1956 Shasta Maiden Voyage

For our maiden voyage, we went all the way to the end of the road…

Key West

US 1 that is – Mile Marker Zero – Key West, Florida.

St Augustine, FL

Our first stop was at Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine, FL where we were met with curiosity,parrot

but later found the natives to be quite friendly.me and parrot
Our next stop was at John Pennakamp State Park in Key Largo, and our final destination was Bahia Honda State Park – 35 miles from Key West.

Old Bahai Honda
In all, we traveled 1600 miles with no problems. The weather was great, the seafood excellent, and it’s good to be back home.

Shasta Screen Door

I recently bought a made in America dowel jig at a yard sale for $3.00 and wanted to try it out. Since I had a 6 foot piece of 1×8 poplar laying around, I decided to rip it down to 2” widths and build a screen door for the 1956 Shasta. Here’s a picture of it before assembly with all the dowels ready for glue up. The dowel jig is the black and aluminum piece with the T handle on it.
Shasta screen dowels
I ran screws through the bottom and top pieces to clamp everything into place after I glued the dowels. Here it is glued up, stained and poly’ed.
Screen door assembled
The handle access is covered with a piece of birch plywood with an aluminum slider and the screen molding is made from fir, so there’s a little color difference in the wood.
screen door hung
Shasta screen door

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Dinette Cushions

We had a couple of 6” thick latex foam twin mattresses that weren’t being used and were in pretty good condition, and since I needed 39” wide cushions for the dinette benches in the 1956 Shasta, I decided to cut the ends off of the mattresses and use them as my cushion bases.
cutting dinette cushion
I cut the mattress fabric long enough to wrap the exposed end and slid a piece of ¼” plywood under the fabric and against the foam.
dinette cushion plywood
A few staples later, I was ready to start covering my cushions.
dinette cushion stapled
I put some thin batting over the cushions and stapled the seat covers to the plywood, too.
dinette bed

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Tire balancing beads

I got my tires and rims as a set by mail-order and they arrived ready to install, except that they hadn’t been balanced. The tire places that I have talked to said that they don’t balance trailer tires and that it isn’t necessary. It may not be necessary, but it couldn’t hurt, so I decided to do it myself. I had heard about Centramatic wheel balancers, but I wasn’t sure if they would fit my hub/drums, so I’m going to use ceramic beads. The beads are a little bigger than grains of sand and they pour into the tire through the valve stem. For my 15” tires, I’m using 3 ounces per tire. Here’s a link to a site that will explain everything a whole lot better than I can: http://www.innovativebalancing.com/HowItWorks.htm
This should help keep my campers from getting pounded by wobbly wheels as they roll down the highway.
tire balancing beads

110 Volt Electrical Done

My 110 volt wiring is complete. It’s all on the interior of the trailer, not inside the walls. I did it this way so that I didn’t have to notch out the 1×2 framing, I didn’t interfere with the insulation, and I didn’t take the chance of hitting it with a nail or screw after it was inaccessible. The wiring runs are mostly inside of the cabinets behind drawers or protected by false shelves.
wire hiding
I cut down a shower curtain pole to run the wiring from the upper kitchen cabinets down to the lower cabinet and I used two metal surface mounted boxes with metal raceway for the wiring that I couldn’t conceal.
The circuit protection is a huge upgrade from the original ceramic fuse block (that’s the original fuse block sitting there between the outlet and the power cord).
Shasta Breaker Box
I used a 100 amp 6 space 12 circuit Square D load center with a 30 amp main breaker and 4 – 15 amp circuits. It’s located just inside the roadside rear hatch. I can finish the interior in well lit air conditioned comfort now.
Shasta lights
Got some glare and reflections on that picture… hey, there’s my teardrop!

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1956 Shasta painted

I finally got the outside finished! The paint has been on for about 2 weeks now and the windows are in, so all I need to do is finish on the inside. I’m going to complete the electrical first – that way I can turn on the air conditioner.
1956 Shasta 1500
For the paint, I used Valspar Rust Armor from Lowes. It’s an enamel paint like Rustoleum, but it can be tinted, so you can choose from a lot of different colors. I primed the Shasta with Rustoleum Aluminum primer (latex). I put two coats of color on – thinned 12% with mineral spirits – and applied it with a brush and roller, sanding between coats. Total cost – about $100 for a new paint job.

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Plumbing finished

I hate working with plumbing, but this wasn’t too bad. Water goes into the left connection to the spigot and water drains out from the sink through the right connection. Both male and female hose connectors are chrome plated brass and made by Perko. They’re usually pretty pricey, but if you’re patient, you can find them on Ebay for $23 – $28. They’re a lot nicer than the stamped metal or plastic ones that they sell at Camping Mart and they should last a lifetime.
Water Inlet/Outlet

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Beehive Marker Lights

I got this idea from Vintage Trailer Supply – using back-up lights, replace the clear lens with red and amber beehive lens. I read that the chrome plating wasn’t very good on these newer lights so I clearcoated the trim rings as suggested. I used glass beehives lens and I think that they turned out pretty good for about $15 apiece.
beehive markers
Here’s their link with the how-to: