Preparing to Rally

1972 Bell Travel TrailerGood news! Last Tuesday evening I got the primer re-shot on the front and back ends of Bell. That left two days to get the color coats on Bell. The Roslyn Rally starts at noon on Friday and I plan to be there when it starts. That leaves Wednesday and Thursday to get Bell painted. I have taken Thursday off so hopefully I can wrap things up so we can be out of here by 9 am Thursday morning.

Wednesday the wind blew again. I got the primer sanded that I shot the night before. The primer was doing as it had before when I used the B-I-N primer, this time I used Rustoleum ‘rusty’ brown primer. It still flaked, just like with the B-I-N. I can’t figure out why the primer is flaking unless it’s due to the high humidity and the sun. I then wiped down the sides with Liquid Sandpaper. We’ll see how that turns out after the paint is applied. I got it all sanded smooth again and ready for paint Thursday morning.

Thursday morning I got started by 8 am. First thing to do was to mask off the windows and the stripes down Bell’s sides. I figured an hour, hours and a half at most. Sharon is shaking her head at me and telling me to triple it, No way, by 9:30 I’ll be shooting paint. At 1 pm I finished up masking the trailer. MAN, she was right again.

Took a lunch break and then went and mixed up the paint. I used a 50/50 mix of paint and Naptha for thinner. I then added about half an ounce of Japan Drier to speed the drying time. Using Rustoleum paint and it dries very slowly. The Naptha and drier should speed it up. I used the HVLP Spray Kit I purchased from Harbor Freight last summer to apply the white paint. It is a compact motor unit that generates the air at a low pressure with a high volume. I found it very hard to adjust last summer and learned the best way to control the spray was to turn the paint adjusting screw all  the way in and then slowly back it out until the right amount of paint was achieved. I sprayed on the masked lower portion of the front and the paint ran like water. I readjusted, held the sprayer farther back from the surface and better, but still ran. I decided to try it on the primer, figuring that it may stick better to the primed surface. Laid on a real thin light coat over an area about 4 x 4 and then went back over it. Next  thing I know the paint is pouring off the upper surface and dripping to the ground.

This was not going to work. So add enough un mixed paint to make it about a 75% paint to 25% thinner and tried again. It went on very good. One thing I noticed is as I moved the spray gun back and forth across the surface, the sprayer would pulse the paint. It’s like the sprayer got starved for paint then got too much paint. Every time it happened the paint would run. So, next time I will use a gravity feed HVLP paint gun and my compressor. Finished up spraying the white about 4:30.

Sharon and I ran to Carl Jr’s and grabbed a bite to eat, then back home. I checked the paint and it was just slightly tacky to the touch. As I stripped away the masking, Sharon ran and got a couple of 4 inch rollers and a bag of foam brushes. I mixed up some Rustoleum Regal Red at a 75/25 mix and we set in getting the red portions of Bell painted.

1972 Coca Cola Bell Travel Trailer

1972 Coca Cola Bell Travel Trailer

It took us three hours to get all the red on. At 9:30 I had everything cleaned up and was in the house. We needed a generator to take with us, since Roslyn was dry camping, meaning no hook-ups. I was going to purchase one from Harbor Freight but seeing as tomorrow was coming quick we decided to go get one that Fred Meyer had on sale. We went to Freddie’s but they were out. We had them call the one in Richland and check if they had one and they were out too. So, I was going to have to stop by Harbor Freight on the way out of town on Friday.

When we got home Sharon suggested I make a punch list of things I had left to do before we could leave Friday which was only about an hour away. The list had sixteen things on it. Things such as get the rock guard put back together for the front window to checking the wheel bearings, to getting all the lights back in Bell, as well as 13 others.

I was up at 6:30 Friday morning and out working on Bell by 7:30. Sharon asked me when I thought I would be ready. I told her I would have everything done by 10 and we should be gone by 11 am, which would put us in Roslyn by 2 pm. She chuckled and said maybe we would be there by 9 pm, She was once again tripling my estimated time.

I got everything on the list, with the exception of fixing a leak on the water heater piping by 2:30 pm. I would fix the water leak once we got there. I jumped in the shower and we were loaded and pulling out of the driveway at 3:10 pm. Stopped by Harbor Freight in Richland, got a generator and we were finally on the road at 3:40. By the time we reached Yakima at 5 pm we were both starving, seeing as all we had eaten on Friday was a Planter’s Nut Bar and she suggested we stop at Miner’s. How can anyone resist Miner’s. We grabbed a burger and ate in the shade outside. When we were done we stopped at Shopko so I could pick up a gas can and some 2-stroke oil for the generator. We left Yakima at 6:15 and I estimated we would be in Roslyn by 7:30.

We made one more stop at the rest area just before Cle Elum and then hit Roslyn at 7:20 pm. By the time we got to the park, found a spot to park bell it was exactly 7:30.

I don’t know why I don’t listen to Sharon and just triple my time estimates because she seems to be right most of the time but we made it. Camp set up before dark and settled in for the night. Tomorrow would be great. Stay tuned as we ‘Keep on Rollin’ and give a full account of the Roslyn Vintage Trailer Rally next time.

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4 Responses to Preparing to Rally

  1. clark silver says:

    If I remember correctly, you resided your Bell, so I don’t know what the new siding is made of…..but on the original Bell(s), the siding is aluminum. When painting aluminum siding, you must use aluminum primer, otherwise you’ll run into adhesion issues. You might want to Google on “painting aluminum siding” or something to that effect. I came across several articles and/or “do-it-youself” sites where the users discuss aluminum primer, brands and where they found it. I used a spray can aluminum primer that is sold at Lowes, Home Depot and I believe Walmart has it….I think made by Rustoleum…..that goes with their epoxy paint for appliances. The Bell’s paint job is in its 2nd season and is holding up well so far.

    • Gary says:

      No, it was the aluminum that came of it. I had heard of aluminum primer but could not find any locally. When I googled aluminum primer I found a couple of boat forums where they said they had used B-I-N primer, which I used first. Thanks for the tip on the appliance enamel as I have to more to paint when the time comes.

  2. clark silver says:

    Re the aluminum primer….I just googled on it “Rustoleum aluminum primer”…..it comes in an extra tall, all silver colored spray can called “Rustoleum Professional aluminum primer” and I remember that both Lowes and Home Depot carried it. That should be the cause of your flaking…..aluminum oxidizes and that causes adhesion problems with conventional (auto and “rust” primers), so you have to employ an aluminum primer and then spray with your choice of paint. I encountered a restored trailer at a campground that had been sprayed and I asked the guy what he used and he said appliance epoxy (in spray cans)….it’s not an enamel. It is holding up well for me but I suspect it will not retain the gloss that an automotive lacquer or enamel would (automotive epoxy paints are also available….I talked to the local auto paint store two years ago). I don’t think the appliance epoxy would have UV inhibitors like auto paint has. Only time will tell….so far, it still looks great, but this is only season two.

  3. Wolfrr says:

    Hey, I’m hoping for a bit of advice. I have a 1969 Bell camper that I want to dig into but I’d like to see if the frame the siding screws into is entirely wood or if there is a metal support frame underneath there somewhere.

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