This is a 1954 Westerner built by Westfield Inc. The company haled from Azusa, California. The short lived company only lasted about 6 years before it folded. The first version of this trailer came out in 1953 and in 1955 they added side windows forward of the door in the booth area and changed the radius of the top to make room for the windows. They also changed the wheel wells from the more popular teardrop shape like mine has to what is shown in the advertisement, a three sided opening.
I located this little 15 foot trailer sitting in a ghost town on the edge of Death Valley while on a vacation. I knew one of the locals who grew up around these parts and asked what he knew about the little trailer. After a while he got back to me and I was able to locate the original owner. Amazingly he only lived 20 miles from me so I got together with him and purchased the trailer. Previous to that the trailer had sat out there idle for over 20 years. Before that, the original owner kept it at Indian Ranch in Panamint Valley just 7 miles to the north.
The next step was to go back out there and pick it up. We would have to get there with tools and be prepaired for new tires and bearings at the least. We would have to attempt to fix the running lights as well. We also purchased a one way trip permit from the DMV.
We arrived in Ballarat at around 9:30 on a bright Saturday morning and got to work. First we jacked the trailer up and got the wheels off. While I drove the wheels into Ridgecrest to get new tires installed Fred took the wheel bearings out and inspected them. Turns out they were in great shape so he cleaned them and the races and applied all new grease and capped them back up. I got back with two brand new trailer tires. We got the tires on and went to work on the lights. We got those working pretty quickly and we were able to enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening in the desert.
The following morning we made breakfast and broke camp. I followed Fred while he towed the trailer 210 miles back to my place. That's where it is now and I am working on it every chance I get.
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|The way we found it in Ballarat, CA.||Both tires flat and one side sinking into the ground.||Kitchen area all covered with dirt and debris.||Sleeping area. The original awning and original hub caps are there.|
|I found many old artifacts in the trailer. Here they are laid out in the kitchen area.||Booth table folded up||Booth table folded down||Booth seat. Genuine original naugahide. Just needs new thread. No tears.|
|Water stains that will have to be dealt with. More on that later.||Fred and I pop a couple of beers to celebrate beginning work on the trailer to get it road-worthy.||Fred and I at the camp site with the trailer ready to go. The other one is my previous project that I needed to deliver just 30 miles away.||Fred stands before the huge campfire we have going. I think they could see it from the space station.|
|Fred kicking back at the table.||Eating dinner in the trailer.||Fred working on the lights.||Both trailers hitched up and ready to go. We will deliver the Lil' Loafer 30 miles away in Trona.|
|A closer look at the Westerner behind Fred's truck.||I deliver the Lil' Loafer to it's new owners in Trona. They are very happy and the lights worked the first time without having to be rewired.|