Well, I am officially the new owner of a 1966 Kodiak 15" Trailer Camper. A friend of mine had bought it to fix it up, and got it for a steal. Apparently, he decided sometime after that - I would probably fix it up better than he could, so he up and GAVE it to me for my birthday.
A few introductory questions.
(1) I have looked for this camper online and have not been able to find it. Any tips on where I might locate that information? Again, it is a 1966 Kodiak 15" Trailer Camper. Body "CT" Model "TL"
(2) Before I sink money into this thing, how do I determine if it is worth my time, energy and effort? I'm not going to RESTORE it to sell, I am going to fix it up for me. I have a range of fantasies currently, ranging from relatively minor changes and using is as is - to completely gutting it, working on it as a project, and doing a simple reconstruction of the interior.
(3) What category should I post in on these forums?
I think that I would invest as little as possible, to make it liveable. You have a trailer that is probably worth a few hundred bucks, and even if you spend thousands to make it look as if it came off the show room floor, it's still never going to be worth the investment. It's not like an old Model A Ford.
Even if you just make it liveable, you will probably spend more than it's worth, but you'll have yourself something to start your adventures. It will give you the opportunity to see what you like and want in an RV for the future.
Sure, you are excited, and have big plans, but you'll do a lot better to take it slow and easy....this site is full of folks, with good intentions, who tore into an RV with the same idealistic plans, only to end up with a pile of trash, and never get the chance to even go camping in it.
At the worst, fix the things you have to fix now, then camp in it for the rest of this season...THEN, if you want to tear it apart, go for it...but at least it will be less of an impulse decision.
As to where to find information? You have come to the right spot. Plus, you may want to see about contacting RV museums, who might have information on the older RVs. Not sure how much they would have, but it's worth a try. Google is usually helpful, but you may have to go about it from a back-door type....looking for older trailers and such. Then there are various "Classic Trailer" groups such as the "Tin Can" club (I've forgotten the exact name, but saw a show about them on TV a while back)...again Google is your friend.
Your final question about where to post....
It will depend. If you read the description of the various Posting sites, you can pretty much figure out what is what. They don't like you to post the same question to multiple threads, though you may want to try different ones every few days, if you don't seem to be getting much of a response in a particular one. If you check to see what the various threads seem to be writing about, you will get a feel for what is what, and may even want to Private Message some of the folks there, that seem to be in similar situations, or have knowledge that you could glean from.
I read "Newest", instead of the individual forums, because it gives me an easier chance to see what is happening over the entire forum, and then may go to the Class C or Pets or whatever if I have a more focused interest.
Oh yeah.....Post some pictures!!!
Good Luck and Happy Camping
* This post was
edited 07/10/12 04:52pm by PapPappy *
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It's like restoring a classic car...if you include your time in the calculations you'll never see a profit unless you happen upon the one person with lots of money who has always wanted a 15ft 1966 Kodiak. Chances are if you only calculate the parts needed to restore it you won't make a dime.
My goal is definitely to NOT spend thousands of dollars. Not that kind of remodel, by any means. I would like to put new hardware and formica on all the cabinets. I would also like to put in new flooring. My woodworking skills are such that a complete REPLACEMENT of the cabinets would be completely doable and probably save time and money over refinishing the existing. Plus, that would replace the flooring throughout, including in the closets and storage nooks, instead of leaving the old stuff in there.
But yeah, no plans are concrete, and I'm here to get a bunch of ideas to take forward.
Chances are if you only calculate the parts needed to restore it you won't make a dime...
Understood. Other than the tires I am about to buy for it, I don't have a dime in it. Beyond this, I am not restoring it to sell it. I want something for me and for my small family to extend our camping two months a year, just to get out into the woods and enjoy life a little bit more.
That and on those rare occasions when my wife sends me to the sofa, I'll just go hang out in my trailer instead.
If you've purchased an RV for an investment for a future profit, you've picked the wrong product to invest in. BUT, if you've purchased the RV for your OWN investment, you can't put enough financially into it! Make it comfortable for YOU at the cost you're willing to invest, and the rest of the world can go take a leap! It's your camper, make it fit your individuality and be happy and proud as a bed-bug with it!
You probably will not know the extent you'll need to invest financially until you sink your teeth into the work. By then it may be too late. What started as a simple fix may lead to something that's connected to it and that's connected to something else, and that to something else. Next thing you know is, what started as a simple swap-out, ends up removing an entire wall and rebuilding it! So be prepared to go the distance and if the distance is too far, be willing to dump it all and cut your losses. You'll never recoup your costs, even with a "free" camper. So, whatever you do, do it for yourself and make yourself happy with it.
Chances are, you'll not be able to find manufacture replacement parts.Hopefully, you have good imagination and carpentry skills, and a good idea of where things are located at the local Lowe's Home Improvement store! Improvise, improvise, improvise, and you can restore the camper, although it may not end up looking like it came from the factory. It may look like a hodge podge of modern building materials and miss-matched hardware. But that's OK if all you want is a functional, comfortable little camper to keep the wind and rain out, and something you can sleep in on fishing trips.
You need to first identify what you REALLY want to do with the camper. Use it like a hunter hut and park it permanently in the woods never to move again, or travel coast-to-coast. Keep your goal in mind, you want a fun little camper just for YOU.
If your repairs must come in small chunks instead of one huge project all at once, then focus on road worthiness first (tires, frame, electrical, hitching stuff). Second - construction so it won't fall apart the first time it's towed across the driveway, Third focus on weatherproofing from the outside elements to protect everything inside. Fourth, whatever "conveniences" are inside the camper, make sure they are sound and functional, including electrical wiring. (to enjoy camping, you really do not need electricity running through the camper. You can always just stick and extension cord through the window and plug in the coffee pot! So, "convenience" (water, drains, electrical, lighting, refrigerator, heat all come next. Last: cosmetics. make it look pretty for YOU.
I helped my in-laws restore a 1970 Teri 15 foot TT. They gutted the thing completely out and started over. It came out pretty good, but nothing that would make Better Homes and Garden Magazine (or Trailer Life). But when it was done, it was a functional camper that provided shelter and a bed, and LOTS of fun on the road for them.
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to enjoy camping, you really do not need electricity running through the camper...
I'm with you, brother. Never even had a camper before now, I was a TENT guy.
The way I look at this, the camper is a way to haul all my crap, to sleep inside when it's colder, but I am NOT a hookup (electricity) kind of camper! Nor will I become one. A pox on those of you with DirecTV!
Well, to each his own, but I never see myself flying that way.
Is your frame solid? We started in a hand-me-down pop-up, ended up having to bring it to the junk yard because the frame cracked. Before you make any upgrades make sure your frame is solid, and will remain so for the time-frame you intend to use it. Also make sure that it is water tight and that there isn't old water damage that should be fixed. Again, a lesson learned on one of our past trailers.
Once you have determined that upgrade it to what you want and how you will use it. Might be best to take a trip or two with it before making upgrades to see what will be the move useful for you.
You mentioned flooring, is it going to withstand the wear or it is going to end up getting damaged first trip? (Just an example)
You also mentioned counter-tops and your ability to build. You may want to use the counters as is for a trip or two and see if there are modifications you want to make. Pop-up counter tops tend to be lower then standard kitchen counters. If you are crafty enough you may end up wanting to figure out a way to redo the counter tops so they are higher. (Just another idea)
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