The Search Is OVER(lander)!

We found our trailer!!! We’ve been searching for a 60’s Overlander and finally found a 1967 that is perfect. When you start with a great shell, original baby moons, and those fantastic curved windows that only the ’66 and ’67 have, you can’t go wrong. There’s nothing like finding a vintage Airstream that speaks to you, and this trailer was softly whispering, “Take me home and make me fabulous…please!”  It’s been two weeks and we’ve made progress already. I think being without a trailer tends to light a fire under you!

After a good scrubbing, we took all the exterior lights, vents, etc. off and stripped the clear coat with PPG Aerospace PR-5044 Peroxide-Activated Stripper from Vintage Trailer Supply.  Apply it with a paint roller on a warm day, let it sit awhile, then pressure wash it off. Works great!

My grandmother had a saying, “I’ll go now and let you get on with your rat killing.” I always thought it was such an odd and funny thing to say, until now…I get it! Next step was to get on with our rat killing! We had a pack rat. A BIG pack rat that didn’t want to leave.  We pulled the belly pan down on one side to give him an escape route but, with a belly pan full of acorns, he wasn’t going anywhere.  It took a few tries but his luck ran out. No more rat. We won’t get a good look at his stash until we lift the shell and pull the floor up but, I’m sure it’s going to be epic!

The next step was to gut the nasty interior, pull the floor tile up, and remove the lower inner skins and insulation. We are now ready to support the shell and have a weekend lift off!

We are both so excited we can hardly stay focused on our real job! There is so much to think about. It’s a little like playing chess. You have to think ahead to your next 5 or 10 moves. We spent some time sitting in the trailer and getting a feel for the layout before we gutted it and have decided we love the layout and are keeping it. The only change will be a larger refrigerator. We will lose some countertop space, but it’s worth it.

We have set a rather lofty goal for a completion date. October 29, 2018. That’s our 30th Anniversary! If we make it, we will most likely be at the Annual Halloween Campout at the LBJ Grasslands with our friends in the HOTCU! Happy Trails and see you then!

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Happy Trails Sweet Safari!

We sold our Safari! It was gut-wrenching watching her pull away, but knowing she has a new home with some great people that will love her as much as we did made it a lot easier.  We know there’s another trailer out there with our name on it…we just have to find it! Happy Trails sweet Safari…. “ADVENTURE AWAITS”!

 

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Just ONE MORE!

Dan and I are “project people”. We love a good challenge and have enjoyed every minute of restoring the 1976 Overlander and our 1966 Safari.  The satisfaction we get from the work we put into a trailer is almost greater than the fun and excitement of traveling in it. Therefore, we have decided…we have one more in us! We would like to rescue another Airstream, and to do that, we have to part with our Safari.  I can’t tell you how much we have enjoyed this trailer but, it’s time for someone else to take her on their own exciting adventures. There is nothing like a Vintage Airstream!

You can view the listing here: The Airstream Trailer Classifieds

If you or someone you know is interested, give us a call!

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Curtain Upgrade!

Originally, our Safari had a bi-fold door that tucked around and against the wall in the bathroom. It was a great design, and we intended on replicating it when we had time, but in the meantime, we made a quickie curtain and hung it on a wire. Not a great look, but it worked! Just before the Christmas camp out, we decided it was time for an upgrade. We abandoned the plan of rebuilding the original wood bi-fold door and decided to try something different. We purchased a white plastic accordion style door at Lowe’s for $27.00, cut the length to fit, and then covered it in Sunbrella fabric. The solid white looked great on the bathroom side but we felt it would look better on the outside of the bath covered in fabric.  We are really happy with the results and think this is a great alternative to a curtain. Hope it works for someone else! Happy Trails!

Texas Gulf Coast Holiday

We started the year off right with a Christmas and New Year’s trip to the Texas Gulf Coast. First, we spent several days in Port Aransas with my parents. We stayed in an RV park that was…well…what can I say, we were packed in there like sardines! To be fair, the park was very nice, we just haven’t stayed in that many RV parks and never in one where you don’t have room to put your awning up! Having full hookups is always nice, but next time we will find a place to dry camp where we have a little room around us. Most of our time in Port Aransas was spent either walking on the beach or cruising around town in a rented golf cart. It is legal in Port Aransas to drive golf carts on the city streets as long as you stay off the main highway. It was such a fun way to see the city, souvenir shop, stop for lunch, drive on the beach and park and watch the ships come in. It was money well spent. My parents loved it! We enjoyed beautiful clean beaches, fabulous sunrises, and shrimp every day! (The Castaway was excellent!) It was a wonderful Christmas to remember.

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A few days after Christmas we headed up to Matagorda Bay Nature and RV park. Wow…what a wonderful surprise this place was! The park is located where the Colorado River meets the Gulf of Mexico so you have a river on one side and the beach a short walk away. I must say, we are in love with this place! Our site was so spacious and beautiful. We didn’t really know what to expect so we didn’t take our kayaks.  Big mistake! Fortunately, the park offers kayak rentals so we rented a tandem kayak…twice!  New Year’s Day we walked down the beach (way, way, way down the beach!) and found the most beautiful seashells I have ever seen.  It was another day to remember! Our cat Mister was happy not to be left at home, Dan baked bread in our 51-year-old oven and I….walked, and walked, and walked. Everyone was happy! We will go back…for sure!

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Happy 100th National Park Service!

When we purchased the Safari a few years ago, I googled “events of 1966” to see what was going on when our little trailer first hit the road. I quickly discovered that the National Parks Service celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary that year! I instantly became inspired to incorporate this into the decor. The first thing I purchased was a First Day of Issue postcard with the commemorative stamp attached and postmarked Yellowstone National Park, August 25, 1966.

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 My great design idea kinda fizzled out after that…until this year! Suddenly it was the 100th Anniversary and I was able to find inspiration everywhere.  My favorite things are the two large pillows we lean on when we watch TV.  We have started buying patches from everywhere we visit and sewing them on. I hope one day we run out of room on them and have to start two more!

Our National Parks truly are… America’s Best Idea.  I’m so proud that our country has protected them for all of us to enjoy and look forward to visiting as many as possible in my lifetime. Who knows, 50 years from now someone may be blogging about their 100 year old Airstream and still have that framed stamp hanging on the wall! I hope so. Happy Trails!

“There is nothing so American as our national parks…. The fundamental idea behind the parks…is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.”   – President Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Caddo Lake State Park

Located in far East Texas near the Louisiana border, you will find beautiful Caddo Lake, a sprawling maze of bayous and sloughs. Depending on rainfall, this maze of slow-moving bayous, wetlands, and backwaters covers about 26,810 acres of cypress swamp.  To really experience the beautiful forests of cypress trees draped in Spanish moss, you need to get out on the water. Canoe rentals are available or you can take a guided pontoon boat ride.

We camped at  Caddo Lake State Park with the Heart of Texas Camping Unit. Several other club members brought their kayaks and canoes so we all got together and explored a paddling trail. The trail is clearly marked but I was glad I took along the GPS…just in case! It would be very easy to get disoriented and lose your way in the maze of cypress trees. We paddled 9 miles that day. It was a great day and another fun camp out!

Big Bend National Park

When Dan and I started planning our trip to Big Bend National Park, we began asking everyone we came in contact with, “Have you been to Big Bend?”.  We were surprised at the number of Texans who had not visited the park but…hey…neither had we!  On the other hand, when we asked someone who had been to the park, most could barely contain their excitement and began telling us everything we needed to see while we were there.  We learned that hiking the many trails was the best way to see the park so we ordered the book “Hiking Big Bend National Park” from Amazon. This is an excellent guide to the many trails, their level of difficulty, distance, etc.  This book, along with all the maps and information they gave us when we entered the park, enabled us to plan our days’ activities the most efficiently.  You should plan on doing a lot of driving when you visit the park.  It’s big.  Really BIG. TEXAS BIG! It covers 801,163 acres and is the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States.  I have heard people complain about this but, we enjoyed every minute of every drive. The landscape looked different in every light and from every angle. With a park speed limit of 45 MPH, we found this to be the most relaxing part of our trip. It was wonderful to just slow down and do some rubber neckin’!

We dry camped at Rio Grande Village Campground for 4 nights and 5 days. We were in the generator area and plugged in once to charge the camera batteries and once to turn on the A/C for a quick cool down.  Other than that, our solar panels kept our batteries charged just fine and we still had room in our wast tanks and 12% of fresh water remaining when we pulled out! Our little Safari was very comfortable and did great on her first trip to a National Park!

I can’t tell you how beautiful Big Bend is….you have to see it for yourself.  It’s vast, remote, rugged and one of the most peaceful places I have ever been. We Texans should be very proud to have Big Bend National Park as part of our incredible state. If you haven’t been….GO!

Our 1966 Safari Restoration

I’m not sure if an Airstream restoration is ever really finished!  It seems there is always some new fun gadget to add, new technology comes along,  not to mention the decor.  I’m so indecisive I’ve already made two sets of curtains! But, after almost two years, we are calling it done. I published a YouTube video of the restoration process we did on the  Overlander and enjoyed the comments and feedback we received so much,  I made one for the Safari as well. It’s a little long, so if you would like to skip the video and just see the after pictures, they are below the video link.  Thanks for following our progress and Happy Trails!

 

Tootin’ our own horn!

Ok all you Airstream lovers…. I want to share a very cool trailer with you. If you didn’t already know this, my husband Dan and I have an upholstery shop (Matney’s Upholstery). We recently worked on a 1975 Sovereign that our friends at A & P Vintage Trailerworks transformed into one retro cool trailer. The owners had some great ideas, design choices, and a vision of what they wanted and A & P delivered! The huge front booth style dinette they built needed custom cushions and bolsters designed, not only for comfortable seating, but to fit over the drop down table that makes into a bed. The rear goucho and dinette were covered in dove grey Sunbrella with Volt Spark Sunbrella on the pillows. I love the way this trailer turned out. Dan and I LOVE 70’s trailers and thought this one was fantastic! If you aren’t a fan of the original wood grain laminate then you probably aren’t going to dig this trailer, but you have to appreciate how it all came together with all the modern choices. We are all proud of the way it turned out and know the new owners are too. They just did a write up about it in D Magazine so…see for yourself! UPDATE: A & P Are on fire! Another great article in RV Life Magazine!! Congrats you guys!

1975 Airstream Makeover