Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Too Good to Be True

This past Sunday, Julie and I drove up to Kingman to look at a '50 Pan American trailer that was listed in the free section of CraigsList. Judging from the photos and the description, it sounded like it was in reasonable and restorable condition. The couple offering it said they had stayed in it for a year so how bad could it be? Sure, it will need some work, I expect that. Maybe some wood working to replace damaged or missing cabinetry, etc. The outside is aluminum and could use a polish. Besides, we need a new project and this sounded like just the ticket. 

After the 3 1/2 hour drive, we finally found the trailer park where it was residing and I was in shock. It was in much worse shape than I expected. Much worse. The exterior had about a sixteenth of an inch thick coating of SilverSeal to keep the thing from leaking. The interior was in real bad shape, the floors sagged and so was the ceiling. I doubt it would have made it 10 miles without falling apart. I couldn't get away fast enough. These pictures are the ones the owners posted on CraigsList and from these, it looked to be in fairly good shape. I guess you get what you pay for when its free.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Historic African Caravan

Last night on PBS' History Detectives show, there was a segment on whether a couple's vintage Airstream had been on the Wally Byam Caravan Club's African Caravan in 1959 and 1960. In the end, this trailer had not been on this particular caravan but the show has spurred my interest on this historic undertaking. I found on the web, a converted 16mm film of the famous caravan:
Take a look, it is a great historical overview of their wonderous journey. I would have loved for my trailer to have gone on this trip. It came off the assembly line in August of 1958 so the timing was right but it just wasn't meant to be. 

Image courtesy of Helen Byam Schwamborn estate.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thought I Better Add a Pic of my TradeWind

We've had our TradeWind since 9/9/01 and have thoroughly enjoyed refurbishing it as well as traveling in it. We always get asked for a tour when we're either stopped at a gas station or at a campground. Complete strangers have no qualms about coming right up and starting a conversation. It's cool to arouse so much attention. And yes, they still make them.

This pic was taken in the White Mountains of Arizona over Labor Day 2007.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Aluminitus is Genetic

Well, my younger brother Barry, in central Iowa, has now gone out and bought a '62 Overlander. One I actually was turned onto so I passed the contact info and photos along to him. He's so jazzed about it and calls me almost daily for information about the proper size rivets, parts sources, vent caps, tools, types of aluminum, etc. I love it and am hopeful it will continue. If it takes aluminitus to get us to communicate more often then it isn't really a disease; its a blessing. His first order of business is similar to the physician's hypocratic oath; render no harm. So he's buttoning up or replacing the vent caps and replacing the seal around the entry door.

I'm New to Blogging

After visiting Uwe's, Rob's and Frank's blogs, I thought it was about time I started one about my 1959 Airstream TradeWind. Although there isn't much to restoration work to report on since its so hot here in Phoenix right now, I can still post about the 4CU and our upcoming Labor Day rally. We'll be rallying in Williams, AZ just west of Flagstaff off I-40 and taking in the south rim of the Grand Canyon. To learn more about this rally, visit the thread here: