Monday, March 14, 2011

Fulfilling A Request

Fellow blogger and 4CU member MelloMike requested that I post about my modified magazine rack's dual purpose so this post does just that. I'm not sure that he isn't about to "borrow" my idea or not but if so, go right ahead Mike.

Here's the back story. I typically sleep on the curbside of the trailer and wanted a way to watch DVD's in bed but still keep things looking vintage so I built a magazine rack just like the original one on the streetside but with a slight modification. It flips down so I can rest my small iBook on it. There is a 12 volt plug that is available for when we're boondocking and a 110 shore power plug when we're on the grid. I've put this shelf to good use on a couple of rainy afternoons and it works perfectly.

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.