It has been a long journey to get to where we are now. Most people thought it couldn’t be done. All it took was patience and insanely skilled craftsmen willing to put their own blood, sweat and tears into making our dream a reality. You have all waited long enough to see The Air Bubble in all her glory (and on her own wheels!) and we can’t make you wait any longer to see a glimpse of what she has become. We promise to post a full write up of the journey to get to this point soon. But for now… Let us introduce our little bundle of joy: The Air Bubble!
Well it looks like it will be yet another summer without being able to use the Bubble. We were so excited to find a local RV company that could help us install the systems in our trailer, and we dropped it off in mid November 2012 with high hopes. Fast forward to Early April 2013 and they have done NOTHING (except get over-spray paint on our polished shell). So we said that we would go out and help them with it, with the assumption that they would work on it while we were not there. That’s where the last post came into play. Unfortunately they did not work on it without us, and they didn’t even install things the way we asked. The sketchy part was that we had removed the shell there in hopes of installing the floor, so everything was in pieces when we went to pick it up. Thankfully we have some amazing friends that came to the rescue!
It’s not easy to lift the shell of a vintage Airstream, let alone lifting it, carrying it outside, setting it on a flatbed, strapping it down so it doesn’t fly off of the flatbed (or bend or get scratched), driving it 8 miles and setting it in our shop safe and sound.
So thank you, Cade, Andy, Eddie, Brian, and Ryan for your help in rescuing the Bubble!
Yes, we have just wasted the past 6 months, and yes, we are feeling quite discouraged on this project, but at least the trailer is back home and we can stop worrying about it. We will start work again on it soon, and hopefully by 2023 we will be able to take it out camping. 🙂
Here it is! Progress!
Even though it doesn’t feel like it, I know that we are moving forward. Every time we start something on TAB we have to tear something else out, or go further than we thought. The floor was no exception. We did not want to take the whole shell off just to replace the floor, but since the factory installed the floor BEFORE setting the shell on top, it was necessary to reverse the process. Here is a video of us lifting the shell from the frame (well Brent, the Bakerz RV boys and my dad lifting, my mom and I supervised)… 🙂
Once the top was off, Jason started installing the holding tanks, the original tank was 2.5 gallons for the fresh water and there wasn’t a black or gray water tank. Now TAB will have 30 gallons of each; fresh, gray, and black water.
Almost complete install.
(Note: Sorry for the poor photo quality. I’ll use the good camera from now on)
We set the shell on top of the new sub floor (3/4″ thick high quality plywood) so that we could trace around it to get a good fit. We will be cutting out the shape with a fine blade skill saw and a jig saw on Thursday. It will take a few test fits, and we are learning as we go, but so far it seems to be going well.
We are ordering parts and pieces this week too. Since we have gone
too far this far with this project, we have decided to buy the best rated appliances and utilities for TAB. On-demand hot water, china toilet, low profile air conditioner and an over the top furnace. So excited!! My favorite find this week has to be the Bargman H20-2 door handle that has the part we need to fix ours!
Tune in later this week for more updates!
Well not much has happened on the Bubble this Winter. Mis-communication and back-ordered parts have made for a lonely trailer. But… Work starts up again this weekend! Prepare yourselves for a nice long post early next week.
To hold you over until then, here is a link to the original ad for our dear Bubble from 1957! Too cool. http://www.airstream.com/files/library/ed405549625422f4.pdf
Have a great weekend!
Brent, Kat and TAB
Sure there isn’t an interior (or a floor for that matter) but here’s the beautiful Bubble with the shiny new wheels and rugged tires. The interior and frame have been media blasted, the frame has been painted, the new step installed, new tongue and jack installed and the new axle put on. What a difference, eh?
We have been working hard and I can’t wait to show you all, but since the bubble is at the fabricator, this sneak peek will have to do:
Sorry for the delay in posting! Sometimes life gets in the way of projects. Here’s what we’ve been up to…
First night back at home.
We couldn’t have asked for a nicer guy to polish the bubble. Glen at Ultimate Aluminum in Vancouver was fantastic and he did such a great job… it has that mirror shine!
He worked long and hard and ended every day looking like this:
(he's really a pale Washingtonian under all that)
Yep. That picture was taken in the reflection of the Bubble. How cool is that?!?
Glen was even able to minimize the 50+ years of pitting on the front.
We will be resuming the restoration after the holidays.
Merry Christmas everyone!
here’s an update on the polishing! We are having it done professionally and we are super excited about it! Is this even the same trailer?!?
One of the issues with restoration projects is knowing what to tackle yourself, and what to farm out to the professionals. We have decided to take it to a polisher to get that beautiful mirror finish. See you in a couple weeks!
Oh happy day! Not only does the Bubble have it’s original Princess Stove, it isn’t all rusted out like we originally thought!
Here’s the before:
Pretty nasty, eh? Well take a look at this:
(did you hear the choir singing?)
and a close up of the knobs:
So there you have it! All it takes sometimes it a little patience and some Simple Green 🙂 I only cleaned the front because we are going to pull it out and clean the whole enchilada.
P.S. Here’s something to make you squirm a bit: