Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Airstream Cruisette Diary 10

The Fed-Ex guy showed up today with a one-two punch:  my box of Armstrong VCT tile samples (about 15 shades of red & cream!) and my "first-aid kit" from Coker Tire.  Sitting in storage the streetside tire had gone flat.  The cause seemed to be a leaky inner tube since there was no damage whatsoever to the tire, and each time I inflated it the air would leak out around the valvestem where it passes through the rim.  I hypothesized that exposed rivets inside the wheel abraded or punctured the tube.
After some reading about tube-type bias plies, and chatting with my Dad (who's been around way longer than tubeless radials!) I realized that I should've had the tire-monkeys who mounted and balanced them in '02 install "rim strips" which are like big rubber bands that go over the rim to protect the tube from spokes or rivets.  Even the Coker Tire catalog tells you this (NOW! ..Thanks guys)  So while I was springing for a new tube I fugured the other 2 probably ought to be replaced too, hence the Fed-Ex guy and the aforementioned box of rubber.  

The stuff looks really decent, though I'm not real thrilled with the origin of the tubes.  I'm not having a warm-fuzzy about putting Chi-com parts on my boss American streamline icon.  What are you gonna do?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Airstream Cruisette Diary 9

My damaged vent cover is up for repair next.  The inner and outer panels are joined together with aluminum semi-tubular rivets.  I found a very good source for all types of rivets when I was restoring WWII U.S. helemt liners.  A company called  Jay Cee Sales has an extensive selection in a variety of materials.  They even offer free samples so that you can verify the correct type of rivet for your project.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Vintage camping memories

I took this with my Kodak Instamatic.  Its hard to comprehend that my Dad's younger--by a lot--in this picture than I am now.  The tow vehicle is our 1970 Chevy Impala sport sedan.  Champagne Gold & Black vinyl.  I balled-up that car in 1985.  I still miss it.  Dig the sweet B&L shades & the Dodge Coronet (Super Bee?) in the background towing the pop-up.
This was taken at Smokemont campground at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The curtains are turquoise daisys on a lime-green background, so old now that they're pitch-perfect retro cool.  Too bad they're long gone.

Airstream Cruisette Diary 8

Spring in the Midwest can be hard on stuff--trailers included.  Rain, snow, hail, wind, tree limbs.  Its all on the table.  I recently visited the Cruisette out in the country where its parked.  Rumor had it that it was sinking into the ground,  Sure enough the tongue jack and one tire were in the ground almost up to the frame.  Then I spied a pizza box over by our fence-row.  I'm thinking "Damn hillbilly neighbors..can't they even clean up after themselves"  Trudging closer.."Man that pizza box looks a lot like....a...CRAP....vent cover!!"  Turns out the rear lifter was still in its mount in the vent (WHEW!).  I knew the front lifter was at home waiting to be reinstalled now that its not frozen-up.  Seems one of the several 50+ mph.  thunderstroms snatched it off despite being wire-tied in place.  On further scrutiny the tounge jack was sunk in the gravel hardpack because the whole trailer had been blown around enough to knock it off the 2x6 it sat on.  Thankfully nothing inside was damaged by the rain that got inside and I was able to temporarily cover the vent with peel 'n stick floor tiles and duct tape.  I guess rebuilding the vents will move up the list.  Time to call the rivet man.