As the weather get’s colder and fall is in full swing, it is safe to say that work on the construction of COMET is winding down for now. It’s a little too cold to paint the exterior outside, so until I find an indoor workspace I’ll have much more time to post about the progress of the last few months. I’m glad for the change of pace!
Lots of exciting things happened for us in the last few weeks. We brought the COMET to Deek Diedricksen’s tiny house workshop in Stoughton, MA. It was an awesome weekend of talking tiny, building a super teeny house on a trailer, and lots of time around the campfire. We got to hang out in the Whittled Down Caravan with Tristan and Libby, which was great. At the workshop we were interviewed for an NPR show coming up (I’ll definitely let you know when I find out the air date), which was unexpected and totally awesome. We also did a video with Deek for Tiny Yellow House (his youtube video channel), which will be out soon I hope! Even though the COMET remains a work in progress, it is really shaping up into something lovely, and people seemed excited about the future of the project. After the tiny house workshop, we did a video shoot for a Spaces.TV “Offbeat Spaces” webseries episode, which was really neat and a new experience for me. The COMET is such a technical project for me, and talking about the aesthetics and interior design choices for the Offbeat Spaces video was a welcome change!
Anyway, lots of re-capping and catching up to do as always (I think the only solution to this would be a clone…anyone?)…but I promise now that the weather has made working outside less feasible, I will be spending more time with the blog!
Now, to the rest of this post!
I got a really good question about where to get replacement windows for vintage trailers. I thought I’d share the best answer with everyone in this post!
I want to introduce you to one of my supporters, Fletcher’s Trailer Sales. Some of you fellow trailer nuts probably know about them already, and for those who don’t – they are an amazing one stop shop and resource for all things vintage trailer related.
I always loved the Vintage Kingpins website. Before I had a vintage camper of my own, I would always keep an eye on it for project trailers for sale, and when I bought my first trailer the website was a great resource (and their parts inventory is AMAZING!) I hope to have as many vintage campers (and other neat stuff) as these guys some day.
One of the windows in the COMET was broken, not just the glass, but the whole assembly was just trashed. I was nervous that I would have to replace it with just some inoperable system of my own devising – like a stationary piece of glass in a frame. I thought there was no way I would be able to find a matching window.
But I checked on the vintage trailer websites, and saw some campers that looked similar to the Avalon on the “Trailers for Parts” page of the Fletcher’s Trailer Sales website. I called them up, and Fletch – who is as helpful and friendly as can be – was happy to go out into the lot and look for a double jalousie that was the size of the one that needed replacing in my own camper. Within minutes he had located the exact window that I needed, and promptly pulled it from the parts trailer and shipped it to me. I could not be happier with what I received in the mail. It is amazing to me that from anywhere in the country you can find something so hard to come by – a unique vintage trailer window that perfectly fits my camper. I don’t know of any other business that will pull exact parts for you out of their “harvesting” trailers and send them to you anywhere in the US. It’s amazing! And they have a great selection of campers (for parts and for sale) from all eras and styles. If you don’t see what you need in their trailer parts category on the website, give them a call and tell them what you need. I’ll bet they have what you’re looking for. We all want the most authentic parts for our restorations – and the best (and greenest!) way is to get it vintage.
Here’s a little bit about Fletch and Denise, the Vintage Kingpins themselves, from their website:
“I’m Bill Fletcher and along with my wife Denise we own and operate Fletcher’s Trailer Sales and Service Inc. We are a second generation, full time family run business that has been serving the public since 1963. Since then we have sold many brands of camping trailers, travel trailers, motor homes, truck campers, and utility trailers of all sizes and types, both new and used.
During the past several years we have turned our attention toward vintage and classic travel trailers. We feel that the timeless styling and rugged construction features of these beauties is not only a good investment, but also one that you can enjoy for a lifetime. Why be one of the masses with a cookie cutter box on wheels that will only depreciate in value? Why buy a trailer for $20,000 that is constructed of re-cycled beer cans and chipboard when you can spend far less of your hard earned dollars on something with soul, that will turn heads and get thumbs up wherever you go.
Our mission is quite simple, treat others like you would like to be treated, honestly, fairly, with courtesy and consideration. We feel that this policy has kept us in business year after year while others have come and gone.
What do we have to offer? A nice selection of un-restored trailers from the smallest Scotty’s and teardrops to 40’ birch paneled mobile homes. We also have a number of ‘parts’ trailers that have unfortunately surpassed their own lives and will contribute their various parts to help other trailers go on and on. Although we do not offer full restoration services we will accept small projects and/or general service work from suspension and running gear up dates, to appliance repair with most everything in between. All work is preformed by myself with 36 years of past experience. Looking for vintage, hard to find parts? Give us a try. Either E-Mail or call (607-387-5838) and we’ll guarantee to do our level best to help you out.”
Oh, and they are also the Northeast Representatives for the Tin Can Tourists group!
I highly recommend Fletcher’s to anyone working on a vintage camper, or anyone looking to purchase a project trailer. And, if you’re on the tiny house wavelength, Fletch said that he has sold a few trailer chassis’ to people planning on building a tiny on a re-used trailer. A great idea! So get in touch with him if you need a trailer to build your tiny house on!
Here’s some pictures of Matt and I replacing the old window with the new one from Fletcher’s. THANK YOU FLETCHER’S TRAILER SALES!
Here’s the replacement window from Fletcher’s, before it was installed. It is an exact match to the one that was originally in the trailer (actually, it is a little nicer than the original!).
We removed the original window, scraped off all of the old caulking, and had a clean slate to work with.
Matt scrapes off some more old caulking before installing the new window.
We ran a bead of new caulk all around the edge of the window before installing it, to seal it (you can sort of see the white caulk around the edges). We used stainless steel sheet metal screws (which match the rest of the screws) and installed the window in a snap. It fit perfectly, and works great!
Again, a big thank you to Fletcher’s Trailer Sales for supporting The COMET and education in sustainable, tiny living!