August 20, 2018

Under a starry night

A starry night at the Deschutes River campground, about 2 hours from us. The hills surrounding the camp had caught fire just a month ago, and with hot days filled with smoke, the cold river was a sweet respite. The new water pump was a great addition to the Boles, and at some point, we'll tell you all about the install of it! A good trip, even got some scanning in. Gotta work on the magnetic closures for the blackout fabric over the windows for the wee mobile photo lab.

May 17, 2018

Back to that leaky roof

So one of the things that makes it tricky to sort out how much to take out and what to leave as is in trailer restoration is attempting to figure out how it got so bad, and how to prevent it from happening again. We could tell from the water stains on the ceiling wood paneling that water had come in from the roof, but until we peeled back the wood, didn't know that the underside of the steel had rusted so badly. Steel! Right. On the "all aluminum Boles Aero". Except for the roof, which is steel. Which is strong, but not so impervious to rust. And rust never sleeps. It doesn't have to be wet, just damp. And the Pacific Northwest is not lacking in damp.
removing the wood panel reveals extensive rust

After hitting the ceiling with a scraper.

After cleaning with a wire wheel to knock off the surface rust

You can see the wire wheel marks in the newly revealed steel, ready to be sealed. The white sealant in the corners is 5200 Marine Grade sealant that we used on an art project years ago. Fred is going to goop up every seam.

This last picture shows the steel underside completely sealed with epoxy primer. Very smelly stuff, took days of blowing with a fan to believe that we didn't just replace an old trailer funk with new modern chemical fragrance! But it did go away, and now it's easier to believe that the rust isn't just going to continue to eat away at the steel once we get the new wood paneling up. New paneling?? What about just putting up the old? Good question. Will show lots of reasons why in future entries. But next, I have to go back in time to show the outside job that Fred did on the steel roof a few years back...I know, following this blog will be like time travel...oh well, all will be revealed!

So here is a look at the first scraping job of getting the paint off the steel part of the roof. 

Razor blade scraper does the job. Slow. Really slow.

 To be able to sit on the roof safely, Fred made these 2x6 boards to straddle the rim of the trailer so he could sit on the boards while scraping. Could this be the key source of back pain for the past few years? hmmm. Anyway, it's a great system, held together by nylon webbing that just keeps the boards in place.
The bottom board is cut out to ride over the rim, not directly on it so as not to crush it. 

The next part of the system are these wiggly pvc hoses that we used to put over the boards before putting a tarp over the whole thing for the winter. The  hoses were left over from another project, and were useful in keeping the tarp from just sitting on the freshly exposed steel roof. 

We ran rope through the hoses to tie them down. We get a lot of rain and wind in the winters, so around October, the tarp went on. About two years ago, we found a dismantled carport on craigslist, and put that up in the driveway to cover the trailer. It made all the difference in the world in being able to leave the tarp off during the winter, making it accessible to work on. 
So zoom forward to fall of 2017, with the tarp off and the boards back in place for more roof work, this time sealing all the seams with 5200 Marine Sealant. The roof then got painted with (Fred? Por 15?, a primer first? then grey, then a sealer?)
And at this point, I believe that we agreed that painting the exterior was going to be far more desirable than removing all the paint and going for a flashy aluminum surface. Too many lumps and bumps on this old Boles Aero, and besides, there are terrific paint colors out to agree on which ones!

May 16, 2018

First big adventure: trip to Montana

Our first big adventure was in 2014, a trip to Montana for a music festival featuring our favorite singer/songwriter Corb Lund and his band the Hurtin' Albertans. Here's his website in case you need some excellent songs. Because we had a lot of miles to go, Fred insisted that we start our trip at 10pm the night before I thought we were going to. He just wanted to be gone, and his logic made sense, that if we stayed at home getting a good night's sleep, hanging out with the cat, eating breakfast leisurely, that sort of thing, we'd be on the road far later than if we just got out there. And hey, we had a trailer to sleep in! So we did, and pulled over at the first rest area along the Columbia Gorge highway, and had a wonderful night! We were the only ones there!

 As we made our way north and east, almost to Coeur d'alene we saw some folks driving past us, waving and pointing at our trailer. We first thought they were just agreeing that it was a beauty, but we soon figured out what they were trying to tell us. Good thing google knew that Les Schwab was less than 2 miles away.
It was time to replace those old split rims. New wheels and tires, and great people at Les Schwab, and a wicked rain storm! The squall lasted the whole time they were putting on our tires.

 So much wind and rain, they were propping the door closed with a chair. On the road in a few hours, with confidence in our new wheel and tire situation.
Found a bull for Fred to ride at the home of the Testicle Festival.
Big sky country. Our campground for the Red Ants Pants Festival was a big cow field that they mowed. We were among the first to arrive so we got an awesome space near the entrance to the performance grounds.

 Town of White Sulphur Springs. Sort of right in the middle of Montana. Home to a motel with a large swimming pool that they re-fill with hot springs water each day. You could buy a ticket for a shower and soak in the pool. Fantastic way to relax and get clean.

The washing up trailer, sinks and hot water. Very welcome after dry and dusty days!

This guy was a genius. He parked his rig right near the path where everyone would walk to the outhouses and water tanks, and watch as, predictably, folks would do a double take. What the heck? How did that guy get the only spot in the whole field with water, sewer, and electricity??? Prankster he was, he had a solar panel that ran a small pump to keep the "faucet" delivering endless water to a bucket that never filled...and the sewer, well that was just a hose in a hole in the ground. Good laughs to be sure.

 Here's our man, Corb Lund, on stage. Great show! I got him to autograph my hat, and he was excited for the next act, Charlie Pride! A great afternoon.

  These gents were brothers who enjoyed traveling all over the west to attend music festivals. They told us about some great campsites that we stayed at on the way home...they knew about the roads that were less traveled.
the soaking pool at Jerry Johnson hotsprings

politics on the road

March 13, 2018

Chapter 5: First things first

So back in 2011 when we got the Boles, the first thing that bugged us was this:

No, the Mira Mar badge was awesome. But the door handle didn't lock, and so the previous owners put this sloppy hasp and a padlock on the door, and it looked terrible. So we went online to see if we could replace the handle, which, upon close inspection, we learned was a Bargman L-66.

Chapter 4: Leaky roof

Last time we posted, it was 2015, and Fred was working on the roof. The leaky roof. Here's what a leaky roof does...

Now it's 2018 and we're really committed to getting this thing on the road. Anne and Eric are getting married in Montana, and that's where the last epic adventure was with the Boles. Here's where we were in 2015...

June 25, 2011

Chapter 3: So what's under that wood anyway?

When we first looked at the Boles Aero, this was the view to the bed. A queen sized mattress sitting over storage cupboards! Awesome! 
We tore into it the first night. Good news: when we plugged the power outlet in, everything lit up! Other news: when we pulled out the mattress and the plywood boards it was sitting on, here's what it really looked like.
A bit of dry rot, wet rot, funky rot and other. Rot. Here's what's great about a Boles Aero: the frame is aluminum. Aluminum oxidizes, but it doesn't rot, like wood frames on other trailers of its vintage. And so, peel back the rotten parts, replace them, and go camping! At least that's my understanding of it.

Here's Fred unscrewing the sills around the window to see what's under the paneling...
Stubby has to help.

The inuslation was a paper product, sort of loose (at one time) corrugated stuff, but it was mushy and icky. We'll put more of that modern pink foam insulation here, like on the other repair at the front.

More moldy insulation...
But right, here's the good stuff, the intact aluminum frame and the pretty good skin.
Summer's almost here, and so it's time to air this thing out and start figuring out how far we want to tear it apart.

June 20, 2011

Chapter 2: South of Oregon City...

So what happened next was Silas and Trigger and Lynne showed up in their giant Suburban and we drove the half hour to the top secret location in a slow drizzle. Rain through a fir tree for three years does this to white paint.
Fred paints stuff, so he notices things like the fact that the white paint had been applied with a roller. 
I guess, sitting out there all cold and lonely,  it could have looked like this...
 or if the blackberries had their way, like this...
But no! It's fine!
Meanwhile, inside the Boles...

We'll take it!!
 A few weeks later, we went back to get the Boles Aero, on a warmer, sunnier day. It was a production involving tow ropes, flat tires, and much hilarity.
 Fred paid the guy who lived there $20 for a marine toilet that was sitting in the front yard. He said it was broken and he was going to use it for a planter. More on that planter later...but soon enough, we were on the road!

 and then here we are at home!  Looks great with our fifties ranch house. Color scheme even matches.
First thing Fred did was give it a good scrub.
 I love how two dimensional it looks when you look at it full sideways!