Picking up the trailer

The trailer was at Colin Hyde’s for a few weeks. It got new grey tanks, a new AC, a partial belly pan replacement and lots of little things addressed.

We left in the afternoon and knocked a few hours off our trip. We spent the night in Saratoga Springs, but obviously we didn’t have our camper so we stayed in a hotel called the Downtowner.

This was the oddest hotel pool I have ever seen.

This was the oddest hotel pool I have ever seen.

The Downtowner in Saratoga Springs.

The Downtowner in Saratoga Springs.

We continued onto Plattsburgh the next morning and picked the trailer up around noon.

The quality of the workmanship was top-notch. Much better than I could have ever hoped to have done myself. The cost? – That’s another thing! Due to the vagaries with all the different types of trailers that comes into his shop, Colin charges by the hour. His rate of $75/hr seems reasonable. Listen, the local Firestone tire shop gets $100/hr! What I was not prepared for was the total number of hours, which totaled almost 80. Add in materials and tax and we’re looking at a $7,500 bill!

Now, I want to be perfectly clear here – I don’t think Colin overcharged or anything of the sort – he’s the best around and needs to be compensated for his time and expertise – but if I knew in advance that the addition of grey tanks would ultimately run me $7,500 – I don’t think I would have done it. I took on a part-time job in the fall and financed these improvements with the money I made from that job. I naively thought I’d have some money left over to pay for a portion of my travel expenses this summer.

The bottom line is this – I now have a vintage Airstream that has had most of its major systems and mechanicals replaced. Because my wife and I did all the work up to the point of the grey tank install ourselves this was the first time we had to pay for any labor. I am happy with the way it turned out.

This is what the inside of a torsion axle looks like. Although I've seen drawings before, this is the first time I have ever seen the inside in person.

This is what the inside of a torsion axle looks like. Although I’ve seen drawings before, this is the first time I have ever seen the inside in person.

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