Monday, April 30, 2007

The 65 Jeep Wagoneer

Well, the Jeep, with a new gas tank, and a screen in the fuel line all cleaned out, is back to excellent running order, and ready to tow. Just had it inspected, so maybe this weekend. This is for Zoe's 65 Caravel, but I'm sure it would pull the Overlander just fine with the AMC 327 powerplant with a Turbo 400 behind it. Enjoy!

Flags a flying

Here is the lineup - with our 1965 Caravel, the 58 Overlander (flying the flags) and the 74 Argsoy 24 (which is for sale for $1700). The SOTR is at West End Cabinet's in Earlville, NY being dry fitted right now. I took the kitchen galley up there this weekend. Patience, patience, patience. All good things take time!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tim needs our help

Tim, on the VAP, is looking for these bunk support pieces that keep the bunk in place when it is in the down position. Does anyone out there have a two. Tim's restoring his 1960 Ambassador and needs these parts to complete his newly made bunk. Check it out.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Buick and a Copper Black tank

Here are a couple shots of the Buicks new chassis. It's coming along. Plus, the black tank I pulled out of the 58 Overlander - all copper. This was original to the trailer. One more shot of our new to us 1990 Suburban hookin up to the 58 Overlander. That's what we took camping last weekend.

Keep on rolling!

Well, today I stopped up at West End cabinet shop to drop off the kitchen galley. On the way home I stopped by Chevy Ave Restoration and Rick Cipot and his brother Jody were there picking up our old 1960 Trade Wind trailer that my Uncle has been working on. Let's see - new 2 5/16th ball hitch coupler, rear end frame work, gray holding tank, and new belly pan, plus a new axle. It looks super! Here are a couple pictures of Rick pulling out, and going down the road (we caravanned for about 4 miles where I turned off towards home). SYDTR Rick and Jody!

Friday, April 27, 2007

To answer a question

First off, I love getting comments on the blog - thanks Mark! Mark asked a good question, and one that I've been meaning to post about - How much more than new, if any, do you expect the completed SOTR to weigh?

Well, let's see what we've changed. We inserted steel beams from front and to the rear on both sides inside the existing box frame steel that was very thin in places (very glad we did it). That, we estimate, has added about 250lbs to what was there. Then, we are adding two stainless steel gray water holding tanks - about 25 lbs each - so add another 50 lbs. I am switching from a fiberglass black tank to a stainless steel black tank, so add another 20 lbs there net. The bunks that it originally had were a bit lighter than what I've had re-made, so I say add another 30lbs there. I am thinking of just going with a 50 Princess gas stove/oven combo instead of the floor model stove/oven unit - that will save about 20 lbs. The new cabinets, will be built a little stronger, so might be a little heavier, as are the twin bed bases - so add 50lbs overlall. We are also adding a front battery box (about 5 lbs) and also putting in 2 Group 27 AGM batteries and charging system - so put on another 175 lbs to include weight of batteries/charger and wire. That puts us around adding about 525 lbs to the rig. I'll weigh it once we are all done.

Thanks for asking Mark.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Coming along!

Well, the wall stantions are in, and I've towed the SOTR to the cabinet shop - West End Cabinet shop in the small town of Earlville, NY. Scott and Kevin ( I played little league with Kevin ) are working away on all the cabinetry, starting with the rear vanity. A few weeks (Feb 19th post I think) ago I posted a picture of it as it came out of the trailer with all the varnish and rot - and here is the new piece with all new, including drawer slides, all made out of white birch. The piece is really looking sweet! All the more for the name of the blog - Sweet Sovereign. Next will be the countertop and laminating after they complete the doors and drawer pulls. Then onto the walls and closets. We're getting closer, step by step.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Taughannock Falls

This weekend, with the gorgeous weather we had, we decided to hook up to the 58 Overlander and head about 1 hour and 15 minutes away to Taughannock Falls State Park. We made it over with our 1958 Overlander around 5pm. We set up and went and played at the play ground, then had a nice fire. This morning, we hiked the relatively flat trail to the base of the falls. These falls are higher than Niagara and with the snow / rain we've had, they were amazing. We then drove about 15 miles to where I knew there was a 59/60 Pacer sitting, and met the owner and snapped some pictures. Her dad was there too, who owns a 1949 Airstream as well as a 1970. I'll let you know more about the 1949 I have an idea where it is to go get some pictures. Oh yeah, here is another shot of the donor Suburban chasis that the 59 Buick body will be mounted upon, whereas I will run it with the Chevy 454 / Turbo 400 power plant whereI can take my time restoring the original chasis / engine and tranny to like new. The Burb was a 1975 1/2 ton 2WD Trailering Special. We've got to relocate the rear axle about 5 inches... but much easier than trying to modify the Buick body to allow the 454 into it. Plus, the newer frame will allow better towing capacity / ride as well. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

In the yard!

What a day! The weather today was great, and I spent the day off going to watch the boys at swimming and getting things ready for the baby's room. We are just about ready! Then I unhooked the SOTR and unpacked the truck. The SOTR shines and you can see it over a mile away coming down the road. I head to western PA to get the Argosy tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Help, I need some parts!

Well, the SOTR's first rally in probably over 40 years went smooth as a new polished skin! I spent a few days at the rally, then spent a few nights over in Stafford, VA at Aquia Pines CG and then pulled home late last night. Today, I stopped by a few of our local camper stores looking to see if they've pulled any old parts out... and was in search for a replacement of this window opener. It is quite large, almost 5 inches between the fastener holes. I need 7 of these. The ones you see are all too small - as this SOTR had some big ones! Can anyone help me out. Also, I need a couple of these overhead light shade covers too! Help! Thanks! SYDTR!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Trailer Trash!

Well, this am I pulled out of the CBR field as I knew this big storm was coming and alot of rain would be hitting, and it is. I hooked up last night, and now I am over here in Stafford, VA where I'll be until Tuesday night. Today, about half of the trailers pulled out early from the Rally due to the Nor' Easter. We're supposed to be getting 12-20 inches of snow in NY between tonight and Tuesday - great!! I don't want to pull in the snow! I just talked to Colin - he's in Scranton, and hoping to beat the storm through the Adirondacks!!! Roll on Colin. Here's a shot of the SOTR at CBR.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Curtains

We have curtains! Also, check out the shot I got yesterday afternoon. It rained hard and we were all in the circus tent, and I looked out at Colin's trailer when the rain stopped and the sun popped out, and here was this gorgeous rainbow. Very nice! If you're in the area, Saturday afternoon is openhouse.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

First Rally in 40+ years!

I am at the Cherry Blossum Rally with the SOTR - it pulled like a dream. Here are a couple pictures. I brought the bunks and bed bases that Dovetail Designs in Tom's River, NJ made for me. Sweet! I had to tape the windows closed as I still need 7 Hehr window operators. Enjoy!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Another tow vehicle

I've just purchased this out of Brooklyn off Ebay. When I went on Friday to get the beds and bunks, I had my dad drive me down and I picked this up. It's a 1990,two wheel drive, powered by the 5.7L V8. It's got the three rows of seats and will serve us fine, especially now that we are vintage and much lighter towing. No hitch, but that means it has not been towing and thus worn out - it has 100k miles, and in great shape. Love those old body styled Suburbans.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Trailer is out!

Now that the floor inside and Zolatone is done, the trailer is sitting inside as a 1960 Trade Wind belly pan goes on. Here are a few shots of our aluminum tent.

Picked up the beds

I drove down to Dovetail Designs in Toms River yesterday and picked up the two twin bed bases and bunks he has made out of white birch. They are awesome! The SOTR came out of the shop yesterday as well. It's sunny today and a nice day for photos, so, I'll take some and post them later today. Only the rear end needs polishing and first cut will be complete. Getting there - slowly but surely.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

International Rally - we're not going!

I think I started something last night. Since hearing about the WBCCI turning the Capetown to Cairo guys down and not supporting them in 2009, we decided not to go to this years' s International Rally in Perry, GA. Here is the letter I mailed yesterday requesting. Alot of people posted in response to my post last night, and now there is a "Boycott the International" thread on the Forums.


It is with sad regret that I have to cancel my 2007 International Rally registration. As I understand, I have to formally notify via letter correspondence my desire to withdraw from the rally. I am enclosing my 2007 International Rally registration coupon as required. I also understand that I will be charged a $25 fee, and will lose the $135 for the 30A electric fee.

My reasoning to cancel is based upon the WBCCI IBT Executive Committees decision to not support the 2009 Capetown to Cairo Caravan. If the WBCCI can not support that (what the WBCCI was founded on – a CARAVAN!), then I can not support the WBCCI International. I know, what is one person. IT IS NOT JUST ONE PERSON! Many feel this way – and I bet I am not the first – more will do so! I pay $55 a year for membership, and then $510 for an International Rally to support the WBCCI; and then the WBCCI can not support its members on a 50th Anniversary event? I think Bert and Roger have done all that has been asked by the WBCCI, and even more so – and then the WBCCI IBT EC says No. Poll the membership – I bet majority is willing to support it! If you feel you can’t – maybe the WBCCI should seriously consider dropping the “I” - it stands for International right? Or is it Isolated?

At this time, I will remain a WBCCI member. I had serious thoughts on dropping my 6 years of membership all together. I am remaining for two reasons. 1. The camaraderie of the Washington DC Unit of which I am the 2nd Vice President – this Unit still has the Spirit of Adventure that started it all!, and 2) I enjoy being a member of the Vintage Airstream Club (VAC) and will continue to do so! Just so you know – these are the only reasons I am remaining a WBCCI member!

In the letter to Bert Kalet and Roger Wilson, the WBCCI International President, Don Schaffer, states that the WBCCI has never promoted a caravan of this type. What? Sure, Wally was still running the show, but the WBCCI, started in 1955, ran many Caravans in the late fifties. They were done from then to now, with and without Wally. As a young Airstreamer, third generation WBCCIer, (age 37) with a family, and member in good standing, I say “It should!!!”

I think the WBCCI has lost the bubble on what Airstreaming is all about! Why support the Caravan? The WBCCI has a lot to gain from it. The advertising of the WBCCI on the international stage will attract like minded people looking for the sense of adventure. I truly believe the sense of adventure in the WBCCI has become tepid in the group and is increasingly looking less like the club Wally envisioned. What would Wally have said if his own club stated, “ We are not supporting you Wally” ? He’s no doubt rolling over in his grave right now.

I am embarrassed by the IBT EC decision not to support Bert and Roger’s African Caravan. The WBCCI, being risk averse, is missing out on the adventure spirit that started it all – a great opportunity for some much needed press! I will remain a member – albeit, dis-heartedly at the moment. When dues time comes up, re-newing will be a hard decision that I will have to weigh. It will depend on what the club leadership does this year at International. If the club continues in what I consider the wrong direction, I may have to resign and drop all-together – that remains to be decided upon.

In addition – I VOTE NO on the MH issue! Although this is a separate issue, it is related. If the decision is made to allow other makes into the club, then I will leave the WBCCI all together.

Recall two points of Wally Byam’s creed:

To lead caravans wherever the four winds blow... over twinkling boulevards, across trackless deserts... to the traveled and untraveled corners of the earth.
To play some part in promoting international goodwill and understanding among the peoples of the world through person-to-person contact.

Concerned Member,

Robert H. Baker
WBCCI #2820


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Overlander update

Today, I drove the Overlander from Chevy Ave Restoration, to Pharsalia Metal Fabrication (my welder) to have the front step area of the Overlander addressed - it's fatigued! So, he'll do that tomorrow (another $100 Tim -only a hundred) but the step will be like new! With the new rubber underneath, and freshly lubed / packed bearing (very important on a 26' Single Axle trailer), it towed like a dream - about 15 miles. The wiring wall all messed up from the previous owner - the green coming from the brakes was hooked to the ground of the rear tail lights.. all in the same color - blue... go figure. Now, they are all correct - and nice and bright LEDs to boot. The street side of the SOTR was polished today - first cut - but looks great! Now, just the ends to do. My supply of parts came today - ok, here is the link (but all good stuff is gone) - a 1960 Overlander including the door, the bargman L-77, the International Globe Emblems (it only had two (????)), the front battery box, little round louvered vent, phenolic (sp) knobs, Hehr vent lifters, roof caps, chimney for furnace, Airstream logos, etc. If you need window frames and openers, let me know. For my last comment - yes, that shelf is original to the trailer. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Overlander!

Here are a few shots of the Overlander - what we took out of the rear, and the baby moons.
The Overlander is what I will be taking to the WDCU Cherry Blossum Rally - I think. Unless I decide to take the Aluminum tent.

A few more shots!