Project Vintage Thunder

The latest on Project Vintage Thunder, by Airstream Life magazine. Sponsored by George M Sutton RV, Reese hitch, Dometic USA, PPG Paint, Axis Products, GSM Vehicles, and Zip-Dee. Vintage Thunder is an "honest" RV refurbishment and travelogue. We tell you what really happens ...

Sunday, October 16, 2005


I think yesterday should count as our first official day of the Tour of America. We headed out from South Bend in the morning and (after a harrowing ride through Chicago on I-90), stopped in Rolling Meadows IL to visit with a few folks. Tom King and Joyce Cutsforth of Internet-in-Motion dropped in to see our trailer and catch up a bit. Tom has some great ideas for a mobile webcam that we may integrate into the upcoming Tour website.

Brad Cornelius also dropped in. He designed the great graphics you see on the exterior of the trailer. (Brad also painted the Fall 2005 cover of Airstream Life, which should be in the mail to you in about a week.)

While we were giving these tours, we happened to be parked at a Wal-Mart. People kept coming by and taking photos of the trailer, so we invited a few in. We met some nice guys from Holland who have a "mobile bakery" that they run out of an Airstream there. They were excited to see the Tour trailer and promised to email photos of theirs as soon as they get back home.

After that visit we hit a local IKEA to shop for some trailer accessories. Eleanor found a fine aluminum wine rack that we plan to mount on the wall. It looks like it belongs there. This is an accessory every Airstream should have, if only because it looks so right.

Our next stop was 90 minutes west, somewhere along I-80 in the plains of Illinois. We hit a Cracker Barrel for dinner (our friend Gary was right, you CAN eat every meal at Cracker Barrel if you stick to the highways), and then parked overnight. Our neighbors happen to be in an Airstream Classic with the WBCCI # 5883. We haven't seen them yet but perhaps we will before we go.

There's an axiom I was taught by the fellow who sold us our first Airstream: The propane always runs out in the middle of the night. For some reason I was up at 4:30 this morning when I heard the furnace cycle on and off a bit too quickly. Sure enough, we'd just run out of gas. That's why we have two bottles and an auto-switching regulator, but of course I forgot to open the second bottle, and so I had to get out there in my bare feet in the dark to flip the switch. At least it wasn't too cold...

Speaking of which, poor Emma is really down with a cold. She's a trouper about it but there's no question it has taken her down a peg. I expect she'll sleep late and so it will be hard to reach our next goal today. But that's the nice thing about traveling this way. She can stay in bed while we catch up on work and phone calls, have breakfast, etc. When she wakes up, we'll be all set to go.


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