Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Something Interesting Happened Today!

1956 Spartan 45' trailer
It was a long day yesterday. Oklahoma heat was a whole lot warmer than Missouri. The Atoka OK Walmart has a small lot in poor condition. Making matters worse, they had much of it torn up for repairs.

I pulled in about mid-afternoon, pointing myself toward the exit so I could get out easily. I called it a day early and turned in before it was even dark. When I woke in the middle of the night I discovered I was surrounded by numerous semi's and right along side of me was a relic from the past.
Meet Ben. He just picked up this 45' Spartan somewhere in Oklahoma. The previous owner is in the process of
The closet in the master bedroom
rebuilding Arlo Guthrie's old home. Ben is a musician from Austin TX. Country music being his bread and butter.

His plan is to restore this old trailer and live in it with his wife. Possibly starting their family living off grid relying primarily on solar power.

Though in need of a top to bottom restoration, the 45' monster is in real solid condition. Ben was thrilled to give me a complete tour, noting all the light fixtures were still in place!

He thought maybe the strange apparatus under the edges was to protect when crossing railroad tracks,
Towing with a 1-ton box van 
but I told him it was the equivalent of an upside down bridge. It was there to strengthen the sidewalls and prevent flexing and possible rippling.

It had been a slow trip to this point, pulling with a 1-ton van. So far, so good, and he hoped to make the rest of the voyage without any problems.

As far as Ben knew the Spartan had spent it's entire life in Oklahoma. Note the big boxy swamp coolers mounted on the roof.

He plans to ditch those, swamp coolers don't work very well in Texas with all the humidity.  After a
Kitchen still has original appliances
good visit, Ben pulled out onto the highway and motored south. I left about 15 minutes later and never caught up to him so he had to be making decent time.

It was an interesting way to leave Oklahoma. As per Ben, Spartan trailers were manufactured there by a company that built B-24 bombers during the war. You could easily see the craftsmanship required in riveting airplanes together in this trailer. After 58 years it was still straight and true and very solid. With mostly cosmetic work to be done, it should still have many years left in it.

It was a great way to finish up this leg of my travels. Now I'm parked for the next month in Texas. Time to take a break from the road.


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