I've run across a few quirks and goofs and read some of others. I have 1/8" birch in the ceiling and back but the sides are 1/4". Makes sense since the 1/8" is in the bendy part. I just wasn't expecting it because all anyone ever mentioned was 1/8".
I have one framing board under the window that is not attached to the window frame board above it. It's not toe-nailed or fastened with a metal strip, just nailed with twisty nails to the plywood.
But this was the funniest. When I took the skin off of the door side, there was a block of wood just sitting in the insulation, unattached. The door handle hook, that keeps the door open, was screwed to it through the skin, so it was added to the skin before the skin was put on. Worked just fine like that for 50 years, served its purpose. It does give insight as to how these trailers were put together.
They also have the wood blocks behind the side marker lights. I have seen plenty of sub standard construction on Shasta's. The folks at the Goshen IN plant liked to toss great big gobs of putty tape trimmings in big balls in the ceilings of more than 1 of them I've worked on. Shasta also had a problem with not having enough roof skin over hanging at the corners. I have seen where the only thing covering the wood frame in those areas was just the J-channel!!
I would also like to go on the record as saying that Shasta brand of campers, even thought they are the most sought after and had the highest production units of all the brands, IMHO they were one of the worst constructed besides the Scotties. I have worked on other brands of small trailers the size of compacts with 2" thick wall construction instead of the 1" thick that Shasta used. The 2" thick wall units are a bit heavier but are a lot more solidly built and will last longer.
But like most, I do like the Shasta's and like working on them for some reason I really can't explain!
Thank you for being man enough to step up and say it Soup... LOL... Anyone who has watched my videos knows how I feel about Shasta construction. As you say they are the most popular. It cracks me up when someone advertises a Shasta as "Rare"... They made more Shastas than any other trailer on the market.
God grant me the strength to restore the trailers I can, The courage to strip the parts off the ones I can't, And the wisdom to know the difference...
Always considered Shastas junk when they were new and never owned one personally until I bought the 1500 I have now. Although I have worked on several over the years and knew how cheaply they were constructed I decided it was time to own one and rebuild it a little better than it was new. I think that when I pull in with it hooked to my 1941 Plymouth it will make a nice looking rig. As I am reconstructing it I am adding many structural improvements such as ceiling joist that are three inches high in the center and two an a half inches thick, they will fasten in at the sides as normal then they will also have a 3/4 inch crown moulding fastened securely to the wall studs under them. My sill boards are now 3/4 x 5 at the minimum and larger in places plus staples replaced by kreg screws plus steel plates at critical joints. I have added some steel cross members to help support the floor also. I estimate the trailer will gain around 200 lb but it will be worth it. Then better insulation and thicker paneling on vertical walls along with an upgraded electrical system, should make it better than ever.
The reason they sold so many was they looked pretty and they were less expensive than any thing else. It has been proven that the American public in general buys on looks and price rather than quality. The good thing about Shasta was they gave many families a chance to experience travel and camping at a level the could afford and many moved on to bigger and better units as their family got older. I believe that very few bought the second Shasta although I'm sure some did. But Shasta will always be a part of true Americana because of the huge number sold when the baby boomers were little. They helped create memories that will last a lifetime.
Back to the quirks, not sure this is one. When I got to the framing at the wheel well curbside, I was hoping it would be the same pattern as street side, because there were nothing left there to make a pattern from. Put the piece I cut out of the board for the other side up to it, and it was not a match. The cut out is shorter on the curbside, probably because of the door and the baggage compartment? Anyway, I'm making a pattern from the skin.