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Refitting the Ship

If you haven't guessed by now, our stop in Tampa has been as much about refitting our ship as it has been about sightseeing. We've made numerous upgrades both large and small, and are trying to take care of as much "housekeeping" as possible before we drive again across the country. I call it "refitting the ship" in homage to Capt. Joshua Slocum, who wrote the book "Sailing Alone Around The World in 1899. Like Captain Slocum's Spray, our craft needs periodic refitting to remain seaworthy.

In addition to the things I have already mentioned in the blog, we have been going through clothing and other stored items to cull out excess stuff. Our rule is simple: if we haven't used it or worn it in the past six months, and we don't need it right now, OUT IT GOES. Yesterday I shipped a bunch of clothes back to Vermont, and Eleanor has another pile of outgrown kids' clothes to donate to the nearest charity.

One little thing that made a lot of difference was to remove all the DVD movies from their original cases and put them in a zippered disc case. The empty cases got shipped back to Vermont, freeing up nearly an entire overhead locker for other things.

This morning I took the Nissan over to the local dealer for brake service. We had developed a "brake judder" (a well documented problem for some Titans and Armadas). There was a Service Bulletin issued by Nissan on this problem, so it wasn't a big deal. The dealer fixed it by replacing the front rotors and pads with a special new set, and replacing the rear pads as well. Now the Armada stops like new -- smooth and sure.

Tampa Doug dukane.jpg
Doug Dukane, fellow Airstream full-timer

This afternoon we were pleased to receive fellow Airstream full-timer Doug Dukane, who we haven't seen in two years. Doug, his wife, and his two-year-old daughter live in an Airstream Classic 30, criss-crossing the country while he works on photographic assignments. Doug also contributes to Airstream Life magazine, and you'll see some of his photos in the upcoming Spring issue.

We compared notes on the full-timing experience. It was absolutely amazing how similar our experiences had been. Like us, Doug feels no sensation of time passing while he is traveling and he is sorry that their trip is winding down. They're building a home in Golden CO to use as a "lock & leave" base starting later this year. After that, they'll only travel in the Airstream a few months each year.

We still have a few more refitting tasks to do before we leave on Monday, so I may blow them off in favor of some touristy stuff tomorrow. The weather continues to be gorgeous in Tampa and there's so much more to see!


Looking forward to the new issue! Very nice "refitting" job-trailer looks great!

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