Thursday, April 30, 2015

57 Caravanner 8 of...

One photo.
 One thousand two hundred, give or take a few, pop
One thousand words.

Friday, April 24, 2015

57 Caravanner 7(actually 8) of...

Leak test. Leak test. Leak test. 

And then I had just one final leak. It was the tail light. This leak took a while to start. If I did not have the trailer in a long, soaking rain, then this one might be missed. Water was getting behind the lens.

You can see the water line on the back of the can. The water was running over the top of the socket and out the bottom. It had to build. To solve this issue the three screws securing the can to the trailer had to be removed so the bezel would sit closer to the skin. Trempro 626 helps too.
Leak Test.
Yes, Thats right, it does not leak. Eight hours in a non stop rain. Not a single seep. 

On to the first layer of insulation.

The wire caddy came out. You have no idea how many feet go into one of these trailers. Everything was prewired. Trailer wiring, 110volt, and 12 volt were all run. 

Switching was laid out.

The prewiring must all be thought out. There is no way to fish a wire through the wall once the skin is on.

All wiring comes to a new central point. Like many previous jobs I am using a main distribution box for both voltages.

A second layer of insulation is then installed.

And the interior skins go back in. In this case the first 13 went in...

Monday, April 20, 2015

Christian's Tire Service

In my on going series about the people who help me make my business go, I want to introduce you to my tire guy. Located at 5901 Pulaski Highway, Christian's does all my tire work from repairs to mounting. The fact that they are two blocks from my shop makes me very happy. I like to keep it local.

The owner of this small business is actually named Dominic. Dominic is a Korean American and he is one sharp cookie. For a man his age he could work circles around me without breaking a sweat.  His helper who has been with him for about a year now never says a word. He never stops moving either. I learned very quickly that I was not welcome to try and help. He has his job, he does it with great pride, and it is best for me to stay out of the way. I generally just drop off then pick up later. 

I had some rims powder coated then pin stripped. Dominic actually took the time to dismount then remount one of the tires so the heavy side could be out and the balancing weights would all be on the inside. Attention to detail is what one calls that. He knew, with rims looking this good no one would want to see the balancing weights. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

They All Leak(is a tiresome rule to live by)

Lucky for me, just about every day this week it has rained. This is a good thing since it allows me to roll the Caravanner outside and let Mother Nature do the heavy lifting of finding the leaks. Unfortunately, it did not rain this past Friday. I created my own rain. 

And we are down to one leak. Oddly this leak did not show until this (what I hoped was) final test. It's all fine. This is a process. I rolled it back inside and went to killing yet another leak. Monday morning she will go back out to the leak test chamber again. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hoping For Rain

What do you see? Maybe you should lay back on my couch. Take in the photo and tell me what you see. My name is not Rorschach but this is a test.

This is not a Franz Kline painting. Not everything is black and white. I even shot in color for this post.

It is the result of chasing leaks. The 57 is at that stage where I do my best to make sure it will not leak going forward. They all leak. They leave my shop not leaking for a while at least.

Fortunately it has been raining everyday. This makes finding the leaks a lot easier.

I love those reproduction tail lights from Vintage Trailer Supply. They are dead ringers for the originals, just not rusted and faded. Only time can reproduce that.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Slow Down You Move Too Fast

As you may or might not know I am parting out a 1978 Sovereign. There is not a lot to work with. Somethings cannot be discarded. I thin I will hold on to a little interior skin.

Hello, lamppost, what'cha knowin'?
I've come to watch your flowers growin'

I don't know what they were thinking in 1978 but when it came to bathroom decor, 
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy
Ba da da da da da da da, feelin' groovy

Friday, April 3, 2015

Handbuilt (for sure)

As you may have heard, Airstreams are a hand made product. I should say they used to be a more hand made product. The factory now uses computers to cut out and pre drill many of the holes used in assembly. It was not always this way. At one time they were completely assembled by hand. Above you see a 1961 Overlander built at the Ohio factory. Everything looks normal right? I know the indicator lights are weird, they were added by a previous owner. I am asking you to look at the window and it's relation to the segments. 

If I measure from the left edge of the name badge to the center segment I get 3 1/4". So?

But when I measure from the right hand edge of the name badge to the center segment I get 6 3/4". Whoa, wait a second! There is a 2 1/2" difference? Seriously? 

So if I put tape on the edge of the eyebrow and measure to the first segment line I get 7 1/4".

However measuring from the left I get 6 1/8". We don't need no stink in measuring tools! No one will ever notice it! Looks good from my house! 

Oddly in 1961 the boys at the Factory in Ohio were putting out some of the best built Airstreams they had and would manufacture. The quality in this time period is the best it would ever be. The attention to fit and finish was very important. The intersections of panels all over this trailer is virtually perfect. The  back window however was put in just a little off center. It took 54 years for some guy, sitting eating his lunch to notice things are just a little askew.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

National Lumber

In my continuing series of the vendors who make my life better, I want to high light National Lumber. In all honesty doing business with National is a no brainer for me. National Lumber is what going to the hardware store used to be like before the big orange box and giant blue rectangle came onto the scene. BTW, I will be attending that Bull Roast on May 7. I would not miss it for anything.

Since 1919 National Lumber has been selling contractors and home owners everything they might need to build or maintain any structure. 20 years ago, place like National were the norm. Then the big box hardware vendors popped up. People forgot about the stores that built their communities and were drawn in by a giant store where everything is easily seen and where the prices appear low. What they gave up however is service, knowledge, and a person who actually wants to keep their job. Most think they are saving money. I don't agree. 

Every time I walk into National, Ryan welcomes me. Ryan runs the retail desk. Something I like about Ryan is he knows his stuff. He is more than willing to help and if he does not know, he will find out and get back to you. He also gets to hang out with the pocket knife case. A real hardware store always has a knife case. A display of every possible hammer is an added bonus.

In the back is the contractor desk. Normally this area is as busy as Command Central in Houston. The phones are ringing like a PBS telethon. Salesman are quickly throwing together orders so that the community can continue to be built. From this desk building materials are being ordered, to be trucked as far as Central Virginia. Something a contractor must have; a good materials supplier. National is one of the best. Not the biggest, but very excellent service and quality materials.

I hear people say that they prefer the orange box because of the selection. I prefer to come here since I will find that weird screw, bolt, or plumbing item I need. If I cannot find it, Ryan will. If he does not have it, he will get it in for me. 

They have signs at the blue rectangle. They don't have this kind of selection.

Uhm, right handed, left handed? Uhm.. I don't know what you mean...

Yeah, we got that profile...

"My man!.. Let me get that for you. I'll be right back"

You need block? Gravel? Bank sand? Pea or crushed gravel?

Doors, windows kerosene? God Bless America and for the sake of your fellow man, BUY AMERICAN!

And miles of lumber on the level.

This is the difference between a big box store and a builders supply. Coming here is a no brainer...