Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Am I Ever Slow

Finally, I took some time this morning to switch out the brown stovetop and oven door for the white ones I was 'gifted' from Frank. The white looks so much better and really lightens up the galley portion of the interior. The white looks more period correct for the late 50's as a number of the homes of the era had white appliances. Colors were being introduced on home appliances but I don't think muddy brown was an option. I don't know why it took me so long, other than trying to avoid our summer heat. I have no excuses as it only took 45 minutes and that's with cleaning every piece and re-attaching the state magnets. Thank you Frank for your generosity and Airstream spirit. It will come back to you in spades. If I can help you in any way, just give a shout. Now I need to get out camping.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Filling Up and Getting Tighter

As we continue with the installation of cabinetry, the space gets even smaller. Maybe because I'm 6'4" and 250 pounds, I just have a hard time seeing two people camping in this tight of a space although the owners are very compatible so it will work out. We installed the fresh water tank and cabinetry that encloses it along with the seating/storage cabinet on the passenger side. That slot is a site window for checking the water level in the tank. Seat tops are in and now its time to wire, plumb and run propane lines.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Few Alterations Along the Way

As we began to put this cabinet together, we realized a few adjustments were in order so the layout was modified to suit the client's requests. We are now building the countertop and working on the seating cabinet for the fresh water tank which is just to the left in this picture.

One of the biggest challenges for this build out is there are four turnbuckle access points, one in each corner just above the floor, that the client needs to be able to reach in and connect the camper to the truck bed. They don't plan on taking the camper off of the truck very often but we still need to leave access to these areas.

Here's a picture of yesterday's progress. Looks much better with the drawers and doors.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Talk About Tight Spaces

After camping off and on with some close friends of mine over the past few years, I kept asking them if they had ever gotten anything done on their pop-up camper which was just an empty shell. The conversation got around to me picking up the project by designing and making the interior cabinetry. Now this pop up camper fits on their Toyota Tacoma four wheel drive pickup so it has a small footprint and with me at 6 foot 4 inches tall, its kind of tight for me.

They have already purchased a 12/120 volt fridge, 2 burner cook top, sink, foot pump, 20 gallon water tank, deep cycle battery, and a solar system which was already installed. My task was to get all of this to fit into this small space and still make it comfortable as well as useable.

As with any project of this type, many discussions took place as well as matching up their conceived ideas and then getting mine to match. After many trips to the camper for measuring, I made a 2 dimensional mock-up in Adobe Illustrator. After this was agreed upon, I went to Sketch-Up for a 3-dimensional version of the driver's side where most of the previously purchased items will be going.

We moved the camper from my house to my friend Bob's house as he has a complete woodworking shop. He graciously allowed us to invade his private domain. Thanks so much Bob.

At this point, the driver's side cabinet is complete with the facing put on. Now we're working out the counter top and will be applying a white laminate. Here's a few pictures of our progress and copies of the digital files.

More to follow...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Memorable Memorial Day Outing

As with most Memorial Day weekends, I took a long weekend and extended it into a full week of fishing and camping in the mountains of Arizona. Now most of you may say, Yeah, mountains in Arizona? Well, we were camping just around 9100 feet and the afternoons were in the mid 70s and the nights went down to mid 40s. My flyfishing club always rents a group camp site at Hawley Lake as we have the past few years and before that, we rented Cyclone Lake. As our club has grown, we quickly outgrew the smaller meadow at Cyclone and moved to Hawley, which about five times the size. Lots of room to spread out. While we were camped at Hawley, we fished Christmas Tree Lake - so named because of a tree was cut down from her shore and traipsed across the country, set up and decorated in the White House. I believe this was in the early 60s. Yes, THE White House.

By sundown of Tuesday, we had to relocate so we went to Wynn campground and had the entire campground to ourselves. Primitive camping at its finest. While camped at Wynn, we took off and fished Wednesday at Crescent Lake for some rainbows and in the late afternoon went to fish Lee Valley Reservoir for some native Apache Trout and some Artic Grayling.

On the short ride from the highway up to Wynn Campground, which is all wash board BTW, is when I believe the fridge door came off. Broke the little plastic clip that holds it closed and dumped most of the fridge contents on the floor. What a mess!!

Of course, when we got back to the valley on Thursday, someone had turned on the Phoenix furnace and it was 105 when we pulled into town. I was ready to head right back until mid September.

Bob, Tim, Ron and I have done this for a number of years and we have as much fun sitting around the fire after a long day on the water as we do fishing together. Thanks gentlemen for a relaxing and enjoyable week.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Airstream Spirit is Strong in This One

A little history is in order to set the stage. I have long been waiting for an opportunity to change out the dark brown color of my TradeWind oven and cook top. I think it darkens up the interior and I have seen original Princess stoves in white, light yellow, pink, pale blue, one or two in turquiose but most of them have been the dark brown. Typically, these colors matched the color of the rounded refridgerators and the bathroom countertop and tub.

My FedEx guy, whom I’m really getting to know quite well, delivered a small wooden crate the other morning from Frank's Trailer Works. You see, Frank had a ‘59 TradeWind very similar to mine but was incomplete on the interior, had an wide opening on the curbside for serving food out of and was being sold to another vendor type person. I had inquired about the stove door and cooktop since his were white and I wanted to change mine out. Being the generous and thoughtful guy he is, he said he would send them to me and would not take anything in return. This is called the Airstream Spirit, when one helps out another simply to help out another. No keeping score and nothing in return. Frank embodies this spirit and this is one of the main reasons I love being involved with the vintage trailer community. Everyone is so helpful, generous and thoughtful.

Included in the shipment were the original stove grates along with the four burner knobs and the oven knob. All of these are different from the black ones I already have so I have options. In the next few days, I will post before and after pictures of the oven and cooktop and I think you’ll agree, lighter is better.

Thank you Frank for your Airstream Spirit and I know your not keeping score but I hope to return the favor one day just to show my appreciation for your spirit.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Airstream Photo Shoot

You just never know how owning a vintage Airstream is going to open different avenues of opportunity or just who you'll meet. I had the opportunity to have the TradeWind used as a backdrop in a desert photo shoot highlighting two highly photogenic young models. We went out in the desert southeast of Fountain Hills to a fairly remote location and took pictures until the sun set. I didn't take many pictures of the models since the actual professional photographer Kai, had that fully covered but I did take a few. I also took the opportunity, as I always do, to take a few of the Airstream in a different setting.

The weather was perfect and the desert was green from all of the previous rainfall. The sky was a perfect desert spring azure blue. It was a bit warm in the direct sun but nice and cool in the shade. Just perfect.

Thanks Kai for this wonderful adventure. I hope to see you again and do this all over. It was a pleasure. Thank you, thank you.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Scout Truck Presentation

I'm such a dunderhead! I completely neglected to share with you the presentation of the scale model Scout Truck that I made to Dale "PeeWee" Schwamborn at the Deadhorse Rally last month. Dar and I went up just for the day on Saturday as I knew PeeWee and his wife Susan would be in attendance. This was my 'push' to get the display completed. He was quite surprised that this was happening at the time and knew right away what was coming when I came carrying up a box covered with brown butcher paper.

It was truly an honor to do this for PeeWee as he is such a remarkable and caring person. This was a small tribute to him for his numerous years of dedication to the club and all of his fascinating retellings of the early years of the club and its history.

Thank you PeeWee for all you have done and continue to do. It is much appreciated.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Motoring Thru Time Event

Took the TradeWind downtown to Phoenix's Heritage Square to the annual Motoring Thru Time event where a number of historic cars, trucks, and campers were on display. Had a great time and looked at many sweet vehicles.

My neighbor owns the 1931 Ford Sheepherder's Model AA truck which always draws alot of attention. The back has a coal furnace / stove and a fold down bunk along with a few period accessories.

One of my favorite vehicles was the '59 Chevy Apache Sedan which would make the perfect vintage tow vehicle for my '59 TradeWind. It needed some work still and I doubt the original 6 cylinder would tow the trailer properly but it sure piqued my interest. Love this possibility.

Another fine vehicle was the red Chrysler 300 next to the yellow and white Shasta. This 300 was very rare with the factory 4 speed. I wish I had taken more pictures of it as the dash and gauges were very cool.

I always have had a soft spot for the blue and white '56 Chevy Nomad. Maybe because its the year of my birth but I really think its because of the classy lines and sexy curves.

The Heritage Square is the perfect place for this event with the restored Rossen House, assorted outbuildings and renovated period correct, relocated homes from around the state as backdrops. All of the campers were in the Lath House where it was shaded and brick paved.

If you ever get the chance to check out Heritage Square, I highly recommend it besides the best pizza in the US is served right there at Pizzaria Bianco but don't tell anyone or I'll never get in.

In speaking with one of the organizers, its sad to hear this may be the last year of this event because of city budget cuts. What a shame to loose this opportunity for the public to get a glimpse of our past. I sure hope it will continue long into the future.

Friday, January 29, 2010

New Vintage Style Outside Light

I have always been quite jealous of those original outside lights that came with my era of Airstream. They just plugged in to the outside outlet and were held in place by screwing to the special socket base. Well, my original socket was a mess when I got the trailer back in 2001 and I replaced it with a newer style that is water tight with a spring loaded flip out cover.

Several months ago, I bought at the big orange home center a porch light that was all of $7 or so with the idea of converting it to plug into this outlet. Since it was a bit rainy outside yesterday, this sounded like the perfect project for the afternoon. It took me about an hour and a bit of tinkering to fabricate the plugin part that was a cord end as well as the extension arm so the light would extend out past the flipped open cover on the socket.

Once I was done, I tried it out and it just seemed too bright. I tried a smaller wattage bulb but still too bright. I needed some type of light diffuser and I had just the stuff stashed away from when I did the interior. I found this thin gold colored punched aluminum at one of the Ace Hardware stores but at only one of the stores, so not all of them carry it. The pattern is called Union Jack and this is the same pattern that was in my trailer originally although it had a minimum of five coats of paint on it then and all of the triangle shaped holes were filled in.

I digress, as usual. Back to the light. The Union Jack fit perfectly and it gives the light a bit of nostalgia and matches the interior doors and drawers. I'll put this to use next month at the 4CU's Deadhorse Ranch rally. Aaargh!!

On a different note, I'll be taking the trailer downtown next Saturday for an event called "Motoring Through Time" that the city park's department puts on. There will be a number of vintage cars, trucks and campers on display. I went last year but didn't take the trailer. Got in on it this year and my neighbor and I will be taking our vehicles. I'll post pictures of the campers.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Just back from the Four Corners Unit's Third Annual New Years Eve Rally. We had a great time, a bit chilly but that's what the campfire and libations are for. Good to meet up with fellow Airstreamers and meet a few new faces. The white elephant gift exchange was a hoot as was Pictionary while we were waiting up for the countdown. Louis, Sergio, Linda and Ken really can put on a great rally. Thanks to all four of you. Bob (dogpound) and Julianne cooked up some tasty pancakes on the new morning of the new year while everyone supplied their own bacon. What a treat. I don't know who made the blueberry tart that was on the table but I helped myself and was it ever good. Is the recipe available for our upcoming 4CU cookbook because I want to sample that again and again.

The next 4CU get together is next month at Deadhorse State Park in Cottonwood and I sure hope the powers in the capital don't shut too many of our parks down. Looks like they can't manage their $ either.

See all you ralliers next month.