We have a long time member here who goes by the screen name of "Hamlet". The person behind the name is Kari Albrecht, and he is somewhat limited with internet stuff. So he asked me to post these photos and this background on Hamlet..... the trailer.... Yes Hamlet is actually the name of the little Shasta Compact that Kari spent so much time in. Here's the story and the photos.
We didn’t do it right.
We “won” Hamlet in an EBay auction in September 2010. Sight unseen, $350. No title. We knew nothing about vintage trailers (it wasn’t a craze yet), we just wanted something small and cheap. No stove or kitchen uppers, cracked/missing windows and the roof was caved in. We towed it from Spokane down to Vancouver and given the rot we found, we were lucky that it didn’t implode along the way.
It wasn’t long before we realized that we had a piece of American history. We realized that it was built from the inside out, so we didn’t gut it. Luckily we stumbled onto the old VTSF a couple months later and those early posts helped us navigate a complete rebuild.
We spent a year and made a couple substantial changes, but when you see it, they look to be original. First, since we had to take it all apart, we added 3” to the ceiling height starting at the wheel well so my hubby could stand up in the kitchen, then we took the two long benches that made into cot beds and turned them around so the now full size bed goes side to side. This gave us 22” on each side over the wheel wells to add a two drawer chest by the door and a 3/4 height closet on the street side, leaving the bench structure intact. Then we turned the large closet next to the sink into a wet room with porta potty and shower.
We had applied for a title when we first brought it home, and got a temp until the required three year wait for a new one was over. Washington isn’t so hard, just slow.
And the name Hamlet? Well, at a box length of 10’, he’s too small to be a full ham!
Last Edit: Jul 4, 2021 14:00:57 GMT -8 by mobiltec
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...
Post by wisconsinjoe on Jul 31, 2021 8:04:15 GMT -8
That is a fine job. Good thing you stumbled upon the fact of them being built inside-out. The only clue is that gimp. I struggled with "how did they do that?" until if finally occurred to me that there was a particular sequence to the construction.
The funny part is that we were mostly done when we found the old Vintage Shasta Trailer Forum. I think there were maybe hundred members when we joined. We had ordered a "fix it" e-book from another source and when we read through, we both thought "this isn't right." So we went with our instincts. The folks on VTSF helped calm our nerves about whether we had done Hamlet right. When it shut down, we were happy to see many members move over to VTT. And a bunch of them are still around, answering questions, sharing information and experiences. We won't ever do another restoration, but always enjoy looking at other folks' builds and putting in the occasional thought or two.
Hamlet is still a head-turner wherever we go and I love the look of delight that people have when I offer to show them inside. Between Hamlet and the Tesla with the bike and canoe on top, we had to factor in between 15 and 45 minutes every time we stopped to charge or get a bite to eat, and there was a steady stream of Looky Lous in the campground. We are both introverts by nature. but Hamlet has forced us to interact more. It's a good thing... I guess.
So glad to know a little more about Hamlet. I always thought the name came with a Shakespearian meaning. It's the perfect name for your trailer.
Keep on enjoying the outdoors with Hamlet.
Funny you should mention that. Too many people didn't get the Hamlet pun, but we did call his original tow vehicle (a red 2009 BMW X3) Rosencrantz.
Hamlet is relaxing at home while we spend a couple weeks in BC and Alberta. We camped in the Tesla as we weren’t quite ready to venture into Canada not being totally comfortable with what our charging needs would be coming through 150+ miles of mountains. Another couple years, there will be Superchargers every 50 miles, so we’ll bring Hamlet then. In the meantime, he is happy staying in the good old USA.