When we read about RVs and travel trailers, we keep hearing big words like “glamping” or “house on wheels.” Well, it’s enough to take a quick look at the pictures in the gallery to understand that we were living in darkness. This 1953 Spartan Spartanette travel trailer shows what a house on wheels should look like, and I accept nothing less.

Christian Agatie

If you think the Airstream trailers were the best of the best, you’re probably right until you get to see a Spartan trailer. The Spartan Aircraft Company turned to travel trailer production after the war, intending to make the best on the market, with a design influenced by aircraft construction techniques. Spartan trailers were sleek, luxurious, and exceptionally well built, which explains why many are still in use today. They were also very light, thanks to their monocoque construction.

You’d be wrong if you think the Spartan trailers disappeared because they were inferior to Airstreams. But they were costly in a time when more and more builders started to compete. To give you an idea, you could buy a house and the land for $8,000 at the time, whereas a Spartan trailer would set you back more than $4,000. The company never went bankrupt, but the owner, the famous billionaire J. Paul Getty, decided to pursue more profitable businesses in the ’60s, like insurance and finance.

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This example is a 31-feet Spartanette Tandem, which means it was the more towable version in Spartan’s lineup. It is also built as a double axle trailer, hence the name Tandem. The 1953 model was the last one for the Spartanette Tandem line. The company ended production the following year to concentrate on the main Manor and Mansion lines. With a price of $4,300, it was one of the more affordable Spartan trailers, although you can see it wasn’t cheap.



The seller acquired the trailer in 2016 and subsequently refurbished it. The body was repaired, the roof was resealed, and some interior panels were replaced. The kitchen, bathroom, plumbing, and electrical systems were refreshed and ready for action. The owner also installed some modern amenities, like air conditioning, LED lighting, and flat-screen TVs. The trailer has a polished aluminum body, two doors, and eight windows.

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