Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Palms got a Facelift!

Katie and I traveled to San Diego early this month - my son Tom had offered to remove the faded, cracked decals on her exterior and re-paint the same shapes so they will last (and look a lot better!).  Of course I accepted his offer.  This was last November and at that time he had a busy schedule, but he kept the second week of February pretty open for himself and his crew.

This is what she looked like before - you can see below the window they are just starting to remove a decal:

The decals were faded and cracked:

 And this is - as Kim put it - The Palms without makeup:

These are the colors they used to paint on the new decals:


Copper - I had a problem getting photos without reflections of the clouds - it's so smooth and shiny now:

 Another copper:
And silver:

Brown, silver and copper together:

Some photos when they were working on her in the shop:

And here she is, back in New Mexico, taken in our RV park - yup - you heard right.  RV Park.  With Katie being sick and having to go outside twice during the night to do her business, and the cold overnight temps, as well as as lots of wind and occasional rain, I decided I wanted electric hookups.  AND we're changing our domicile to New Mexico and this is our address for a while.

Isn't she beautiful?

I was staying at my son and daughter-in-law's house up in Carlsbad, CA and Tom's shop where he does the car/truck restorations is south in San Deigo in an industrial area.  So, Katie and I dropped off The Palms and went home with Tom that day.  I had the use of their Jeep during the week but it wasn't worth it to fight all the traffic to go back to the shop during the week while things were in progress.  I didn't drive down until the job was done.

I was pretty floored when I saw her.  I was only expecting the decals to be new looking, that would have been wonderful, but not only did they remove the old ones then paint and clear coat new decals, they also buffed the entire rig so she shines like new.  Tom said he was surprised at how great the original fiberglass clear coat is holding up.

It was amazing!  He did so much more than I expected.  In addition to replacing the old decals with beautiful likenesses, they went all over the rig where the caulking is – around all the little covers and the door, windows, the outside shower – all those places that have been caulked and have turned black from road grime – they re-caulked them all and they are white again like they should be.  

They repainted my step, the door handle/lock plate and all around the gas intake area, anything that is black, Tom repainted.  The truck grill was starting to have areas where the black had worn down and a green color was showing through.  That was re-painted black.

When they buffed the fiberglass out they got all the rest of the tiny speckles of tar that I picked up coming back from Kanab, UT when the road crew sprayed the back and side of the rig.  I had gotten what I could reach and needed a ladder for the rest and now all those speckles are buffed out.

I had two lower outside compartment doors that must have been a different material than the rest – that was too bad, because those two changed color in the sun, one on each side of The Palms - they had turned yellow.  Tom painted them white again so now they match the rest of the rig.  They also painted a big chip on my side mirror white to match.  The stove vent outside had turned an ugly yellow color, as well as the material on the top and bottom of the grab bar handle by the door.  Those are now a beautiful bright white. 

They washed and waxed the whole thing and dried it so there wouldn't be water marks. 

Tom put a treatment on my tires so they are nice and black again. 

It was unbelievable when I saw it all. 

It was a huge job, but they actually restored The Palms back to her beautiful beginnings.  It's like the pantry Tom built me for the kitchen, whenever I walk by the pantry, I still put my hand along the door, so smooth and beautiful.  Now I'm doing the same thing with The Palms.

When I go outside, or come back from shopping and see her it's like a big, beautiful present sitting there.  Sigh... I can't believe she's mine!  😊

Unfortunately this isn't a quick modification many people can do without a big hit to their pocketbook.  I am a lucky camper to have a son who has an auto repair/paint/restoration shop so they know what they are doing.  And who is willing to take the time to do this for his mom. 

Many thanks, Tom - you have no idea how much I appreciate you taking your own time from your huge work schedule and lending your crew to do this for me.

The Palms is rolling along now leaving a bright shiny trail in her dust.  Other drivers - put on your sunglasses, you'll need them when we pass you!  😎

From me and Katie, see you next time!

PS - I have news after Katie's vet visit yesterday.  Some good, some bad, but overall I'm relieved that we have a plan.  I'll tell you about it in my next blogpost.