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Pete’s 1964 Shasta trailer — an Astroflyte — a gorgeous restoration

Since pretty much Day #1 of this blog, readers have been hocking me to write about restoring vintage travel trailers. Just like remodeling a midcentury house, right? Except all the rooms — kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom — are all crammed into one small space, on wheels, and you get to go on vacation in it.

shasta trailer restored interior So here I am, finally, with a story — and it’s a fabulous one: Reader Pete shows us his 1964 Shasta Astroflyte travel trailer, which he gut-renovated inside and out. Wow, you must admit this baby has the va va voom goin’ on! Click on through to read Pete’s story…and to get to links of more photos chronicling the entire restoration process.
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Shasta interior restoredPete writes:
Hi Pam,
About five years ago we (wife Cindy, daughter Charlotte and Lane) were in the North Georgia mountains near Clayton, Ga., and I saw this strange looking trailer parked in the Walmart parking lot. It had large silver wings on the back, and I thought it looked awesome. Being a fan of late 50’s early 60’s cars with fins (I have a 1961 Comet) I did a u-turn in the street and pulled into the Walmart to take a look. It was an early 60’s Shasta Airflyte. After marveling over it, my wife and I decided that one day we would get one of these.
pete working on the shasta trailerAfter doing months of research on all types of vintage trailers, we decided that we had to have a Shasta with wings, so we found one on Craigslist in Virginia. It was not an Airflyte but a 1964 Astroflyte, which is just like the Airflyte but it has a cabover to sleep two more people, which we needed with our family of four. Living in Atlanta I didn’t go up to Virginia to look at it (mistake), but had it shipped down. I knew that it would be a restoration and would be in rough shape, but when the courior pulled up to the house and we walked in the trailer, we were horrified. It was totally trashed. Dead mice on the floor, infested with ants, and the biting stink bugs were all over the place. It stunk like nothing else and rotted wood was everywhere.
Renovation in progress. Look familiar to RR readers?

I thought, “I just spent $1,200 on this.” We talked about selling it, but I decided to give a restoration a try. I’m a mechanic at Delta Air Lines and like working of things, but I’ve never restored anything of this magnitude. I worked on the weekend shift, so I had four days off during to week to work on it. A year and a half and $6,000 later it was all finished as of June of this year.

shasta astroflyteWe have camped in the North Georgia state parks about six times and LOVE the trailer.  It really gets a lot of attention, and it is great, inexpensive activity to bring the family together. On Wednesday we take our longest trip yet to Disney World Fort Wilderness and are really looking forward to it.
Shasta Astroflyte 1964
The Shasta Astroflyte all set up at Disney World Fort Wilderness. Don’t try to tell me you don’t Wish You Were Here!

[Update: Photo live from Disney World, provided Friday, above. – Pam]

Restoring this trailer is the best decision we have made. It’s not perfect and I make plenty of mistakes but we enjoy it. I received a lot of help from the internet, especially Repairing Yesterday Travel Trailers.

Congoleum vinyl-type tile

Thanks to YOU for giving me the flooring idea [slubby retro Congoleum tiles] !

1964 Shasta Astroflyte restoration
What an amazing job, Pete — thank you. And I have to say, this is yet another example of: Disasters make for better stories. I love, also, how you talk about how the trailer brings the family together. It’s those trips in the vintage trailer that the girls will remember — not more toys.

How many readers have a dream to buy and restore a vintage travel trailer? (Me!)
Or do you have one already?

  1. Pete Whitley says:

    Thanks Bill. The new 1961 Shasta reissue that Pam mentioned is one option. They are limited edition and getting snapped up so if you want to go this route act quick. This is another new one to consider.

    http://www.riversidervs.net/

    If you want a restored original there are several places to look. If you want to buy an unrestored vintage trailer and want someone to restore it for you there I can guide you in the right direction. Plan on spending $15,000-$20,000 for a new vintage style trailer and $20,000 plus to have someone professionally restore the trailer of you dreams for you.

  2. Carol says:

    Pete, That is exactly what we did! We used rustoleum in the gallon container. It has been through so many car washes and looks great. It turns green with pollen and tree sap and washes right off. We also used silver rustoleum around the windows and for the Z stripe. We have a Westerner. From 10 feet away, it looks like a body shop painted it. Up close there is a little bit of texture. It’s perfectly fine with me considering the thousands we saved.

  3. Pete Whitley says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    Believe it or not I’m just seeing this, lol. If you need any help please give me a shout. I’m in Sharpsburg very close to the where the Tyrone Vintage Trailer show was held.

    Pete

  4. vickie clark says:

    My dream for about 15 years was to buy and fix a vintage trailer. I was finally able to afford one 2 years ago. It’s been alot of fun and i love owning mine. We haven’t taken her on a road trip yet as the underside wasn’t done when we bought it. My husband is planning on fixing it this summer. Maybe then we will try her out. In the meantime….. she’s a fun place to visit out under my mullberry tree!

  5. Bernie hutter says:

    Beautiful vintage camper you have there . I bought one on E bay about 5 years ago but haven’t gotten to restore it yet . It’s a 1956 Playette . about 13 feet long bumper to ball hitch . I love the 50 ‘s and 60’s retro stuff . I hope to get it done this year and hook it up behind my 1959 Ford Galaxie convertible . I plan on painting it like yours Aqua and white to match my 59 ford . Thanks for sharing your story and pictures .

  6. Shane fales says:

    I have a 64 shasta 16 ft that I’m resorting now.im putting cedar tung and groove walls and changed the doors and an out to put selves in it

  7. Tony Bodde says:

    nice job Pete, How many gallons of white did it take for the astroflyte? I’m finally starting on my 63 astroflyte. Thanks

  8. Denise Sims says:

    Hi Peter,
    My husband and I love your camper! We are not quite sure what year Shasta camper we have. We have searched and looked through so many images and we are unable to find any that have the same floor plan as ours. There are many things we would like to do to it…but for the most part it is all original, down to some of the lights that still have the lantern mantle thingy! We love it and have used it for several years now and are just finding out what a jewel we have. Our camper at one time had the wings but previous owner must have taken them off. This is something we are very anxious to replace. We are in the Augusta, GA area so…not to far from you. Any info would be appreciated.

  9. Margaret Goehring says:

    Hello Denise, I was reading this article and saw your comment and wanted to see if I could help you. I don’t have a Shasta, but I am in the middle of restoring a vintage trailer, a 1957 Westerner Deluxe 15′. I belong to a forum similar to Repairing Yesterday’s Trailers, that Pete got all his help from, I belong to Vintage Trailer Talk. There are lots of Shasta owners on the forum as it used to be the Shasta forum. You might want to check it out. We have a member who would be able to tell you the year of your trailer if you have your serial number.

    Anyhow, have you searched ebay for the wings? Original ones come up every so often, but there are remakes posted all the time. Also, this guy makes beautiful reproductions for sale, http://nastyshasty.blogspot.com/search/label/WINGS%20-%20For%20Sale%20%28Shasta%29 , hope that helps.

  10. Patti says:

    Pete,
    I just purchased a 1964 Trotwood Lark, also with an overhang. I have a question when restoration is not feasible, do you feel renovation is still ok. This trailer was used as a hunting lodge for several years, and had already had many changes done to it. Most of the original fixtures are long gone. I would love to fix it up, and update the kitchen area. still preserving the “feel” of the original. Although I have found nothing on what the originals looked like inside or out.

  11. Jammi says:

    Do you have any picks of the bathroom area? It looks as if a built in porta potty is in closet, but hard to tell. Having one done RIGHT now for me and I really, really wanted a porta closet, but she nor I can figure it out since it sits above the wheel well. Help! :/

  12. April mozingo says:

    We have a 1969 yellowstone camper and we have done some repairs on it but the only thing that we need to replace is the door we have sreached and sreached so I’m asking for some help to find one so if you or anybody else knows where to get one will be greatly appreciated

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