Bulkheads are Essentially Interior Walls


Painted bulkhead, aluminum channel – no gaps!


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.

Airstream Restoration Actually Begins

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Working to achieve the necessary angles on the gray water drains.


Measuring, cutting, and trimming pretty lauan plywood for bulkheads.

The last couple of days have seen a lot of trailer progress, but days must have better eyes than we humans, because we have had a hard time seeing it.. Huh? In other words, Ben has been doing lots of time consuming bulkhead fitting, tweaking of cabinetry, gluing of plastic drain pipes … zzzzzz … this stuff is entirely necessary, but rates at the rock bottom of the crowd-pleaser scale. Just not a whole lot of visual payoff. I have helped a little bit but always end up having to take breaks to rub the sawdust off my nose and eyelashes. This afternoon we did a dry fit of our cool kitchen sink faucet just to liven things up (it looked pretty cool).IMG_7937

We have covered a lot of ground in the valley gathering materials – North Hollywood and Burbank seem to be home to the majority of the hardware/metalwork/plumbing experts and FullSizeRender (2)supply places so far. The sheet metal guy we visited had a picture of Brad Pitt hanging in his office! Metal worker for the stars! But all the stories we pulled out of him were about Mickey Rourke. Everyone is very nice out here in LA. We knew that going in, but are constantly amazed by the pleasant customer service interactions. We’ve also been searching online for materials related to tip out trays, 12 volt LED bulbs of various shapes and sizes, and table spiders. Hm.

Dinners have included Moroccan chicken thighs with yogurt sauce, and salmon coconut curry. Dad has become more interested in eliminating sugar from his diet, so he and I cooked eggs side by side this morning. All my time growing up, Dad never cooked, and hasn’t ever really. But he knew a lot, learned a little, and

Food photography tips courtesy of Pam!

Food photography tips courtesy of Pam!

we’ll cook some more for sure in the weeks ahead. I’ve been swimming at the Y, and taken our bikes in for some tweaks. Since our last post, Washington’s hockey and basketball teams have been thumped out of the playoffs, but the Nats continue to do well and we are listening to this west coast swing on west coast time. Not bad.

Oh, and it rained! A ton – an inch or two. Lightning, thunder, the whole nine yards. Drought restrictions imposed aren’t as tough as I expected – or as I remember when we were kids. Basically, you are restricted to watering your lawn on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Other than that, there are suggestions, eg a 3 minute shower at the gym and general sounds of alarm emitted by my mother when we let the water run while washing dishes. Good training for the 30 gallon tank in our future.