All posts by pewterpalace73

From upstate NY and into vintage trailers.

Ceiling Fan Restoration, Phase 1

Most Avions made in the 1980’s through 90’s began using the 14″ square roof vents, some I believe were the FantasticFan brand at some point.

That was not the case with our 1973 Avion LaGrande.  Our ceiling (roof) vents were a little over 18″ square and not easily if even possibly replaceable.  We like the size though and want to keep them if possible.  The former own had installed the full clear plastic protective covers (Maxi-Air) over them on the roof so it is nice to be able to open then even in a torrential downpour and not have rain get in.  We also can keep them open if we want to when rolling down the road.

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Problem was a few things with our ceiling fans were lacking….

Both had screen covers that had cracked frames (hard plastic) and were monsterously dirty. The interior shrouds as they are called (photo with Kevin) were cracked, yellowed and dirty.  Thankfully, replacements for them were available for purchase from Chuck Cayo for about $75 each.  A good deal considering they will last another 40+ years.

 

The rear fan only works on high, while the front one has a faulty switch and does not operate at all.  We continue to try to find replacement parts.

 

Several of the great folks (fellow Avion owners) have pointed us in the right direction for sources for the fan switches, but honestly the whole issue with the Ohms, wires, circuits is way beyond my comprehension and we just feel that this might be a job for Chuck Cayo the Avion Guru whose shop is in Michigan.  We have a few things on a “let the pro do it” punch list for Chuck to work on in 2018 so i think these ceiling fans might be added to that list.  Our AC works awesome, and the rear fan- being overtop our beds is sufficient enough for even hot nights.  It is quite loud though and I think these fans were loud because this is often the most repeated comment that we see from Avion owners who have switched out their large fans to the smaller FantasticFan.  That retro fit requires creating a false template to hold the smaller unit into the larger opening, etc.

So for now anyway, we decided to make do, and work on restoration of what we can handle.  First off….making the screen covers more presentable and usable.

First step–a really good bath.  Used Simple Green HD (Purple) which is also what is recommended to give your Avion a bath outside.  The solution is diluted to 3 water to 1 Simple green (so not use the green version!).  It did a decent job, set them out in the sun to dry but still a lot of mottled discoloration after they were dried.

Then i repaired the cracks with small plastic thin slices to beef up the areas.  Second was to use Gorilla Glue and provide a really good glue job on the cracks to firm them up.  These cracks evidently happen to nearly everyone because this is where the hand cranks turn into and the hard plastic, if the crank gets turned too far, simply cracks.

 

So, cracks mended it was time to purchase some ivory colored spray paint and gently with very light multiple coats painted the mesh fabric as well as the hard plastic frames of each one.  The result was fabulous.  I think I did about 6 light coats.  Careful not to allow any paint to pool in the mesh fabric.

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The final result of these being freshly painted really has made a big improvement and it offered  the stop gap measure needed at this point.  See the finished product below~  not bad eh??!!

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Total cost of project:  About $8 and about 5 hours of elbow grease.  (we had the Gorilla Glue, and for the thin plastic i cut them out of a left over clear plastic take out container-so free!)

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I will post the source for the switches on our resource page.

Campground Review: Normandy Farms RV Resort-Foxborough, MA –Our Inaugural Camping Trip! Success!!

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We finally got a chance for a get away from tag sales, house painting, work stress and the like and hit the road in our Pewter Palace to a fabulous resort campground in MA- about 4.5 hours (traveling not more than 60 mph + heavy traffic).

We have Kevin’s sister, Valerie staying with us for a few weeks and this was a great opportunity to do some camping, site seeing as well as do some Mayflower genealogy while we were at it (more on that later).

After researching several campgrounds in the eastern section of Massachusetts and reading traveler reviews, etc. we chose Normandy Farms Campground in Foxborough, MA.  This campground is huge, but the service, cleanliness, amenities and access to where we needed to go where perfect!

2017-06-27 12.38.56Honestly I can say that I have never stayed in such a well run campground.  The bathhouses (with laundry and showers–BTW free showers) were spotless and had A/C.

 

Here are some shots of the facilities around the park.

The activity areas, of which there are many were well kept, groomed, beautifully landscaped and included every outdoor sport one could imagine from fishing, basketball, bocce, horseshoes, pickleball, 4 swimming pools (one indoor heated, one outdoor heated–yes 82 degrees at 10 am was luscious!  3 hot tubs (2 were inside, one was combo with

heated outdoor pool #1), a sauna, a snack bar where you could even get a full New England Seafood Dinner or Boil down to a modest cup of chili or an ice cream cone–and everything in between for very fair and reasonable prices. (hint, to order the larger seafood dinners/lobsters they ask you to give them a two-hour heads up so they can have it ready for you- as i suspect someone is sent out on staff to get the fresh lobster for your order)

We arrived later on Sunday than anticipated due to just plain old heavy traffic on the Mass Pike from all the weekend Bostonian’s heading back to home from their weekend get away to the Berks or our LG area (LOL!)  Sadly we missed the live music and happy hour bar in the adult only loft of the Recreation Activity Lodge (but wow, what a place!).  They have the same again  on Thursday night but we were checking out on Weds.  Check in starts at 3 PM, check out is by noon.

Reservations were easy to make online, their website is fairly interactive and you can get a good feel right away for what is available and in relation to other sites in the campground.  When we go back, we will try to get Site # 311 or A-6-A.  They offer some nice privacy and easy to get in and out of.  Site 311 is on an end, right near where we were but offers a nice buffer of plantings from the road and also still easy to access the nearby bathhouse.  Site a-6-a is on a nice rise and is close to the really awesome playground so if we are there with the grand kids that would be a great spot.  It is also close to Pool #1 which we liked very much because it is heated and has the outdoor hot tub which we prefer.

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Above is site 311 which is a full hook up pull thru and where we will try to get anytime we visit Normandy Farms Campground.  The trees and bushes to the left serve as a really good screen from the road and so you will only have folks on your backside.

We all spent the whole day in Plymouth MA on Monday.  The drive from the campground is easy and about 35-40 minutes.  We visited the Mayflower Society Mansion Museum which was quite impressive.  Kevin and Val got in for free since they are direct line descendants of Wm Bradford and several other Mayflower passengers.  Val is a very dedicated and exacting genealogist who has done amazing work documenting the Sherman family history (and also has done my Craige & Gronemeyer history too).  We did some shopping, ate outdoors on a 2nd story deck (seafood of course) and I did some antique hunting while Val and Kevin visited Pilgrim Hall and saw Wm. Bradford’s original bible which is pretty neat to think that in three more years, it will be the 400th anniversary of that Bible landing in the new world!

Back at the campground (it is large with well over 400 sites) most of the sites are premium and full hook up, but they do also have a couple of Yurts, large tent rentals and several cabin rentals which all looked really nice (about $125-$148 per night in peak season).  But we LOVE our Pewter Palace and she towed like a dream, we set up with no issues and totally enjoyed our time spent here.  The campground is constantly patrolled by staff to ensure rule management, there are lots of young pre-teens and teens but honestly we can say that on many occasions over our three days here we kept having to remark how absolutely quiet the place was.  I don’t know if we just lucked out and had really quiet folks on all four sides of us or what, but whether it was 8 AM, 2 pm or 8 PM you could hear a pin drop outside.

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We loved that and even though we were not thrilled with the lack of foliage screening between sites (they do have very large boulders between sites and a strip of grass. The boulders also serve as your fire back.  A tire rim is provided for fire ring – not quite what one would expect for this high end of a campground (we thought we would have an actual grill) but no worries because we bring our Weber 1200 series portable gas grill.  We did have a very tall, large oak tree between our pull thru site and our neighbor which gave us some very nice afternoon shade.  We also learned from observation that when we are booking sites to be sure that we book a site that has our curbside facing south/south east so that the sun is behind our rig at high noon and late afternoon so that the awning really does its stuff and we are not fighting with sunlight stealing real estate under our awning.  Just food for thought and this campsite fit the bill and made us mindful of this for future.

We used our awning with no problems, i installed my solar powered fairy lights 2017-06-25 22.25.05for the first time–a tip from our full time RV online friend, Courtney on AStreaminLife.com .  I will do a post just on them soon too with where to purchase, etc.  These little babies glow for a minimum of 6-8 hours each night without fail!

The weather was terrific while we were in MA (we kept seeing reports of bad rain and hail back home LOL) but Tuesday late afternoon, a rain and thunderstorm did roll in with very heavy wind gusts which forced us, and our neighboring rigs to roll up all of the awnings.  Our neighbor to the rear learned the hard way, after his cross bar broke and the awning collapsed.  Since our awning hardware is original and over 40 years old we did not take any chances.  As always, the reminder and rule # 1 in camping is –roll up your awning if you are going to be daytripping or away from your campsite for any time….a broken awning is no fun and costly!  PS:  we knew we did purchase awning tie down swivel posts (like the screw in dog posts) but found them when we were packing up to head home…we will put them in a more accessible place next time! They probably would have done the trick but better safe than sorry.  The weather (and shade from the oak tree) was enough that we actually just kept the awning rolled up for rest of the night on Tuesday and all Weds morning before pack out.

Even Anna and Reddy loved their stay at Normandy Farms.  We loved the excuse we had to take them on multiple walks during the day so we could also take a gander at all the other rigs in the campground.  Great exercise for the whole family!  Only four Airstream’s in camp, no other Avions 😦

We will definitely be back to stay again and highly recommend this campground if you want to enjoy the cape without the crowds, visit Boston (train station in town, not far away) and Plymouth.

Thanks for sharing the road with us and our Pewter Palace!

 

Bathroom facelift-May 2017

I spent a few days making up new curtains and the shower curtain for our bathroom on the Pewter Palace.  Amazingly enough, the shower curtain onboard when we bought the trailer WAS the original, 43 years old and in fabulous, fully useable shape, but i wanted to do a themed approach in the bathroom too so, it went into safe storage.

When we first purchased the trailer and were doing the initial straightening and clean out we came upon a funky fun strand of decorative lights with pink flamingos and palm trees on it.  Anyone who knows us knows very well that this type of thing is really farthest from our norm of 18th c. style, period fabrics and lighting, etc.  But they were so funky cute–i took them as a great sign that this adventure on our 1973 Avion was going to be great!  So we decided they would come out of the closet and find a permanent home in our bathroom.

So pink flamingos and palm trees became the official theme of the bathroom- which surprisingly for a 28 foot rig (really only 23 feet of living space total) has great room to move around, a full shower and small tub as well as tons of storage closets, an original medicine cabinet and tons of mirror space.

I did handsew the living room and kitchen curtains- but admit with these i did resort to quick dash on my machine!

Here is before and after.  Will have to add more when the funky lights are in place and of the shower curtain.  Fun is!!

 

Dining Area Redecoration-2017

May 28, 2017-Queensbury, NY:  Our redecoration of the interior of the Pewter Palace is almost finished.  Today we tackled the finishing touches of our dining area.  This final step included a repainting of a very rusted ceiling fixture and installation of the curtains and lace valances.  The cut glass crystal cover is original too and cleaned up well and sparkles with the new LED bulb we exchanged.  We refitted all of our fixtures with LED bulbs from M4LED.com which offers great products and customer service.

(Kevin got a kick out of the “Western Germany” label–obviously pre-Berlin wall take down era!  and yes, we did save the sticker and gently placed it back onto the newly repainted fixture base for posterity)

We also were able to do some staging of our German goods and theme too–including one of the fabulous vintage German tablecloths I purchased off Ebay last winter and two pewter tankards.  These tankards were thank you gifts to Mr. & Mrs. Johnson of MD in the ’80’s at one of the big Avion rallies that used to be held around the country.  They were member # 2018 and belonged to the Mid-Atlantic Unit.  This along with some other “travelcade swag” was also an Ebay find.  The seller was the Johnson’s son who now we are in contact with offline and he is providing us with some great photos of his fond memories growing up as an Avioner from 1968 and forward into the 80’s.  So cool!  Watch for a separate post on all this. (I think we have had a hand in re-igniting his passion for Avions too!)

Here is our lovely, cozy dining area in our Pewter Palace.  We repurposed one of our custom made wood reenacting tables made by Fort Augustus Woodworks which collapses down and folds away when this dinette needs to be used as a bed for guests.

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We just love it.  I am awaiting delivery of the small clock face that goes underneath the vintage Black Forrest Deer Head mount (what legitimate “Gasthaus” would be without one right?!).  It was found at a local antique shop and is actually hard plastic so its lightweight and we could really secure it to the wall with no problems at all.  When we take our big trip to MI and IN this summer- one of our stops is Frankenmuth, MI which is a Bavarian town.  I hope to find a quartz table top style cuckoo clock for the trailer….THAT will be the crowing glory!  For now, the small antler clock on the table works.

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The little red car and trailer on the table are Salt & Pepper Shakers from Vintage Trailer Supply— are they adorable or what!?  The fab vintage look lamp was a find at the Goodwill Store on Shelburne Rd.  in VT (I always try to make a stop when coming or going to visit our daughter Sarah and her family)–for $4 what a find!

Avion LaGrande-Exterior Storage Compartment Weatherproofing

May 21-22, 2017:  We have had perhaps one of THE wettest Spring in memory here in the Southern Adirondacks of NYS this year.  With the tons of rain has come the realization that our curbside, exterior storage compartment (which also is a direct access to MY underbed storage area too) has leaks around the compartment door.

Fletch had done a very good job of resealing the outside flanges with Parbond, but the critical issue now was obviously the alignment and need for new gasket that worked properly.

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It seems that at some point, a former owner of the trailer replaced the foam gasket that was supposed to provide a good seal against wind and weather—however either due to time (it had gotten hard) or perhaps not being the correct gasket from the start, this black gasket weatherproofing has failed.

What has resulted is that the door of the compartment does not recess and lay flush or slightly inside the exterior skin of the trailer sidewall. So, when it rains, the rain literally runs down the side of the trailer and right into the gap and into the compartment. Not good!!

Kevin took off the door completely.  Removed and cleaned up the aluminum track area where door seats into body of trailer.  He also found a weatherstrip gasket in a light grey which worked perfectly.  It is far softer and wider and allowed for readjustment of the door so that now it sits correctly and flush to the body of the trailer.  Wholla…no more leaks….but we continue to get rain, rain, rain!  

Finished project.  Works great!

Great job Kevin!!

Sneak Peek at Interior Redecorating-May 23, 2017

We have been super busy since bringing the Palace home two weekends ago.  There were still many small projects to do including switching out the old lightbulbs with LED’s (this will be another blog post itself), cleaning the AC unit, filling the water tanks and doing final checks on that.

But by far….the BEST thing is that I have finally gotten the chance to begin in earnest my interior redecorating project.  When we bought the trailer, it had an interior color scheme of beige, blue and green.  The former owner’s grandmother had made some curtains, throw pillows and recovered the dinette cushions and did a pretty decent job of it, but honestly it really looked ’70’s and I wanted an interior that felt more homey, more personal to us…and unique.    I think we have succeeded and here is a sneak peak!

Our theme colors are predominately dark turkey red (one of my fav’s) and also tapping into my beloved German/Bavarian heritage.  Kevin also loves this German theme because it reminds him of when we was stationed in Auschaffenburg, Germany when he was in the army in the 80’s.

Here is the before….                Here is the after….

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This is a sneak peek at the bedroom area only (not quite finished with kitchen and living area yet)...we put down oriental wall to wall carpet, I made two twin bedspreads from one king, antique “good night and good morning” pillow covers, privacy curtains with beautiful crewel work tie backs (from local antique shop) and we painted unfinished wood corbels (from Home Depot) for accent pieces in the corners of the transition between kitchen and bedroom areas.  Just a nice touch!

I have had these antique pillow covers for many years, they as well as the red homespun striped curtains were flea market finds that my Aunt Linda gave me at least 15 years ago.  The antique curtains I have used in various of my houses…and have a deep sentimental attachment to them. I did have to cut them down to fit into the trailer windows but so much of each panel was faded from age and use, that it all worked out and I was able to use the best of the best and it was enough!  ..I just love the fact that they are in my home on wheels now!

I made this wreath and used the heart decoration that Kevin and I had purchased during our 2013 trip to the UK, Scotland and Germany.  This heart was from Rothenburg–our very favorite walled city in Bavaria. Yes, those are artificial Edelweiss flowers that I had to purchase from an Ebay seller in the UK- could not find them in the USA at all!!

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The final effect!  Love it so much!

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Over the next few days we will be working on the final touches for the kitchen and living/dining room area…..just wait till you see our Pewter Palace redo soon!

Avion ’73 Fuse Panel Upgrade and Wiring Mess Cleanup

May 7, 2017- Fletch (Bill Fletcher) has sent over this photo update today to show how they have upgraded the fuse box to a more modern system and also cleaned up and provided some safety and order to the wiring that goes to the inverter box which is under our curbside dinette bench storage.

We had previously experienced some problems with the fuse box (old glass fuses) blowing really when they should not have.  Also, the location of the fuse box was on the front wall of the interior of the rig, just to right of center.  This location was fine when the rig was new and it had a jack knife or pull out sofa covering it.  Since the front of these rigs, like Airstreams are bowed, and the manufacturers used to build a little shelf at just under front window height with under-storage and so the sofa back could be folded down and access to the fuse box was easy, but when the sofa was used on a regular basis the fuse box was safely hidden (in other words…away from little grandson’s curious hands and eyes).  Since this was no longer the case– our rig’s former owner had removed the sofa and put in a custom built dinette with two benches.  The fuse box now was completely exposed, ugly and unsafe.

We had hoped that Fletch would be able to have enough wire and a clear path between the wallboard and exterior of rig to snake all the lines to underneath the dinette bench and completely relocate a new fuse box under the bench.  Not to be.  Avion’s are so well constructed there are steel braces, sprayed in solid foam insulation and other supports that prevented him from getting a straight shot.  So we opted for retaining the same location, but a wood box cover would be made to install over the top.  (see below)

We not only wanted a more modern fuse system, but that area had to be secured and look better since now it is visible (….and remember those curious grandkids….)

So here is his carpenter, EJ’s handiwork, a great upgrade and custom made cover which we will stain to match other woodwork or paint.  I have not decided quite yet.

From Fletch on May 7, 2017:
Hi Luisa,
 Here are a few shots of the work I did yesterday and today.
 As you will recall the factory fuse panel and wiring looked like this.
old fuse box wiring set up
The first step was to unhook all the connections and remove the panel.
 Various wires had to be traced to find what and where they went.
old fuse box removed, bare wires
 [yes, he did make us a template with a mapping of what wire goes to what.]
The larger ‘hot’ wires had to be lengthened to reach the appropriate terminal on the new box.
All wires that needed extending (6 on the panel box) were soldered together.
wire extensions completed
And finally we ended up with this. Modern fuses and a compact design.
new fuse box upgrade, wires wrapped
The wiring on the converter wasn’t much better. Rather a rats nest.
Fletch was able to make some improvements here as well.
 Below is the wood cover E.J. made for the fuse box exterior.  I requested that the cabinet door be hinged on bottom so that it flips down, fully exposing the entire panel with out it being in the way when you want to work in there.  We will also doubleface tape the wiring plan and key to wires on this inside of the door (smart eh?).  Magnetic closures on the top fully secure the door (we can always put a 90 degree angle hasp and lock if need be to keep out little fingers).
Here are a few shots of the electrical box cover that Fletch sent over:

We are very pleased with how this fuse box project came out and feel much more confident and safe with our electrical work now too!

Black & Grey Tank Bayonet and Seal Fix

May 11, 2017-  We have had our rig at Fletcher’s Trailer Sales & Repair in Trumansburg NY (Finger Lakes Region) for the past three weeks.  We are calling this time her “Spa treatment”.  Fletch (Bill Fletcher) has been methodically going through the punch list we left with him and yesterday he repaired leaking bayonet system to drain black & grey water tanks and in the process also found some of the seals where the two systems come into needed repairs.  Also he needed to replace the thermostat on our hot water heater because, while it worked, it would not shut off…well, so i guess that means it really did not work!  LOL

We are fortunate to have someone working on our Avion who is an Avion owner himself and respects and knows the rigs.  On the online forums and YouTube with folks we follow (both Avion and Airstream owners) some folks have horror stories about RV repair folks (more from some of the dealers who just sell cheaper modern camp trailers) who have done some real cob jobs down to downright $1,000’s of dollars of damage to new and vintage all aluminum rigs.

Here is Fletch’s latest update. These updates are great and he sends them at least a few times each week describing and providing photos of work done that day.

Here are some pictures from yesterday:
The grey and black water drains.
waste water bayonets needed work
 Started by testing the integrity of the existing drains  by flushing the system.  Well….not so great was the prognosis by Fletch.
It not only leaked past the seals, but it also leaked at the slide handle. These were shot.
worn out bayonet valve
An access panel needed to be cut. Here he has cut it out.  It will have overlap flanges attached to the edges and then be sealed and riveted back in place should it need to be removed again.
access panel created to get to blk wtr drain area
 Most of the bolts and screws that hold this section of plumbing in place were so worn out it was hard to even get a vice grip around them or get them out.  Hey, 40+ years they have provided service….they deserved a decent burial.
screws worn out from age, rust
A spreader bar is inserted to gently push the fittings apart.  And out come the valves.
One of the valves showing the bad gasket. Note the flange hole on the bottom left. Rust will expand and push apart the surrounding plastic. When this happens to the corresponding flange that’s glued to the trailer, we have to make a reinforcement. (see later pictures)
new flange holder had to be created
Showing the cracked flange where the reinforcement needs to be made.
broken valve sealFirst a pattern is traced onto a piece of steel.
The piece is cut to length and put into our mill to have the radius cut.
What it looks like with new valves in place.
new valves and supports installed
Forgot to mention that the water heater gas valve was bad. So we replaced with a new hot water heater thermostat.  Here is picture of old one.
old hot water heater valve, needed new one

Phase Two- Spring 2017 Refurb projects, 5-1-17: Rear lights, Eternabonded roof

Updates are streaming in from Fletch of Fletcher’s Trailer Sales in Trumansburg NY on how our Pewter Palace is coming along.  There were some parts we needed to source out and thank goodness for the awesome fellow Avion owners who monitor the numerous Facebook and yahoo sites for newbies like us who are looking for sources for parts and input on how to’s.  It is not always easy finding current parts that work in a 44 year old trailer, but we did great and our window glazing bead material and non-electric reflectors for the lower sides are enroute to Fletch for installation this week and next.

Found out that our license plate lamp socket was none existent.  Explains why it did not light (duh!) and we joke that it must have fell out somewhere between here and one of her two trips (that we know of) to Alaska over the past 44 years.   Fletch had to replace the socket by drilling out the holder from the bracket first, then install new wiring and socket–but she is all set now.  Gotta love our license plate huh!!

Next there was the resealing of the major lateral roof seams (Fletch said others looked fine) that run the front to rear length of the rig and across the front and rear noses.  The fix of choice among vintage Avion and Airstream owners is called Eternabond.  This is a high performance, long lasting tape-that may look like common duct tape, but is not.  This tape adheres like cement and prevents any water penetration at all.  No leaks happenin’ in our Palace!

We also replaced a few cracked and non-functioning vent caps with nice looking retro styled vent caps.  Fletch applied Dycor lap seal to ensure a good weathertight seal around these.

We also have had work done on our inside roof vents but that is going to be chronicled in its own separate blog post.

All for now.  If all goes according to plan, we will be headed out over Mother’s Day weekend to pick her up.  Can’t wait…but I really have to get cracking on making the interior curtains!  yikes!

Phase One-Rehab update 4-21-17: Window seals, roof fan work

News update and photos in from Bill “Fletch” Fletcher owner of Fletcher’s Trailer Restoration and Sales in Trumansburg NY (Finger Lakes Region) was received today. Owner Fletch has two Avions he personally owns and has restored and maintains. Plus he has a sales yard full of some really cool vintage aluminum trailers ready for their new owners to finish off.  I saw a Spartan that was awesome and ready for a new interior!  Kevin was partial to the Holiday Rambler that Fletch owns and uses.  Kevin was raised up during his youth with his parents owning several Holiday Ramblers and ultimately with so many kids (Kevin is youngest of 8) they owned a 32 footer.

Here is our Pewter Palace parked snug and a bug in a rug indoors while being worked on.

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The palace is inside the shop and windows and exterior curbside compartment being recaulked with Par Bond which is the aluminum color caulk/sealant of choice for aluminum trailers.

2017-04-21 15.21.38It looks great and will certainly provide some needed sealant especially for that outside compartment that holds our leveling blocks, etc.  Not that anything in there cannot get wet, but it also provides more protection so that moisture does not get in there and possibly compromise any adjoining internal areas like the bathtub area, etc.

Good news is that Fletch said our roof and its seams, and sealants around roof vents, etc looks quite good.  He has ordered Eternabond tape to go over a few seams but for the most part she is in really good shape.   Yeah!  We had not seen any but wanted to be sure.

They are also working on replacing the roof fan shrouds with the new ones we had already purchased direct from Cayo in Watervliet, Michigan–the guru of Avions and whose family started the company.  Chuck Cayo continues to be the go to man for things having to do with Avions and their restoration.  These shrouds were so hard to find, that he took initiative to have a prototype made up and now offers replacements identical to the originals.  These new ones are nice a light, bright and clean looking and will certainly last another 40 years.  Fletch will then replace the toggle switches and motors for the fans.  I in the meantime will be restoring the mesh screens that get inserted at the final stage inside.  Once complete…we will be all set.  These are the 18″ square fans which are much larger than the typical fantastic fans made today (14″) and really they let a lot of nice light in too.  One thing I wish we did have that newer Airstreams have is a skylight…but oh well…we have a vintage rig and we love her.

Here is E.J. one of the workers at Fletcher’s fitting up the holes on the new shrouds using the original  ones for template for drill holes.  Note the brittle, almost butterscotch color of the 44 year old ones.  I will be doing a whole separate blog page just on the roof fan systems since Avion restorer’s who have these are always sharing photos and tips.

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2017-04-21 22.52.40We also have a few windows where the gaskets around the windows after 40+ years have either broken off in small sections or have shrunk where the seal is not sufficient. Fletch is on the hunt for the right stuff….

This is the curbside front window which is the one that we knew was leaking a slow leak last fall. Definitely have to get it fixed.  It is great that we were able to get our rig out about two weeks ahead of Fletch’s original schedule  because he got a chance to start working on her earlier than expected.

We continue to amass stuff to outfit the inside.  I have yet to begin working on the curtain rehab….more to come!

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Removing old caulk and applying new Par Bond sealant.  See the difference below on top track of window.

2017-04-21 15.16.18

P.S.  Sorry some of these photos are a bit wonky.  Fletch sent them embedded in an email and I had a really tough time working with them and could not download them separately so I had to use screen shot images.