After reading some of the other blogs, about wasps (I hate them!), mice, and other invaders, I now consider myself blessed. One of the great things about condominium living is that most of the duties of being a property owner are taken care of. It is one reason we thought it would work for us. A condo or townhome is a lock and leave lifestyle.
If only we could leave! I’d had thoughts of traveling, at least to some places around Colorado, but winter keeps invading our fall. It has absolutely killed what should have been a glorious autumn. Early freeze and snow at the beginning of the month turned green leaves straight to brown. It has depressed me to no end. Autumn is my favorite season, and old man winter stole it. Where did that good global warming go?
October along the Front Range in Colorado is usually a quiet month with mild sunny days and clear cool nights. Snow can come even in late September, but most often, we count on our first good snow and freezing temperature closer to Halloween. This October, we’ve fluctuated wildly between warm days and nights to sub-freezing temperatures and heavy wet snow. Local weathermen have taken to calling it the “warm before the storm.” For instance, Tuesday afternoon I played golf, but that night and since then we’ve been inundated with snow. In fact, there is a blizzard outside my window as I write this. I’d take a photo and post it, but what would be the point? If you need to know what it looks like outside my window, just take a piece of typing paper and hold it up close to your face. There it is!
So, the weather this month has me stymied. I’d hoped to get more work done on my Excella. I did fiberglass the floor under the bathroom sink where there was some minor water damage. I installed the stainless steel rock guards I purchased from Airstream back in June. I fixed a roof leak caused by cracks in our front Fantastic Vent. Whoever installed it didn’t use the foam gasket that comes with the kit. Instead, the outer flange was screwed directly to the aluminum skin and now there are cracks radiating out from the screws. Ultimately, I’ll have to replace it, but for now, my fix was to replace the old caulk and cover the flange and screws with adhesive backed aluminum tape. It’s a temporary fix, but will likely last for a couple of years.
I still have a long list of things to do though. I bought a five-gallon bucket of Napier RemovAll 220 from Vintage Trailer Supply. It is reportedly good for removing the clear coat on Airstreams, but I need a steady supply of 60+ degree-days to use it. If you are planning to do the same with your Airstream, get some now. The Napier factory has closed and RevovAll is no longer being made.
The bottom of the storage box behind the propane tanks has nearly rusted out and that will be a future project. Then there are the wheel wells, axles, and brakes. That will be a big project. The list goes on and on, but I’m closing the gap between projects and just doing maintenance – I think.
As involved as all this sounds, it isn’t unusual in the first three years of vintage ownership, and the Excella is very livable in its current condition. In fact, it has grown on me to the point where I like it as much as I do my Globe Trotter, but work on it and travel with it is now on hold. The good thing about being cooped up is that it gives me the opportunity to get some reading and writing done. I just checked out three books from the library written by Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr. He and Wally Byam traveled together through Europe in Airstreams twice, the first time right after WWII ended and again in the Fifties. Cornelius lived a very interesting life and was a world trailer traveler even before Wally was. I hope to have more on that in a future article. Until then, stay warm!