Modernism Week Yard Sale

February 24, 2019

The Yard Sale is the final event of Modernism Week. I was impressed by the prices. Yes, deals could be found. You just need a way to transport the goods home — maybe bring an empty Spartan Manor?

I did find a few tiny things at the yard sale, but I really would have loved some of the furniture. However, when you live in an Airstream, it come furnished.

Fortunately, in one of the shops in Palm Springs, I found a new dinette light. It is exactly what I was looking for!

Modernism Week Vintage Trailer Show

February 23, 2019

Well, it’s about time that I updated this blog. The highlight of our time in Palm Springs was the Vintage Trailer Show.

1969 UltraVan “The Whale”
It was a dream-come-true to finally see one of these in real life. Oh, it’s so adorable!

1963 Kenskill
This trailer is in original condition. No restoration was performed.

1960 Shasta
This trailer is also original, except for the curtains

This Airstream is exquisitely decorated in a Southwest theme. It reminds me of my parents’ Trillium trailer, which has a stagecoach theme.

Caveman Camper
I had never heard of this before. The windows are fabulous and provide lots of natural light.

Holiday House
Yes, the Holiday House is being manufactured again, but it is nothing like the original. This one has won several vintage trailer awards.

1951 Roadmaster

1967 Airstream Safari

Aero Flite
This is a show-stopper. I still can’t get over the beauty.

1964 Streamline Travel Car
This is pretty fabulous. Check out the back patio. However, it needs a restoration.

Aloha
I love the Franciscan Pottery “Starburst” pattern on the outside and inside.

1959 Traveleze

Spartan (Royal Manor? Executive Villa?) Mobile Home
This trailer is H U G E. It must have been parked first and all the rest filled in around it.  What an stunning specimen! I’d sell my Airstream in a heartbeat to have this. Yes I would!

Canned Ham
I have no idea what make and model this is (Shasta?), but it is so lovely. Look at that Orla Kiely wallpaper. Doesn’t it make you happy?

1954 Airstream Flying Cloud

1950 Westcraft Coronado
Another astounding restoration

1962 Trailorboat
This is a unique RV — it’s a boat and a teardrop trailer. The boat gets flipped upside down on the roof of the teardrop for transport. Years ago, one of these showed up at our Prairie Egg Gathering (bolerama), a rally for fiberglass trailers.

If you like the Trailorboat concept, Happier Camper brought their new prototype. Happier Camper makes unique fiberglass trailers based on the original bolers, but with modular furnishings and clever designs. Here is the prototype of their American Dream:

Happier Camper
Although these are not vintage, they deserve a spot at the Vintage Trailer Show. This company started as a restoration company for bolers, Trilliums, and other fiberglass trailers. This blossomed into manufacturing their own little eggs. Who wouldn’t be a happier camper in one of these?

They also brought 2 prototypes of their new longer model:

Believe it or not, this is just a tiny sampling of the trailers on display. Thank you to all the owners who opened their doors to let the hoards of people peek inside.

Canada’s Wonderland?

June 27-30, 2018

After spending a month in the Niagara Region visiting family and friends, it was time to start heading westward.  We had a wonderful time visiting; however, we didn’t do very much sightseeing this year.  After all, this is our home stomping grounds and we aren’t really tourists when we return “home”.

Our first stop on our westward journey was to Can-Am RV in London, ON. We had made an appointment to get a bike rack installed on the Airstream and to have our kitchen revamped. We arrived on Wednesday just before closing, and they gave us a spot with power and water out front. Our Airstream was moved into a service bay first thing on Thursday morning.

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A rainy night at Can-Am

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Jeep Cherokee & 25RB and Chrysler 300 & 30RB

Can-Am prefers the Arvika bike rack manufactured in Quebec, so we trusted their judgment. In order to mount it, they make braces out of Zip-Dee awning hardware, so the whole Airstream looks unified. What a beautiful job! Now we can’t wait to get back to Saskatoon to get our bikes.

Also, on Thursday, the cabinet maker, Larry, removed our built-in microwave and crafted a pot drawer. By the end of Thursday, he had made a very substantial drawer that is strong enough to stand in! However, he was waiting for the Landmark laminate to arrive from the Airstream factory. It was being shipped inside an Airstream. It didn’t arrive in the first trailer, but it did finally arrive later that evening.

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Original kitchen

We spent Thursday evening with a fun couple from California and a Can-Am employee. We were all camping out in the yard. The employee, Bill, has now moved away from the area, but he works 2 days per week, so he camps there overnight when he has a shift. He does the walk-throughs with new owners, and he and his wife are also full-timers. Ingo and Mary, from California (and Louisiana) camped overnight so that they could be squeezed in on Friday for some servicing. We had drinks, appetizers, and great conversation! Ingo and Mary are leading the Highway 61 Revisited caravan (A musical journey along The Blues Highway) this fall with the Wally Byam Airstream Club.

On Friday, Larry continued working on the drawer front. He worked ALL DAY and the results are spectacular! What a craftsman! He decided to make it look like 2 drawers so that it wasn’t so overwhelming in appearance. He used all the same hardware that the rest of the trailer has, and he also did some special touches, like routering out the area around the push latch and then edging it with laminate. He did lovely custom work. Maybe in the future, we’ll be having him make a desk for us if we decide to remove the dinette. We will have to use the trailer for a while to see if we learn to love the dinette.

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New kitchen

So, we spent 2 days in the Can-Am lounge, but it was fine. We had air conditioning (and did we ever need it!), coffee, wifi, Airstream tours, and Wendy, the receptionist, kept bringing the girls treats. It was a wonderful experience.

As you are driving in Southern Ontario, you will see signs for Canada’s Wonderland, a huge amusement park; however, for Airstreamers, the real Canada’s Wonderland is Can-Am RV.

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ALUMAPALOOZA HIGHLIGHTS: PART 2

May 29 – June 3, 2018

Alumapalooza should be at the top of every Airstreamer’s list. I can’t describe everything we did and saw, so I will just include a few highlights.

  1. Entertainment

The Alumapalooza team booked top entertainers (Josh Rogan, The Other Favorites, and Edgar Cruz & Michael Kelsey). No, Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours weren’t booked this year, but the entertainers were amazing.

  1. Access to the factory grounds

As long as we were wearing our badges, we had unencumbered access to the factory grounds. The factory is in a “free trade zone”, which meant that it is inaccessible to the public and trespassing is a federal offence. We had to keep our badges on so that we weren’t stopped by Federal agents, especially after hours. We wandered around at night looking at interesting units, like the hearse and the European model that was getting ready for shipping. We were not restricted at all.

Commercial trailers:

Hearse:

European model:

Interior of the Bowlus Road Chief:

  1. Seminars

We learned to rivet with Jim Parrot. He brought in a section with ribs and aluminum skin and showed us how to use olympic rivets, which is what people likely use for repairs. Airstreams are assembled with buck rivets.

Colin Hyde taught us about Airstream renovations, rodent habitats, and preventing leaks. He said ALL, absolutely ALL Airstreams leak, but your best defence is being proactive by sealing often. His brother and sister-in-law (from Ontario) brought their completely renovated trailer and gave us a tour. Phenomenal! Colin completely renovates trailer by removing the frame and putting it on a rotisserie. He also removes the interior skins – that’s where he finds ecosystems behind those walls! He uses buck rivets for repairs, which requires removing the interior skins. He’s a great speaker.

The most-attended event was Andy Thompson’s (Can-Am RV) presentation about proper hitching. We learned so much. He is amazing! We had read all of his articles in Airstream Life magazine, but hearing him speak and explain procedures was invaluable.

  1. Socializing with other Airstreamers

Milo and Diane parked next to us, and we spent most of our time with them. They were so much fun and are animal lovers. They also introduced us to some members of their Vermont unit of the WBCCI. Milo and Diane have 2 senior German Shepherd Dogs, and Poppy kept her distance! However, one evening, we were sitting at their trailer and Daisy was restless. She started wandering about, and then we saw what she wanted: their big dog bed. So, the old girls got up and let Daisy take their bed! Daisy is rickety, but she still has presence!

The Jamie & Joan Hyde’s (of Ontario) renovated Hydeaway by Colin Hyde (of New York):

 

Best.Sleep.Since.September.

May 24 & 25, 2018

We crossed the US-Canada border at approximate 10:15 am, which meant that we passed by Can-Am at around noon, but we only did a slow drive-by. We needed lunch. Our official pick-up was scheduled for Friday, so we didn’t know if we’d be able to accomplish much by arriving early, but we were given permission to sleep in the Airstream Thursday night. Our only glimpse all day was of the end of her in a bay. She was still getting her solar panels and extra batteries. We ordered 400 watts of solar and 4 AGM batteries. Some day, we’ll consider lithium batteries, but they are still too expensive. We also had upgraded Michelin tires installed, so she was getting a makeover of sorts.

It didn’t matter that we had to wait. We were in Airstream Wonderland, so all was well – very well, in fact. Ms. Bolerama got to see the new NEST! YES! It is even more wonderful in person than the pictures show. If only I could get one too! Some women love shoes, some purses, but my favorite accessory is a travel trailer! The NEST has glorious upholstery – the nicest of any Airstream I’ve seen. And when it’s robin’s egg blue with buttons, gasp! It had the same build quality that other Airstreams have. It also smelled like “new Airstream” – one of my favorite scents.

Airstream Wonderland had plenty of Airstream parts and goodies, so I spent a lot of time wandering around and touching things and doing some mental shopping.

The rest of the time, we spent in the lounge area. It was well equipped and well used. Can-Am is so busy! There are people in the lounge area waiting for service, or waiting for their walk-throughs, etc. It is pet-friendly, and they have a water bowl and treats. Humans have access to goodies too, but they don’t have to share a bowl. This is quite the operation. Our experience was so different than when we bought our first Airstream.

Just before 5:30 pm, they told us we could go see our Airstream. It was parked around the side, plugged in and connected to water. We were given a brief walk-through because Friday was our official one. Oh! It is so lovely! Then, we had to madly unload our totes from the truck and pile them outside the Airstream so that we could put the truck in the open section of the lot. The Airstream was in the blocked section, and we were going to get blocked in at 6 pm.

We started unpacking, but we were tired and hungry, and I was greatly disappointed in the Flying Cloud upper cabinets. I knew they’d be smaller than the International cabinets, but I wasn’t prepared for how small. We had to go eat dinner and rethink the kitchen, so we went down the road to a wonderful Italian restaurant. Afterwards, we were able to tackle the lack of kitchen storage.

I subscribe to a YouTube channel, The More We Explore, and the creators are a young full-timing couple who went from a 30ft Flying Cloud to a 23D International. We are doing the exact opposite. Anyway, when I saw them pack the kitchen of the 30 and put everything in the 23, I heard warning bells, but I also wondered if they just had less than we do. Well, we probably have more in our kitchen, but we left half of it in Wakaw. Oh my! The 23D has amazing storage, but the 30 has usable countertops and seems more functional, so it all balances.

Now, in the bedroom, there is no comparison. This bedroom rocks! There are wardrobes on either side of the bed, so it makes it cozy. Also, the curtains have black-out lining. The mattress is very comfortable, so we had such a solid sleep. I don’t even think I tossed or turned during the night. I finally got a full night’s sleep! I awoke refreshed, before my alarm, and ready for our walk-though!

A technician came right away and asked if there were any issues that needed attention, and he got to work immediately. Then, at 9 am, someone came for our truck to reinforce the hitch, and we cleared out of the Airstream so that the equalization system could be installed. We went to the lounge and had coffee and waited for our walk-through, etc. It was all very civilized and organized. Marshall came to get us to give us our walkthrough. He was incredibly thorough and knowledgeable, since he had been a tech at one time.

We explained to him that we’d like to remove our microwave to gain more storage and showed him pictures of our friends’ (Tracey and Derek’s) trailer:

IMG_7645We asked how we would go about ordering the doors to create a cabinet from Airstream. He said that they do this all the time – in house! They have their own carpenters and they can rebuild an entire interior or tweak an existing one. He set us up with one of the service advisors, and we are getting quotes for different configurations.

Can-Am exceeds all expectations!

We camped Friday night at Can-Am again.

On the second night, Daisy decide to do a little investigating.  She was so adorable, peeking into the new spaces.

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We will leave on Saturday and start heading to Ohio because we’re going to ALUMAPALOOZA!

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Even Flying Clouds have Silver Linings

May 15, 2018

I’ve been delaying writing this post for quite some time – 2 months, in fact. We were eager to return to Saskatchewan to see our friends, but we were sad about what we knew we had to do: hand our Airstream over to our insurance provider (SGI). Today, we finished packing up the Airstream because tomorrow, we say good-bye.

Last June, our Airstream had an unfortunate encounter with hail. Although the hailstones were small and the dents miniscule, the Airstream was a “total write-off,” according to our adjuster.  It wasn’t logical because our friends’ Airstream (barely two blocks away!) was also hit, but not written off. However, we had different adjusters. We would have purchased ours back, but the buy-back value was too high. They would not negotiate to lower the buy-back value, and we didn’t want to go through the arbitration process to negotiate raising the current vehicle valuation. This is because there aren’t any comparatives in Canada and SGI refused to consider US Airstreams as comparatives. What a headache! It almost seems like someone at the insurance company intends to buy it, so that’s why they were making it difficult. We will see if it ever makes it to the auction block.

Over the winter, we searched for a gently used Airstream in the US. We saw a 2017 model in Las Vegas that looked older than ours. It had been used and abused in its short life. We didn’t find anything suitable.

At Can-Am in London, ON, we had seen a new 2017 Flying Cloud on their website last August. However, when we were finally in Ontario to see it, we learned that it had recently been sold. Then, it reappeared on their website later that fall. The buyers weren’t able to get financing. I kept an eye on it while we searched in the US. In February, we decided to call Can-Am to ask about it again. We were informed once again that it had just sold a few days earlier. What timing! However, a week or so later, we got an email stating that the buyers could not get financing and it was available again. That was back in March. You might remember the day we had to drive up a hill while out on the desert to get cell coverage for an important phone call. That was the phone call. We sent our deposit on a new (but year old) 2017 30’ Flying Cloud.

Although I prefer the interior of our International, the Flying Cloud line underwent an update in 2017, and I do appreciate the new décor. Our upholstery is Dwell Ultraleather in Sandpiper, which is off-white, and the cabinetry is Wilsonart’s Landmark, which is a straight-grain laminate resembling teak and framire (an African oak). I think the overall décor is close enough to Danish modern to make me happy. I’ll miss our large white backlit overhead lockers and the higher end hardware, lighting, and faucets, but all Airstreams are exquisite! I’m on Flying Cloud 9!

Living area (old and new)

Sleeping area (old and new)

It will be really nice to have a queen bed after 48″ of Extreme Cuddling (Poppy’s favourite sport).

This winter, when people asked us why we chose our first Airstream and why we were searching for another one, we had a hard time explaining it. All RVs offer people the same amenities, but in different sizes, so why would you choose something so much smaller but more expensive?  People who choose Airstreams seem to have an emotional attachment to them; it isn’t necessarily a rational decision. Airstreams are expensive, easily damaged by hail and gravel, relatively small, not warm in winter, etc. However, when we returned to SK to our Airstream, we both were giddy. Oh, how we missed it! When we opened the door, I had butterflies. The feeling was not unlike love.  How do you describe love? What RV gives its owner butterflies? What other RVs have silver linings?

We pick up our Flying Cloud on May 25 in Ontario, so after our Airstream club (WBCCI) meet this coming weekend, we will hit the road again.

We will miss our little escape pod.  New adventures await in our shiny new Atomic Pod!