A friend graciously helped me do a few Airstream repairs last Friday - some pretty basic stuff really.
(And yes, I was a bit embarrassed that I hadn't done them already. But I'm quite happy that they are done now.)
My life over the past year has been a tad crazy. Not 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' crazy, just a bit challenging-crazy (but then most of you who stop by here already know that). I've also previously mentioned in these pages my tendency to leave all of my analytical skills at the front gate when I arrive home - not exactly sure why that is. Perhaps an internal burnout-prevention mechanism?
The first thing we did was to add air to the Airstream tires. The air pressure of the tires hadn't been tested since it was parked after work was done on the plumbing at Sonny's Camp-N-Travel (now Camper's World). Fortunately, the air pressure wasn't abyssmally low:
My friend brought his air compressor, and we got the air pressure up to approximately 45 psi in each tire - which the manual recommends.
~tires after air was added, side opposite door~
Now, my friend and I didn't stop there.
We were on an Airstream-improvement roll.
Next, we cranked down the stabilizing jacks (braces) that are built into the Airstream - two are located in the front and two in the rear of the trailer.
All four braces were cranked down - and are now resting on 12" concrete pavers. Prior to this, the weight of the Airstream was resting on the front hitch (aka 'Druid Momument', see below) and the four tires. Now, with four additional points to help support the weight, it should help to stabilize the trailer frame.
~front braces resting on concrete pavers~
(Note: the paver close to the door of the Airstream has already cracked, and once things settle a bit, I'll replace it. My guess is that this area receives more impact stress since it's where we enter the Airstream).
The next Airstream improvement project was a bit tricky.
We needed to replace the 'Druid Monument' (aka pile of debris) used to stabilize the front Airstream hitch. If you look closely at the photo below - you'll see that the hitch was resting on (1) a piece of an ash trunk from a tree that had fallen during Hurricane Gaston, (2) two brick halves, and (3) a thin board. A lovely Druid Momument, don't you think?
Yep. Pretty snazzy. (Not to mention secure...).
I think this is the way that Bart and Chuckie left the Airstream at my place, after they delivered it from Vermont. I think these were items they snagged in the middle of the night. And I think that when Pete helped me trailer the Airstream back to my place after repairs, that we once again constructed the Druid Monument. (Once again, I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that.)
Above you can see the Ever-Handsome Stanley sitting near the Druid Monument. This was an image taken back in July of 2007 when I was still in the imagining stage of this little Airstream adventure.
So, the problem with the hitch was that it only seemed to move up, and not down (which complicated things a bit). But miraculously and unexplainably, the electric hitch and small cup at the base of the hitch were fiddled with (fiddle=highly sophisticated engineering technique) and it moved down.
Down is good.
~electric jack on front hitch, arrow points to location of toggle switch~
The end result is that the front Airstream hitch is now happily and securely resting on six 12" concrete pavers.
Lovely, don't you think?
So the Airstream tires received a bit of attention, as did the braces and front hitch. All-in-all, the Airstream feels more secure and I'm sure that its frame is grateful for the extra support. As for the Druid Monument - I'm confident that the toast made with Dansk Mjod Viking Blod (mead) around a fire will satisfy the ancient spirits wandering amongst the circle of live oaks that sits next to my Airstream home. You've got to keep the spirits happy, right?