From www.Spartantrailer.com (interior restoration)
Before any refinishing was done all leaks in the trailer had to be sealed. I used a liquid seam sealing product called Capt. Tolly’s. This is a marine product which has a capillary action by which it draws itself into the crack and hardens. Vulkem 116 Sealant was used for larger seams.. Another option is to coat the interior with a gas tank sealer such as POR-15. to create a water tight seal.
Daniel Riedemann is a native of Kansas and fifth generation carpenter who learned specialty restoration from his father and grandfather. He uses his 1951 restored Spartan as an office and home away from home. He offeres his advice about green trailer restorations.
Dan runs Nineteenth Century Restorations, a company with a focus on historic preservation, using designs that meet or exceed current energy efficiency standards. On job sites he salvages reusable materials
and reclaimed lumber. Dan says he likes to build homes that are as green as possible, but there aren’t a lot of clients who go as green as he would like. The Spartan was a chance to do it his way.
Historic restoration of an Ohio home by 19th Century Restorations.
Dan takesto the road in his 1951 Spartan when he’s working on projects for the U.S. Corps of Engineers and the National Park Service. Have a quick look at his trailer in this You Tube clip (no audio): Here are Dan’s thoughts on some current issues Sam is dealing with in his Spartan restoration project:Insulation I used spray foam insulation kits [he will supply the name]. It’s a great product, made out of soybean products, so you aren’t letting toxic fumes out in the atmosphere. It’s easy to apply. You should make it about one-inch thick. In your trailer, it could be done with about three or four kits (each “kit” costs between $400-600.) I would spray the foam about 1” thick being careful not to completely refill the cavity. After that I went in with foil back bubble wrap, the stuff used to wrap pipe. Comes in 400 ft. rolls. [Note: polycene. Will correct this. another guy told me he thinks you can get the lefover bits of this stuff for free.] I replaced all that old Kimsul, which was fiberglass and basically useless. You’ll end up with about an R15. The The outer aluminum skin can really heat up. But the heat stays in the gap in between. I live in Kansas where summers can be humid and the temperatures can get up into the 100’s. I’ve got an air conditioner in there but the unit is not fighting the heat. Hot Water Heaters I use an instant hot water heater that runs off of propane. It heats up the pipes that the water is go through, so you only use it when the water is on. They have been using that system in Europe for years. It is a great technology . It is in my front closet with room left over. The shower in my Spartan is better than the one I have at home.
Metal bathroom unit on a 1951 Spartan Credit: Jane Keeler.Flickr
…that yucky metal bathroom unit, keep it? Yes. I kept mine. Belly pan The original pan in mine was in excellent shape. I just had to replace the spot by the bathroom. I recommend using the same kind of product. It’s like an MDF fiberglass. Iwould do it all new and use a marine grade epoxy to fasten it. I haul my Spartan a lot for the job, so I want mine sealed really well and not affect by the heat and water. It’s called a masonite belly pan but it’s not exactly masonite.
Belly pan for a vintage Ultra trailer. Credit: basicofbasics on photobucket
I suggest you call a couple of lumberyards or specialty wood shops and ask for the thinnest MDF material that they have. ¾” or 3/8”. The product is slicker on one side (the side that isn’t as slick goes against the belly.) I would definitely waterproof the pan. And I would use foam insulation between the two. In the center of the trailer you have five inches of insulation and then it narrows up to the sides because of the shape of the curve. I used plain old yellow fiberglass when I restored my Sparta, but if I was to do it again I would use spray foam.
Belly pan with liquid chaser. Credit: bluessafari.blogspot.com
Here is a picture of a kitchen vent from a 51 spartan
From Spartan discussion forum:
My husband and i are currently working on a 1950 Royal Mansion, she came to us gutted of all her period glory save for her stove. However we are still under her spell! We are going to outfit her in as close to original style as possible. We are trying to find somereplacement window latches for the jalousie windows. I have heard they are not a very common style,unfortunately. I have pics of some in my album titled Central Texas Royal Mansion. We need 5 sets. vtc has the arms and clips but not the other pieces. Anyone willing to part with them i’d be much obliged!
I’m a 27 year-old graduate student in acting, at CalArts. I’ve just embarked on the final year of my master’s degree and the fun and games are over in class. The focus has shifted from voice classes , movement and Shakespeare scene-study, to entrepreneurship. In less than a year, my classmates and I will be classically trained professional actors. But before we graduate we’ve got a whole lot to learn about the business of acting- these days it’s all about “booking the job”.
On evenings and weekends, however, my mind is elsewhere– you’ll find me on the lower parking lot, renovating my 1951 Spartan trailer.
I’ve convinced the school to let me park the 36 foot monster on campus. This gives me easy access to the Institute’s scene-shop and mostly importantly, to the theater school’s technical designer, Michael Darling. My carpentry skills are basic, at best, and Michael’s mentoring has been absolutely essential to the project.
Sculptor and faculty member, Michael Darling works with CalArts students in the scene shop.
In exchange for letting me house the Trailer Trash Project on campus, I’ve offered to put the Spartan to good use. Once finished the trailer will be a home for my mother, a journalist and Katrina evacuee, but while it is being built I want it to serve as a work and performance space for the artist community at CalArts and beyond.
The notion of displacement is one that my mother and I are all too familiar with. As I began my studies in art school it became clear to me:
…all artists are, at one time or another, displaced. We’re perpetually confronted with the reality of having to leave home to pursue our craft. Art-making can often distance us from our families. And when we’re away, the feeling of longing inspires us to make more art.
Over the course of 7 or 8 months, the Spartan will take the form of a mobile performance space/ make-shift classroom/ screening room, used to explore how displacement and artistry go hand-in-hand.
Evelyn Serrano, a member of CalArt’s faculty in the Art School is onboard with this idea. Evelyn is an artist who means business. She’s a staunch supporter of education through the arts and teaches a class at Calarts, Arts and Activism, designed to
From the Nomad Lab web site: “The “NOMAD LAB is a program created to support the goals of the Valle del Oro Neighborhood Committee in partnership with the City of Santa Clarita Community Services Division, The Village Apartments and the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. As an initiative of the Valle del Oro Neighborhood Committee, NOMAD LAB is devoted to building a better neighborhood through programs and activities for youth and their families.”
help her students develop and pursue their own social agenda. One of her latest projects is Nomadlab in nearby Newhall, which offers free creative writing classes to young students in the Valle del Oro neighborhood, who are at risk of gang activity. She’s offered to make the Trailer Trash Project a key element of her Arts and Activism class this year. Her students and I will be devising ways to use the Spartan as a means to collaborate with Nomadlab. But ultimately, I want to leave it up to the kids of Nomadlab to come up with ways in which the trailer can best serve their cause.
Another source of inspiration for my project has been Side Streets, a community arts project co-founded by Cal Arts, alum, Karen Atkinson along with RIDS grad Joe Luttrell, two artists committed to the belief that the creative process belongs in the streets as well as in studios and galleries. More on Side Streets in future posts.
My mother, who has been researching and writing about the green revolution sees this trailer as an opportunity to display mobile, sustainable living. So we’re going eco!
This is a former FEMA trailer turned into a mobile disaster art studio by Paul Villinski. The trailer has solar panels and a wind turbine. We’ll use both on the Spartan, along with a composting toilet, and sustainable building materials. Credit: http://www.emergencyresponsestudio.org/
My Trailer Trash Project will be carried out in collaboration with The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, founded by CalArts alumni, Miranda Wright and Ian Garrett. The CSPA is a network providing artists and arts organizations with resources to help them adopt more sustainable practices in their work.
The Trailer Trash Project will be carried out using safe, clean and renewable materials as much as
feasibly possible. (See for instance, posts on “green” insulation materials.) Believe me this is no easy task. To give you an example, I was convinced bamboo flooring and cabinetry was the way to go. It’s super renewable (it only takes bamboo 3-5 years to reach maturity) but in recent years controversy has surfaced over the use of bamboo: it has to be flown over from China, lots of chemicals are used in the manufacturing process, deforestation and others.
Keeping up with this has been a little too much for me to handle right now– I’ve got my hands full as it is. So I’ve charged my mother with this task. This blog has lots of interesting info about sustainable materials, information that Michael and I use when deciding how to proceed. Perhaps it will be of interest to you as well.