Shelly and Greg’s 1958 Universal Terra Cruiser trailer — original pink perfection uncovered under 1980s paint


gregIt was quite “the project” when they first bought it, but now Shelly and Greg — along with Looly the Shih-Tzu — love spending time at their 1958 Terra Cruiser Trailer vacation home in Arizona. Their real estate agent recommended they tear it down — but once Shelly and Greg spotted all the pink perfection beneath coats of 1980s paint, they were hooked. 16 bottles of Citristrip later — and this rare trailer is back in original form. And it’s a real beauty!

vintage-love-shack-trailerShelly writes:

Here are photos from my 1958 Universal Terra-Cruiser trailer in Arizona (aka the Love Shack).

midcentury-terra-cruiser-trailer vintage-terra-cruiser-trailerAbout seven years ago we were looking for a cabin in the pines in Arizona. Everything was crazy expensive, but then our realtor said she had a great lot for us. “Never mind the icky old trailer on the property… tear it out and build your dream home!” she gleefully recommended. It was an amazing lot (creek, pines, oaks, fruit trees, etc.) so we sealed the deal, and the newly-dubbed Love Shack was ours.

retro-living-room small-midcentury-couch retro-dinette-setsmall-vintage-dinette-set vintage-rocker-chairretro-end-tableOnce we cleaned heaven-only-knows-how-many-years of grime off every surface imaginable, took out all the kokopellis and navy blue *everything*, we started noticing the trailer’s charms… birchwood paneling, groovy original hardware throughout, jalousie windows, etc.

vintage-pink-trailer-kitchen vintage-pink-stove midcentury-kitchenMost importantly, however — the smidge of pink peeking out from under the white paint that covered the toilet, sinks (bath + kitchen), tub, shower surround, kitchen backsplash, and gas stove. After about 16 bottles of citristrip (and many scraped knuckles), we uncovered gleaming, mostly pristine pink 1958 beauty!

[Editor’s note: Precautionary Pam reminds: Readers, there can be vintage nastiness such as lead paint and asbestos in the layers of our vintage homes. Be sure to consult with your own properly licensed professional to be sure what you have so that you can make informed decisions before remodeling. Be Safe / Renovate Safe. ]

retro-terra-cruiserI posted some pictures of the place on the internet, and the very knowledgeable and helpful trailer expert Juergen Eichermuller pointed out that it was a Universal Terra-Cruiser model, and quite a gem at that. Even had a “how much do you want for it?” purchase offer from someone!

vintage-slubby-floor-tileWe decided then to fully embrace the original vibe of the place. Hubs pulled up the living room carpet to reveal the original vinyl flooring (light brown with neopolitan ice cream-colored streaks). It had sustained some water damage in places, so he rooted around inside cabinets, under the bed, etc. to find replacement tiles, and it now looks wonderful.

flamingo-sign pink-flamingos pink-flamingo-wind-chimeLast year when I turned 50, we had a big “party in the pines” and our guests brought every piece of flamingo swag imaginable, so the exterior is now as fun and retro-licious as the interior.

Next on the agenda is to re-paint the exterior with the original streamlined design based on a 1958 magazine ad. But….while hubby appreciates the historical aspect of the pink stuff inside, he is leery (okay, understandably) about reverting the trailer to its original pink-trimmed exterior. Boo-hoo! 🙂

midcentury-mini-pink-tub midcentury-marbled-tub-surroundAbove: Pink & gold swirled wallboard surrounding bathroom sink and tub.

retro-pink-bathroom-sink The bath has its original pink tub, toilet and sink as well as the pink-gold marbled tub surround and sink backsplash…all lovingly scraped inch by square inch to remove the awesome Navajo White paint that someone thought was somehow (gasp) preferable.


vintage-trailer-bathroomvintage-light-fixtureAbove: The original bath light fixture.

retro-pink-kitchen-sinkIn the kitchen, we also have the original pink gas stove & (double) sink!

vintage-starburst-wallboard retro-starburst-wallboardYou might also be able to see the pink checked & gold starburst wallboard in the kitchen.

retro-porch-glider jalousie-windows-vintage-trailer love-shack-bird-house

vintage-aluminum-glider-patio vintage-aluminum-patio-furnitureAbove: ’50s-era glider on deck, matching rocker.

vintage-pink-tile-mosaicThis trivet was made with broken pink tiles salvaged from the demolished ladies’ restroom at a local Senator Drive-In Movie Theater (gives you an idea of the extent of my mania, perhaps?).

vintage-dressing-table midcentury-sparkle-laminate-countertopAbove: Built-in desk in kitchen with a close-up of “cracked ice” formica on desk top. [Pam interjects: I would not call this cracked ice; I woudl call it an abstract mosaic with glitter. I would also call it: Fantastique!]

retro-bedroom vintage-kitsch-shelf

Wow, Shelly and Greg: Underneath all that paint — a real time capsule trailer beauty. It sure sounds like restoring your trailer was “some therapy” — you are definitely a contender for this year’s The Hard Way Award, Pam says!

I’m not sure I could pick a favorite pink piece from your home — but if I had to try, it would be a tie between the laminate countertop on your built-in desk and that adorable pink vintage stove in your adorable pink and white kitchen.

“… the extent of my mania”… you say? Heck yeah, we get it!

Thanks so much for sharing your little slice of retro heaven with all of us!

  1. May says:

    Fate brought the right buyers to this place. I’m so glad it was not torn down. Your hard work was definitely worth it. This place is a gem!

  2. Tony Tuso says:

    I love the green glider. My grandmother had that same one when we lived with her. I have been looking for that same model for years. I would love to know where to buy one. Thanks for the memories. 🙂

  3. sharon says:

    Hi, Lovely home! I wondered how much asbestos you encountered? I’m looking at a ’62 Marlette single wide. It’s all or mostly the original structure. I’m worried about the ceiling tiles mostly. What are your thoughts on this. Did you have to have anything removed?

  4. pam kueber says:

    Sharon, please know: I do not let readers provide any guidance on how to handle vintage nastiness such as lead and asbestos in our homes. Please consult with your own properly licensed professional to assess your own situation and make decisions how to handle.

  5. Lauryn says:

    Oh my goodness, this is FANTASTIC! (Having lived quite a few years in the southwest, I got quite the chuckle about the kokopellis.) I cannot even begin to figure out what my favorite part of it is, but that stove has my heart going a-flutter. What an incredibly lovely retreat you two have. Well done!

  6. Kristy says:

    I don’t know how I missed this the first time around! Most fabulous, I now want a trailer instead of a cabin for our mountain property! If only I could find something as amazing as this!

  7. Heart says:

    I thought your length was a typo! But alas:


    How did you ever move it from Montana? I have a 28′ Streamline “Empress” travel trailer & I find that unyielding. How far did you travel? Bet you have some stories to share.

    “The long, long trailer” is a Must see movie, for vintage trailer enthusiast. Too funny.

    My 64 Streamline has the original pink sink/oven 😉 I’ll keep you posted of the renovation. Great Job Shelly, Thanks for sharing!

  8. Peter Beth says:

    Love what you have done. Did you replace the cushions on the glider? If so where did you get them. I have an exact glider but missing the cushions.

  9. Jim says:

    I have an aluminum glider exactly like the one shown. I need parts for it. It won’t glide. The rollers or all bearings are gone. Anyone know if parts are still available?

  10. ShellyinPhx says:

    All original! Had to replace the seat cushion on the rocker, though…got fabric at JoAnn’s and had a local upholsterer sew a cover for $40.

  11. David izenman says:

    Thank you Pam for having and enjoying vintage mobile homes on your site. I live and gust restored a 1959 Roadliner that is in a vintage Mobile home park in Palm Springs it’s the Sahara Park. My father lived there 30 years ago and when I semi retired and was over 55 I have bought and restored three of them it’s sad when an older gal has to be pulled out because a replacement had to be 5 years or newer. Eventually it will look like a FEMA park but right now it heaven.
    I put a link to my place {pam notes: link does not work so it’s removed] that I wanted you to see with its Youngstown kitchen and pink bathroom. I hate selling it but found something else

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