The Airstream Diary

Airstream Trailer Answers and Questions

Work Gets in the Way of Work

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Ahhhhhhh! I forgot and left the Airstream home alone (actually at A&P’s) for 45 days!

Finally made it back out to Cottondale, Texas, today. It’s been so long I may have to remind you that is where the Safari 23 resides, among many more Airstreams at A&P Vintage Trailer Repair, aka. Ann & Paul’s.

I described the feeling to Ann as what I would imagine a parent to feel when they look up two months later, and remember they forgot to pick their kid up at school. You hope they are still there.It felt like the inanimate Airstream was a little upset being left out there in the rain, wind and hail. Thank goodness we have so little of all of those in North Texas these days. Global something, you know.

As many steps as we made forward before the work hiatus (when I actually went to work), I also took a couple of steps back, and they feel like they were knee-deep into mud. First, the angle iron (custom bent as you recall) that runs along the back wall – sandwiched between the wall and U channel – had to be cut out with the plasma cutter. It didn’t line up properly AND I had already sandwiched the bottom of the angle between the floor and the frame with liberal amounts of that bonding calk. Done, cut out and gone. SECOND, the perfectly straight runners that go underneath along the outriggers (they are where the belly pan and outside wall panels curve under, meet and get riveted), no longer line up the same distance in as they did on the original frame. Rather than cut those out, I ordered a whole new run of them, and they will run doublewide down the length of both sides of the trailer. None of that would be a big deal, but I am the guy who hates rust. That means everything that has been cut out was already painted – well painted. That means I now have to paint the runners, crawl around on the ground with a welder, and act like a weldor again. I hoped I was done with that, but NOooo.

On the cooler side, I did order our new Dometic air conditioner today. We went for the biggest they have, since it is Texas after all. I should have that in a couple of days.

The checklist gets longer not shorter now.

There’s still the sheet of plywood that supports the freshwater tank. Somebody remind me why I threw the old one away. It’s a funny thing. This sheet of plywood really needs to be bullet proof. It covers a huge area of the bottom of the trailer, is exposed to all the elements we will be navigating (think Stony Pass water crossings), and it supports a lot of weight. What a recipe. The original wasn’t in too good a shape, but it did appear to have the sheet of aluminum adhered to it quite well – almost like another layer of plywood veneer! So, I have to bomb-proof that piece of plywood.

We also have a buckle in the marmoleum flooring that runs in a visible spot. The floor laid out fine before we dropped the shell back on it, but now with heat (or whatever) it is a serious problem. It looks like we will have to cut a splice in the marmoleum, gather and glue it.

NOTE – Just to give you guys the heads-up, I am about to pump some serious energy into this website. You will notice a “Instagram” photo in the sidebar, and a twitter feed as well. I have put off really “plugging in” this site until I was ready to deal with what it means for readers and traffic here. If you ever see anything you don’t like, let me know. I AM ALSO MAKING IT EASIER TO COMMENT on this site. You can comment and ask questions without having to register or login. Your comment will be held for approval, but that’s only prudent.

I am also undertaking the redesign of Ann & Paul’s site this summer. So keep your eyes on in coming weeks.

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.

Where Airstreams Go

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Vintage Airstream Trailer at A&P Vintage Trailer

We made the trip toward Paradise, Texas, this afternoon, and to A&P Vintage Trailer Works in Cottondale, Texas. Just like so much of Texas, it’s only 45 miles from Denton, but a world away.

Ann and Paul were fantastic hosts, opening many of the trailer’s doors so we could sneak a peak into our future.

It didn’t take long to feel the comfort of being able to relax and know I had finally found someone who knows, really knows, what they’re talking about when it comes to Airstreams. Whether it was understanding how to do certain repairs, or different materials available for restoration projects such as ours,  clarity has come more rapidly than ever before. And it didn’t take long to be in awe of the beautiful, and sometimes needy, collection of vintage Airstreams scattered about – mobile modules preparing for, and awaiting, their next destination, each an individual’s dream container.

I don’t consider myself anything near an expert when it comes to Airstreams. I may know an average amount about something that I have an above average interest in, but I dare you to try and stump Paul and Ann.

I was able to take a few photographs of the trailers once I got over the excitement of just being around so much shiny silver. I can’t wait to do some more detailed images of the inside and outside of some of these fantastic examples of Airstream Trailers. Unbelievable.

A&P Vintage Trailer Works

Vintage Airstream Trailers at A&P Vintage Trailer Works

Airstream Repairs at A&P Vintage Trailer Works

Classic Airstream Trailer at A&P Vintage Trailer Works

Airstream Trailer at A&P Vintage Trailer Works

Airstream Trailer at A&P Vintage Trailer Works

Whale Tail Airstream Trailer at A&P Vintage Trailer Works

Bambi Airstream at A&P Vintage Trailer Works

New Social Networking Site Launched for Airstream Rebuilders

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I am still in the early phases of establishing a modern (as in younger crowd) network of Airstream enthusiasts, and pairing them with anyone who knows anything about the nuances and intricacies of Airstream trailers.

That new site is a social networking based site named . I think it will go a long way toward the open sharing of Airstream life, Airstream mechanics and Airstream maintenance. These are all things that are present in scattered form, all through the internet. What I am doing is trying to bring us all together in a productive way.

If you are interested in campgrounds, and fly fishing on the Guadalupe River in Texas, I am just back from there, and have vowed to have the Safari ready for next year’s Guadalupe River Trout Fest put on by the folks from Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited.



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