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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Left handed threads, just like an old Chrysler product.