Monday, November 23, 2009

Updates for all.

So this past week I got busy removing the belly from Lu Lu. There was a wide variety of rivets to drill out. Make sure you wear goggles if you do this. I mean fully enclosed goggles not just just safety glasses. One shaving in the eye can set you back significantly. Just saying, it might happen, It has happened to someone out there.
I am dropping all the belly from back to front. My client wants to make sure the frame is all in good shape. The last place that worked on this trailer claimed there were issues. The belly pan has seen better times, there are lots of dents and a few "saw throughs" by the out riggers. I am going to make it all look new again.
I found the back cross member with the usual rust throughs. Not too serious. I will weld new metal in there and make it good as new. All in all, no huge surprises so far...
...except for maybe this rather large bees nest. Thank God it was not active. They would have gotten me big trying to crawl out from under the trailer.
Another repair Lu Lu is getting is a valve conversion. I will be putting a conversion plate on the tank and we will be all up to date with a new Valtura gate valve. I just need to get that last screw out with out snapping it off. It is being very stubborn. Daily doses of PB Blaster will eventually win out and have it spinning loose.

The Wally Bubble also know as the X251 went away this week also. I am not going to get into too many details. This trailer will require significant resources to make whole again. Hopefully, someday she is going to be restored when the resources are found. This trailer has been passed around many times. Hopefully, soon she will get the attention she deserves. To make the drop off easy, I towed the X251 onto the transporters truck. Being connected to my truck seemed more secure than just connected to the flat bed. The drive to the port is not too long and I did not want any harm to come to such a unique trailer.

This was a project I was very excited to work on. A shame, but you cannot have it all.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The traffic magneto

I swear to you, this 1957, titled as a 1958, shell of a trailer attracts more traffic than Ben Franklin's key and kite could attract lightning. Six am on the Baltimore beltway and we are crawling all the way to the Port. Good thing I was planning on going to the Port and having breakfast before hand, for It took an hour to go where it usually takes twenty minutes.
The last trailer I dropped off didn't want to get on the boat. Maybe they ran out of room on the boat. Maybe the Longshoreman were to load it, but the 9:15 break, or the 11:30- 1:00 lunch, or the 2:30 break started and they forgot to come back for it. A new boat assignment sticker is on her so maybe the next cruise will be hers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Long Long Recovery

Can you say traffic? I certainly can. Monday I went to Scitaute Massachusetts. Google Maps said 14 hours 31minutes round trip. In small print it said "14 hours 56 minutes with traffic conditions." They were wrong in that estimate, very wrong. In small print it should have said " 18 hours 54 minutes." I left my house at 1 am and by 4:30 am I had crossed the George Washington bridge over the Hudson and was 18 miles into Connecticut. For those unfamiliar with I95 between Baltimore and Boston, that is very good time. I mean exceptionally good time.
But all good things must come to an end and to a screeching end it came. A tanker fire closed the highway down completely in both directions. It was trucks and more trucks with a few cars thrown in as far as I could see in front of me.
The continuous line of vehicles behind me were seeing the same. We all had to merge down to one lane and then off the highway. For three mile, two towns, and an hour and forty five minutes we made our way East and finally back onto the highway. Smooth sailing again until I hit Boston. Well, actually it was 30 miles short of Boston. I though Baltimore or Washington had bad rush hours. OMG!!!! Once again we crawled along.
This is why I was on the road while most people were sleeping. A 1957 Overlander titled as a 1958. I love those sweeping wheel wells. This trailer was bought by a client and he wanted it brought to the Port of Baltimore. The interior is one big blank slate. Nothing there except the water heater and the bath tub. There is also a self contained toilet. I suspect this trailer has been the project of a few owners over the years. The gut job looks to be many years old. To my surprise, there is very little floor rot.
So I hooked on and headed for home. That is the Atlantic Ocean you see there. Soon she will be sailing across that very same Ocean. I wanted to make a mad dash for home. I needed badly to get West of the George Washington bridge before the New York City rush hour began.
No such luck. 10 miles three hours.

$21 dollars to cross this bridge out of Gotham. They only clipped me $9 going the other way. From here on out the drive was fairly smooth. Four cups of coffee and four pee breaks later I was home. I slept like a baby for eleven hours straight.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Shopping spree

It was a beautiful Fall day today here in Maryland. A perfect day to go shopping for trailers. I make it sound glamorous, but it really was not.
In Maryland one knows they are in Western Maryland when they pass through Sidling Hill. Though it is a few ridges away from the actual Eastern Continental Divide, I always look at this pass as the door way to the West. Everything is a little different on the other side.
It is a totally different world where seeing the first snow over on this side or a Black Bear crossing the highway is common place. I never seem to have my camera out at the time the wild life crosses the road.
Things are usually different when you pass this sign too. Last year a very well liked club member passed on. He owned a number of rigs and I was going out to see if I might be interested in them. Rumor had it there was a factory built 1963 catering trailer along with a 1981 34 footer and Bill's trade mark Overlander. Bill always camped in a 1975 Overlander. The 63 was what I was most interested in.
I could tell right away the food service window was not a factory job. The factory would never leave a window in the opening and the steel piano hinge was a dead give away. The trailer also just did not look 1963 to me.
Serial number 249055 sure did not sound 1963 to me. That serial number reads twenty four feet, 1959, #055 off the line.
I am not going to comment on who sold it originally. Jacksonville is just few miles down the road from West Virginia.
The front window frame is gone.A sheet of plexiglass has been siliconed in the opening. Oddly enough I dealt with this very same issue a couple of months ago. Hope my source has a second window for sale. WBCCI number 16377. That number was issued when the club was strong and had a lot of members. Today if you removed the 10,000 from the number you would be stretching the club count. Times sure have changed.
The skin on this old girl is remarkably smooth and scratch free. There have been some odd patches installed when who ever converted her to a concession rig.
The step is gone and has been braced up with some 2 x4s. The entire floor has seen much better times. Only about 60% of the original fixtures are still present inside. This is okay for I intend to make the food service window more professionally done and the interior will be a blank slate for her next owner. I feel since the hole was cut and her pervious owner changed her use, I will just improve on the change and make this into a real vending rig. I could probably fix the cut out, but it will never look perfect. Vending trailers are very hot right now.
Great window placement on the street side. The skin looks to be in poor shape, but it is just lots of dirt and mold on the surface. You can see a number of those homespun patches on this side. The forward patch is a Herh roof vent put over the original furnace vents.
That is one low down license plate holder. I have never noticed them to be placed so low on the body.
Here you can see that food service window with the original window still in it. Kind of odd configuration if you ask me, but as I have come to learn, people do very odd things sometimes.
This is looking toward the rear. The very nice Princess stove still remains as well as the double sink. Who ever converted her over put plywood right across the entire countertop sealing the fixtures in. No toilet or shower remains in the rear.
Looking forward. Bill used this rig for storage and a work shop where he worked on old tubed radios.
There is the inside of the food service window. Anyone looking for a 1981 34 footer? That is for sale too. So, I am very happy with my purchase. She will need major work to her. Needing to be rebuilt from the rubber up. I feel confident that someone out there will want to make this trailer their new business venture.
Another deal I worked out was salvage rights to this trailer. At one point this was a 1964 Overlander. Tom said that this trailer has given parts to eleven others trailers. Some times a trailer needs to be sacrificed to save others. I was not the first to go at the hulk. I might add that this photo was taken after I had gone at her with the sawzall.
I cut out the complete door and hatch with frame from this side.
A few items I salvaged.
A complete door with the internal jamb frame. Now if someone was going to put a second door into a 1964 Sovereign, they have what is needed.
More hatches, two complete Herh roof vents with motors and lifters, Bowen water heater cover, and two complete windows with screens and cranks. When I left, there was virtually nothing left on that trailer to use.
I headed back East again. Up, through, and over Sidling Hill again.
Back out onto the Piedmont again.
At one point I needed a pit stop. I took an exit and made a right and another right to "just see where the road took me". It took me to the C&O Cannel. Sandwiched between the cannel and I70 was this graveyard. The youngest grave was from 1828.
1828 was before much of the West was made into States.

1828 must have been a very bad year, for three of the tomb stones had that year on them.

One never knows where a right and another right might take you. No wonder Wally made that suggestion often.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New client up to bat.

A new trailer and new client has rolled into the work zone next to the shop. I am looking very forward to the job this Tradewind needs.

Her name is Lu Lu and many of you know her as Linda and Reagie's 1961 tradewind. Lu Lu is a avery well traveled trailer. Her owners attend just about every Washington DC Unit rally and many regional events not related to the WBCCI.
Coming back from a rally Lu Lu had a little blow out that resulted in damage to the skin. This is actually not the first time this has happened.

The belly skin behind the wheel wheel has been replaced in the past because of a previous blow out. We have come up with a very creative way to patch all this damage to the skin. The wheel well will never look original with out replacing the entire side, but the route we are going to take to fix it will look very nice and create a visual detail. Wish I could explain more, but you will see all this soon enough.
Some rotten floor and front end separation was repaired by a very well know shop. They some how forgot to measure there self drilling screws. I wonder if they actually used elevator bolts to secure the floor properly. No worries, the main goal is to make the belly skins all new again. I can fix that issue easily.
From what I see they used nothing but screws to hold the new floor down. I keep forgetting that doing it correctly takes more time and is generally harder to do well.
Looks like we have a leak to deal with too. They were supposed to have used their fancy machine to find the leak. Bet I can find it by just "being the water" by "feeling the leak"

So far I am encouraged by what I see. Linda was told she has frame issues. Frame issues are what has brought her in. I have only found very minor issues. Unfortunately I have not looked at her rear yet. Stay tuned for that soon.