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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Restoration, Refurbishment, or Remodeling

I mentioned that I wanted to take a moment and clarify my position of three words. I learned about the differences in these three words while listening to the Vintage Airstream Podcast,#12


The panel of pros and guest Fred Coldwell really helped me see the differences and the subtly between the words. So my position is as follows:

  • Restoration = This is when you use only the products that were available at the time the trailer is built and only use authentic parts or appliances when replacing or repairing the trailer. This is rarely practical unless you are planning to only use the trailer as a museum piece.
  • Refurbishment = This is when you update systems to meet todays standards. This includes electrical, plumbing and appliances. This often is the only practical way to use the trailer as it was intended and that is for camping. A great example is what is called gray water. This is water that drains from a sink or other type fixture but not the toilet. In the early days of camping pre 1975,gray water was allowed to be dumped directly to the ground. Storage tanks for gray water were not necessary. Today the gray water can only be dumped in designated areas of a camp ground. So if you want to use your sink to wash dishes you most modify your trailer to capture the gray water so it can be dumped in a designated dump station..
  • Remodeling = Fred called this modernization but I feel that is misleading. It is not like refurbishment at all. Instead you gut the trailer to only the shell and the floor. Than completely redesign the trailer to meet your personal needs. I have seen vintage trailers used as makeup trailers and offices for individuals that work at various job sites. This means that the trailer is most likely not being used for camping its original purpose.

I hope this was not to confusing and helpful for anyone considering this type of project.


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