1953 Vagabond Model 31
The Cadillac of mid-1950s trailers
We found this trailer in the middle of the desert near the New Mexico-Arizona border, on a piece of land that hadn't been touched in over half a century. We struggled with bees nests to get the trailer out of there, but it was worth it. The interior is remarkably intact, with original birch panels and cabinets, laminate counter tops, enamel appliances, and porcelain bathroom fixtures. Damage is minimal, but it is going to need a thorough restoration before being returned to service as a travel trailer.
The Vagabond Coach Manufacturing Company was based in New Hudson, Michigan, in the heart of U.S. auto manufacturing country about 30 miles outside of Detroit. Their trailers were considered the Cadillac of mobile homes, and were built with welded steel frames and aluminum bodies, much like the Spartan mobile homes of the same period. The company offered trailers from 22 to over 40 feet in length, with the larger ones generally being used as "park trailers" on semi-permanent locations, only moving when a family needed to relocate for work. The 31-foot model sat right at the edge between "travel" and "park" status when they were new, and this one's history suggests that it was used as a park trailer. With modern tow vehicle capabilities, though, a 31-foot unit like this can be towed fairly easily, as a very rare and unusual vintage travel trailer.
Ethel is currently located at our western base camp in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. She has been prepped for road-going and can be made available as an event trailer or as a prop for film and still creative productions.