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

Monday, December 24, 2012

Stepping Up Quality.

 The rebuilt and beefed up cross members for our steps.
 The step's Glide-A-Ride mechanism.
 Slide in step ready to install.
 Step in place.  Sturdy. Steady. Safe.
 Step in closed position
Quality is all in the details!
I don't know that I can explain in words, how excited I am to see this well loved and yet well worn vintage Airstream trailer be revived and coming back to life.  Not ready yet.  Baby steps!  Moving forward!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Painting and Protecting the Frame with POR-15

First the frame was wire brushed.  Finally the steel was acid washed to remove any remaining rust. The chassis is being painted with POR-15 to prevent any future rust from happening.  Using the rotisserie made this part of the job faster, and is easier on the human body/back.  This POR-15, not original to the vintage Airstreams, should keep our 1955 Flying Cloud traveling down the road on Airstream adventures for years to come.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rust off the Glide-A-RIde Steps

I think it is so cool that our vintage airstream Flying Cloud trailer was built with the then new retractable step.  1955 was the first year for Airstream retractable steps - called the Glide-A-Ride.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Old Steps - See the Rust

 The front edge of the step is slightly rusty.  The back edge is barely holding together.  Improvements needed!

Monday, October 29, 2012

More A-Frame Improvements

 Around the jack there is rust, and structure missing.  Improvement needed.
 The bottom of the A-Frame is only 3" deep, so that will be strengthened to match the rest of the new deeper 4" frame.
The new metal hold-down plate is now welded to the frame.  It will be riveted to the front aluminum skin - strength and stability the old Airstream way!  Actually the 1950's trailers often had the hold-down plates bolted to the frames.  The welds are much stronger and another Colin Hyde improvement.
 New tube Steel to be welded on to reinforce the A-Frame.
New tube welded with a new jack plate.

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Little Secret is Out - and It Holds a Lot of Liquid

Our A-Frame did not connect in line with the main frame rails.  The angle will help make the frame and the connection the tongue more sturdy.  Improvement!  We are moving our vintage airstream from deconstruction back into construction!  Progress!!!
Newer deeper cross rails, the frame increased from 3" deep to 4" deep.
BUT - and this is a big one for me - From the sides and back of our 1955 Flying Cloud - the trailer will look like a vintage Airstream!  It will look to only have a 3" frame!  Scott and Colin Hyde have worked together to design a frame that tapers to 4" at the center, while retaining the original look of the shallow frame.  So cool!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Frame was 3" - Now 4" Deep - Or is it???

Prior to 1955 Vintage Airstream Frames were 3" deep.
The change to a stronger 4" frame was started in 1955.
Unfortunately, our Flying Cloud was manufactured in California with the 3" frame.  Our gray water and fresh water tanks from Vintage Trailer Supply are 4" deep.  As planned - to fit the tanks into the frame, Colin Hyde changed our frame to be 4" deep.

The longer frame will allow us to add a bumper trunk also.
With the small angle cut from the frame, the 3" bumper remains the original depth!
Welded closed, this also prevents water from sitting inside the frame causing rust.
And eliminates a way for mice and other critters to enter the trailer.

In 1955 and many other years, Airstream built trailers with  no rear cross member.  So the plywood floor was not directly supported by the frame, rather the floor was cantilevered from the next forward cross member.  And the plywood was originally attached through the C-Channel only to the aluminum shell.  
No wonder that attaching accessories to the back of an Airstream is a bad idea.  Spare tires, generators, even bike racks should not be attached to the trailer rear without significant frame work.
Colin beefed up our structure by adding a rear cross-member.  The aluminum shell, plywood floor, C-Channel, and shell will all be securely attached together with elevator bolts.
The front hold-down plate was removed, but will be replaced.  The hold down plate strengthens the connection of the frame to shell at the higher stress front area.

Monday, July 23, 2012

I Want My MTV - Mobile TV

My dad used to own a TV repair company, but does not have any of these antenna wire fixtures. Too bad as this Braund deteriorated considerably since installed on our vintage airstream. Anyone know where I can find new old stock?
This antenna controller just makes me smile.  It will be cleaned up, and checked to be sure it is still working.

And normally under a protective box, the antenna gear is outside the trailer.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Changing the Frame to Fit the Tanks

Above is a photo before the frame change.
The frame is structurally sound, so only surface rust was removed.
The missing outrigger will be fabricated and welded back to the frame.
The frame is cut to make room for the in-frame fresh water tank.
A new front cross rail and out rigger are welded back to the frame.
Here the frame is upside down showing the new A-frame connection to the cross rail.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rotted Floor Be Gone

Reid removed the plywood floor from the frame.
The frame is attached to the rotisserie. 
Below you can see the missing rear outrigger

And the frame is rotated!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Shell Off - Frame Off - Axle Off!!!

The shell is separated from the frame!
Although our vintage airstream is still being deconstructed, this seems like such huge progress!! 


Above is the top of the floor with the parquet wood flooring that covered all the floor rot.  Below the photo is of the bottom of the subfloor - with all the rotted edges.

 The old axle with leaf springs is coming off - to be replaced with a torsion axle for a smoother kinder ride for our 1955 Airstream Flying Cloud.
The great news is that the tire fits into the "A" portion of the frame.  The new fresh water tanks will not fit into the angled main frame rails.  The change will give us the 2 tanks at 17 gallons each - for a total of 34 gallons of fresh water up front and capacity for 34 gallons of gray water.  These are the new Vintage Trailer Supply tanks - item # VTS-851.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Big Belly Removal of 56 Years of Wear and Weather

Exterior above. Interior Below.

Mouse urine is acidic and corrosive and stinky!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Privacy in the Bath

This option should give both light and privacy to our Vintage Airstream's bathroom.