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

Friday, March 21, 2014

Work is on Vacation - Awaiting More to Post

Colin is working on other customers' trailers.
We agreed when he started this project, that we would share his time with other customers - we do want him to stay in business!

I will share more when we have more to post - stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fantastic! Fans Installed and the Hehr Vent is Ready Too

To keep fresh air moving in our Airstream, we've come to rely on our Fantastic Vent Fans.  Naming your company with a name like Fantastic Vent puts a lot of pressure to perform on your product.  These fans really are awesome to keep air moving and temperatures down in our trailer.  We use them whenever we can, preferring not to use our energy-hungry 30 amp air conditioning except on the hottest days and humid nights. Using very limited amounts of power, the Fantastic Fans keep us cool.  I'm even thinking about buying their portable fan for using in the Jeep.

The new Fantastic Fans are installed.

Our Airstream - the1955 Flying Cloud has three vent openings - that is one more than our 2008 Airstream International CCD.  We are keeping our original Hehr vent.  It will be installed back into the ceiling in the original position galley opening which is framed and ready for the reconditioned Hehr vent.

The plywood shown here is not part of the roof structure, but is used to distribute weight of the person sitting and working on the roof's ribs.  The plywood is backed with carpet for protection of the aluminum shell.

Monday, March 17, 2014

All Jacked Up - Restoration Starts

Our 1955 Airstream jack was not in good shape.  Ruined.  Toast.
So bad that Colin replaced it just to be able to move the trailer around.

When we were on our way to the fabulous fun and also first ever Alumapalooza in Jackson Center OH in 2010, we stopped at in Peru In and bought an old but new-to-us jack.  It needed a lot of work.

On the frame, the jack plate was attached to the A-frame, but was rusted beyond repair.  A new jack plate was welded to the steel.

The handle is now sand blasted.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Protecting Jalousie Window

Our only jalousie window is at the front of the 1955 Flying Cloud.  Many other trailers have jalousie windows on the sides of their vintage trailers, but the original owners (who are you?) chose to have the window with glass louvers at the dining area.

Great idea but, what about the potential for crashing flying rocks?  Even tiny chips of gravel or sand flying at 60 mph could break glass.  We enjoy fly fishing, and many of the best "hidden" spots are along winding rivers on narrow gravel roads.  To drive to quiet spots and/or boondock, we again will need the smaller less maintained roads which are not paved in concrete and cement or asphalt.  So Colin's guys made us a custom built stone guard for our front window.  Made of wavy green fiberglass, and yes Colin did say fiberglass!  We will have light and save our windows too!

Shown propped open while our stone guard awaits the opening arms and tie down clips.

Looking at the details!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

First Look - New Bumper Trunk Lid - Keeping Water Out!!!

Just a quick sneak peak at our new bumper trunk.  This is not original to our trailer, so Colin's guys fabricated the aluminum lid.
Key to keeping the plywood floor from rotting is to keep it dry.  Our 1955 Flying Cloud has the sloping rear end which helps move water away from the trailer.  Colin added the aluminum flashing between the exterior shell and the C-Channel.  This small but huge addition acts like flashing in other applications, moving rain water away from the entry point.
We will definitely use the extra outdoor storage, and I really appreciate the extra protection at the rear of the trailer.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Propane Tanks Support Updated Post

Rather than leave it alone, I've decided to update the March 1st 2014 post.  The photo of just this old rusty as found tank support was too short and not helpful.  The old 3/1 post photo.
We have new aluminum propane tanks to replace the PO (previous owners) old rusty steel tanks
While we purchased new propane tanks from Vintage Trailer Supply, or original propane tank support bracket survives and got some attention.

This is the original rod, and also the crank handle for the trailer jack.

Love seeing photos that Colin sends.  And it is a great to see the 55 FC written on all our parts.  Colin has organization as well as knowledge and creativity to solve problems.  Yeah!

With the rust rod removed and the bent base straightened, then it was cleaned up - sand blasted.

I wonder if Colin is still using the sand blasting cabinet that he bought in "Mary Tyler Moore" Minnesota VAP Episode 26 on a hot humid summer day...

A steel reinforcement was welded to the base of the propane tank mount before the rod was installed.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Improvement to Original Shell Structure - Wheel Well Support

Airstreams are built to last.  Part of the durability is how the shell is attached with rivets to C-Channels which are bolted to the floor and frame.

Back in 1955, two areas where the interior aluminum walls were not secured to the wall structure are the wheel wells.  Colin was careful to improve our trailer during restoration.  C-Channels were added to the wheel well - to secure this area of potential weakness.

Sorry for the fuzziness of this second photo.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Byam - this is her trailer - is distracting me from the blog today and for good reason!
Happy 5th Birthday Byam!
Love you!  We are so lucky to have you pick us!

Yummy treats from April's shop - a birthday cupcake and ice cream cone both made of biscuit dough.

Funny girl!  Byam did not allow me to focus and this is the only shot of her and her cone.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Windows - We've Got Windows! - Part 5 - Support

Support - another Colin Improvement for our 1955 Flying Cloud.

The vintage Airstream windows were not all well supported in the walls.  Colin adds aluminum to stabilize the windows for travel down the road.

Supports were also fabricated for the windows themselves.

I continue to be impressed with how Colin plans ahead to create a quality restoration - Thanks Colin!

I'm testing a new photo posting method - click on the photo for a slightly larger photo.  Do you like it?

Monday, March 10, 2014

No Leaks! - Making it Happen.

Now the replacement Alclad panels are attached and the rehabilitated windows are back in their openings, the interior seams area sealed.  Vulkem was used as the sealant.  To me, the bold lines of the end cap look artistic.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Longing for More Awning Memories

There is something special about sitting outside under an Airstream awning.

Maybe it is the friends that stop by to visit, sitting back in our comfy folding chairs and making plans for the day.  In the morning, I know I can sit outside under my awning enjoying gentle sunrises and the smell of bacon cooking over a camp stove.  Or during the mid-day heat, we can sit and breathe - and not be rushing around in the frenzy that is normal daily life.  Maybe the special feeling comes from a cooling breeze.  And at the darkest part of our evenings, I love to hear the guffaws and tinkling laughs of some of my favorite people.

And I am thinking about all these times now.

Our now-polished awning rail for our vintage Airstream awning rail is re- installed.
The aluminum was buffed after the awning rail was removed.

Cleco fasteners hold the polished awning rail in place.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Making Our 1955 Flying Cloud Beautiful - More Trim for the Shell

After the Alclad shell is secured to the frame, the aluminum wrapping over the belly pan still looka a bit unfinished.

To cover the seam, front lower trim is installed.  Banana Wrap!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Windows - We've Got Windows! - Part 4 - Little Eyebrows the Drip Edges

When listening to Colin and Tim talk, I heard that lots of rivets are used.
I read about lots and lots of rivets in Tim's book on Airstream Restoration called Restoring a Dream.
Now I am understanding.

Rivets on the back-widow.  Rivets on the front window.  Rivets on the Drip Edge.  And that is just a window!!!

Polished to shine.

The aluminum drip edges over the windows are positioned with clecos.  Thanks Reid!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Air Conditioner - How Will it Fit?

We had Air Conditioner Plans.

The specification sheet measurements don't exactly match the condenser portion of the air conditioner.  Fortunately Scott and Colin are both working on possible solutions to fit the trailer.
Colin will be making a cardboard mock-up of the AC unit part, so help us understand the fit.  Being 1200 miles from the trailer, we can't just pop over for a bit.  So thank you Colin!

Photos with tape measure.
Measured within the condenser box as provided

So if we remove the condenser coils from the metal box, the dimensions are smaller.

Additional room is needed for the condenser's exhaust fan

With the box

Without the box

The third dimension is the same, with or without the box

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hatch Door - Framed!

The original hatch frame was cleaned, straightened, and polished.

For superior strength, the rear hatch frame was buck riveted.

Our hatch has new gaskets.  Polished to shine, the original hatch drip edge was straightened and fit with clecos to be riveted.