Saturday, April 25, 2009

A trip to the Bluegrass State

Last weekend the family and I took a trip to the Dogwoods and Bluegrass Airforums rally held at Natural Bridge State park. It was a great chance to meet many of the fine forum folks that I have chatted with over the years, and rekindle with friends from past rally events. Amy got home from work at 5:30 on Thursday, and we headed out of town. Here is a picture of the main attraction at the state park we were heading to.

Natural Bridge Rock Formation

Our first night we stayed in Richmond, KY about 45 minutes from the rally location. We were courtesy parked by Brad and Susan of Alumatube forum fame. We arrived around 0200 local time, and turned in for the night. The next morning I decided to try and get some fishing in, but the wet grass, cool weather, and no bites brought me back to the trailer faster than I intended. The walk from the lake was not however uneventful. Our Boston Terrier, Paige, saw Brad and Susan's Mule in the pasture on the way out to the lake, and proceeded to bark at it. On the way back to the trailer Paige inadvertently walked under the pasture fence where the mule was about 200 yards away. The mule charged at the dog, but she had her backed turned to it. I yelled as much as possible for her to get out, but she didn't and the mule stomped her. With the yelp that she let out, I thought her back was broken. After the stomp, Paige ran off towards the trailer. The combination of no shoes on the mule and the deep mud she was stepped into likely prevented anything other than a bruise and being scared. After we made sure Paige was alright, we took Collin outside to meet some of the neighbor's ponys.

Susan came home for her luch break for a few hours in the morning to spend some time with us, and we left shortly after she went back to work. Getting down her driveway was a bit tricky without a turn around, but Amy and I navigated the 1100 foot drive with few problems. We hit the country roads, and arrived at the rally around 1 PM local time on Friday.

Over the next two days the park filled up with Airstreams and Argosy trailers from the 60's, 70's 80's, 90's, and even new units. This rally set a record for me seeing three tri-axle 34 footers in a single rally. Here are a few shots from the rally.

All set up and ready to rally
Wrestling with Collin

Collin with his hat given to him by Susan (Thanks Aunt Suz)

Fishing for Rainbow Trout

Dave and I feeling the evening chill

Got One!

View from the hill
A whole lot of Silver
Amy making pancakes

I was able to promote my leak testing services while at this rally, and tested three trailers and a motorhome. The motorhome was tested two years ago, and wanted to stay on top of their leaks (Which there were plenty of). I also tested a 72 Safari that had been sealed by its' owner, and had very few leaks. I found the most leaks on a 2008 Front Bed owned by Hank and Lois Grabowski. They have blogged about their experience on their blog.

Installing the ceiling piece of the equipment

Side panel leak

Awning arm leak

Panoramic window leak 1

Panoramic window leak 2

Heading out to the rally at Rend Lake, IL in a week...can't wait!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sorry I'm late...

There has been a flurry of activity going on around here, and I haven't really had time to post lately. Between work, working on the Airstream, household chores, and the military I haven't had alot of time to post.

Last weekend we held our fourth biannual Branson Rally, and it was a great success. It started out as a mini caravan through hours of rain with another forums member (Tinlaof). We met up at a local Missouri rest stop, let the dogs out, and proceeded to get a move on down south.

Many familiar faces and several new folks joined us from across Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, Kansas, and even Minnesota.

The potluck was amazing as usual, and one local stated it was the best buffet in all of Branson. I have noticed at all rally events I attend that there are some culinary geniuses out on the Airforums. We have started compiling recipes for our Airforums "SilverPlatter" cookbook.

I consider it a blessing that the McDowell family brought along their daughter Hope to the rally. Collin is usually the only child, and now he had someone to play with, and did for almost the entire rally. Jack and Kani had their grandson Harrison, but he left after the first night. This kids had fun dying easter eggs and hunting for them later.

Last time I posted on the Airstream was when I brought home the plywood for the floor. Since then, I ordered and received my 30 gallon tank from PPL Motorhomes with grommets for venting and inlets. I also received my new complete 6,000 lb Dexter axle.

Due to severe rusting, I had to have my friend come over and cut off the street side leaf spring with an oxy-acetylene torch. Once it cooled, I used a wire wheel and my angle grinder to remove the thicker areas of surface rust and old and dried greese off the springs. The last piece of the puzzle is to remove the old steel bushings that are wedged into the leak springs. Some torch heat and an air hammer should take care of that today. Once it is all said and done, my leaf springs have a date with POR-15. I wanted to paint them before reinstalling them on the chassis. Once the axle is reinstalled, I will level the frame, and replace three outriggers, the rear cross member, and add a 4" channel where the gray water tank will reside.

Tomorrow we're off to the Kentucky Rally at Natural Bridge. Ahh the rally season is in full swing!