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Old 07-24-2014, 06:30 AM   #1
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Good deal?

Hey guys! I am a complete newbie the rv world. I have been wanting one for awhile now for myself and my four year old. Being under a very, very small budget I am having a very hard time talking my wife into letting me get one. However, my buddy has told me that I could have his Holiday Vacationer. It is rather old and needs some work on the outside but remodeled on the inside. I know that this could end up costing a lot to remodel but it is free and at the end of the day, I will be able to have exactly what I want. Just wondering what you guys think. Thank you for any info that you guys can give me. I think I am really going to find this forum amazing! Click image for larger version

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Old 07-24-2014, 06:33 AM   #2
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If its nice on the inside it look like a nice vintage rig! And as the Wife sees your interest over time, my come to see your view....
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:54 AM   #3
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Post some more pics if you can. First give it the nose test. When you open the door does it stink? If yes, you really don't want to go there. These take lots of work to remodel. Can you use it as is? IF you can, give it a try for a few weekends. When you get to the campground, ask more seasoned RVers for advise. Like certain perts of our anatomy, all of us have an opinion, some just stink more than others. BTW, Holiday made a very good unit if moisture hasn't attacked the frame too badly. Happy camping.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:10 AM   #4
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Tires, axles, brakes, power 12v and 110V, water lines and plumbing fixtures, propane lines and tank, sewer tanks and fixtures, stove, fridge, Air conditioner and furnace. These are the items that are costly to repair and or replace if needed but these have work if you are going to travel and tow the trailer. In an old trailer even if getting it free you could be looking a lot more real cost than you would expect, especially if you would need to have an RV service shop do the work.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:23 AM   #5
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adonh said it well. After necessary repairs, will you still have room in your budget to use it? (fuel, food, fees to park, unexpected breakdowns)
I don't want to discourage you, but the reality is, RVing is fun, relaxing and enjoyable, but not cheap! Best of Luck!
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_loy View Post
It is rather old and needs some work on the outside but remodeled on the inside.
You seem to be saying it has already been remodeled inside, is that correct? If that's the case you're already a long way toward being ready to travel. The outside looks to be in fairly good shape for a 50 year old trailer. Does it have a refrigerator or an ice box? Ice boxes don't break down, but refrigerators can be very expensive to fix or replace.

I currently have 3 vintage Holiday Rambler trailers, and they are very well built trailers. That basic style was built from the early 60s to 1986, and that appears to be a mid 60s. If you have some basic mechanical skills you could turn that into a showpiece and a very usable trailer. As long as the chassis is sound, brake and suspension parts are fairly inexpensive. That trailer has Fayette-Dayton wheels which are long obsolete and difficult to find, but Dexter wheels are interchangeable with them and available new or can be found used. So if it's in need of a spare that won't be difficult.


Holiday Rambler started using welded aluminum body structures for their trailers in 1961, but I believe the Travelers have a wood framed structure, as do the later Ramblettes. But the HRs are less prone to leak that other trailers of their era, so you could potentially have little or no rot. It's definitely a worthwhile project if you have the skills and the time.


Also keep in mind that everything inside doesn't necessarily have to work in order to use the trailer. A non-working fridge can be used as an ice box, or a camp stove can be used on a counter until you repair or replace things. Kind of like tent camping, but a lot easier. I think you should definitely take the trailer and make a long term project out of it.
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:27 AM   #7
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Thank you for all the input guys. Talked to my buddy last night and he did that when he parked it everything worked but the refrigerator. The tires only have about 100 miles on them, the axles were recently serviced and the plumbing is pretty much all new. The only issue is that he messed with the electrical to make it run off battery power, so I would need to look into that. Other than that it just needs cleaned up and lots of love put into it to make it my own.

I have been tent camping for about 20+ years now but I am wanting to switch to a camper to start taking my four year old with me.

Again, thank you for the input. I sure that I will be asking lots and lots of questions as I move forward with the build!
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:35 AM   #8
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You will find that the memories camping with your 4 year old will be worth all the labors it takes to remodel & update the camper. Enjoy your trips.

Russell
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:01 PM   #9
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Thank you for all the input guys. Talked to my buddy last night and he did that when he parked it everything worked but the refrigerator. The tires only have about 100 miles on them, the axles were recently serviced and the plumbing is pretty much all new. The only issue is that he messed with the electrical to make it run off battery power, so I would need to look into that. Other than that it just needs cleaned up and lots of love put into it to make it my own.

I have been tent camping for about 20+ years now but I am wanting to switch to a camper to start taking my four year old with me.

Again, thank you for the input. I sure that I will be asking lots and lots of questions as I move forward with the build!
I notice in the picture that the propane tanks are missing and it is hard to make out what condition the copper lines are in. Make sure you check that over before adding a propane tank and turning it on. Look at the tires on the side you should see lettering "DOT" with numbers after it. This is the actual build date of the tires. There should be four numbers such as 2613. That would be the 26th week of 2013. Miles on RV tire mean nothing, its the age of the tires that causes the rubber to fail and blowouts start to happen. These tires would be fairly inexpensive to replace with new fresh tires. I would hook up the trailer and pull the trailer to a solid surface like a drive way so that you can inspect the running gear from the axle, tires, rims, breaks, wiring to tail lights up through the seven pin connector that plugs in to your two vehicle. The A frame has a lot of rust, which may just be surface rust. Make sure there are no rusted through sections on the A frame and frame under the trailer. You will also need to do something about the awning and front rock guard.

Good luck.
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:48 PM   #10
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My post will be like the others; if you're on a budget just know that an RV doesn't quit costing money to own once you fix the initial issues. They keep costing money, just in normal maintenance. So if you're tight on money, it may not be a good idea.
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:02 PM   #11
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We took our grandkids camping over the 4th. Gpa & Gson slept in the motorhome. The 4 year old and her sister slept in the tent with me. I think you could take a 4 year old tent camping. That being said, I was drooling over a trailer on craigslist today that looked very similar to that one.
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:19 AM   #12
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I may be a rare breed but if you can do any of the work yourself grab it. Im on a SEVERE budget and I still make it work. Busted waterlines that would make someone sell the camper I fixed in less than an hour and $10.47. "Bad" water heater fixed for $3.68 because it needed a new switch and 12v wire. COMPLETE floor to the frame $200 and a weekend. Memories of camping with friends and family..... priceless. Your getting a steal on the rig to begin with so, put a few hundred over a few months to make it yours and bam, no sleeping in a tent...
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