Come with us as we go on the road in our 1957 Dalton Vintage Trailer, taking a road trip through the Northeastern Corner of the state through the John Day Valley to the Wallowas.
We're gearing up for a family road trip exploring the northeastern part of Oregon. We'll be camping for a week in different spots in our little vintage trailer which we found in 2004 and have been fixing up. We love our trailer and use it any time we get the chance.
The Trailer Story
We found this trailer about five years ago, just as we were moving out of our old neighborhood in the city. We love vintage things - the quality, history, and inherent style just speaks to us. Trailers especially. I used to check out books on vintage trailers and we would dream about them.
Then we saw this one for with a "for sale" sign driving to the grocery store. You see a lot of trailers 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 mainly it wouldn't sleep our whole family.
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 decided to offer less (it really was too small for a family of four) because we knew this opportunity was rare - 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 - and that new paint job.
The trailer 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 for us 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 made it work for the four of us by using a little pup tent for the kids when we go camping.
The Dalton Vintage Trailer
We were able to do some inside remodeling the summer we bought it. I recovered all the cushions, made sweet curtains out of reproduction bark cloth, and sewed some pillows out of a piece of vintage bark cloth I had.
We replaced the carpet with a Marmoleum remnant we bought, added molding, and CLEANED.
Even though it's small, we easily fit all our needs in it for week-long trips. There is storage under the seats we use for the camp stove, lantern, and collapsable water carrier.
The sink area easily fits all our camping and food needs. It 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've been 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 I stained and finished it to match, adding matching hardware I salvaged and a much needed mirror. It's one of the things I think turned out best in our makeover!
I also 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 the closet, which I LOVE. Each of us has our own shelf and a basket for small items. We can pack enough clothes for a week here. This eliminated the need for suitcases and has worked out really well.
Plus, the bottom of the cabinet can hold our 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, um, cozy. There is more storage underneath for camp chairs and wood.
It really has been so much fun to use as a family - I'm always amazed at how roomy it is inside when it looks so small on the outside!
And now we are off on another adventure!
We are going to explore some more of our state- the Northeast corner including the John Day Fossil Beds, the Wallowa mountains and Hell's Canyon. We are so excited to share this road trip with our kids - I think they will love the diversity they'll see in our state - and traveling with our Dalton vintage trailer!
- John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
- An Oregon Cottage on the Oregon Trail
- Our Hell's Canyon Visit
- Joseph and Wallowa Lake State Park Campground