The Airstream Diary

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Almost Hot Enough

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airstream trailers #airstreamers airstream trailer restoration

Well it seems like we wait until the weather is scorching before we get back to work on the Airstream, but tomorrow should be the first day back in a long time. The weather really did have a lot to do with that! It has been too good or too bad for awhile now in North Texas.

I did start uncovering the inside skins from their storage spot today, and dove back into the Jasco to finally finish getting the stubbornest slivers of vinyl-clad off the skins. The thing about these last shards of the old vinyl-clad is they are the toughest ones – usually under the pressure of a skin overlap – and require multiple coats of Jasco to get them to let loose.

The Airstream is on a hard deadline now, because I basically committed it to being somewhere else this winter … like Broken Bow, Oklahoma, or the Guadalupe River area of Texas. Heck, why limit it when it comes to getting out and away?

I do this thing on the Texas Fly Caster website called the “Monday Morning Sidewalk,” which is basically a review of the last week and what’s coming up ahead on the topic of fly fishing in Texas. If you are interested in fly fishing, be sure to catch the Monday Morning Sidewalk every Monday.

The next few weeks of Airstream work will be interesting, so I will be sure and have some photography to show you what’s going on. Now that the Airstream is outed on the Texas Fly Caster website, I guess there’ll be some crossover to the Texas Fly Caster site from here on out.

Do As I Say – Not as I Did

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double wide airstream runners
The new double-wide Airstream belly runners. This is where the sides and belly pan come together.

Yeah, an Airstream rebuild is a humbling experience. You think you’re going to snap it back together, like a pile of LEGOs that you just pulled apart, but nooooo!

I hear it when Paul (AP VT Works) says, “things don’t always go back the way they were,” but maybe I don’t always listen.
Folding over side Airstream panel

I had no idea the runners – that run along the bottom of the outriggers, and are where the side panels and belly pan get overlapped and riveted – would be so far off my dead center measurement of the originals, that I would have to go back in and weld in another whole set of runners.

I figured that having a double wide set of runners, rather than cutting out the old or moving the old, I would totally eliminate the margin of error (and tacked the two together along the length) … and be done with this SNAFU. Let me tell you, welding upside down with floor attached is a whole different deal. Put that together with days that start early and end by noon-ish due to the heat, and it’s a recipe for a good old fashion beat down. And that’s exactly what it was.

NOTE TO YOU WHO ATTEMPT THIS – Save these runners for the last welding you do after the shell is back on. Fold under the side panels, measure and weld for the new location of these runners. The old measurement will not work.

Appliances are starting to roll in now. We have a brand new Dometic A/C and I picked up our new toilet the Dometic 310 this week as well. We are starting the search for a refrigerator now. Amazing what trailer (gas + electric) cost these days, and always I guess. It’s hardly aligned with what you get for the dollar in a home refrigerator, so just put those comparisons right out of your mind.

Airstream Polishing in action
There is a polisher working out at AP right now, and he gave me a cost on polishing the Safari. I would have to remove the clear coat, and Paul said that’s a pretty simple chemical process. For $2400., we can gaze at the landscape in the side of the Safari. Time to call in some debts?!

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