Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It has been awhile!!

My last post on this blog was October of 2007. It is now coming up on June of 2009. A lot has happened in the past year and a half and it has all been good!

First off...I did eventually haul the camper down to my house in Dover NH. It towed like a dream! After making it to my back yard, I began to work on the trailer hoping that all that it needed was some loving care and minor maintenance. Unfortunately I discovered that old Airstream Trailers are ofter plagued with issues that are not always visible at first glance. In my case, not in ten glances. I soon realized that the old girl required a near full on restoration in order to live in it full time. I energetically removed the interior only to find that the project was going to require a hole lot of work and money.

While doing all of this stuff with the AS, I was also working on my move home. I eventually decided to tow the AS down to PA on the dreaded 9 hour trip. To my great surprise, the whole trip was uneventful and the trailer, again, towed like a dream. Unfortunately I came down with a nasty flu, so by the time I got it to the farm in PA I was a walking zombie. Needless to say, I slept in my parents guest bed for 2 days following.

A month or so later, I made the big move home. I had to stay with my parents while figuring out my living situation. I put one measly afternoon into the AS and decided that it was going to be a project for another time. I was in the middle of building a metal and wood shop in the basement of a barn here on the farm and I was putting together the beginnings of my business. Again, needless to say, I am still sleeping in my parents guest bed. There is however a huge upside to all of this. My business is rolling along slow and steady and my options for living have gone from restoring the house up on the hill behind my parents, back to having to restore the Airstream. Honestly, I would have stuck with the house remodel, but like the AS, it has many problems unknown to me at first.

The decision is final!! With a lot of thought on my part and great enthusiasm from my family, it is time to go full circle back to the AS and finish what I started. I have taken a dive head first back into the AS and intend fully to bring this project to completion. Besides, I need a little home of my own.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

A few more steps forward and maybe one back...

Well it's been over a month since I last wrote a post, so I would like to take a moment to explain where I stand with everything.

At last post the axles had been removed and the t-shooting of the lights was next on the list. At this point right now, the brand new axles have been installed and 95% of the lights and misc. electrical are in full working order. EXTERIOR ONLY, just legal stuff. The interior is a whole other ball game.

Last week Sean and I installed the new axles and took a close look at the wiring. After installing the axles we wired up the electric brakes and gave them a full on test. Everything passed with flying colors. I was also able to install the reverse lights and the brake/turn/parking lights. All that was left was to get the license plate light, the marker lights and the emergency brake away switch wired up. I was hoping that the rest would fall right together.

Today we both went up to put another full day into the old girl and unfortunately thing did not fall right together. I began the day by installing a 12 volt battery in the camper. No fuses blew...that's a good sign. I checked to see if the wires that feed the emergency brake away switch had power and what do you know? They did! Next I shorted the +/- and the brakes did lock up. This is the good part. After this test, I decided to get to work on the marker lights. This is where the day took a turn for, well, not the worst, but more of a challenge of sorts. Immediately I realized that 3 of the 12 markers did not have power. So I knew that some t-shooting would be involved. I began with the 3 markers on the rear end. these were not so tough and after an hour they were done and working. Very quickly I found that the few that did not have power were going to be a real pain.

Long story short. I did a lot of trouble shooting and wire pulling. Mice had eaten at wires buried in the ceiling of the camper many years ago. I managed to drill out rivets on an interior ceiling panel and fish new wires to the locations in need. At the end of the day, all but one marker was complete. Next Sunday I will mount the freshly balanced wheels, fix the one remaining marker and install the break away switch. As far as I can tell, after these three projects, I can move the trailer safely and legally.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Removing axles and t-shooting lights

Today I went back up to Tilton for a few hours to remove the axles from the the camper. Soon after posting on the AS forums last week, I realized that new axles were necessary for my future 8 hour road trip home to Pa. Removing the axles was a cake walk, however the lights were not quite as easy. It took me 20 minutes +/- to get the axles off and into the truck. I chased problems with the wiring and lights for near 3 hours. I believe that I have everything figured out at this point and next week I should be able to put the lights issue behind me.

One more fun thing. The guy who sold me the camper told me that he was going to have keys made for the access panels and doors. He failed to do so. I spent a good hour with a screwdriver and some dental tools picking the 3 locked compartments. Successful, yes, but tedious.

I also inspected the back corners of the camper to see if the rear end sag is too much for the trip. I noticed a tiny bit of rot from the outside, but from inside the rear compartment, the floor looks and feels solid.

I am excited to get back up there next weekend to finish up the lights and get rolling on the windows.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The project has begun

Today Sean and I went up to Tilton to begin working on the Airstream. We needed to jack and crib the trailer so that we could remove the tires, drums, brakes and backing plates from the axles. In order for me to be able to tow the camper...well...anywhere at all, it needs new or rebuilt running gear. Unfortunately, the axles may not be up to spec, so I may have to purchase new ones. I will find out all of these answer this upcoming week. After I finish the running
gear issue, then I attack the marking and directional lights. Hopefully this will all be done in the few weeks.

Here are some pictures of our Sunday adventure.

My tow vehicle ;) The Airstream and the Truck are beginning to get along...

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Airstream Dream

Here are a whole bunch of pictures of a 1970 Airstream International 30 foot camper. I was looking on Craigslist for, well, nothing in particular and came across this camper. The list price was $3500.00. I liked the pictures that the seller had posted and right away I began to dream. I thought to myself, "Maybe this is the type of thing that I should be looking for to help bring my move to Pennsylvania to fruition."

You see, I have to finish a large project that I started near a year ago. A project of building a wood and metal shop in the basement of a barn on the property where my parents and close friends reside. The main reason for building these shops is to free up an old house located on another area of the property. Eventually I will fix up the old house and live there. In the meantime, I need a place of my own. This is where the camper comes into the picture.

So I call the guy who is selling the camper and not 10 minutes into the conversation, the man tells me that he really likes my idea and wants to see the camper go to the right person for the right reason. He also used this camper to live in while he was building his own home. Without haggling, he offers to drop the price to $2500.00. So I make a time with him to go and view the camper.

Here are a bunch of pictures of the Airstream. By the way, $2500.00 is a steal for an old classic Airstream in good condition. The man who is selling it paid $10,000.00 for the camper 3 years ago. Regardless, it needs some lov'in care.