Monday, September 28, 2015

Late September Update

Time is running out to get everything done before our upcoming camping season. To say that Gary has been busy is a major understatement. He's been putting in some LONG hours, but things are coming together. He promised me that he would polish me, and he followed through with the promise. Even after he de-oxidized my skin with six full cans of carburetor cleaner and a whole package of steel wool, there was still much more oxidation left that the Mother's Metal Polish drew out of me. Look at the difference between that new blue applicator pad and the one next to it. And all of that nastiness came off of just a small portion of the metal under my rear window. YUCK! It took more than a dozen clean rags and a full roll of paper towels to get me looking good. Gary's arms and shoulders were plenty sore after all that work, but the end result was definitely worth his efforts. I look SO much better! It's been five years since Gary stripped all of the layers of paint and roof coatings off of me. At that time, I got new edge trim with the red vinyl insert trim in it. The vinyl has faded considerably, and it's shrunken in length on both ends by a few inches. It looked shabby, so off it came. Gary had a new roll "in stock", so now I have brand new vinyl to compliment my shiny skin. One thing that time and weather has not destroyed is the awesome Eternabond sealing tape over the seams in my roof. It looks as good as the day that Gary installed it. That stuff is the BEST product to keep your camper free of water damage. I haven't leaked a drop. The last thing to be spruced up on my exterior was my tongue. It had a lot of nicks and chipped paint on it. Rustoleum Safety Red is my color, and now my tongue looks as good as the rest of me. After a couple of years of not looking my best during our travels, I won't be embarrassed at all this season. Lots of other things that I haven't already told you about have been checked, fixed, or spiffed up. Mechanically, all systems have been tested, and all is well. There's just a couple of hours of interior cleaning to be done, and I will be ready to hit the road. Am I excited? Oh HELL yeah!!! We head to Georgia and Tennessee VERY soon, and I will write and post pictures from every stop. Signing off from the Green Acres Garage in beautiful St. Augustine, FL., this is Toaster. Thanks for reading my blog. Over and out!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

No Vacation For The Oxidation

It's my lucky week! I not only had a bath this week, but Gary is now in the process of removing years of oxidation off of my skin. De-oxidating is the bare aluminum trailer version of human skin exfoliation. Basically, Gary is attempting to get all of that yucky, pore-clogging gunk out of my skin by using fine steel wool, spray carburetor cleaner, and a whole lot of rubbing. He will do this to all of me, and then he will polish me with Mother's Aluminum Polish. I should look pretty spiffy for this year's camping trips. It's amazing how different my skin looks and feels after the steel wool/carburetor cleaning process. See all that black stuff on my skin and on the polishing cloth? That, my friends, is oxidation, and this year, it's going to stay home and not go with us on our travels. In the second photo, you can clearly see that the upper portion of my side has been de-oxidized, and the lower portion has not. The de-oxidized part is MUCH more shiny. If I had fingers, I would be able to tell the difference by feel. Gary says that the de-oxidized skin is smooth to the touch, and the "dirty" skin is as rough as 100 grit sandpaper. That's a BIG difference. We don't want my skin to have a mirror-like shine like an Airstream. A dull shine is fine with us, and it's a lot less of a hassle to take care of. This is only the third time in the last five years that I've been de-oxidized, so Gary isn't into anything that he has to constantly clean and polish. As long as I'm not covered and dirt and poop, I'm perfectly happy. But on those rare occasions when I'm clean AND polished, I REALLY feel like a stud. Look out girls, here I come!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mid-September Update

Hello, everyone. I know I haven't posted much lately, but all of that will be changing soon as our camping season gets underway. You know how much I like to talk, and I have SO much bottled up inside of me, I feel like I'm going to EXPLODE!!! That being said, I'm going to relieve a little of the pressure, and tell you all about the latest happenings here in the Green Acres Garage. As I reported last time, my buddy Dodge got a lot of work done on his interior. That should help us be more organized during our travels. Gary has been loading Dodge up for our first trip. He's written everything down so he has a good inventory of the dozens of odds and ends that we carry, and he's even assigned locations for each item so he knows EXACTLY where they are. As far as other happenings with Dodge, Gary spent a solid week doing mechanical work to him. He replaced the leaky power steering pump, installed new power steering hoses, installed new transmission cooler hoses, and did a complete rear brake job. All of Dodge's vital fluids were checked, and everything was greased and lubricated. He even removed the interior door panels, and lubricated all of the moving door lock parts. Even though Dodge has 242,000 miles on him, we feel perfectly safe taking him (or him taking us I should say) absolutely anywhere. He's beyond awesome. I have been a VERY patient boy this summer. Gary has been EXTREMELY busy with many projects, and I have sat quietly waiting my turn to get some of his attention. As the time gets closer and closer for us to hit the road, the chances have gotten better for me to be worked on, and that finally happened yesterday. For the first time in months, I got to see sunshine. I've had bird poop on my roof and my rear bumper since our last trip in the spring, and the dirt was so thick on me that you could write on me with your fingers if you wanted to. I'm not sure if you can see it in the picture, but there were cobwebs between the marker lights on my roof. I was SUPER nasty to say the least. Gary scrubbed me top to bottom, and I swear I lost a few pounds of dirt (and other unpleasant things) before returning to the garage. I'm supposed to get polished next, and I'm looking forward to getting several years of oxidation off of me. I certainly do feel better the way I am right now, and I'll settle for the nice bath if nothing else. As I mentioned back on New Year's Day when it happened, my cool little clock quit working, and it hasn't been fixed until now. Gary bought a replacement motor for it for $4.97, but the little white stem that the hands attach to was too long. Looking online for a replacement for the replacement, Gary couldn't find one that was right. So, he went to Wal-Mart and found an entire clock for a measly $3.88 that had the correct motor in it. He removed it from the new clock, installed it in my old one, and remounted my clock in it's place over my front bed. It's GREAT to have it working again. I haven't known what time it is for MONTHS!!! As for our first camping trip of the season, our plans changed considerably. We're not going quite as far north as we originally were, but we're still going to places we've never been to before in Georgia and Tennessee. Our starting date has been pushed back a couple of weeks, so Gary feels less stressed about getting everything done that he needs to do before we go. I am SO excited about getting started. October just can't get here soon enough. That's the latest news from here. I hope to be posting some pictures of my shiny self very soon, but if not, I'll definitely write from the road as we go from place to place. Have a GREAT day!