The owners of this Roadrunner trailer had enjoyed camping in it for years but know
it was about at the end of it's road. After shopping new campers they decided wisely
that they would rather have a new 1972 Roadrunner over anything available now...
so they brought it to Retro Restoration to give it a new life...
Roadrunners were popular trailers in the Southwest in the 60's and 70's. Better
built than many of the era, they still have real oak interiors instead of the fake
photo laminate paneling. This model was a nice size unit at 16' long and a full
8' wide, making the interior feel spacious.
As typical for a 50 year old trailer this one had had extensive repairs done by a
previous owner. The exterior had gobs of silicone before being painted with a brush
with what looked like aluminum roof coating... lovely.
The interior had some interior panels replaced from the inside with some actually
nice looking paneling. This method of repair is strongly discouraged by Retro restoration
and here is a prime example why. Despite the best efforts it is next to impossible
to rebuild the proper structure this way. With weakened structure the trailer will
flex and continue to leak, further weakening the trailer as it goes down the road.
In this case it was so bad that once we pulled the skin the entire back of the trailer
literally fell off. The owners mentioned the bed felt unstable... they had no idea
how unstable it was!
This era trailer had particle board decking, bad news. The water had turned it to
mulch under the linoleum. Down all the way to the frame we go!
Once the decking was replaced with all new exterior grade plywood we laid down a
new floor. The unusual pattern will result in a white floor with a yellow border
around the cabinets, a design the owner wanted.
Usually we salvage as much of the structural framing as possible, but in this case
it was so far gone all we used the old walls for was a pattern, and completely rebuilt
the walls with new framing lumber and new oak paneling.
We did salvage as much of the original cabinetry as possible but still built a new
galley as the old one was falling apart. The owner picked out a new light colored
laminate for the countertop and backsplash.
With the cabin done we rewired the entire trailer and insulated it before installing
the new skin. By this time we had also cut off the old bent back bumper, welded
on a new one, painted the bumper and tongue and undercoated the entire underside.
Here it is... a virtually brand new 1972 Roadrunner trailer, ready for another 50
years of camping fun. A Roadrunner trademark is the polished quilting next to the
front window and the arrow design on the side.
The interior features blue appliances and new blue & white vinyl upholstery to match
the white, blue and yellow exterior colors. A total rebuild, but still less than
a brand new pop-up trailer!