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Airstream Trailer Living and Repair

Video of Redressing of Airstream Safari

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Here’s the video I shot of the shell going back onto the frame. I was using a new GoPro camera, and they are quite finicky cameras. This time, it froze up before the process was complete, but you can see kind of how things work during this process. It was complicated a little by the wind, but basically other than a few screws in the C channel that had to be removed before dropping the shell on, it was a clean drop. The audio is from the internal speaker, which is encased in a waterproof case. That equals bad sound, but since the video was corrupted, I didn’t even bother to do a voice over. As soon as the Airstream videos get better, I am sure I won’t be able to resist hearing myself on a voiceover.

Behind but Gaining Fast

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We managed to get the elevator bolts (in countersunk forstner bit “cups”) covered with a concoction of epoxy (from West Marine) and powdered wood sawdust. Amazingly, it wasn’t as messy as it sounds.

When I think epoxy, I think of the project my Grandpa gave me when I was, oh, about 11-years-old. The Dargle scooter was leaking along its seams, and he gave me the glass and epoxy, and said something to the effect of, “no problem.” I did get it done, and actually it passed inspection, but not before I put too much hardener in with the resin and started a small but pesky fire. NOTE TO SELF – mix your epoxy properly!

Today, it was back out to A&P Vintage Trailer to cover the deck again, as it awaits our sanding and between today and the next chance I get to get out there – rain.

If you are in the Athens, Texas, area – be sure to check out the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s annual “Fly Fish Texas” event at the Texas Freshwater Fishery on Saturday. I have attended two of these, and will be speaking at this one on Saturday. Mark your calendar for Saturday at 3-pm.

Anna the Airstream Towing Dog

One of our dogs is getting old and feeling pretty bad the last couple of days, so I needed to take her “little” sister Anna, for a ride, get her out of the house, and some quality time. She was quite happy to be out and about.

Front Section of Airstream Safari converted for spare tire

We are pulling the belly pan back a section and installing an Airstream factory spare tire holder in the first section behind the tongue. It just seemed logical.

Epoxy applied to elevator bolts on Airstream Decking
Underneath the epoxy is the elevator bolt that holds the deck down.

Where the door meets the decking needs notching
Don’t forget to notch the plywood where the door jamb is located. It’s about a 1/4″ notch that keeps everything flush. We haven’t done that yet (in this image).

The Beat Goes On

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New GoPro Image of Airstream

All the decking is half bolted down, and just like the rest of this rebuild, it’s heavy duty and each elevator bolt gives me reassurance. And that’s just the bolts!

Weather is changing again here in North Texas, where we have gone from soupy fog the last couple of nights, to a cold front and the look of rain out here on the Barnett Shale. While I’m out here working on flowbacks, my mind goes to the Airstream, and the little bit of heavy lifting that remains. After all these years, I feel like denting the aluminum (not really) with a bottle of champagne, or ripple – after we bolt it back together. The fact I am even talking about it is amazing.

 

GoPro on the Airstream Curve

I thought I would throw this strange accidental image in for grins. I took this with a GoPro 3 Black, and obviously don’t quite know what I am doing. I think I was looking at the front of it to see if it was on.

Airstream Frame Rebuilding

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Airstream Trailer Frame Rebuilding at A&P Vintage Trailer

Touching up the primer on the Airstream frame, and a few more welds. When it comes to rebuilding the frame, it can be easy to forget parts (like the strips that run along the bottom of the outriggers (front to back @ 6-inches from frame edge-to-ege) and photographs are helpful reference. It’s also helpful to NOT dump the removed / discarded pieces until completely done.

There’s a uniquely angled piece of angle iron that secures the bottom of the back wall to the frame that Paul had to have special bent, and the long pieces of steel I was referring to earlier are also a unique thickness. Those long front to back pieces on the bottom of the outriggers are critical – it’s where the skins get riveted back under the curve!

The Safari Doubles as a Chicken scratch spot  in the evenings

And Some Days You Get Rained Out

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Managed a journey through torrential rains last weekend, to A&P Vintage Trailer in Cottondale, Texas, and reset the screw stands inside the hull to keep them from sinking any further into the mud. We also moved the frame into place for leveling and blocking it in – which was going to happen today, but more rain is here as I write. I managed to set the stands on flat pavers, get everything settled back down, take a few pictures (because the sky said to), and then make the epic journey back to Denton.

Work finances the Airstream work, and now gets in the way as we get to the point of return, the phoenix rising so to speak, and add way too much verbal drama to simple sweat.