The Adventures of Airstream Mikie

Friday, October 30, 2009

Future Trips: Wooden boats: canoe & kayak trip to plan

I'd like to head north to Big Bear Lake, CA, just north and east of Los Angeles, to check out some canoes and kayaks at North Shore Trading Company (link).

On the way, it would be good to stop in Corona, CA and meet Andy Rogozinski, the owner of Inland RV, the Airstream repair facility featured in the current issue of the Airstream newsletter.  Seems like a regular guy.

Following along with the boatman's holiday theme, I'd definitely like to head a lot farther north and check out the custom wooden kayaks built by Joe Greenley at Redfish Kayaks.  A good time to go would be late July, 2010 for the West Coast Wooden Kayak Rendezvous. 

Meanwhile, I ordered the book

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Canoeing and Kayaking

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Canoeing and Kayaking 

I doubt I'll learn how to paddle a kayak sitting in my chair reading a book, but maybe I'll learn something useful...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Condiment packets, as few as you want!

On my last excursion to Big Sur, I started running out of stuff in the refrigerator and bought a sandwich from a local gas station / convenience store. When I got back to the Airstream I realized that I sure would like to put some mayo on my turkey sandwich, and maybe some mustard too, but I didn't have any in the refrigerator... it didn't occur to me when I was packing for the trip, probably because of the big sizes I keep at home and the limited space in the Airstream refrigerator.

That's when I got the idea to pick up some of those little packets of ketchup, mayo, mustard, and soy sauce the next time I saw them when I was out and about (rare for a hermit).

The solution came to me a few days ago when I was looking through for such packets, but they only sell them in quantities of 200, and that's way too much for just me. However, there was a "sponsored link" to where they will sell you as many or as few as you want. They came by Fedex this morning. What a score!

Click here for the link!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Toyota FJ Cruiser as camper tow vehicle

Being a total novice to camping of any sort, much less Airstreaming, I had no idea what tow vehicle I needed, so I asked my friendly Airstream sales rep, and he suggested I get a Toyota FJ Cruiser.  Let me share with you some of my experiences with this choice:

1.  Great looking vehicle.  I like the aggressive stance, and the lines of it.

2.  Nice riding vehicle.  Much more civilized than I expected from an off-road 4WD.

3.  Poor gas mileage.  I haven't measured it, but the stock FJ, not towing, is poor, and towing an Airstream it's worse.

4.  And now for the biggest problem I have encountered with it:  You can't open the rear hatch very far at all when you are hooked up to your Airstream because the spare tire hits the electric tongue jack.  The I can open it is about 8 inches or so.  Even after I moved the spare tire to the roof rack, tied down with a ratcheting strap, (photo above taken before this) the door opens a lot more, but not fully as it still hits the tongue jack.  The only solution to this is to un-hitch the trailer and pull the FJ forward a foot or so.  That seems a reasonable fix, but many times when I'm at the beach for just the day, unhooking and hooking up again seems like more work than necessary.

5.  With only a 5,000 lb. tow capacity, its perfect for my 3,500 lb. Airstream Sport 17, but there's no way I'd feel good towing a trailer the next size up.  And since I'm looking at the Sport as a prototype learning experience before I jump in with both feet and get a 27 footer, it looks like I'll be trading in the FJ for something like a Toyota Tundra pickup.

But it sure looks great, doesn't it!  And, with the spare on the roof, it looks even more gnarly!

Monday, October 26, 2009


An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.
An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.

G. K. Chesterton  

(attitude is everything)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I want, I need, I lust...

When I get where I'm going, wherever that is, even if there is no water nearby, it seems that I still want a wood canoe.

Even if I never get it in the water, I would still like one of these in my home, either on the wall, or even on the floor, just to admire the craftsmanship, to sit in occasionally, and dream.

This is only 13' long, perfect to put on the roof of the tow vehicle.  I think it would look so fine going down the road on some great adventure.

Here's the link for more info.