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1968 Sears Tent Trailer 'Granpa-Campa' Build


jpnjim
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Table Of Contents

 

Page 1

Introduction, first pics, and list of issues

Watersealing & patching

Scans of original paperwork

 

Page 2

Exact same camper in California

First camping pics!

(& towing with XJ pics)

Edgestar Refrigerator

 

Page 3

Edgestar woes

Underside pics

Great-great-grandpaCamper pics

 

 

 

 

 

 

I bought this a few weeks ago, and have been trying to get it ready for a little late season camping:

 

It's a 1968 Sears brand tent trailer,

bare bones, basically a utility trailer, with sleep area's that slide out, and a tent that fits over it all.

 

Closed up the trailer is 5'x6.5'.

Opened, it's 14'x6.5'.

 

It's actually pretty roomy inside for a such a small trailer (whole thing is probably ~250lbs):

My son was quick to set up 'The Museum' as soon as the canvas was up.

 

As far as 'the bad' goes,

one side had some pretty severe 'canvas rot' to deal with:

 

and there was a little wood damage, and resulting 'frame' issue:

notice door gap:

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Part of the gap problem was loose screws, and the buckled wood behind the box:

 

I tightened the box side down with fresh, stainless hardware (I used shorter screws after I got it sucked back down):

and added a support behind the box, to bring the wood back where it should be:

(support was later painted to match box).

 

I also had to cut out & replace a small section of rotted wood at the front of the trailer,

I capped the replaced wood off with a chunk of diamond plate, so it's stronger than it was originally (no pics of that yet).

 

For 'the good',

it came with a massive 'add a room' that doubles the size of the whole thing to around a 14'x14' total footprint:

 

edit, new name for build. :thumbsup:

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:popcorn:

 

What did that run ya?

 

Rob L.

 

I knew I was going to buy it as soon as I saw the CL ad,

was just old & cool enough that I wouldn't have been able to pass, unless it was falling apart.

 

He was asking $500.

We settled on $475.

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I did a 'water soak test' to see how good/bad the canvas was at repelling water:

 

'bad side' did pretty poorly:

 

'good side' did pretty well, except for around the zippers, and part of the white section:

 

Went a little crazy with the iron, some new canvas, and iron on patch 'stuff':

 

and it came out better than I thought it would.

 

While we had the iron on stuff out,

we fixed the SEARS badge:

 

and added a much needed touch after 42 years without one:

 

 

 

I bought a white 15 x 20 tarp to go over the whole thing (if it rains hard enough), and a brown 9 x 16 tarp for the 'floor' of the add a room.

 

Got it registered legal like, and hope to put it to good use soon.

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As a kid my parents bought a new Apache pop up. I think that was in 1964 or 65. My dad liked it because he could pack all our stuff inside of it instead of the car. That and he could pull into a camp ground and have camp set up in about 5 minutes. We enjoyed used that thing for many years before some of the brackets and hinges bent and gave way.

After getting married and having our own kids I bought a used Apache pop up. We used it till the kids got big enough to want their own little tents. I later traded it for a 3 wheeler. Now that the wife and I arent getting any younger, I wish I had another one to sleep in instead of in a tent on an air mattress.

 

Nice find. I'm sure you'll get years of use out of it.

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I'm glad you guys 'get' this. :yes:

 

I'm starting to enjoy the mixed look of confusion, and pity when I tell *people* I bought a 1968 tent trailer. :clapping:

 

Typical answer:

Oh, um, that's great, um....... did you say you BOUGHT a nineteen SIXTY eight trailer?!? :rotfl2:

 

 

 

Here's some closed up shots,

The previous owner had the cover redone (in white, as the original was),

the little guy & I were trying to clean some water spots, and light staining off it.

 

 

There's some creasing on one body side panel, and some surface rust on the crossmembers.

I'm going to try for some Fall camping in it first, then maybe change the plywood & POR-15 the frame work in the off season.

 

The paint & decals are decent for their age, but looking at the color on the inside, the orange-red body was more red than orange when new.

 

Here's a couple more with the add-a-room set up:

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The previous owner (Tim) was great to deal with, and even printed me up some high quality scans of the (impossible to find) owners manual, directions & parts sheet. :bowdown:

 

Without posting the whole book,

here's some of the cooler pages:

 

 

jamminz.gif

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That thing is SWEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I wish I could find one in that good of shape...

 

But a 5 foot by 6.5" box... with a rear entry... that is perfect sized for an MJ bed replacement...

 

Sounds like you need one of these:

 

http://www.roamingtimes.com/rvreports/2 ... amper.aspx

 

livin-lite-truck-camper-exterior.jpg

 

:thumbsup:

 

It takes up most of the bed, but atleast you can still see out the back:

 

exterior-closed.jpg

 

quicksilver-truck-camper-specs.gif

 

Another version, that fits in a rugged utility trailer:

http://www.buylifetime.com/Products/BLT/PID-65043.aspx

 

65043-lgOverlayLeftMiddleWatermarkLeftTop.jpg

65043-02.jpg

 

 

 

 

Then there's the ultimate MJ Camper:

http://www.roamingtimes.com/rvreports/n ... amper.aspx

Pod made for a flatbed:

northstar-escape-pod-exterior.jpg

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As a kid my parents bought a new Apache pop up. I think that was in 1964 or 65. My dad liked it because he could pack all our stuff inside of it instead of the car. That and he could pull into a camp ground and have camp set up in about 5 minutes. We enjoyed used that thing for many years before some of the brackets and hinges bent and gave way.

After getting married and having our own kids I bought a used Apache pop up. We used it till the kids got big enough to want their own little tents. I later traded it for a 3 wheeler. Now that the wife and I arent getting any younger, I wish I had another one to sleep in instead of in a tent on an air mattress.

 

Nice find. I'm sure you'll get years of use out of it.

 

Once I had my mind set on checking this one out, I started searching for info.

 

There's not much real info out there on the Sears Trailers,

but the Apache's have a huge following, message boards, etc.

Seems like they're still considered the gold standard of this type of trailer.

 

Got any pics?

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Last post for tonight,

seems 99% sealed up now (soaked it down tonight),

 

and I ordered a dent & scratch 86 Qt EdgeStar 12v/120v refrig/freezer.

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... K:MEWNX:IT

FP860_dt.jpg

I only hope it's not to big once it's on the floor of the trailer (20.9"h x 28.7"w x 23.62"d)

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Sounds like you need one of these:

 

...some really cool, but unbelievably expensive tents and campers

 

I'm a Jeep owner...Spending 3 or 4k for a camper for my $500 Jeep isn't gonna happen.

 

And that slide-in for Flatbeds.... 20k! :fool:

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Dangit, I'm broke and look at what you made me go off and start lookin for!!!!

 

1966 Nimrod Tent Trailer :fs1:

 

http://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/rvs/1899947120.html

 

3ne3kd3l65Y65V25Z0a8f89c9ded94b911626.jpg

 

3nc3p13l15Y65Z05P3a8f2bec9b0c54701cb9.jpg

 

sorry ;)

 

(now go buy it :yes: )

 

I like that it has new canvas,

but the pictures don't make it look like the trailer part was stored/taken care of so well.

 

I'd ask to see what it looks like set up (if the new canvas had to be custom made, you'd want to make sure it's gonna fit the frame).

 

 

Honestly tho, sometimes the new canvas's look even better than the originals,

this guy had a Sears redone in OD, and looks awesome:

http://www.rv.net/cforum/Index.cfm/fuse ... 114916.cfm

:thumbsup:

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I figure, on my trip to GA coming soon, and return to TX, then back to GA, it would pay for itself in hotel rooms. Although I might be a bit stinky. I was an Infantryman for 12 years so I can deal with stinky since there's no shower....unless I got one of those hang up bag showers. Maybe I'll camp at a KOA, they have showers....anyway, I emailed them....still waiting for a reply.

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Well, the 'Granpar-Campar' went on it's maiden voyage.

 

We got to the campsite ~9pm Friday night (pics make it look brighter/earlier for some reason),

took about 20 minutes to pick a spot for the trailer, level the box & pop the camper.

Then about another 20 minutes to set everything up inside.

 

The view from site was great

 

In the morning we set up the add-a-room:

 

Actually need to buy some more campin' furnature to fill the thing. :yes:

I'm gonna get a cot for this side

& build a little table to go infront of the (orange) 'box':

 

just gonna leave this side alone, and enjoy the space:

 

Best sleep I've gotten camping since I was a little kid

(messy sleeping area, with all the comforts of home here):

 

Definitely happy with it. :thumbsup:

 

The campsite being so cool didn't hurt either

 

Lots, and lots of 'friendly critters' that were nice enough to clean off the table for us during a quick walk to the park :doh:

 

Then made sure we stopped at Tractor Supply for a deeper drop hitch

before heading back home

 

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

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and I ordered a dent & scratch 86 Qt EdgeStar 12v/120v refrig/freezer.

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... K:MEWNX:IT

FP860_dt.jpg

I only hope it's not to big once it's on the floor of the trailer (20.9"h x 28.7"w x 23.62"d)

 

Welp, I got it today,

and it's BIG :rotf:

 

There's the $250 dent ($379 dented vs $625ish undented) on the edge of the lid.

 

 

 

 

 

And when your not camping with it, you can set it to the perfect beer temperature. :yes:

 

If it ever stops pouring raining here, I'll see how it fits in the camper.

 

There's another one on Ebay now if anyone else is interested:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0485160877

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