56 Spartan Refurb

Our adventure of refurbishing our 1956 Spartan Manor into our getaway retreat in the mountains of Bryson City NC

Location: Fair Play, SC, United States

Friday, June 30, 2006

Your Doing What Frist?!?!?!?!?

Ok so I know you must be asking yourself "why would you build a deck first, shouldn't that be the last thing you build?" On most projects I would agree that decks are last but to gut a Spartan on the top of a mountain is different. You need a place to work and inside the trailer is not always an option. Space is limited and in our case, floor that is not rotten is limited. So to us it made sense, besides it is our getaway and we bought the place for the views so why not enjoy them during the project. I can tell you that a cold adult beverage (beer or wine) sitting on the deck watching the sun set is one of life's little pleasures.

So on a warm June day My wife and I went up and started the process of leveling the spartan. We used the original instructions as our guide.

The trailer was sitting on it old tires and the tongue jack. So I filled the tires up as best we could to get a reference height and using the instructions placed 8 jacks under the trailer.

The following weekend we gathered up or kids and headed to the local big box lumber yard to load up on supplies and headed out.
My two boys turned out to be expert deck builders by the end of the adventure and we now have a deck that runs the entire length of the trailer and 12 feet out from the trailer (can you say deck party?).
On the next installment we will discuss why this project is taking so long.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Exterior Overview

As a former licensed Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanic, I am used to working with aluminum. I am concerned about working with aluminum without the proper tools. I will keep you posted on how that works it self out. Luckily I still have a few friends in the business so we will see if that avenue pays off. As promised here are a few exterior shots. From the curb side (the side of the trailer facing the curb if you were pulling the trailer down the road), this side of the trailer is in pretty good shape for 50 years old trailer.

The road side (opposite of the curb side) has more issues, the utilities hook into this side and the previous owner did not think the hook ups out just did whatever was easier so we have our work cut out for us on this side.

Two areas that will require the most work will be the road side front corner and the curb side roof which had a room attached to it before the trailer was moved to Bryson City. They basically cut the flashing between the room and the trailer leaving a mess behind on the roof of the trailer and the side of the trailer which is covered with sealant.

Next time we will talk about leveling the Spartan, stabilizing jacks, and the decision to build a deck before any thing else

Closing Day

Holly and I closed today and got a chance to break out the camera and get some pictures. Here are a few interior shots.

The first bedroom is in the middle of the trailer which the previous owner converted into a laundry room. This will be converted back into a bedroom.

As you can see the paneling is birch and is one of the main reasons we love this trailer so much. The rear bedroom is a mess and the floor will need to be replaced. Next post I will do an outside survey of the trailer. Till then.....

Spring Break 2006

Nick and I decided to explore the town of Bryson City, NC. We thought we'd ride the train which starts there and goes various places. We walk up to the depot and realize the whistle we heard five minutes earlier was our train pulling away from the station.
We head downtown to do a little window shopping from long standing tradition we always check out the local real estate market. As teachers in a boarding school we live a hectic lifestyle, so when we get time off... look out! We dream big. We quickly check the first couple of realtor’s windows for interesting properties when we notice a silver trailer in a picture. We keep looking Airstream, 1/2 acre, good price, this is getting interesting. Having an old Airstream trailer in NC has always been a dream of ours. We frequent EBay daily for new listings, crane our necks at used RV lots for silver trailers, and screams during road trips "Airstream".
We decide to go in ask a few questions and meet Gene, a burly jolly "Santa Claus" looking man. As owner of Prudential realty he had to laugh when we told him what we were interested in. He showed us the property and we discovered that the "Airstream" was really a Spartan Royal Mansion. A forty foot beauty... well to make a long story short we bought her and come Summer we will start restoring and modernizing our very own Silver Palace!! So sit back grab a cup of coffee or your favorite adult beverage and join us as we share the trails and tribulations of bringing a dream to reality.