For the record, I think I am hilarious. AND I love that damn song!
It’s NOVEMBER!!! Practically December.. I have been absent from my blog for a while; I apologize for that. We have just been REALLY enjoying our break from the airstream. Since we worked on it for 7 months straight we needed a serious breather. But now that we are home from our trip, unpacked, rested, and our house is less neglected than it was before, I miss Stella!! It’s been a few months since we got back from our trip and we haven’t been down to work on the Airstream once!! We ordered some buffing pads from Vintage Trailer Supply so we can start working on the polishing but just haven’t found ourselves down there to begin. Soon I imagine. I have been so loving coming home from work and vegin’ on the couch, but I can hear Stella missing us more and more every day. I think once the holidays are over we will be motivated to get back at it!
Our vacation was a raging success with a few hiccups. Our aluminum shell of a camper was wonderful. We are so glad that we took Stella out as a shell and camped before we started working on the inside. It enabled us to figure out issues we didn’t know existed – which is great because now we will be able to fix them without having to tear things out. Well; almost not have to tear anything out… but let’s get to the hiccups we experienced:
1) Our air conditioner was bouncin’ around on top of our roof. We installed the air conditioner but I guess we didn’t realize that we needed to tighten it down more than we did, because half way through the first day my dad walkie-d us and said, “we better pull over and check your AC…” and when we did, the boys had to tighten it down. Which – it was fine and dandy through our trip, but when we got home and did a closer inspection of the air conditioner we realized the internal aluminum frame has cracked and will most likely need replacing. Womp.
2) The way we temporarily installed the drain hose for the air conditioner was slightly faulty; it didn’t have enough of a slope to drain properly and it caused our air conditioner to freeze over once. Once we discovered the issue we were diligent about checking the drain hose often to make sure the water was going out which worked out fine for us, but we will need to fix that for future use.
3) Stella’s suicide door flung open (on the highway!) about 20 minutes from our stop in New York. Which dented the side of our Airstream. *insert all the grumpiest emojis* We think it was caused by a combination of factors; the dead bolt lock we installed was faulty in that the locking rod didn’t engage fully, so when you turned the key to remove it from the dead bolt it would turn the locking rod the wrong way, risking the possibility of an accident. Which, in our case, became a reality. Luckily Casey was able to get much of the dent out, and with a little more work and a lot of polishing might be able to get most of it out – or at least hide it. But like I say with everything we can’t fix on Stella, “it’s CHARACTER!” And one day it might even be a funny story! “Hey Honey, remember when our door flew open on our first road trip?!” To prevent the same situation from happening again on our trip, Casey & my dad crafted a wooden piece to wedge in front of the door that I think we will end up using anytime we travel – JUST to be safe. I found the idea for the wedge on the ol’ google and it’s a life saver!! A peace of mind keeper! I’ve linked the source of the brilliance here: http://www.airstreamcentral.com/articles/78/1/Make-Your-Own-Suicide-Door-Security-Latch/Page1.html
4) We replaced all the windows in the airstream prior to our trip – EXCEPT the top two vista windows. And go figure: they leak. Also, there is a hole we discovered in the cast aluminum frame around our door that leaks. Luckily my smart boyfriend thought that we should bring a bucket on our trip “just in case anything leaks” – and I had packed our things in Rubbermaid tubs – so when we woke up to a rain storm and realized it was raining INSIDE of our airstream too, we had enough supplies to catch the water. At first when we woke to the rain we were wooed by the wonderful sound of the rain hitting our aluminum – but then we quickly realized it was leaking inside so we were frantically looking for catchin’ bins! Again, funny story in the future. And we are really glad that this was something we discovered BEFORE we began work on the interior. It would stink to get all of our beautiful interior finished only to discover we have leaky windows.
5) We didn’t have bathroom facilities in our airstream for our trip – obviously – which I didn’t think would be an issue because we aren’t ‘middle of the night bathroom frequenters’. However, when your ability to potty in the middle of the night is taken away, magically you have to go to the bathroom ALL. THE. TIME. Especially when it rains and you’re sleeping in an airstream!!! But then, because it’s pouring rain outside, you don’t want to leave the airstream to visit the restroom, so needless to say, me and that bucket got pretty close on our trip. More than once. ;)
And frankly, those were our only hiccups! Pretty minimal for our first trip! We had a great time on our vacation. Stella is even international now because we went into Canada! The Airstream pulled AMAZINGLY – we forgot it was even back there most of the time. I would reach around to grab snacks out of our cooler and the Airstream would scare me because I would never remember she was back there.
She pulled great. I’m sure the pull will change a bit once she’s loaded down with the interior, but that’s okay. Also – we had our friend Aaron install a back-up camera in the eleventh hour before our trip and it was awesome – I literally never helped Casey back the truck up to the camper. He always did it on his own perfect every time with that camera. DEFINITLEY worth it.
We insulated the walls with Reflectix, taping it all up on the walls to keep it in place – and essentially we were rollin’ around in a lunch box. The Reflectix definitely did its job; it kept it SO COLD in the camper that at one point we even had to bust out my parents’ space heater to warm up!! Brr! Made for a sweet looking bedroom though. :) Also, in the picture below we have pool noodles around our air mattress so we didn’t wake up with a hole.
And just for the record, while it’s enjoyable to listen to rain on the roof of the airstream, it is NOT enjoyable to listen to acorns PELT THE ROOF OF YOUR AIRSTREAM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!!! It literally sounds like gunfire and it is scarrryyy!!! It would be terrible because a few would hit the roof, then you’d go back to sleep – only to be frantically woken up by more acorns. Ha! Assholes.
And that was it! We didn’t see many airstreams on our trip; we saw maybe 10 on the road and only a couple at our campgrounds, but we felt really cool when we’d see a fellow ‘streamer! We spent almost all of our driving time listening to our 4 VAP cds which was a good time. In fact, we were in Rob’s neck of the woods while we were in New York and it was hard to prevent being a creeper tracking him down. ;)
We are excited to begin the next phase of our renovation after the holiday. Casey will begin working on all stages of polishing the exterior while I work inside. I’ve been graced with the super stellar job of removing ALL THE FREAKIN REFLECTIX I TAPED UP BEFORE WE LEFT because we forgot to seal the seams inside before putting it up! Damnit! I thought my days of shredded finger tips thanks to metal tape were behind me, but alas, I spoke too soon. That’s okay, though. Whatever it takes! I’ve never liked my fingerprint anyhow. ;)
Thanks for sticking with me in my months of absence. I do apologize for the extra long hiatus.. I was ready to get right back into working on Stella as soon as we got home but once I got a small nibble of our old boring couch potato lives, well.. I got a bit lazy. Here’s to another goal of airstreaming in 2017!! Wishing you all the best Christmas holiday – we will see you in January!!!!!!!!!!! <3
PS — I updated our URL for our blog! You can now access our blog just by visiting http://www.StellaStream.blog !! :)