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Vintage Trailer Restoration Advice From Anna Scribner Of Flyte Camp

Not only have Anna and Justin Scribner of Flyte Camp in Bend, Oregon been able to make a living with their passion for vintage trailers, but they are able to share that passion with Great American Country viewers on the show Flipping’ RVs.

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The Scribners have been running their trailer restoration and renovation business since 2010.

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Their TV show features the couple searching the country for diamonds in the rough and transforming them into coveted jewels ready for buyers.

Flyte Camp’s 1948 Westcraft Sequoia is a showstopper.

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Justin is a contractor and vintage trailer enthusiast and Anna specializes in mid-century history and elements and uses her interior design skills to turn ho-hum campers into Holy Cow! campers.

Several of her “fancy flips” have included a 1934 Covered Wagon with a stylish salon and a 1950 Spartan Royal Mansion with a custom Naugahyde dinette.

Flyte Camp does both restorations (a complete return to factory original) and renovations (customized interior and exterior with a vintage look).

Flyte Camp’s 1934 Covered Wagon trailer is for sale.

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Anna was kind to offer some trailer restoration tips for DIYRV readers.

Keep an eye on the DIYRV blog for additional before and after projects from Flyte Camp:

Flyte Camp does both complete restorations and renovations.

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What are the benefits of restoring a trailer by yourself? What are the benefits of using an expert?

The benefits of doing it yourself is that you have the satisfaction of seeing something that you brought back to life with your own two hands. A huge benefit of doing it yourself if you are handy is that you don’t have to pay someone else for the elbow grease.

However, people are often overwhelmed by the process. It ends up being a bit more complicated than they anticipated. We have a lot of trailers that come in as a flat bed with just parts and pieces stacked up on it. When people get into the restoration process they get overwhelmed and then look to the professionals. A restoration shop knows what they are doing and get it back to what it was originally. If you are adding modern systems, an expert is sure to have it done right so you don’t have to worry about safety issues.

Anna specializes in mid-century interior design.

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What three main things should an owner keep in mind while restoring their RV or trailer?

First of all start with a trailer that is already in good condition. Make sure and thoroughly address the frame first. Make sure that the trailer has good bones before you start any work. Generally, if you see water damage inside the trailer and it has reached the paneling there has most likely been damage to the framing already, if in fact it is a wood constructed trailer.

Second, you don’t want to work backwards so address the systems first. You will need to update the electrical and get it up to code. This is definitely a safety issue. Usually you will want to replace the plumbing and LP system.

Third, take LOTS of pictures so that you know how to put the trailer back together. Also, anticipate that it will take longer than expected.

Flyte Camp pays close attention to vintage details and modern conveniences.

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What was the most challenging restoration you’ve done and why?

All vintage trailer restorations come with their own challenges. Our 1948 Palace, as one example, was incredibly challenging as far as sourcing virtually nonexistent parts. The window cranks were very specific to the Palace and there are only a few still in existence. We were missing a door and an entire exterior front panel that had been cut apart to make room for a house window. So we had to have those parts sourced from Michigan. Somebody found the donor trailer up in the mountains there and pulled it out in two feet of snow and shipped them to us! In this particular trailer we had over 500 hours into the body work. Because it is painted and it is an aluminum trailer you have to make sure that the body is perfect or all those blemishes become highly visible.

The 1948 Palace Royal has parts from a donor trailer that was pulled out of two feet of snow.

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Some of Flyte Camp’s renovations include custom dinette areas.

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What are your three favorite types of vintage RVs and what are you dying to restore?

It really depends when I am asked! Right now I love late 50’s Spartans. Also another favorite would be trolley tops. I absolutely love the look of the lantern top type roof. The third group are trailers with the space age look. For example the 1940’s Great Westerns or Aero Flites. I am absolutely dying to restore one of these!

Anna and Justin look for vintage decor for their trailer projects on Flippin’ RVs.

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What are your three favorite new RVs or trailers?

Honestly I have no idea. I am slightly obsessed with vintage trailers so its been a while since I have looked at new ones.

Photos by Flyte Camp and Great American Country




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