Saturday, May 12, 2012
With me being gone the last two years, Amy has had to do everything. Full time caretaker, soldier, mother. I wanted to give her a gift to say, "Thank you," for supporting me and going through the hardship.
Feast your eyes on these 1950's Can-O-Mat and Ice-O-Mat made by Rival. The Ice crusher was found in a family member's basement. I took it apart, cleaned it, polished it, and it looks great. The back piece on the bucket looked as if it mounted to a bracket that was very unique....and wasn't anywhere to be found. I started researching the Ice-O-Mat to find that they also have a can opener, juice, knife sharpener, and jar opener that all used the same wall bracket. Immediately I went to eBay to find a chrome Can-O-Mat complete with mounting bracket. I bid on it, and won as the only bid for a great deal.
These are very heavy, but I am intent on installing them in the Airstream once we bring her home net month.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Ya know, It's been awhile since my last post, and for a good reason. Last you all heard, I just bought wheels for the SOTR and N. Dallas Airstream was preparing to start work on my trailer. Unfortunately this was more of the same from North Dallas, and they never started working. A friend of mine paid them a visit and was told that they had planned to start at the END of August. Distraught, I called them to find out what the heck was going on. They denied ever saying this, and that they were starting in two weeks. This sounded all too familiar. For the past six months, N. Dallas had told me that they would be starting my project in two weeks.
After six months of unkept promises and the need to camp this summer, I reluctantly listed the SOTR for sale. It turns out that a rare trailer is still in demand. I received interest immediately from several parties, and within a week the SOTR was sold to a nice family just north of me in New Braunfels, TX.
So what now? Amy and I are tired of putting our trust into people and businesses that have failed miserably to deliver what they promise. We decided that we would no longer allow ourselves to do business with anyone that we were not completely sure was knowledgeable about rebuilding these pieces of Americana when it came to our next trailer. We discussed going NEW, but with the mass produced turds coming out of the factory having rotten floor within 3-5 years we just couldn't fathom this.
We have located a rebuilt (renovated) vintage Airstream from a reputable trailer shop, and it is completely ready to camp in. More details will be divulged later, but we feel that this trailer with minimal modification will be great for us. We aren't expected to take delivery until June, so there is a ton of anticipation on our part.
The fight to secure a loan for one of these trailers was easy, but the process of getting it approved was different. I spent over an hour on the phone with my bank as they went back and forth about the value of the trailer and such. I'm just happy that the loan has been approved and a check has been cut with the sellers name.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
I have taken some time since the last post to finish the semester up, and enjoy my winter break in San Antonio with my family who I never get to see enough of.
When I spoke with North Dallas six weeks ago, the plan was to officially begin the work on my trailer shortly after the new year began. Well, I spoke with them two weeks ago, and they had just wrapped up a planning meeting for how to proceed on the work.
The first plan was to use a hoist and lift the shell off the frame. This wouldn't take hardly any work since it was only being attached on a four foot section of the 31 foot length, with a single pop-rivet every 8 rivet holes.
Once lifted, the REST of the frame will be scraped and painted. I was told that this work had already been completed since I had paid for it, but much like everything else, that person is a lying, cheating scumbag. Because a large amount of the area that was not painted is the new A frame we had welded on, this shouldn't take a long time.
Once paint is finished, most of you know what happens next. The floor goes down, (J, C, U) Channel gets installed. I have asked the shop to mount the two 25 gallon grey water tanks before installing the floor insulation and belly pan.
The latest addition to the money pit errr...SOTR is a set of four aluminum wheels. I found these on www.trailer-wheels.com which is not my usual outlet for these wheels. I chose this website because the same wheels were not only cheaper, but offered free shipping on orders over $100.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
So what led to this? You have read the posting before this, and that started the process. I asked for clarification on why it was removed. It was told to me by Kevin245 that any posting regarding another member who you did business with in a negative light will not be tolerated, and will be viewed as a vendor transaction. So let's look at a few things...
Member A sells Member B a trailer on the forums. Member B in his excitement starts a thread in his excitement, post pictures, etc. Once getting the unit home it turns out to be a TPOS (Total POS). Member B posts his displeasure about the deal and that he feels cheated. This is not allowed, and is subject to removal.
A member has a partial restoration or repair work done by another member who runs a Vintage trailer restoration company. A year later, the electrical that wasn't installed properly starts a fire, and the trailer burns down. Any posting referring to the electrical being done improperly by the "trailer restoration company" will be removed because it is a vendor dispute.
A member buys parts from a commercial vendor who is a member. The credit card is charged, but the parts are on back order for 6 weeks. The member cancels his order and orders from some other company and gets them in a week, but his money won't be returned from the Commercial vendor due to their policy not to refund money for several weeks. The purchasing member voices displeasure, and his posts are removed.
These are examples....ok one of them is true for sure, maybe all of them are.
Don't be voicing your displeasure with your new Airstream either. I was told that comments about ANY vendor will not be tolerated including Airstream. Unfortunately, complaints about the mothership are a weekly occurrence, and rarely get removed. Sound like overmoderation anyone? I know mods usually stand up for one another, but this is ridiculous.
Thanks for listening to the rant.
I am however going to post something that was deleted by an AIRforum moderator. The following is my post, completely unedited.
This is a post some may want to skip. I wanted to separate this post from the feel good post above it.
Back earlier in the thread, someone stated that this was the perfect project to build a "library of tools". When the project started, I authorized tools that would be required to do work as it progressed, but that tools would have to be worked off before more tools were purchased. Many of these (Harbor Freight) tools were NOT AUTHORIZED. Here is the library of tools that was built on our dime, mostly without permission.
Considering the first step after tear down was to weld the frame and install the floor, what on Earth were the the polisher/waxer, multi-meter, receptacle tester, metal brake, and router/router table being purchased for? I even questioned this, but was told, "We will need it eventually."
Here was the private message from AIR about the post. I have replaced the surname that was included in his posting.
A courtesy note letting you know the post below was removed as it is vendor dispute territory. While we empathize with the Mr. Voldemort dealing, we can't allow this post to stay.
Thanks for understanding.
No...I don't understand, explain it to me. So this is a VENDOR dispute? That's weird since the only VENDOR in this case is ME. The (dis)service performed on my trailer was not the work of a vendor, or even a person with a business license. So I told Kevin that if I was in violation of VENDOR rules, he could go ahead and delete my VENDOR status. I also think it is funny that people post things like this against AIRSTREAM, but they aren't deleted.
It is comical to me that since the 5th of September, the previous individual working on my trailer has not posted a single time. I was told by a good friend that this individual had told him he was forbidden from AIRforums or anything Airstream related by his wife. I am making an assumption that he received an email update when I posted on Relapse, and complained to the mods. Good thing they cannot censor here.
I think that the following PM from an avid follower of my AIRforum "Relapse" thread is about as on target as you can get. (Edited to remove personal information).
"I'd bet that Mr. Voldemort reported the post and complained about it. He is such a little girl hiding behind the skirts of his mommy (the mods). He doesn't have the balls to comment publicly or even to face the music of public comments. It's obvious that he is scared of what people will say because he has never posted a response once in this thread. If he had any valid responses to your comments he should state them publicly. His lack of responses speaks volumes."
I posted this here because it will not be censored on my personal blog. No responses here needed. Thanks to the several people for the KARMA that I received from the deleted post above....it still shows, but the thread shows N/A on the user CP.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Well I am at one month since my last post, so here is a progress report. As some of you are aware, the second worst drought in Texas history is currently going on. With the lack of rain has been a punishing heatwave that has reached record temperatures across the state over the last month. Unfortunately, this heatwave has stunted progress for the last three weeks. Originally, we had a group of people willing to remove the shell in order to access the frame, do the welding, paint the frame, place the new floor, and replace the shell. Unfortunately, our host had other plans and work days were canceled. After the cancellation, Voldemort wanted to move the trailer to his backyard in order to have better room for working on it. He spent two weeks mixing concrete by hand, making a gate into his back yard, digging out bushes and dirt that were in the way of said gate opening, and cutting off a portion of his roof to make this happen....all in the sweltering heat.
Today, Voldemort removed the rear belly pan up to the axle and degreased the rear frame. Not bad looking for 50+ years old.
For the past two days, Voldemort has been prepping the new sub-floor for installation. The sheets were cut to width, and are being treated top and bottom. The first coat was a mixture of 1/2 Spar Varnish, 1/4 Denatured Alcohol, and 1/4 petroleum distillate. This was done to penetrate better into the wood and seal the pores better. Subsequent coats will be full strength spar varnish. We went with the satin finish as gloss would make adhering the future flooring more difficult. For insulation under the floor, we are going with 3/4" polyisocyanurate insulation with foil on both sides. Voldemort plans to build an air gap with strips under the floor to provide extra R value.
Before the floor goes down, the few issues with the frame need to be addressed. The rear most steel cross member needs replacement, and a stress crack on the main door step area needs fixing. After these repairs, Voldemort will apply Eastwood Rust converter to paint the entire frame. The Eastwood system is similar to POR-15, but not as expensive. Thanks to Lance (Top on AIR) for the heads up on this product. For the top coat over the rust converter, I have purchased Chassis Saver by Magnet paints. This product was suggested by Robin (Melody Ranch on AIR). He uses it on his farm trailers that are exposed to the weather all the time. Other reviews for this product from people who carry the product or have used it in the past were very good. I purchased a gallon of each, so there should be plenty for this job.
Aside from the work Voldemort is doing, I have been going crazy purchasing everything I can think of that will be needed. Robin sent me a great seller on Ebay that has incredible prices on items. I have purchased my new LP tank rack, 7 way wire pigtail, LP regulator with hose pigtails, and tank monitor panel panel from this seller...all for about $45 not including shipping. Other purchases were two Optima blue batteries, a KIB monitor panel, grey tank probes, 600 sq ft of Prodex insulation, Kitchen sink from Ikea, progressive dynamics power center, and two orders from Vintage Trailer Supply.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Today Collin and I made the trip up to see the SOTR at Voldemort's house in Round Rock. It's a nice 90 or so minute drive up there, and the traffic through Austin wasn't too horrific. We pulled up to the house to find Voldemort washing the exterior down and sweating profusely in the 96 degree heat (No shade).
We discussed several options for the layout, and how he will proceed from here on out. There are several oddities with this trailer that I am no familiar with. Take for instance this little cone on the curbside roof. There is a hole in the interior skin near here, but it is unknown what it is for.
I had a good look at the A frame, and the metal is pretty worn on it. I don't know what they were thinking when they welded the extra metal to it, but it isn't doing us any favors. This area is a complete mess as you can see. I told Voldemort to cut off the LP tank rack since it is damaged, and remove the LP lines and wires. Once the shell if off, I am thinking that welding a new A frame with coupler will be a good idea.
While looking the trailer over, I decided that we will replace the roof panel that had the stack going through it. We are also going to replace the rear street side panel, and overlay a small portion of the panel just forward of the door since it is torn up from someone screwing the door shut. The stack is uglier in person, and I have taken a better shot of it. Lot's of tar.
On the trailer there are three exterior outlets with the old school plugs. We are going to keep the outlets on the port and starboard sides, but taking out the one in the rear corner. I will also be upgrading these to current code exterior outlets instead of the old plug covers. Here is a picture of one to be replaced. Wonder what the oval is from?
The interior piece for the range vent is missing, and now I need to either locate an interior piece or purchase a new unit from VTS. The bathroom hehr vent is missing and the trailer was exposed to WA rain for who knows how long. The floor is pretty much gone in that area, but we were able to get back to get some pictures. The tub is unique as I personally have not seen other trailers with this type of shower head. To me, this shower hear would spray all over the back wall and get over the floor. We are still planning to remove the tub in favor of t pedestal toilet on the curbside rear corner, and a shower directly next to it.
Another priority for me was to see the metal endcap condition. Voldemort thinks he can bank everything out other than the point of impact. We will try it and see what happens, but we can always replace them. I hope it works, yesterday I had to pass on a storm destroyed 57 Caravanner that I wanted to use for endcaps and the door latch, but the guy had others in the state who wanted it and I wasn't prepared to drive up to Indiana the next day to get it. Kip asked for a picture of the bead so I have a pic that I hope works for him. I'm not as optimistic of the dent coming out, but we can redo them if the lead shot and mallet doesn't get the job done.
Of course in closing I had to include the obligatory dead mouse shot. Voldemort saved it especially for me.
I am about to place a nice big order to Steve at Vintage Trailer Supply to get Voldemort started. I know he is planning tear down beginning tomorrow. Once gutted, I believe we are going to round us up a Texas streamer posse and do the shell lifting with as many people as possible, and prepare the frame for new metal/paint.
I was thinking about plumbing and Voldemort lifted up the street side mattress to reveal the electric water heater. I don't think Airstream had any loyalty back in the day as I have seen three different brands of these in three different 50's trailers. My 53 had a "Lectro" brand. This trailer's water heater was by Payne. Voldemort is going to test to see if it works, and if anyone wants it then they can let me know.
The last thing we discussed before heading to Rudy's for lunch was the running gear. Voldemort feels that the trailer would benefit greatly from new axles. The current axles are extremely heavy duty looking, and ride very rough up and down. On both my 53 and 56 in the past I kept the springs and had no problems. I wonder if this trailer was ordered with a beefier set of axles and gear because of the size. Would like to keep them springs if they will be okay, but it is undeniable that Torsions would make the ride nice. Also I didn't see any shocks or mounts for them, so those would require fabrication.
All for now.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
re·lapse (r-lps)intr.v. re·lapsed, re·laps·ing, re·laps·es
1. To fall or slide back into a former state.
Almost a year ago, I stopped posting on this blog. "Why bother, " I thought. We had to sell both Airstreams to fund getting Amy a new car and house in Texas, and it rubbed us raw. Over the months that followed, we fell out of touch with our camping souls. I was in nursing school full time, and Amy had taken Collin to San Antonio with her. In December 2010, I reevaluated our situation, and we agreed that we wanted to pursue our Dream Stream. We have owned many trailers, and only camped in half of them due to their poor condition. We vowed that this would not happen again.
Since January, I have scoured craigslist, Ebay, and any other website that could hold our Dream Stream. Our terms wouldn't be easy to find. The trailer had to be a 13 panel...nothing looks as beautiful as a 13 panel. We also agreed that 26 feet was as short as we would go. We plan to full time in our Dream Stream some day, and want the space. After hosting an Airstream rally in a rented SOB a few weeks ago, we had to get back into streaming ASAP. Here and there since the rally some trailers fitting criteria presented themselves, but always far too expensive or in worse shape than we would want. That is until almost two weeks ago.
I had just returned from the FCU Restoration rally in ABQ, NM when my search turned up a 1956 Sovereign of the Road. "Wow," I thought, I only know of three other 56 SotR's out there, it's the size we want, and 13 panel! The price wasn't bad either, but it was all the way up in Seattle, WA. I called the number and spoke with a man who I could barely understand at points in the conversation. He was Russian, and had a thick accent. We spoke for a few minutes and he told me about the trailer. I hung up the phone skeptical. Thick Russian accent, no title, cheap price, 2,200 miles away, and the craigslist I found it on was Portland...not Seattle. I contacted Marc from Airforums and asked if he could check it out for me. I gave him the seller's info, and the seller wanted Marc to see it that night! Marc is a great guy. He went out that night, and took a bunch more pictures for me to base my decision on. Check them out!
Marc called me later on informing me that the trailer indeed was legit, and that this man had several other trailers he was working on. Knowing the legitimacy, I wired Marc the money, and asked him if he could help me get it out of the guy's yard until I could arrange transport. After a few back and forth conversations with the seller, we finally agreed that his daughter could accept the money and give Marc the bill of sale. I was at Sea World on Father's day when I received the word...the transaction was complete.
Unfortunately, the seller for a set of new RV rims for the trailer stood Marc up earlier in the week. Marc had to tow it away on the old split rims. About 5 miles down the road, the first tire gave out. The spare was without a valve stem, so Marc ended up dropping the trailer off at a tire shop around 11PM for the evening. Poor Marc, all that work and his daughter's sweet 16th birthday was the next day.
Last night while on the Riverwalk, Marc texted me to let me know he was finally able to meet up with the rims guy from Craigslist, and got 4 new ST tires mounted. He estimated that there has been around 70 pounds overall of rotational weight dropped, and that the trailer tows FAR BETTER with the new wheels and tires. These are temporary until further down the road of course, but a necessity for a 2,200 mile return trip.
So what is the plan? This trailer will be a well appointed living space away from home. With school in session soon, I will be having most of the work completed by a 3rd party. I will help when I can, but living 1000 miles away, it will not be often. Current layout plans for the trailer include a revamped rear bath with street side shower and toilet, his and her closets forward of the bath, twins in the middle, a well equipped kitchen with lots of storage, and a huge wrap around dinette that converts to a bed.
I wish a safe journey towing 2,200 miles home with only safety chains and his white knuckles.
It's good to be back,
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Due to being accepted into the University of Missouri Nursing program, I will be staying here over the next 27 months to finish school instead of going with Amy and Collin. Trust me, this is something that has been tearing at my heart considering I won't be there for them, will miss his first day of school (it's his first year), and all the other stuff that comes with being apart for long periods of time.
Since we will be apart, we sold out 1975 Ambassador to a nice family in Kentucky. We did the exchange two days ago, and he said he had no problems getting it home. We hope his family has as much fun in it as we did. While it wasn't something that we wanted to do, Amy will need a new car to take to TX, and a computer as well since I will keep the computer here for school. Our thoughts now turn to the Flying Cloud. As I stated before, I have not touched it since April, and with full time classes for the next two years I cannot fathom having the time to work on it. I am at the point where I will sell it as a project (for a major loss just considering the parts I have that go with it), or take it to a restoration company. I have sent a few emails about the trailer to some restoration companies and I am waiting to hear back. Locally I was offered $5,000 by guy who really wants a project airstream.
In the mean time, I will have to live vicariously through all of you out there who are living the Airstream dream. It's been an interesting time since we bought our first trailer in November 2006. Thank you all for reading and contributing over the past several years.
See you down the road.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
When I first picked up my flying cloud, I noticed that like many Airstreams, the door had flown open while traveling down the road. This put large dents in the door within a door, the main door, and cracked on of the jambs on the main door.
While the door is being rebuilt, I have a few new additions. I ordered new stainless steel hinges from Vintage Trailer Supply several months back to replace the rusty steel ones currently on the trailer. I have also decided to completely change the door latch. You can see in the picture above that the door had a simple round knob, and a Yale deadbolt that never worked or had keys. I wanted a latch that was low profile, included a deadbolt, and was chrome. I found a FASTEC latch on ebay that fit everything I was looking for. I now just needed to ensure it would work.
After viewing hundreds of vintage trailer pictures, I came across a 58 flying cloud with the latch I had been looking for. Here are pics from the interior and exterior of the latch I chose on a door within a door.
Door removed (Good)
Good day in all. I may throw another coat of the paint on tomorrow depending on my schedule.