Trailer Tribe - Hidden Treasures
A Gorgeously Rebuilt 1950 Westcraft Coronado Pullman
One day while scouring eBay for vintage trailer goodies, Chuck Miltenberger found an ad for a trailer he wasn’t really interested in, but he noticed the front end of another trailer poking out from behind the barn. Chuck knew it was a 1950 Westcraft Coronado Pullman and he wanted it. He wrote to the seller and asked if it was for sale and got the usual answer we so often hear: “No way; I’m gonna restore that one.” So, Chuck left his number, waited patiently, and about six months later got a call and made a deal.
When he got the trailer home, he found extensive water damage, as the last owner had taken out many of the windows and water flowed freely over the original birch paneling. No matter, as Chuck planned on a complete rebuild, so he gutted the trailer down to the studs.
Chuck said that his first goal while designing the trailer came from his wife, Toni, who wanted a bathroom, so he started with that and went from there. He quickly realized that he couldn’t get the height he needed for a fullsize shower, so he completely rebuilt the entire aluminum frame of the trailer. Of course, the old single-axle undercarriage couldn’t support the weight of all the new additions he planned, so he custom-built a new double axle to his exacting standards. In fact, everything you see in these pictures is new except for some windows and the roof. Chuck is a meticulous craftsman and he just couldn’t get what he wanted using the original materials. What’s amazing is that the trailer looks completely original to the untrained eye.
The blinds are a perfect example of Chuck’s ingenuity, which he custom-built by copying ones he found in a 1941 Westcraft. Of course, he couldn’t just use any wood for the slats, so he bought some old blinds that came out of a 1940s house so he could recycle the basswood slats.
Trying to keep the original look of the trailer while having all the conveniences of a modern RV, Chuck needed to hide the batteries, generator, and propane tanks, so he came up with a very cool cowling to cover everything on the front tongue without having to give up space inside the trailer. There is also a 40-gallon fresh-water tank and 30-gallon black and gray water tanks tucked into the frame.
Everything on the trailer is a work of art, from the hand-formed aluminum bathtub/shower to the cut-down windows, which Chuck created from some of the original windows. All of the woodwork is gorgeous, and Chuck even did the upholstery work himself.
Chuck is a true Renaissance man and is cut from a very special cloth. He reminds us of an early homesteader who could build, fix, or create just about anything they put their mind to, and half the time the materials came from something they had scrounged from the pile out back.
And, yes, Chuck restored the gorgeous 1938 REO truck that he uses to tow the Westcraft!