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Vintage New Moon Trailers

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I was sitting around the other day thinking of one of my favorite movies “The Long, Long Trailer” starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez. They actually manufactured a model specifically to commemorate the movie.

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When the movie was released in 1953 they actually took it to theaters to help launch the film. The camper that was used was a 36 foot long 1953 Redman’s New Moon mobile home. In 1954 they released the “I Love Lucy” model because of the great success of the MGM film release.

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‘The Long, Long Trailer’ became MGM’s best grossing comedy up to that point and transformed Redman overnight from a small regional outfit (building one or two trailers a day) into one of the nation’s largest mobile home manufacturers (with five or six factories, producing hundreds each day).

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This movie is too funny! The best part in my opinion is when Desi has the nightmare about the trailer brakes, too funny!

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Look at those curtains!

History of New Moon Trailers

The company began in 1930, when, with no previous training in the field, Harold and William Redman, along with engineer Al Hathaway, designed and produced the first Redman trailer coach.

In 1937 the group incorporated the business as the Redman Trailer Company and established their first manufacturing plant in an Alma, Michigan, pickle factory. Initially, eight men on two production lines produced four to five trailers weekly. In the 1940s sales increased when the firm developed a significantly longer trailer than others in the industry.

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During World War II Redman received government contracts to construct military equipment and housing, ammunition trailers, and hospital units, though the government eventually curtailed trailer home manufacture due to shortages of steel, copper, aluminum, and rubber.

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Growth resumed after the war, as Redman and others responded to the housing shortage caused by soldiers returning from war. In 1953, when the company took the name New Moon Homes in response to the success of its New Moon brand units, it also began to advertise nationally in major magazines, replacing the concept of trailers with the new idea of mobile homes.

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Redman Homes, also known as the Redman Trailer Company, New Moon Homes, and Redman Industries, a multi-divisional corporation with headquarters in Dallas, is the second largest builder of manufactured housing in the United States. The company also produces and distributes aluminum and wood building components nationwide.
I am amazed that with the large number of these units produced that there are not more of them around. I searched all over the internet and have only found two or three, so I guess there are not many survivors. Here is one I found in NY, it is a 1954 or 1955 New Moon,
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The owners of this fine trailer have kept the colors the same as the one in the movie, FANTASTIC!
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The inside is very clean. I would like to see more retro furnishings but everyone has their own style.
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Kitchen looks great! I wonder if that is the original flooring?
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Overall what a great piece of history to own!
Source:
http://www.americanrvcompany.com/Vintage-Camper-of-the-Week–The-New-Moon_b_56.html
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My Dream Place

Mel and I are looking into purchasing a home in the near future. I have long wanted to have a property that had at least 2-3 acres where I can create my idea of cool guest quarters. I think it would be fantastic to purchase a few large Spartan campers and permanently place them on the property as guest quarters. You can actually find the large Spartan campers on Craigslist occasionally for a reasonable price (I have seen them for $1600, needing interior resto). I think at least three of them would be great. I would have power, water, heating, and cooling hooked up to them. I have also thought this would be a great idea for a motel if you had the space and the access to lots of retro campers. Anyways, I would buy them one at a time and go through them and keep them original on the inside and bring them back to life. When family or friends would come to visit they could have this amazing experience staying in their own spacious camper. This idea really gets my designer and restorer juices flowing. You could even do each one in different themes such as Tiki, diner, Coca-Cola….. the options are endless. Here are a few I would LOVE to get my hands on:

Ok, just imagine, you wake up, grab the paper and a cup of coffee and sit in front of this fantastic window staring out at the coming morning. I love that they made one of the ends all windows.

Look at how long this one is. It would be like living in your own flat. Once the camper was jacked up and permanently parked I would plant shrubbery and flowers around it with a walk out deck.

I love when these are all shined up. I would make sure I had enough polish on hand to keep them shinning like a new penny.

Not all the Spartans were huge. This one seems to be a smaller one but still would be great as a guest house.

Imagine the privacy your guests would have. I could just imagine doing your dishes as you look out over the property.

Here is a shot of the interior of a spartan from 1959.

Here is a shot of the chandelier in the same kitchen in the above ad. This photo is of a Spartan that requires restoration.

As you can see from the photos below they had many different arrangements in these fantastic campers.I would keep everything original. I would even try to  find period furniture and appliances with a functioning retro television. I would want my guests to feel like they had stepped back in time.

The great thing about these campers is that the paneling had a really warm glow to it. If I am not mistaken I think the paneling was birch paneling. I love the varnish on them and how the light just shinned. Here are some examples of what the paneling can look like when re-finished, or if it has been taken care of.

It looks like gold and makes me feel so welcome.

It would be great sitting there and reading Atomic Ranch magazine.

Look how the wood shines

The counters look great!

Someone loves Jim Reeves. Look at the cute sitting area.

Here is one that looks like a new deck has been added.

I hope to one day realize this dream. It will not be anytime soon but I will not get discouraged. I will make sure that whatever home we buy allows me an area to make this a reality. I hope all of you think it is cool idea as well.

P.S.

Our good friends Ms. Adventure and Sheri let us know of “Shady Dell“, it is located in Arizona and they have put the idea of a hotel with trailers & a yacht into action. Kate of the B-52’s also has a spot in New York called “Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel“. Thanks Ms. Adventure & Sheri!

Vintage Trailers

OMG! A 1960 Holiday House, must have…….sigh

Check this out!

Summer is here and that means one thing……its time to explore the great outdoors. If you are fortunate to own a vintage camper then I envy you. My step-father and I tried to restore a 1968 Aristocrat camper and it became a money pit, plus there was soo much rot from water damage we had to abandon the process. I know from experience it is cheaper to buy a restored camper then it is to do a full restoration. If you are thinking of getting one of the many vintage campers that you see on Craigslist then keep that in mind.

Nearest I can tell the first camper hit the road around 1913. The idea of having a house on wheels that let you bring all the comforts of home grew momentum over the years. People enjoyed exploring the wild parts of America and building memories that would last. I am especially fond of the ones from the 1950’s and the 1960’s. In my humble opinion that was the zenith of style and design.

Anyways I wanted to show a few that I like and were restored by their owners. These folks did a marvelous job and I am sure these campers turn everyone’s head .

Click on images to enlarge

1948 Sportsman

1955 Shasta…….wow

This 1957 Shasta really sends me! The red just pops!

1956 Spartan Royal Mansion

If this wets your appetite for a vintage camper there is a movie that will really fire it up. The 1953 all time classic and favorite of vintage camper lovers “The Long, Long  Trailer”! It stars one of our favorite couples, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. This is a great flick about the pluses and minuses of owning a camper. They keep you laughing with their antics and the situations they get them selves into. Here is the trailer (no pun intended) for the movie.

Sources:

http://amysvintagetrailers.blogspot.com

http://www.vintagetrailercrazy.com/id4.html

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