Restoration of Scott and Kathy's 1955 Flying Cloud Whale Tail - Our California Vintage Airstream.
Airstream Restoration by Colin Hyde Trailer Restoration

Friday, September 24, 2010

Any Spring Left in these Leaf Springs

Our leaf springs and axle will be updated to a better riding torsion axle.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gone Fishin'

I'll post more photos and details later when internet access is better. Right now Fish Creek Pond is calling us - boondocking here we come!

And trout are waiting in the West Branch of the Ausable River.

Soft and Gooey

Oh yes. The faux-wood-look vinyl covered a bit of floor rot. The entire floor is bouncy and the right side is not secure.

Being under the trailer myself, I am better understanding what I've seen in photos of other trailers. Below is my photo taken from the ground looking up into the area normally covered by the belly pan - the underside of the plywood floor. The step should securely attach to the frame here. The step on the right is photographed from the rear of the trailer and looking forward. The 3" deep (aka tall) C-channel frame shown on the left.

Below: As expected there is floor rot at the typical 1950's segmented C Channel. The first photo shows the C-Channel flat on the floor.

The photo below shows a small strip aluminum - remaining when the rest of the belly pan was cut off and removed. This aluminum belly pan strip was pulled down through the rotted floor to below the chasis frame. On the right side of the photo is the segmented C channel.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One Dent. Two Dent.

This dent was very obvious to me from the photos before we said "yes mine!"

The roadside lower panel that I did not see from the photos. Colin said this one can be almost erased when the interior skin is removed.

Oooo Oooo Oooo Ahhh Ahhh Ahhh - All I Want to do with you

With apologizes to the Beach Boys...
My first time to see my 1955 Flying Cloud.

And Colin - I can't believe we talked for 5 whole minutes before I pushed past to jump inside!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

California Dreamin'

Oh my - you have no idea how excited I am to see our Flying Cloud.
I've been in Barry's trailer, but this will be my first chance to see and touch this - the trailer of my dreams!!!

Oh gosh I hope that it is the Airstream of my Colin has cashed my checks for the As-Found Vintage Airstream. Did I see everything in the photos? Please don't let it be a nightmare!! Please let me still be in love...please?!?!?

Monday, September 20, 2010

John Brommel - Lavatory Sink Artist

Our bathroom sink - from a sketch, to the 2-bowl mock-up, to reality. John is our favorite metal artist.

Checking the fit

From a tiny 1" x 1" Airstream specification drawing of the cross section - Scott generated a drawing, and the full-sized mock up was built. Using Barry's trailer - we checked the fit - very very very close.
Oooooo - I am getting excited to see our Flying Cloud in person.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sitting on the Coke Cans

Sheets of cardboard, and a printout to full size, and a stick of wood - now I can finally sit in my bathroom. The toolbox was too low for the toliet, but adding a 12 pack of Coke Zero made the height just right. I spent a couple hours checking out the fit.

Nested together, the 2 stainless steel bowls made a good mock-up for the sink that will be added to the wet bath.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Water! In an Airstream as a Good Thing!

Vintage Airstream Hand-Pump - Not Pitted at all!
Boondocking - I am ready!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

I Wanna See One - Bowlus Road Chief

Finally we saw a Bowlus!!
At the RV Museum in Elkhart.

Then a restored Bowlus Road Chief at Alumapalooza! Two this week!
Airstream has one at the factory - that makes 3 - all in one week!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Inspiration Day 1 - Smallest Airstream

RV Musuem in Elkhart IN - Vintage Airstream - Inspiring!

This is the smallest Airstream ever made by the factory.  Restored and updated by a WBCCI (Wally Byam Caravan Club) and VAC (Vintage Airstream Club) member.  This Airstream is so tiny - smaller than the 16' Bambi.  I'm sorry as I don't remember if the trailer is on loan or a permanent part of the collection.  But it is so cute!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Indiana Source for Vintage Trailers and Parts

Before Alumapalooza, our side trip took us to Peru IN to see aluminum trailers - vintage Airstreams, Spartans and more! in Peru IN.
More photos available, including photos of Alumapalooza! When we get them uppacked, then I will post photos of our purchased parts for our 1955 Flying Cloud restoration

Friday, May 21, 2010

Searching for our Title - Wants vs. Needs

Just a quick update, Colin is looking for the title for our vintage Airstream. When it is our turn at his restoration business, we want to be ready to make all the upcoming decisions. Every rally, and every camping trip now makes me think about our wants vs. our needs, and how to fit this all into one 22 foot Flying Cloud.

Monday, April 19, 2010

More Light

Another find for missing light shades.

I'm excited for the potential of the Airstream and am really happy to find another part for the restoration. It just seems a bit odd to be buying so many interior details when we need to get a new floor, electrical system, and plumbing. Seems like arranging flowers while the foundation is caving in... fortunately we have a stong frame and I am going to keep believing that until Colin opens up the floor.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In Collections...

We seem to be in the collection stage of our Airstream restoration. This is a match to the pitted light over the door.
Work on our Flying Cloud has stopped, while Colin works on another trailer, Vintage Thunder. And believe it or not - I am glad to be delayed, as we will still be able to camp, caravan, and rally this year. Vintage Thunder's owner is without any trailer during the upgrade, and it only seems right that everyone be able to travel this summer. Still I'm excited for our turn!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

20 Years Ago Today

We just bought a replacement electrical receptacle for our 1950 house. This aluminum one from the front of our house is an exact replacement for missing one on Byam's '55 Flying Cloud! I did not know we bought the house 20 years ago and were planning ahead for the Airstream!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

You Light Up My Life

We found this beauty right here in Iowa!
The owner was happy to sell this cool porch light to us.
It needs some work.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Proud to be TAC IA-4

Proud to be a member of WBCCI Iowa Unit.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bathroom Drawing in 3D

Toilet will be located about the black tank.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Flying on a Cloud - 1260 Miles Away in Seconds

Even though she is 21 hours and 1260 miles away - it is very cool to be walking through our trailer!
Although if I were there - Plattsburgh is even warmer and drier today!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Troublesome Panel

Well we thought that all the exterior skin was in pretty good shape. Except the rear upper dent, which Colin assures us can be mostly removed. Looks the panel behind the door has been replaced. Perhaps due to damage from the door unexpectedly opening sometime in the past.
The rivet heads are larger, and the panel was not buck riveted. So we will need to have the panel removed and safely riveted on.

Now the question is do we replace the panel? Downside is cost. Upside is the rivets will be the same size as the rest of the trailer. And this is the panel that we will be looking at during every happy hour for years to come!
Decision made. New panel.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Found my sisters!!!

So cool! I was just on Airforums (again) and found Byam's older sister and her younger sister also. Both 7786 and 7788 are listed on the Flying Cloud Registry thread. And I am going to learn how to add our #7787

There is so many people sharing their love of the Airstream - makes me happy!

Friday, February 5, 2010

What is it?

What is it?
It is shipping today to Colin

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Our vintage trailer was the 37th Flying Cloud built in California in 1955.
This being 2010, Byam's Flying Cloud will soon have her 55th birthday!

We were not at the California factory when our Flying Cloud was born, but here are a couple photos of a new Airstream's birth from our Airstream plant tour at Jackson Center OH. For a tour, please call ahead if you are planning to visit around Wally Byam's birthday, as the plant tour is not available during their inventory day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Coveted Door-in-a-Door

The exterior door handle is broken, fixed with a steel plate. Perhaps caused by lifting the handle and not turning it.  It is not uncommon.  But as it would make me sad that such an ugly fix was the final solution, so I prefer to think it was a temporary .
So we are looking for a new handle and a new bezel aka escutcheon plate that is less pitted.
Looks like during use, the door-in-a-door was not completely closed, and the repaired handle dented the door itself.

Our door hinges are stainless steel, which won't rust and stain the aluminum trailer.  But the pins are plain and rust-prone steel. Time to pretty this up!  We love our whale tail Airstream, sometimes called a Dutchmans Cap, which was a California factory design.  Unfortunately, the California factory used the steel pins, but the Ohio factory used stainless steel pins from the start!

Another previous owner solution to keep the door closed in travel is this hasp lock. The aluminum panel is already damaged, so the lock-stile will be replaced and returned to beautiful.  And the extra bonus will be that then we can't be "accidentally" locked into the trailer by our friends!

Below the bottom hinge the door-in-a-door is damaged, another area to fix.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Published by Permission from one of the foremost Vintage Airstream Enthusiasts -
Your Flying Cloud is a 100% custom layout and features by the the original buyer – I really like the layout they chose, too bad time beat the crap out of the trailer. Only thing missing is a shower, but it has a full aft twin bedroom and front dinette. Ideal travel layout. They really thought through want they wanted.

The wood species (Elm) is in line with the other options in the trailer, and was probably custom specified (upgrade). Same with the front Jalousie. If you peruse the archives, you will come across similar early-mid fifties trailers with the option as it allowed from ventilation.

Best of luck!
'65 Caravel
'56 Flying Cloud

Shiny New Sink Plan

We continue to work on the bathroom plan.  It must and will be functional and therefore is the area with change.  This street-side bathroom will have a wall toward the front of the Airstream.  

The above temporary mock-up is made Lauan which is a thin inexpensive material to use for figuring out the layout.  The final wall material is not yet decided. 

The top paper circle will be where the mirror is attached.
The bottom shows the lavatory sink mock-up - it is 3/4 of a sphere. Made in stainless steel, the bottom quarter of the sink protrudes from the wall, while drain will be hidden in the wall. The back splash will be the top quarter of the sphere - here the layout mock-up is only half of a discount store bowl. The faucet is hidden just behind the wall. A quick disconnect will be also part of the faucet spout, so that we can attach the hand-held shower hose with shower head. We are checking with our local metal fabricator/guru/artist, to get the possibility and details worked out.

To the left is the promised drawing of the wall's layout.