Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Gifts

I hope everyone had a very nice Holiday.  I have been blessed with good health and plenty to eat this year.  Maybe a bit too much where the food is concerned.  ANY how, I wanted to show you a few of the presents that I received from friends and family that know I love trailers.  A few RV inspired birdhouses,  a window thermometer, a sun catcher, and a tree ornament.  I also received 2 polished aluminum riveted deck chairs.  I'll get a picture of them out beside the trailer soon.  Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR !!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Full Disclosure (the fine print)

I don't want to mislead any of you into thinking I have found a diamond in the rough. Truly, the Airstream IS a diamond among travel trailers. And the trailer I found IS rough. It IS also the same one I posted about in June as "The Saddest Part". The rear section has been cut away, where the window and storage hatch were in the rear of the trailer. Therefore, a lot of custom work will be required to make this trailer into a custom travel unit again. The black "stuff" around the opening is tar that did seal the plywood (rotted away) covering over the end of the trailer. At least who ever did this to the AS used stainless steel bolts. Some of you may be wondering why the opening was cut, to allow for a chest type deep freeze to be in the trailer. AARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hunting Season (Safari in the South Carolina Outback)

The air is crisp and the kudzu has been bitten by the killing frosts. The vines, leaves, and summer growth has released its grip on hidden away treasures.

My most recent find may well be my best find. It's a 1954 22' Safari with the front kitchen, rear twin bed floorplan. Far from perfect, the interior will be a custom challenge. There is some woodwork good enough for templates though. The exterior is nearly flawless as far as dents and dings are concerned. The bananna wraps have two, two foot long creases, but overall, not bad for a 54 year old trailer.

Getting it home was easier than some I have hauled. The bearings had been greased by the owner and the tires aired up. (tires on split ring wheels)(tires of "May-pop any minute" variety) I added the temporary lights, lubricated the hitch coupler, and was on my way for a relatively short recovery trip of 78 miles. Half-way home I stopped for lunch. When I returned to check the trailer over before leaving, I noticed that the streetside tire was almost flat. A quick tire change in the truckstop parking lot, gave me peace of mind again, and I continued home.

Have a great THANKSGIVING everyone.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Rally Time

This was our last scheduled rally for the Air Forums group. We call it Falluminum and camp at the Georgia Mountain Fairground in Hiawassee, GA. We had a great turnout for this rally. Many long time veterans and a few newbies were in attendance. We had a great Saturday Brunch, open house, and a potluck evening meal, followed by music and singing. Alan leads the "not really a band-band" and Ron, Mario, Brad, and Phil play acoustic, rhythm, lead, drums, and bass.

The campfires were welcome when our night time temps went to the lower 40's. The leaves were still colorful for one last weeknd of beautiful camping weather. We'll get together with this group again in April for Springstream.

On the way home, I was searching for a nice, down home place for a good meal. I got off the main road and headed for a small town main street. I saw a billboard advertising Clyde's Restaurant in Waynesville, NC. It looked promising since the parking lot was packed and it was almost 2PM on Sunday afternoon. I found a place to park the trailer and went inside. It was all I had hoped for and more. Sunday meal was plentiful (as if I hadn't had enough at Falluminum). The choice was for a main entree, salad or coleslaw, and two other veggies. Drink and dessert were also included. If you find yourself in Waynesville, NC for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (except on Mondays), stop in at Clyde's for food. You can't remain in business for 68 years without having a good reputation.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I have Just Been Lazy....

I sure hope some of you are still tuned in, even though it has been a long while since I posted. I have been going to the mountains on the weekends and working hard during the week.

I have been moving full steam ahead on several projects these past few weeks. The '79 Argosy was in need of a new door lock and latch. This hasn't been available for a few years now. I found enough of the parts (3 locks) in pieces to fix my lock. I am going to leave the hasp on the trailer. It's cheap insurance to keep the suicide door closed for now.

I also had the rear twin beds recovered in a nice upholstery fabric. The Airfoam mattresses really look good now.

The propane tanks on this Argosy had older valves and needed updating. I installed some temporary steel tanks to check out the operation of the appliances. So far, the oven and range are good, the fridge cools properly, and the water heater works as it should. (It is a new replacement Atwood) I have some touch-ups to do in the paint on the body. Also, after I install the hitch jack, I'll repaint the A-frame and install the new aluminum propane tanks. Ivory gloss is a good touch up in a spray can. It matches the original Argosy paint well enough that you would hardly notice the subtle shade differences.

Thanks for checking in on me,


Monday, September 8, 2008

Escape to the Mountains

I have been looking for a place to park a camper for a few years. I found a park in the east Tennessee mountains a few years back, but there was never a site available. Until now....

I know it's not an Airstream or other shiny aluminum riveted trailer, but that's right where this BIG and HEAVY Jayco 32 footer needs to be. The park is The Heights and it is beautiful. I just got the trailer set up on Saturday morning and I have many things I want to add, such as landscaping, outdoor lighting, fire pit, deck, storage building, AND more. Improvements will all come about in time. For now, It's fine just as a mountain rest getaway.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Time to Grow Up

AS many of you know, I have owned Airstream and Avion trailers for many years. I bought my first Avion and Airstream in the same year, 1981. The Avion was purchased first and was a 1969 25' model. It had a side double bed with front sofa and it was prized by me. Later that same year, I bought a 1962 24' Tradewind. It was a front gaucho trailer, with free standing table, and mid-ships gaucho with side vanity, and a rear bath. A friend at a local RV dealer located it for me. I sold the Airstream after 6 months, doubled my money, and considered it a good money making deal.

Fast forward to today, when I have owned more than 50 trailers, some Airstream, some Avion, some Shasta, Apache, Frolic, Champion, Hi-Lo, and Spartan to name a few. Way in the back, in a nice enclosed garage, I have always kept my "one special trailer". It is a 1964 Bambi II. It was on the list of things to finish one day. But, time marches on. Yes, I SOLD IT today. It can be better used by someone else. I had kept it out of the rain and weather for the past 26 years. A good body, straight lines, clean interior, and a rarity among Airstreams, NO ROT in the floor, not anywhere. The axle was shot. But it was still special. 26 years is along time to hold on to something. I had to grow up and let it go.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Time Flies

Since it has been SO long since I last posted, I'll have to get everyone up to speed on my trips, travels, and otherwise (goofingoff). I spent some time with friends at Linville Falls Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway over the 4th of July. It rained a bit each evening, but that made for perfect temps since I was boondocking. The cool evenings were well suited for a roaring campfire and marshmellows.

On the 20th of July, I went to the old wild west theme park of Ghost Town in the Sky, located in Maggie Valley, NC. It was a perfect day for a trip to the mountains, windows down driving on the parkway, and very little traffic. Balsam Mountain CG just outside of Cherokee was about half full. It is a perfect get-away and very secluded. Night time temps were in the low 50's in this area at 5300 ft elevation. We were cautioned to watch out for black bears and to keep our food in the bearproof lockers.

This past weekend, 08-02-08, I visited The Biltmore House, in Asheville, NC. I had not been there since the 100 year anniversary of the house in 1995. Later in the evening, the south terrace of the estate came alive with about 3000 people enjoying the summer concert series. KC and the Sunshine Band were the headline performers. The sunflowers in the picture are on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate.

Oh yeah, and sometime this past month (July 12), I found a 1948 Spartan Mansion 30 footer. It was almost local by being only 19 miles from my house. This one is in great shape for being 60 years old. The original range and fridge are in place and DO still work. These old trailers just keep following me home. Really....they do....I can't say no....They need a why not?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Saddest Part

I went to central South Carolina to look at a $1000 Airstream today. From the phone conversation with the lady, I didn't get my hopes up too much. It was a trailer, left on their property, by a deer hunter, now deceased. It is a 1952-54, possibly a Cruiser, 13 panels and all. The windows are in good shape, so are the 13 panels, both front and rear. The door and inner door are both in good shape. It is a front kitchen model, front streetside corner toilet. The dinette booth is across from the entrance door and the furnace is just to the left inside the door. The entrance door is NON-suicide, meaning that it is hinged on the right. With all this "good" going for it, I didn't buy it.
The rear area over the back bumper had a storage hatch. It had been removed along with the rear window. The panel had also been CUT to allow a chest freezer to be put inside to keep the DEER MEAT in.
The current owner is a taxidermist. I was invited into his home to avoid the thunderstorm that arrived shortly after I got there. (reason there are no pictures) In his living room, up on the console stereo, was his faithful dog, full sized, stuffed, with paw in air looking like Lassie. What more can I say? That glassy eyed stare gets me every time..........Later, Kevin

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

VAC Virginia Rally is History

I arrived at the Virginia Shenandoah Valley KOA Campground on Thursday evening 6-19-08. It was nearing 10 PM when I got to my campsite, but many people were gathered around various campfires in our area. The park is beautiful. The sites are shady and the weather was cool, perfect for open window nights and warm fires outside. The amenities at the park were nice too, pool, mini golf, hot tub, fishing lake, river tubing all added to a restful weekend.

I made many new friends at this rally. Many of the VAC members were from the WDCU. I hope to camp with this group again soon.

There were trailers from the 50's, 60's ( the biggest group ) and the 70's represented. By far, the most popular trailer in attendance was the Globe Trotter. It was great to see so many small AS trailers in one camp.

NOTE: Notice the NEW Carrier air conditioner on top of my Caravel. I had to be comfortable and have dependable A/C. Glad to have that unit installed now.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Armstrong AC IS Working Again

Preparing to take the Caravel to a rally this weekend, I had to get the A/C working. I have purchased a new Carrier unit and it is ready to be installed this afternoon. However, I just had to make another attempt to revive the ever faithful Summer Breeze unit by Armstrong. I read the wiring diagram, checked the wiring, and checked the thermostat. Wait......the thermostat? Yes, there was a bad connection there. The fan fired right up and the compressor came on and began cooling. Glad to have that out of the way now.
I installed the new rock guard on the front before the last trip out. It sure looks good.
I'll be meeting with my Piedmont WBCCI unit at Palmetto Cove RV Park, near Cleveland, SC. It is a beautiful park. Come camp and visit with me sometime......Kevin

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I am still Alive!!!

...Just that I have not been posting much lately. With the trailers in the yard, moving them around to cut grass takes a lot of time and effort. Glad I have the grass to mow, compared to no rain and dust last season.

Last night, I parked the Caravel on the driveway. (It is behind the big Argosy) It needs a good bath so I can locate a LEAK. The leak appears to be at the Skyliner antenna.

I also parked the 30A Argosy on the driveway. It needs a few updates to make it to the next rally. I have already rebuilt the entrance door lock. The paint is going to be touched up. The A frame will be repainted, along with the shroud for the Armstrong. New aluminum propane tanks will be installed, and also a powerhitch jack. I have a new tinted rock shield for the windows. It will look like a different trailer when these improvements are made. I'll also install new tires and repack the bearings and check the brakes. It is going to be my summertime traveling trailer.

Thanks for checking in on me....Kevin

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Springstream in Georgia '08

The rally in GA is over now. I didn't arrive on schedule, as life does get in the way. I traveled on Friday evening with thunder, rain, lightning, and wind on the trip. Arrived at the campground around 11 PM. I missed the brunch on Saturday because of other visiting obligations. The afternoon tour of homes was excellent. A few never before seen trailers were there. My little Caravel did great in it's "maiden voyage." It's first voyage was many years ago. It is a 1971, however, it had been sitting for quite a while.
The potluck meal brought out the best food (as usual.) We have some very talented cooks in our group. After the meal, I snuck off quickly to attend "The Banker's Hour." It is a showcase of banking employees from a local community bank that has grown to several states. There is singing, comedy, and skits. The format is much akin to the old Hee Haw variety show. The last half of the show had a gospel/religious side. IT WAS GREAT !! (and free) I'll be making plans to attend next year as well.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Caravel Progress

Worked a while yesterday and today repairing the exterior 12 volt lights on the trailer. The lights had lost their ground in most cases. I installed all new clearance and running lights for the Caravel. Then as a kicker, I added 2 LED's for the stop and turn. These sure are bright. I used some "engineering" to rig these lights into place, but they sure look good.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Almost a Week of Rain

Don't get me wrong, we NEEDED the rain here, but it slows down preparations for the upcoming Springstream forums rally in Hiawassee, GA.
I towed the Caravel out of it's parking spot to check a few things and to give it some attention. I had purchased a new solar rock guard for the front window. It should be easy enough to remove the old and replace with a new one, right? I cleaned the track where the new guard will attach and noticed that it needed to be resealed. So, I attempted to remove the old, 1971 vintage steel screws that held the track in place. The screws either stripped out in the head, or broke clean off in the body. Also, broke a phillips head bit off in a screw head. (aaaarrruggghhh) A trip or two to the hardware store, got me just a few of the things I needed. (Yes, It's difficult to work when my supplier is closed.) At least the weather forecast for the week is improving. Tomorrow's another day.

Friday, March 21, 2008

How to Tow a Trailer with a Rusted Frame

This is the "freebie" that I mentioned a few posts back that was anything BUT free. A good friend moved it about 100 miles on his Landoll Haulall trailer. That was the easy part. It's future is uncertain, but the body is too good to scrap. Glad to have it on the yard now.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

And the Rains Came

We have been needing rain in the NC foothills for a while. The much needed relief to our dry weather came yesterday. I was fortunate to be home part of the day as the hard rain fell so I could check the trailers for possible leaks.
The newly aquired Argosy didn't disappoint (sadly). There were leaks, but it could always be worse. There was a leak at the original Armstrong A/C and one at the bathroom exhaust fan. All in all, not to bad compared to some I have had. Time to get to work....

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Seek and Find

I seem to really have a knack for finding the right trailers at the right prices. In this past month while my hand has been healing, I have continued to search Craigslist, my local IWANNA paper, and online ads. I have looked at a lot and did "have" to make a few purchases.

I got a 1974 Avion 28' LaGrande that needs a complete frame replacement. It was free for the "moving" and the moving wasn't free. I had a friend to move it on his Landoll trailer and it sailed home effortlessly. The body is in such great shape, I hate to make a parts trailer of it. The interior is also in great shape. It also has title. The lady had sold her property and the trailer was going to be scrapped if not moved.

I also purchased a "square" trailer. It is a 1969 Cree 17' SC (self contained) model. I dunno why. These trailers just have an attraction. (who says aluminum is not magnetic?)

The best purchase came just a two days ago. I was looking on a dealer's website, a place I seldom look. There in the pre-owned trailers listing was a 1979 Argosy 30'. I called on Monday morning to find it was still available. It had been on their lot since November and had garnered no interest. I was told that I was the first person to look at it in months. The dealer was ready to send it to the local car auction to see if it would sell. but, then I came along, made the right offer, and the rest is history.

It is a 1979 30' model with rear twin beds and dual panoramic windows. The paint is still good considering it's almost 30 years old. The original Zip Dee awning is still in good condition. It is brown and orange and looks good with the ivory trailer with the tri tone orange stripes. The Armstrong air conditioner is still there too. It was a "steal" that I really couldn't pass up. At least I know what I will be camping in this summer. Now, I gotta get back to work.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Moving in Slow Motion

Hi Readers, Nothing new to report here. The weather has been cold, and I have been lazy. My friend Greg came over for a visit last weekend and scored a few parts from my parts trailers. Who would have known that the refrigerator was bolted in through the floor in the '67 Overlander!! After a few hours we had it in my truck. Time for dinner!!

I have had a bit of a setback to keep me from working on the AS right now. I burned my left hand on a piece of stainless steel that I was cutting with a torch on Monday afternoon. The quick trip to emergency care only took about an hour and a half. Doc advises that I should be careful and watch out for infection now. Oh well, I guess the campfire wood that I began splitting over the weekend will have to wait.

Friday, January 18, 2008

2008 Off to a Good Start

Hello again, As I was traveling to FL in the early part of January, I spied a lonely looking Flying Cloud in the storage area of a camp I stayed in. I inquired of the owner and found it was for sale. It is a 1962 Flying Cloud 2 sleeper. Seems to be in great shape.

Monday, January 7, 2008

A New Year 2008

Hi folks,
I have been away to the 2008 Can Opener Rally at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. It is a beautiful part of the panhandle area of the western gulf of FL. There were more than 50 trailers in attendance. Many late model AS trailers were represented along with 1 Classic Motorhome, 2 LandYacht motorhomes, 4 Argosy trailers, one really cool classic International Traveall tow vehicle, and (my) Avion.