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Post Info TOPIC: Semaphore Caboose


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Semaphore Caboose


I finally started a blog to document the restoration of the 1974 Semaphore Caboose travel trailer. It can be found here.

 

http://semaphorecaboose.blogspot.com/

 

WARNING! Photo heavy, and I tend to get long-winded at times. biggrin

 

Edit by moderator: Activated link.  Terry



-- Edited by Terry and Jo on Thursday 6th of December 2012 12:23:52 PM

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What a great project, I am looking forward to following along.......thanks.

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I'm looking forward to updates as well. One question was the caboose built as an rv or something else? I have to say I have never seen one going down the road. I'm sure I'd remember if I had!

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Hi Ken, yes the caboose was built as a travel trailer. Andyes, I'm pretty sure you'd remember it if you had seen one! biggrin

 

I have my fingers crossed that I will be able to pull it home next week sometime, then the REAL fun will begin!  lol



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Up in "Buying an RV," Nightsky had posted a thread entitled, "What Have I Done!" and in that thread she put in a link that shows an online document related to the patent for the Semaphore Caboose RV.  Below is that same link:

http://www.google.com/patents/USD222346?printsec=description&dq=ininventor:William+ininventor:Schmelzer#v=onepage&q&f=false

That forum thread has the beginning of Nightsky's excursion in getting her RV ready.  A link to that thread is below:

What Have I Done!

Terry



-- Edited by Terry and Jo on Thursday 6th of December 2012 08:27:31 PM

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Good luck with the rebuild I'll be watching and waiting to see the end result.

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Terry I think you got Nightsky's Gender wrong in your last post unless it was a typo.

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Not a typo, George.  I didn't look that closely at the name in the profile, so thanks for telling me so I could correct it.

My apologies for calling a lady a guy.

Unfortunately, as a moderator that needs to read each and EVERY post, I occasionally read too quickly or get distracted.  Maybe I got distracted by making sure that I kept the links straight as to where they should direct those that are interested.

Now, having said all that, I commend Caryn for being willing to undertake such an endeavor.  It's not likely that I would even do that.

Terry



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No worries about the gender mix up, I'm often mistaken for a guy. LOL Seriously! Tall, short hair, I've always been a tomboy and have never worn makeup, in the winter I wear an old chore coat and often a baseball cap or stocking cap. I can't tell you how many women have done double takes when I walk into the women's room, or how many times I've been asked "Can I help you sir?" When my daughter was younger she would often introduce me to her friends as "This is my Mom, she looks like a guy." LOL

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Good luck, it looks like a lot of work--but it sure will be unique when you get it done.  I, like others will follow along, please keep us posted.

 

Flyone



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When you first posted this I must admit I thought you were wasting your time and money but as time has passed I must say I'm intrigued and wish you luck on a very unique project.smilesmile



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The neat part will be when she finds a fiberglass body kit for the front of her pickup to make it look like an old locomotive and the bed like a coal hopper!!!!!!!

that would be the sight to see!!

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biggrinyawn Maybe Caryn will let you become the architeck for the modification! Just had to open your mouth; HUH? Open Mouth--Insert Foot! LOL! yawnyawn PIEERE



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LOL @ you guys! biggrinbiggrin

 



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I'm thinking that it may be easier to install railroad wheels on your truck, and tow the monstrosity along the railroad and streetcar tracks!

 



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I've just been thinking, Night

Although I think it is a GREAT idea ...I'm concerned about the width.

Have you checked with the DOT as to what is allowable?

I don't want to worry you, or be a downer ...but ...I checked the average width of a boxcar on the Internet. ( 9 feet 6 inches wide)

Then, I checked on the Internet, to see what the width of a semi trailer is. (8 feet to 8.53 feet)

 



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Millie this is not a real boxcar.....it is an actual Travel trailer that was built in the early 70's.....800 of them were built and roughly another 100 were built as piano show rooms.....

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We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Millie wrote:

I've just been thinking, Night

Although I think it is a GREAT idea ...I'm concerned about the width.

Have you checked with the DOT as to what is allowable?

I don't want to worry you, or be a downer ...but ...I checked the average width of a boxcar on the Internet. ( 9 feet 6 inches wide)

Then, I checked on the Internet, to see what the width of a semi trailer is. (8 feet to 8.53 feet)

 


Millie,  maybe you missed it, but this unit was actually built as an RV by a RV manufacturer.  It is not a railroad car so no worry about the width.  Nightsky also posted a drawing she received from the son of one of the owners and it was actually patented as a RV.

Nightsky, I also cannot wait to see how this project turns out.  This is one of the most unique RV's I have ever seen.  I grew up in Ohio and never knew these existed or that the factory was less than 60 miles from where I have spent most of my life.  I will be following you blog and wish you the best of everything with this project!



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RickandJanice wrote:
Millie,  maybe you missed it, but this unit was actually built as an RV by a RV manufacturer.  It is not a railroad car so no worry about the width.  Nightsky also posted a drawing she received from the son of one of the owners and it was actually patented as a RV.

Nightsky, I also cannot wait to see how this project turns out.  This is one of the most unique RV's I have ever seen.  I grew up in Ohio and never knew these existed or that the factory was less than 60 miles from where I have spent most of my life.  I will be following you blog and wish you the best of everything with this project!


 Yes. There's sometimes such a big flood of long-winded sleepy text everywhere, Rick&Janice ...I skip over a lot of it ...so as not to get bored! 

 



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Yep, no worries about the width, it's only 7' 10" wide, that's substantially narrower than the KZ Sportsmen was with the handicap lift mounted on the side. Although, now you've given me another crazy idea...

I wonder... can a person put a rail car on train tracks these days? I wonder how much a RR company would charge to hook it up and move it when you wanted a change of scenery? I'm sure there are a lot of unused sidings all over the country...



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winkwink  The RR will transport RV's and 18 wheeler trailers, and automobiles; why not!. I seen Amtrak haul vehicles, just not sure what type. Pieere confuse



-- Edited by PIEERE on Saturday 8th of December 2012 09:26:53 AM

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nightsky wrote:

Yep, no worries about the width, it's only 7' 10" wide, that's substantially narrower than the KZ Sportsmen was with the handicap lift mounted on the side. Although, now you've given me another crazy idea...

I wonder... can a person put a rail car on train tracks these days? I wonder how much a RR company would charge to hook it up and move it when you wanted a change of scenery? I'm sure there are a lot of unused sidings all over the country...


 

While there might be some "interesting sidings" out there, you would have to pay to haul your trailer on a flat car.  If you were to try to put railroad wheels under a travel trailer, it might work but the frame of the trailer would not stand up to the stresses that a regular rail car would (or, your trailer would have to be hauled by an engine with no other rail cars).  Your trailer would have to actually be attached to regular railcar "trucks" (what the wheel and frame assembly is called) and that would also raise your trailer up a lot.

Terry



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nightsky wrote:

...now you've given me another crazy idea...

I wonder... can a person put a rail car on train tracks these days? I wonder how much a RR company would charge to hook it up and move it when you wanted a change of scenery? I'm sure there are a lot of unused sidings all over the country...


Here’s the scenario, North!

 

When approaching your selected abandoned sidetrack …the locomotive could build-up to a tremendous speed  …then disconnect you from the back of the locomotive …power away ahead of you …and have a prearranged switchman switch the track to your selected side line as soon as the locomotive flew by …and you could shoot off into the abandoned sidetrack …and coast down there until you put the brakes on to enjoy a new scenic spot! 



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Only one thing I will say..
I want a Caboose, with the fiberglass train front end cap on my Ford.
And the coal tender... Heck I'M serious sounds kewl..

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A gentleman on the vintage Shasta forum came across some info on the Semaphore caboose. I've posted it here:
http://www.buythefarm.net/caboose.html

It's not my version of the caboose, but still very interesting reading. The review was very favorable!

Edit by moderator: Activated link.  Terry



-- Edited by Terry and Jo on Monday 18th of February 2013 03:47:42 PM

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Great I just read the article from the link above. Wow! You have all the specifications and great pictures of this magnificent piece of History. The article had me visualizing the awe inspiring looks this will draw in today's society. Like back to the Future or something like it.
Hope you locate some one to get this "home" for you?

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I found a guy on Uship, we were to have met and hauled it either Wed or Thurs last week, but he jackknifed his rig near Louisville Wed night damaging his truck so I'm just waiting to hear from him that he's back up and running. Hopefully this wind dies down before that! If I'd wanted 40 mph gusts I could have stayed in SD! Although they're looking at double digit below 0 temps for tonight and I SURE don't want that!

Thanks for activating the link, Terry!

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Dang the bad luck for you and him. Hopefully he will get up and running soon. This winter has been really tough with the swing in Temperatures and the winds. Then again we have to look at the rest of the country; what a late start for winter storms!! Keep us posted?



-- Edited by PIEERE on Tuesday 19th of February 2013 10:42:57 AM

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Well, just heard from the shipper, looks like we're going to try for Saturday to do the haul. I don't want to get too excited since it could fall through again, buy I'll give a tentative YAY! lol

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Ok!!!!!!.................one Tentative YaY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hope all goes well!!

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the weather looks to be in the mid 50's Saturday and clear. That's a plus!!! Best to you!

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Today was a no-go, aiming for tomorrow morning now. Sooner or later this camper WILL make it to Tennessee!

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Right along with lucky mike.....if we can stop the snow long enough!!!.................LOL


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Well, August is coming, the snow should let up by then... LOL

 

And the Caboose may even be here by then.



-- Edited by nightsky on Saturday 23rd of February 2013 08:23:25 PM

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WOOHOO!!!!!!! The Caboose is currently sitting in my driveway! It made the trip safe and sound (well, as sound as a basket case travel trailer can be. lol)
The blog has been updated with some pics.

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It was meant to be!!!!.............................................................or is it an omen of things to come?



Congrats Caryn!!

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Caryn: Read your blog post and I could imagine the grin you had coming down the road!!! I can bet you had a lot of "LOOKERS" wondering if it was the real McCoy. Maybe I'll get a chance to see this in person if you are willing to PM your address. I am almost as excited as you are. Probably will be a "One of a Kind" and personalized to your liking. Have me wishing I was younger!!!! LOL!!



-- Edited by PIEERE on Monday 25th of February 2013 12:03:18 PM

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Thanks guys! I'm STILL smiling! LOL

 

Ed, You're more than welcome to head over and check out the train wreck!  LOL

I'll PM you.

It's interesting that you mention "lookers", Ed. I was following behind the trailer, we both were running flashers since we were only averaging about 55 mph. People were passing me at a pretty good pace, as normal, but a lot of them seemed to slow waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy down when they got up to the Caboose on the trailer! More than a couple even put their brakes on when they got level with it, and then would pass him very slowly. What really surprised me was how many of the apparent "lookers" were truckers! I wish I had a CB, would have been interesting to see if they were talking about it!



-- Edited by nightsky on Monday 25th of February 2013 01:11:11 PM

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Congrats it must feel good to have her home......it's also nice to hear about the guy handling her with care.......Good Man.

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Thanks Genecop, it IS great to finally get it here. I was really pleased with the hauler, although I have to say I'm less than thrilled with Uship.
What showed up as his bid when I accepted it was $450 more or less, and I paid $485. Ok, they get a fee, no problem. When the Caboose was sitting on the ground again last night we talked a bit after I gave him the payment code so he could get paid from Uship. I mentioned that if I ever wanted something hauled again to just call him, since Uship takes so much. I remarked I didn't think the amount I paid them was out of line. Then he signed into Uship on his phone and entered the code. His actual bid for the job was only $240!! So Uship got just almost 1/2 of what I thought was his actual bid!

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Wow, Caryn.  Uship actually got 100% as a "fee" of what your hauler bid.  So, they got as much as he did.

However, it is now an excellent thing that you have the "boose" home.  Now, when you have time, it will be easier for you to "tinker" with things and do all your planning and calculations.  If nothing else, you can now walk outside and check for certain what you "think you might have remembered" instead of still wondering.

Good luck with it all.  I think there are a lot of us on the forums that will be rooting for you.

Terry



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Went to our local parade today and saw a trailer that looked very similar to your caboose.  I don't have any online picture storage to post a picture so saved one to my avatar.  It was in very nice condition.

Mark

With Terry's help, I was able to post a picture, see below.

-- Edited by LifeBeganInaWinnebago on Friday 10th of May 2013 02:40:34 PM



-- Edited by LifeBeganInaWinnebago on Saturday 11th of May 2013 07:57:09 AM

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Mark,

If you are interested, several of the photo hosting sites are free.  I'm on Photobucket, and while it is not perfect, it does do what I want it to do.  I also created some instructions up in the "Suggestions and Guidelines" category on how to post photos with Photobucket.

Guidelines for Embedding Photos Into a Forum Thread

Terry



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https://i1349.photobucket.com/albums/p741/MarkSalina/May2013041_zps1fcfd42c.jpg

Terry, I set up the photobucket.  May need to resize it, but it does work.  Thanks

-- Edited by LifeBeganInaWinnebago on Saturday 11th of May 2013 07:20:05 AM



-- Edited by LifeBeganInaWinnebago on Saturday 11th of May 2013 07:44:25 AM

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Wow! Not sure how I missed this, but that's great! Thanks for posting the photo! That one was made by Semaphore Industries, mine is the the prototype version built by American Leisure Time Industries. I may have the only remaining ALTI since less than 10 were built, and only a handful of the Semaphores still exist, although 7-800 were built. This one makes 6 survivors that I'm aware of.

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It looked so similar to your's I Had to get a picture. I would like to see the inside. I don't see any plumbing or tanks so it may not have been a camper. I'm sure I have seen it before in parades but never paid much attention to it until this year. It is owned by the Shriners and was probably purchased by them new. I'm sure it is only used a few time a year for local parades then stored inside.

Mark



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Mark, as I understand the history of the Semaphores, there were 100 or so built not as campers but as traveling showrooms for piano companies (Baldwin). Those would most likely not have had water tanks but I'm not positive about that. I'll definitely have to get over that way some day and talk to the Shriners about it and check out the interior.

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Caryn,

Did you notice on the side of the trailer that it said, "Wichita, Kansas?"

That would be a pretty good little trip over to check it out.  You might check to see if that "chapter" has an online presence.

Terry



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Just a quick note to let folks know I've changed the name of my blog so if you have it bookmarked you'll have to change it. The new name is
http://nightskyandprairiewind.blogspot.com

 

OK, can someone more computer literate than myself explain to me why when I click on the link in my signature it tried to take me to semaphorecaboose.blogspot.com? And therefor I'm getting a "we can't find your blog" message??  I've cleared cookies, even shut the browser which clears all history etc. And if I copy paste it from the edit box it works fine as well. Just not as a link on the forum. I'm confused!  (But it doesn't take much to confuse me  lol)



-- Edited by nightsky on Friday 31st of May 2013 05:39:18 PM



-- Edited by nightsky on Friday 31st of May 2013 05:40:17 PM

Edit by moderator: Activated link.  Terry



-- Edited by Terry and Jo on Friday 31st of May 2013 08:09:45 PM

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