The Beginning of The American Dream (Trailer Company)
While many people have different perceptions on what their American Dream represents, Paul Dalham’s dream includes a boat. That’s because Dahlman is the CEO and founder of The American Dream Trailer Company which specializes in replicating 1961 vintage teardrop trailers. The American Dream Trailers are not only an exact remake of and old classic, weighing in at an efficient 650 pounds, but also included as the roof of the trailer is a rowboat with a 2HP motor. And like most American Dreams, Dahlman’s company all started with a spark of the imagination.
“About 6 years ago my wife and I were watching this really cool documentary about teardrop trailers and travel across the United States, and at the end of the show they showed a clip of this really unique trailer that had a boat on top of it, and for me that was it. I love to get out and fish and explore the lake, it was just a style, so both my wife and I were like “that’s awesome,” said Dahlman.
From their home in Portland, Oregon, Dahlman and his wife Tyla did some internet research and found an original trailer for sale in Blaine, Washington. With the aid of some letter writing and a brief phone conversation, Dahlham made the trip to Blaine and acquired the mold for his first teardrop trailer boat.
“Suddenly I owned the molds to make these unique trailers and I had no idea how to make these unique trailers,” joked Dahlman. “I wanted to share them with other people, but that’s all I had.”
Over the next two years and with the gumption and freedom that defines the American Dream, Dahlman dived headfirst into learning and understanding the intricacies involved with building and replicating the classic trailers. With a job at a local marina, Dahlman bartered his labor for some lessons on fiberglass frame building, and he utilized his career experience in design and advertising to always deliver a final product that never compromises for the style and integrity that defines every trailer he makes.
The trailers feature a 4X8 frame that has enough space for a full mattress, features a pop-out galley in the back for storage and cooking, and as the piece de resistance, a rowboat that clamps upside down to a secondary roof atop the trailer. But it’s really in the smaller details (such as the vintage windows) and the customization (such as the two-tone paint jobs) that really sets these trailers apart from everything else out on the market.
“For me, it’s the windows that I love, it puts you back to 1961 opposed to camping today. When you’re sitting in the back of the trailer and you have this lever action to open the window to see the lake, you can’t tell you’re sitting in something that was made recently. And that’s the draw, and that’s what makes it special to me, and I wasn’t really willing to put a plastic radius window you see everywhere else.”
Since their original purchase of the boat in 2009, Dahlman and his wife have used a few different garages and companies to build 9 different trailers. As of last month, The American Dream Trailer Company used a Kickstarter campaign to increase the presence of their company and support the next step of their business; year-round trailer rentals. You can check out their Kickstarter video for yourself:
Currently to own a trailer, you’re looking at about $8,900 to start in addition to a few customizable features such as a convertible sofa and couch mattress ($400), galley table ($100), and reverse taillights ($100). And although everything on the boats is brand new, no matter what customizations you opt for, the appeal of these trailers besides the boat on top is that no one will be able to believe the trailer is not straight from 1961. And in Dahlman’s mind, another big draw of The American Dream Trailer Company is where his products come from.
“It’s American made, and from the very beginning it seemed like the only logical thing to do was to support and outsource from people near my community.”
And whether you are looking to rent or own, the best place to start your American Dream Trailer adventure over at American Dream Trailers.com where you can see some of the customizable features, find some more specific specifications, and contact Paul Dahlman himself to get an estimate on your American Dream. And even if you’re just checking it out to check it out, Dahlman understands what that’s all about as well.
“There are a lot of different perceptions as to what the American Dram stands for, and I think it’s about doing what you love and having the freedom to do that. And whatever you want to do, whether it be trailers, drones or whatever, you can have as much fun with it as you want.”
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