1950’s Grapes of Wrath Tiny House Trailer

old tiny house on trailer

At only $600, and it’s obviously in terrible condition, but it’s an interesting bit of history, and looks very similar to what many are building today!

This Grapes of Wrath tiny house trailer was discovered by Cheryl Spelts on the Inlad Empire craigslist.

Here is the actual listing:

THIS IS IT, USED YOYUR LAND SCAPE MINE OR RESTORE IT. BE THE TALK OF
RV PARK. GOT TO HAVE DOLL HOUSE, THAT PEACE MISSING ON
THAT LAND SCAPE PROJECT, ITS ROLLS IT ON WHEEL. IT NOT HOME MAY ,THEY
WERE SOLD IN THE YEAR FIFTYS..
626-833-8926 OBO

As of today this is still up so if you want a piece of history and a big project you can’t beat the price. http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/rvs/3207478247.html

front view of old trailer house

view of old tiny house roof

tiny house interior

interior cabinets

corner damage on tiny house

electrical

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Abel Zyl Zimmerman - August 26, 2012 Reply

Wow. I hope nobody tries to live in that. : ) More fun to watch it become part of the soil (it is already halfway there…)

Joe3 - August 26, 2012 Reply

Interesting old building/trailer. I’d be interested if I were closer.
*** I’m looking for an old fuse setup like that in case anyone comes across one *** Thanks, Joe

Mike Hamilton - August 26, 2012 Reply

For $600 I think I’d rather start from scratch. This looks like a glorified “fuse” waiting to be lit, although one never knows. One man’s trash is another’s treasure.

V - August 27, 2012 Reply

the curtain over the doorway was a nice touch… someone wanted it to be a home….

Gabriel - August 27, 2012 Reply

Are you planning to restore it as a historic item?

Engineer Guy - August 27, 2012 Reply

Hilarious! Whatta POS. That weight on a single Axle, no less, and a marginal-looking Chassis…

My hunch – and only a hunch, based on the Roof line and Building ‘footprint’ – is that this was Farm Worker Quarters meant to be moved around a Farm. I grew up in the area of this Craigslist Ad, and it ‘fits’ that profile I saw when young.

Antique Fuse Boxes can be found on eBay [of course]. Alternately, Electricians take them off old Houses during upgrades. You might be able to score one from an Electrician. I’ve also seen them at Rural Flea Markets.

holly - August 27, 2012 Reply

I’m sorry, I LOVE this site and all the great info/ideas offered,really…one word comes to mind with this post, however, and that is “bonfire”…

Benjamin - August 27, 2012 Reply

Particle board door and aluminum windows are more recent than the ’50s.

Deek - August 27, 2012 Reply

…yeah, pretty rough, and the Craigslist listing… “Wholley Mispellingz Gahlour!

alice h - August 27, 2012 Reply

Excellent for rat condos! They can sublet to the raccoons. For those ESL people, don’t worry, native English speakers will have trouble with this one too. Spelling and grammar mistakes throughout!

EmmaJ - August 30, 2012 Reply

I was so excited about becoming the talk of the RV park until I realized that this home didn’t come with a doll house. Nothing is ever perfect. Sigh.

Crestfallen, I’ll just have to look elsewhere for another place this… cozy.

WendyB - August 31, 2012 Reply

The windows and doors are obviously newer, but probably an upgrade at some point. Migrant worker housing was still being used in the 60s in the Kern County area, which is maybe where this is located (???). Not sure where “inland empire” is- or if that is more down near Temecula and Imperial Valley. Either way- I’m betting that chassis is rusted through as well, and the wood looks completely rotten. Would probably be cheaper to just start from scratch. I think the $600 price tag is pretty optimistic- would probably cost that much in fees just to take it to the dump.

Karen - August 31, 2012 Reply

More like ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’??? The Inland Empire is Eastern Washington State. The more appropriate thing to do, perhaps, might be to pay someone to haul it off, or torch it. Those who think this might have been a migrant shack are probably correct. Further, it was probably pretty grim shelter, even when new. I grew up in the general area in the 50s and 60s, and my mom interned teaching in migrant worker camps. I got to see how “the other half” subsisted. It wasn’t pretty.

    Linda - September 2, 2012 Reply

    Actually the Inland Empire are the towns east of LA – you know the ones that are inland. . .Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan areas.

Steve - August 31, 2012 Reply

What an interesting design, I hope someone restores it, this could be a real gem, the best of both worlds, history, character, a tiny house, and your own little peace of a historic neighborhood on wheels. 

Alan - August 31, 2012 Reply

The area code indicates the San Gabriel Valley, CA.

Steve Hunt - August 31, 2012 Reply

Blech!

David - August 31, 2012 Reply

This could have been a travel trailer, then reclad, re-roofed. Because of water damage around windows, they were replaced. A hint is the interior ceiling reminiscent of Masonite or plywood trailer construction, plus the hitch, frame, axle, suspension. If completely dry, it might not exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight. Get a California Permit for a remodel.

This Inland Empire appears to be Riverside County, CA.

TR Kelley - August 31, 2012 Reply

Now THIS is trailer trash.

Lynda - September 1, 2012 Reply

Inland Empire in S.CA is East of L.A.

Betty - September 1, 2012 Reply

It would only be worth it if the trailer itself is in good enough shape to tear down the house and start over, and if one had an affordable, easy way to dispose of the refuse.

Linda - September 2, 2012 Reply

Where does it say that it is the actual trailer used in Grapes of Wrath?

2LeftSocks - September 3, 2012 Reply

My goodness. “Grapes of Wrath” trailer? You’re right – the word “depression” sure does comes to mind, lol. Actually, the interior archways & curved roof line do offer charm & interest. Needs a complete re-siding, insulation, interior gutting, plywood sanding & sealing, shoring up & a wash down with bleach. (And probably termite proofing as well.) Will take dedication & time, but this could be a really cute home again in the end. Bless your heart for preserving a rare piece of history. Shows you, after all this time, quality old fashioned building still holds up. Sort of.

Denise - May 18, 2013 Reply

Oh My this is really depressing… Let it go… Sometimes the ‘vibes’ are just so creepy its better to burn it… This is a sick place (and I mean it in a bad way..).
Wouldn’t be be nice to start fresh? Clean and well clean.. do it the way you want instead of fixing what is ‘unfix able’… Yikes!

Patty - March 17, 2015 Reply

Disgusting…..(gag)!

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