Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Trailer

Mar 23, 2012

 While still in Australia I went on the internet looking for lightweight trailers, all I could find were heavy duty car haulers.  Then on Craigslist, friend Bruce in Nevada, found an old Airstream Argosy travel trailer that someone had bought to restore, but then he found that the floor was all rotten so had to remove all the furniture and fittings to get at the floor. Then he gave up, and I bought it unseen, and arranged for it to go in storage in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

Several months later I arrived at Rio Rancho on a Friday afternoon, just in time to get the trailer out of storage before the weekend.  Looks pretty sad inside, with no floor, and just a bunch of left-over junk.  Wiring totally disrupted and hanging….  Electrical plug doesn’t match the van socket.  Hitch doesn’t fit due to bumper clearance.  Lots to do before I can roll with this rig…...  Saturday morning, but I luckily found an ornamental iron-worker who just happened to be open, and he thankfully agreed to grind the bumper to fit the hitch.  Then I spent several frustrating hours figuring out the wiring connections......

This is the way it looked inside.......
But I was lucky to find it.
These Airstream trailers are collector items these days,
and people pay big money to restore them.
The previous owner had bought this one to restore
but then found that the floor was totally rotten
so he had to tear out all the furnishings to get at it
then he wisely gave up.....

Hit the road again next day, and pleased to find that the trailer tows easily, which of course is why I wanted an Airstream.  On across eastern New Mexico and down through Texas, headed for Houston.  Fort Worth/Dallas area freeway traffic was hell (see description of Houston traffic later).

But it was a beautiful ‘change of season’ drive from north Texas to Houston.  In the north it was still very early spring, with the trees still bare.  A bit farther south the trees were just budding out, and more and more new leaves as I went south, until Houston was full summer, with lush growth everywhere, and the first blackberries ready to taste!  That whole change of season in one day.

Found myself on Houston's freeways just at rush hour......  It's a very good freeway system, just as all the highways in Texas.  But the speed!!  75mph, and everyone going that speed or more.  My little old rig couldn't go that fast, so there were big trucks roaring by on both sides and right on my tail.  Trying to follow the instructions from lady in the GPS, but really hard to change lanes with a trailer on tow in those conditions.........  Very stressful for a country boy from 'down under'.....  But survived it all, and then the GPS led me to a swamp east of Houston and declared, "...You have arrived...".  Finally managed to find someone to ask and arrived at JB's place in the dark.

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