Tuesday, July 29, 2008
All the kids wanted to help out, so I put them to work washing the Airstream. It was probably the first bath it's had in 10 years or more.
Once I got the scum off, the trailer actually looked really, really nice! Check out the reflection in the skin. That's dry aluminum, not wet shiney aluminum. Not bad for 47 years old.
I will not polish this trailer. She shines as she sits. I cleaned the scum to about 4 or 5 inches above the drip edge. Maybe it acted as a preservative all these years.
So, I made the most of it and went and laid down with my daughter and took a nap. When she woke up, we all took a ride to the hardwear store for a spool of wire. I know i should have bought two, but they last so long...
Here's what I was cleaning up. The frame had some pretty thin spots. I noticed them when I was painting the frame, but ignored them. I wouldn't be able to put wood over it, though, so I had to fix it. I drilled holes through the thicker metal, then spot welded good metal across the weak.
Yeah, I saw this when I was painting the frame. I chose to ignore it. It chose to keep me awake at night thinking about it.
"Hey Dad, can I put water on it and watch it steam?"
Monday, July 28, 2008
I looked up some pictures of my old 1986 32 footer for inspiration. I love the vintage units so much more than the one I had. It was more like an apartment with fine wood, lots of plastic, and just a general feeling of cheesiness to it. I'm into things that are utilitarian. Tools. Cars with rubber floors rather than carpet. Old land Rovers that you can clean out with a hose. Things like that. My vintage trailer will be nice, but it will be utilitarian. Something I can take the family to the wilderness with and not have to worry about. It will have rod lockers for fishing poles. It will have an area for a cooler to keep bait. It will not have carpeting, and it will not feel like 5th Avenue on Wheels (sorry about that , Wally). Self contained, off the grid, base for exploration. It will get used, get dirty, and be loved. More like a Super Cub on bush wheels and less like a Lear jet. And like a Super Cub, it will be coveted by my children. Unlike the Lear, which is most times just turned back in at the end of the lease. Unloved.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I was able to get out to the shop last night. I used the old, rear most piece of flooring as a template and traced the shape onto a sheet of new 19/32" plywood. The piece of painted wood holding the two halves together came in very handy when lining everything up. Then I screwed the whole deal to the new plywood so it wouldn't move around, got out my pencil and traced it. I used the good edge to make a cardboard template for the rotted edge, then I just flipped it and used the mirror image to trace my line.
Now to to hardware store to get some paint brushes so I can apply the Olympic water sealer. I always need to buy new paintbrushes. That will happen when you have 3 boys who like to do "projects", but don't like cleaning brushes. That's why I use the $0.79 ones from True Value.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Yeah, about that mulch that I mentioned above. I didn't get to do any actual work on the trailer when we got home as laurie had other plans for me...
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Chatting up the ladies. Frank too time out from baking pies and entertaining me to answer this gracious older woman's questions.
My boys, watching a man cook for the first time in the lives. They're wondering if baking power and baking soda are interchangable, too.
As I walked around the field looking at all the beautiful rigs, what struck me was the number of young families and kids that were camping. I got a feel of why I got back into Airstreams with a vintage unit this time. It's all about fun. There was no regimentation that I saw, no "bull pen", nobody in a suit and tie. Just kids running all over the place, strollers galore, friends hanging out, pies being baked, and even an inflatable kiddie pool being blown up. It was a really cool vibe and I can't wait until I can park with these guys and join the fun. I will definately have my trailer ready for Rob's installation rally come October.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Some non-Airstream news: Last night I got a call from the Chenango Couty Sheriff's office at 3:00am telling me that my drug store had been broken into. I headed to town to meet the deputy and check out the damage. Thankfully, it was minor. No drugs were taken (thank God), and they only got a small amount of cash. The criminal cut himself on the door glass on the way in, and left a nice blood trail leading right to the back door of his house. I'm good friends with the lead investigator, so I got to help him track the blood. It felt like I was looking for a shot deer. After a few hundred yards, we lost the trail but my friend really amazed me when he spotted footpints in a newly mowed lawn that he followed until we picked up the blood trail again. How he saw those footprints I have no idea. He was standing over them telling me "Look, right here! See how they go over there...". I couldn't see a damn thing, but he sure could. When we got near where the trail ended and it went toward a house, he unholstered his gun and told me to go back to the drug store and wait. It's amazing the set of balls police officers have when they deal with this sort of stuff. My friend has a wife and two beautiful kids at home, and here he was going alone to the door of someone who was obviously unstable. The suspect was not at home, but I shudder to think what could have happened if he had been. My friend, John Fern, has my utmost respect and admiration. Later in the day they tracked down the suspect, arrested him, and got my money back. All in all, what started out as a very bad day and ended up being an amazing experience. Not that I hope it happens ever again, mind you.
By the way, Frank, check out my carpentry skills. Yup, did that myself.