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 ...

Thursday, March 17, 2005


We've finally set up a couple of photo albums online. You can see the first two albums "Before" and "During" here:

An album of "After" photos will appear before the end of this month.

Leak Patrol

We've had two solid days of rain and so I've had the opportunity to further diagnose those leaks we spotted at the Florida State Rally. The one of major concern is appearing right at an interior seam about midway up the wall inside the refrigerator compartment. It's just a very small trickle, but of course over a few hours of rain the water saturates the plywood floor and that will eventually cause the rot problem again.

Water appearing at a seam on the inside of the trailer means that it is getting inside the walls. It gets inside the walls due to a leak above. Trying to find the exact entry point can make you can go crazy. The leak point can be a pinhole in some caulk, a very slightly loose rivet, or a tiny crack in a plastic part.

For now, I'll put a towel in the space to soak up the water that leaks in, and change it every few hours so that the water doesn't do any harm to the plywood. During the March 25-27 work session, I'll have to get on the roof and carefully inspect EVERYTHING. We've done this before, of course, but obviously we've missed something.

If you just replace what you think is the problem, you're guaranteed to go up to the roof again and again. The way to keep from going insane when doing this is to completely strip out any rivets, caulk, or parts on the roof that appear to be the least bit suspect, and replace with new. Parr-Bond, Vulkem, and a box of Olympic rivets will be my major tools in this battle. In particular, I'll be checking each rivet for tightness. A brown or black ring around a rivet indicates that it is loose and needs to be replaced.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Road Test #2

You know we've got a big work session coming up on March 25-27 (Easter weekend). But since Vintage Thunder is now usable, we'll be taking it on the road again this Saturday, for a five day roadtrip. This should allow us to "test" everything again ... yeah, that's it, we're testing!

You know I do this out of obligation. Testing MUST be done. It's just part of the job. It has nothing to do with the fact that the Florida weather in March is usually perfect for beach trips. And it must be a total coincidence that we were able to book a few nights at the Red Coconut ( campground on the beach on Sanibel Island!

Since we'll have Internet access thanks to the mobile phone, I'll try to post a few updates from the road trip, um, I mean "road TEST". Then we'll head directly back to Brett's place on Thursday to fix and upgrade everything. We'll post daily updates during that work session.

I hear the Easter Bunny will be showing up on Sunday, too, so don't be surprised if a few colorful eggs show up in Vintage Thunder.

The picture below shows the neon telltales we installed near the entry door. They tell us from a distance whether we've left the outside porch or scare lights on!