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Old 02-19-2016, 10:50 AM   #21
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1976 29' Ambassador
Fitchburg , Wisconsin
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 172
We have a '76 Ambassador which was built in Calif. On one trip we saw the same model built in Ohio. The kitchens were mirrored; ours has the sink on the curb side and the Ohio unit had a street side sink. Our battery box is below the sink area on the curb side. This may make finding the correct door a little more challenging.

Dennis
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Old 02-20-2016, 07:14 PM   #22
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Atlanta , Georgia
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Hey Guys,

I'm not sure which place it was built at, but the door is on the curbside. I don't know why, but I kind of thought that this door would be the same either way.. Are they different? Could you take a door that was originally on someone else's driver side of their airstream and install it curbside on your own?

-Chad
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:20 PM   #23
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1971 31' Sovereign
1973 29' Ambassador
Palm Desert , California
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Posts: 356
if you have the rear bath it should be on the curb side.
Your VIN will tell where it was built.
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Old 02-21-2016, 11:18 PM   #24
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Atlanta , Georgia
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An Innocent Airstream

Hey Guys,

Me and my wife just made sort of a joke video for our GoFundMe campaign. I know all of you are probably in the same boat as us and I of course don't expect contributions from here, but I still thought you might enjoy watching the video for a good laugh.

https://www.gofundme.com/silverpickle

Cheers,
Chad
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:26 AM   #25
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1973 31' Sovereign
Middletown , California
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Love the gofundme video! The battery box door should be the same on many models from several years around 71 to 76 or so, probably should get from a trailer being parted out. Have fun with re-do!
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:04 PM   #26
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Atlanta , Georgia
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Thanks iJustlee, good to know.. btw, we're planning on heading out to the Los Angeles area towards the end of the year (assuming we can make this thing livable). Do you or CaCraig have any RV/Trailer Parks you'd suggest for someone looking to go full-time?

-Chad
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:04 AM   #27
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1971 31' Sovereign
1973 29' Ambassador
Palm Desert , California
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Im not aware of any in the LA area. I'm 2 hours southwest of LA in the Palm Springs area. I lived in LA for most of my life but didn't have the Airstream when I was there so I wasn't really looking.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:07 PM   #28
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Atlanta , Georgia
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Transmission issues and skin removal

Well, after a good deal of planning for a nice long work weekend, we were cut short by an issue with the new f-250's transmission quitting and getting it to the nearby Aamco (who has spent the last 3 days diagnosing)

In spite of this set back, we were actually able to still get a fair amount of work done. Almost all of the interior skins with the exception of the front endcap have been removed and all the old fiberglass insulation has been pulled out. We brought the new black tank over and have a game plan to shift one of the steel cross members 4 inches or so to accommodate it's slightly larger size and new place closer to the middle of the chassis where the bathroom will be.

I had hoped to get the new wheels put on this week, but with the truck out of commission it looks like that'll be coming later. My grandfather (the welding-wizard) has gone to town on the rusted portion of the frame at the rear and has replaced all of the rotted out rusted portions.
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Old 03-18-2016, 07:51 PM   #29
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1973 31' Excella 500
Calary , Alberta
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 37
Your pictures remind me of me and my hubbies overhaul. It's kinda messy but it going to be great when it's done. Good luck and thanks for posting your pictures.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:09 PM   #30
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Atlanta , Georgia
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Floor, Door, Axles and wall stripping

It's been a busy few weeks getting settled in Ocala, but we are finally starting to get into the routine and were blessed enough to both get jobs! My grandfather has been doing all kinds of work on the Pickle while it's been parked on his property, and together we were able to bolt down a new (redwood) plywood floor to the rear. (He did the bulk of the work). He's also done extensive welding on the rear of the frame and mounted the new larger black water tank farther forward on the trailer. The black plastic circle you see is where the toilet will mount and goes straight down to the tank.

We purchased new axles/brakes/shocks/centramatics from Andy at Inland RV . I was a little disappointed that the shocks came separate from the axles and have to be welded on, as my grandfather has already done so much, but I'm sure there's a good reason why they can't be pre-welded.

I found someone on the forums that removed the battery compartment door from their Airstream in order to go solar, and they sold it to me for a reasonable price. I dropped off the door when I was picking up the interior walls last week and found out today that my grandfather has already mounted it for me (seeing a pattern?)

Last but not least, I was finally able to start stripping the vinyl off of the interior walls today. The vinyl seems to have been chemically bonded to the aluminum at the factory, so it takes some pretty nasty stuff to separate it. Jasco Premium Paint & Epoxy Remover seems to work relatively well, but it takes 30 rather than 15 minutes for it to really do the work, and through trial and error, you really want to coat this stuff on there. Under the vinyl the aluminum seems to have a thin layer of adhesive, I don't know yet how I want to remove that, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to use something like a sander to get to clean aluminum and hopefully get rid of some of the scratching I left when removing the vinyl.
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Old 06-28-2016, 10:06 PM   #31
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Atlanta , Georgia
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Posts: 35
Axles, New Wheels, Relocation, and Window reno

Progress! My grandfather welded the new shock brackets to the new axles and over the course of 2 days we were able to drop the old axles, widen the axle beam holes (2-5/8″ to 3″) and install the new axles, shocks, centramatics, and the shiny new Sendel wheels/ Michelin Tires.

After that, me and Jamie drove the Pickle 45 minutes south from Bronson to Ocala and parked it in my parents backyard where it will be resting while we work on it. Pulled the awning out for the first time and we were pleasantly surprised to find no tears.

My project for the past couple days was to remove the window screen frames, pull out the tattered screens, strip the paint off the aluminum frames, and install some new screens.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:43 PM   #32
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Atlanta , Georgia
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Wires, LEDs, and RedGard?

Slow and steady! With the help of electrical wizard Trey Carr, we’ve run the electrical wires and swapped the old running lights with some newer LEDs. We’ve also met with a plumber that was recommended to us by an Airstream certified location and he is super knowledgable and has given an immense amount of helpful advice.

He’s offered a very reasonable rate and is going to work at a reduced rate if I help (which I plan on taking full advantage of).
Next steps are getting leaks sealed, rolling out the dings of the exterior (from the inside, using rolling pins… did I mention our plumber was knowledgable!). Putting the tail lights back in, replacing the remaining subfloor, installing a grey tank… Maybe I’m getting carried away with next steps, suffice it to say, there’s plenty to do, but we’re hoping to have electrical and plumbing done in the coming weeks.

After doing some research, we've found where some airstream renovators have used RedGard to build a waterproof custom shower. When my wife first suggested this, I was skeptical, but when she showed me Hoffman Architecture did it as well, I began to like the idea. We're meeting with the plumber tomorrow and we're hoping he will buy into the idea as well.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:10 AM   #33
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1972 29' Ambassador
Boynton Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 568
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadvocate View Post
After doing some research, we've found where some airstream renovators have used RedGard to build a waterproof custom shower. When my wife first suggested this, I was skeptical, but when she showed me Hoffman Architecture did it as well, I began to like the idea. We're meeting with the plumber tomorrow and we're hoping he will buy into the idea as well.
I did the floor pan and sump in my wet head with pigmented epoxy glass. It's held up well, I wish that I could say the same about my migrating bulkhead wall! Remember that the trailer flexes quite a bit as it goes down the road, over bumps, and when you put the landing gear down. Any seam that doesn't have some sort of reinforcement is bound to leak eventually. Then your waterproofing becomes your worst enemy- water that seeps in can't get out, and rots the substrate.

I've used the products from Progressive Epoxy (Basic No-Blush) for years, and have been quite satisfied. They have great prices, much better than West Marine.

I've learned to fear the insidious nature of water over the years, and often wondered how it seemed so much smarter than me!
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:59 PM   #34
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Atlanta , Georgia
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New Year update

Sorry for the immense dump of info here, I’ll try to keep future updates down to a bite-sized amount, it’s just been so long since I did an online update:/

We reran all the electrical this time using twice as many “sticky-backs” to hold up the wires and super gluing them down. (every 3 inches or so). The previous ones had for the most part all popped off between the weight of the wire and the temperature of the aluminum getting so hot in the middle of the day. In addition to this, we used aluminum tape to hold down the particularly heavy portions towards the rear where all the wires are coming together. (This was the first place to fall previously.)

I drilled out the 3 old fans and cut the sealant around the edges to remove them. After cutting away the excess sealant, some goo-be-gone and steel wool cleaned the aluminum up nicely to allow for a good seal for the AC and 2 fans. The rounded corners of the existing holes had to be cut out to allow the new fans to fit, so a piece of cardboard served as a template to mark what had to be cut and then a sawzaw and safety goggles “stretched” the holes out for us.

The AC required some additional parts after we purchased the initial unit. Being that I’m an RV novice, I didn’t realize that you have to purchase the inside portion of the unit, the thermostat, and a compatible dripline system separately, but once we had all the pieces and a little bit of explanation from the local Airstream dealer, the installation went simply enough. We used 2×4’s to give the AC some additional stability and ran the new dripline down the nearest wall and eventually out through the new subfloor and banana wrap.

After this, we dropped the pickle off at Camping World of Ocala and had them connect all of the AC and DC to the 2 “blue top” Optima batteries and a combo electrical panel as well as install a couple of new propane tanks and all new propane lines. These were two of the areas I was particularly uncomfortable with, so I figured I’d leave it to the professionals. I was happy for the most part with the quality of the work they provided, but was extremely disappointed in their inability to keep any deadline (What started as a week ended up closer to a month.)

Once we finally got her back, I went to work replacing the existing subfloor (While running my new fans!) Removing the old pieces was made easier by cutting them down the middle. The old pieces were then placed on the new birch plywood (with the blade gap included) and traced as a template for the new subfloor piece. Since we are planning on a floating vinyl plank floor, I went ahead and sealed the entire subfloor with Thompson waterseal and while that dried I used a nifty sawzaw attachment to grind away the dust from the frame and then sealed it up with a fresh coat of rustoleum. While that was drying, I went back to the now dry birch plywood and cut out the necessary shape of reflectex insulation and attached it to the bottom of the plywood with a staple gun.

That was the easy part, getting these new subfloor pieces into the pickle in was quite the challenge. I’d seen how others had previously cut a gap down the middle of the subfloors to make this task easier, but I wanted the stability that came with having solid planks. I made it a point not to remove more than 2 of the old pieces at a time to prevent the frame from flexing too much, and once I’d gotten the rear 3 replaced, I went to the front and started working my way back. If anyone reading this is planning on doing it, I’d strongly suggest saving the middle piece for last, that’s what we did and with alot of banging and a few good jumps the last piece popped into place (We will definitely not have to worry about gaps in the subfloors).
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:18 PM   #35
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Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 35
Closed Cell Spray Foam

We took a huge step this past week and finally got the Pickle insulated. The rest of this post will just be detailing what went into making that happen, so if you’re not so much interested in the how, feel free to stop here.

The first thing that had to happen was hunting down all the various leaks that our 45+ year old trailer had sprouted. This started with hanging out inside with a sharpie during the downpours that rolled through (Good ole Florida), but after each pass of replacing rivets and caulking the roof shtuff, we’d run an artificial rain test with a water hose. After 3 or 4 passes, we’ve knocked out all the leaks and have a water tight Airstream.

Jamie and I spent the better part of a day prepping everything for the crew to come out and we didn’t finish till close to midnight (hence the night photos), but all of the outlet boxes were taped into position and plastic bags were wrapped on the wires coming out to keep them from getting covered. a few solo cups were taped into place over the tank vent holes and we wrapped the small windows with posterboard and plastic to get the rounded shape around the perimeter. Cardboard was put around the 2 ceiling fans to keep clear the tracks that will later have the covers slid into them and plastic was wrapped over the AC unit.

The crew had a mix up with their power source when they first got there and ended up having to rent a generator to run their rig, but once they got started things went relatively quickly and they were super thankful that all of the prep work was already done. A big part of the job was shaving down the insulation where it was too thick, but overall they were able to get a minimum of an inch of foam into the 1-3/4″ walls and in most places it was around 1-1/2″ if not shaved off at the full thickness. Gulf Coast Insulation did a great job for a reasonable price and I’d highly recommend them to anyone else looking for spray foam insulation in the Niceville, FL area. We’re excited to have this big step out of the way and get these bare aluminum walls up that we’ve been stripping the original vinyl off of for so long.
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:07 PM   #36
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Atlanta , Georgia
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Posts: 35
Interior Skins and Elastomeric Roof Coating

We finally got all of the interior skins/walls up and into place and have been in the process of polishing off the remaining glue residue that was left after stripping the vinyl. I’m not sure that it wouldn’t have been easier to do this prior to putting the walls up, but then again we were tired of bending over the darn things to work on them, so 6 of one and half a dozen of the other I suppose.

While Jamie was inside polishing I was up on the roof with a palm sander roughing up the aluminum around each buck rivet. Word on the street is that if you don’t do this, the roof coating will “bubble” up around the rivets. Once finished prepping/sunburning, I taped off the area to be painted and put down two coats of dicor (in perpendicular directions. This used up the 1 gallon that the nearest RV shop had, but I’ve since bought a 2nd gallon and plan to put on atleast one more coat as it still seems a bit thin to me and based on what Dicor recommended I think I need a bit more thickness.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:25 AM   #37
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1971 31' Sovereign
Christine , North Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 140
looks great, and with spray insulation it should add a little rigidity to the outer structure.
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:52 PM   #38
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Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 35
cabinets, plumbing, dishwasher, oven/stovetop

We’ve had our noses to the grind the last couple of weeks and have gotten alot of things started (and maybe a few things finished!). At some point all of the steps blurred together, as we kept realizing we’d have to do one thing before another, so here are some of the things that got accomplished in
roughly chronological order:

We started by building the washer/dryer platform and boxing in the closet with a 2nd wall. The cabinets that were donated to the cause have been cut in order to fit over the wheel wells. The top of the center cabinet with the (original) sink was notched out so that the sink will sit flush against the bottom of the counter top. Once we got it in place we plumbed in a new p-trap in and plumbed in a portion of the gray tank vent pipe before realizing we needed to get that upper cabinet in place first. Originally, we had planned on running the vent pipe through the upper cabinets, but we realized that would have to go right through the vertical accordion doors, so we decided instead to bring the drain pipe up and to the side of the upper cabinet. (We’re thinking it might look cool to paint the pipes, but things need to work before we turn our attention to appearance)

After getting the sink, and gray tank vent pipe in place, we turned out attention to the rest of the curbside plumbing. For the washer dryer, we ran an Drain pipe through that wheel well all the way up to meet up with the drain pipes coming from the kitchen sink and while we were at it we ran some nylon rope through to use for fishing the PEX tubing once we get to that step since we knew we wouldn’t be able to get back into the wheel well. Then we moved on to the rightside cabinet. We’d decided prior that this would be where the dishwasher would go, so we built a platform extension that met flush with the wheel well inside of the cabinet to bear the dishwasher weight. After cutting out the bottom of the top drawer framing, I still had to notch out a good inch or so on either side, but after that the dishwasher fit like a glove. We decided to wait on fastening it in to allow us to attach the countertop later. We then cut a hole in the back of that cabinet and ran an ABS drain line down to meet up with the sink/vent pipe/washer dryer lines that are now all connected and running to the gray tank.

After that, we tackled the leftside cabinet that went over top of the tankless water heater, and would hold the oven/stovetop. We built a good solid platform (that resembled a coffee table) with 2×6’s to separate the oven from the waterheater. Then after cutting the necessary areas of the cabinet we slid the oven/stovetop into place, only to realize that our propane line wasn’t long enough (it never ends). At some point in there, I finished wiring up all of the wall outlets and the light switches just inside the door (which look like elevator buttons). Oh, and we swapped out the front door handle for a new/not broken one, AND Jamie got a really cool bedside drawer installed while I was fiddling around with plumbing shenanigans, at some point we might even put a face on the drawer 😉

We’ve just started working on the bathroom drain lines, and from there I suppose we will move on to the source PEX lines. That just about covers the current state of affairs. If you wanna see more pictures, feel free to check out the blog (silverpickle.wordpress.com) or drop us a line
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:08 PM   #39
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Atlanta , Georgia
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Plumbing, Bathroom walls, Fridge enclosure.. and a test run from Irma

Sorry for the lack of post in almost two months :/ here’s my best attempt at summing up our progress since then.. If you aren’t much for reading, feel free just to skim the pictures, doesn’t hurt my feelings.. (I like pictures too)
and feel free to drop us a line at our blog -www.silverpickle.wordpress.com

First we finished running all of the interior ABS drain pipes for the kitchen sink, dishwasher, washer/dryer, bathroom sink, and shower, along with the necessary vent pipes for the tanks. One challenge we faced was getting a P-trap in between the shower pan and the grey tank. Due to the placement of our tank almost directly below the shower, we didn’t really have any room to go down into the subfloor and then back up, but fortunately, after research, we discovered a straight pipe P-trap that basically consists of a vinyl sock stretched horizontally taut at the exit end. This allows water to go through one way, but prevents backflow/bad fumes from coming back the other way

After that we moved on to the Pex pressurized lines, at which point we swapped out our old gravity feed inlet for a new dual inlet that has both a gravity feed and a city water inlet. Got our water pump from a local RV shop and threw a switch in there between it and the power (Why wouldn’t there be a built in switch?)

Once the plumbing was roughed in, we finished boxing in the bathroom walls with the exception of the one that will have the shower stuff run through it. We used 1/2″ wide U-channel attached to the floor and ceiling to anchor the 1/2″ plywood to, and sandwiched between the 2 1/2″ sheets – 2×4 studs for the center walls and the shower wall that will be tiled.

Right around the time we got those walls in, Irma was headed through, so rather than risk it, we headed northwest and stopped in Hattiesburg, Mississippi for a few days while Irma passed through Florida. It was cool to sleep in the Pickle for the first time and we even brought the cats along (they weren’t too impressed, and decided the underbed portion was the about the best part of the floorplan).

Once we got back, we tackled the fridge, which ended up being a much larger job than I’d anticipated as we had overlooked running the DC line and thus had to route a new line through the walls. It still kind of blows my mind that the fridge requires AC, DC, and propane.. RV refrigerators still seem like something out of a sci-fi movie to me, they heat chemicals and the reaction cools the inner temperature? Who came up with this!? but I guess it’ll be worth it if we ever find ourselves in a place without power and need food not to spoil.

From there, we built out the drawers and structure of our small desktop that will be a continuation of the kitchen counter, with a spot for my desktop on the left (with some extra vent space, cuz computers gotta breath yo) and Jamie’s various desk shtuff in what will be drawers on the right. While I was chopping away at wood Jamie was giving everything a good paint over with no concern for the subfloor which will be covered in vinyl planks at some point anyway.

And the last and current step we’re on is prepping for tile in the bathroom. I know that sounds like a crazy idea, tile? in a trailer? but it can be done, and done well at that, Hofman Architecture has been a big influence on the style we’re going for, here’s one of their tiled bathrooms: https://www.instagram.com/p/BVsm7lRF...aken-by=hofarc I managed to knick my toe pretty good with the cardboard cutter while trimming this kerdi-board o_O maybe flip-flops weren’t the best choice of shoes..

Anywho, there you have it. The Current State of the Pickle, if you’ve got any questions, or just want to tell us what we’re doing wrong, give us a holler!
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Old 05-05-2019, 12:41 PM   #40
2 Rivet Member
 
Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 35
Au Revoir Silver Pickle

We thoroughly enjoyed living in the Pickle over the past year, but last month we moved into an apt in the city closer to the various studio lots I've been getting work and so it's come time to part ways with the pickle. As with all loved ones, it helps to remember the good times, and so I thought I'd post some photos of her here to bookend the journey. Maybe when retirement time rolls around we'll have to find another airstream looking for love till then, thanks for all the wisdom fellow streamers, i bid you adieu.

Best,
Chad
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