Archive for September, 2010

Chugging Along

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Since returning from Wyoming in July we’ve only been out twice in our Airstreams. We’d intended on going to Salida, Colorado for the 10th annual Rocky Mt. Vintage Airstream Club rally, but only made it to the outskirts of Denver. Our vintage Suburban developed a carburetor problem. We turned around and limped home – if it could barely pull us up hills, there was no way it would get us up mountains.

With the Paynes
L to R – Patrice, Bill and Linda Payne, and me. Pikes Peak is in the background.

It turned out to be the float – it’d become dislodged and was hanging at an angle. I took the Suburban into the shop on Friday for a carburetor overhaul and got it back Monday morning. The RMVAC rally was over, but we did go ahead and meet our friends, the Paynes, at Mueller State Park. It is a high mountain park (about 9,600′ I think) and is about 4 miles south of Divide, CO and borders the west slope of Pike’s Peak mountain. The drive from Colorado Springs is uphill all the way with grades often exceeding 6% and occasionally hitting 8% or more. But the Suburban has never run quite so well as it does now and we had no problem pulling our 32′ Excella.

Site number 87
Every camping spot in Mueller is a good site.

Our other outing was of an entirely different sort. I finally got to work on our ’66 Globe Trotter. It has been sitting idle for two years in the RV storage lot. I have really neglected it. Leaves left on the roof over last winter acidified leaving not just oxidation, but pinpoint sized holes etched into the aluminum skin. The tires, while they still had lots of tread on them were crazed from weathering and I had to replace them. It was a lot of work, washing, polishing, repacking bearings, etc., just to take it to the Denver Modernism Show, but it was worth it, if only to get some maintenance done.

Looking good
Our ’66 Globe Trotter looking good once again.

The show was much like last year, except that the bands were louder and more obnoxious. I really don’t understand why rock n’roll garage bands are invited to play at a Modernism event. The era was more about jazz, like the Ramsey Lewis Trio, than the Beatles. But I shouldn’t complain, since anyone bringing a vintage or retro Airstream to the show gets in for free. Besides, it’s always a fun event and I’ll be there next year, hopefully.

Basking under the lights
Airstreams basking under florescent lights.

What I’d like to do is attend the Palm Springs, CA, Modernism Week in February, but it looks as though the Airstreams that will be on display there are already booked. There doesn’t seem to be any information on-line about how or who to contact for consideration. The other option I’m hoping for is an Alumapalooza West rally, same time, same place – how about it Rich, anything cooking?

Best of Show (not vintage or retro though)

The Denver event had an expanded car show this year. Chris Hildenbrand and Jim Lane not only brought their 2006 Airstream Bambi SE Quick Silver, but also their Lincoln and Porsche. Their Porsche won Best of Show.

V.W. camper
V.W. mellow yellow camper.

Not that it compares to an Airstream of course, but there was this absolutely gorgeous 1962 V.W. Camper belonging to Joey Lamart. I’m hoping that next year there will be other vintage campers at the show. I think that would make the show much more interesting – don’t you?

One of the more colorful vendor displays that caught my eye.

About the Author

Hi, my name is Forrest McClure. I've been writing for the magazine since its inception. My wife and I travel with our 1966 20' Globe Trotter or our 1986 32' Excella. So, my primary interest is vintage travel trailers.