A Vintage Mobile Sportsman Trailer

Information about my vintage 1948 Mobile Sportsman trailer.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Bad News! The Frame Is Rusted Through

This is the part of the story that started, and probably should have ended my quest to rebuild/retrofit this particular trailer...



Going against my usual rule of never buying a car, etc, from a dealer, I did.
After much negotiation, we agreed on a fair price (yeah, I know I probably could have found one cheaper...But I knew where there was a parts trailer, pretty important for my retrofit plans).



I drove a 150 miles on a very cold, snowy Sunday morning to pick up my prize, arrived in time for fresh coffee and a tour of the dealers lot.
The owner was at church, but his employee helped me get everything hooked up and saw me off.
The ride home was great, lots of time to dream about how neat this old trailer was going to be...Well, the ride was great for the first 50 miles or so, until I noticed the front of the trailer bouncing up and down.
At first I didn't pay much mind to it, I was using our dump truck since my truck was in the shop, and the road was bumpy.
A little while later, the sickening realization that the truck wasn't bouncing brought my pleasant thoughts to an abrupt end!



I pulled over and discovered that the tongue was bent upwards, uh oh.
So, on a cold desolate road I peeled back the aluminum underbelly to find that the frame was rusted through, and cracked on two of the three supports that held the tongue to the frame...


My dreams were definitely shattered, I'd purchased the trailer "as is", so much for doing my homework!

The last hundred miles were spent driving 10-15 miles an hour, with visions of an old trailer merrily crashing into the ditch, and a few prayers that no one was passing me when it let loose!.

We made it home safely, my dream and I, but with new focus.
I contacted the dealer, not in anger, for he had no idea the frame was rusted, the belly pan had been intact until I opened it.
I explained what had happened so that he might add this area to his pre sale checklist, and was ready to say goodbye when he said he'd take care of it...huh, was I dreaming?? No, he offered to pay whatever it cost to have a new frame made!
I'm not prone to fainting, but if I were, I would have!
My faith in the old trailer, and dealers, was instantly restored.


I don't want this to sound like a commercial, but Dan, the owner of Vintage Campers.com made good for every last penny I spent on having a new frame made.



So, the plans for the trailer had changed a bit, but I was up for the challenge!







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