March 26, 2006

#14 - A Wet Bath

Rusty & Wendy Fordham just sent me an email telling me about their very nice original 1956 Flying Cloud Custom. The serial number is O 3402. RJ Dial has some great photos of it in his archives. It's the second trailer on the page. It looks more like a Caravanner to me, but that's typical of the inconsistencies in the early- to mid-50s.

There's a great photo of the trailer's wet bath. Wet baths were prevalent in Airstreams of that era. I'd like to create one in my trailer, although my original layout was for a side shower/closet and a rear center toilet hidden in a cabinet (see post #3). Wet baths are a great use of space. Very compact, but they get the job done. To take a shower, just pull a shower curtain in front of the door.

Rusty & Wendy's 1956 Wet Bath

March 24, 2006

#13 - More Shopping

Through sheer luck, I came across this Humphrey Opalite No.3 (or 3T) interior gas lamp on eBay. This is a great find because this style has been out of production for years and was original to 1956 Airstreams. I see them a lot on eBay, but always used and with parts missing. This one's in brand new condition with all the original stuff in the original box. My 1970 Wally Byam Stores catalog shows it along with two other later styles of Humphrey lamps. Here's the description for the Opalite version:
Popular model and used in thousands of travel trailers. For beauty, efficiency and durability at modest cost. Dual outlets for easy installation, and once it's up, there's nothing to rust or corrode. Comes in copper, brass or aluminum finish to suit any decor. Half-frosted Pyrex globe, hi-temp ceramic burner nose and Humphrey tie-on mantle included.
When you're boondocking and want to save your batteries, having a propane lamp is a big help. Remember, that one 12w light bulb in a 12v system draws 1 amp from your batteries. Humphrey was purchased by Paulin and still makes a style of gas lamp that you can use in your vintage trailer.

Humphrey Opalite No.3 Gas Lamp (Price Delivered: $51.86)

The only thing that isn't perfect with this one is that the included pre-formed "hard" mantle turned to dust. That's okay, because hard mantles aren't used in travel trailers. They don't hold up to road vibration, so you need to buy soft tie-on beret type mantles.

March 01, 2006

#12 - Shopping for 1956 Airstream Parts

While waiting to start my restoration, I've been hunting down parts I know I'll eventually need. Being "in the business," I certainly have an advantage with some items. For instance, Vintage Trailer Supply already sells all the rubber gaskets and seals I'll need.

But there are some things I need to find elsewhere. This week I scored some great items on eBay (all in excellent condition)...

1950s Bargman #4 License Plate Light (Price Delivered: $68.95)

Lot of Fifty 3/8"-Offset 1950s Hinges (Price Delivered: $4.16 ea)

Pair of Vintage Airstream Hubcaps (Price Delivered: $76.00)