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 I bought a Vintage travel trailer today!

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59 Blue Bomber



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Age : 45
Location : Corbett, Oregon

PostSubject: I bought a Vintage travel trailer today!   Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:58 am

It's a 1964 20' Kenskill. I've been looking for one of these for a while now. I found this on a vintage trailer website that is located here in Portland. She had it listed for $3500. I went and looked at it and she held firm at first, but I got her down to $2800. I know, I know, not a bargain, but the thing is almost completely intact and has no water damage of any kind and is well taken care of. The previous owner before the seller owned it from new! It will sleep 5 comfortably and has a bathroom with toilet, sink and shower. The shower is pretty small, you might have to step out, turn, get back in and rinse off! Oh, well, the shower was the only request my Wife, Tina, made when I showed it to her! She approved! I cannot believe how well preserved it is....and everything works! That's rare for this vintage! Anyway..here's some pics. I'll post more, when it's light outside.


The exterior blue almost matches the Pontiac!




Not sure if I want to put a hitch on the Blue Bomber or not...What do you guys think?
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markymark

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Age : 50
Location : Vernon, B.C., Canada

PostSubject: Re: I bought a Vintage travel trailer today!   Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:17 am

I like it!! Whats her name?I can see a script on the door but cant make it out.
Yes, I think a rightful place for this beauty would be behind your 59-I am wondering however, would there be much you would have to do to your car to make it tow ready?
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59vista

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Age : 43
Location : Denmark

PostSubject: Re: I bought a Vintage travel trailer today!   Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:49 pm

I say go for it. That thing is way too cool to be pulled by anything less. This could have been an authentic combination back then.
If you regret, all you have to do is close 6 small holes in the frame. I'll be hapy to provide you with some pictures of my setup!.
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59 Blue Bomber



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PostSubject: Re: I bought a Vintage travel trailer today!   Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:08 pm

Thanks guys! I named her the "Tin Can Tiki Lounge"! I got some vintage bamboo print for the curtains and my Mom is all over sewing them up for us. Too cool...My Mom is the best! My Dad even made keys and put new locks on all the access doors yesterday. I think they're are just as excited as we are.

The blue on the trailer is anodizing! Can you believe that? It's worn off in quite a few places, so I think some of the left over Vanguard Blue Metallic form the Pontiac is in order. I even have some Aircraft Zinc Chromate anti-corrosion primer for aluminum left over from painting a friends' Cessna. I have tinkered with the trailer and managed to get everything working, even the original furnace!

The hot water heater is missing, but I ordered a new tankless one that fits in the space for $140.00! Gotta love ebay! I even found the missing marker light lenses for $5.00 each!

Christian- I would love pictures of your set-up. I'm not afraid to drill holes or modify the existing bumper mounts, if need be, but it has look stock or vintage in nature. I will probably put a 2" receiver on it, but tuck it underneath to hide the hitch when there is nothing there. I am excited for summer, Road Trip! My Wife and 4 yo son, Wesley are even looking forward to going for a trip in the Tin Can Tiki Lounge!
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CATBIRD



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Age : 73
Location : Levittown, Pa

PostSubject: Re: I bought a Vintage travel trailer today!   Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:29 pm

Chad.....Nice score! If you are going to use the Blue Bomber as a tow vehicle, I'd recommend having the rear frame rails boxed in, from the axle on back. Originally, only the convertibles and wagons were boxed there. This would add strength and uncomplicate the mounting of a load distributing hitch......John
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59 Blue Bomber



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PostSubject: Re: I bought a Vintage travel trailer today!   Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:01 am

John- Thanks! I was thinking the same thing about boxing the frame rails, too. I just happen to have some 3'16" plate steel laying around, I just might do that. I'm not one to jump willy-nilly into something without some research and investigating. I need to get a static weight of the trailer with everything in it, before I attempt to tow it with the '59. I am curious as to what Christian has done to his car. From the other pictures I've seen on the internet, it appears someone has put a different axle under this particular trailer to lift it higher than stock, for clearance on bumpy roads. No big deal, but it does sit about 8" higher than it should. The frame was manufactured by Zieman Chassis Co, Whittier, CA. They built the frames for numerous trailer Mfg's and different applications, so it is possible the axle could be original.
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59vista

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PostSubject: Re: I bought a Vintage travel trailer today!   Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:54 pm





One of the members that connects to the frame rail.
These are made from heavy gauge square tube (4 or 5 mm wall thickness).




The main member. It bolts to the rear U member, and inside is a massive steel piece.





The hitch.




All the black stuff is part of the original hitch. Inside the rear U of the frame there is a massive piece of steel, with threads cut in it. It distributes the load.

The two long members that connects to the X frame carries the load when the hitch is loaded with weight.

The X frame itself is not loaded very much, and i se no need to box it, though it never hurts Wink.. If you want to increase the strength, you might consider putting some triangles on the end of the rear U of the frame, where it connects in the end, since that is what really pulls the trailer.

Remember : this runs with a ball weight og 20 - 40 kg, and the long arms makes the load on the X frame itself very light. This ball weight may not apply to American standards - i don't know.

Even with the air lifts schocks at the rear there is a limit to how much ball pressure the standard springs will carry - i had serious issues with the rearend weighing down, causing clearance issues at speed bumps (check the bottom of the hitch Laughing . The lifts solved that. More pictures to follow...
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59vista

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PostSubject: Re: I bought a Vintage travel trailer today!   Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:14 pm








One of the anchor plates.






One of the arms, where it is welded to the anchor plate. This was done by a fried of mine, who welds professionally. Must have good burn through, and be fully welded, as this is where the momentum of the hitch weight is transferred ! Look closely, and you can see the end of the bolts that is threaded through the steel inside the rear U member of the frame.






The arm where it connects to the rail. The pipe is cut in 45 degrees, and has a hole for a bolt that holds it to the frame. It will push towards the frame when the hitchis loaded, so the bolt is only there to keep it in place. A nut is on the other side.








When i get the car back running, and now that the design is tried and tested, i am going to take it off for a hot dip galvanize (a winter project Smile .


I hope you can use this as an inspiration.

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59vista

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PostSubject: Re: I bought a Vintage travel trailer today!   Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:21 pm

By the way : it is relatively hidden, and only the hitch sticks out. The large rearmember is hardly noticed, as it is nicely tugged under the rear bumper. You could unbolt the hitch when not in use, or even better use a removable hitch arrangement as the base of your setup. A friend of mine did on his 71' riviera, and it works great !.
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59 Blue Bomber



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PostSubject: Re: I bought a Vintage travel trailer today!   Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:16 pm

Christian- Thanks for the pics. It looks like you have a pretty stout set-up, no doubt. I like the idea of it being hidden without the ball on it. I wasn't sure what I was going to do about the receiver part, until I saw your picture of the ball itself, with the curved pipe to bring up the tongue of the trailer level.

I have some 1-1/2" Solid round stock already bent from a set of hitch tensioners. They don't fit anything I have, so now I know what I'm going to be fabricating with those! I am very much going to use your set-up for inspiration. You've got my wheels turning already!

Every car is different, but it helps to ask what someone else has already done. This is what these forums are all about; sharing information with eachother, when we can! Everyone on here is awesome. Like our own little Pontiac family.
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59vista

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PostSubject: Re: I bought a Vintage travel trailer today!   Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:24 am

It is nice to be part of the Pontiac family Very Happy .

Remember : I used a hitch from salvage yard - i guess you could get lucky and find somthing that fits. Remember - the whole thing from the anchor plates and out is a stock hitch setup. It all came of an older Mazda 626 stationcar. All we did was to cut off the original arms, that went into the main members (reinforcements) of the Mazda, and weld on some new ones. In my case it also important that the hitch has a type number and approval. (i just hope noone finds out it is for a Mazda lol! ).

By the way : I love the original interior of that trailer !. Nice blue lamps - 100 % retro !!!
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59 Blue Bomber



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PostSubject: Re: I bought a Vintage travel trailer today!   Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:58 pm

Thanks- The trailer is all original inside and out. The only thing missing is the original Junkers water heater. In order to retrofit a new tankless water heater, I had to remove the galvanized box. If anyone is familiar with vintage travel trailers and their construction, they were built from the bottom up/ inside out. Starting with the floor, the cabinets went in next along with the appliances, shower stall (if any) plumbing was always stubbed through the floor, benches, beds, etc...the walls went on with roof stringers to hold them in place. The walls were usually built laying flat, with the paneling and trim installed, then flipped over. windows were not cut out yet. Once flipped, they were wired and sent to be installed. The wiring and plumbing connected, the roof skin was attached and vent holes cut and vents installed. Next the side skin is attached and windows, access panel openings cut. At the next station windows, access panels, side vents, decals and trim is installed. Depending on the trailer model being built, construction "only" took about an hour, not including the countless hours of fabrication of the skins, framing (cut on jigs), cabinets and fixtures cranked out by real craftsmen. Whew! Anyway, I had to remove the box very carefully as to not damage the side skin, which is made from very thin corrugated aluminum sheet (think of an Oly can!). Sorry, my brain works differently, I just can't give a short answer to anything! No, I'm not a warlock or have tiger blood in my veins, but I know, I'm not "normal".....
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