Three Awesome Rally weekends

Our April travels began with the Chewacla Lake Tin Canners rally in Alabama. --Just across the highway from Auburn is the beautiful Chewacla State Park. Wooded with a nice lake and pretty waterfall, the park has been home to the Tin Canners rally for 4 or more years. This year it was held in honor of John the founder of the event, who passed away last year. He was a park host who donated many hours of his time to helping keep up and preserve this great place. About 20 or so vintage campers were arrayed around the central area, making the views a pleasure. The open house was a special part of the weekend with such interesting campers to visit. We had one of the two Airstreams present, coincidentally both being 1966 Overlanders. Many other brands were represented with Shasta being the most popular. All of us enjoyed a low country Bama boil on Saturday night with shrimp, potatoes and lots more laid out on a large table lined with paper. What a feast. During the day Saturday we visited Auburn and walked the college campus and town. It was A day when the football team debuts in a home match against itself. Great crowds in town, and we enjoyed the local coffee house. The crowd at Chewacla Lake honors the rally founder with Hawaiian shirts - his favorite t.hing to wear
In between trailer travel we hit Chattanooga Tenn for the Bug A Paluza VW rally and show. What an awesome day! We walked amidst at least 500 Volkswagen vintage cars and buses on display and saw some fabulous customs and restorations. Always a favorite town to visit, the afternoon was topped off with a special lunch at a Farm to Table restaurant and a visit to the old Knitting Mill, now an antique mall.
--On April 22 weekend we headed up to Hiawassee, GA in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where Lake Chatuge is the site for the twice a year rallys presented by The Georgia Airstream Campers and Tin Can Tourists with added attendance by the WBCCI SouthEast Camping Unit. This weekend was set off by a blast of rain and thunder during the Friday night meet and greet in the pavilion. The storm though strong, was shortlived and the moon came out to light up the lake. On Saturday and Sunday we were treated to mid 70's temperatures, and it made for an especially enjoyable day of activities. Attendance was excellent with about 60 units of many varied types to see. The 1960s Chevrolet mounted camper on pickup chassis was a great one, with a matching towable behind it. Also the 1960 Silver Streak was a site to see.Overall there was much to enjoy. Once again our Saturday pot luck dinner was a big success with an abundance of food to share, followed by a live "jam" band and karaoke. The campfire outside was the capper to the day with fire roasted pizza and smores. Looking forward to the Fall version on October 21 weekend.
great camper sink!
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Spring cleaning and repair

as April is coming and we have three weekends of 'streaming ahead, I started getting ready. The skin was dirty and getting dull, so I washed with a solution of TSP and water, this seems to do a great job for us. Next I fired up the Cyclo polisher with foam pads and a few bottles of ToolBox polish.The polish really goes a long way, as I only dab a bit on the foam pad each time. I found the polish at Lowes on sale for 10.00 a bottle. I polish an area of 2 feet square roughly, spreading the polish out with the the Cyclo, and running it over until the black oxidation starts to dry. Then I use a rag with mineral spirits, rubbed on and let to sit a minute before polishing off with a cleaner cloth. This method gives a good shine, maybe not a total mirror, but satisfactory for our trailer which sits out all the time. It also does not wear you out like a rotary polisher with rouge bars or other polishes. I was able to go around the whole trailer in 4 hours total. Next I moved to respraying the black paint on the entry steps, and front A frame. With a bit of protective making this is done quickly. moving inside, the wood walls, cabinet doors and bulkheads were looking a little dry, and I touched them up with a rag and an oil stain. this deepened the color and brought back the shine. I siliconed the tires and rubber trim. Cleaned the windows, and we are ready for our first Spring outing. I found some water from the black tank (nasty) in the area right under the valve. Used a shop vac to dry it out and poured a bit of bleach in that area. Then I added some fresh water to the tank through the toilet, with some coconut oil mixed in. This helps lube the seals and preserves them. I looked into valve renew liquids sold at the RV store, and they were the same mixture but for a lot more money. I found the leak, and though I was worried about a crack in the tank, it was the screw that holds the Valterra valve to the tank outlet. it's super hard to get to the screw effectively, but I will try to screw it back in, then Flex seal spray it. Not a bad repair, as it could have been a lot worse. The old trailer seems to hold up well each year and does not demand a lot of maintenance.i think the 60s were great years for Airstream, the quality being extra good. But of course I am an owner and a bit slanted in my opinion because of that. photos coming !


Wood Veneer Repair time

I have not yet repaired the veneer on my bedroom wall. The cover for the vent pipe runs up the wall, and it was one of the spots that had gotten water damage as it leaked while the trailer sat unused for years. This was before we got it of course. It does not sit very long now at all, and when it is stored for some time I am always running over to clean or work on something.
This is the kitchen side of the wall. Note how the wood is colored...pretty ain't it ;)

The wood veneered cover on this vent pipe is a 3 sided box attached to the wall. The veneer cracked and the water damaged the plywood beneath it.
It had always looked bad, but it is not a big thing, and more important issues were there to be dealt with.
Today I unscrewed the holding screws coming through the kitchen wall, and pulled off the box. It is 31" long and about 3-4 inches wide on the sides. My plan is to build a fresh box from plywood a bit thicker than the original which seems to be 1/4". I will use either hardwood faced plywood, or veneer the plywood myself. I think the hardwood faced will work well and once stained it should be a close match. Of course the 50 year old walls have mellowed some and it may not be an exact match, but time will tell.

The area just below the box is a bit messed up, where the veneer has bubbled up a bit. I plan to shoot some wood glue into the bubbled area and get it flat. Then re-stain and seal. Photos coming...


Finally- Powder Coating

My stove top cover and inside control panel always bugged me. They would not clean up the way I had hoped. I tried many polishes, and various cleaners and techniques to no avail.
I wanted powder coating, but general costs seemed high so this settled in to the bottom of the want lists. Actually below a new solar dome.
Well solar dome will ave to wait a little while. I found a powder coating company near me that was very professional and super reliable. Ray Paul Coatings in Marietta, GA.
They assessed the panels and had them cleaned, coated and ready for pickup in less than a week.

The results are excellent.

The only issue I rant into, was the rivet holes for the top. When I removed the piece and drilled out the rivets, I left some material in the holes. The coating folks did not notice, and I didn't either. This created coated holes where I had to redrill for the rivets to go through. It was a pita. But it worked. 
The cover went on with no issue, and the control panel slid right in.
Now if I could get the burner grills replaced. The coating was discouraged on these as the direct heat would sear it off, Maybe high heat paint or a stove black paint will be the ticket. Not sure yet.


Winterizing Pex

Having PEX plumbing is very relaxing when it comes to winterizing. Especially in the South.
PEX is forgiving and a minor freeze won't destroy it.

I do want to protect the systems though, and so I drain all the water out of the lines. Then I blow air through to be sure they are drained.

The water heater can be susceptible to serious damage from freezing. I have had to replace this little unit on every one of the 4 Airstreams I have owned. This due to lack of winterizing. The tank cracks and is expensive to replace. Actually I found it cheaper to buy a whole new heater.

If you open up the drain plug on the outside, and use a shop vac to suck out the water remaining after it stops running out on its own you will be safe.
You can't put RV Anti Freeze solution in the water heater, as it is corrosive to the tank parts. You can add a bit of alcohol to it if necessary to protect any small amounts of water left in it, but the shop vac method is going to get most every drop.

I like to lube all the hinges and locks before winter as things tend to get stuck when not used regularly. I spray non -silicone lube like PB Blaster or old fashioned oil to get this done.

I also air up the tires, and be sure that everything inside is clean and ready for some storage time.
We try to use the trailer at least once a month, if only to hook it up and take it for a drive as well.

If the weather is bearable we will camp in it a weekend here and there. But to you Northerners, who suffer through the long dark winter, this may not be practical. Sorry, but that is why I live in Georgia.

We have a winter but it is relatively short and considerably warmer most years.

Plumbing  a water heater bypass with PEX


Checking out a project

I was asked to stop by and look at a project trailer. The Argosy is a 74, 28 footer.
It had already been gutted and that made it easy to see what it needs.
Which is pretty much everything,( though not totally)
Start Low...
I suggested the owners start at the bottom, meaning cutting out the bad floor sections, and checking for frame damage. Then replacing the needed plywood and sealing the whole floor with a waterproofing product.
Sealing the outside seams, and especially around all vents, windows and trim would be done too.
Then they can move up to the plumbing, and electrical.
The old Dometic fridge needs to be checked out and also the water tank. Hooking up to water supply will tell the tale on the pipes.
Then when all that is done, they can start the reconstruction of the cabinets and interior items as they choose. Using little or a lot of what was pulled out. Most of that seemed to be in OK shape.
Slow and steady....
The LAST thing will be painting the body shell. I suggested a trial camp out first. The shakedown will let them know what else needed to be done before the painting, which is a lot of time and expense.

Starting low and slow is the best route to go. Sealing and keeping out the weather is most important.
Ripping everything out, including walls, in my opinion is not a necessity.
Nor are new axles. If it rolls, tow it.
Check the bearings though.
Once you are sure that the trailer works for you then you can spend that extra money on whatever you want.


To roof air or not?

Some chatter about 60s trailers and roof air came back around recently. I struggled with the decision for awhile the year we got the Overlander.
Since it was easily available on CL...I bought a frigidaire window unit. Using a small wooden snack table, I mounted the unit temporarily in the front window.
Removed the screen, and made a surround out of heavy clear vinyl. The vinyl attaches to Velcro strips inside the trailer around the window. The a/c unit sits on the table which has its front legs resting on the LP gas tanks. Rear legs are dust off leaving a small wooden plank that goes over the window ledge. It has a cut out in the middle so the plank rests flat when going over the window frame.

Works quite well in keeping the trailer cool, except during the day when it is well up in I the 90s. Then with the addition of a vintage fan in the kitchen, it's comfortable inside for our little dog to snooze while we see the sites. At night with temps outside in the low 80s or below, we sleep,quite well  with inside temps getting to the low 70s.

No extra holes in the roof, and the whole ordeal cost us 50 bucks.
Unit travels in the SUV when we roll, and stays home much of the year.
A Fantastic Fan in the bathroom helps year round. Kudos to Airforum member RideAir for the idea!


T shirts

For our Airstreaming friends and interested others- here is a long or short sleeved T Shirt you can enjoy wearing..available until Sept 4 for orders

this is the logo on the front of a heather gray shirt

Cool trailers

Besides my own Airstreams, there are so many other cool trailers to dream about . Here are a few to gaze at;

For sure some of the coolest old trailers are from Spartan
This one is a 1947 Manor. These trailers have full wood interiors and the larger models have front and rear doors.

1947 was a great year for campers. Just after WW2 and a lot of folks wanted to hitch up and see the USA.
This is an AERO Flite. Not one that is easy to find these days.

Super rare Motorhome
Powered by a 460 Ford engine this was one of only 3 Western Flyer models built
Wow is all I can say!! But it worth a photo from the rear as well...

Except for there GM Autorama produced motorhome called the Futureliner this is the wildest coolest one I have ever seen.


Spring- streamin' & Forums Rallys

Our rally Springstream in the North Ga Blue Ridge mountains was this past weekend. We typically get 35- 50 units and this one was right in there.

This Rally is now 13 years old.
We started the "forum" Rally tradition in 2002, with a Mystic Springs Airstream park Rally of 7 units. It was an informal get together to learn more about our Motorhomes.
Most of us had Classic Airstream mohos and were on an internet chat board called AirstreamForums.
I am member # 005 there. (Now known as AirForums, due to some copyright infringement.)
I think there are near 50,000 members now. Though many are just observers.

 After this first rally we had enjoyed it so much , we scheduled a second one in the same park.
 Next we moved to parks nearer to Atlanta and increased our attendance and the variety of RVs.
After a few more years we moved the event to Hiawassee, Georgia at the very scenic Georgia Mountain Fair Campgrounds. Set on beautiful Lake Chatuge, the sites are raised on various levels to give almost every site a lake view. Also we had access to a pavillion for meals and such.

This proved to be so successful we quickly grew each Rally.  We also spawned a few more Rallys in nearby states. South Carolina and Florida soon were hosting their own similar casual rallys.

The scene at ours grew to include live music, lots of shared "pot luck" food and a "tour of homes". We sometimes included classes on topics of interest. But we found most attendees liked the relaxed lack of a schedule and agenda. So other than the meals and tour, everyone was free to mingle as they chose. e have had campers form as far away as Arizona, Colorado, Vermont and Quebec. Some even came without a trailer,  just to walk the tour and decide what kind of Airstream they would want to own.

Now in our 13th year we look forward to many more years with friends old and new, and lots of fun.

Here are a few photos from this past weekend.

 Our next one is coming up  Oct 23 weekend- called Falluminum ...Join fees other than your campsite rental, its $35 a night. No agenda, no rules, no dues...

View from a 70's Sovereign


Spring is springing!

Man I am glad for Spring to be here soon...our rally in N Georgia is coming in 4 weeks. Springstream  has been an April tradition for campers since 2002. It gets 35-50 units and is a whole lot of fun for us Airstreamers and others.


Meanwhile we moved, and I have yet to clean up the trailer and get it ready. I am waiting for some drier and warmer weather. The inside is in good shape, as I go out and wipe down the wood cabinets and keep the floors clean...just needs a general cleaning, and the outside a wash and maybe polish touch up..OMG more time with the polisher? We are certainly old friends..

I added one of those cheap Chinese electronic pest protectors. Supposed to keep out the little rodents that like to climb in for the winter. Seems to have worked. Or maybe its just a mental thing.


Moved and happy after a year+

We spent over a year looking for a home in a subdivision that would allow trailers in the driveway.
I also needed a 3rd garage for my older Porsche.
Not easy to find at all. In fact it was nearly impossible. I also like a large lot, with trees and hoped for a master-on-main. Too much to ask for I guess...

We found one almost right and it was sold before we could make an offer...then found no others and almost gave up... until this past August when we found what seemed to be the perfect home for us.
 A neighbor had an RV in his drive, and we saw it parked there over a few weeks so we knew that was a good sign.
We made an appointment to look at the home, and on a walk around the over an acre lot I noticed a parking space cut into the curved driveway.  I paced it off and it was just over 26 feet. Having a 26 foot Overlander I was really amazed with that discovery.

We saw the two car garage, which was one car short for us.
 I considered parking my truck outside if we bought it.
 Then on the house tour, we entered the huge basement and I saw the 3rd garage door leading in from the opposite side of the house that the main garage was on.

Wow. Now if we could only get a deal.

The house was some $40-50000 above what we had in mind, and we also needed  a contingency that we could sell our present home first.

Incredibly...the seller took our offer and terms. We went through a lot of anxiety and expense getting our house ready to sell. A couple of near deals fell through, one at the very last minute. Then ...

I am simply happy to say that after 3 months our old house sold to an excited and equally happy couple. Within a week we had the offer, contract and financing arranged ...

 We closed on and moved into the new place two weeks ago.
The Airstream slid right into it's parking spot and the old 911 went into it's new home. Other features of the house are perfect for us.

All is well. Sometimes you just don't know how good it can be when you have faith and are patient.

Pictures to come...


Window Rubber not very Rubbery

The rubber molding weather-strip around the windows was in need of replacement. It was low on my priority list but I finally got to it.
Purchased the 25 foot strip from Vintage Trailer Supply and proceeded to get it done. I actually bought enough to do the bottom strip on all the windows, but not the vertical side parts. These are still in decent shape though dry.
I applied a car rubber restorer; "Gummi Pflege" a German product that you basically roll on from a tube with a foam applicator on top. This stuff did a great job on the rubber parts on my vintage Porsche 911 and I found it to help the vertical rubber on the Airstream.
The horizontal bottom strip looked like this: cracked, dry and missing some sections. Its amazing that the windows did not leak...much.
I used a Dremel wire brush to clean the old trim off totally for a good tight fit.

I also purchased some 3M Trim Sealant which is terrific stuff. Find it at any auto parts store. The new rubber came pre-glued but I don't trust that to hold, so I ran a bead of 3M on the window and the back of the rubber. After letting it dry for 5-10 minutes I pressed the cut rubber pieces onto the window frame. The 3M is a little forgiving, but not much so you have to set the trim right or you are likely going to tear it by trying to re-position.
After an hour or so the job was complete. The windows look better and the trim helps keep the water out.

Here is the 3M sealant. Great stuff, but hard to get off your hands!


Falluminum Rally

Our Falluminum Rally was great this year. We hosted 55 or so Airstreams and a couple of SOB's.
With well over 100 people we had to reorganize our pot luck meals. We did so and were able to quickly get everyone fed and watered. That was a great thing.
We also had entertainment from the great ANTSY MCLAIN, and Aisrtream favorite, who performed with his son Grant.
Antsy is a poet and musician who captivated the crowd for well over an hour.

We did have one mishap, when the park management booked a pull through spot right in front of one of  our guests spots. This would not have been too bad had it been a normal trailer in the spot. Instead it was a massive 5th wheel with multiple slide-outs and such.
It protruded onto the small driveway to the site behind it and prevented the Airstream camper from getting out. This was a problem for the Airstreamers who wanted to leave.
So being ever resourceful Airstream owners.they planted charges under  the 5th wheel and blew it up!

Of course that didn't happen ..but if wishes could come true.... well anyway, they waited it out until the huge plastic beast left the campground.

Oh well.

Now onto our Spring Rally in April....Springstream

How about those catchy names?

 Falluminum view....ahhhh


Wanna Host a RALLY?

I started attending Airstream Rallys in 2001. I found the first ones to be overly organized, too demanding and loaded with rules to follow.
Not my idea of fun.
I posted on a web chat board about having a no-rules, no-dues, all fun rally and got some responses.
Our Rally took place at an Airstream only Park in the Florida Panhandle.
The idea was to meet and share information and simply have fellowship with like minded individuals.

It went great. We had 7 units, of which 6 were Classic motorhomes. None of us had seen too many of these and were excited to be around them and share ideas and tips.
I learned how to rivet. No joke, I had a rivet gun but had never used it. My Clasic 280 needed a few holes filled and we went to work on it. With a little direction I was doing great in  no time. I learned to put some sealant like Vulkem around the rivets before they went in.
This was just one of the many tips I got that first weekend.

The main thing was keeping it loosely organized and having shared meals and chat times.

This led to more attempts at Rallys. With the advent of the AIRFORUMS, where I was a founding member, we were able to grow our attendance at the events.
I found a great campground in North Georgia that seemed to be the perfect spot for our group and ahd the facilities we needed.

As time passed, we are now in our 14th year of twice a year Rallys. Many others have grown out of our success. Attendees followed our lead and started their own close-to-home get together.
what started as rebellion against a strict un-compromising club, became a regular fun filled weekend event.

So if you want to host a Rally near your home or at a favorite campground here are some tips:

-Be sure the campground can accommodate your expected group size, and ask if they will hold sites for a certain period of time.
- Don't over organize! Plan a loose schedule around things that the folks will enjoy. "A tour of homes" is ever popular.  Shared meals are always a hit.  Some instruction form the more experienced attendees in maintenance and other topics can be good. Too much and it becomes a chore.
- Be friendly and flexible, for example- we allow anyone to attend. Even those with no Airstream
have been welcomed, and often they return with their own trailer next time.
-Put the information out there on the web so others will be attracted to attend. There are several places you can share info, the more social media you use to get the word out, the more people will find it.
Here are some photos of the rallys from the early ones on to the present.

1st Rally in 2001 @  MYSTIC SPRINGS PARK

Adding Music made it even more fun

                             Our lake front location for subsequent Rallys for more than 6 years now

Its hard to beat a FALL Rally!

Food makes it more FUN! Shared pot luck Breakfast ...


Camping in Asheville, N.C. was great. We were very happy with our site at Mama Gertie's just north of town. This was a secluded campground with nice spots on the lower level, and several sites way up high on the mountain with great views. We preferred the lower level as the angle of the hillside entrance seemed a challenge for my 6 cylinder Chevy.

Being just outside of town gave us several opportunities to drive in and check out the restaurants and bar scene. Asheville is the Beer City of the East with many breweries and loads of local and nearby brews to sample. We ate at Farm Burger our first night, and enjoyed the city scene. Lots of strolling couples and others, sidewalk musicians, and a generally fun atmosphere. The chocolate at the local shop was awesome.

We spent the next morning and part of the afternoon at the Riverside Art district open house. Many galleries with a huge assortment of arts and craft to see and purchase if you choose to. We heard great live music, and the weather was simply perfect. Asheville sits at 2600 ft elevation so it is always a bit cooler than Atllanta.

Next day we visited the Arboretum on the Blue Ridge parkway and were treated to gorgeous plants and flowers, and a terrific bonsai garden. auwas a fun place to hike the grounds.

We checked out West Asheville next, and up and coming area of town with a few cool restaurants. We ate lunch on Haywood Ave, not far from the Riverside Galleries.

From Asheville we drove back towards home and stopped in Greenville, SC. This is a nice town with great main street area for walking. The street leads to a waterfall, with a bridge over it for pedestrians to enjoy.
We found a great spot to eat, and though it was a lot warmer here than Asheville, we enjoyed our short stay.

We camped at  nearby Paris Mountain State Park, which was very quiet and wooded. It rained all night, but we had our window A/C unit cranking cool air and it was very comfortable in the Airstream.

Here are some photos from the trip...

Our little old dog- happy at Mama Gertie's

Arrghh the Broken Window!

Using my trimmer in the driveway, I suddenly noticed a pile of broken glass near the Airstream. The trimmer must have kicked up a rock and it broke the side living room window. ARGHHHH!! These are Corning  glass windows, unframed and curved nicely. Hard to replace, but new glass is available at $150 or so.

Yikes...what crappy luck.

Then, it changed as I remembered and extra glass panel that came with the trailer, laying under a bed.

My lucky day as it turned out. ....the glass was the same exact size as the broken one. Also it had the aluminum upper part and the two opener clips already attached.

It took a little effort to clean up the broken shards, and get the area ready to slide on the new glass.
Thankfully it all went smoothly, and the window was back in place.

The sheet slides in at the top, and then you attach the opener arm part to the upper frame inside.Three set screws help to hold the glass in place. I replaced these with new ones from the hardware store.
The old guy there looked at the screws I brought as samples and asked if they were from an aluminum screen door. Good guess!

All is well, and the trimming will not happen again without protecting the trailer first....lesson learned.
The Upper Frame with shards left in it

The newly installed glass, covered in plastic while waiting for a new rubber seal.


Been meaning to replace the refrigerator vent since the start of this project, but it was not at the top of the list. Not even near it. Thought it was an eyesore, it still worked. VTS sells a great reproduction of this item and it is not expensive, so we sent off for one.
After a coat or three of silver looks just right.

Next up was the nameplate, by the entry door. It was basically gray, though I had attempted to polish it before. I primed it with gray, then two coats of silver spray. With a tiny brush and a 50 cent bottle of paint from wally looks a whole lot better.

It's all in the details.... after the last photo I added a bit more silver to hide some slight blue streaking....

Next up -- camping in Asheville!


Spring shining

According to the calendar Spring has sprung..and it is generally warmer I must say.

I gave the old girl a good cleaning inside, vacuuming, and wiping everything down. Oiled the wood panels and doors. Cleaned out the moth balls I throw in the cabinets and closets and bins.

I hooked up the water to check for any new leaks after the low temps we had here in the South.

Hooked up my tow vehicle and took her for a spin so as to avoid any surprises when we leave for our first Spring trip. All is well ...and the 66 is ready for another season of camping.

As for the skin...I washed the outside well with detergent and a soft bristle brush. Then I used a car spray detailer to clean up the shine.  It will get some polishing done later on, but for now I have her looking pretty good. I find that car windshield washer fluid works well in the skin, but the detailer has a little wax in it which helps too.

Our first trip is to ALUMALINA in South Carolina, and all we have to do now is pack.

Hoping for warm weather.


Bought a new Weight Distribution hitch from Etrailer. One of the easiest online purchases I have made. Free shipping and it was delivered in a few days.

I mounted it and proceeded to take a test tow with the Airstream on our new to us 2003 Trailblazer. Locally it towed great. We've got a road trip later in the month and looking forward to it.

Pix to come


Hitch issues

I sold my 2000 Ford Excursion v10. It has been ultra reliable and a steady tow machine for us the past 7 years. But it was time to downsize a bit. I started looking at Jetta diesel cars, progressed  up to Korean and Japanese small SUVs.. Then found a Chevy Trailblazer. Not too small not too big,,maybe just right. V6 with 275hp and decent gas mileage on regular.
Tow rated at 5500 lbs without weight distributing hitch...up to 7500 with it.

Factory tow package with brake controller wiring tucked up under the kick panel. 7 pin connector..etc

After getting it home and installing my Prodigy brake controller, I proceeded to back it up and hitch up the Overlander. Lo and behold the truck hitch was 4" too high for the trailer. Arghhhh!

What the heck!  So after posting a query on Airforums,, I found I would need a new adjustable shank for the hitch.  Of course my present wd bars set up is from 1966... And won't hook up with the shank...So a whole new hitch and bars has to be sourced. Ahh the joys of changing vehicles.

Too cold to camp

It has been an unusally cold winter here in the Southland. we usually get in a weekend camping in December or January but so far its been too cold for that.
The Airstream can be cozy, but if it is miserable to be outside, we just aren't.

So  looking forward to Spring.. and hoping actually to get out over the Presiden't weekend holiday if weather permits.

We are already booked for 4 Rallys in 2014 so there should be some fun coming with lots of other Airstream buddies


Photo Shoot for our Trailer

My trailer spent the day as the center atraction at a photo shoot yesterday. The product to be displayed was TERVIS insulated mugs, cups and tumblers. The setting was Stone Mountain Park.
An awesome day for sure, with temps in the 60's. Lakeside setting.
Nice to see the old girl shine and enjoy her moment in the sun. Me too!



With Friday night temperaturs  the upper 20's we arrived at Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee GA for our Falluminum Rally.
We've been hosting these for more than 12 years now, and they seem to have a life of their own. Looked like we would have a small turnout for this one, as not many had posted that they were coming. All of a sudden in the weeks before, the number of trailers jumped to over 35. With kids and dogs that a lot of folks.

The Saturday weather warmed up a lot, and with no wind it was a nearly perfect day. You could just start to see the leaves turning on the hills and mountains around the lake.

Brunch was a pot luck and the food was fabulous. A new WBCCI local chapter held thier meeting right afterwards, and then many left to tour the "homes" around the campsites. Many cool old and new Airstreams were enjoyed.

Evening pot luck dnner was just as good and plenty of food was shared. Following dinner we had a gift swap raffle of sorts, and then the music jam and more. After that we all retired to campfires around the park.  It was a beautiful evening.

Fun, fellowship and awesome Airstreams.

Looks like BRUNCH! Or is that dinner?


Tank You Very Much

Oh what a nasty job! The Overlander has a galvanized box that surrounds the bottome and sides of the black water tank. Mine had rusted out (as they all do eventually). I knew it, but as the tank was held in place solidly I had no plans as yet to repair or replace it.

THEN,,,,on the way home from a recent campout we had not emptied the tank when we got on the highway. All the jarring of the weighted tanks caused one side of the belly pan to come loose and it hung down a few inches. Compared to some stories about similar problems, evidently mine was no big deal.
 But it was time for repair.

I managed to get the rivets off the belly pan and roll it back to reveal the very rusted box. Fortunately the frame, plywood flooring above and the black tank and fittings all look good. Minimal rust and no cracks anywhere.

The steel box was supposedly screwed on, and I was ready to remove a bunch of screws. No way. It was bolted thru the floor above, with very rusted bolts. A few were already hanging loose, but the reminde took me quite a few hours to get off. The last two really were stuck and would not break free.
After trying every tool in the shed, I pulled out my trusty VISE GRIPS. These bad boys have served me very well, so well I think they are my number 1 tool. Next to the ratcheting screwdriver.

I locked the pliers onto the rusted bolt, it barely fit into the space between the box and frame. I was able to muscle it back and forth and the bolts both broke off.

Then with a little effort the box was free.

Now onto a metal fab shop to get a new box made. Then paint the cleaned up frame and put it all back together. Thanks to Frank Yensan and some of the other Airforums guys for inspiration and ideas. I almost gave up on this, which would not have been good.

The infamous BOX...or what is left of it after 50 years.

 The frame is rusty but not terrible. It wil be cleaned and coated with POR15.
Plywood is clean and dry. Glad to see that.


Belly Pan and tank woes...

We have taken a few trips this Summer so far. Having fun hitting the road. This last trip we were unable to find a dump station and travelled with a heavy black tank. By the time I got home the belly pan under it was sagging and the tank seemed to be sinking.
So now some repairs are in order. NOt sure exactly what I am going to do, but I think I will get the local fab shop to make up a pan, then put it in and add some support underneath. Looking for ideas.


Springstream Time

Wen camping with 25 other Airstreams this past weekend. A great Spring time on a gorgeous lake in N Georgia.
The Overlander had hot water, cold fridge and no leaks. YAAAY!!
The only problem was some lossening of the Dometic from the floor on the way up. The lag bolts must have loosened on one side and allowed the fridge to move a half inch or more, enough to pull the decorative wall next to it out a bit.

New axles will be in our future.


New Marker Lights

Getting ready for Spring camping needed new marker lights all around.  Got a set of amber lights for the front and sides. Removed the old lights and then cleaned the area beneath  with steel wool and mineral spirits. Spliced the wired and used wire nuts. Then stuffed the wire nut back in the hole beneath the light, and sealed the base area with "Seamer Mate".

Riveted the lights on and then ran a bead of sealant over the top and upper sides.

Plugged a 20Amp fuse into the top two slots of my umbilical connector and watched the new lights shine.
 Nice two hour job.

note the 1966 Traler License Tag from Ohio, where the trailer was built.
Cool find !!