Question: I have a 1960 Venus trailer on a private lot in Carpinteria. On my last visit I noticed that the sides are getting rusty from the weather (salt air) there. I wonder if some kind of siding could be used to reduce maintenance. We've painted the sides from time to time, but now that seems impossible. We would like to keep the trailer as we invested quite a bit remodeling the inside two years ago. Would the weather there cause moisture to collect between the old and new siding?
Answer: If you want the names of specialists who repair and renovate mobile homes, I suggest that you call the Western Manufactured Housing Institute in Anaheim. They may be able to help you.
About the same time your letter came, I received my March/April 1985 issue of Workbench magazine. On Page 100 is a feature entitled "Mobile Home Given New Look With Wood Fiber Siding." The article describes a lengthy do-it-yourself project involving the residing of a metal-sided mobile home. The photographs with the story show a remarkable transformation. Workbench is published at 4251 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, Mo. 64111. It should be available from larger news dealers. Given your location along the Pacific Ocean, you might investigate the use of wood siding, either a Masonite or similar product like that mentioned in the Workbench piece or T-111 plywood siding that is readily available at building material suppliers.
Properly installed--with the right kind of insulation board between the existing siding and the new material--the job should result in a very energy efficient and low maintenance weekend and vacation home.