Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Vintage Travel Trailer Lighting . . . Improving on the Original

We own a 1968 Ken Craft Travel Trailer named Aqua Betty.  I wrote about her in my first entry on this blog.    She is very original and usually I am a stickler to staying with the original elements if we can.  But in Betty's case, I really did not like the original ceiling lights in the kitchen and eating areas.  I am not sure you could find more vanilla or plain lights if you tried.  Also, the bottom glass disc would not stay straight in the metal enclosure.

So we set out to find some vintage lights that would fit the space. We needed lights that were very shallow and that were wide enough to cover the current spot as they did not stain the wood under the lights.  We needed two matching lights and of course we wanted to find a good value!

We try to hit the Restore stores when we go out thrifting.  I always look at the lighting section to see if they have any interesting lights.  In January, we went to the Restore Store in Baraboo, WI and imagine my excitement when I ran across a very large, shallow round light in excellent vintage condition.  Now if there was only a matching one . . . oh wait, there is . . . oh darn, it is missing the screw top to keep the glass piece in place.  So I looked around hoping the little screw top just fell off and I was right, it was laying on the shelf below the light.  So we had a matching pair, in the size and depth we needed, wiring was in excellent shape and they were a great value at $5 a piece.

So this past weekend, after our first camping outing of the season, we installed our new lights.  I just love them and they fit perfect and are just the right depth and width.

Before -  light over kitchen sink

After -  light over kitchen sink

Before - light over eating area

After - light over eating area

I usually don't mess with the original design of vintage things, but this was a good lesson for me that there are times you can improve on the original and be very happy with the results.