Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's not over til it's over!

Hello. 99 here. Faith is a little bit busy enjoying her new found self, so I told her that I would sit in and add to the blog. This should be a treat. Never has a blog been written with an entry in the first person. Are your ready? Okay. Nice to meet you all. Since we left you,  she has gone up on the market for sale and we have heard from a lot of people who absolutely love her! Just last night someone wrote this to us...
 "I used your work to show several people what I was trying to explain to them. 
They understood when they saw your work"

Now I am not going to get a big head over this or try to make it seem like I am the travel trailer restoring Goddess. But I can tell you one thing....when it comes to really loving these trailers and putting my whole heart and soul into them....yep, that would be me. I also mix in some down deep ingenuity, creativeness, DIY'ers, and a few cuss words from time to time....shhhh, don't tell my grandson, Mason, cause I have a Mason Jar in the house and whenever anyone swears it is supposed to be fed.  
Anyway, this trailer is a good one. I am proud of her. I can't believe I did it! But then again, I can because I wanted it. I wanted it bad. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do this. I did. That makes me proud of myself and that is a cool feeling. Anyone who has done this before knows that feeling when you get to the end and you sit inside and you just look around and you go....WOW! I did that. I turned that from that to this? And you look at every little piece and you remember the struggles and the trials and you say to yourself, "holy cow, I can't believe this beautiful piece of history is sitting before my very eyes and looking so unbelievably unbelievable". Those so close and yet so far moments and the "I knew it couldn't be this easy's." Yep, if you have been know. And yet you keep on until you finally figure it out. Then it feels that much better. Because you were not defeated. You hung in and you believed. That's what life is all about. Hanging in there, believing, holding on and never ever losing Faith! 
Faith has not been lost. Look at her. She is back almost exactly like she used to be. If ever in my life I start to lose faith, I am going to look back at photos of what a mess this trailer was and what a sharp, tight, cute, adorable, hot, looking piece of work she is now!
Sometimes you wonder how in the hec they did it in the old days? Especially without the power tools we have today. And they built houses! 
One of my favorite quotes, and one of the ones I kept in mind when I was restoring my first trailer ever, is this: 

Never be afraid to try something new. 
Remember, amateurs built the ark.
 Professionals built the Titanic

Now, back to Faith, the 1962 Serro Scotty Travel Trailer. Since the last post she got a new ceiling/roof vent. I was going to try to get all the tar off the old original one and replace the screen, try to fix the adjuster or replace it and try to make it look new again. The more I looked at it, the more I realized it just wasn't going to do her justice. That thing was beat. So I went to the big box trailer store, told them what I was looking for, and why, and they directed me to the right aisle all the while wanting to know what exactly it was I was trying to do...
Here it is all in place. Looks like it belongs if you ask me...

The exterior lights were hooked up and a plate holder was made. It is not an original, but it will hold the plate in place for when it makes it's maiden voyage. I made sure to use the old screw holes where the old plate went and I put a gasket behind the holder. Did not want metal on metal here. Faith got a butt job to put it bluntly and here it is...

Remember that emblem I found in the drawer inside when the trailer first came to me? It looked like this...

I grinded it with the drill and sanded it with some sandpaper, cleaned it up, primed it and then sprayed it with rustoleum chrome.

Then when I was really frustrated with something else, I stepped aside and decided to paint it. Took a steady hand, but it turned out fine and looked even better attached!

Of course she was sealed up with butyl rubber putty tape, but I tend to be the paranoid type, so I made sure she got extra armor against the elements and sealed her again with a clear flexible sealant made for trailers along the edges where water might get in. I can't remember the name of it right now, but if you want to know, send me a message. Always willing to share the tricks of the trade.

That's the latest update. I am starting to need the duct tape to wrap around my almost exploding head less and less! Funny how that happens, isn't it? The further you get along the brighter the light at the end of the tunnel it gets! 

So, I guess this is the point in the blog that Faith leaves you with a quote, right? Okay, I will play along. I will leave you with a few and hopefully one will stick out for you...

Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light....Helen Keller

He who has faith has... an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well - even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly. 
B. C. Forbes 

Faith and doubt both are needed - not as antagonists, but working side by side to take us around the unknown curve. 
Lillian Smith 

And finally...
Faith is spiritualized imagination. 

Imagine you can do something, believe in those who believe in you, never give up no matter what, always appreciate what you have and be thankful for every single moment that makes you smile. And if you have to...every once in while, it's okay to kick a trailer tire and wonder what the hec you were thinking getting into this little addiction. You will figure it out in the end. That's what makes it all worth while. Keep the faith, my friends.
Happy trailering....99

Monday, September 17, 2012

A star is born!

Hello Dahlings! Faith, the vintage Serro Scotty here to fill you in on some of the work that went into restoring me back into a beautiful creature! There was so much that needed to be done it is always hard to know where to start. I guess I will start with my tongue! My tongue was old, paint chipped and rusty. Here is my before picture...

The rust was cleaned using a wire brush on the drill. Rustoleum black was used to paint my tongue and now I look like new!

My table was "cute" in the words of my restorer, 99. But not very displayable. Someone did a nice job on the artwork at one time. 99 wanted to keep the original table, but wasn't sure what to do with it is
This is the underside with the original foot.
 Who doesn't love Lucy?
 99 removed the hinged foot. She sanded the sides and painted them black.

 A visitor came by to supervise the work...
 The triangular effect on the foot was removed and a new one made using oak. It was polyurethaned and attached to what used to be the top of the table. 99 did not paint over Lucy. She likes Lucy and thought she would leave it for nostalgia's sake.

Next, a piece of birch was cut and shaped to fit the table. It was attached to what used to be the bottom of the table and then covered with poly.

 The grain is very pretty I think!
The wall bracket was cleaned and polished and I was eventually reattached to the trailer. Here is what my table looks like now...
All ready for my new family to play a game of cards and enjoy some camp cooking! I can't wait!

My trim rails on the outside were a royal pain in the patootie! They were so long, in the way, covered with old paint and tar and had tons of tiny twist nails in them! The tar was softened using a torch and then scraped. When enough of it was removed the remainder was wiped off with gasoline. Paint remover was put over the paint and removed as well, then they were polished up and now they shine!

 You can see the difference between the polished rail and the unpolished one. It was huge!

This is 99's best friend, Ghandi the Dingo. She is guarding the trim rails so no tar gets near them again!
The tires were removed. 99 says my tires are in great shape. When removed there was a little surprise, whitewalls had been turned to the inside. 99 said this is cool because if my new owners want them to show they can take them and have them changed around. Just one more option!
 Nice tread!
 After being wirebrushed and cleaned they were painted using rustoleaum black.
 The bearings were also greased and then the tires were reattached to my body...

99 says I would look great with some baby moons on me, but for now she added a little flair by painting my dust cap!

Scotty is known for having the drop down floor. 99 wanted to find a way to reinforce this. And she did. Using angle iron she put a frame around the box and up each corner. My floor isn't going anywhere for a looooong time!

There are lots of things that were done that I haven't mentioned.  If you think this went off without a hitch, it didn't. There were a few times a mad dash had to be made to push me in the garage or cover me with the tarp because of really hard rain. Times when 99's hands hurt so bad she ran them under hot water just for a moment of relief. Times when she just sat down next to me and cried either because she couldn't believe she was able to make something out of nothing or because she didn't know how on earth she was going to do just that. She broke two windows by accident making even more work, her light, good drill is toast because the batteries won't take a charge so she had to use the heavy one, her buffer is a piece of "crap" as she says so a lot of the polishing and shining was done by hand. She broke more jigsaw blades than I care mention and took a lot of slack from helpers who sometimes had an easier way but she would refuse because it was not the best way. She stuck with me though and worked on me diligently, sometimes from early morning and through the night. She learned a lot about friendship because people would cheer her on, provide graphic visuals, offer advice, send over tools she needed and supplies, bring over dinner and basically stick by her side and believe in her. I mean a lot to 99 and I think I came to mean a lot to lots of other people too. Like I said before, a lot of love went into restoring me. I am not yet totally complete, but I am up for sale. 99 will continue to work on me until my new family comes along to take over, but she has made sure the hard work is all done and that I am ready to be cherished and enjoyed for many years to come. This was a long hard road, but one worth traveling. And now it is time for her to let me go. She says someday she will be able to have one she can keep and love for herself. For now, knowing that she saved one more trailer from doom is good enough for her!  She kept the faith and so have I!

For now, dahlings, I leave you with this:

“A star falls from the sky and into your hands. Then it seeps through your veins and swims inside your blood and becomes every part of you. And then you have to put it back into the sky. And it's the most painful thing you'll ever have to do and that you've ever done. But what's yours is yours. Whether it’s up in the sky or here in your hands. And one day, it'll fall from the sky and hit you in the head real hard and that time, you won't have to put it back in the sky again.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

I think this is how 99 feels about these old trailers she rescues. She made me into a star and now it is time to let go. If you ever find yourself questioning whether or not you can do something, first decide if it is worth doing.  If it is, well, then hold on to faith and never ever let go! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Feeling right at home!

Hello Dahlings! Faith, the vintage Serro Scotty Travel Trailer here to show you how well my insides are coming along! First, let me remind you of how I started out...

Yep, I was in rough shape wasn't I? Well, 99 saw something in me and turned me into a real beauty. 
Just take a look at me now! 

When I finally find my permanent home I will come with the curtains, the cushions, the mattress & sheet. 99 decorated me to show you how much potential I have for being a beautiful little home away from home. That and the fact that until someone finally does take me away, she is going to enjoy me just a little bit. 99 told me this happens all the time. She restores a trailer and somewhere along the line she falls madly in love with it. Well, just between you and me, I kind of have a feeling she fell in love with me the moment she saw me! 

The first meal in my newly restored dinette. The wine wasn't consumed. After every successful sale 99 opens a bottle to drink to the fact that one more trailer in on the road again, one more family will enjoy the fruits of her labor and one big sense of accomplishment and realizing of the dream. She says it is always a moment of mixed emotions, saying goodbye to one of her beauties is sad, but it is always a happy moment knowing that someone is going to love it the way it should be!

In my next blog I will show you some of the miscellaneous things that were done to me. Every little detail is important you know and there were enough of those to keep 99 very busy, very frustrated and very hard at work. Until then, I will leave you with this...

“Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” 
― Mother Teresa

Never overlook the small things. Sometimes those are the things that make everything else possible. See you next time, dahlings! Hope you enjoyed this addition to the blog.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Skin, windows, etc.

Hello again. Faith the vintage Serro Scotty travel trailer here to pick up where we left off. I am going to tell you about my exterior. Here are some before and after photos to get us started.

Getting to this point was a lot of work and required a lot of elbow grease. When I arrived, my skin was painted in two layers in some places. It was banged up. It was covered in tar. All of my skin was removed on the first day here. Here are some photos...

After being carefully removed the skin was laid out. First came the tar removal process, The tin knocker dude helped with that. The tar was heated using a torch and then gently scraped off with a putty knife. The remaining tar was removed using gasoline.

 The pieces of skin with paint on them were stripped using airplane stripper. It works pretty good but with old paint it takes a lot of work to get it all off!

 After being stripped and cleaned my skin was laid out to dry.
 The panels that would receive paint did have some paint residue on them. This is okay because they were all wet sanded until smooth and the new primer and paint will cover the old.

99 used acid etching primer, A test area was created on the roof panel around where the vent would go. First primer was applied, followed by the paint. It was allowed to dry to see how well the paint would hold. It did great!

 The skin was cleaned using Dawn dish soap. It was wet sanded. Then polished using fine grade Perko and then polished using Mother's. It was a long process but 99 says it is a good start for whoever decides to take me as their own and I look good. My new owners can bring me to a mirror finish or leave me as is.
 So many dents had to be pounded out using the auto body finishers tools.

 Once the pieces had all the staples and nails removed the ones to be painted were laid out and primed with the acid etching primer.

After this, my skin was attached to the primed exterior walls.

Curb and streetsides put up and more polishing! Followed by painting.

Once this was done the window and the door were put in. The door was in good condition with no rot so there was no need to rebuild it. 99 was so thankful for that. 

There are lots of details and specifics to add. Bent pieces were pounded out. Butyl rubber putty tape was put on all edges of the skin before putting them up. Weather sealant was put in the seams. Side windows received new weather seals, screens were replaced as were a few window panes. A lot of work and time and most of all love was put into me. Lots of 16 hour days. I think 99 is a bit obsessed with me. She says she wants me last a long time to come. And that is just fine by me. I am looking forward to getting a new family. 99 says I am going to turn some heads going down the road by the time she is done with me. That is a dream come true! There were those who said to 99... "I hope you know what you are doing" and those who said "You CAN do this". This has been a mission of love not only by 99 but by those who followed along on her journey. She has loved these tin cans since she was a kid and would like nothing more than to do this for a living. And so, she is giving it her best shot. She has had people loan tools, donate supplies, bring dinner, share words of encouragement, pitch in some extra hands, offer advice. It's not just me and 99 out here. It is us and a bunch of people believing in this process and watching ME turn into a thing of beauty and return to my old glory. So, whoever ends up getting to enjoy me....they are also getting a lot of love packed inside of me. When all is said and done there is nothing better than love!

Next blog, I will show you my insides. For now, I will leave you with this...

Faith allows things to happen. It is the power that comes from a fearless heart. And when a fearless heart believes, miracles happen. (unknown)

Never stop believing in miracles and never ever give up on your dreams. When you feel like you can't hold on anymore, sometimes miraculous people come along and refill your faith in yourself. Look at me and what a mess I was when we started this journey. It is because of faith that I am being renewed. So, have faith in yourself and in others and never give up!