While camping at lovely Old Fort Worden RV Park in Port Townsend, Washington last year, I repeatedly passed a most delightful-looking trailer. Each time I passed the wood and tin creation, I became more and more mesmerized by its beauty.
Finally waiting until a decent hour of mid-morning one day, I mustered the nerve to walk up and tap on the upper portion of the two-part door. A pleasant man answered and within seconds he was telling me about the 20-foot custom travel trailer that he had built himself.
C. L. Flint is a carpenter that lived in Port Townsend for thirty years before illness and the recession got the better of him. He explained how his house had become worth dramatically less than what was owed for it, then how he had lost his house after becoming sick and being without health insurance or work.
“I already had the trailer to built upon.” I must have stood with my mouth open in awe because he went on to explain “I designed it on paper first. If you can draw it, you can make it.”
“It took me six months and $10,000 to build it.” C. L. seemed genuinely proud of his trailer. “It’s light weight and has no frame. It’s build with quarter-inch plywood and has one-inch Styrofoam insulation.”
First C. L. showed me the outside of his creation. An outdoor shower (that he had yet to use), a mounted barbeque and character galore. “Loaded it weighs 5,375 pounds,” he shared. “Less than a small Airstream.”
Inside C. L. confesses “I built this trailer for my seven-foot leather couch.” There tucked to one side of the trailer was the black sofa that looked perfectly in place in the tiny abode. He explained how he had had to hold on to something from the life he had known.
C. L. goes on to explain how he made the trailer like a boat. “I used bent plywood to make it stronger, more rigid.” My eyes scanned the trailer’s interior. It reminded me more of a cabin in the woods than the modern travel trailers that I had become accustomed to seeing. Historical photographs lined C. L.’s walls. Vintage-looking bottles, dishes and containers sat on the shelves the man had designed for holding remnants of his stuff.
How do you do in the winter in this? I asked. C. L. said that he loves Havasu. He planned to haul the trailer south before too long with his Ford F150 heavy half-ton, 5.4 liter gas engine truck. After taking a good many photos and a little video of C. L.’s home, I bid him good-bye and good luck and felt grateful to have met the man. (To see a short video of C.L. and his travel trailer, go to my video.)