cushions, sinks, fridge, (most) light fixtures, and curtains.

Where did we start?
We thought Penny was in decent shape, but when we got her home, further inspection showed sufficient water damage. We pulled up the flooring to discover that the original flooring was underneath and rotting out from below. Peeling back the aluminum siding from the outside also revealed water damage; some of which we expected, but it was also more extensive than we’d hoped it would be.

What was your renovation plan?
After discovering how extensive the water damage was to the side supports, the interior walls, and the rotting flooring, we opted to do a complete teardown and rebuild. Once again, we found ourselves with a big project on our hands!

We first started with photographing and drawing the original layout. Next, we took her all apart! We removed all of the interior structures, took off all of the aluminum siding, and tore up the floor. Following this, we started with repairing the frame and preparing the frame for the rebuild. Then we started re-building the floor, laying tile, and slowing working our way up until she was all put back together!

What did you do with the interior?
Jon was the brains behind all of the physical building of the trailer, while I was focused on designing the interior. My vision was for a vibrant pink trailer with a retro diner theme. I selected the color palette and the interior fixtures. Believe it or not a lot of time did go into this: I worked with many vendors to find the perfect makers for Penny’s next life. I selected her new flooring and countertops, found an upholsterer to remake Penny’s cushions, a sand blasting and powder coating business to update color of the fridge and oven, and a porcelain enameler for parts of the oven.

How did you do it?!
Often we’re asked how we did it. In terms of the actual project planning, we played to our strengths. Jon loves the building and technical design aspect, while I take the lead on working with vendors and partners and designing the interior space. We would regularly talk about the areas of the project that we were “leading” and would ask for help in decision-making or ideas. It was a lot like a school or work project where we were constantly “meeting” for “status updates” and to discuss budget and new ideas.

What does Penny look like now?
Here she is! There’s still some small updates we need to do, but she’s mostly done!