Friday, September 26, 2008

I filled her backside in.

The hole on the backside of the door got some attention today. Unfortunately this is a half finished project. I need to buck two of the rivets on this inner beauty ring. I loaned my bucking equipment to my buddy John so he could put things back together on his trailer for the WDCU Installation Rally.

The one in the finger tip comes through right at the edge of the frame that holds the screen in place. I do not want to see the back of an Olympic here. The other spot is on the sleeve. That rivet is right next to the lock shaft and it is a tight clearance. I will be taking care of this at the Rally.
I also still need to rivet the front beauty ring on. It is raining big time here, so that will need to wait until it stops. A little polishing is needed and some vulkem, neither mix too well with rain. All in all I am extremely pleased with the solution for hiding these gaps that bothered me so.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I have a hole needs filling...

I posted that on forums to solicit a response from some of forums members. Apparently it was thought of as sexually suggestive to some of the readers. Sorry. I was more making fun of the one in my head where all the aluminum goes. Any way, I have this hole. It has bothered me tremendously since I pulled the huge blob of silicon off it.

It is a result of, what I am sure was, a classic case of lost keys. Instead of using the proper dead bolt, one was adapted. It was Jerry rigged and I fucking hate to do that.(Sorry, it is my blog and that is how I feel about fucking assholes that do things half ass. Sorry, it is my blog and sometimes I speak my mind)

As you can see the back side has the same gap. So I asked folks on the forums as to what they would do. I got some good feed back. I was surprised that the high acclaimed California professional Airstream restorer, parts mogul and axle emperor told me to put a bead of vulkem over it. Now that is exactly the non professional look I was trying to get away from. So a plan was hatched and SoldierMedic thought it was a good one. That was the one vote I needed, thank you Steve,

So I got out a piece of 2024 T3 .032 and contact cemented a star photo copy to it. I punched a center to give my dividers somewhere to seat and drew out the out limit of the beauty ring I was going to make. Next I drew the center line of each point of the star. Drew out the star to the full diameter of the ring. I then created a inner ring 1/8" larger than the diameter of the dead bolt. The hole in the back of the dead bolt was 1 3/8" so I drilled out the center with a sharp Forstner bit.

I next went at it with my super fancy hand shears. Wish I had some cool tool, but sharp shears and patients cuts it out real well. My hand break came in handy for flattening the edges and points out. A heavy hammer on the cast iron table saw top took out every ripple. Next I used a combination of bench top grinding wheel and fine files to smooth and straighten (or curve) all that cuts.

The other half of my bench grinder has a doubled cotton wheel on it. A little brown rouge, and a few minutes... BAMMMM!

Even thought it is raining, I just had to dry fit it into place. Vulkem and five Olympics will hold this new beauty ring in place. I just need to wait for it to stop raining and it will be installed.

For the inside hole, I will be making an even more funky shape, stay tuned for that...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Another cool part about going to rallies, well, or going some where with Anna is the present after the trip. I usually earn a decal for the door with in the door. I start searching as soon as a destination is chosen. I sometimes see them and think it would make a great destination on a long trip. I am currently planning out various trips all around the decals I am collecting. There is New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Nova Scotia, New Found Land trip in the works. The Smokey Mountains trip. The Great Cross Country Caravan of 2010 that I want to do. I see a decal and it becomes an excuse for a destination.

I bought this one early on in my collecting. It does not have any manufactures name on the sleeve or on the back. I worry every time I drop them into the bowl, for not all the decals still work. This one took a long time to release from it's sheet. I now always use very warm water. I also try not to touch them at all until the decal begins to release from the sheet. Like so many things in life, patience is a key factor. Anyway, this one went on perfect. Every time it catches my eye I will be reminded of the 2008 Beachcomber Rally with the WDCU. Next week I am going to Central New York for the WDCU installation rally. A visit to Howe Caverns and Watkins Glenn are in the plans.

Monday, September 22, 2008

And here is why we Airstream...

It is actually very simple, the kids have a great time. We drop the "no soda" rule, we let them go off and play together, we let them have leave of the normal rules that confine their everyday lives.

They can dress up and get goofy.

wander over to the neighbors and work them over for some candy and cookies.

Slide until their butts are worn thin.

... ride a deer for the fun of it.

Or just spin.

Spin until one of them spits up their cookies and candy or falls off and splits their lip. Good thing neither happened, for I was the parent on watch while they attempted to make each other throw up said cookies and candy.

Left to their own devices they know exactly how to have a good time.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Life is Tough....

So What did you do with your weekend? Well, I fought a serious cold all weekend. I tried very hard to not let too many people know it, I was big time sick as a dog. One of the disadvantages of having kids is the constant attacks of the common cold. Halle gets sick for 24- 48 hours and is all better, she passes it on to Beth or I and there it lingers for a good solid week. I started feeling Ill on Thursday morning I was determined to not let it stop me from a fun filled weekend with the WDCU at Beachcomber Campground in Cape May NJ. We headed out first thing Friday morning.

This may be a whole separate blog issue, but I might as well wrap it into how I spent my weekend. Many of, no, all of my Airstream friends, and most of my other friends have GPS systems in their cars. Some even have a GPS on their phones. They program the address into the GPS and it tells you where to go, how far it is, when you will be arriving at the current speed, you know all this because almost everyone reading this has one of these toys mounted to their dash. I am "old school". I use a road atlas and my wife navigates us through. I tell her where we are going, she finds it on the map and we set a course. Her thumb is marking the place we are heading.

Sometimes she will let me know there is a point of interest ahead and we will alter our travels to see it. But, most often, she will say "next town is Millville," or "we should be coming up on the next turn". Kind of like a GPS , only when we reach our destination, my GPS can crawl into bed and keep me warm all night long. The other advantage of my GPS is no one is breaking into my truck to steal it.

We have been to the Jersey Shore many times. About half way there is Salem and we usually stop there for a meal at the Salem Oak Diner. This is a 1954 stainless steel diner and everything about it is excellent. The food is terrific, the service is great, it is inexpensive, and cleaner than clean. This trips meal time was breakfast and it was excellent as usual.

I was even able to get front row VIP parking. Two couples struck up discussions about their memories of Airstreams.

We arrived at the Rally right at 11 am and it was a piece of cake to get set up. Beachcomber is a typical commercial campground designed to milk every dollar and quarter out of you they can. The spaces are stacked up tight and everything is an extra fee. A five minute shower is a quarter, the WIFI is $8 a day, golf carts are for rent, paddle boats, and even fishing gear. This place maximizes it's profit margin the best it can. They did however put us all together in one area. The rally hosts Sonia and Jerry, however were gracious hosts and took care of making sure everything was just right for all those that came.

The rally theme was Hawaiian Luau. The kids were all giving outfits to wear.

Most of the attendees wore Hawaiian outfit or shirts, everyone was given a lei to come to dinner. We ate a roast pig. We managed to devour the entire 100 pound beast. Yes, those are all the usual suspects....

After dinner there was a wonderful dance performance put on by Sonia and her Hawaiian troop. I had never seen such a performance in my life, and I was blown away. I think I have not seen so many men smiling since the one and only bachelor party I attended. It was spectacular to say the least.

Everyone got into the act. I hope the United States Marine Corps do not see this picture of Rob Baker in a grass skirt. That is him, on the right wearing the Navy sweatshirt. He seem unusually comfortable in that grass skirt. His comfort, had me very uncomfortable, but to each his own....

Our fearless Cherry Blossom host, Dannee, jumped right in. For a straight guy, he could shake his ass.

Now for the highlight of my weekend. I have been in the Wally Byam Caravan Club for over a year now. In all that time I have not been on a caravan until today. Caravaning is a blast, ex specially if it is with Rob Baker and Paul Waddel. Ex specially when all three of us want to get home and we all wanted to hammer down.

Three Sobs caravan together were zero competition for three vintage Airstreams.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Score

My decal for the 2009 CBR....

Yes, I paid through the ass for this Golfarb Novelty Co. water decal. When I saw this come up on Ebay I knew I had to have it. Let's say no other fools were willing to place a fifty dollar maximum bid like I was. I got it for half that, but somethings are worth spending too much on. I have had a few choice decals fall apart on me, but this one seems to be very intact when I look at it with a magnifying glass.
Perhaps it should be duplicated for the 2009 WDCU Cherry Blossom Rally so all those that attend can have one on their trailer. I wonder what the copy rights and intellectual property rights are on something this old. Maybe if the word "time" was photo shopped into "rally". Anyone interested in helping me with this?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Serendipity baby, thats serendipity...

I take a lot of photos. Some of them make it here, but most just spend their lives on my Iphoto library. There are many things that catch my eye, so you would see many photos taken over the years that are related; close up photos of flowers, doorways and window openings, rock formations, and anything Airstream related.

One of my Airstream photo targets is name plates and dealer tags. I just love these old tags that the dealer had put on when the trailer was first sold. Unfortunately I do not think this practice is done as much today as it was in the past. The ones I do see tend to be somewhat flat and uninspiring to me.

The design within Reach people are not ashamed to display where there trailer came from. That Thor Industries.. it is just a decal, a mere clear sticker. Common guys, you make the greatest trailer in the world, show a little pride in your product.

I have been reading this excellent book "Airstream, History of the Land Yacht" by Burkhart and Hunt. It is very good reading that puts the Airstream into historical context. I bought this book on for $4.89 along with a few other choice trailer books. I see people bidding on these on Ebay all the time and they end up paying three times what I did.

So in reading, I come to page 78 and see this image. This is one of the early Airstream dealerships in Florida. I know that it was in Florida, not because it states it in the book. No, I know this because of this photo I took on a resent trip we took.

This is why I know...

At Jersey Shore Haven's storage lot I took some pictures of the few older trailer there. They were lined up at the end as you see here. The third one from the left is my good friend Dave Morrison's 1964 Tradewind. The 63 Globetrotter with the front panel replacement is from where this dealer tag came.

Kind if cool when the dots connect up if you ask me.

Incase you all are wishing for some actual restoration work, stay tuned, I have a trimetric charging monitor system on the way from BestConverter and I will be putting that in this week. For those who enjoy the Airstream living stuff, we are going to the WDCU Beachcomber Rally in four days. Something for all soon to come.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This ones for Marcus aka Utee94

It has been said by me often that this Airstream has been the best money I have ever spent. I have regretted wasting my money on many things throughout my life, but Anna definitely does not fit into that category. One of the greatest aspects of Airstreaming is the people I have meet. I have come in contact with some very large assholes, but in general, all Airstreamers are very fine people. I have found so much common ground and been able to relate to other owners very intimately. As a result I have developed some friendships that mean a great deal to me. One of those friendships has been with Marcus Moyer. Marcus is know on the AirForums as Utee94 and he owns a 1963 Overlander(not a legacy trailer, but close enough for me to let him slide). Marcus has become quite a friend and I enjoy talking to him via Skype. You will find his blog linked up on mine.
Marcus is new to all this, just as I was a year ago, and is still trying to figure out how things work and which way is the best way. All the usual Newbie rookie stuff we all have to learn when starting out. This, like me, is Marcus's first trailer ever. And an on going conversation we have had is about these...

Marcus asked some silly question one day like; "what happens when they both run out?" And of course was he meet with some laughter and joking about how wet behind the ears, what a huge greenhorn he is, newbie rookie stupidity... you know friendly boy talk. So anyway Rob and I explained that when a tank runs out you just flip the lever to the other tank and you are back up and running. We also have discussions about tank size and what is the "right" size for an Airstream. So here is why I am telling you all this....
When I first began using Anna, I thought that balance was very important. It seemed that sixty pounds of propane sitting out there on the tongue should be balanced. Being far from a rocket scientist, I began flipping the regulator every other trip. You know to keep the tanks balanced, equally distributed for better towing. I did this almost all season until Rob Baker told me it was better to use one tank up and then switch over. He nicely explained that the tank was so close to center that it was not going to be a big deal. So from that day on I stopped flipping between tanks and just used one. He never told me how wet behind the ears I was, just passed on some friendly advise.
Here is where all this is going to get good. I use my gas grill a lot at home. The little tank last me an entire summer of grilling. That thing is a huge flame, so surely Anna with two big tanks would last me for two or three years, easy. That was a gross over estimation, and a sure sign of just how green I am. While camping at Knoebles a few weekends ago, I ran out the the tank I was using from. No big deal, just switch over and now I am back in business. The next morning, no gas to cook breakfast and the fridge is out. All that flipping back and forth had both tanks down low, and because I was cheap and stupid, I did not get the tanks that Vintage Trailer Supply sells with the gauge. You know a gauge, so you know how much is in there. So you do not have to guess... So what do you do when both bottles run out? I think you you eat something called crow. You also feel like a giant fool. You feel real foolish knowing it is Sunday and most places that fill propane are closed. Any way, Rob took a bottle off of Sophia and we were able to cook a fabulous breakfast that our families shared. Right after breakfast I set out to find a fill up. The fourteen year old girl in the campground office had no clue as to where to go, so I asked her for the yellow pages. After about ten strike outs, I found a fuel company that was open to fill propane. I just had to cross back over the Appalachians to some town twenty miles away.
So why am I telling you all this? Because of Kharma baby. I made a joke of the very thing I was about to do. I made fun of the rookie, when I was about to do exactly what I was joking about. Because this was a lesson well learned. One that hopefully someone out there will be spared from. Use one tank then you KNOW you have a back up. Also do not be a cheap bastard and spend a little extra on the tanks with the gauge. Or then again you can just do what I did. Crow does not taste good even with salt and hot sauce. I think you can wrap it in bacon and it would be the exception to the rule that everything taste good with bacon.

Sorry Marcus. Hope you will forgive me brother.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Some times it does not go as planned.

On Friday I was lifting a cabinet and wanked my back completely out of sorts. I have been laid up this weekend trying to nurse it back. I even went to see Dr Nakasawa so he could turn me into a human pin cushion. Hurricane Hanna was visiting yesterday, so I would not have gotten much done regardless. I am also happy to say no leaks....

Today is a slightly different story. The back is still killing me, but I wanted to go out and play with my girlfriend a little. I have been to some locations and needed to add some new decals to the door.

We earned these two going to Jersey Shore Haven a few weeks ago. I traded Rob Baker for the Delaware Memorial Bridge decal, and it is a beauty.

This is one of the most beautiful decals I have ever purchased. It was made by Arrow Novelty Works sometime in the 40's from my guess. It is has very vivid color and is a collectors dream.

Unfortunately they do not always hold up over time and can turn into this when you put them in water. This is the chance you take.

Rob does not like when I put non location oriented decals on my door. I put this one on my window out of respect. The decal go onto the glass really well. This fact might be the reason why some people put theirs there.

However, I could not resist putting this one on the door. Flower Power is the need of the hour... a great sentiment if you ask me. I wish the hair color was reversed on this though, would have looked just like Beth and I.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

and just one more for yuks....

so who is crying like a little girl?

My Airstream life...

I often heard it said that the WBCCI is an old fashion club. That all the members are old folks and they do not have any fun.

I have heard it said in black and white terms. I have been told that there is lots of saber rattling, and flag flying. Well, some of that is very true. But my Airstream life is a little different.

You see I let my freak flag fly. I have no shame in that and I have no shame in embracing some of those old fashion values that are so much a part of the club. I have spent much of my life living a counter culture life and having the wheels come back around is just fine with me.

Lord knows how boring it is to play cards with your kid while sipping on a cold beer. Beth get that smile off your face, you are in the WBCCI and smiling was outlawed in 1959 right after Wally heard a joke that made him laugh so hard his ribs hurt for the rest of the caravan.

We do other lame things like play mini golf together. This campground had a course just 200 yards from our trailers. I sure am glad I brought my slip on loafers. For what it worth; 6 under par, 7 holes in one, yes, the hippie can play golf.

Sometimes we are forced to eat breakfast as a big extended family. Good thing Wally put a kitchen in my trailer so I can fix the vitals. You know everything tastes better with bacon, even the WBCCI.

Having an Airstream bathroom so you can bath your child is very convenient. I have heard that most WBCCI'ers do not bath. I have heard they are all dirty evil people. We break the rules a little and bath every now and then.

And then there are the kids... Damn kids. Always smiling, laughing, having fun. Don't they know this is a serious club? Don't they know that smiling was outlawed in 1959? I sure hope the head office does not find out.

Here is the face of club descenters. See that smirk? They know they are responsible for destroying this fine institution.

And it starts very young, as soon as they can walk in some cases.