Archive for the ‘Airstream’ Category

Name That Trailer

Rick was calling the new/old Airstream”Moby Trailer” but I wasn’t really keen on that.  This past week, I have been referring to it as the “Mother Ship”.  But on the way over to Spokane yesterday, we came up with “Battletrailer Galactica”.  Probably too cumbersome, but amusing!  And I guess you have to be a fan of (or just know about) the sci-fi series “Battlestar Galactica” to even appreciate that.

It towed well just on the ball, but we will get an equalizer hitch to use going forward.

He said the exterior is in good shape, except where the clear coat has failed of course.   No major dents or dings, which we already knew, but that can affect the value of an older Airstream.  Similarly, the interior was deemed to be in good condition “except for the tambours”, which we already knew, as they are mostly missing.  It originally had tambour doors on all the overhead and under-bunk storage areas, plus the kitchen cabinets under the counter.  But those mostly fall apart with time on all the older trailers.  However, I know a woodworker who can make new ones….someday.

They will do a thorough check-out of all systems, but it seems likely we will want to update the water heater and power inverter to modern standards.  He said the old transformer is what is causing a buzzing noise we can hear when plugged into shore power.  Also it may not provide a steady 12V.  The vent fan in the “living room” is kaput, which we knew, and we are going to have them put in a Fantastic Fan instead.  This will mean sacrificing the original ceiling light which is part of the vent unit.  But they can come up with something else for lighting and we would really like to have the newer fan (we have one in the Aliner and it is great – works both ways, either drawing in cool air or expelling warm air).


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Why yes….

I have been weaving.

Rick and I are exhibiting our work at the Lost Rivery Winery tasting room in Winthrop from mid-June to mid-September.  Toward that end, I have been trying to build inventory!  Down at the weaving guild room, on my 40″ Macomber, I wove another set of undulating twill towels, 13 out of a 12-yard warp.

These were the first four, I am not sure I ever put up a picture of them finished:

soft gray stripe Apr 2013

and these are the ones I just finished:

turq. stripe Apr May 2013

At home on the 32″ Mac, I wove another round of placemats on a blue warp.  I got 17 out of a 12-yard warp.  Eight of the ones on the left, and eight of the ones on the right, plus one other I did with a different fabric but did not get a picture.  Four of the ones on the right have been donated for a fundraising “gala evening” and auction on July 13 for Confluence Gallery & Art Center in Twisp.

blue warp May 2013

This week on the 48″ Mac at home, I finished 3 rugs that are the ones I really wanted to do for the Lost River Winery exhibit.  I finished the third one around 10 pm last night, and today hemmed and washed them, so they are drying as I write this.

We set up the exhibit at the winery tasting room this morning and it looks good.  I hung 3 rugs as temporary place-holders for the ones drying now, and on Saturday we will go up and swap them out.  I will get pictures then.  Rick brought up his entry table made from the beautiful western bigleaf maple log, and he has a wine cabinet underway that won’t be finished for another week or so.

Airstream update: Rick took the propane tanks up to Okanogan County Energy (our electric and propane suppliers) and had new valves put on the tanks so they conform to current standards.  Then we had the propane technician come by yesterday and check all the gas appliances in the trailer.  Everything works!!  Water heater, 4 burner cook-top, wall oven and refrigerator/freezer in propane mode.

Tomorrow we tow it to Spokane to the Airstream dealership for a checkover and possible repair of some things, depending on what they find and how much it costs.  We will leave it there for several weeks.


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The last couple of weeks have passed in a whirlwind of activity.  It was all for the good, but still kind of intense.

My dad decided to move from his home near Anacortes to a retirement inn located in La Conner, and set a 2-week timeframe to  do it.  Moving Day was set for May 31.

Initially, Rick and I went over with truck and cargo trailer and helped him do a lot of sorting and packing, things he was taking with him and things he wanted to get rid of (he wanted to empty the house).  We hauled a load of furniture back to the valley that he would no longer have room for, and that we would love to have.  Then we rented a storage locker in Winthrop and moved some of our things there, as this involved a change-out of our living room furniture.

My sister from Colorado, my brother and sister-in-law from Camano, and Rick and I converged on Anacortes on May 30 and we were all there for the big event – Moving Day!  Dad had hired a mover but it still took all of us to do the last minute organizing and packing, setting more things aside for Goodwill or equivalent, and then the unpacking at the other end.  But it went very well and we got a lot done in just a couple of days.

Here we are, tired but happy, at dinner that evening in La Conner:

Moving Day - May 31, 2013

Moving Day – May 31, 2013

During the week we were at home between Packing Day and Moving Day, I had some appointments and shopping errands to do in Wenatchee (about 100 miles from home, so I try to organize as many things into one trip as possible).  On the way home, I passed a vacant lot on the outskirts of Twisp where people put vehicles for sale by owner.  There was an Airstream trailer that looked to be in decent shape, so I peeked through the windows and was sufficiently intrigued to tell Rick about it when I got home.

Now, I have been saying for years that “some day” I wanted to have an Airstream trailer for when we are able to take longer trips to see more of the USA and Canada. Or maybe take it south for “winter breaks” of a month or two.  We have looked at new ones and I have studied the floor plans.  But I really knew that we wouldn’t be able to afford one – even used ones at dealerships (10 years old or younger) are pretty spendy.  I figured that a bigger trailer than our pop-up camping trailer, with more room and amenities (a bathroom!) would be in our future, but not an Airstream.

Anyway, long story made short, we met the sellers that evening and looked it over.  It is a 1973 International Overlander (the latter meaning the 27′ long model).   It looked pretty good and the price was WAY right.  We decided the next morning to go for it (this was the morning we were leaving for Anacortes).  It turned out there was another interested party that had made an offer the night before, so we had to counter somewhat, but in the end it was ours and we agreed to meet with them after we got back from Moving Day to close the deal.

Sorry, dear family, for springing this on you!  It all happened so fast and then we were embroiled in moving.  We just put it out of our minds over the weekend.

So this past Monday, we closed the deal.  Tuesday morning we got the new license plate and tabs and registration.  The first thing we did is tow it 2 blocks to Coyote Ridge Automotive and get a new wiring harness put in that is wired directly for the receptacle on the truck.  The trailer had some kind of old 7-prong plug that we had no adapter for (neither did the sellers, and the tabs hadn’t been renewed since May 2006 – they had used it as a “guest cabin” – but how they towed it without turn signals etc I don’t want to know).  Anyway all the exterior lights (brake, turn, running) and the electric brakes are in good working order.  Then we brought it home:

as found 1

as found 2

This is going to be a Project that we will work on for a couple of years.  We took it on faith that “everything works” except for the air conditioner, but we are taking it over to Airstream of Spokane at the end of next week for a check-over.  The interior is in pretty decent shape, although very 1970’s (can you say “orange formica”?)  The carpet is tatty and we will probably put down Marmoleum (old style linoleum) eventually.  The windows have a film between the 2 layers of glass that has cracked and glazed, so that will be our major project.  We have already found a lot of info on the web about removing and renovating the windows, including new window tint film.  In fact, the DIY (Do It Yourself) Channel had a 10-part series a couple of years ago where they completely restored a 1970 Airstream, and they are available online as YouTube videos.

At 27′ it is probably the longest model I would have considered (new or old) – a 25′ would have been my ideal – or even a 23′ would have worked.  But when you are inside it sure feels comfortable, and there is a ton of storage.  So for long trips or staying one place for an extended period, it should be great.

Stay tuned for periodic Airstream postings with before and after pictures!

As for the title of this post:  we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this year – March 17, 1973.  This being a 1973 Airstream, I told Rick this must mean the 40th anniversary is the “Aluminum Anniversary”!

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