Holiday Refit: 10 Airstream Fixes

After 11 weeks on the road, we pulled into my parents’ SoCal driveway with a medium size list of things to fix, tweak, switch out or alter. Here is the list, the first few in order of importance/annoyance; the rest are a bit “in the weeds” but we include in case those undergoing a restoration can learn from our experience!

1.Trailer brake lights. In Oregon, we had a “sudden stop behind a semi on the highway don’t know if we are gonna make it” scare, which made us think hard about how well the folks behind us could see our brake lights, especially obscured by the bikes. Ben wanted lights that would somehow blend in and found these bright LEDs to attach to the Airstream bumper. He spent a good amount of time making sure the install was clean, and of course, functional!IMG_4296

2. Closet renovation. At first we had a small closet with a hanging rod and one of those hanging sweater things. The “sweaters” always fell out, and of course we just don’t have a lot of clothes to hang. We do have clothes to roll up, stuff, and most importantly to store in a sort of purgatory when we are planning to wear them the next day. Hence the new closet with shelves only. We’ll get it a bit more organized, but as a quick fix I made a couple of “drawers” out of cardboard boxes, covered them with contact paper and made rope handles. It’s working out great! The purgatory “bins” are the bottom row – Ben added that wood divider at the last minute so we’d each have our own side. Good idea. IMG_4058-03. Curtain tabs instead of metal hooks. I made the curtains and I guess to save a little time/labor I attached them to the rods with metal hooks. Boy were those a pain. They were hard to open, close, the hooks were always coming off and when we drove, the rods would often fall off. I retrofitted them by sewing on tabs (much harder to do on a machine after the fact) and they are working like a dream now.

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4. Woodwork – a few things that a little woodworking helped to make better. Clockwise from left: a “dam” to block errant water flow in the shower (the eucalyptus is new too!); Ben fitting and making fiddle rails for the dinette/bed cushions; and a little platform to raise our pantry cabinet so the door opens / closes more smoothly – it had dragged a bit on the floor before.

5. A little metal work – hanging, bolting, etc. which really all come down to creating more/better storage. Left to right: Some new hooks in the shower to hang our dirty laundry bags. Also in the bathroom – Ikea had these nifty metal shelves and one is up now to hold my main toiletries bag to make more room on the counter top. Finally, we already had the bread box, but now it’s bolted down!

6. Trailer hitch The paint on the weight distribution bars had been coming off and there was some surface rust. Ben scraped the old paint off, sanded and repainted with  POR 15. It’s a Reese hitch system which we are loving overall, but we were surprised the paint deteriorated so quickly.

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7. Bucket We swapped our “Pacific blue” bucket (in which we keep chocks, stabilizers, etc) for a new gray one (from Target). For many (snobs) in the wooden boat community (from which Ben hails), Pacific blue is an obnoxious, thoughtless, in your face color for boat accessories. It did NOT blend in with the Airstream, especially in pics. Ben hated it. (Can you tell?)

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8. Polish And finally – in my mind we were only going to do it if we had time – in Ben’s it was gonna get done no matter what: a quick and dirty polish using S-grade Nuvite polish and the cyclo polisher. The truck got a nice washing as well. IMG_3991

9. Jettisoning some stuff So, our truck bed was crammed full, and we did some hard sorting and left behind stuff we hadn’t used and came to realize we likely wouldn’t miss: a foldable kayak and accessories, a metal detector, sewing machine, exercise bands (kept the yoga mat), some clothes (see pile below; but added my slippers, which I had foolishly thought I wouldn’t want), our tent (kept the sleeping bags).IMG_3987

10. Storage Hammock Where to store produce that doesn’t need to be refrigerated? We had tried everything and we bought and installed this gear hammock (from a marine store of course). It was hard to pick a practical spot that wouldn’t stick out too much – we settled for above the sink. IMG_4056-0

So, off we go, 2nd leg, Southwest here we come, on our way to Ben’s family in Dallas for Christmas, with hopefully a shorter refit list so we can enjoy family and put the rest of our time and energy into rooting for the Sooners (Ben’s alma mater) in the playoffs!

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Restoration Wrap Up

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 IMG_0416installers 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

Threshold newly cork floor'd

Threshold newly cork floor’d

Looks a little like sheet music, no?

Looks a little like sheet music, no?

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 itIMG_0582 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

Thank you Aunt Mary Jane for the fabric: some gifts for our cats' host families.

Thank you Aunt Mary Jane for the fabric! Used my mad sewing skills to make some gifts for our cats’ host families.

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!

A Plumber and an Electrician walk into an Airstream…

…is either the beginning of a very promising joke, or a (brief) summary of the last couple of weeks in Airstream restoration. But seriously folks, it’s sooooo wonderful to be far enough along for systems work, and pleased to be able to hand most of it over to real experts. (Ben’s edit: Huh? What are you saying??) WARNING: This blog post will rank high with Airstream renovation enthusiasts, low with others. But to tide others over (eg my closest friends), here is something pretty – I machine appliqued the sailboat (a yawl like one we used to own) and Airstream onto the napping couch pillows. The reading light is newly installed and you get a good look at the bathroom sink cabinetry in the background.

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OK, back to the boring stuff. First the plumbing. You may recall in our prevous post that Ben had laid the groundwork for final connections by running all the PEX lines. My parents had scheduled their plumber Jaime to come over and do some maintenance (leaky faucets, a no-no in drought stricken California). They sung his praises, so we arranged to talk to him about doing the Airstream connections. The main requirement is that he be comfortable with PEX tubing, which is becoming more popular in home applications (it’s less labor intensive and thus cheaper to install), but still raises a few eyebrows among old fashioned Jaime-The-Plumber types because it’s, well, not copper.  Turns out Jaime and crew did know how to handle PEX, had all the right high-tech tools, and even signed off on PEX philosophically as perfect for a trailer.  All went great. A real feeling of progress when we hooked up the “city water” supply (i.e. attached the garden hose to the newly-installed inlet in the back of the trailer) and the system was pressurized!  Faucets all worked and everything drained properly!

Jaime the plumber at work

Jaime the plumber at work

Meanwhile, we’d been hunting around for an electrician and found Soren, the electrician who works with Brody Travel Supply in Ojai, CA. Brody is one of our favorite follows on Instagram. Collin, of CFDetailing knew we were looking for an electrician and suggested we call Geoff (“who knows everyone!”) at Brody, who then kindly hooked us up with Soren who works out of their shop about 90 minutes north of Glendale.

So, we prepared to take the trailer out of the driveway for the first time (since we arrived here on May 6th) to head up the road. Woot!

We battened down the hatches, confirmed we were paid up on our insurance, and put some notes on cars parked across the street – asking if they’d move their cars so we’d have all the room possible for leaving the driveway. The hitch scraped a bit when we had backed in and we have since installed our water heater; its exhaust pipe (see pic below) sits lower than the hitch, on the side. If that pipe scrapes, we are doomed. So, Ben built some hefty wood ramps to deploy under the tires if we needed some extra height to avoid scraping, and I positioned myself in the rose bushes to watch carefully as he moved out – alas no scraping, so the hefty wood ramps have been set aside to be used in the zombie apocalypse.

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Water heater pipe in foreground, hitch in background. Zombie apocalypse ramp at left.

Airstream, after successful launch fro our driveway, in our

Airstream, after successful launch from our driveway, in our “staging area” a block away on a quiet street adjacent to ours.

We took the easterly route (the 210 to the 5 to the 126, y’all!) to Brody’s in Ojai (avoiding the 101) and had an uneventful drive through mountains and valleys and lush (thanks to irrigation) fruit and vegetable farmlands. It WAS great to be on the road, even for a short time. After arriving, we killed a little time before meeting with Geoff, taking pics of our shiny trailer and tangling with a junkyard dog (not really).

Geoff kindly gave us a tour of the other trailers in his lot – some works in progress, all interesting and made more so by his enthusiast’s perspective and details. He and Ben exchanged some sourcing ideas. We quizzed him about solar, etc. We made plans to return two days later to meet Soren once he began the work,

Though we didn’t have much time to explore Ojai, we did have a delicious outdoors lunch at Boccali’s with an oak grove behind us and farms and mountains in the distance – fresh lemonade, Italian subs, and their signature strawberry shortcake.

Then we headed, sans Airstream, west to Santa Barbara for a couple of days of R&R. We’d been looking for an excuse to get up north to visit my cousin Nancy there (my aunt and uncle also have a vacation place there). We stayed two nights, had two fabulous dinners with Nancy and Peck (that’s him manning their backyard pizza oven below while dog ‘Stache keeps an eye out for scraps), breakfast burritos both mornings (Jeannine’s had the edge on taste, Daily Grind on value) and a very restful and rejuvenating time looking at this view (far right) from Uncle Ron and Aunt Mary Jane’s place.

When we returned to Brody’s to go over everything, we were introduced to Soren, electrician and, naturally, vintage Airstream enthusiast.  Where do all these people come from? Everybody out here loves old trailers! Anyway, Soren knew immediately what we had in mind and he proceeded to do an awesome, super-neat job connecting all the wires Ben ran beneath the walls to the fuse box and new batteries.

So for now, while we await next week’s appointments for propane (Monday), solar (Wed) and floors (Friday), Ben has a ginormous punch list to go through – installing electrical boxes and light fixtures, finishing woodwork, and who knows what else. I get to go shopping – snagged tons of cool stuff for storage/shelving at Ikea yesterday – showcase to come. Later today I’ll be putting on ratty clothes so I can polish up the bad boys below before they begin their lives supplying life blood to our fridge, stove, water heater, and bbq.  Sigh. Only Ben (and polisher Collin, of course) would demand such aesthetic perfection.

Propane tanks about to get clean.

Propane tanks about to get really shiny.

Everything’s going down the drain – hopefully!

So, picture this scenario: I come back to my Airstream after a glorious day of hiking the most gorgeous canyon trails, where it was hot. And dusty. I’m exhausted, and all I want to do is take a real shower in my own home before kicking back for crispy time, to watch the sunset with a snack and a cocktail. Will I settle for a bird bath, maybe a full body wet wipe or the undependable campPlumbing sketchground showers? No!

I asked Ben Barker, amateur Airstream restorer, what he has done to make my dream possible.

Ben – why did you begin your foray into the plumbing systems with the shower drain in particular?
There are three drains in the Airstream – kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and shower. And I knew the shower would be the most involved. I started with its drain line, because, though I’ve never done this before, I understand it’s harder to run water drain lines than it is to run supply lines. Makes sense: drains use hard piping, with glued connections, so by nature they are more permanent and have less room for error!  By contrast, we’ll use PEX tubing for water supply lines – PEX is pretty flexible and much more forgiving as it snakes its way around the trailer.

How did you plan for the work? Were you starting from scratch?
The gray water tanks and the main drain line from the tanks (located in the middle of the trailer, underneath on the axle) to the dump valve in the rear bumper of the trailer, were already installed. This existing main drain line would be like the main artery  – the “drain highway” –  so I planned out from there how and where to lay the shower and the shower drain. We had to work within the constraints of the bathroom size, the curves of the walls, the size of the water heater, how tall both Meg and I are, etc. as we finalized the location and the materials for the shower itself.

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Bathroom layout from top: shower, water heater (sink will go on top), toilet

What did you do first? AND WHAT WAS IT LIKE CUTTING A HOLE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE AIRSTREAM?
First we put the newly acquired solid surface (Swanstone from Lowe’s) shower pan into position. For some reason, and I’m not sure why, the shower has to drain directly into the drain highway (if the dump valve is closed, the water then diverts to the gray tanks.) For both the kitchen and the bathroom sinks, the water drains into the gray tanks via their separate pipes; when the tanks are emptied, the contents travel down the drain highway on their way to the dump valve near the rear bumper.

Ben underneath the Airstream, checking, installing, adjusting the plumbing.

Ben underneath the Airstream, checking, installing, adjusting the plumbing.

Drilling holes in our fancy new Nyloboard subfloor always makes me a little nervous, but I told Meg there was no turning back, and I summoned the courage and boldness of all the amateur restorers before me and I drilled an exploratory hole in the middle of the shower drain, through the subfloor, hoping and praying the drill bit would emerge somewhere close to the main drain line I was trying to tap into (I had measured of course, but you never know). Then I went underneath the trailer to see how close: with the belly pan removed I could see that yes! the hole was close enough to the main drain line (and thankfully, hadn’t penetrated it!).

So, the rest was easy, right?
Riiiiiiiiiiight…I cut the main pipe to install a T fitting connecting the shower drain to the drain highway. Instead of using the traditional P trap, I used a device from Vintage Trailer Supply called a hepvo which is great for RVs. It’s a self-ventilating one-way valve which essentially keeps water or gases from coming back in once they’ve gone down the drain so to speak.

Then I plugged away at framing out the shower pan, working around and within the constraints for the rest of the bathroom – finessing the water heater placement, wanting to maximize storage, leaving room for the door to open, etc.

So many plumbing parts gathered, but which is the right one?

So many plumbing parts gathered, but which is the right one?

In the meantime, I made multiple trips back and forth to Virgil’s to find a compatible drain to marry up the Hepvo device with the main drain line. Many trips. I ended up cannibalizing a small sink drain I already had and turned that into the main shower line.

So, does the shower drain work? Will Meg’s dream come true?
After hooking everything up, tightening screws, doling out silicone, I did a bunch of leak tests with the garden hose resulting in minimal drama – just a few adjustments here and there.

However, in the final test, the shower backed up and almost overflowed!  We soon realized we had

Oops! On your test, don't put more water down the drain than the tanks can hold!

Oops! On your test, don’t put more water down the drain than the tanks can hold!

Garden hose critical to plumbing tests.

Garden hose critical to plumbing tests.

maxed out and completely filled the 30 gallon water tanks. So we began the process of dumping the water, though of course, carefully.

Twelve 2.5 gallon buckets of water were recycled to give John’s rose bushes an extra drink this week.

Any more to this story? What should we look for next?
The frame out of the bathroom included the installation of the on-demand water heater, a PrecisionTemp RV 550 NSP from Vintage Trailer Supply.  I spent some time on the phone with the manufacturer – the installation directions always seem to have a few blanks to fill in, and I found what turned out to be an extra screw rattling around inside. The heater has an exhaust pipe which required a trip to the auto parts store this time–parts to extend the exhaust pipe.

And, we are still researching/debating shower surround – we’ve considered everything from tile, to solid surface, to stainless steel and now we’re coming back to wood – cedar planks like in a sauna. Some negatives to that, but we’ll try to work around those and figure it out as we go.

Lunch break - Ben loves pictures! And lunch breaks!

Lunch break – Ben loves pictures! And lunch breaks!

And???? And, I’ve promised you [Meg] to install those curtain rods so you can hem the curtains and finish that project.

Right, get on that please! More coming soon on curtains, the refrigerator, oven, kitchen storage, and a trip to Home Depot to buy stuff!

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Doors!

If the past few days had a theme, it would be doors…and windows…and a hinge.

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Clothes closet up top, air conditioner stored and rolled out when in use from bottom compartment.

First up in our recap, the combo sliding (up/down) closet and air conditioning door. The closet is on the curbside, just forward of the bathroom. We knew the clothes closet would have to share space with the air conditioner (we opted for a portable, rolling unit instead of a rooftop one). At some point a few months ago when Ben was scoping everything out, he asked me to bring out a dress on a hanger so he could see how tall to make the closet. Well I’m not sure what the point of that exercise was, because the closet is four feet tall. But it is beautifully framed out in redwood; the doors are redwood with luan panels inset.

One more lament, and I’ll let it go: we came upon the idea of doing sliding doors, thinking that would be the best use of limited space. I now realize we will not have a “back of the closet door” on which to hang things. 😦

To make the door panels, Ben used the table saw – ran the luan through multiple times with the blade so low it was only nicking the wood – and the result is a fake beadboard panel that is thin enough to fit in the the doors. When seeing it finished, I pronounced the door beautifully rustic, which Ben took as a half insult. JK – he agrees – high design rustic = cool.

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Bathroom door, old factory glass

The bathroom door, also of redwood and luan, went pretty smoothly. It includes a glass panel, to let a bit of light in both ways. It’s that greenish industrial glass, with chicken wire. It’s definitely vintage, definitely from eBay, though if you believe Ben’s description of it on Instagram, we also *know* it’s from an old factory. Probably. It made it here in one piece from Maryland wrapped in a wool blanket and 3,000 miles of positive thinking.

He needed a miter gauge to closely fit the various pieces of the frame and panel (also known as stile and rail) door. The one that came with the job-site table saw acquired after we got here was a K-tastrophe. So he built one that only produces 90 degree cuts, but was adequate for the job and way better than the cheapo one from DeWalt. (The table saw itself is decent for its purpose, though Ben says he’s pushing its limits.)

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Counter top extension, magic hinge

Next up, the hinge – one that will be much used, and was much labored over – Ben finished mounting a flip-up counter top extension/cutting board next to the stove top. It’s attached with an aluminum hinge he picked up from a boat salvage place. The spring loaded supports came from Rockler. He used a chisel to mortise out the hinge, attaching it both to the existing countertop and the extension. It works like a dream. DO NOT WORRY. To make full use of the napping couch, all one has to do is raise (with ease) the hinged counter top.

In ladies-land, we took on windows, and I started one of my major projects – the Airstream curtains. After considering what might go well with celery-colored bulkheads, wood, and aluminum, we chose a navy blue and white zig-zag stripe, which we are 99 percent sure was the right decision.

From lower left, counterclockwise: fabrics we considered, panel under construction, and finished panel.

From lower left, counterclockwise: fabrics we considered, panel under construction, and finished panel.

It might be a little dizzying if you are prone to vertigo (we are not, thankfully). I clicked around and settled on pleated curtains, which I’ll attach with curtain hooks. The whole shebang involved buckram, blackout lining, and lots of measuring. I have some sewing experience, enough to struggle-though-not-give-up on following written instructions. I’ve been using these tutorials for the curtains, and found this when I realized I didn’t have a blind hem foot. Ya see… Ben’s not the only one who can come up with a work around 🙂

There are six windows in the Airstream, though three of these are double windows, with a smaller second window below the larger one. I may do those smaller windows in plain ole navy blue, to give the eyes a little rest. Some of the windows ARE the same size, but each seems to have its own personality, involving a frame that juts up against a shelf, doorway, or yes, even a bulkhead. So, I re-measure a lot. I’ve only ripped out one seam so far, which I consider incredible. We’ll mount them in the next day or so. I can tell you the blackout liner really works-a must have if we plan on sleeping past sunrise ever.

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Grilled veggie pasta, practicing food photography

Let’s break the theme and have a food pic, of a grilled veggie pasta, made with every vegetable acquired at the farmers market last Sunday: beets, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, onions. Added a little pesto. It was delish. Sister Sara, Ben and I grilled and ate outside with my parents. I’ll leave you with my friend Pam’s critique of my food photo shot (so you can learn as well).

A little too much going on between the bread and fork AND pasta. Pull back the camera a hair and take out the bread. Zucchini piece on the right third, fork on left third, maybe flopped over. 

This shot shows the garage interior thru to Ben's worktable/space in the back.

This shot shows the garage interior thru to Ben’s worktable/space in the back.

We are enjoying mostly cloudy and cool days, though today the sun finally came
out. A real LA day, in Ben’s estimation. He celebrated by riding his bike to Anawalt Lumber for caulk and glue brushes (Anawalt has been a local, family-owned institution since the 1920s, and it’s also our source for redwood. It’s just up the street and though I had never been there, my mom remembers going for boy scout supplies back in the day.)

So much ahead – we picked up our shower pan today, so that sets up more plumbing and bathroom construction. Lots of head scratching about the dinette/bed area. I have 6 curtains down, 12 to go. And, Ben is thinking seriously about buying an Anawalt t-shirt, and is encouraged by the fact that IT will fit in the closet.

Bulkheads are Essentially Interior Walls

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Painted bulkhead, aluminum channel – no gaps!

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Finishing touches on bulkhead; the job started with a tick stick.

Lots of progress in the last week – highlights are really the bulkheads – essentially the interior walls – to separate the bathroom, and form the combo (little) clothes closet / home for the air conditioner. First we (recall I use the term “we” very loosely) measured using an old boat builder’s technique to take curves off the Airstream walls. The tick stick transfers the curve of the wall onto the bulkhead.  Note, like a boat, few things are plumb, level or square, so these measurements are not exactly precise, but definitely taken with care.

After much remeasuring and cutting, we were satisfied with the fit to the curves. Then, we cut lengths of aluminum channel which we were using to attach the bulkheads to the trailer walls. Ben did most of the fitting, attaching, sliding, pounding, shoving, pushing, etc to make them fit. I was occasionally brought in for support roles to stand on a board, pound a hammer, push or rivet, sometimes helping, often not so much, but consistently providing food and taking the lead on social media updates!

In the end, the aluminum channel was riveted to the interior walls, and the bulkheads were inserted into the channels, so the channel serves as a very cool and clean trim for the walls. Where there were a few gaps between the channels and the walls, we’ll just “throw in some silver goop” says Ben.

We decided we wanted to paint the bulkheads and knowing the overall color scheme will be blue, gray, and green, with of course lots of metal and wood, we settled on what we are calling a celery green. I’ve liked it from the start, it’s growing on Ben. The actual color is … I’ll look it up! from Dunn Edwards.

Other progress includes – framing out the napping couch – just long enough for me to recline on diagonally, as Old Abe had to in his boarding house death bed. Ben will be doing most of the napping anyway, so no loss.

Napping couch - perfect size for someone shorter than me!

Napping couch – perfect size for someone shorter than me!

We also borrowed a thickness planer from our longtime neighbors, the Peplows. Mr. Peplow has a wood shop (which Ben toured while Mrs. Peplow and I talked travel plans) and has most recently gotten into turning – he has quite a collection of pens he has made – look for his Etsy shop soon! It was super nice of him to not only lend the planer, but walk it over to our house and leave it with Ben for a spell.

Last weekend we visited my young and dear friend Clare and her family in Santa Monica. They have an awesome little guest house, and their girls, 4 and 1, were full of energy and fun.

Family fun! Will get their own Airstream some day!

Family fun! Will get their own Airstream some day!

Their kitchen/dining room is shaped sort of like a very large Airstream – I predict they’ll join us on the road in 15 years, or maybe sooner.

Branzino, beans, and super corn!

Branzino, beans, and super corn!

Robin made Branzino on the grill and I ruined the “food porn” photo of it with this giant lemon wedge straight from the ladies’ grille at the Country Club!

Ben is currently doing more trim carpentry – right in his wheelhouse – pure woodworking, so truly fun for him. He picked up some redwood to build the bathroom door and what we think will be sliding doors for the closet. Redwood is lightweight and beautiful! He’s also working out a cool way to mount an extra cutting board next to the stove – one that will lift and lower on hinges.

Countdown to Blastoff

Meg and Ben CA BeachIf we have learned one thing in planning our Airstream sabbatical, it’s to look ahead with hope, and only share with the world about what’s *actually* happened. In the past year +, we have: bought a 1968 Airstream Safari; begun a shell off restoration; set our goal to to travel the country for a year or so; finished a shell off restoration with the help of some pros. Also, Meg quitFree pile her job; we sold a bunch of stuff (free pile pictured at left); found some awesome renters for our house, and vacation home/families for our kitties. Meg’s parents agreed to host us in their driveway for a few months while we finish the interior in So Cal–where we are headed shortly; Ben’s mom found us a parking lot to park in when we stop over in Dallas along the way. And, we’ve realized a thousand times how lucky we are. Check back to find out what happens next, a day or so after it happens. At least until we get into a groove. We’ll also post the occasional “retrospective” filling in some of the interesting and/or useful details that got us here, Barkers on Break.