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Old 04-20-2010, 10:26 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by airdoxy View Post
Hi Steve,
I have a 1958 Caravanner with the same cunundrum, I am doing every thing possible to restore the old Marvel refrigerator (which still works even if I have to use it only with 110v and not Boondock with it. Let me know your process if you go two way. Good luck!

Jim
Hi Jim,

Yes, I'm still planning to go with a modernish 2 way and keep the Marvel's door. Probably be cold weather time again before I get to it. Boondock capability is really important to me. I'll probably face the new fridge with the Marvel door and it's existing frame.

-steve
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:37 PM   #198
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Island Girl Has a Ceiling Raising Party

When I had the three big interior panels polished, I brought them inside the trailer and started to rivet them together. Buck riveted as far as I could reach by myself and clecoed the rest. Charlene was here for six hours today to watch Pam and I recruited some of my friends from the marina to help get what would be one large panel flipped over, lifted, and installed. My buddy Jim, who has bucked way more rivets at Boeing than I ever could on this trailer, shot the rest of the rivets while I bucked.

Just as we finished, John, Tom, and Karen arrived and, with the help of a couple of 2x4 T’s and some clamps, we were ready to flip the panel and lift it into position for clecos. We pushed and pulled for an hour or so and then clecos started lining up with holes at the back end. Pretty soon the panel was pop riveted back up. Big big difference in the way the trailer looks on the inside and it’s really satisfying to start getting some projects done.

Nice to have a great bunch of friends too. Really good day.

Meanwhile, back here on the boat, Pamela has decided to be compulsive about where my mouse sits on the mouse pad (for some reason, she has decided that it must always be in the middle). Windows sends me back to the desktop every time Pam touches the mouse, so I’ll admit defeat and wrap this post up.

cheers,
steve
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:26 AM   #199
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It's an all hands in the air- woo-hoo- party :-) Looking great!!!!

Rae
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:21 AM   #200
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Absolutely beautiful Steve! Way to go!

The addition of the polished aluminum on the inside really sets the tone, and feel, of high end richness.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:02 AM   #201
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I second what Jezi said!
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:13 AM   #202
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Steve, is this metal the reused metal from the orginal? Man, you did some grea work to rehab it. I would've never guessed this to be "reaclaimed" material!

I know it's sometimes hard to laugh, but I got a chuckle out of Pam's need to be organized.
Looks great!
Marc
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:46 AM   #203
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Thanks for the nice comments everyone. It was one of those days, like when the subfloor gets done, that lets you know you really are making progress. You need a few of those.

Yeah, Marc, it's mostly the original. I replaced the center piece since I got rid of the middle vent. It looks good, but not perfect by any means. The Zolatone seems to etch the aluminum and even after sanding, it's still visible. Passes the ten foot test, though.

You gotta laugh on the compulsion stuff with Pam or you'd just lose it. Most of it I'm so used to that I don't even think about it. I'm trained to put the same dishes in the drainer in exactly the right way and to never leave tablespoons in said drainer, only in the drawer. That's no problem, but my mouse. . . .just give me that one thing? Our chairs are next to each other and the mouse pad sits on the armrest, close to her, so I'm totally defenseless. I've learned from Alzheimers, though, and know that everything changes over time, so you just live with issues until they go away and you almost never really solve anything, just wait it out. Our respite care nurse, Charlene, told me when I got back that Pam had been pretty well been bouncing off the bulkheads on the boat yesterday since mid afternoon, so I knew I was in for one of those evenings.

-steve
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:17 PM   #204
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Just a thought, maybe if you give her a "fake" mouse to center, and keep a wireless one for yourself?

Great work, from here, the panels look perfect!
Marc
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:22 PM   #205
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A Piece of Steel Wool

Back in October I had sent a letter to Lopez Island to the address of someone whose last name was the same as the original owner of my trailer. Doubted there’d be any connection, but figured it was worth the cost of a stamp to try. I pretty well forgot about it, but a few weeks later I got a letter from the original owner. She said her husband had died some years earlier, but that she was 92 and that she’d get some information together for me. Exciting stuff! A few weeks later I got a call from her son, Harold, who was in high school when the trailer was new. He promised to get together with his mom and get back to me saying, “it may be awhile, but I’ll definitely get back to you before you get the trailer back on the road.”

And he did, emailing me about a week ago with some great info and stories about the trailer. We exchanged a few emails that night, he’s read this thread and the blog, and we’ll stay in touch for sure. As we get closer to Island Girl being finished, we’ll take a ferry ride out to Lopez and see if his mom approves of what I’ve done to her trailer.

Island Girl’s first owners had been tent campers who had friends who owned an Airstream and they decided they just had to have one too. They took an empty two pound coffee can, soldered the lid back on, and cut a slot in what they now referred to as the “half buck box”. Whenever either of them received a fifty cent piece in change, they’d save it and drop it in the box. Most of the money for the Airstream was saved that way and in 1957 the box was heavy enough to justify a trip to the factory to purchase a brand new Bubble. They got a deal, though, and drove home with a big, shiny, brand new Caravanner. Harold tells me he can still remember the “new car smell” inside the new Airstream. Their lot was small and the trailer would only fit in their garden next to their home in suburban Chicago.

Their first tow vehicle was the first new car they’d purchased, a 1951 Pontiac Catalina with a straight eight and a Hydramatic tranny. It pulled the trailer pretty well, but Harold reported that they sometimes needed to run the heater on full blast at the top of long climbs to keep the coolant temps down. I’ve done that a few times myself, but not in a ‘51 Pontiac. In ‘59, they bought a new International Travelall that had a six cylinder with a three speed transmission with overdrive. That first year that they had the trailer, 1957, they did the first of several trips from Chicago to Lopez, here in Washington’s San Juan Islands. In ‘58, there was a trip to Nova Scotia and the New England states. ‘59 began the towing duties for the Travelall with another trip to Lopez. Minnesota and Michigan were the destinations in 1961 and in ‘62 they returned once again to Lopez and also to the Seattle World’s Fair. A Florida trip was in 1963 and ‘64 saw a one way trip to Lopez with a garage being built for her there around 1970. The trailer was used as a home on the island while a new house was built there. From around that time period until just a few years ago, it likely never left Lopez.

Around 1999 it was sold to someone who lived on San Juan Island, but had property on Lopez, where they set up the Airstream. They almost certainly never moved the trailer until selling it to the family I purchased it from, who moved it only the very short ferry ride between the two islands.

And the piece of steel wool? Harold was called by his parents in the early 90’s to figure out how mice had gotten into the trailer. He found the only likely entry around the freshwater tank drain and filled the gap with a piece of stainless steel wool. I clearly remember removing that piece of steel wool when I dropped the bellypan.

-steve
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:47 PM   #206
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Steve, I enjoyed reading that, I too have been emailing back and forth with the PO of our Tradewind! The information they provide is priceless and I am so glad we remain in touch, I hope it continues through the years! I think that it is so important. Before we handed over the check and the TW was on our bumper, I remember hugging the PO and reassuring them that we would take very good care of her. I hope that was good for them and especially the Mrs. to hear, for I could tell she was sad to see it go down the road, away.
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:24 AM   #207
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Our "new" 1971 TradeWind is going to Lopez this summer. We've had land there for about 25 years and hope to use the Airstream to help us bootstrap building something more permanent. My inlaws have lived on Lopez for over 25 years. I wonder if they've met your "Island Girl." It's a small world.

Our original plan was to park the trailer on the land and leave it. But we've had so much fun restoring it and have gotten so many ideas of places to go, that it will come home with us when we come. The ferry fare is pricey, but cheaper than lodging.
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:18 AM   #208
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Steve, that story is priceless! Interesting about how the trailer sat on the island... my Tradewind has sat in WA state since 1978.. although I"m not sure where, and likely, had a much "rougher" life than your Island Girl... I might refer to her more as the "Street Girl"... I think she may have become a meth lab if left out in Granite Falls much longer... I prefer to call her "Fanny"... as in "frugal Fanny." I promised my wife it would be a "cheap" remodel... hmmmmm

Anyway, I too recall trips over the Grapevine in summer with my Dad blasting the heater on our 70's Dodge Dart Swinger with it's straight six. Never overheated, but sure was uncomfortable at times!

I wonder how big a coffee can one would need now to save up and get a modern Airstream???
Marc
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:14 AM   #209
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Steve, I'm so tickled that you've gotten some history from the PO's. I can totally relate about how special that is. Steel wool. Something as simple as a piece of steel wool draws a direct connection.

Now your Airstream has provenance!
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:56 AM   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbearsailor View Post
Back in October I had sent a letter to Lopez Island to the address of someone whose last name was the same as the original owner of my trailer. Doubted there’d be any connection, but figured it was worth the cost of a stamp to try. I pretty well forgot about it, but a few weeks later I got a letter from the original owner. She said her husband had died some years earlier, but that she was 92 and that she’d get some information together for me. Exciting stuff! A few weeks later I got a call from her son, Harold, who was in high school when the trailer was new. He promised to get together with his mom and get back to me saying, “it may be awhile, but I’ll definitely get back to you before you get the trailer back on the road.”

And he did, emailing me about a week ago with some great info and stories about the trailer. We exchanged a few emails that night, he’s read this thread and the blog, and we’ll stay in touch for sure. As we get closer to Island Girl being finished, we’ll take a ferry ride out to Lopez and see if his mom approves of what I’ve done to her trailer.

Island Girl’s first owners had been tent campers who had friends who owned an Airstream and they decided they just had to have one too. They took an empty two pound coffee can, soldered the lid back on, and cut a slot in what they now referred to as the “half buck box”. Whenever either of them received a fifty cent piece in change, they’d save it and drop it in the box. Most of the money for the Airstream was saved that way and in 1957 the box was heavy enough to justify a trip to the factory to purchase a brand new Bubble. They got a deal, though, and drove home with a big, shiny, brand new Caravanner. Harold tells me he can still remember the “new car smell” inside the new Airstream. Their lot was small and the trailer would only fit in their garden next to their home in suburban Chicago.

Their first tow vehicle was the first new car they’d purchased, a 1951 Pontiac Catalina with a straight eight and a Hydramatic tranny. It pulled the trailer pretty well, but Harold reported that they sometimes needed to run the heater on full blast at the top of long climbs to keep the coolant temps down. I’ve done that a few times myself, but not in a ‘51 Pontiac. In ‘59, they bought a new International Travelall that had a six cylinder with a three speed transmission with overdrive. That first year that they had the trailer, 1957, they did the first of several trips from Chicago to Lopez, here in Washington’s San Juan Islands. In ‘58, there was a trip to Nova Scotia and the New England states. ‘59 began the towing duties for the Travelall with another trip to Lopez. Minnesota and Michigan were the destinations in 1961 and in ‘62 they returned once again to Lopez and also to the Seattle World’s Fair. A Florida trip was in 1963 and ‘64 saw a one way trip to Lopez with a garage being built for her there around 1970. The trailer was used as a home on the island while a new house was built there. From around that time period until just a few years ago, it likely never left Lopez.
-steve
This is great info, Steve.....I suppose it would be asking too much ask if they had photos of some of their travels? I attempted to contact the previous owners of my 62' but with no luck. These old photos scan well and would add to the long history of your trailer.

Thanks
Gary
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