Its been almost seventeen years ago that we were driving through St. Peter, Minnesota when I spotted this crusty old trailer on the curb that had a FOR SALE sign in the window. I suggested to Brian, lets to turn around and go take a peek at it! I often look back on that day and wish I could have taken a picture of his face as he rolled his eyes and then proceeded to turn around. I’m sure he was holding his breathe thinking maybe she won’t like it.
My head was full of thoughts as we were making the U-turn and thinking this would make for a great prop for a few of my Blue Star Collections sales. Not only could I use it for my Blue Star business, we could also have fun camping in it. I just knew it would to be a curb eye catcher for Blue Star!
Once we were inside it was like we were a couple kids giggling and relating back to our childhoods. Oh what fun we had dreaming of rolling down the road in this old 1962 Avion trailer. After Brian finished checking things out underneath, I was inside pulling every drawer out, checking the kitchen – bath and living area, thats when it all began. We wrote a check out to the guys selling it and paid $1,200. Away we went down the road with the title and the trailer with big ole grins on our face!
A group of guys previously owned it and had planned to turn the trailer into a “ guys ice fishing house”. Unfortunately one of the guys came down sick and they decided to sell it. Lucky US! We were thankful they hadn’t started their remodeling. The first step they planned was to cut holes in the floor for ice fishing. Thank heavens we found this before holes were cut! WE knew this was going to be a long, hard project trying to put the pieces back together but we were excited to make it our own and adding our own touches.
Since we purchased an Avion and not an Airstream I went home and started my research on Avion trailers. I found they produced their first trailer in 1956 in Benton Harbor, Michigan and continued producing these trailers until 1990. There are many discussions of which is best, Avion or Airstream? Many of the reads went back and forth on this subject. They found they both have a lot of similarities in looks and operating. Both Brian and I were born in the 50’s so we knew this vintage trailer had fun in past journeys. We were ready to make more memories and have fun as well!
As a child, my family camped each summer taking in several rodeos across the country. My brother Mark did completion bull riding in state rodeos, so camping was a means of getting to and from these events that offered fun along the way. Since I had two brothers, my parents always allowed me to invite a girlfriend to take along and hang out with during our trips. Oh what fun times we would have camping! Those memories today still bring a smile in my thoughts.
We spent many hours cleaning, polishing, and repairing this “diamond in the rough”. Keeping it true to its original order was sometimes a challenge with electrical and plumbing. Polishing was a labor of love. Once finished with our aching arms from operating the polisher, we loved her new look!
We have this silly habit our naming our vehicles. Who knows why, but its just easier to call them by name and we feel it gives them personality. After chatting about names we picked “Jill” because our truck name was “Jack”. When we thought of Jack, it was a fit that he would take “Jill” up the hill and we all would be looking for an adventure.
As we worked our way around refurbishing this Avion we searched several internet sites to help lead us the way. There was a great group of people that had the same interest as ours out there to assist with questions, ideas and shared lots of know how to help us in the refurbishment. For those of you that might be interested as well, here are the sites we found most helpful:
I recently found this YouTube of a guy bringing his Avion home to begin his refurbish. We were lucky we did not have as much work at this guy, but it is fun to take a look at his hopes and dreams. https://youtu.be/rM-dxGM3hNs
Since I have a bit of “junk” in my bones I was also inspired with Country singer Miranda Lamberts Airstream makeover. It’s fun, funky and fascinating. Check this YouTube for a peek: https://youtu.be/j-OKEqGGzK8
Jill has certainly met all our expectations and its been a “fun run” these past 17 years. WE have used Jill several times as a prop during our Blue Star Collections sales and she also has offered camping a few times along the way. Once again we are dusting her off for our next “Camping and more” stories coming soon on The Blue Binocular! Thank you for sharing your time to read our adventures.