1956 Stewart Double Decker

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Jaie
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:32 pm
Location: Oswego NY

Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:32 pm

OK, so I've been here a while, but haven't posted in a while.

So I met this guy recently, and I happen to mention I'm into things like vintage campers and trailers, and he says "oh, really, I've got a 1956 Stewart". And of course, I knew instantly what he meant, but I'd never heard of one on the east coast, never mind Upstate NY so I kinda called BS. Next thing I know, he's sent a picture of it in his yard.

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As you can imagine, I nearly fell in love right then and there. (with the trailer anyhow)

But, then I got to go check it out, and inside? It's even better.

So, there's good news and bad news with this place, and I've since had a chance to look it over a bit more (but didn't take pictures, I'll do that later)

But before I go on to that, this is what a Stuart in great condition looks like. http://flytecamp.com/vintage-trailers-f ... ecker.html

Alright, on to the pictures. Now, this place sat in a low area on the property for years apparently, until last year, then when the area began to get swampy,the owner yanked the trailer out and put it near the house on higher ground.

This is the front door, looking in towards the stairs, I'm 5'6 and the owner is nearly 6', and you have plenty of head clearance, I'd say upstairs I have as much as 6", possibly more.
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You go up the stairs, and to the left is the smaller bedroom, with a half bath which, is supposed to be behind that curtained area, but I have no idea of the condition at this time. (you'll hear that a lot for a minute, I'm sure I'll have better pictures as things go)

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Owner said that the half bath was not in there (I think anyhow), but until I get in there, I can't tell what's in there besides a lot of junk.

To the right, is the master bedroom. I have to say, all three bedrooms are in excellent shape, there are some weak points in floors, but compared to my 1989, they're actually vastly better.

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Storage all over the place, I didn't even get pictures of the front hall where there are cabinets above the front door.

This is the downstairs bedroom, if you look to the left near the stairs, it is under the master bedroom, there are two sort of ship cabin beds that will hold single mattresses.

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Again, the room was so full of stuff, I couldn't even get real close to the door.

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The bathroom, the walls look good of what I can see, but again, so filled with "stuff" I have no idea what fixtures are in there, if any.
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Looking back towards the front door.
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Now the bad news.

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This is the kitchen/living area, it's 100% gutted. Luckily, there are no leaks, and any missing windows are covered. There was a structural issue, but apparently when him and a buddy lifted this part of the roof to fix some supports, all the rivets popped back into place. I went around it a couple of times and didn't see any sign of water damage inside, it's just gutted.


The only things structurally that have been done that made me sorta twitch, was that he removed the back door because it was so rough, and popped in a window instead, and a front window has been removed from the jalousie style to a modern window. I've convinced him that if I can find some jalousie windows and fix the missing pieces from the other windows, to keep the jalousie windows.

It's actually not as bad as I was figuring on, the bedrooms and hall really just need cleaning, and some touching up of things like the railings, and seeing just how bad the floors actually are, if they need total replacing or can just have some sections replaced.

The front room is obviously hosed. Good news is, the original stove is actually there, the fridge wasn't, but that stove being there is actually a big deal.

So, lots of work ahead of the owner, but I told him I'd happily give him a hand, (who wouldn't) and I'm hoping this will be a constructive summer project and can't wait to start on it.

But, I figured if anyone could appreciate this place, it'd be you guys, and yes, I'll keep updating as I can.


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Greg
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Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:33 pm

So is this going to be a travel trailer, camp or home? Ya, I think there is a lot of work ahead but it is doable.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

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Jaie
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:32 pm
Location: Oswego NY

Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:35 pm

No solid plans just yet, although mine are to at least make it haulable, I had a look under it yesterday, every tire has to be replaced, but the frame is fine, although I'd be happier to see the footers replaced and covered properly. There's some semi new ones on there in front, but they've already had some exposure damage going on.

And yeah, it's totally doable, the bedroom end being as good as it is, really takes a lot off the entire thing, and in a way, it's better that the main room is gutted. Makes life easier.

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Greg S
Posts: 541
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:13 am
Location: Kingston Ontario Canada

Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:31 am

It's a major monstrosity to be considering hauling around as a RV but once fixed up could possibly make for a good hunting camp.
Not something neighbors would want to see parked next door that's for sure.
An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses. (Anton LaVey)

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Jaie
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:32 pm
Location: Oswego NY

Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:21 pm

If you look at the link I gave, these are hauled around very easily and are in fact, the precursor to the 5th wheel campers. When purchased new back in the day, for $10,000, you didn't get a home loan for one, you got an auto loan. (then insured for $20k and burned it down and built a house)

As for it's looks, I think it's pretty cool and people would actually be fine with seeing a restored double decker trailer next to them, especially a restored one :)


1987Commodore
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:53 pm
Location: Steuben County, NY

Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:49 pm

I'd like that! It doesn't look even as high as some of the new fifth wheels.

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Jaie
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:32 pm
Location: Oswego NY

Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:46 pm

1987Commodore wrote:It doesn't look even as high as some of the new fifth wheels.

I honestly don't think it is. I need to crack out the big tape and see exactly what the deal is, but I'm guessing you'd have pretty easy bridge or overpass clearance.

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Greg S
Posts: 541
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:13 am
Location: Kingston Ontario Canada

Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:02 am

As for it's looks, I think it's pretty cool and people would actually be fine with seeing a restored double decker trailer next to them, especially a restored one

Old restored items are usually pretty cool however looks are subjective. For me this one is too large to be attractive and style wise not very appealing.
It would admittedly be an attention getter restored and in a RV park somewhere but I would defiantly not allow it next door to my house. A restored airstream trailer on the other hand would be a different story. They are the Cadillac of restorable old RVs.
An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses. (Anton LaVey)

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Jaie
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:32 pm
Location: Oswego NY

Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:25 pm

Luckily, not everyone sees it like that :) and in fact, many would be very happy to see this trailer given that there only a couple hundred in the entire US that are even known about (I've only found 3 physical examples on the entire www), this one wasn't known about until pretty recently. Given the giant trend towards a couple of things, vintage and the tiny home movement, this trailer couldn't be more trendy if it tried.

As they say "de gustibus non est disputandum", and luckily for those of us who enjoy the more unique vintage trailers, there is a huge fan base for these double deckers.

mattjslaunwhite
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:19 am
Location: nova scotia, canada

Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:55 am

im with you and who cares what others say, if you like it then thats all that matters, everyone told me my MH was to far gone and im proving them wrong on it, helps when you can do 100% of the work yourself
"The only thing impossible is being impossible itself" - my life motto

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Jaie
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:32 pm
Location: Oswego NY

Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:41 pm

I've seen some pretty far gone trailers come up amazingly, the same guy who owns this has another 77 spartan, I need to look closer at it, but he's giving heavy sighs because I think I like it nearly as much as the Stewart.

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