I had an exceptionally good time camping at Jersey Shore Haven. The campground was full of Airstreams, amounting to the most I have ever seen in any one place at the same time. One of the first things that struck me was how many Excella and Limited there were. The place is the land of late 1970 to late 1980. Most all trailers are big girls too, triple axle 34 footers. The small trailers were the Overlanders. There were a few older trailers, such as the 1963 Globetrotter and Dave's 1964 Safari sitting next to a 1964 Globetrotter. The 63 just had a new panel installed not to long ago. Here is the trailer sales company in Florida that the original owner purchased it from. There were also some somewhat obscure units around like this MOHO. I vote to let it in the club. I tried many times to locate the owners, but they were not around. I really wanted to see the inside. How often do you see an Airstream fifth wheel? Seriously, how often? Well I saw four. Once again I tried to see the inside of any of the four, and no one was home. A squarestream... no comment. Now how many years of service to the club is that? To who ever you are, Thanks. Brand new paint on this Argosy 20. I really liked the cloud patterned glass used in the rear. The folks that owned this one have another there full time. They were super nice to us.
Well, I thought I had the oldest trailer in the park until I found this sad looking old girl. She is a 1960 Sovereign of the road. This girl needs some one to love her. Whoever owns her is not giving her any loving and it breaks my heart to see. She did have nice knockers....
And then there was the brand new 2008 Bambi owned by Jane. Jane was there with her parents camping. Dad sleeps in the cot tent under the awning. It was a very cool Cabelas item intended for the hunter that needs everything, however it worked well as an ad hoc bedroom. Much more modern than my tastes, but I still liked it a lot. Cute little thing it was.
No camping trip would be complete without the SOB sighting. we sighted this wannabee Airstream SOB in Wildwood on the boardwalk. Dr. Suess, your umpalumpas are looking for your trailer. And then there was this guy I had to pass.... I actually felt bad passing him for when I did he was snapping photos of me too. I wonder is some guy with a Scamp blog is posting about the Airstream that passed him in Delaware.
Jersey Shore Haven was this weekends destination. One of my good buddies Dave is a shareholder at this Land Yacht Harbor and invited us to come down and camp with him. The location is excellent being 15 minutes from the beach and half way between Atlantic City and Cape May. For us this was a one tank weekend. I made sure to fill up before we left New Jersey, it was $3.34 per gallon and they pumped it to boot. The campground was super clean and well cared for. Each site is nestled into the trees. There were blueberries in prime ripeness everywhere just begging to be picked. We had the most delicious pancakes one of the mornings. Many of the sites are seasonal lots and quite a few are permanent sites for some of the Airstreams. Dave told me that over 100 trailers are there at any time during the season. Anna was right at home in the trees. I was told seven times that I had the shiniest trailer in the park. It was not a long stretch, for most of the trailers were late 1970's through late 1980's. Quite a few new trailers were scattered through out the park too. In a later post, I will highlight some of the trailer I saw there. To really top things off, right across the road from us was Vintage Thunder!!!! Amanda, Don, and Donal came down too. They came as a birthday gift to me, for on saturday I turned 42. We have come to love Don and Amanda deeply, having camped with them virtually every month since spring. I hope everyone reading this has the divine pleasure of getting to know them on a personal level. These folks are very fun to hang out with and they have intense Airsream Spirit. Thank you guys again for a wonderful weekend, and thanks for humoring me by pretending to be staying the extra night only to slip away right after we went to bed. I now know how some of those girls felt back in college. If any of those girls are reading this, sorry. No seriously, sorry.
Well during the weekend we managed to do all the things one is supposed to do on vacation at the beach. We went to the pool at Jersey Shore Haven and ate lolly pops. Halle calls them Pee Pops, and asked for another continuously. The pool was ultra clean and the perfect temperature. Al, one of the staffers, takes great pride in his pool and it shows. We ate lots of good food all throughout the weekend. Often it was done communally in someone's site. We went to the beach for the day on Saturday. The day was perfect... Beth's Grandfather would have said, "It is sore peter weather, so good you just can't beat it" We lounged on the beach in Avalon the entire day and all took in a bit too much sun. Don and I took in a few too many beers too. In the left of the photo you see Dave. Thanks again Dave for having us down. Here is my attempt at the minds eye photography... see how many people you can find. The first four are very easy, there are more.
I LOVE polishing. Now that the nasty work is done and I have the right compounder, the right polish, the cyclo, well, it has become a pleasure to polish. I am working one panel at a time and just rolling with it. Anna will never be the perfect polish poster girl. She has bad skin that shows her age. No problem with me, I prefer the older lady. Here you see the effects of steel wool. One of the previous owners used steel wool and mineral spirits to polish the curb side and it has left scratches that just will never come out. This is the effects of acid rain. I have shot close to 50 pictures trying to capture the effect it has had. The picture here does it no justice, but there are serious streaks of pits. I can very clearly see the lines the rain has created. These are all so deep that there will never be any chance of getting these out. The only possibility is panel replacement, which is not going to happen. I can easily live with this, it all good. I never rebuilt the window up front, so I thought I might remove the outer seals and try to just replace them if the buthyl behind the glass was still holding the seal. Well, it was good all the way around the glass panel, except the top right hand corner. I figured that it was high enough and the rubber would help deflect the rain, so I could just cut a corner and not do the buthyl and new glass. I put on the bottom gasket and the side gasket and "CRACK" right in the spot where the buthyl seal was not strong. So, a new piece of glass, new buthyl, new rubber glass gasket, and new inner bulb seal and we are good. I even detail polished all around the window frame. Front end is looking really sharp now.
I felt so bad about the scratch I created that I had to do something nice for Anna, the guilt has been tremendous... A song just came on the Itunes I am listening to and it it could not be more fitting... John Prine, 'That's the Way the World Goes Round'...
I know a guy that's got a lot to lose. He's a pretty nice fellow but he's kind of confused. He's got muscles in his head that ain't never been used. Thinks he own half of this town.
Starts drinking heavy, gets a big red nose. Beats his old lady with a rubber hose, then he takes her out to dinner and buys her new clothes. That's the way that the world goes 'round.
So just like the fella in the song, I bought my old lady some new clothes. New numbers always makes a lady that much more elegant. The last set of lettering were too thin and were easily lost in the reflections. I thought she needed something better. I know I will get lots of questions on how I did that, so here it goes in advance. The decal comes in a sheet like this. I went to Fastsigns, and Angel asked me what I wanted it to say, how big, what font, and what color. They lay it out and 24 hours later you receive a sheet that looks like this. I then cut it apart into lines. The next thing is to position it exactly where you want it to be. Tape is used at the center of the line to hold it in place. Next, you peel back half of the back sheet and tear it off. Slowly you rub it into place from the center. Then you peal back the other side and apply that. The last thing is to remove the cover sheet. And then you have something that looks like this....
After a seemingly long absence from polishing, I have recently gotten the urge. It might be that I have a half polished turd, or it might be the new cyclo I got from Vintage Trailer Supply, regardless, I am back at it. I was able to bust the oxide on my first go around, or first cut. I have a new regiment for polishing and I find it works well. The first thing I do is fix a strong adult beverage with plenty of ice. Plenty of ice is needed to keep it cool for a while and dilute it's strongness. The next thing is to create the mood. Yesterday I got into the mood with some super funky music. I put on Dee Lite, "Groove is in the heart" to kick things off, I followed that with some Paliment, and then to round it all off I put on Della Soul... The next think I do is wipe an entire panel off with MEK. The MEK mixes nicely with the booze and get things going, I call it "GETTING NICE"... Next I do the entire panel with "C" Nuvite on the compounder. I then follow it up with the cyclo and some "A" Nuvite on a fresh terry cloth bonnet. Flip the bonnet over and finish the panel. Move on to the next panel.... The pictures do not always do justice to the subject matter. Sometimes the detail I try to capture, just does not make it into the picture. The part you see to the left is the first cut done with Diamond Brite Tool Box Polish after three months. I am not pleased with the way it has held up. You are also looking at where I started with all this, so my attention to detail was much better 20 hours in, as opposed to 165 hours into it. The reflection is now quite brilliant in the areas done by the this new regiment. Not only do I feel good, but I feel good about the way it looks now. I will never win the shiniest trailer award with Anna, but she sure looks good. All this polishing is leading up to seam sealing and new graphics for the old girl. Stay tuned for that soon.
Ever have one of those days when you forget your cell phone is in the charger and you have to turn around and go back home? And then you retrieve it and go to the gas station to fill up, to find your wallet is there too. And after you finally put a $100 bucks in the tank and it is only 2/3 full, some ass who didn't forget his cell phone, cuts in front of you and you slam on the breaks sending your coffee you just got all over the floor. Ever have one of those mornings? Then you cut the last piece of trim short and you have to go back to the building supply house to get another piece, so you can finish the job. Then you decide to make it quick and go to Mc Donald's for lunch as to not burn any more gallons of gas every fourteen miles, but they forget the cheese you paid .40 extra for on your #4 meal deal. Ever have a day like that? Well, I did. But then I came home, waiting for me, at my back door was a present. It is from Steve and Kim at Vintage trailer Supply and it is addressed to me. I feel like the teenage boy in Animal House when the girl came flying through his bedroom window. He was in bed reading a playboy and bang, his dream came true, there she was. Well, BANG, there was the box.
And lookie here at what I bought myself.... A brand new Cyclo Polisher. What a great day this has become.
This piece of paper has touched me tremendously. It is the instructions printed in 1958, then revised in 1962, as to caring for and maintaining the burner and Klixson tongue on my gas only Dometic refrigerator. These instructions did not come with my trailer, they were found in a 1966 Airstream out in California. When I broke the tongue a while back, a fellow Airstreamer heard my plight and knew he could help. He had bought a 1966, I believe TradeWind, and these instructions came with it. The irony is that the fridge in John's trailer does not have this system in it. It was instructions that had no purpose, but there they were. They had no purpose until John heard me tell about my misfortunes on the VAP episode 73. So John sends this little piece of paper to me in between being evacuated from wildfires and trying to live his life. If you have knowledge you have power. My fridge has probably not run so well in 46 years. Everything is adjusted correctly and it keeps things very cold. The story does not end there... Since receiving this piece of paper that had no purpose, not only has it helped me, but I have passed it on to others. Over the the past three weeks four people have contacted me and I have mailed them copies of it. One random act of kindness, turned to many acts of kindness. If anyone out there needs these instructions, please feel free to contact me and I will mail you one out.
It is acts like this that make this hobby so wonderful. One guy helps another guy and he helps someone else so they can do something for somebody and the next thing you know, some stranger has become your friend and has also pulled you out of a pickle barrel. I hope that this Airstream Spirit continues to occure to me and I hope to be able to do the same for someone else out there.