1948 Spartan Manor Restoration

1948 Spartan Manor Restoration

1948 Sparton Manor

by Rick Zabel

My wife and I were living in Santiago, Chile when most of the work was done and communicated by email and Skype to get our influence into the design. This is a 1948 Spartan Manor that was pretty much just a shell when we purchased it.

During the restoration we even incorporated some old furniture that we had to be built into the cabinetry. The interior is completely new, and we requested a design that would allow us to dry camp for a week at a time. We have solar charged batteries, holding tanks and very modern conveniences.

The Flyte Camp crew was great to deal with and they do fantastic work. See all the photos here.

This renovation was filmed for Extreme RVs on the Travel Channel, although I admit that I haven’t seen the show yet. Kent found it so check it out below.

Looking for your own vintage trailer follow Kent’s Facebook fan page

1948 Sparton Manor

living room


kitchen sink

kitchen and bedroom


bedroom and bathroom

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Ann Possis - January 2, 2014 Reply

Wow! I love the combination of light wood and metal, and the accents of red and black. Sleek and spacious! Well done.

Glynn Davies - January 2, 2014 Reply

fantastic renovation. looks like a jewelbox on wheels!

BECKY MARELLO - January 2, 2014 Reply


alice h - January 2, 2014 Reply

Good inspiration for a trailer renovation. Even if you don’t have a properly “vintage” trailer you can use a lot of the design ideas to improve a newer one.

connie - January 2, 2014 Reply


Amanda - January 2, 2014 Reply

This is a work of art! You have done a beautiful job of restoring it. All the light wood just adds to the open feeling that the windows achieve.

william carlisle - January 2, 2014 Reply

Absolutely gorgeous . I love Spartans, my Dad worked for Spartan during the early 50’s in Tulsa OK.

gmh - January 2, 2014 Reply

Slick- I love it.

Mark @ Containers and More - January 2, 2014 Reply

Looks amazing, very nice modification, very cosy!

Kacey - January 2, 2014 Reply

This is an inspiration … I am totally convinced that is a home I could retire in! Where would I find one of the older Spartans for sale that is still in sturdy enough shape to move to Northern California?

    Kent Griswold - January 2, 2014 Reply

    Hi Kacey, do a google search for Spartans for sale. This will bring up those available across the country. Also watch craigslist in your area or nearby. I am also running a Facebook fan page on vintage trailers and will post any I see there. You can follow it here: https://www.facebook.com/VintageTrailersForSale

    Kent Griswold - January 2, 2014 Reply

    I just found this one down in San Diego http://www.spartantrailer.com/trailer%20ads/ads2013/sale208.html

      Kacey - January 3, 2014 Reply

      Thanks so much; I didn’t expect such a helpful reply so fast. That Spartan in San Diego looks like it could be really gorgeous with some dedicated work. I better get started if I want to finish in time for social security.
      Wish me luck! -Kacey

Natalie - January 2, 2014 Reply

Wow, just fantastic. You should be so proud. I just moved to Nashville and living in the country until I decide where to settle around here – along the back highway I travel is a junk yard with 5 tour buses. Now I get to see what you can actually do with them. Do have a remarkable 2014. Thanks for the inspiration.

Randy Long - January 2, 2014 Reply

Here is the 1938 Spartan Executive recently restored by some friends in Greenville SC. A little faster than the Spartan trailers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SpTT_-WrZk

    Chinle Miller - January 2, 2014 Reply

    Living in an airplane would be the most amazing mobile life, eh?

      alice h - January 3, 2014 Reply

      When we lived in a converted school bus my son wanted to camperise a small airplane to live in. The bus was too slow for him, even got passed by a VW van going up a long hill one time.

Carol Bussey - January 2, 2014 Reply

I like the nice deep sink. I wonder how warm or cool one can keep the temperature inside a trailer/mobile home? Or how stable the home would be during fierce storms?

Cori - January 2, 2014 Reply

I have one of these but it has the front windows broken out. Do you have a source that you’d be willing to share with me for those? I was going to just scrap the shell ( which is actually in pretty good shape) because that curved glass is all broken out and I never thought that it could be replaced. Thanks for any help you can give! My email is sabhaile@yahoo.com

Anne - January 2, 2014 Reply


Ralph Sly - January 3, 2014 Reply

Great post, beautiful work salvage in history. You can’t go wrong with that scenario.

David Remus - January 4, 2014 Reply

Wonderful restoration. Reuse, recycle, reduce.

Beautiful, I feel more modern just looking at it!

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Katie - January 6, 2014 Reply

wow what a great trailer. My husband and I are currently converting a 2001 Thompson school bus. We are in the beginning stages and are about to raise the roof 2ft higher to allow for loft spaces. you should check us out, we also have been making videos of our progress


Coby - January 7, 2014 Reply

Amazing what a work you did!
And what a good taste you have!

charles stanger - January 8, 2014 Reply

This is an good spamble of how can restored back like new ! Also give you lots of idea what you can do or make own out fit too !!!

tinyhousedesign: 1948 Spartan Manor via Tiny House Blog | Small & Tiny Home Ideas - January 8, 2014 Reply

[…] 1948 Spartan Manor via Tiny House Blog […]

Mary C Charest - November 20, 2015 Reply

Please contact me with further interest at marycharest1234@gmail.com. I am writing a 12 plus chapter book on tiny homes, living arrangements, plans and thoughts on the upcoming economic upheaval of people who are now, say 50 plus, and lost most of their retirement nest egg due to the economic/job crash. I believe living Tiny/Small is a creative way to live somewhere else in the comforts of a home you can pay off immediately. That put’s you back to where you should be prior to the crash. I’d love everyone’s comments, ideas, plans for themselves, plans for others, family compounds, or whatever and what kinds of structures you would like to use. I will tell you more about what I am planning — I’d like to hear from the average Joe, to professors, to preppers, to entire families who threw what they had into a pile and decided via planning how best to live together so they could retire or at least not have a mortgage, trailers, boats, yurts, buying land that permits tiny homes, buying homes that you can rent out and live in a yurt or tiny home on the property. I want to get started and I’d rather hear some unique people on this — not a book that is filled up with the 10 top tiny home book writers. I am interested in the public, speakers, professors, how to people to help people who have no idea how to farm the best way to start or stick with for themselves personally. It’ll be a great book. Email me for details privately. Best Regards, Mary

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