Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bonded in Aluminum

An Airstream can do many things for you, things you would never imagine. Probably the best thing it will do is cause you to make a whole new set of friends. Maybe you drive your old friends off by talking about your rig non-stop, or perhaps it is the shiny aluminum that draws folks in... I am still trying to figure it out. Someone that I am enjoying getting to know is Rob Baker. If anyone does not know who Rob is, well your just missing out. Rob is the laugh behind the Vintage Airstream Podcast. Every two weeks the guys get together and record another excellent podcast that many wait for anxiously. Rob almost sold me my first trailer. A simple twist of fate prevented me from buying his trailer, but his love for Airstreaming convinced me that I wanted to be cool as him. I say that in a joking way, but seriously, Rob is very cool. He loves his hobby and loves to share it with everyone he meets. when I did get Anna, Rob was the first person I called. I think he was as happy for me as I was. Upon his convincing, I joined the WBCCI just so I could become a member of the WDCU. That was a good fit for us as I discussed in an earlier Blog. So last night, I got a call from Rob asking if I would be home today. He was going to recover a 13 panel 1957 21 foot custom not too far from my house. I right away asked if he wanted a hand or someone to ride along. This morning at 6:20 Rob picked me up and off we went.

The only hitch was with the hitch. The trailer had a 2 5/16" receiver and Robs truck had a proper 2" for a vintage rig. Rob already knew about the problem and brought along a new 2 5/16" to change over to. So this is where the problem starts. The ball was on Robs hitch for real. We used some penetrating oil.

Then we used some heat.

Then we used a big pipe to gain some leverage and slowly it began to loosen until it came off. An important thing to note; when picking up a trailer, always tie the door shut. Rob did and it still came open. If it had not been tied shut, serious damage could have occurred.
Another cool thing about Rob is his kindness. I had been looking for replacement lifters for my Astrodome. They were made by Laudue and are called Laudue lifters.

I had bid on them many times to see them sell for mad money. Ebay was not the place to go looking for that part. It appears someone could capitalize on that product if it could be reproduced at a reasonable cost. Well Rob knew that I needed a pair. He said he would give me a set, but they would require some work. The work required was cleaning the grime off and installing them... I have removed the grime and still need to install them. I need to get an Astrodome from Vintage Trailer Supply and I will be set. The point of this is to thank Rob for being such a great guy. If anyone reading this does not know him, well, you should try to get to know him. He is an officer in the WDCU and will most likely be president of the WBCCI someday. His passion for Airstreaming is infectious and is truely something to be enjoyed.

1 comment:

Rob & Zoe' Baker said...

It was a great time Frank, thanks for the ride, discussions, and wrench help. Ya know, there's always a snag. See ya down the road! Rob -

PS - The trailer made it back to Quantico.... now to New York on Friday!