Friday, November 26, 2010

Hey good looking whatcha got cooking?

Hi again folks. Elmer the frog here hopping in to weave you some more tales about my good friend Old Faithful. Let me give you some history first. Back in 1945 a guy by the name of Elmer Weaver (go figure) started the Yellowstone Coach Company building and selling Yellowstone Travel Trailers in Wakarusa, Indiana. They say that back then Yellowstones were the trailer of choice for carnival employees. The largest trailer built by this company was 27ft and they never went any bigger. Old Faithful hails from Wakarusa and a good thing too cause these travel travels are known for being well built. They are also known for having all the amenities for a very comfortable style of living while on the road. All Yellowstones built in 1960 and before were never painted and sported the beautiful silver aluminum look. Just like Old Faithful! The original company no longer builds these trailers. The Gulfstream company builds a line of luxury trailers today that they call Yellowstones! If you follow this blog you will see what I mean when I tell you these babies are well built!
While I am at it I might as well give you the history of the man and the lady. They like to think of themselves as old trailer surgeons, at least that is what the camper me and Old Faithful sit next to told us. He said that he and the other trailers being restored call them the Driveway People cause the only time we see them is when they are in the driveway working on us. So, from this point on I will refer to them as the man DWP and the Lady DWP...DWP being short for DriveWay People. From what I hear they have an appreciation for "old" things and days gone by. They absolutely love bringing old travel trailers out of old fields and barns and making them look like they did in their heyday so that some day a somebody will once again enjoy them in all their glory.

Last time I told you that the lady dwp was going to do some work on the kitchenette. Well, work she did! Lot's of things got done and I think Old Faithful, the pessimist that he is, is starting to believe that something big is going to happen to his old self!
First, let me tell you about Dixie the stove. She is original and has been with Old Faithful since the beginning around 1959. The lady dwp removed all of her knobs, both upper and lower oven and broiler handles, the grates and the loose nameplate. The splash guard on the right was also removed. The splash guard is aluminum attached to birch with aluminum trim that goes along the edge. It was dull, dirty and full of grease. Old grease! Here is what it looked like:

 The splash guard was polished with diamond brite truck box polish. The lady and the man dwp's love it! I heard them talking about how they used to shine aluminum the hard way until they discovered this magical liquid! The back of the splash guard was sanded and shellaced. It looks like a mirror now! I never knew how handsome I am for a frog but I sit in front of it often now. Old Faithful says I am just being vain!
This is the backside before

This is the splash guard when it was dull and dirty

And here it is all polished and shiny!

Miss Fanny the fan was a mess too! Dusty and dirty and her cover was full of grease!

The walls behind the stove were full of grease too. They will be sanded and recoated.

The fan cover was pretty bad. It had to be painted. I heard some talk of it getting another paint job because the lady and man dwp's aren't sure they like the color.

Luckily, Dixie's handles were just covered in surface rust. The lady dwp said she would use some elbow grease to get it off. I am not sure why because I didn't see her use her elbows to do it...she used her hands! You can see from the picture how nice the one that is cleaned up looks compared to the rusty one!
Here's Dixie all put back together and bright and shiny! 
For some reason the man dwp and the lady dwp like to find things Old Faithful has that are original, but they don't always like the way they look. Take the original glass towel rod with chrome end pieces. Well the chrome had seen better days!

The man dwp tried to polish these up but they just weren't cutting it! Must be the elbow grease wasn't working on these!

Now the man and the lady dwp's had a big debate over what to do. This goes back to them liking to keep things as close to original as possible and in this case they didn't think they would find the original bar attachments so out came the rustoleum chrome finish. Beautiful I say!

The next thing I want to tell you about is the sink. Ooooooeeeee was it disgusting and here are some pictures to prove it!
If you look closely you can see me sitting under the spigot. I like water! I have also been living for the day when this thing runs some again.

The sink, by the way, is original too! I heard the lady and the man dwp's say so!

Nice bronze faucet manifold underneath!

Just so you all can see how good that elbow grease works here is a before picture followed by an after...
 Holy flying flies does that thing shine now! Old Faithful said he could hardly believe it himself! But that is not all the lady dwp did. She sanded the cabinets, shellaced the cabinets, shined up the handles and latches, sanded the cutting board, shined the chrome trim and put in brand new screws and then put everything back together again! Unhopping believable! I thought I heard Old Faithful say he could almost smell bacon and eggs just a cooking on Dixie while he was sitting next to a stream in a beautiful campground....but when I asked him to repeat it he just told me to go find some lily pad to croak on!
Since details seem to be so important to the man and lady dwp's I might as well show you the cutting board! I know...booring!
The top part has been sanded and the bottom is what it did look like.
The lady dwp got some shellac on the board and has to sand it one more time but you sure can see the difference!

The man dwp took out this window and resealed it with some butyl rubber tape he got from Vintage Trailer supply. The lady dwp repaired the wood and everything is now water tight as a frogs skin!

Old Faithful has nice shiny hardware (need I mention original?) and nice shiny birch. The lady dwp even made some curtains out of vintage material and she just had to hang them for a few minutes to see what they would like like. I think I saw the man dwp roll his eyes!

Can you smell the bacon and eggs cooking yet?

And so this is the the beginning of a new beginning for Old Faithful. I am sure of it. Every time the man and lady dwp's take something out of Old Faithful to do something to it he thinks he is one step away from the crusher. And I remind him of the brave little toaster and how that story ended. He doesn't quite believe me but he will. I have faith in these dwp's. Time for me to hop on back into Old Faithful for the night. Even though he never actually says so I know he misses me while I am in the house writing these blog entries. Until then, like my buddy Billy Joel says, tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems, yeah yeah yeah I'm keeping the faith!

1 comment:

  1. Someone once told me how to decipher the year of manufacture from the VIN on a Yellowstone. I have forgotten how though. Would you happen to know?