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)