Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The times they are a changing...

Good day my faithful friends. Elmer the frog here to let you know that progress is still being made on my good ole friend Old Faithful! Yeah, me and Old Faithful were getting a bit fearful that we had been forgotten because of this thing the DWP's call the holiday season but sure enough the dwp's came back and did some more work. The kitchen and the dinette area are almost done. Ya'all remember what Old Faithful looked like when the man and the lady came to pick us up right? Like this...

Well, as you know there was water damage on the dinette walls in the usual place due to Old Faithful having a bad case of leakatosis. The man dwp sealed up all those windows and the outside trim and made this place I like to call home totally leak proof. We had some rain here a while back in good old upstate NY and Old Faithful passed the leak test with flying colors! The man also put some drip edge seal strips in the window panes of the jalousie glass to keep out the moisture and the draft. So that meant the walls could be repaired and replaced. The curb side window was pretty bad below the window but both the man and the lady DWP were real pleased to see that this was only surface damage to the birch and that Old Faithful's bones (frame) were in really good shape with no rot. They say they made these Yellowstones really well and this was one more time Old Faithful was a good example of that. Here are a few pictures of what his bones looked like underneath the birch.
The lower front wall was sanded and cleaned and the upper portion beneath the window was replaced with new birch.

You can see that there is no rot! 

The man and lady dwp say that finding the frame in this condition is always a nice surprise!
The lady put up the trim and even chamfered the ends of the strips
so that they matched the original trim found in Old Faithful.
The street side panel under the window was not bad enough to warrant replacement according to the dwp's and so it was sanded and cleaned and sealed and shellaced. The center board of the front between the windows was replaced and then covered with birch and the sides of each window received new birch as well. The rest of the front area was sanded and shellaced over and over to get a good match in color. The man also fixed the electric. New floor trim was put down and while the floor has yet to be cleaned and polished it is in pretty good condition overall. The man and the lady dwp debated whether or not to put in a table and a cot or to build new bunks. The front area of the dinette is 84 inches if I remember correctly and they thought a cute old table would be the ticket. So they put one in and grabbed a cot and decided to to go that route. Curtains were made to match the table and chair colors. Here are some more pictures of the dinette and the kitchen.
This is the kitchen area! Cute huh?
This is a view with the table in place and cot stored under the street side window.
The curtains are white and blue checkered.

The man and the lady dwp keep talking about how roomy Old Faithful is compared to others they have been in. That is one of the reasons they liked the idea of a table and a cot. The table still has more room to slide over and folding chairs can be added and easily stored in the huge closet near the back. It takes about three minutes to move the table over to the side and set up the cot. And there is still room to walk if you have to get up to use the bathroom!

The table fits nicely in the street side corner.

Old Faithful has two closets on opposite sides and one door has an extra panel that folds out. This creates a room divider for privacy. Like everything else these were sanded and shellaced and put back up again. It is a pretty neat option and gives you an idea of how spacious this trailer is.
So now Old Faithful is looking better and better every day. And he is feeling pretty proud of himself. He is starting to believe there is a reason for someone to still love him after all. Why just the other day he said he can't wait for a couple of kids to sit down at that table and play a good old fashioned game of go fish. When I pointed out how much I liked his new optimistic attitude, he told me he also couldn't wait for someone to play a game of go frog as in...hey frog, go away! But that's okay because his good mood didn't last long. The man and the lady dwp moved on to the rear of Old Faithful and they did this...

and this...

and this...

and this!!!
Looks like I am back to square one trying to get Old Faithful to believe that everything is gonna be alright. He says his plumbing is like the veins his blood runs through and the dwp's are yanking it all out! I keep telling him to have faith, they will put it back. Only better and stronger and he will be like the million dollar man trailer. He just listens and sighs..........deeply.
Well, your friend Elmer better get back inside of Old Faithful and away from this computer for now. I think he really needs me now. Until then, like my buddy Billy Joel says, tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems, yeah yeah yeah I'm keeping the faith!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

No More Crying In the Rain!

Howdy friends! Elmer back here to weave you some more tales about the rebirthing of my friend Old Faithful the 1959 Yellowstone travel trailer. 
One thing about these old travel trailers is that 9.999999 times out of 10, they leak. They leak at the seams and they leak at the windows. The dwp's call this leakatosis and yes, Old Faithful was afflicted with it. Before you get into rebuilding one you have to make sure you fix the leaks. Otherwise, all your work on the inside will be for nothing. 
So the man dwp went to work curing the leakatosis. Old Faithful was just a coming apart at the seams, tee hee. The man dwp removed the drip rails and molding along the exterior edges. It was easy to get the drip rail off but the old putty used as the sealer hardened over time and that was a bear to get off. The rails were also a little bent out of shape and they had to be straightened and put back into proper form after they were cleaned up. 
Here are some views of what is underneath the curbside rails.

Lots of old hard goop to be removed!

In this photo you can see one of the three sections of rail has been cleaned up and reattached.

Here is the roof where the awning drip rail was removed.

The roof is galvanized steel and has no holes!

This is a better view of the completed curbside rail at the rear with shiny new screws and sealed and reattached.

The awning drip rail removed and in the process of being cleaned and straightened.

The depressions where each screw was have to all be pounded back to flat using a ball pien hammer and a punch.
It is a lot of work pounding out each depression but you want the rail to be flat so that when you put in your new screw with the sealant underneath it is pulling it flat rather than just meeting at the old screw hole and allowing for gaps which could lead to leaks.

See how nice these look when they are all cleaned up!

This is the butyl rubber tape from Vintage Trailer supply. It is pliable and non hardening.

The butyl rubber was placed on the rail and was doubled over at the screw holes for extra thickness where it counts. 

Here's just a few more pics of what that old putty looked like so you get the idea of what a job it can be to remove it all!

And here is a nice shot of Old Faithful. Looks real nice with new screws and nice clean rails now doesn't it?
New glass was ordered from the local glass shop and Old Faithful's shattered "pains" were replaced. He felt a whole lot better about that! The windows were removed and they were all sealed up. Old Faithful has gone through some bouts of rain and lots of snow and guess what? leaks! The dwp surgeons have cured the leakatosis!! 
Old Faithful is so pleased with all that the man has done on the outside. I wish I could say the same for what the lady dwp is doing on the inside but it seems like all it is is destruction! Ripping out walls, removing all the bathroom fixtures and ripping out more walls. She just keeps on taking away things that have been a part of Old Faithful for over 50 years now. Old Faithful is getting kind of worried but I keep telling him what doesn't kill him will make him stronger. I just hope the lady starts getting him back together soon cause I don't know how long he can hold out!! 
Well now, being the therapist I am I tell Old Faithful to think about the good stuff! When he had leakatosis and it rained it looked like old faithful was crying...
See those teardrop stains from Old Faithful crying in the rain?

Well no more crying in the rain for Old Faithful!
  Well folks, it's that time again. Time for me to hop back into my pal Old Faithful. He's feeling a lot more optimistic about his future for a pessimist. Hopefully, the next time I write, you will get to see some more progress on the inside! Until then,  like my buddy Billy Joel says, tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems, yeah yeah yeah I'm keeping the faith!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

You light up my life!

How ya'all are? Elmer the frog here about to weave you some tales about lighting. Old Faithful has been sitting around for a long time. What's that got to do with lighting you ask? Well, keep yer britches on cause I am about to tell you. When you sit around doing nothing in New York weather,  things start to happen. And I don't mean good things. I am talking deterioration! Old Faithful's lights were put in sometime around 1959, at least that is what the dwp's say. And they are still there which made the man and the lady very happy! However, like I said before these two like finding things that are original but don't always like the way they look. In Old Faithful's case his lights still shine but not as brightly and not as pretty as they did back in the old days. So, once again out came the tools and at the lady dwp's orders the man dwp started removing the light fixtures. The lady says one thing she doesn't mess with is electricity. After the fridge incident I'll bet she doesn't mess with those anymore either but I want to stick to the topic at hand. They took those lights away and once again Old Faithful went into his paranoia state talking about meeting up with the junkyard crusher.
They just took them out to make them better I said.
I can see myself on the crusher conveyor now he said.
No fridge and now no lights he said.
I am useless he said.
But look at your kitchen I said.
What good is a kitchen with no fridge for food and no lights to cook by he said.
It's over, he said. I knew it all along, he said.
You'll see, I said, You gotta have faith.
Now I will admit, I get a little nervous myself when the dwp's start taking out the essentials but I believe in them. And yes those lights were a bit of an eyesore. Rusty and dull and dusty. Luckily this has been just one more opportunity for me to say..."I told you so" to Old Faithful. The gas lamp on the overhead storage compartment above the dinette was fully intact globe and all. Here is a before and after!

The ceiling light over the dining area has a nice fiberglass shade but the fixture was rusty and the shade dirty. Here is a before and after.

The two side lights were dull dirty and ugly. Here is a before and after.

The dwp's have not yet done the bathroom or the the back bedroom light but I am sure they will turn out just as nice. One more opportunity for me, Elmer Weaver, therapist to Old Faithful, to build self esteem in my old friend (and to say "I told you so" of course!)
Old Faithful is absolutely overjoyed!!! Speechless he was for a change! I keep telling him, have faith. Your time is not over and there are better days to come. And when the dwp's are through with you, there is going to be some very lucky somebody out there who will want to come and get you and spend all their time in you! Besides, I say, your better than a lily pad to me in the condition you are in. So once you are beautiful again why wouldn't somebody just fall in love with you! Old Faithful was quite for a moment and I thought he might finally be coming around to my point of view.
Well, I still don't have a fridge, he said.
Old Faithful, I said, you are one ornery son of a trailer. I promise you, you will get a fridge, but until then, like my buddy Billy Joel says, tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems, yeah yeah yeah I'm keeping the faith!