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Sunday Night Tweaking

We're at it again -- modifying the Airstream for more convenience. Brett and I started off the day with a ride on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail, which is another converted rail trail not far from here. Tampa has some excellent bicycling! Even though this one is short, we got in a good ride, about 11 miles round trip.

This put us in the mood to drill holes in the Airstream. (Don't ask me why.) We met up with Eleanor and Emma at the local Steak'n'Shake and then proceeded to buy some hardware for the jobs we had in mind.

The first job was to install a level on the front of the trailer. For the past six months I've been levelling the trailer by eyeballing it, and it has worked well. But it seemed time to have the real thing. This is an easy item to install, so I didn't bother taking photos of the process. Basically, just level the trailer, drill holes, and screw the level on.

The second job was to put in a secret hiding place. Brett and I spotted the perfect place in the trailer last week, and today I rigged it up. I wish I could show it to you, but then it wouldn't be a secret would it? I'll just say that it is very hard to find, opens in a non-intuitive way, and big enough to hold our Passports and some cash. I feel good about having this available, just in case we ever have a break-in.

The third job was to install a bed lift. I got the idea from David Tidmore at Roger Williams Airstream, who has installed them for his customers. The Airstream bed sits on a plywood platform, which is screwed to a storage base. To access storage below the bed, you normally reach in through openings in the side of the storage base. But it would be much nicer to be able to just lift the bed up and access everything from the top.

Tampa Rich hinge.jpg

To install the bed lift, we removed the screws attaching the plywood, added a long piano hinge, and then attached two automotive-type gas struts beneath. Now the bed can be lifted up off its base by anyone, with just one hand, and it stays up as long as you are accessing the storage area. Even Emma can do it!

Tampa Emma bed lift.jpg


Hey, love the RV blog. We gotta meetup sometime. I'll keep tabs on your movement and ping you when we're crossing paths.

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