Restoring our 1973 Airstream Sovereign Land Yacht Trailer

About 11 years ago my great Aunt gave Ben and I their 1973 Airstream for our family to use.  Now before you get all excited, the thing had been sitting out on a remote part of their ranch in Wyoming and then finally their barn for the last 35-40 years.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not one to say no thanks to such a wonderful gift.  It has, however taken us quite a bit of time to save up the money to make it usable.  Our journey to a (usable) Airstream is about to begin….or so we hope.  Here are a few,”before” pics…only the outside right now…

Here you can see the Airstream behind Wes.  This was taken in White Sands, NM. on our way back to Phoenix last summer

_MG_2213

You can see the outside closer up in the pic below…just some slight discoloration…but the inside we totally gutted to keep the insects and small vermin in TN where they belonged.

Here you can’t see but the inside is totally empty except for my bike!

_MG_2215

So over the last few months we have been diligently looking at blogs, going to RV Restoration places and even to an Airstream dealer right here in Phoenix.  There are so many things to consider and so many, many, many decisions to make.

So far no decisions have been made. We are still in the gathering information stage.  Check out the Airstream board on Pinterest.

Today I discovered Gone With the Wynns blog.  They are full time RV’rs with lots of information to share in a very fun and entertaining way.  They also have a YouTube channel…I binge watched all their episodes today!!  Thank you!

So if you know of any blogs we can read, experience you can share we would love to hear what you have to say.  We need all the help we can get.

Day 6 Summer Trip 2014

June 24, 2014

Odometer: 3521 Miles

Crossett, AR. to Spring Hill, TN.

Today was a longer trip but it was easy riding.  The majority of ride today was on the Natchez Trace Parkway.  There were no trucks and very few cars.  Not only that, but there were trees that lined the Parkway so it cut down on the wind!

After 6 full days or riding, and a total now of a whopping 3521 miles on my bike, I am starting to feel much more confident that I’m not going to kill myself!  This trip has been a great confidence booster for me, and I’m really starting to enjoy my time on the bike.   I also think Ben is starting to relax a little and watch what he’s doing rather than watching me all the time.:)

Spring Hill was the end of my journey on the bike for now, for the rest of our trip I will be hauling an Airstream trailer.  Next year we want to tackle all the National Parks in Utah and finish up in Yellowstone.  We’ll keep you posted!

Day 5 Summer Trip 2014

IMG_0792

Day 3 & 4 Summer Trip 2014

June 21, 2014

Odometer: 2883 Miles

Truscott Brine Lake TX to Holly Lake TX.

Image of Truscott Brine Lake below.  There were a LOT of flies!

IMG_0779

Good grief Texas is HUGE and FLAT!  The only change to the landscape was if there were oil wells…or not.

This was the view until we made it to Paris, TX…photo

We made it to Ben’s parents house in Holly Lake.  We will be staying here for a few days to rest up before we move on to TN.  It was very windy again today and I didn’t want to let go of the handlebars for fear of being blown off the road.  As a new rider I am starting to realize that unless your upper body is totally relaxed it is VERY hard to control your bike.  The more relaxed my head and upper body are the easier it is to go with the blow…

Few things to note…EVERY single small town had a Dollar General, a Dairy Queen, and a Pawn/Guns and Ammo all with in one or 2 blocks of each other.

Day 5 Summer Trip 2014

June 23, 2014

Odometer: 3113 Miles

Holly Lake, TX. to Crossett, AR.

Day 4 Summer Trip 2014

Today was a short ride only 230 miles.  We were ready to get back on the road after our brief stay in Holly Lake and thought with a short ride we would get into camp well before dark, set up camp, make a fire, eat, etc…

It seems that once we crossed over the AR boarder the humidity and insects grew exponentially!  I had to spray and clean my visor twice while we drove.

IMG_0799

The campsite was nice, it had the first showers that we’d seen since we started out.  I did however, have to share my shower stall with a frog and a very large spider…

After our showers and dinner we had just started our fire for smores when it started raining…this was rain like we’d not seen in quite a while, so clean bikes tomorrow…now were off to bed!

IMG_0784 IMG_0782IMG_0787

IMG_0789

Day 1 Summer Trip 2014

Day 1: Phoenix AZ to Cloudcroft NM.

June 19, 2014

Odometer 1703

So Ben, the boys and I drove to TN to pick up our Airstream Trailer and bring it back to AZ last summer.  Ben spent hours on Google earth researching the best route to take with wife that doesn’t really like to ride on main roads…I guess this will get me over the hump!

Not even 50 miles into our trip the right front wheel came off…

He decided to take the us along the 60 out of AZ along the 70 to the 10, to the 20, through White Sands into Cloudcroft New Mexico.  What a day, 468 miles!  What I learned today…that riding on a bike, you CAN NOT drive as many miles as you can in a car in one day!

IMG_0774-1

Had to take a quick work call! Not fun for my family

IMG_0775

Looks like we aren’t going to make it to camp before dark.

5S1J0965 - 2014-06-19 at 19-26-42

Taking pics of the sunset behind us.

5S1J0961 - 2014-06-19 at 19-26-01 5S1J0963 - 2014-06-19 at 19-26-14 5S1J0959 - 2014-06-19 at 19-25-32 5S1J0957 - 2014-06-19 at 19-24-18 5S1J0955 - 2014-06-19 at 19-23-26

IMG_0778

Had to set up camp after dark the night before, but this is what it looked like in the morning. Not much to it.

IMG_0806

In downtown Cloudcroft there was a cool bar. We liked it so much we ate there twice. Once on 6/19 on our way to TN. The second time on our way home 7/3.

IMG_0808

First Big Ride

April 5, 2014

Odometer 88 Miles.

Well we did it our first big ride today. We drove up to Roosevelt lake with our bikes in the back of Ben’s truck…I don’t feel comfortable on any main roads yet…

Cherry Creek Trail:

2015-05-31 14.31.00

2015-05-31 14.32.00

It was a fairly easy ride at first on maintained dirt roads.  There were 2 creek crossings one that I did myself, the other I made Ben ride through for me. I didn’t have enough confidence yet.

IMG_0697 IMG_0699-1

The roads became progressively worse and worse working up from dirt, to gravel, to rocks, to marble size rocks, to tennis ball size rocks…holly cow these just getting larger and larger…and they are all loose and rolling around!  At this point I started freaking out a little in my helmet, thanks goodness we didn’t have our comms yet!

I was going to fast, I was going to die so I stopped…mistake!  I was propped up on two rocks, one under my front tire, one under my rear…my feet didn’t touch and I went over like a tree.  My front break lever snapped off, thank goodness right at the break point…Now I have a perfect two finger lever custom made by Cherry Creek! HA!~

After shaking it off, somehow getting the bike back up on two wheels all by myself,  and looking ahead to see that Ben had left me in the dust, I thought to myself… okay you can do this!

We arrived at the top of a hill where it flattened back out and was more dirt like again and there was a family in their Arctic Cat with a guy on his 250 Kawasaki dirt bike.  They waved us down, they had just broken one of their axles and told us that we may turn back it get’s worse up ahead!…Ben walked up the road a little, looked down at his map…”It doesn’t look that bad, we can make it”.  Keep in mind this is my first ride EVER on my bike.  In my head, I am thinking WOW they just broke their axle!

Ben took one look at me and said “Ok, I think we may need to go back” (phew)

Shortly after we turned back and started back down the hill I had stopped to teak a break. My hand was cramping being on the break so hard. I was going way to slow but didn’t realize what I was doing wrong at the time.

While sitting on the side of the road there were a group of guys coming up the hill at me.  They were riding huge KTM dirt bikes they made it look so easy.  They stopped and said “That’s a nice looking bike what is it?” a 650 I said.  “You got that thing all the way up here?”  Yep!  I didn’t really understand why they were saying that…after all I just gunned it an prayed not to go over the cliff!  The bike really wanted to stay upright and unless I did something stupid like stop, it would.

Overall this was a great first ride and I learned a lot.  I learned that the red dots on the map are not all equal.  I learned why you turn OFF the ABS on dirt. I learned that if you go to slow it is way more difficult to keep your bike upright than going fast.

Live and learn…I made it and so did my bike, in more or less one piece.

IMG_0685-1