Sunday, December 23, 2007

Moving Day

I had to leave home early on this foggy and rainy Saturday. It was a 100 mile trip to pick up the Spartan in the hills of Tennessee. My best friend and business partner, Ronnie went along to assist in making the trailer towable. We arrived in Mountain City, Tennessee about 9:10 AM. The trip to the clerk of court's office was quick and I got a Bill of Sale and the title to the Spartan.
Back at the trailer, we aired up the 16 inch tires (mud tread recaps), packed the wheel bearings, added temporary lights, and secured almost everything that might move during transit. During the trip home, I stopped several times to check the bearing temps and to feel of the tires. I pulled over many more times to allow faster traffic to pass. A lunchtime stop at McDonalds produced a few lookers. One in particular was Scott from my Southeast Georgia Campers group. He owns a 1951 and a 1953 Spartan. His wife is from the NC mountain area near Banner Elk. He spotted my Spartan and turned his car around to have a closer look. We chatted for about 15 minutes and then were on our way again.
The trip home was thankfully uneventful. I attribute the good fortune to lots of prayers, careful planning, and having all the tools I can carry in the truck with me.



Friday, December 21, 2007

Another Pic

Sorry for the duplicate pics on the previous post. I wanted to include this pic of the entrance door, or curbside. Enjoy...

The Wild Goose Chase

1961 Airstream camper trailer, silver, lightweight, will make excellent camper for hunters, bachelors or campers. Has wheels and tires, ready to be moved. Good condition, needs a little TLC. Price negotiable.

The above ad was enough to get my heart pumping fast. (Those who know me, know I DO NOT need another project). I check my sources on a weekly basis and I knew this ad had just been posted. I phoned the number in the ad and left a message. By 6 PM, I had not been contacted, so I phoned again. I spoke to the owner's wife and arranged to see the trailer the following day. Driving up the driveway, I was disappointed to see that it wasn't an Airstream. But wait, it's a Spartan, and it's short, and the skin is in great shape, and it has the original fender (wheel) skirts, and that's just at first outside glance. (Calm down, it's NOT an Airstream). The owner showed me around the trailer, pointing out it's good features. Then we went inside. The mahogony ceiling and cabinets are still in place, some of the woodwork has been painted, but overall, a great looking trailer. The title matches the serial number, but it indicates it is a '61 model Manor. I know it is earlier, but (sigh, with silly grin), I BOUGHT IT. Now to get it home.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Giving Thanks

On Saturday Dec. 15th, we had a really good rain. This area of the southeast is especially dry and we are thankful for whatever we receive. Statewide burning bans have been in place for months. Please pray for us that we get some rain for Christmas (or anytime).
I checked out the trailers in the back yard and looked for leaks. For the most part, things were dry. I checked the '57 Overlander and there was a small amount of water on the kitchen table. From a quick examination, it must be leaking at a seam. I'll have to wait for the weather to warm so I can fix those pesky leaks.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The '57 is a Single Axle

The '57 AS Overlander was part of the "package" deal that I got in buying the '56 Overlander. Both the trailers were owned by the same family, the son owning the '57 and the father, now deceased having bought the '56 brand new. I'll be spending plenty of money and sweat equity in these two units.

'56 Frame Repairs

Here is a pic of the break in the frame. Preparing the frame for welding, cutting reinforcement steel, and grinding, took 2 1/2 hours. With these repairs I was able to transport it home. The 200 mile trip took 5 1/2 hours since the frame is still in very fragile shape. The wheel bearings stayed cool and the tires (very old) performed flawlessly. I towed at a maximum of 40 MPH or less the whole way home on NC backroads.

A Few Pictures

This is how the 1956 Overlander looked when I first saw it. It has some frame issues that I must deal with to move it 200 miles to it's new home.
It is a late build 1956 model and has the tandem axle option. It is in need of a shell off restoration and I will be doing the work, (with assistance) over the winter.

Better Late Than Never

I have been visiting many blog sites over the past two years and have learned a lot from them. I hope that in some small way I can contribute my knowledge in travel trailer restoration to help others.

I have owned an Airstream trailer since 1980. I was always interested in the shiny aluminum, since I first laid my eyes on a 1958 Avion. My first Airstream purchase was aided by a friend that worked for a dealership. He had a 1962 Airstream Tradewinds to come into the lot and contacted me to see if I was interested. Needless to say, a deal was made, and I was hooked. Unfortunately, I sold that particular Airstream after 6 months, but I doubled my money on the purchase price.

My next purchase was a 1964 Bambi II. It was bought in the summer of 1982 and I STILL own it. I have been a backyard restorer since 1982. I never had the money as a young man to let the professionals do the work. I learned by working on the trailers in my spare time.

Questions and answers, I'll be glad to answer. I can talk aluminum for hours.
Later, Kevin