Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A new friend and her lemons!

I recieved a wonderful gift in my email yesturday from Jenny at http://jennymatlock.blogspot.com/!  She sent me detailed directions and pictures of an Airstream ornament her family made one year!  I will be attempting to get my dh to give a try at this sometime, so hopefully I can share.

In the meantime, as a special thank-you - I'd like to ask you all to check out her lemon giveaway here.  Yes she is giving away a box of lemons fresh off her tree to you and someone you know today!  If you are like me and stuck in the Midwest or love fresh lemons  through the upcoming snowstorm - you have got to sign up for this piece of Sunshine in a box!!  She even has wonderful Christmas music too!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Rivetting Experience

We had a wonderful opportunity this last Friday to experience a different rivet than we usually do in our Airstream!  We were able to participate as a family in the Young Eagles program and fly in a 1966  Cessna 172!  This program is developed to give kids the adventure of flight by offering free flights to youth over the age of 7.  We heard about the opportunity through our local homeschool group and jumped at the chance.  We were even more excited that the entire family got an opportunity to go up in the plane for a half hour experience.

We flew over the Tomah area with the plane.  The kids were to find Wal-mart and McDonalds.  Our 5 year old was obsessed to find them, while I was just trying not to lose my cookies!  The older kids got to take a round with the controls during the flight!
We really appreciated the year of this plane -1966 -  as you can see here, the inside was all original, including the heat - which doesn't do much against the 15 degree elements outside.  At least we were not in the wind (other than the plane taking the occasional bumpy ride through the wind!)   I truly appreciated the rivets and design of the plane, as I do in our beloved Airstreams!  We may have a new adventure, as the kids can take the classes to get their pilot's liscences through the airport!  It would be a shame to not take this opportunity!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Even Christmas is about Airstreams

We are not blessed to be in an area where we can continue to Airstream all winter, but do still make the most out of the frigid temperatures by bring some in.  I thought I would share my Christmas tree, and of course...an Airstream!Sorry for the blurriness - I guess I could claim to do that purpose, but really, it's just out of my reach, so I had to use my longer lense, which doesn't like to do close-ups. Hope you enjoy anyway!  A friend gave us this last year!  I've never seen them in the stores, but I think she found it at Menards.  I'm always on the look out, but never have found it!Of course, the one thing we seem to do in extreme, much like our Airstream is our house decorations.  This has been a wonderful year for getting them up, because it's been in the 40's & 50's so much.  I'm not complaining, just saying.  If you click on the picture, you can see it better - I promise!

I am linking up to: 12 Weeks of Christmas - Red Writing

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Honey Do List

Before all you men panic (or my dh for that matter!), our list to the right is just a honey do list of everything that we eventually need or want to get done for the 1963 Ambassador.  I thought it would be nice to put up a list for all to see, and for us to remember.  We thought we were really almost done on this one, but now with the list, it looks like we are nowhere near done!  Some of the things are just our dreams, like making our bed bigger and a flat screen tv.  Others are a little more urgent like the controller and the wiring. 

About the fire - I guess that I never even put up on the blog that we had a fire this summer on our way to WBCCI, International Rally in Madison!  We went to the Vintage Rally at Jefferson.  We got both Airstreams set up and finally running.  There was a problem with the electrical on the grounds.  Slept our first night with not much ado.  The next morning, we got up at 6am to get ready and in line for the Vintage Parade to Madison.  I was in the bathroom dressing and getting ready, when my husband asked me what I was burning.  I have no electrical appliances to get ready, so quickly turned off the bathroom fan and said I didn't smell anything. 

Then I started to smell it!  My husband started getting after me about burning something, and while we were arguing, our oldest son, "what about the battery?"  Well that got my husband running!   He opened the battery box (we now know why it is enclosed in a fiberglass compartment outside!) and found the battery on fire.  We evacuated all the sleepy kids in their pjs and he ripped the burning battery out of the box!  Fortunately, nothing else caught fire except a small section of the wiring.

As it turned out, my dh has forgotten to cap off a set of wires for the water pump on the front wall, and when he sat on the front goucho, it pinched the wire in between the goucho and the metal wall bracket, causing all the wire to burn up and started the battery on fire.  He still doesn't know why the breaker never snapped, but I was thankful that no one was injured except the small burn on my dh's hand and that it wasn't my fault that it happened on our first big adventure out!

Needless to say, my dh has since fixed the wire, there are just no switches (to my knowlege) on that bare wire that caused the fire in the first place.  I'm sure he'll let you know if I need to stand corrected on that (it's behind the curtains, so you don't see it.)  Thought I'd share one of almost tragedies at International!

I'd love to hear any more ideas you might have for our honey do list - please just comment on this post.

Monday, November 16, 2009


We used the Pex plumbing to run water to everything in the Ambassador.  We didn't really take a long time to decide this for several reasons.  The first was that the only copper tubing had cracks everywhere and was even not attached in places.  Secondly, we both thought that the Pex looks better and cleaner.  Also, because the Pex is flexible, we were able to put it everywhere, without making extra joints.  We figured, the less joints, the less leaks we would have.

Initially, we fretted about the Pex tool that would cost $100 to clamp the Pex, but my husband found that one of his CV Boot Clamp Pliers worked for it.  (This was a tool he had in his posession for working on cars, but one could be found for around $30.)  We were very excited about this savings.  Although my husband did think he'd get more use out of the Pex tool, it was nice to not have to spend as much on the tool as we would on the tubing.  All tubing was purchased at Menards.  If you watch sales, you can get some good deals.Here is another vew of the plumbing.  This is in the closet.   To the left is the toilet - if you see that tan line of fiberglass, that is the black water tank.  It is enclosed in a step under the toilet and into the back sink cupboard.  To the right, you can see the original water heater.  It works and fires, but needs a replacement controller, but does work in the mean time.  That's our next project at some point.
Just to give you a picture of what the plumbing from the kitchen sink looks like (and also under the tub & bathroom sink.  We really didn't change anything as far as the original.  Where the pipes were bad, or disconnected, we just bought the same to replace it.  We tried to use as much of the old as possible, to save money and the environment!  You can see that under the sink, the white is the new and the black and grey is the old.    The only thing that we did change was the exhaust on the kitchen sink.  Instead of running the entire pipe through two beds and out the roof in the original spot, we used an inwall cap to vent it inside.  Because it is used for nothing other than the kitchen sink, there really is no smell and the hole that leaked buckets of water in the ceiling was able to be capped off permanantly.  The cap is just on the inside bed in a corner.  You can't find it unless you are looking.  I hope this answers any questions that people had about how to do the plumbing.  Please leave a comment if you have questions or comments.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We've Come a Long Way!

I just wanted to show some of the pictures from our original adventure of getting our 1963 Ambassador out of the junkyard.  To get the full story of how we got it here.

Here's what it looked like from the street.  Those weeds you see are nettles!

More nettles and junk - some of those nettles were up to my shoulder!

How does one collect so much junk?

I held my breath while the junkyard owner backed out the Airstream with the bobcat.  I wasn't sure that he was really going to be able to get it out without scratching it!  He did fine, but I could barely breathe!

There is the empty whole from where our new adventure was born!

Hope you enjoyed my before pictures!  Stay tuned for more soon!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Aluminum Counter Top Edging

Since the Airstream is in the back yard, I mean winter home, I thought I'd get back into make regular posts about what we have done to get it back into shape and on the road.  I had to take a detour for awhile, since it was Airstream season.

Here is a picture of what the countertops looked like without any trim.  My dh did a wonderful job with doing the laminate on his own for his first try.  It looks fabulous.  We were both afraid of this daunting task, but once we tried, we are now pros at countertops - so watch out world, you just don't know what we'll do next!

Well, this is how they stayed for our few first trips, because we just didn't know how to finish out the edges without breaking the bank.  Many suggested the traditional plastic T-channel edging, but I had a dream of something much better!  I really love the look of the old fermica tables with the aluminum trim.  Did you know they don't manufacture that anymore?

I know, you Airstreamers out there will say that Airstream puts it in the new rigs, but it's not as easy to get as you might think!  I called Airstream, who referred me to Ewald's in Milwaukee - who really wasn't too excited about helping me get some trim!  I don't remember how much it was going to cost (not cheap!) but I couldn't get anything more from Ewald's or the company than a catelog description - no pictures.

I then went into a massive internet search for what I was looking for (Vintage Trailer Supply - could you come up with this stuff to sell at a better price, please?), only to come up with only one place in West Virginia called Bars & Booths that makes vintage-like firmica copies.  After a discussion with the very nice lady at the other end, the price we came up with was around $100 for 12 feet of it!  I would have to buy two 12 foot sections though at $100 each minimum and then the shipping would cost $80 - gulp!!!
That was a very sad day for us, because we felt that we had gone to the ends of the earth to find this (and after a discussion with the lady, she said they had to have a manufacturer create a fabrication of this, so they own the mold and can't get it anywhere else!) and now there was no hope of getting this.  If we had a spare $300 we have a lot more urgent things to fix - like a water pump and heater, that would be much more useful than decorations.

Have I told you about my dreaming before?  (You might have noticed, if you've watched us pull this out of a junk yard!)  I just don't give up very easily!  I wanted this look  and I was going to find a way to do it cheap inexpensively!  So, I told my dh to take me to the hardware store down the street for one last ditch effort and I was going to find something.  I walked up and down the aisles looking at everything to get an inspiration and wouldn't you know - I did.  I had my dh buy me two 8 foot sections of flat aluminum stripping (I'm sure there's a name for it - but it's not in my head).  It cost only $7 each and had no shipping!  I could've walked if I wanted to not pay the gas!

Right away we came home and within 45 minutes I made my dh attach it for me!  All I did was take those Scotch brand round sanding discs on a drill and buffed circles side-by-side down the strips.  My husband cut them to fit, and used round headed nails down the middle to attach it! 
I actually love the results better than my dream because we did this whole project for $14 ourselves!!  In fact, I would consider hiring out to do the same for someone else - just ask!  I hope that you can see the results - you can click on the pictures for a better view up close.  Please let me know what you think!

Wally Wednesday never left the Driveway!

OK - so the Wally Wednesday didn't get a really good response.  I've learned a lot since then, and still plan on doing it, but just need to regear this blog.  I've been spending a lot of time on my other blog lately and developing that (and crafting, because I've been in the mood.)  So, I'll be doing another soon, but am first going to put some time into doing more posts for everyone to read!

Stay tuned for the Redo of  Wally Wednesday, because I am very excited to get something going on it and think it would be great to tour everyone else's projects too!  In the meantime - check out my other blog here.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wally Wednesday #1!

The First Ever Wally Wednesday!
So, here it is, the first ever Wally Wednesday.  This will be an opportunity for everyone to share something from their blog about Airstreams, weather it's a tip, renovation, redo, decoration, or you name it!  This will be open from Wednesday through the following Tuesday.  I will work on getting sponsors, for this first week, I will be giving away this Ribbons Scrapbook kit, which includes stickers, a journalling box, and two matching photo mats along with an idea sheet.  It is being sponsored by my own business as an Independent Creative Memories Consultant.  Please check out my website here.

In order to qualify to win this scrapbook kit, you will need to leave a direct link to your Airstream ideas this week and mention and link back to my blog.  I will randomly pick a winner.  Good luck and I am looking forward to your ideas!

My Alumikin or Pumpnum!

I just had to post this on my Airstream blog.  I've been making a lot of fall decorations for the house and also redecorating some of my rooms (otherwise known as nesting, which seems to happen just before hiberntion in the Northern Climate.)  This is an Alumikin or Pumpnum, whichever you would like to call it!  Anyway, I think it's adorable and very much reminds me of our Airstreams out in the cold (it was 24 degrees last night!)  If you are interested in making this, check out this wonderful tutorial: here.  It cost me nothing to make, because I begged my husband to bring home some wire from work (don't ask me why he has stuff like this in his toolbox at work, but hey, it comes in handy every once in awhile! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I need your ideas!!

OK - so I have been doing a lot on my other blog with crafting and money saving tips, and have been having a blast sharing ideas about different crafts we are doing around the house each week. So, while showering this morning (this is when I do my best thinking and praying because it's the only thing I get to do alone, well ok, I guess I get to use the toilet too.), I came up with the idea to have a gathering each week of information about Airstreams. I know there are a ton of you doing redos, renovations, or just plain wandering commentaries about Airstreams, but I would love to have a weekly sharing of information and sort of bragging.

My thought is to have one day where you would post a link to your specific project, redo, or other Airstream related activity so everyone can see. You would then mention this blog with a link back, so when people read your blog, they would have a reference to this one too! Everyone would be sharing their ideas and be able to brag a little. I would be looking for sponsors to do a give-away each week to one lucky participant. (I already have a few ideas of my own for that already for a start)

So that leads me to this post - I need your ideas about what to name the group or day and what day would you like. I was thinking about Wednesdays and here are my name ideas:
  • Byam's Boasts
  • Caravan Collaborations
  • Restoration Rally
  • Redo Rally

Please comment with your ideas and votes!! I need your help.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Check out The Vap Episode #102!

Hey everyone - we made it on The VAP (Vintage Airstream Podcast - if you don't already know)http://thevap.com. Go to their website and download Episode #102 to hear our only claim to fame!! I can't wait to hear back from you all about what you think!

Oh - we apologize for not making the Wisconsin Unit Airstream Rally in Chippewa Falls this weekend - we are all pretty sick and don't want to share. We are so sad that we aren't able to get out this weekend! Thanks to people who go to work sick and spread their illnesses!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Too busy!

We have been too busy to keep up with the blog lately. I apologize to all my avid followers! We didn't even get out in the Airstream for Labor Day weekend, because we were planning a WI Rally in Sparta and then supposed to be canning with Mom. The latter never happened, but we enjoyed our visit with the Wisconsin Unit future president and his wife!

We've also been finishing the basement, or at least working at it. We installed a gas fireplace by ourselves (or my husband did!). Yard work has been getting done, including a new giant play set, which took out 7 of our trees, and we are getting things ready for the winter, which is removing 5 more trees. We are putting in a large veggie garden in its place!

We have gotten back into the swing of things for schooling (homeschooling a kindergartner is more difficult than a 6th & 7th Grader! It's even my 3rd time doing it! Maybe the fourth will be the charm in 2 more years!) We've been doing a ton of canning and I have also been having more business lately as an Independent Creative Memories Consultant, now that I am back home. Please check my website for all the great new things: www.mycmsite.com/doristowell and also my other blog for the many things that we have been doing: http://spartasavings.blogspot.com.

Thank you all for your support. I am working on getting up new pictures soon!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rob Baker at the Cheese Shop, Madison, WI

We made another trip to Madison, to sadly send our foreign exchange student back to Japan last weekend. We decided to take some of the capital, State Street and the Farmer's Market in while we were there. We decided to check out the Cheese store that Rob Baker took his picture in front of during the International Rally and low and behold, there was the picture proudly displayed on the counter (right next to the ice cream!) We were excited to see someone we knew there on State Street!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Campground Nazis & 11AM Checkout — ANNOYING?

Campground Nazis & 11AM Checkout — ANNOYING? You need to check out this great video on those campground nazi's. I hate the ones that charge you for having guests come visit you for campground. I appreciate that they don't want large groups of people coming in, but, hey, if you go somewhere to visit friends, it's nice to all get together for s'mores, don't you think?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Airstream Rally - Pipe, WI and Castle Rock State Park

Just one last photo from the weekend in Pipe, WI with the Wisconsin Unit of the Wally Byam Caravan Club, International. Again with the "kids" games. The highlight had to be the Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament that was played by everyone, kids and older kids alike! This event was quite the theatrical event and truly was fun for all! Ed did a wonderful job of officiating the event, with a much-coveted one-of-a-kind trophy made by Sandy topped the evening out!
The sunset at Castle Rock State Park in Adams County, WI was gorgeous. We had this view from our campsite! It was wonderful to be able to park our Airstream right on the Lake. Instead of driving all the way home after Pipe, we decided to try another stay at a new campground. My husband and I camped here when we were first together.

Here's the view of the beautiful Airstream right on the beach, yet in the shade. I highly recommend going to the parks on Sunday evenings. The place was a ghost town. We even sang songs around the campfire without disturbing anyone.

Airstream Rally - Pipe, WI

We attended the Airstream Rally in Pipe, WI this weekend and had a wonderful time! I thought I would share a few photos of this last weekend. For those of you who have to take constant pictures of food, I included those, but for the rest of you who enjoy the friendship and scenes of our wonderful country, I also included those.
For the food minded - here was our potluck dinner on Saturday evening. This was only one table. We also brought our own meat to grill out with. This sure was a wonderful savings for a family and yummy too!
We went on a tour of one of the Windmills in the area. They are so huge and really make very little sound. Can you believe that at the best, they are 46% efficient? Last year, that was only one month that it actually hit that efficiency. Do you think we can come up with better efficiency for millions of dollars of our tax money?
This was a buddy and a kid rally, but it seemed that kids were rather large this weekend! Thankfully, we finally had scorching weather, so the water games were in full swing! The Ladies won the relay against the men (or shall I say boys), because they didn't play fair! Imagine that with water guns!
Another one for the foodie - we had omelets-in-a-bag, pancakes, toast, bagels, coffee, milk, juice, etc. for breakfast on Saturday morning. In fact, there were so many eggs left, that we had eggs and pancakes along with our donuts on Sunday morning. For the omelets, you put your eggs, veggies, and cheese in a Ziploc bag and drop it in boiling water to cook until fluffy. I have to tell you that with so many kids it is so wonderful to not have to think about what the next meal is! Thanks Don & Kay!

Here was the fabulous sunset over Lake Winnebago the first evening. My husband took this from the watch tower. (The dog and I were scared of the see-thru steps!) Columbia Park was the campground that we stayed at! It was right on the water's edge and had electricity and a free bunch of wood for the fire!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Airstream Camping

We took a camping trip to visit our friends in Waupaca area and thought we would share a picture with you. It was a fabulous site and had a pond right out the rear of the Airstream! We were really wishing for one of those rear bedrooms just to look out the back window at the gorgeous view! The resort we stayed at was called the Blue Top Resort in Fremont, WI. The kids could go fishing right in the pond or in the lake or inlet on the other side of the Airstream. We were on a little island right on the the water! We had a wonderful time!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Reflections from a First-timer

I wanted to share with you my article that I wrote for the Wisconsin Bulletin which detailed our thoughts and feelings about attending our first International WBCCI Rally:

As we finally were able to load up our 1963 Ambassador, instead of fixing it, we could feel the excitement building for our very first International Rally. This would be my first time towing the Ambassador anywhere, and I was nervous and excited. The kids could hardly control themselves as they got all their things together. Every time I turned around the two year old was in her swimsuit ready to go to the Dells (A trip for the youth that did not occur until Friday, July 3rd!) My husband was worried about what may go wrong with all of the vehicles in our 11-day adventure. Even the dog tried to load up in the truck a day early!

As we rolled out in our mini caravan, we had high hopes for this rally. Our excitement got even higher as we pulled in to the Jefferson Fairgrounds with the 60 or so other vintage Airstreams. Even a fire in our 12 Volt wiring at 6:20 the next morning would not detain us from joining in on the Vintage Parade into the 2009 WBCCI International Rally.

We had done our research for this rally, but nothing could really prepare us for what International was all about. I had even saved up my tears for the dreaded parking police screaming when I couldn't get the ball to line up on the painted dot! My dear husband did save us both the embarrassment, by taking over when he saw that I may have to back in to our spot (if you went to the Fort McCoy rally, you would know that my husband's attempt to teach me backing up didn’t turn out so well). He jumped in my vehicle to park it then ran back to park his own.

Once we got settled, registered and signed up for almost every contest and show we could possibly do, we decided to just hang out in the Vintage area. This actually was the best thing that we could have done the entire week. We came to International with high expectations of programs, shows, entertainment, youth programming, the works and discovered what the true meaning of the WBCCI is: Wally’s Dream of bringing people together and building relationships!

The best thing at International had to be meeting people from all walks of life. We met so many of the people that you usually just read their articles in the Blue Beret, or hear on the Vintage Airstream Podcast. Best of all, had to be the opportunity to hear “Pee Wee” (Dale) Schwamborn speak about his adventures on the African caravan and his mother, Helen’s part in the early years of WBCCI during the Vintage Happy Hour. To top the evening off, the vintage area was treated to a “drive-in” movie of the African Caravan followed by more comments from Pee Wee! If you don’t already have the wandering bug, take a look at what our founders have done in the past, with much less technology!

We began to develop (or should I say enhance) our need to be adventurous and see our United States, every corner of it. Of course, we would love to see the world, but for now, we will pick the adventures that are do-able. It’s not just about the travel though, it is about joining together with people you may not ever have met to see where the road may take us together.

One of the many guests that we had in from the public stated it well, “I have never met a bunch of people who are more willing to open the doors of their campers to share. In my whole life, I have never met a Winnebago owner that would let me just see the inside of their trailer!” That’s us! We all open up not only our trailers to show people the inside, but we share with them the passion that we have to see the world and build relationships with others. We carry on Wally’s Dream!

What have you done to further Wally Byam’s dream lately? Have you gone on an adventure? (I’m not talking about the local KOA with all the amenities either!) Have you caravanned with others to a new place, even just one other trailer? Have you invited your friends to a rally? Have you shared the awesomeness of owning an Airstream with another? I’m sure most of you have. You can’t help but to have the stars in your eyes when you talk about Wally’s dream!

Although our first experience at International was not without it’s challenges. We experienced a fire, two floods, and near winter-like weather on this adventure, but we gained so much more in friendships. The people we have met will be friends we look forward to meeting down the road again someday, and will definitely stay in touch with for years to come! I will close with a quote from Pee Wee, “Keep the road straight, the sky clear, the glass full, good friends, and the laughter loud!”

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Return from WBBCI International Rally

What a line-up! All the vintage trailers in the Vintage Airstream Club met in Jefferson to parade into the Alliant Center together. Just a view from the rear view mirror makes you get tears, don't you think?
We have finally returned from the WBCCI International Rally in Madison. I thought I would share some of my favorite photos before I get back to all the renovations that we have been doing on our '63 Airstream. Above you can see us all lined up for the vintage parade into the grounds after caravanning in from Jefferson. It was quite exciting to be in the line-up.

There's Grandpa's Airstream all ready to go. Although we weren't the shiniest, we were most proud of it going in! We hope that both Grandpa and Uncle Bill were proud! We spent about 15 hours two weeks before doing another buffing. It's not completely buffed, but we wanted it to look nice! I didn't take any pictures of the '63, as I was driving it! I had no problem driving it out of the driveway for the very first time and over to Jefferson. Makes you feel like there really is Girl Power!
Here is a picture of some of the trailers lined up for the week in the Vintage section. Unfortunately, the Vintage trailers got separated and some of the trailers had to go on the black top. I think that if there were some better planning at the onset, they would not have let some of the non-vintage campers park on the grass, and put them on the blacktop.

Here is the Vintage parking in the grass. The 1963 made it on the grass, but the 1953 was on the blacktop. We were able to use the awning only on the grass because the posts need to be put in the ground. We thought we would be in for a scorcher, but ended up being really cold all week. Of course, it is now hot again, just in time to go back to work.
Just a note, I had a request for more details on the plumbing. I will be putting more details about all of the trailer updates that we did in the few weeks before leaving for International. I was just unable to keep up with all the updates and the work that we were frantically doing. Almost everything is complete on the inside to our liking at this point. We do have some tweaking to do before another long trip! Stay tuned for more updates soon!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Finishing Touches

Just to show you some of the finishing up of things. We had to paint the light fixtures because they had some rusting on them. We decided to go with a metallic spray paint that looks real close to aluminum.
The couch is installed, although three of the drawers need to be re-veneered. We were both able to sleep in it, but found it to be really tight, as we are used to having a king size bed at home. It seems like we may be able to add another 6 inches onto the couch and still have it work, so we need to try to figure out how to make the mattress bigger without spending a fortune!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Maiden Voyage!!

We did it! We got the 1963 out for a camping trip in less than a year! Here we are all hitched up and ready to go! It's hard to believe that we were able to get it back out on the road again in such a short time, especially with my husband being laid up for 6 months of that!

Doesn't it look great out in the woods? We went with two of our friends and their families for the weekend of camping. Not everything is complete, but at this point, we do have more than what we ever had in the 1953 as far as amenities!
Some of the things we need to complete yet before being finished are:
  • Counter top trim
  • Grey water tank (not made yet)
  • Plumbing to the Grey water tank
  • Shower curtain
  • Door curtains
  • Loops on one of the Venetian Blinds
  • Veneer fronts of several drawers and cupboards
  • Remake medicine cabinet
  • Remake spice cabinet
  • Remake magazine rack
  • Redo table & chairs
  • Clean and buff the outer shell
  • Upholster the back of beds
  • Build bunk beds (has anyone ever done hammocks in an Airstream?)
  • Hooks & Fixtures here & there!
  • Repaint steps, hitch and back bumper
  • Install TV???
  • I'm sure there are many more I'm not thinking of!

I know it seems like a long list, but overall, I don't think most of the things are huge jobs, so it seems like we are getting closer.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Not to be outdone, I have been spending much time making and thinking up curtains for the camper. I have my hesitations about putting slide apart curtains on all the windows, because the curved walls make the curtains hang away from the wall. I decided to make just regular slide apart curtains on the windows by the beds and then put a Venetian blind on the the double stacked windows in the living room area. I'm not sure what I'll do in the kitchen or the bathroom yet. Pictured above is the pleated curtains I made for the window above the goucho.

Here are the side bed windows opened and closed. I am hand sewing rings for the Venetian blinds right now onto the curtain for the driver's side living room double window. I am praying that it works when I'm done, because I don't think that I can handle making it one more time! I used thermal lining for the backs of all the curtains. I am debating which material to use for the bathroom, but I know I need to make up my mind soon - like this week, so we can be in privacy in the bathroom!

Snapshot of Progress

I apologize for not getting this up sooner, but I had a week layover in which I was searching for my missing SD card! I took it out of the camera with the intention of uploading the pictures onto the blog, and lost it in between! It has totally disappeared and I can't seem to find it! Never mind that I had a 2 & 4 year old asking a million questions on my trip and had to get some dishes into the dishwasher, and any other number of things I did on my 100 foot trip from the camera to the computer! So, it may be official, I have not only lost my SD card, but I have lost my mind with it! (Oh, yeah, and then there is the suspicion, that the 2 year old followed behind me, and has a great knack for 5 finger discounts in an instant, never to be found again! When you ask her if she has it, she always says "yes!", but is never able to speak English and tell us where!) So onto just a Snapshot of our recent progress!
As you can guess, my husband has gotten the plumbing run in the kitchen sink. Doesn't it look beautiful? It was previously held together with duck tape and rags, so I think he's getting pretty good at this! We can't actually test out weather it works or not, because our grey water tank is not finished yet! What we thought was a great spot (just down the road from us!) to get fiberglass work done, has turned into a big waiting game!! I guess the proof will be in the pudding, so to speak when we see the finished product!
The cabinetry has been all installed, and my husband has figured out how to do laminate counter tops. It looks wonderful. The edge is not yet finished, we need to pick that up - he says, I need to pick it out for him! Shopping! This cabinet is the one by the door on the curb with the refrigerator under it.
Which leads me to the refrigerator - which is in and working! My husband is doing finishing touches on a cupboard door below the frig to make up the difference in the original design. Obviously, the refrigerator is not original, but we are pleased to have one that works, we don't have to buy and it happens to match the new flooring. That really was a mistake, because we just fell in love with the flooring and never thought about the impact on the the appliances already in place!
On, to the other side of the kitchen, as you can see, the beautiful counter tops and an installed sink to go with the plumbing. (I feel like a TV announcer now!) The "brand new" stove is in. My husband is working on getting the gas lines run today! He is very upset about all the holes he is having to cut into the new flooring for all the plumbing and gas lines, not to mention screw holes to attach the cabinets! I say the new stove, because when we originally offered the past owner $700 for the camper, he said, "For what? The Stove - it's new!" So we have kidded about our "new stove" since we got it! We did bring him down from his $5000 original price and he included the stove, by the way.
To add to the stove story, the stove actually is new in the sense that it had all the original plastic wrap on it and the burners were wrapped in a newspaper from the 1980's. We think that someone must have purchased a new stove for it, but never got it installed or working. We realized half, way home from the junkyard, that we were lucky it didn't fall out a window, because it was in place but attached in no way!
Stay tuned for more updates soon! We actually think we will take it out Memorial Day weekend! We figure if we can at least get the gas in, we will have just as many amenities as the 1953 has and more room! My husband will never let me hook up the water on the 1953 because it is too much work to empty out the bucket underneath (I know, we never got a blue boy, but it doesn't even heat the water!) We'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Warm Weather Prevails!!

We waited all winter for the warm weather so we could work on the camper, and then when we finally got the warm weather, we had to halt work for the black water tank to get finished by the fiberglass company. Unfortunately, he had a very important order for the Military that took priority over our poop tank! I guess we can't blame, him but what was really a couple of weeks seemed to be years! So Ta! Da! The black water tank is finished!!
Now that the black water tank is finished, my husband made a new floor over the tank to set the toilet on. He then tiled that and put the rest of the bathroom cabinets in. He even put a seal around the tub, cut the dreaded hole in the new floor for all the drains and everything.
The fiberglass company is working on the grey water tank now. We are praying that he can get that done quickly, as we want to try everything out for a trial run for Memorial Day weekend! I know, we have lofty hopes, but it seems to be going together fast.
Now everything has started to get fastened down and finished. On Saturday and Sunday, I spent the days stripping the last of the furniture that hadn't been done and then staining it all, while my husband started to get everything screwed in and in place. Above you can see that he screwed the bed into the wall after sealing all the seams on the floor with silicone.
Over the weekend and on Monday, we were able to get the following attached and in place:
  • Beds
  • Bathroom Closets
  • Electrical Box
  • Tub
  • Tub wall
  • Vanity
  • Overhead mirror
  • Built, stained and installed a new kitchen wall between bedroom and kitchen sink.
  • Kitchen pantry
  • Goucho
  • Shelf behind goucho
  • Door-in-a-door clasps put back together
  • Upper Kitchen cabinet installed

We are really booking along right now, and will get up pictures as soon as we have time to breathe! My biggest fear was that we would go really fast on getting everything together, and I will be in a crunch to get the curtains made. My fears may be realized at this pace!