The restoration has begun!
Stella showed up to the shop (aka her new temporary home) around 9:30 this morning and we were really motivated to get her gutted. It went fairly quickly since it had already been partially done by the previous owners. From left to right in the following pictures: where we started today, in progress, what she looked like when we stopped today, & the last is a pile of things we took to the dumpster.
It was dusty, musty, & a wee bit chilly, but we were able to get a large portion of the interior out of the airstream. It’s too bad we couldn’t salvage much; nature really took her toll on much of the inside. We did make sure to save a few pieces to use as templates for the future walls, as well as the screens from the windows and the metal channels for the walls to go into. It was pretty smooth sailing, save a few stripped screws. We had hoped to find some fun treasures hidden away in the nooks & crannies, but really only came away with creepy ones…
aaaaaaand by creepy, I clearly mean a mummified mouse & a bag of doll heads buried underneath the couch???! What the heck?! Maybe the original owner was a gypsy lady who made baby dolls so she could be a full-time air streamer? The only exciting discovery we found was an 8-track tape player with an 8-track tape inside titled “AMERICA” because, ‘merica. Not sure how we missed that bad boy on our first 10 walk-thrus!
Once we’d gutted most everything (except the bathroom; didn’t have the tools we needed to disconnect the plumbing), we got started on removing a sheet of interior paneling which meant removing our first hundred rivets. ;) We enjoyed the de-riveting so much that we promptly went to Lowe’s right after to buy another ten ⅛ inch drill bits for the next time we visit Stella! We were pleased to find that the curb side wheel well looked to be in pretty good shape. The interior wall behind the paneling didn’t look so bad either. We decided to stop after getting that first piece off; better to buy some respirators at Lowe’s as well so we can start removing all the insulation. The first rivets came out fairly easily, but boy are there a lot of them! At least it goes really quickly.
It’s amazing to see how differently she looks from when we picked her up; just gutting her makes the inside feel totally different! It’s easier to imagine what the interior could look like without all the furniture and chaos inside. I get excited planning the future floor plan, although nothing is set in stone yet. I’m sure it will be ever evolving. All in all, it was a hugely successful day – not only is Stella semi-inside being at the shop, but she’s practically lost 50 pounds of deteriorated furniture weight. Day one down! Only a few hundred more reno days to go. :)