Monday, June 8, 2009

Ghetto Fence and Canned Ham

Our little 1956 Aloha trailer has been sitting in my parent's driveway for 2 years. With subtle and not so subtle hints from my folks, we determined it was time to move the canned ham home. But where to put it? Our place does not have RV parking and our driveway is barely big enough for our cars. The side yard is big, but were unsure how to get it back there. Would it fit between the fence and the house? Would it clear the overhang on the roof? Could we make it up the steep driveway without scraping the bottom of the trailer? OR rip off the tongue and hitch? The existing fence/gate looked deceptively small. I thought there was no way to get a car through the gap... let alone a trailer? We measured. Then we measured again to be sure, and found that it was plenty wide enough to fit the trailer through. The old fence had to go.

Step 1: Clear the bark from the side yard.

Several weeks ago we discovered aggregate concrete existed under a thick layer of bark on the side of the house. With shovels and wheelbarrow we started the lovely task of removing the bark chips. Unfortunately the concrete is not as large as we thought, but big enough to park a trailer on.

Step 2: Remove the existing fence.
Steve and Max made quick work taking down the fence. The old fence boards were still in pretty good shape so we saved them for future use... possibly a new fence (sans the lattice) since the neighbor's wisteria "Plant From Outer Space" is consuming the existing one. With the fence out, the shrubs and rocks had to be moved from the parking strip next to the driveway. Yikes those are some very big rocks! And we think the huge lump of rock and cement in the corner is the sad remains of the old lava rock mailbox base. Yes, it is VERY HEAVY.

Step 3: Build temporary fence.
We have no idea what kind of permanent fence we want to build... but because we have a pool in the backyard something had to go up. Solution: The Ghetto Fence! With a couple 4 x 4's, concrete deck footings, a few 2 x 4's, a couple packages of reed fencing, screws and a power staple gun we threw up a quick fence. Not bad for a quick fix. (Although a gate would have been nice... maybe a ghetto retro-fit is in order.)

Step 4: Park trailer... Trailer park.
I seriously thought we'd argue to the point of divorce squeezing this trailer in next to the house, but to my surprise we rolled it right into place with little difficulty. ("little difficulty" ...hmmm. Actually with considerable difficulty and luck. I have almost NO experience backing up a trailer. I got lucky, plain and simple. And our martial bliss prevailed.) And with lots of room to spare on both sides. (Maybe our 1956 Airstream Safari will fit here... it's a couple of feet longer, but the same width. Awww, yet another project sitting in storage!) Outcome: we're very happy... and still married!

This trailer is so cute. We are definitely planning a few getaways this summer.

I thought I would add a quick side note about my trailer obsession. We bought the 1956 Airstream Safari (pictured below on the day we got it and Max driving the "tow vehicle.") almost on a whim, after seeing a segment about Vintage Vacations on the Travel Channel (I think). It is truly a beautiful design, but needs a few things (the plywood floor was rotten and most of the interior needs rebuilding). You don't see many '56 Safari's and I'm kinda scared of messing it up.

The trailer pictured above is also from 1956 and has an aluminum skin, but it's an Aloha made in nearby Aloha Oregon. It's usable but also needs some work (there's some rotten wood here and there, it needs a new vent, some trim work and assorted bits & pieces). Instead of subjecting it, myself and my family to the complete restoration this trailer deserves, I'm planning on keeping it roadworthy, learn how to polish aluminum and deal with other vintage trailer stuff and eventually sell it to another vintage trailer aficionado and put the $ toward stuff the Airstream needs.

That's my plan.


Husband said...

Very cool you guys, now you have a guest room!

The Bear said...

WOW! The little boy in the pic pulling the aloha, looks like Jake! lol totally had to take another look lol

Haley said...

Jake looks so much like Max... no wonder I love him so much!