Friday, January 1, 2010

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our 1954 Ranger Has a New Home In So Cal

So, after all that loving work on the Ranger, we decided to part with her and send her on her way to new owners who own a 1953 Ford Wagon. They share a nice, cozy garage together. So the story of the neglected little Ranger has a happy ending! September, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

First Display of Ranger at Burlingame Car Show

On July 25, 2009, we took the Ranger on its first outing to display it at the Lions Club "Cars in the Park" benefit Car Show in Washington Park, Burlingame, CA. Our friends Dan and Deb put their 1955 Ford Station Wagon on display next to the trailer. It was very cool to see all the smiles and positive comments from people checking out the display. Our vehicles and vintage camping display seemed to bring back alot of memories for people and they were quite enthusiastic about it! Dan and Deb won a plaque for the second year in a row. It was a great event and was fun viewing all the old cars and promoting the vintage trailer and camping hobby to the public.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Carpentry Work by Michael Donovan

Today, July 12, 2009 we drove up to Grass Valley to pick up the Ranger after hiring Michael Donovan, Finish Carpenter, to repair the damaged wood in the galley, door and various other areas. We were really pleased with his can really tell that he takes his trade very seriously. Alot of detail and painstaking work went into repairing and replacing the water damaged wood. There is still more to be done, but at this point, we want to take the trailer camping for the first time in August and also take the Ranger to an upcoming car show to put on display. Even if the trailer restoration is not completed, people will really show enthusiasm for the vintage trailers and so often they will tell you how your display brings back such good memories for them. Makes it well worth towing and hauling all of our vintage camping display "stuff" around. Michael lives in Grass Valley, CA in the Sierra Foothills and is a licensed carpenter. His phone number is 530-477-5906. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend his work if you need help with wood repair/restoration for your trailer.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Replacement Canvas

We purchased replacement canvas from a well know company "Canvas Replacements." They had the template to make us the new canvas. I chose a light greyish/green color. It looks really nice on the trailer. We have to install the snaps ourselves to match the original snaps on the trailer.

Moving' Right Along

In early June, 2009 we decided to tackle checking out the wheel bearings and stripping and painting the wheel rims. The bearings showed wear on both sides and Steve even found a small piece of wood wedged into one of the bearings. Luckily he found new parts at the Sacramento Napa Auto Parts warehouse. They were not cheap by any means, around $72. Alot of wire brushing and cleaning up old grease later, the new bearings were installed. I used an electric drill and wire brush and cleaned up the rust on the rims. Used some Rustoleum primer and then some Ace Hardware Laquer Enamel spraypaint in off white for the rims. Underneath the trailer on the frame, there is alot of surface rust. Makes me wonder if this trailer sat in water during it's life. I understand that someone in the Santa Rosa area owned it and lived in it. I plan on putting it safely up on jackstands (about 6 of em) and cleaning up the surface rust. The next day I sought out new tires. The original tires, according to the brochure were 550-15's. 3 different tire places couldn't get that exact tire, so we compromised with a trailer tire 205 75 r15. They weren't cheap either (do I see a trend here?) Paid $68 per tire, plus lots of incidental charges. Ouch. Anyway, the following weekend we brought the trailer out in the driveway and I gave it a real good scrub. The pink housepaint exterior has mildew in the paint and not all of it came out, but it looked presentable. Steve rewired the lights and off he went to Grass Valley to visit another Ranger owner, Michael Donovan, who by trade is a finish carpenter. We've hired Michael to rebuild some of the really bad water damaged areas and re-veneer some of the cupboards. The rest we will attempt to tackle ourselves. It looked really neat being pulled by our truck...very unique. My next project will be to replace the broken glass in both of the front and back windows. I may use Lexan instead of glass, we'll compare the price and go from there!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

History of Ranger Pop Up Trailers

Walter E. Hille of Hille Manufacturing produced the fiberglass Ranger pop up trailer in Anaheim, California from 1954 through 1956. There were only appx. 200 made. The body of the trailer was made from fiber-glass and polyester resin. The trailer was expensive for it's time, selling for $1,500. The Ranger stands 4 feet high, 12 feet long and is 82 inches wide. Cranking raises the trailer roof to give inside headroom of 6 feet 3 inches. It weighs in at 1100 lbs. It has two slim beds on each side of the trailer and an extension drawer pulls out of the back to fit either one adult or two kids (39 inches across). The galley consists of a sink and water pump on the left and a laminate counter with countertop stove. Drawers for your kitchen utensils and a roomy ice box. There is one small 110 volt light towards the front of the trailer with a plug in for electricity. There is also a small 6 volt light towards the rear of the interior. There are also overhead cubby holes to stow small items According to the dealer brochure, you could special order mosquito netting for the front, a foam insert to make a king sized bed. It also sported a folding table that fit between the two beds. The "nose" on the front is where the water tank is located, with a chrome filling spout door on the top of the "nose." The rear of the trailer sports 1953 Ford tail lights and a "Hollywood" brand license plate light and holder. It is believed that only about a dozen of these trailers survive today.