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7 Tips When Shopping For A Vintage Trailer


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Aside from RVing, another hobby that is becoming popular amongst the Americans is vintage trailering. Trailers and RVs are somewhat the same, especially if we’re talking about their purpose, providing great comfort during your outdoor travel.

The only notable difference between the two is that trailers are attached to your vehicles and will be towed to your destination, while RVs can be driven around by themselves. However, trailers are cheaper to maintain than RVs. If you are one of the people who want to engage in the vintage trailer hobby and want to purchase your RV, for that matter, here are some tips that might help you get the best trailer unit in the market.

Check For Water Damage

Aging RVs or trailers are expected to experience water leakage that results in damages to the unit. When you consider purchasing a vintage trailer, this is the first thing you should look for during the inspection.

Check under the windows and inside compartments and cabinets as these are the areas commonly affected by water leakage, and damages can also be significant in these places. Look for any signs of water leakage or damages caused by water, such as stains, bumps, bubbles in the paneling, dark color in wood, and fiberglass delamination.

When you only see minor damages that only affect small areas of the trailer during your inspection, chances are these damages can be easily repaired and will only cost you a small amount. However, if the water leakage has already affected the trailer's flooring, it becomes more expensive and becomes more difficult to repair.

Consider Buying Branded Trailer

If you are planning to acquire a loan to purchase your trailer, it is best to choose among the best RV loans available to have a good deal and get the chance to choose the best brands of the trailer out there.

Although it can cost more than unbranded alternatives, at least you can make sure that you get the value for your money. The most recommended trailer for your vintage trailing hobby is Airstream. The brand is durable, lightweight, and aerodynamic because of its aluminum body.

It can also be designed according to the vintage theme you prefer as it comes in a bare aluminum color. Comfort is also one of the advantages of the Airstream trailer as it has a spacious interior that will give you a great camping experience.

Check The Electrical System

Opting for a vintage trailer means that you will stumble upon a few or more issues when purchasing it. Due to aging, many trailer elements will deteriorate, including the electrical system, and a trailer without a proper electrical supply is useless.

When inspecting your electrical system, you should check the cords and cables and look for damages, cracks, breaks, and cuts. If you noticed that the wires feel sticky, it is a sign of serious wear.

Also, check for the plug's prongs. Make sure that it is intact and is not bent. Locate the trailer's circuit breakers and fuses. Also, inspect the circuit breakers for damages. Take note of all the damages you notice and ask a professional electrician if they can be repaired easily and with little cost.

Clear Title

Aside from the vintage trailer's physical condition, you should also ensure that the title is clear. Some states have a strict process in applying for a trailer title, which will result in an unpleasant experience on your part.

If you found the vintage trailer you love, make sure to ask the seller and check the title carefully. Do your research and check your state's policy about trailer titles. If you figure out that your state has a strict policy and process of applying for a trailer title, make sure that you choose the trailer that already has a clear title to spare you from much inconvenience.

Check The Smell

Vintage trailers are old, and it has a high chance that many unwanted smells can be noticed when you enter the unit. These smells can be from dead rodents, dirty comfort rooms, and molds. Although you can solve the stench problem by looking for the cause, removing it and cleaning the entire trailer.

However, what you might not know is that cushions inside the trailer can also be the source of this smell, and replacing it can be costly. So during your inspection, examine the cushions inside the trailer. Once you establish that the bad smell does not originate in the cushions, then you are good to go.

Check The Tires

Old tires are expected on vintage trailers, given their age and condition. However, there are trailer sellers who change the trailer tire before selling the unit to attract more buyers. However, you must still be sure that the trailer's tires are still in their prime condition.

Trailer tires are recommended to be regularly changed every 6 to 7 years even if you haven't noticed any cracks around it or even if the tread still has great depth. It is a rule of thumb to change your tires after the specified years.

You can ask the seller when the tires were installed on the trailer and how old it is. You can also check for physical signs that the tire is old enough to be changed or if it is still usable for a good number of years. It is best if you purchase a trailer with good condition tires to avoid spending more on tires.

Check Broken Windows

Another problem when purchasing a vintage trailer is broken windows. Glass is an expensive item to replace, which is why it is best to choose a trailer with an intact glass window and other glass features. You should also want to look closely at these glasses and figure out if Plexiglass hasn't replaced them.

Plexiglass is a cheaper alternative to Glass, and you couldn't even tell the difference if you will not inspect closely. Tap to the windows to know whether it is real Glass or just Plexiglass, as it will have a plastic feature because it is plastic.

Even though cheap, lightweight, and shatter-resistant, Plexiglass is not heat resistant and more vulnerable to scratching and prone to hazing. You should also double-check the windows if it opens and closes properly.


It is best to spend more on trailer purchases and spend less during renovations. Having a sturdy base trailer will ensure you that it will last for a long time. Focus on a strong foundation and only spend a few on add-ons during restoration.

Author Bio:

Lauren Cordell is a wanderlust who wants to go on a road trip on their family's RV. Being a writer allows her to travel anytime as she can write her articles wherever she is. Lauren focuses on RVing, boating, AirBnB, as well as business and finance niches. She loves to incorporate her love for travel and her knowledge about finance in most of her articles.

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