Oregon Cottage On The Road: The Vintage Trailer


Vintage Dalton trailer

We found this vintage trailer about five years ago, just as we were moving out of our old neighborhood in the city. We love vintage things- the quality and inherent style speak to us. Trailers especially. I would check out books on vintage trailers and we would dream about them.

Then we saw this one for sale driving to the grocery store. You see a lot moldering in fields, but not a lot for sale. We went and looked at it that evening and decided it wasn’t for us.

We were moving. It was too small. It was a hideous shade of red. It had gross carpeting and cushion covers inside.

But we kept driving by, and it kept being for sale. Maybe it was meant for us?

It was all wood inside, though the walls were not original. It had character. We offered less (it really was too small for a family of four), and were surprised when the owner took it.

We were the proud owners of our own vintage trailer.

That needed a lot of work inside. Not to mention a new paint job.

It is a 1957 Dalton. If you look at this picture close, you can see the marks left from the paint roller (!) the previous owner used to apply house paint (!) to the exterior. It hasn’t been a priority yet, but we envision a white trailer with silver trim and a cool red stripe like some other vintage trailers we’ve seen.

It’s about 12 feet long and sleeps 3. We have a little pup tent we put up for the kids when we go camping.

We were able to do some inside remodeling the summer we bought it (it was the first time we didn’t have a house to work on, so we had time!).

I recovered all the cushions, made sweet curtains out of reproduction bark cloth, and some pillows out of some vintage bark cloth I had.

We replaced the carpet with a Marmoleum remnant we found, added molding and CLEANED.

There is storage under the seats we use for the camp stove.

The sink area easily fits all our camping and food needs. Sure was nice getting rid of all the bins we’d haul around for tent camping.

The previous owners had removed the stove and oven, which would be on the right. We may replace it one day, but now it is nice extra storage.

The closet didn’t have a door when we bought it. We found matching plywood and stained and finished it to match, adding matching hardware and a mirror.

I love the towel racks on the side, it’s a great use of space.

To make it more functional for our family, we added shelves inside. Each of us has our own shelf and basket for small items. This eliminated the need for suitcases and has worked out really well.

The bottom of the cabinet holds four rolled up sleeping bags, a broom, lantern and small propane tanks.

The “couch” folds out to a double bed. Let’s just say its nice and “cozy.” There is storage underneath for camp chairs and such.

It really has met our needs extremely well, and we’ve had some fun adventures in it.

We are off on another adventure. We are going to explore some more of our state- the Northeast corner including the Wallowa’s and Hell’s Canyon.

Stay tuned for updates!



  1. says

    You did a GREAT job of beautifying the inside of this trailer!
    I always have visions of doing the same kind of thing with a vintage trailer, but I imagine it would be even harder for us to find one to fit our family of 8. 😛
    Have a wonderful adventure!

  2. Anonymous says

    i loVe yoUR BloG..
    TheSe thinGs–vintaGe–aRe cuTe aNd neeD tO bE kepT aLiVe–i thinK..
    YoUuuuu aRe veRy BLeSSeD….

  3. says

    This looks so great and like a fun family time. We sold our trailer two years ago and I miss it. I’ve been to Wallowa and it is beautiful.

  4. janice says

    I have thought for awhile that we are kindred spirits but the vintage trailer makes me sure of it. We seem to like all the same things, gardening, cooking, saving money and vintage trailers. Have a fun trip with your family.

  5. Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

    We were very thankful last night for the trailer, small or not, as it POURED RAIN all night long. We all stayed dry and woke up to blue skies today- yea!

    I’m so glad to know there are others who like vintage. We get interesting looks from most of the other campers hauling their big rigs. :-)

  6. says

    Just found your blog and I am blown away by your vintage trailer! It is SO similar to ours. We have a 1964 Cardinal–my husband painted it white with red striping! :-) Ours is 15 ft so it has a little more room in it–and it still has the stove and oven which both work perfectly!! My husband and I have plenty of room in our cute little trailer–and we are “headquarters” when our children and grandchildren are camping with us. They have tents, but we keep the supplies in the trailer and do the food prep there! We have had lots of people who want to take a look at our vintage trailer and are impressed with the beautiful wood interior! We’ve had ours for about 10 years now and I’ve just completed new curtains for all the windows–bright yellow with big polka-dots! This summer’s gonna be fun!

  7. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    Tucknell- Sounds fabulous! I hope one day to get the outside painted- did your husband do it himself?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>