Our Trailer Renovation

September 23, 2019

Its been a while since I’ve shared a personal post, but our crazy trailer project deserves a blog post all its own!

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably have seen our vintage trailer pop up a couple times. Owning a trailer has been a fun adventure for our family and I want to share the entire story of how we came to own the “1973 Dylan Surfrider!”

Wayyyy back in April 2018, we were on vacation in Hawaii and my husband Sam saw a trailer pop up for sale on Facebook Marketplace. We already co-owned (haha) a 1964 Shasta with my parents, but we had been looking for something to call our own. This trailer on Facebook was a complete mess. It looked like the previous owner had taken a sledgehammer to the inside and then gave up half way through. There was exposed walls, cut wires, trash everywhere… which is why it was only listed for $800. So we messaged the owner and offered her $900 if she would hold it for us until the next week (and of course charmed her with stories of us renovating it and taking our almost-1-year-old camping *someday*). She agreed!

Side note, later that day we got another call… our offer on a house had been accepted!!! Great news, but WHOOPS! We had suddenly bit off a bit more than we could chew.

We picked up the trailer the next week and received a bill of sale scribbled on some scrap paper and a very old title that called the trailer a “1973 Scots.” We did some research and decided our trailer was either one of a kind or someone got the name wrong. So we named her the Dylan Surfrider. An ode to our adventurous little girl and all that fun that awaited our family once we fixed up this tiny home on wheels.

A couple months later we were in our new house (that happened to have a spot to park the trailer, thank goodness!!) and we got to work gutting it fully. On one of the walls there was writing that said “1973 Scotsman” sooo it turns out it did have a real manufacturer and name, but we decided to keep our original name!


The first priorities were to reinforce the structure, re-wire the electrical, and overall make sure it was safe to tow. With my dads help, Sam and I got to work. And then… slowly… stopped working. In all fairness, we were a little busy. We did some home projects when we first moved in, I got pregnant again, we renovated our kitchen; life got in the way! Every once in a while Sam and my dad would do a small project on the weekend but none were really rewarding (aka pretty!!)

Suddenly it was a year later, the trailer was becoming an eye sore in our driveway, and we just wanted it GONE. Our motivation to fix it up was completely gone, but my dad insisted on finishing up a couple little things. The new goal was to at least get some walls up so we could sell it as a blank slate to the new owners.


My dad towed it to his house and finished the insulation, electrical, and then started installing paneling. Then it was kind of pretty… and fun… so Sam joined back in! (Shout out to paternity leave for giving him some extra time haha!!) Sam then built a new kitchenette from scratch and it was so darn pretty we starting thinking maybe we wouldn’t sell it after all.

This was June. We had a dream camping spot with hookups booked in Big Sur for mid-August… The clock was officially ticking!

We framed out a bed and two benches, re-installed the original table with a spray-painted gold leg, installed some vintage mid-century lights we had picked up months ago at a trailer show, then towed her back home! Because it was finally time for the pretty part!! I picked out some vinyl flooring, tile (beautiful, beautiful tile) and we painted some of the interior white and a yellow stripe on the outside. Oh, and not to mention my DIY cushion project where I bought high density foam and wrapped it in batting and then curtains I bought at Homegoods (because it was cheaper than fabric by the yard!). And then I painted the inside of the door with black chalk board paint as a fun little “hey we have kids” addition.

I think the best thing about this project was that we had no idea what we were doing, but we did it anyhow! My dad was there to guide us on some of the bigger tasks, otherwise Sam and I googled and watch Youtube videos to teach ourselves how to DIY everything. We learned how to install tile, paint the exterior, lay flooring… Sam built a freaking kitchen that looks just as beautiful as the one the professional carpenter made in our home!! Also… my DIY cushions turned out pretty comfy so pat-pat on my back too 🙂



Let’s talk dollars!! Here is what we spent on this project for all of those asking:

  • Trailer: $900
  • Registration: $60
  • Rebuilding interior: ~$1000
  • Seal the roof: $300
  • Kitchen DIY: $300
  • Sink: $70
  • Ice box: $180
  • Tile + “sticker” mortar: $50 + $30
  • Vinyl Wood floors: $100
  • Exterior paint: $25
  • Curtains/ fabric: $60
  • Seat cushion foam: $110
  • Bed/ mattress toppers: $100

Grand total= $3,285



And then we were off on our first trip! Big Sur here we come!!



We still have a couple little things left (like installing the faucet, caulking around the tile edges, cabinet hardware, and fixing the bed to make it a big more comfortable) but our first trip was truly unforgettable!!! Looks like we will be keeping ol’ 1973 Dylan Surfrider after all!!

Off to another adventure next weekend!