Welcome to the forums! This is the best place to learn all about Airstreams! Use the search function and you will find lots of threads with answers to your questions! If you get "stuck" on how to make a repair or change, just post a new question and you will get lots of opinions!
I am not sure how far Yakima is from Beverly Beach, but we have a rally coming up and I know there have been a couple of cancellations and there are spots available! If your A/S isn't ready to camp, bring a tent! Check out the Beverly Beach Rally on the rally schedule. It is a great place to meet great Airstreamers, and see what they have done to their Airstream! (We generally have informal tours of trailers...) It is a easy weekend without a lot of "planned" activities, other than some communal meals (that are always fantastic). It is a great place to learn about your 'stream!
Good luck with your project.
Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)