When you are a little behind, a good list is often just the trick. Here are a few of the highlights from the last several weeks:
Solar: Nearly every minute of every day out here in California, the sun is shining. Maybe that’s what pushed us from the camp of, “Wow, getting solar panels for the Airstream some day would be cool!” to the camp of “Why let all this sunshine go to waste? Let’s do it now!” We quickly realized AM Solar had the product we wanted, and their list of local recommended installers lead us to Brian at Advanced RV just outside of Thousand Oaks. With Brian’s input, and after a close inspection of our roof, we settled on four 100 watt panels. We missed the Airstream while it was away for over a week, but are very, very happy with the work and the new system. Seems like no matter how many things we have running – fans, lights, etc. – the panels keep the battery bank at 100%. Good stuff.
Floors: We went back and forth a bit on the type of flooring. We settled on cork and
are really happy with it so far. The product is called Green Claimed, made for Cali Bamboo. It’s made in Portugal out of recycled wine corks-cool, huh? It comes in planks (maybe tiles too) and is a click to install kind of thing – no glue. Planks are 3/8 thick and bottom is also cork, with some kind of material sandwiches in the middle, and a light coating of some sort on the outside. We just love it – it is so comfortable on the feet, and the look sort of complements the industrial/natural vibe we have going.
Propane: Propane was the last system we installed, maybe because it was one of the hardest contractors to find. Ultimately we found Randy and team at Rooter Buster – a mostly plumbing oriented outfit that also does natural gas lines and propane. Randy has a travel trailer himself and tracked immediately with what we wanted. I did not ask permission to take this picture of Randy and his colleague, but I don’t think they’ll mind!
There are many schools of thought about how best to run propane lines, but we settled on what Airstream used originally on our trailer: soft copper lines exposed on the bottom of the trailer and flared fittings. Randy wasn’t thrilled with the arrangement, saying the soft copper is vulnerable to rocks, etc.,, but he understood that this had lasted almost 50 years on our trailer and that that was what most restorers still did.
And now, a small gallery of things powered by propane:
A final thought as we wrap up the restoration and get ready to hit the road – THANK YOU to all the people who have helped us to make this happen. From the
contractors, our cat “sitters”, my parents (x infinity) and brother who have hosted us, old friends who tirelessly reply to my email updates, new friends and experts on Instagram, our renters and neighbors back in Maryland, our woodworker friends here in California, etc, etc. we are are grateful to all! Next post – an update on the shakedown cruise we just completed, and the post after that – from the road!