Thursday, August 29, 2013
Now that the demolition is completed Tim was able to begin the slow process of putting everything back to better than new condition. In order to do the job right the portion of the frame underneath from about the bathroom back needed to be re-finished. But before we got moving too fast our commercial grade air compressor that is needed to finish this project broke. Of course it did just at the most opportune time. Tim has pneumatic tools that are 'must haves' to be able to work on the Airstream. So with that the Airstream repair came to a halt while we found someone who could repair electric motors. All is back up and running now and we can move forward again . . .
Rust Neutralizer Applied
CU of Newly Primed Frame
Black Paint Applied
Saturday, August 17, 2013
The good news is that we know issues exist and that Tim can repair them. I will let you decipher the bad and the ugly in the following pictures . . .
(Reminder . . . there is no crying in Airstream)
Belly Pan Still attached under Airstream
Corner Wrap Removed Exposing the Insulation
CU of Non-Working Water Soaked Insulation
Water Soaked Insulation Sitting Inside Belly Pan Under Floor Decking
CU of Vulkem Sealant That was Under Trim at Rear Bumper
Topside of Belly Pan (removed)
Bottom side of Corroded Belly Pan (Stabilizer Wear Marks/Corrosion)
Backside of Painted Wrap Removed (Water Logged Insulation)
Exposed Side of Painted Wrap Removed (Note Corrosion)
Rear Curbside of Airstream With Wrap Removed
The Curved Wrap Fits Lengthwise Under Blue Tape
(tape is keeping water from entering plywood flooring at rivets while trim is removed)
Rusted Rear Frame with Bumper & Storage Compartment Removed
Interior With Bad Flooring Removed
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Long story short but four years ago we discovered floor rot in the rear of the Airstream. At that time we re-sealed everything to keep the water out and to keep from creating any more damage. Then we had to wait for the house additions to be finished and wait for a long gap of time between trips to make the repair. As soon as we found out four years ago we were both sick to our stomachs about it. But a good friend who restores and rebuilds all kinds of vintage RV’s told me … IF MAN MADE IT, MAN CAN FIX IT. So since then I knew it could be done and I have felt better about the entire process. This will also help us in making that jump to buying another Airstream. Vintage! A complete shell off restoration of one does not scare me now. I still see a fleet in my future!
The reality of it is that no matter what you have a house, car, Airstream or a multi-million dollar RV coach . . . they will all leak at some point. It does not matter how much or how little you paid for it or what brand it is. If you think yours doesn’t have issues then that could be called denial. If you say “Oh I’ll put that preventative maintenance off until next winter.” Laziness. Let me tell you, that is a mistake. It takes no time at all for water to wreak havoc on your Airstream or any RV for that matter. The sun drying out your sealants doesn’t help either. They are moving wobbling objects bouncing down the road. At some point due to age of the sealants and calking, the skill and time taken from the factory to begin with and the normal movement of your rig and something will fail. Preventative maintenance is key.
As the ‘Project Coordinator’ it is my job to keep Tim on schedule. Other duties include keeping all needed materials ordered in advance and on hand. That way we have them when the next stage of the project arrives. At the factory all the interior items of an Airstream go in through the entry door. So we know everything inside will come out. It takes both of us to carry pieces out, maneuvering around other interior objects to keep from damaging anything. Everything is cleaned and placed inside for storage. That would be my dining room. I am also making the final window treatments for the interior side windows of the bedroom. However now I can’t install them or blog about them until the rest of the bedroom has been re-installed.
So far this has been quite the project. Tim has had to remove the entire bedroom interior and pull back the floor covering. We hope we can reuse it because we are so not ready to recover the entire floor. Now we can see the true extent of the damage. What water you see in these pictures we got while returning from Charleston during our drive through a tropical storm to get home. A skill saw will be used inside the Airstream to cut out the old flooring. So we have completely draped everything inside. I tend to stay away when the grinding, cutting and other loud noises are happening. This won’t be a quick repair. Work and available time plays a big factor here as well. Many hours of research for each phase will be needed. Our resources are plentiful. Between the Air Forums, The VAP, other blogs and good knowledgeable A/S friends we’ve got it made. The plan is to do the repair RIGHT. Our Airstream is now nine years old and it will be better than new when it originally left the factory. Belly pan will be removed and a new one installed. Frame will be repainted. The bumper has always needed repaired and tweaked since we got it. New sealants, caulking and gaskets replaced again. Rivets galore and stainless steel screws will be needed. Elevator bolts to secure the new floor to the refinished frame. All new insulation underneath replaced. The old stuff was all water logged. And so many more little things that we hope we have time prior to the next scheduled trip to finish. That will be in September to the Keys.
(WATER SITTING IN CENTER FRAME CHANNEL BELOW THE FLOORING)
Both Tim and I have been very excited about this project. It really makes me happy to know it will be finished under our hands. The knowledge gained will be priceless to us. All the furniture from the rear bedroom is inside the house now. Funny how all that takes up more room in the dining room than in the Airstream. Good times . . .
(I know ... GASP)
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Had her last run in her sleep this morning. Run baby, run! Just like mama left the gate open.
Sunday Roxy began to decline even with a trip back to the vet yesterday and yet with additional drugs we knew it was time today. This morning was her third and last ride to the vet since our return home. Roxy rests peacefully now in the backyard with her babies, her favorite ball and a few sticks.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Even though Tropical Storm Andrea begins with an A I give her an F for fouling up our day. We had to make the decision to depart Charleston early. With just regular daily showers not even related to the storm the area was already saturated and our campsite stayed half flooded most of the time. Not knowing if Charleston was going to get 6" or 12" of rain it was time to depart or we knew we wouldn't get out for a few days. On our way out one of the roads was already flooded.
So no plantation tour, no cobble stone streets, no pristine secret courtyards, no pirate sightings, no more shrimp and grits, no mansion pictures, no market shopping, no Civil War Museum, no Daughters of The Confederate. Just a crazy ride home. I know we made the right choice and I am happy now to be home and safe.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Today began early. We wanted to get a head start for our adventure out at Patriots Point. We crossed the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston to get there. Upon our arrival you can't miss the massive USS Yorktown Flight Deck. Commissioned in 1943 it became a museum here in 1975. Sitting nearby is also the USS Laffey Destroyer and the USS Clamagore submarine. Tim and I have toured the USS Intrepid in NYC and this reminded us so much of that.
It took us five hours to tour all three. We saw almost everything but had no time to read everything. We were on a tight schedule for the day and still needed to eat lunch then go pickup Roxy. The tours through all the vessels are self-guided. You go up a deck, down a deck then down a few more decks. When you realize that you are finally down deep in the belly of this massive piece of steel it's time to go back-up to either the flight deck or the hanger deck. Five tours in all continued with this crazy maze of up, down,
up, down, down and back up again on steep almost ladder like stairs. I'm so glad we were able to enjoy this historic piece of history. We've always had so much respect for those who have served our country. This experience only makes that feeling stronger. Go Navy!
Throughout the day we were also
constantly on the lookout for pirates and other enemies who may attack the coast. While on the flight deck we could see Ft. Sumter where the Civil War began. No pirates, mayhem or chaos to be seen on the horizon. Rrrrrgh matey ... Maybe some mayhem will pursue on our adventure tomorrow!
For our late lunch which also became our dinner we stopped at the Charleston Crab House. This was a recommendation we received from a friendly local. The CCH is halfway between James Island and Charleston. Ohhhh did we eat. Here is a list of what we ate . . . BBQ Shrimp & Grits with melted cheddar, Fried Blue Crab Claws, Lowcountry Crab Cake & 'Crab House' Crab Pot that had Steamed Shrimp, Snow Crab Legs, Dungeness Crab Legs, Mussels, Sausage, Potatoes, Onion & Corn-On-The-Cob in a garlic scampi butter. Oh ... Yeah you know we ate all of that. There was nothing left!!!
After finally polishing off all that amazingly delicious food we went back to camp to pickup the Rox. Our next adventure of the day was to drive deeper into the Lowcountry to go to a surf shop and to see the coast of South Carolina. I still needed to purchase surf pads for my surf rack for the paddleboard I don't have. But next week may just be the week if the birthday fairy reads this. Oh ... Don't forget I need a paddle as well.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
The last two days had been consumed by very long days of driving so today was our day to slow the roll and relax. The morning was spent sleeping in & cleaning the interior of the Airstream. After having spent almost a week camped in an old corn field behind the Airstream factory it really needed it. Today was also laundry day. I had to sprint back and forth to the bath house/laundry room between showers today just to get the clothes washed we need to get us through the rest of the week.
Once the campground was just about dried out and cabin fever had set in Tim and I took a bike ride through the entire park to see what all was here. This is an amazing park that has so much to offer. Bike riding, doggie yappy park, golf frisbee course, rock climbing wall, fishing pier, Splash Zone Water Park, salt marsh, festivals, paddle boats, crabbing and the Festival of Lights during the holidays. So much to do and very little time.
After our bike ride we decided to drive to 'town' with Roxy to see what our options would be for parking on our day visit later in the week. I have been here prior but Tim has not. The best I could describe it to him was to compare it to St. Augustine with a twist of Key West then add a few colleges to the mix. So off we all went in Tim's big truck to the historic downtown Charleston, SC. We needed to decide if we could park in town or would we be better off taking the shuttle from the park. First of all the streets are VERY NARROW and if you could make a turn it was a one way street going the wrong way or someone pulled to far forward on the cross street so we couldn't turn OR the street was just too narrow to drive. Charleston is a gorgeous and amazing place. Keep in mind this place was built for horse drawn carriages. Cobble stone and brick streets lined with the most amazing southern majestic mansions one could imagine.
(I use to work right next door)
Tomorrow we have a few other places to visit on this expedition so I will get better pictures of historic Charleston later in the week. Just the history alone is a lot to consume and take in. We have a full day ahead . . . I can't wait!!!
Monday, June 3, 2013
Our stay at Cracker Barrel in Virginia was the best for the price (free) even though we had to sleep with our heads at the foot of the bed. I'm so not complaining. Breakfast was very tasty, quick and oh so convenient. They even let me take a cup of coffee to go. We felt safe and slept sound. I don't think we will ever hesitate to do this again.
Monday brought another long day of driving. As we approached our destination the rain came. Once we arrived in our site it was still pouring (ok flooded) and we had to wait for some of the water to recede to finish setting up camp.
We have landed at James Island County Park in South Carolina. This huge recreational park is located on the coast near what use to be known as Oyster Point. Tim and I will be staying here through the end of the week. This will be quite the adventure with the area having been attacked in the past by Spain, France and pirates!
I can't wait to explore the area. On our way in it still looked beautiful despite the rain. Even the majestic magnolias & mansions still stood out in the down pour.