Update on my Spartan trailer

I may have mentioned here before that I bought a Spartan trailer. Here’s an update. Several friends have asked.

Back story first. I started researching trailers online last summer, when I realized I wanted the flexibility of not having a monthly mortgage payment. The ability to downsize on stuff, outright own my home, and have it be portable made trailers an irresistible option to explore.

I like vintage trailers because they’re stylish, less expensive than new, often made better, and recycled. It didn’t take long for me to learn that Spartan trailers were the cream of the vintage crop.

Spartans were mostly made in the 1950s by a Tulsa company that had manufactured aircraft during World War II. Richest-man-in-the-world J. Paul Getty owned the company, and they made top-of-the-line trailers.

I discovered an online community of Spartan lovers. I’ve been lurking on their list for months, taking in what I can.

I kept my eye on the large Spartans. It’s going to be my primary home, and I didn’t want to feel like a sardine. That’s okay for camping, but with needing a huge truck to pull them and gas prices being what they are, I’m probably not going to be hauling mine to campgrounds. (Unless I get a smaller one just for camping!)

I learned that leases in trailer parks are usually month to month, so if I want to move, I have more freedom than an apartment dweller. Plus, rent is very inexpensive and usually includes some utilities.

The biggest Spartans made were 10′ x 50′. A few even had two bedrooms; some people even added a washer/dryer.

Hmm, I thought to myself. This could work.

I kept my eye on several big Spartans for sale while I downsized on possessions and put my house on the market, hoping one would still be available when my house sold.

When the money came through, only one of the big ‘uns remained available.

The Spartan Carousel.

It’s a rare model with a skylight, round kitchen, and awesome vintage light fixture! It has a lot of windows and built-in storage. It needs some repairs and updating.

I can see myself enjoying living there and having a couple of guests over! That suits me perfectly.

I bought it sight unseen from a man who’s been selling vintage trailers for years. Nothing I’ve seen or heard has led me to believe he’s anything less than reputable. He loves these old trailers and refurbishes them.  He put lots of photos and information online. So far he’s been an excellent person to do business with.

Right now I am awaiting a new title. A transport company will haul it from Washington state to Austin, where it will go into a quiet, clean, spacious, private trailer park in far south Austin.

I’ll hook it up to utilities and have someone handy check it out with me — plumbing, wiring, LP gas, etc., and we’ll fix what needs fixing and update what needs updating. Then I’ll move in.

I’ve never lived in a trailer before, but this one seems like a great start. If I don’t like it, I will have learned something and can do something else.

I will join a new community to learn from and share with. I’ve already heard from a man who wanted the seller to connect him to me. He collects Spartans and would love to take photos when it’s ready for that. He might be interested when I’m ready to sell.

A trailer like this needs a name. Something besides Spartan Carousel.

One suggestion I’ve gotten is Atomic Ranch. What do you think?

53 thoughts on “Update on my Spartan trailer

  1. This looks amazing MaryAnn.
    The elements that strike me are Pink, Jetsons, round, cute, little, sleek.
    Don’t have a name suggestion, but Atomic Ranch strikes me a little weird.
    Maybe its just the Japan thing.


    • I have been looking for a larger Spartan to use as an art studio.How are you enjoying yours?Did it cost alot to ship it to Austin?(I am a UT alumni I miss Austin.)
      I have not seen this website before I was happy to see the variety available.I would very much love to find a Spartan like yours Thank you for the info.


      • Georgiana, I haven’t gotten mine yet. It still needs to be transported to TX from WA. I found this one on vintagecampers.com. You can also search Craigslist and eBay. The ones this size don’t come up for sale very often, so I’m wishing you good luck!


  2. Hey MaryAnn!

    I was also looking at your Carousel, I emailed Dan when he first found her, and strongly considered buying her myself.. Fate intervened however, when I rescued a dog no one thought would make it, and also he raised the price $3k.. She made it though, and I postponed my dream.. A Carousel or Crescendo will be mine someday!!

    I am SO glad she is in loving hands, and having moved here from Texas, I know she will be happy there!! 😉

    I found a Spartan in Washington I am trying to have shipped here to California, with lots of flakes and very little luck.. Would you mind sharing the name of your shipper, and any advice you may have? I am on uship, seemingly answering the same questions over and over again and do not want to lose hope!!! Thanks so much!!


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  4. Hi MaryAnn,

    Congratulations to you!
    We too are the proud new owners of a ’59 Spartan Carousel here in the SF Bay Area.
    -Much in the same great condition but with the lighter birch wood interior. We plan to begin our remodeling within the month and hope to find a piece of land to put her on once she’s done. Eventually we plan on adding updates and photos to our site.

    Hope you get yours shipped out soon. Would love to be kept abreast of any hurdles, issues that may arise during your project. Hopefully there won’t be many. : )

    All the best to you on your exciting new adventure!


  5. This is very exciting!!! I’d love to hear about your remodeling stories, Jessica. I’ll have some too. I like your page — I’m considering creating a blog just about my Spartan, since it doesn’t really fit in with this blog.

    Right now we’re waiting for water to recede in Richland, WA, before it can be shipped here. We’re bringing it atop an extendable flatbed trailer for less wear-and-tear on the old gal.

    Then considering what to do before moving in. I’ll be living in mine year-round. Sounds like yours is an escape place?


  6. This is a great trailer. I am so glad she will have a new owner and a new life. I am looking for one myself. Made for 2 years only – the Spartan Carousel trailer – park model 10′ by 50′
    If anyone has any information on another one for sale please contact me.
    Csn’t wait to see how you fix her up. please post more pictures of the progress 🙂
    jon berge
    614 440 7733


  7. i have a 1956 Imperial Mansion that i have to give up——her permanent home of 30 plus years is being paved over. Very sound, upgrades enough for the 21st century, but oh so vintage. Located in Northern California. Do you know of anyone interested?


  8. I have a perfect condition rare 1959 carousel 10 x 50 with the sunroof in sunny florida Perfect Condition cant stress that enough NOT remodeled ORIGINAL perfect condition all shelves windows cabinets built on screen porch and laundry room full length its awesome but I really have never used it if you would like to buy it e-mail me and we can go from there it’s Truley lovely….


  9. I’m so jealous that you found a Carousel. They are so hard to find. I want to put one on a piece of property in Southern California and move from my home state of Oregon. If you hear of any for sale on the West Coast, please advise me. Keep up the good work.


  10. I have a 1951 spartanette tandom 30′ that I have restored 90 percent of the inside. I have been trying to sell for $6000, but people act like I am crazy and that it’s not worth anything because it is old. Me and the wife love it but I lost my job and blown the motor in my truck so I have to sell it. Can anyone tell me were to go to sell to someone who loves them like we do?


    • Tim, a lot of Spartan buyers look on Craigslist. There are also online forums for Spartan lovers as well. You can also try selling through VintageCampers.com. They’ll take a commission, but it’s a nationally known website and reputable. That’s where I found mine. Tell Dan Piper I sent you there.


      • I got it on craigeslist, I have even dropped the price to $4000 but thay still want it for nothing, I am about to give up on selling it, I know what is worth and that is worth more then $6000. But everyone thinks you should give it to them! I have had people all across the country do that.


      • I have talked to someone on vintage campers.com and thay only wanted to give me $3000. I have more then that in it. I will let it sit and rot before I let someone insult me like that!!! He wants it for nothing so he can make all the profit.


      • I believe Dan offers good service for buyers and sellers, and he knows the market well. He examines and evaluates vintage trailers, often traveling and sometimes transporting at his own expense, and he does restoration himself. He’s an honest, reputable man who needs to make money to stay in business too. If you put more into than you can get out of it, that’s not his fault.

        I don’t know what to tell you except that I hope you can hang in there with patience, Tim, and get back what you put into it. They aren’t making any more of these. They are collector’s items, and people are buying them up for investments.

        Somewhere out there is a buyer for your Spartanette. I wish you and your wife good luck with work and the truck and selling your trailer.


      • Nope. I’ve been too busy to photograph. Nothing has changed to the exterior. New window coverings and sofa (new to me, very cool “Jetsons” style) on the inside. Still have big dreams for adding a deck, replacing cooktop/countertop/chipped sink, and so on.


  11. I would like to know why it is people can sell there 1951 spartan campers that are gutted for $4000 up to $8000 and I can’t sell mine that is 90 persent restored on the inside? I have put it on craigeslist for months and all I get is bs. I have tried vintage camper sites and thay want them for nothing no matter what the condition. I have 50 or more pics. People tell me I did a great job on restoring it, but then want you to give it to them or sell to them for nothing. I am about to give up. Thanks for listening to me vent.


  12. Hello I am not sure if you are still maintaining this site but if you know anyone or hear of anyone selling a spartan carousel or executive please let them have my email address trfordfan1@gmail.com. I am in Canada but willing to go pretty much anywhere for something 43′ and over


  13. Would love to see an update on how it looks now 🙂 I am hoping to be able to find one as well and am interested to see how the experience has been for you.


    • My trailer is not for sale. To find Carousels for sale, join one of the Spartan trailer Facebook groups. Members around the country post Craigslist listings of all kinds of Spartans for sale. Carousels don’t come up often, maybe every 2-3 years.


  14. I have a 25’ Spartan in good shape but I want a Carousel so bad. They were modern, not only for their time but also for today. I own over an acre near Scottsdale, AZ but can’t live in my Spartan there because it isn’t big enough. It needs to be at least 10’x 40’. So, like you, I watch and wait for someone to decide they no longer need or want their carousel. Good job scooping this one up!


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