Archive for the ‘Trailer history’ Category

Airstream Safari trip notes

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

I start by making checklists and notes on a 8.5″ x 13″ yellow pad days before our Airstream Safari camping trips and specific tasks are assigned to specific prep days depending on the weather.  For example, Friday’s weather was clear, two days before departure on our first trip of the season, so I completed one of the scheduled tasks by attaching my PressurePro tire pressure sensors to the tires of the truck and Safari and adjusting the pressures toward the recommended cold tire pressures (50 psi for my 14″ trailer tires, 60 psi for the front truck tires, and 75 psi for the rear truck tires).

Starting a trip with the right tire pressures is important because an under-inflated tire could get too hot, stressed, and fail.  The tricky part is that tire pressures fluctuate with the outside air temperatures by as much as 1 psi per every 10° F change in temperature.*  The temperature was 80° that Friday afternoon when I attached the sensors.  I knew that the pressures would be lower the next morning and even lower at our mountain camping destination, predicted to get the first cold storm of the season by midweek.  My task was facilitated by the PressurePro monitor, which shows the pressures at a touch of a button and then I recorded the pressures, along with the date, time, outside temperature, and weather conditions.  So when we departed, I was confident the tires had the optimal pressures for our 5 days of camping.

DSC_0017 Solar & Tire pressure notes

My note taking continued when we arrived at our non-hookup campsite as I kept track of weather conditions and how well our Lifeline AGM batteries were being recharged by our two Airstream factory installed solar panels (See my Columnar Pad notes in above photo).  These notes are saved and assist me in determining when it’s time to replace the batteries (I replaced our first set after 5 years).

I continued to write notes on my yellow pad throughout our camping trip, which are also saved for future reference.  At home, Larry maintains a running camping log on a Word document on our aluminum iMac* of trip mileages, menus, plants, birds and people seen.  I also make concise entries in “The Airstream Travel Journal”.

DSC_0003 Journal hardcovers

See More, Do More, Live More: The Airstream Travel Journal“, designed by Bryan Burkhart/MODERNHOUSE, was published by Chronicle Books LLC in 2002.  (Bryan Burkhart is also the designer and coauthor of Airstream: The History of the Land Yacht, Chronicle Books LLC, 2000.)  The spiral-bound journal with aluminum* front and back covers and featuring lined pages along with vintage Airstream spot art and photos, originally sold for $16.95 and I bought two of them in 2006.  This journal is now out of print and is no longer available from Chronicle Books*, but it can be found online for prices ranging from $79.99 to $600!  (For now, I think I will not place notes in my second copy and will just keep it in pristine condition for future possibilities!)

DSC_0002 Lined pages with notes

See More, Do More, Live More: The Airstream Travel Journal

Another journal, “Airstream Prism Journal Book“, is currently available online for $16.95 from Airstream, Inc..  Per Airstream’s website, this journal has a silver anodized aluminum front cover and a black leather back with an elastic pen loop and includes a black Airstream pen.

Our aluminum Airstream (75th anniversary)* Safari trip notes also find their way into our aluminum MacBook Pro*, which transforms them into a blog post, documenting those riveting experiences.*

HPIM2381_2 MacBook Pro & Safari

I prefer writing my trip notes with a pen and paper, but perhaps I should consider a simpler tool, the pencil, or a more powerful tool, the iPad Air*, or perhaps the typewriter (with its classic, iconic image and sound)* would be more appropriate!

*This is a link to a YouTube video.

Wondering and wandering about books

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

The summer grains of sand kept on slipping into the bottom of the hourglass as we approached the dog days of summer and I finished my daily bedtime reading out loud of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling, and started her second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

I had already purchased the first four Harry Potter novels some years ago, and just prior to the opening of the latest (and presumably last) Harry Potter movie this summer, I bought the last three novels at Borders just in time before Borders began closing all of its stores.  We still have a Barnes & Noble bookstore in San Diego, but it seems that there are far fewer books stores now and many attribute this to discounters, online booksellers and electronic books.  There is no doubt that e-book readers, such as Kindle, are great devices for Airstreaming, since they are small, lightweight, and can “carry” hundreds of books.  I, however, prefer a book that can only be fully experienced and appreciated as an integral whole… its size and weight, the feel of its cover and pages, its images, its smell, as well as its content.

A good example of this is Wanderlust Limited Edition (#0704), Wanderlust – Airstream at 75, Russ Banham, Greenwich Publishing Group, Inc., Connecticut, 2005, with 192 glossy pages and a riveted aluminum slipcover measuring 10″x 12″… a stunning presence.  We were lured into getting our first Airstream trailer in part by beautiful Airstream-themed books and Airstream Life magazine.

I am currently a juror on a 3-week long case and each day I take with me Bill Moyers Journal – The Conversation Continues, which I read during breaks and the hour and a half lunch period.  I use my time clock attendance certification paper as a bookmark within its 594 pages.

The wit and weight of Mark Twain await me in the form of Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1, all 737 pages and 4 pounds worth.

I am especially intrigued by antique books such as The Works of Charles Dickens, Volumes VI, XI, and XIV, Thomas Nelson and Sons, London, Edinburgh, New York, 1901-1903… a fly was also curious.

At the beginning of Volume XI, Hard Times, by Charles Dickens, is a wonderful illustration of the character, Tom, talking to his sister, Louisa.

“… Tom went and leaned on the back of her chair, to contemplate the fire which so engrossed her, from her point of view, and see what he could make of it…  ‘Wondering again!’ said Tom.”  (page 56)

Wondering and wandering in books…

So, wouldn’t this be a good time for a piece of rhubarb pie, a steaming cup of hot coffee, and a Neverending Story.

Airstream and Earth Day

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

In 1969, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed a national environment event which led to the first Earth Day observance on April 22, 1970. It is now viewed as a worldwide effort to promote the health and protection of our global environment and resources.

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Forty-three years earlier, William Hawley Bowlus supervised the construction of Charles Lindbergh’s plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, at Ryan Aeronautical Corporation in San Diego. In 1934, he applied aircraft monocoque construction techniques and used Duraluminum in making a streamlined travel trailer, the Road Chief. Two years later, a salesman for the Bowlus-Teller Mfg. Company, Wally Byam, bought the company, founded Airstream, and made their first trailer, the Airstream Clipper, based on the Road Chief.

The sleek, streamline design of Airstream trailers now seems to be a timeless icon of natural beauty in form and function that works well with the environment rather than against it. The Airstream’s shiny exterior reflects the gleaming sun, sky, and natural beauty wherever we take it. Its low profile design also means that it helps us be more fuel efficient when towing, as well as safer in wind-advisory conditions.

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The Airstream trailer enables us to experience a variety of terrains and get close to the natural beauty of our planet Earth. It also reinforces good conservation efforts and habits as we learn to be frugal in the use of the trailer’s supply of water, propane and electricity. Airstream also inspires us just by being visible through our living room window.

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It motivates us to maintain and conserve what we already have (the greenest building is one that is already built), as well as to add additional alternative energy systems such as solar and wind power technology.

Airstream energizes us to observe, celebrate and live Earth Day, every day. Earth Day activates us to become more aware of environmental concerns and current issues. One issue is the threat to our local, state and national parks due to budget cuts during the downturn of our economy; California and Arizona are two good examples.

For more information on Earth Day and keeping current on green issues, check out some of these links: earth911.org, epa.gov/earthday, treehugger.com, and if you have a cat, see naturesearth.com. Then get your favorite beverage, sit back and enjoy music to celebrate Earth Day.

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Happy Earth Day (and Happy Birthday Emma)!

About the Author

BILL, along with partner, Larry, were first-time RV'ers when they purchased their custom-ordered 23' 2007 Airstream Safari SE. Bill (a retired RN) and Larry (a retired pediatric Occupational Therapist) enjoy bringing history alive in the area of San Diego, CA.