©Bert Gildart: As those who follow this blog may recall, following an insurance claim Janie and I purchased a new Airstream from George Sutton in Oregon. We purchased a 30-foot Classic and because it was about two feet longer than the Safari we previously owned (with slideout), we had to lengthen the “barn” — if we wanted to protect it from the elements when it was not in use. Unfortunately, the first structure just barely accommodated the Safari.
NO EASY TASK
Creating an extension has been no easy task, requiring that I first knock out the rear wall. Then I had to create a railroad tie retaining wall to contain the extended “runway.”
After that I had to build a new wall to replace the knocked out wall – and it had to be high enough to accommodate the Airstream, which is about 9’ 10”. Also, because I had to remove my Hensley Hitch each time I wanted to close the garage door (it was that tight) in the original structure, we decided to add additional footage so, henceforth, I could to leave the hitch intact.
None of this was easy, but creating the railroad tie retaining wall demanded using muscles I had not used in a long time. To secure the ties I had to pound metal stakes using a rented “pole pounder.” Then I had to link one layer of ties to the next layer by drilling a series of holes in each of the ties and pound in rebar that was about four feet in length. I then added several cables back to the existing structure and now believe the wall will hold back the 11 yards of gravel we shoveled into place to extend our “runway” — and that it will endure the ravages of time.
KEEPING OUT THE MICE
After that I (WE) prefabbed a new back wall, hoisted it with the help of friends, added the roof and trim. Then because we’d had trouble previously keeping out mice, I dug a trench inside the “barn” then nailed in flashing that extended down about 10”. Then I covered the flashing back up with gravel. (More on mice.)
Periodic use of the vertical pronoun makes it seem as though I did this alone, but that was not the case. I hired two friends, one a contractor (Jim) and one my next door neighbor. “Hutch,” my neighbor, once worked trails in Glacier National Park and knew how to build bridges, and some of those skills carried over to this project.
While working on the project, my lawn has gone unattended and this year with all the rain, mushrooms have taken over.
Anyone know the names of this group? With my Airstream now protected I have time to explore natural history, and I find the local variety can sometimes be fascinating.
AIRSTREAM TRAVELS LAST YEAR