Advice from the ultimate Airstream experts—only at Alumapalooza

We’re proud to announce the technical experts on the Alumapalooza 5 schedule—

AS logoAirstream, Inc.Experts from the factory include Dave Schumann, Customer Support General Manager; Tim Maxwell, Eastern Regional Sales Manager; and Rick March, National Service Manager Towables. This dream team will share their expertise and intimate knowledge of Airstream coaches during informative seminars about Airstream maintenance, and winterizing and de-winterizing. Bring all your questions about caring for you new model!

Can-Am RV’s Andy Thomson will have you towing like a pro! He’ll explain towing dynamics and how to set up your hitch properly for optimum performance, and host a towing Q&A session, so bring any and all questions and concerns.

A long time Airstream professional from a multi-generation dealership, Andy has been setting people up with unique towing combinations for decades. If you see an Airstream being towed by anything lighter than a small SUV, chances are Andy was the guy behind the rig-up. He’s towed a 34-foot Airstream with a Jaguar, a Chrysler 310, and a mini van (and often makes a trip to the Airstream factory to pick up 23-ft trailers with a diesel Jetta)!DSC_4578 2

Jake Borens of Dexter Axle will share what you need to know about your running gear, axles, brakes, and bearings during a seminar that’s critical to the health and well-being of your Airstream.

Many newer Airstreamers aren’t aware that wheel bearing and brake maintenance is an important part of the annual service on a trailer. (Unlike your car, your Airstream can’t wait as long between checkups.) No one thinks about these systems…until they break. And that’s a bad thing.

Terry Halstead, an ASE certified master mechanic and Airstream factory-trained service tech, will cover a number of topics during his maintenance seminar. With a background of 15 years of Airstreaming experience, Terry knows his stuff: fasteners, wiring fittings, you name it. He’ll teach you how to fix “the little things” and avoid a trip to the service bay.

awningJim Webb, president of Zip Dee Awnings, will guide you through the repair and maintenance of your Airstream awning. Jim has an extensive background in engineering of the awnings, and the inner workings of all the awning features. If you’re having trouble deploying your awning, you may be surprised to learn how it should be properly done!

Colin Hyde, the go-to guy for era-correct restorations has been restoring Airstream trailers to like-new condition for over a decade. You’ll have the exciting opportunity to learn from Colin at his seminar about customizing vintage Airstreams.

At his refurbishment and restoration company, Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations, they do it all: sub flooring replacement and repair, “body off” reconstruction, cabinetry, plumbing, electrical, chassis upgrades, and axle replacements.

Vintage owners will be interested in what he has to say about the antilock anti-sway braking systems being introduced to the market.

Widely respected as the expert in Airstream Trailer restorations, Colin is the Vintage Airstream Club technical advisor and panel member of TheVAP (the Vintage Airstream Podcast).

Michael Rice will show you how to get a mirror-like shine on your vintage Airstream during his hands-on polishing demo.DSC01781 2

Michael will share what he knows about making your “icon of the RV industry” even more beautiful, and demonstrate how he got the high polish on his 1966 Globetrotter. His presentation in the main tent will include time-lapse videos and photos of polishing projects, and you’ll work with a buffer on a vintage trailer outside in the field.


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Bicycle Museum tour

bike 3Looks can be deceiving. Behind the cute, unassuming storefront of the Bicycle Museum of America, multiple stories are filled to the rafters with more than 350 bicycles of all shapes, sizes, makes and models—as well as some made famous in Hollywood.

There are tandems, monocycles, unicycles, penny-farthings, kid’s bikes, and racers. Rare bikes, like the “ice bike” (with skis in place of the front tire), and a fascinating folding military cycle. Accompanying the bicycles are displays of tools, tires, advertising, and riding gear. You’ll even see Pee Wee Herman’s legendary stolen Schwinn used in the movie Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.peewee

The vast stockpile of amazing bicycles at the museum began as the Schwinn Bicycle collection. An individual (Jim Dicke II) purchased the bicycles and associated memorabilia in 1997 and moved the whole kit and kaboodle to New Bremen (only 18 miles from the Alumapalooza grounds at the Airstream factory), where the collection has grown in scope and size.

bike 1bike 2The state of Ohio holds an important role in the history of the bicycle: the Wright Brothers developed their plans for the first airplane at their bike shop in Dayton, and several prominent bicycle manufactures have been located in Ohio. Huffy (remember your banana seat Stingray?) is still located there today.

The sign up sheet—for this tour, and all the activities at Alumapalooza—will be easy to find at the registration table in the main tent.

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The Weird and Wonderful Temple of Tolerance

During Alumaplaooza we’ll lead a group to see the art installation/rock garden/eclectic museum/shrine/retreat that is “The Temple of Tolerance”.

As described by Roadside America, the grounds look like they “should be in an artist-hippie enclave like Sonora, Arizona, or Taos, New Mexico—not in the back yard of a suburban home in Wapakoneta, Ohio.”

Owner-operator-artist-gardener Jim Bowsher, the “Temple Master”, toiled 18 years to transform his residential backyard into the local wonder it is today.

Difficult to describe, you have to see it to believe it (and feel it). Rocks and stones are lovingly arranged and piled just so, Stonehenge-style, in a meticulously tended, peaceful green space. Climb the lookout atop the Temple itself. Explore the historic “Barrel House”. Inspect the Master’s special artifact stones (including a slab from a bank counter that John Dillenger vaulted over during a robbery, and a rock collected during Woodstock). Pay your respects at the Vietnam Memorial. “You will marvel at the vision and effort one human can put into something they love,” wrote an online reviewer.

A visit to The Temple has also been said to have curative powers, and visitors use the space to meditate, pray, and reflect. (What? You didn’t know that karma cleansing was part of the Alumapalooza admission fee?)


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Armstrong Air and Space Museum tour

neil suitThe museum that “shares the story of Neil Armstrong and all Ohioans who have defied gravity” is just twenty minutes from Alumapalooza and the Airstream factory.

Named in honor of Neil Armstrong—the first human to walk on the moon and Wapakoneta’s favorite native son—the Armstrong Air and Space museum holds a collection of rare treasures.

The museum, designed to resemble a futuristic moon base, opened on July 20, 1972, the third anniversary of the first moon landing. Exhibits include Armstrong’s Gemini and Apollo spacesuits, a Gemini VIII capsule, a moon rock, the airplane in which Armstrong learned to fly, and many more exciting artifacts from NASA programs. You’ll also learn about Yuri Gagarin and other Soviet cosmonauts, and see an interesting replica of the 1957 Sputnik—the first satellite to orbit Earth that kicked the space race into high gear.AS muse

In addition to the guided tour for Alumapalooza attendees, be sure to watch what’s playing in the Astro Theater—stirring films are screened every half hour—and test yourself on one of the three space simulators. Safely settling the lunar lander on the surface of the moon is a challenge!

muse intThe tour on May 29 will also include a special presentation on the Mobile Quarantine Facilities, the Airstream trailers NASA used to receive and house Apollo astronauts returning to Earth from their moon missions. The comfy but crowded airtight trailers, intended to protect Earth from possible lunar cooties, were outfitted with a doctor and a domestic assistant (to do the cooking and cleaning), and communication equipment that the quarantined crewmen needed to talk with their families and dignitaries.


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Get a sneak peek at the events this year!

It’s going to be a GREAT time at Alumapalooza this year!  We’ve got a lot of fun new stuff on the program, and a lot of your old favorites!

Interesting to find out what’s going on?  Just click here to download the Alumapalooza 5 Preliminary Event Program (pdf).  You’ll find lots of shows, demos, seminars, contests, and opportunities to meet fellow Airstreamers.

This Preliminary Event Program is not final, so expect a few things to change before the event dates.  (Usually we add more stuff and the program gets better!) You’ll get the final version when you arrive, in your Goody Bag (along with a lot of other nice stuff).

Alumapalooza 5 is filling up fast!  If you’re thinking about going, check out this Event Program and register today!  You won’t want to miss everything we’ve got planned.

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