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Tasked with creating a mobile office for an Arizona client, we transformed this 1967 Cardinal 13 into a powerhouse of functionality. Initially a victim of rot and neglect, we rebuilt it from the frame up, employing poplar for its strength and lightweight nature. This tiny trailer now packs a punch with a full suite of amenities, designed to provide comfort and utility in the smallest of spaces.

1967 Cardinal 13 Restoration

Compact Powerhouse: The 1967 Cardinal 13 Redesigned

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What went into this vintage trailer restoration? 

About The Project

1967 Cardinal 13 Restoration

Imagine a trailer so compact yet so complete, it defies expectations. That's the story of the 1967 Cardinal 13, which arrived at our shop more a skeleton than a shelter. The client, needing a mobile workspace for job sites across Arizona, required something her small SUV could tow effortlessly. It was clear this Cardinal needed more than a touch-up; it needed a resurrection.

We began by stripping it to its frame, which was then meticulously restored. Using the original exterior metal as a template, we crafted new walls, opting for poplar wood framing to balance durability with lightness.

With the frame solid and the walls up, we wired the electrical systems and insulated the trailer, then reattached the metal siding, giving it a fresh yet authentic look. We installed period-correct running and tail lights, ensuring it would travel safely and stylishly.

But it’s inside where this Cardinal truly transforms. Despite its modest size, the trailer boasts an impressive array of equipment. A tongue-mounted toolbox and stabilizer jacks on all corners ensure stability and security wherever it's parked. The interior features a wet bath with a cassette toilet, sink, and hot water heater—not to mention a refrigerator and ventilation fan to keep the space comfortable in any climate.

We restored the original sink and cooktop, maintaining a piece of its history while updating its functionality. The centerpiece, a custom drop leaf table, was crafted with a spindle turned right here in Townsend, meeting the owner's exact specifications.

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