Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Flying Cloud saga - the adventure continues!

Well, I am out here in San Diego again... taking a break. On Sunday, Zoe' and the boys and I got in the truck at 630am headed for Plattsburgh with Rich's 53 Flying Cloud in tow. All set for a quick up and back trip with maybe a stop at the Lake George Outlets on the way home. The GPS said we'd arrived around 11am. So, just past Cobleskill, I decided to take a short cut that Colin has tried to make the trip a little different for a change and I am glad that I did. At around 9:25, just north of Amsterdam, NY I was towing up the Route 67, heard something funny, looked in the mirror and saw sparks! WHOA!!! I pulled over, and just as I came to a stop, I see the tire pop out. Oh no, my first thought - I blew a tire (we had a tube in it). So, I got out, and went to the rear and looked at the tire... it was not the tire, it was the street side wheel and the rim, and the hub - all sitting there. Yes, the tire, wheel and hub came off. I thought - the axle must have broke. I went back to the trailer and there was very little damage to the trailer. I looked in the wheel well, and the axle was fine, sitting there on the spring meant to save the tire and keep the axle off the road in case of a blowout - let me tell you first hand - they WORK! All single axle trailers need them. Must be the bearings went ( I repacked them and inspected them in VA and they were fine) or a piece of the brakes broke and cause the wheel to back the retaining nut off (went right over the cotter pin as it was still partly there). So, no bearings. I called Colin. I took the other side off, got the bearings, searched the Garmin for a NAPA and headed out. No luck, these bearings can be special ordered, but not in stock. We tried ever other auto parts store and no luck. Tractor Supply - no luck. Camping World in Amsterdam - no luck. So, there I was, with the family and about 2 hours from Colin's. Fortunately, when I had called Colin - he immediately went over to the shop and loaded up his truck with a hub and bearings from a 1950, 1952 ( Vintage Lightning ), and a 1957 trailers. I called him and told him I had no luck and he said, I'm on my way with parts that will get us back on the road. Great - just have to wait two hours. Colin showed around 330pm. After spending an hour comparing hubs and bearings - none would work. Now, we were on a recovery mission and started to figure out how we could get the Flying Cloud to the driveway of the gentlemen I talked with and asked that if I could not repair (having to order bearings) it, if I could put the FC out behind his garage? He said sure, I've always wanted an Airstream. So, we figured we could use one of Colin's hubs and bearings and get a wheel on the trailer (the original 5 hole FC spare was amazingly still holding air) and limp it 400 yards up, and into the guys driveway. We got it there and at 830pm I was back home. I had to still pack, and be at the Airport in Syracuse to fly out here at 5am. And so, on Saturday we will give it another try. So, the bearings have been ordered from NAPA - and he's fitting them into the hub to make sure they fit. Wish us luck. SYDTR!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Operation Sovereign - Plus 17 years

A 17 year newer Sovereign was the mission today. This trailer is a 1975 Sovereign... before you think I went and did it again, I will let you know it's not mine. A fellow Airstreamer (met them this morning) needs their trailer hauled to GSM for some axles and floor work - it is their future retirement home on wheels! A nice pull. On Sunday, my dad and I will be Caravanning to Plattsburgh. Here's the trailer and a shot of the yard in it's current Airstream configuration.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Home sweet Flying Cloud

Well, I made it home this morning at 9am on the dot. Now, some rest tonight. The Flying Cloud made it just fine - it amazes me how these 55 year old trailers can be hooked onto, with new rubber of course, and towed 500-700 miles and not fall apart - what a testament to the design - Way to go Wally! Now, when do I get it to Plattsburgh? I have to pick up a 70's Sovereign on Friday morning, another trailer to take to Colin's... can you pull tandem trailers down the road? Another test for the Allison!

Oh yeah, here are the twins that Dovetail Designs are doing - man they look nice!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Vintage Airstream Towing!

Well. I was successful last night in snagging the 53 Flying Cloud - just barely, as I almost drove the 229 miles in vain. I must say that this has been my biggest challenge on my own. I arrived at where the trailer was at around 7pm. There the beauty sat, on blocks - axles and all four corners blocked. I had just talked with Rich Luhr of Airstream Life, the owner (No, it's not mine), who told me it was full of junk, but he had the key. Let's just say that the Yale dead bolt was no match for my Leatherman! 15 minutes and I was in without disturbing the door. A quick look inside and it was to the hitch - the coupler was frozen (talk about rust) - but no match for a monkey wrench and some PB Blaster! OK, tires next. I go and loosen the lugs....(I've got my Airstream wheels with new 15" trailer tires I just used on the Overlander three days ago in the truck - one lug, two lugs, three, four and five....What, only 5 lugs? My two wheels I brought are standard AS 6 luggers - shoot, now what? I go to my cell phone to call Colin - no cell as I am way out in the boonies ( 14509 Tarkill Road, Onancock, Virginia ) I walk about the yard for a few minutes holding the cell in the air, and finally find a signal ( a weak one)... I needed a fellow Panel Pro's advice - now I was heading out (8:30pm) for 2 five hole wheels - Walmart here I come. In about 5 miles I had cell, so I pulled up Wally World on the Garmin i5, called them - no wheels. Back to the GPS. I search the i5 directory under Auto Services and see a listing for Bob's Texaco. I call, get an answer, and ask Bob's wife - "Can you guys change some trailer tires tonight? (yet to bring up the split rim issue (the 5 holers are split rims) and they say "No" but I bet Ronny would," and they gave me his number. I gave Ronny a call, and he said, "Sure", and I said, "Even split rims?" - "Yup" and within 15 minutes he was at the trailer in his mobile Tire shop. Let's just say that he had a workout tonight - those splits were RUSTY!! He dismounted my new tires and tubes, broke down the old rusty splits, cleaned them up somewhat, and re-mounted the new rubber on the original 15" 5-hole Split rims. He then helped me get them back on the trailer, helped me hook on, and then helped me get the trailer out onto solid ground - it was in a wet hole! It cost $130 in total - $50 for the on sight call, $10 for each dismount (4 of them), and $20 to remount the two good tired on the split rims. It was worth it, since I have to be at work on Tuesday about 229 miles away so the faster the better or it was drive over without the trailer with old wheels, find new wheels and drive back - it would have cost me that in gas alone, not to mention the time. So, at 11pm I was on the road. Oh yeah, lights, door tied shut, tape, license plate, etc. Oh yeah - Rich, the hunter got one today as there were fresh deer entrails right next to the trailer. If you are ever in need of tire service on the DELMARVA penisula, be sure to call Ronny! Another thing, on a 53 Flying Cloud, the street side lugs are reverse thread! I'm here in Stafford, Va at 445am - towed nicely.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Operation Overlander successful!

I made it to Buffalo at 2:30 am. I slept like a baby back there in the trailer... I awoke to the wonderful sounds of a Diesel idling next to me around 7am, then beat feet it for home and arrived at 1030am. Here I am at a rest area stopping for some Starbucks - the Pumpkin Spice is really good! It rained all the way. I did not go into Ohio, so no Factory (it remains a goal for next summer) for I traveled back through Canada when I thought I would not be able to without proper registration... no problems though! and the trailer towed like a dream. I'm now will be going through the trailer to check it out...and see what it needs (like floor work)! Next up - Operation FlyingCloud next week in Virginia!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Operation Overlander

Here I sit, after driving 1000 miles, in London, Ontario, Canada. My co-pilot all day has been Doug from our Club. I'm sitting in the Flying J parking lot doing theVAP ( www.theVAP.com ) and am getting ready to go another 100 miles to the NY border...where I will crash. I'll post pictures tomorrow.... Keep on rolling!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Side View - curb side

Here is a photo I just received of the curb side. Can't wait to pull into the Terraport with this trailer. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Windows, windows and more windows

Yesterday I spent the morning at a local farmers. See, he has an old 1975 Suburban (a 1/2 ton Trailer Special) with a 454 in it. I bought the engine and transmission a few weeks ago from the gentleman and yesterday a friend of the family and I unbolted it. While Willy was unbolting it, I was down in a field with my generator and sawz-all tearing into an old trailer (a Continental) cutting out all the old windows. Here is what I got. Anyone need windows - they are for sale (5 x 18" x 31" and 1 x 18" x 19" - I have to support my Airstream habit somehow. So, today we went over and using the help of a front end loader, we pulled the engine with the 700R4 tranny still connected and now it's in my dad's barn. This is the new power plant for the 1959 Buick - something that if I ever need parts, they will be easier to find.

View from the Rear, a Fridge and a Stove! Factory, here I come!

Well, I have been outside organizing and getting ready for another road trip, this time to Michigan. Most likely will hit the road on Wednesday night, get to where the trailer is on Thursday morning, and then go get my Marvel Fridge and Dixie stove (another Ebay find for $35 and also in Michigan) and I am thinking of heading from there, down and into Ohio and hitting the Airstream Factory for a tour.... I've never been and it is a calling - and I will have a 58 Airstream in tow to boot! I am looking at buying a new pair of Load Range "D" tires for the Overlander. Here is another picture of the Trailer from the rear (must be they don't want us to see the license plate) and a picture of the Stove and Fridge. Look where the original Bargman plug is located on this Overlander, right in the rear, lower center. Interesting. Doesn't she look SWEET!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pictures of the bath

Received some pictures of the bathroom area to the Overlander. It is missing bathroom components.. looks like the black holding tank might still be there. I have a vanity out of the SOTR that will work. Anyone have a 50s rear corner tub? Looks like next Thursday and Friday when we go get it...just might hit the Factory on the way home on Friday... and stay at the Terraport - maybe take in the tour... Still haven't made a trip to the factory. We'll see.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dovetail Designs Airstream Cabinetry Update

If you recall, Jeff Gascho of Dovetail Designs is working on the twin beds / drawers / and bunks for the SOTR. I recieved pictures from him today on the progress. Very, very nice work Jeff. Thanks for the update. Jeff is in Northern NJ for anyone out there looking to have some custom interior work done for their Airstream trailer. Sweet!

GSM Vehicles

Check out this link!


A few more photos

Here are a couple more photos. This trailer is in Michigan, near Port Huron. Another Road TRIP!!!! Ye-haw!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Older,older... yup - another 58

Yes, we have a new addition to our Airstream collection. Here we have a 1958 Airstream Overlander. I will be going to get it in a few weeks, if not sooner. This is a very original trailer. So, I've promised Zoe' that we would thin the herd. Thus, we will be selling both the 1960 Trade Wind trailers, both California models. One is the one we used all summer, almost polished, and the other is a rare bunk model with the cool bunk style windows on the curb side. The bunk model needs a complete restoration. Let me know if you know anyone looking for a decent priced vintage trailer.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What a beautiful fall day!

Here are a couple pictures I just went out and took. I gave up on finding the Kodak cable so I got out my old Sony digital (not as nice pictures but the floppy beats the cable) and took some pictures of the 1959 Buick Electra and two 1960 Trade Winds. The one with bunk windows still hasn't sold - it is way cool with those windows! Enjoy!