No Reserve: 1949 Spartan Mansion Travel Trailer

Take it from someone who spent 5-years living in one, touches of luxury can make life in a trailer quite bearable. The Spartan Travel Trailer was considered to be the Cadillac of the breed, and they were not a cheap investment when new. You can see evidence that this 1949 Spartan Mansion was once a luxurious home-away-from-home, but it now requires a full refresh. However, excellent examples can command some very impressive prices. That means that this one should be well worth the effort. The Spartan is located in Antigo, Wisconsin, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding currently sits at $5,300 in a No Reserve auction.

The outer skin of the Mansion is aluminum, and it does sport a few minor dings. However, a bit of careful work should be able to remove these marks without the need to employ any sort of filler. If the character of the Spartan is to be retained, then this is an essential factor to consider. These were not a cheap investment when they were new. The average Spartan cost around half the price of a new home, meaning that they were only accessible to those with money to burn. In keeping with Spartan’s aviation roots, the exterior aluminum was always polished to a mirror shine. That is one task that will await the next owner of this Mansion. Still, the result is well worth the effort, as you will see from the Spartan featured in this article by my illustrious colleague, Montana Danford.

When it was new, the interior of the Spartan Mansion would have presented immaculately. It was loaded with the sorts of luxury touches that would befit a vehicle of this stature. It is now looking tired, and a refit will be required to return it to its former glory. As you can see, the original owner didn’t want for anything. They received a full-sized cooker, an equivalent refrigerator, and a double bowl sink. That is a better-appointed kitchen than many people found in their family home then. Passing through the kitchen brings us to a separate bedroom. This features twin beds and a shared bedside table. The bones of this Spartan appear to be robust, so nothing is stopping the next owner from transforming the vehicle into the sort of mansion that its name suggests. It seems that every feature of this trailer functions as it should. So, if a refit is on the cards, this could be completed as time, and circumstances allow. As you will see from the article that I mentioned above, these can be morphed into something extraordinary.

At the forward end of the Mansion is what would have been the living area. It is quite a spacious area for a trailer, but it does feature one interesting design quirk. That mirrored door to the left of this shot leads to a shower room. This is finished in all stainless steel and could be easily renovated. However, I find the idea of a bathroom off the living area to be slightly odd. The interior refit would allow the next owner to rejig this arrangement if they wanted to. Relocating the shower would make for a more spacious living area.

At 30′ in total length, the Mansion was not the largest offering in the Spartan fleet. However, the supplied photos provide some insight into how luxurious these trailers were when they were new. This Spartan could be used as it currently stands, although it would be tempting to undertake a refit. It could be transformed into something modern and luxurious. That could make it a pretty comfortable home away from home.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    This is pretty cool, and no Tim, I wouldn’t take it to the Monster truck show, but I wouldn’t spend $5g’s on it either. I guarantee it didn’t have A/C in 1949, but like the author states, it’s pretty modern for 1949. It looks like a tank, I wonder what pulled it then. Anything short of a Cadillac or Olds,, be a slow ride. I have a friend “into” RVing, and be prepared, it’s incredibly expensive to redo something like this. To be honest, I’d find a nice lakefront lot in the UP of Mich.( der hey) , put it up on blocks, and be good enough for me. I’d be in for a grand, but that’s it.

    8
    • Bill McCoskey

      Howard,
      While a Caddy or Olds might be good for towing this, in my opinion, other than a truck, I’ve found the best towing vehicles are the 1964 thru 68 Imperials or Chrysler New Yorkers, equipped with the 413 or 440 engines and Torqueflite.

      I’ve flat towed many old Packard, Caddy & Rolls-Royce limousines with my Imperials. About 1978 I used my 1955 Crown Imperial limo to tow my 1940 Packard 180 limo, and every time I stopped, I got lots of attention from the public!

      I once used my 1966 Imperial LeBaron to tow a flatbed construction trailer with a backhoe on it, using a class III with a pintle hitch, from the west side of Baltimore to Dover, Delaware, across the 4.3 miles of the Chesapeake bay bridge, in 95f heat, without a problem. [The Maryland State Police would never allow that today!]

      3
  2. Kenneth Carney

    Great tiny house for an old fart like me!
    Think I want to get one of these when we
    get a house. Most of the homes here in Florida are quite small for what they charge (over $120K for a 750 square foot
    house) we’ll be lucky if we could afford a
    2 bedroom at that price. That’s where a
    rig like this would come in really handy.
    I’d get a great 3rd bedroom of my own
    which would be almost self contained.
    Slap some solar panels on it, and you cut
    your light bill almost to nothing. And if I
    wanted to have a young lady over for a visit, we could have a great time without
    disturbing the kids. And if done well, my
    little camper could power up vital systems in the house should a hurricane
    come calling. Only problem I’d have would be where to put the flat screen TV.

    2
  3. S Craig MacDonald

    I’m finishing up the renovation of a 1971 trailer – much smaller (@17′) and more modest than this. My biggest headaches have been undoing a PO’s “improvements” or “fixes.”
    I see some here including electrical issues, and something about that “cooker” (?) doesn’t look right. The cabinet space to the left is rendered inaccessible, and it looks like the oven door will hit the handles of the cabinet under the sink. (Or is that the camera perspective?)
    The car-style crank down windows are very cool until the regulator needs servicing.
    Would the exterior polish up like an Airstream?
    All in all, beautiful piece of history. Just a lot of work to bring back to its former glory.

    • jeffrey Davis

      there is probably a water heater in cabinet to left of cooker. i have a neighbor at campground where we have our camper that has one of these and havent had a chance to see, but have talked to owner several times

  4. Bob McK Member

    I dream about owning something like this, but the reality is, I don’t have the ability to make it what it should be. This thing is 30′. I don’t think a car would pull it. You probably need a very large truck.

  5. William Fox

    Once finished inside/out, this would be a stunner at trailer shows. Polish the stainless exterior, replace a window or two, update the kitchen needs and reconfigure the shower elsewhere if you can. I could call this home Friday night-Sunday night. I don’t care about a flat-screen; this could be a great, quiet getaway to cook dinner & read a book in. Set up a fire pit outside, a couple adirondac chairs, a cooler of beer and call it a weekend! I would want this if I had an acreage.

    2
  6. jay bree

    Cooker?

    :-)

    • Bill McCoskey

      Cooker?

      Brit-speak for a “Stove” in America-speak. Also used in the Colonies as well.

  7. Phlathead Phil

    It would be a true statement that the A\C in the rear is not period correct, nor, are the rear lights. I never tire of seeing these old trailers here on B.F.’s. They are truly a testament to early American engineering and style. However, the practicality of towing one to your favorite camp site is not, well, very practical. MTL, the axels are so rusted they might snap on first pull. I once had a 1950 Crown 12’ er. My buddy named it “The Egg.” It was sure fun to tow up and down the California highways turning heads at every mile. These Regal Monarchs deserve a quiet resting place on a level site by a calm lake. Only then can one truly appreciate their grandeur!

  8. Kenn

    Once again we get Howard A’s negative observations and opinions, as always on something of which he has little knowledge or interest. Must be sad going through life looking at the bad side of everything. He missed the boat and every one of his comments on this beautiful RV.

    1
  9. Glenn

    This Spartan has seen a coat of green paint covering the original varnished interior, That will be fun stripping! No mention or picture of a toilet in that stainless shower! You would surly think a Mansion with come with a throne!!

  10. Kenn

    The throne was probably behind the open bath/showerroom door. It’s been sold. Someone got a real bargain.

    1
  11. Glenn

    Yes they did! Iv had my eye on a 30 foot Sparanett for years. It does not have a throne or stainless shower. Porta poty in the closet would do! Now if I could just talk the wife into letting me have the perfect man cave!!

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