Post by vakashunette on Jul 21, 2021 7:38:48 GMT -8
Here’s some more detailed photos. I can see why Rod thought it was homemade based on the previous photos, they lacked detailing and were deceiving. The wheel wells had no welds, it is just wood painted. I think someone cut out the wheel wells and went too high exposing some of the framing. There’s a lot of wooden patch jobs along the bottom. They even moved the step over probably due to rotten wood. They did one HACK of a job. I think the bottom used to go straight across with no wheel wells. Along the top is not folded metal but a track for a canopy. In the picture of the back you can see that the license plate bracket was in the middle. On the side in the back you can see a patch job where the water valve was. There is a YouTube video where a woman had purchased a Va-Ka-Shun-Ette and there was a valve right there. On the inside you can see in one photo the little round glass light that goes next to the door. I believe that these lights were marker lights one the outside as well, which were all replaced with different ones. I plan on going back to the originals along with the missing teardrop ones in the back. You can also see on the inside that there was a gas light that was mounted on the wall. There is also the gas heater that I believe is original. You can see that I sanded the back of one door a little bit and exposed a lighter shade of green underneath. I want to believe that the wood throughout was shellacked birch but I don’t see evidence of that yet except for the fact that handle that you see next to the round light on the counter appears to be walnut. I don’t know why they would have that on a painted cabinet. The milk glass light fixture might be original. If you go on YouTube and type in Va-Ka-Shun-Ette the first video that pops up is a 54/55 that guy was selling. If you look for all the similarities such as the windows, the placement of the license plate bracket (where mine used to be), the roof vent, the sink, the stove (except his is white), the hitch, he has the original glass marker lights (the same as the on that I have on the inside), the step is the same, and he still has the gas light fixture minus the globe. There are some differences but his is a different year. I believe that mine is older but why do I have an electric fridge and his is an ice box? Maybe it was an option or something like that. So there you have it, that’s why I think it’s what I think it is. What do you all think? I still would l like to narrow down the year.
Fridges were options back in the day. Many had a "shelf" for a block of ice to keep things cool on the road. I think you are correct in most of your observations. Sorry I can't help you narrow down the year; I'm still late 40s/early 50s.
I think the next step is probably to take it apart. The wheel wells can be fixed with a larger board above the cut out. Here is a really tasteful cut out on an unknown trailer:
I can tell you are passionate about your trailer. Your trailer is only going to benefit from your passion and determination. I did my own research as I really like these little treasure hunts to seek out the make and YOM.
After seeing this 1953 and a 1954 Va-ca-shun-ette below and your added images, you are spot on that this is a Va-Ka-shun-ette. Here are two images though of larger models I found on the web which I am sure you have seen already. But to readers, it may be new.
Image link here for 1953 Va-Ka-shun-ette
Image link here for 1954 Va-Ka-shun-ette
Since the lower skin in the trailer above has brakes in it, and yours has flat skins, we can assume it’s older than 54 as Viks has posted. How far back, hard to tell. You could go look at trailers in the late 40s and see where the brakes start to show up in trailers and that might give you a closer approximation of the year of manufacture of this trailer. But I may have something else for you.
Now, get this. I looked in the Field Guide for Vintage Trailers and it shows an illustration of a Va-ka-shun-ette identical to yours with a flat skin with no brakes on the skin, same windows, and a windowless door and it’s a 1951. I am going to wager that the screw trim strip near the bottom of the trailer was added later which Joe Hackjob, probably added due to a guilt trip making up for earlier hacks. See the image below for the Model 14A dated 1951.
Note in comparison, the illustration of the 1951 shows a flat roof and yours has a slight bulge upward in the roofline, so I would wager a guess that your trailer is a year or two older. First year of manufacture was 1947. I think you can bracket the YOM between 1947 - 50 Do you have a 47, 48, or a 49 in your VIN?
Regarding the cut up wheel well opening. Besides Vikx presenting the image of the rounded wheel cut out treatment, you could consider a fenderskirt. I have them on my Rod and Reel and they are original. That might be an option to bring it back to what it was before Joe Hackjob got hold of it.
Below is a picture of a fenderskirt on my Rod and Reel. One day, I may finish off the top edging with Hehr glass gasket. In your case, the fenderskirt would be semicircular not rectangular as with my Rod and Reel. Just sharing an idea.
Click on the image and then you can enlarge it once it opens in Flickr.
Last Edit: Jul 22, 2021 5:27:28 GMT -8 by Teachndad
"I get that queasy how in the hell will this thing ever go back together feeling.” - PT
Post by vakashunette on Jul 22, 2021 7:47:04 GMT -8
Rod, you are awesome sir. Thank you so much for the additional research. It put a huge smile on my face to see that image of the 51’ in that book, that certainly helps to narrow it down within a couple of years. I don’t know if it would be a year older or a year newer because it looks like the newer one in the one below it has an even rounder top. I didn’t know that Zollinger started off as a trailer repair company either, interesting. I don’t have an original vin number. The trailer is registered as a 65’ homemade which I don’t care what it’s registered as, as long as I have a registration and plates to drive down the road with. I’m told that most trailers have the vin somewhere on the tongue, which I have searched with no luck, just a patent number and company name for the hitch. Maybe Zollinger put theirs in a different location. Also thank you Vik for your info. Cheers!