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The Pressure is ON!

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The 1970 Airstream Safari Big Reveal – a Denton Meetup Event. Seeing is Believing.

So you never thought you would see or hear from me again? Well, I hate to disappoint you, but I won’t be going away any time soon. If you have not kept up with the Airstream Diary, then you may not know the premise under which I raised the internet flag on this project.

A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON

Originally, the Airstream Diary, launched as the diary of our 1970 Safari. What was happening with it, to it, and its life and times were all supposed to appear here — long before now. But, after ten years, and a lot of life getting in the way (LIFE = www.texasflycaster.com / FLY FISHING), and cancer getting the way, and economic ruins, and a digital photography revolution getting in the way, and a festering career getting in the way, and all the rest …

The way I see this Airstream project now is in terms of my very own survival, an escape from an old and to a new chapter in life. So far none of the chapters I have written have delivered anything but great reviews of free writing and free photography – both essentially free on the internet where everything is free because, well because some genius thought it should ALL be free. I always heard, “Nothing any good was ever free,” and I tend to believe that for the most part. And if you are thinking anything here is worth something, all you simply have to do is click on through the ads you see here; I make a dime, and it doesn’t cost you a dime. How about that?

SURFACE SURFACE SURFACE

We are about to resurface in a visible and measurable way. I went ahead and threw down the gauntlet with an official event to “REVEAL” the Airstream here in Denton, Texas, on May 5, in the year of our Lord 2017. And I’ll be calling on that last guy to help along the reconstruction over the next two months, and I will try not to use his name in vain while I work … too much.

If you have not heard of Meetup, check it out, and get back to me if you can’t find the Safari Reveal in Denton, Texas.

Always look to our friends at A&P Vintage Trailer Works for more of my photography and stories in their behalf – and yours, if you are interested in Airstream repairs and Airstream knowledge at the GUT (BUSTING) LEVEL. I really actually am spending more time photographing and tweeting their projects than on the Airstream Diary. Check out their twitter feed at – https://twitter.com/APTrailer .

COMING SOON – New photos of the 1970 Safari 23, and maybe even a video or two, as I dip my skills into the new waters of Airstream life – documentation.

Just About The Time

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airstream trailers vintage airstreams #airstreamlife

Just about the time you think I’m gone … there’s a lot of things that got in the way of this endeavor …

Like a bout with cancer, and many, many more things that we can finally go into now that the season has me surfacing.

For now, you will want to see the latest and greatest things happening at A&P Vintage Trailer Works. I have constructed a new website for them, and also run their Facebook Page – for better or worse on that last one!

I have learned a lot about Airstreams through all this, and I have learned a lot about a lot of other things since last writing here! The lifelong profession of photography has waned, and other I am attempting to “wax” on other work to make up for the budgetary shortfalls (shall we say).

If you have questions about anything Airstream, contact me! I am showing two for sale right now on the AP Vintage Trailer Works site and I just linked them to the AP Vintage Facebook page as well.

Happy 2015 Everybody! It’s The Year of the Airstream

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airstream trailers airstreamers #airstream repairs

Happy New Year! I know I have been in and out of writing about the life of our Airstream Safari, but this year is the one for the beginning of the new chapter in the life of our trailer. There’s light at the end of the ice and rain and cold, and that light is the promise of having our trailer on the road in the first quarter of this year.

I originally wanted us to be rolling out this month. I was to be in Beaver’s Bend, Oklahoma, living and fly fishing from our Safari, but was sidelined by the opportunity to work in the oil fields near Bellevue, TX, for an extended period in October and stretching to December. The photography business finally forced me back into the daylight, but there was enough positive funds flow to now begin to make serious progress on our trailer.

There is so much more going on, so be sure to check back here and see what I am learning – save yourself a lot of time too! I’ll be putting out a list of what’s left to do, and some photography (perhaps video) of the trailer and the work.

Thanks for reading, and check back soon!

Airstream Scare Light

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scare light #airstream airstreamparts #airstreamrepairs

So we are looking for a quality Airstream scare light, and I am not finding anything worthy of such a prominent exterior location – on the internet. Does anyone have an idea of where to find one — good chroming, good metal (doesn’t rust) and looking a lot like the originals? I am simply trying to make the best of holes in the side of the Airstream Safari — by making one big hole that encompasses them all with a functional (instead of patch) purpose.

Anybody?

 

http://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Lights/Optronics/RVSL21.html

https://www.rvadenver.com/lights_&_lenses.htm

All the Trimmings – Airstream Trim Pieces and Banana Skins

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#airstream #airstreamrepair airstream trailers airstreamers airstream trailer repairs aluminum banana skins

 

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It’s almost as bad as fly fishing – the crazy names Airstreamers come up with for pieces and parts of our beloved trailers. If you were wondering what a “Banana Skin” is, it’s the curved piece that goes around the corners between the side skins and the belly / belly pan area.

As you can see, when your Airstream comes to you with someone else’s battle scars, or invasive surgery scars, you have want to do the patching that accomplishes two important things – keeps the rodent population at bay, and keeps the water from having an easy entry into the bottom of the trailer.

As much as we would like to think we are building our Airstreams in the likeness of our houses, I have come to find that it’s better to think of it as building our trailers to be “super tents” instead. I have spent enough nights on the ground, in a tent, in the rain, in sleet, in snow … that an Airstream is a long way up the chain from the tent days, in my new-found opinion.

We not only put the banana skins back on the trailer, we also:

– gently beat some of the dents out of the leading (front) edge bananas — that came from rocks

– patched the bananas

– cleaned the Airstream trim pieces – BACK and front before riveting them in place

– coated the edge of the “belly board” – that will he holding the new fresh water tank – with epoxy

– riveted all the trim (between the bananas and side / the side and around back) back into place (It’s the lower trim piece

That lower trim piece has several functions, and a certain way I seemed to think made it go back on better.

The turns are where a bent, or protruding trim piece will show most, so that is where I started my rivets – securing the turns, and then coming around to the sides / front / or back flat runs. There were places with significant gaps between the trim and the side of the trailer (not so much along the straight runs). And those places seemed to be caused by the body skin being dented at some time, perhaps during the full monty. So we got back inside and took a soft mallet to actually hammer the skin back out to a natural position that closed the gap. Makes sense.

TRIM YOUR RIVETS

Another thing that makes sense is to trim the rivet if you find them getting too close to a raised edge of the trim piece. As you see in the photographs, just take a pair of metal cutters, and trim the edge that would otherwise keep the rivet from being flush. For whatever reason, be prepared to have two different size rivets along the way as well – and make them the “Medium” length while you’re at it. Those holes can start off different sized, or after 43-years, they can end up different sized … can’t we all?

SEAL THAT EDGE

Sealing the edge of the plywood that goes on the belly of the trailer makes sense because it will be (indirectly) exposed to all the elements we find on the road. Once the plywood is dry – hardened fiberglass resin – I will finish the piece with a thin piece of aluminum or galvanized tin sheet metal to prevent road damage. YOU HAVE TO IMAGINE all the things that will be hitting the bottom of your trailer along the way, and although it’s a thick piece of plywood, that last cladding of the plywood makes it bulletproof.

BE A TRAILER

I try and imagine myself tied to the bottom of the trailer, face down, facing the road. That makes me think about all the things coming at the trailer – rain, rocks, snow, low clearance crossings and all the things we see on major roads these days. Just go with a worst case scenario, and prepare the bottom of your trailer for that – that should do the trick. Cladding, the skins, a good seal, all of these things are what we do to prepare the trailer itself. From there, later on, we prepare the vehicle to minimize what it throws a trailer’s way, but that’s another story for another day!