Day One – 1973 Aristocrat Lo-Liner Travel Trailer Renovation

Judy day one

Judy is now safely home, and I am thrilled to be starting my summer-long project of renovating! Today I wanted to get my feet wet with some wire wheel buffing, but realized quickly that many parts of the brown “paint” were actually some kind of acrylic paneling. As a result, I spent most of three hours today working with a wire brush, prying up the edges of the acrylic and peeling it off in strips.

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The wire brush I was lucky enough to find for $2 on a trip to the local flea market yesterday, and it’s certainly doing the job. I also picked up two screwdrivers for $1 each at the flea market, a flat head and phillips, so that I have some to keep in the camper for regular use.

Another milestone that occurred today was the installation of a brake controller system into my 2008 Nissan XTerra (Teddy:), complete with a 7-blade wiring system so that Judy can be hooked up and towed with full use of not only brake lights, but trailer brakes as well. While this installation set me back about $350, I was all too happy to do it because of the great deal I got on Judy herself.

I found Judy on Craigslist and paid $1500 cash. Although the exterior has some bumps and bruises and certainly needs paint, the camper doesn’t leak and never has. Most of the other campers I looked at were more expensive, and came with the precautionary subtext, “there is water damage inside, but the roof has since been resealed.” I feel assured by the fact that the camper doesn’t leak (what a nightmare that would be), and reassured by some of the other awesome features!

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In addition to new trailer brakes, Judy also came with an incredibly nice convection heating system, a functional stove and refrigerator which both run on propane, two propane tanks (many new campers only have space for one), interior lighting which can be run off of the battery, ample storage space, enough room to sleep up to five people, and newer tires with a spare included. Judy came equipped with all the things I wanted in working order, and with enough cosmetic “needs” to keep me busy and engaged with renovations.

I’m looking forward to a summer of hard work, and a beautiful, minimal, custom tiny-living space as my reward!

 

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