The short of it: my wife and I were looking for a vintage, small, canned ham style camper. She's never been too excited about RVs but she's all about decorating and home renovations and wanted a camper like that to use as a guest house in the back yard. So, why not a guest house we can camp in, too? I'm looking forward to a camper both of us will be passionate about.
The long of it: the fact that this one is collapsible wasn't part of the plan at first. Now I'm thinking it's a huge bonus for rehabing this thing because the walls will be so easily removable. Plus, the walls seem to be the least affected by the rot that's taken over the lower portion. My dad and I spent a few hours the other day trying to fix the driver's-side corner which had sagged a full 8" lower than the other three when I started playing around with the collapsable functionality.
This one uses a chain-drive system with four independent chains on the corners. The rot was so bad on the problem corner that it was causing too much slack in the chain and before I knew what was going on it had sagged horribly. The passenger's side front must also have structural issues as it seems to have sagged a good 2" lower than the rear, too. We managed to use a screwdriver to derail the really bad corner so the chain would for sure skip as I slowly and carefully continued to lower the top with that corner down and the others still up.
Over Memorial Day weekend I plan to start disassembling the interior, document and catalogue everything and get to where I can work on gutting the rot in the lower portion. It's going to be a pretty long project, I think. Until I get this going we'll keep using our 4x8 teardrop. I can't wait until it's done and we have a camper with an actual dinette so my family of 4 can all play The Farming Game inside on rainy days rather than being forced to cut a trip short.