From the Bookshelf | May/June 2013

By Marcella Gauthier #12371

This issue, our reviewed books are all about RVs and RV travel. The first is a book about restoring vintage Airstreams; the second, a humorous selection of tales of life on the road with two fictional characters. Finally, we end with a reminder of a new edition of the classic Alaska travel book, The Milepost.

Restoring a Dream
Tim Shephard • CreateSpace 2013 • ISBN: 978-1480280571
Paperback: $16.99 • E-book: $9.99

As a lover and owner of a vintage Airstream trailer, I certainly wish that this book would have been available when I was buying my Airstream many years ago. I was lucky that my purchase was in excellent shape, but there could have been some serious problems that I would not have been aware of when I bought it.

Tim Shephard, the creator and host of The Vintage Airstream Podcast, has written this must-have book for anyone owning, or considering owning, a vintage Airstream. This informative and entertaining book by Tim tells of his ownership of two vintage Airstreams and his restoration efforts.

His first Airstream was a 23-foot 1971 Safari. It was a disaster when he bought it, but, after all, it was an Airstream! The restoration of this trailer was a sometimes painful education for Tim. These experiences encouraged him to start the podcast as he saw the need for restoration help for Airstream owners. He discovered there were marvelous guidance and helpful experts in the world of vintage Airstream enthusiasts. Recruiting them to help him create the podcast was successful, and the podcast has been in existence since 2005 and is heard in over 22 countries.

Tim’s growing family soon outgrew the small Safari, and it became evident that he would need a larger trailer. He looked at buying a new trailer, but the lure of vintage Airstream trailers still beckoned him. Thus began a search for a larger rig. When he discovered a 1960 Ambassador on eBay for a decent price, and it was only 2,400 miles from his home, he was hooked.

This book chronicles his trip to pick up the trailer and his adventures restoring the 46-year-old Airstream. Not only do we share with Tim the purchase and restoration of this classic trailer, but he guides us through choosing the right vintage trailer, how to inspect it and how to restore or refurbish everything from bathtubs to brakes. The technical information is comprehensive with lots of pictures. Tim is a fabulous source of information and an entertaining writer, too. For additional information, visit his Website at

Old Dude & Precious on the Road
Terry Hager #48315 (writer)
Nanette La Salle (illustrator)
CreateSpace 2012 • ISBN: 978-1478360872
Paperback: $12

Terry Hager has already provided us with two great mystery stories: Death on the Night Watch and Last Call for Murder, featuring Reverend Rob Vander Laan as the minister/amateur detective attempting to solve murders in his city. Now, Terry, a full-time RVer since 1997, has written a humorous book about two fictional characters, Old Dude and his wife, Precious, traveling about the country in their RV. This is not a travel diary but a diary about their relationship. Their spousal conversations and competitions are funny and reminiscent of the comfortable give-and-take of long-married people. The episodes are based loosely on Terry and wife Ruth’s experiences on the road. Beautifully designed and illustrated by award-winning Nanette La Salle, it is a small, charming 50-page book.

The Milepost Alaska Travel Planner
Morris Communications 2013
ISBN: 978-1892154309
Paperback: $29.95

In planning that memorable trip to Alaska, don’t forget to buy the bible of North Country travel, the latest Milepost, 2013 edition. This is the 65th edition of the ultimate book on Alaska travel. The purchase of the print edition makes available a digital edition and a summer trip blog by the editors. The digital version has embedded videos and slideshows with audio, search capabilities and many hotlinks. This book needs to be in the possession of anyone planning to go to Alaska on an RV trip and to be on their dashboard bookshelf as they travel through the magnificence that is our 49th state.

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