One Rivet Closer to Body Removal

Coming up with blog post titles is hard. I aim for something catchy, but sometimes I fall short.

We got a late start on the Airstream on Saturday after a late, unexpected morning emergency. We didn’t get around to the shop until probably 3 in the afternoon and only had a few hours to work, but we made sure to make the most of our time there. Plus, not only was it kind of late in the afternoon, it was freeeeeeezing! 30 degrees and damp/rainy outside. We were semi-inside since Stella is at the shop, but it definitely could’ve been warmer. We didn’t suffer too much though, thanks to this handy dandy propane heater that worked like a CHAMP! Isn’t he cute!? Pretty sure I’m going to name him Pall-E… [because he reminds me of Wall-E, but propane starts with a P …. ;)]

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I’m also positive that my new investment in the form of overalls also contributed to my warmth factor (as well as the leggings, long johns, thermal shirt, sweatshirt, jacket, and two pairs of gloves I was wearing). And thanks to a new drill we bought (Valentine’s day present ruined – thanks honey ;)) we were able to finish removing the bathroom as well as get the plumbing pipes removed, the heating duct ripped out, the awning removed, and get most of the bottom walls taken off. The tops of the walls we didn’t worry about quite yet because it isn’t necessary to remove those ones in order to remove the body from the frame, which is our main get-to goal right now. This is because we have to remove the body from the frame to know the extent of the damage done to the frame itself; we are certain a few places need to be repaired, but we are really hoping that it is just that; a few places. But of course, we are planning for the worst and expect the whole frame to need overhauling. We won’t know the final verdict until the body has been lifted off, so we’re excited to have gotten most of the bottom walls off – that just means we’re one rivet closer to liftin’ her up! [see what I did there? one rivet closer?!]

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We were able to remove the bathtub in one piece – the only piece of the bathroom that we were willing to salvage. The fiberglass countertop/sink and wall were fairly brittle and basically crumbled when you bumped into them; same with the wheel well covers. So we pitched those things and have plans to rebuild them, much like most everything else. We are considering reusing the bathtub however; we haven’t decided yet, only because we are unsure how we want the floor plan of the bathroom to end up. But we will keep the bathtub for now until we figure it out. It came out in one piece and looks to be in pretty good shape, minus the beautiful color.

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And speaking of reusing, we are also considering reusing the walls… they are really dirty and possibly moldy and they have a sort of texture to them, but we’re thinking that if we could wash the walls and then seal them with a thick paint/primer to both refresh and smooth out the walls, we might be able to salvage them. We’re saving them all regardless so if we have to make new, we can use the old as templates.

The last thing we did was to remove the awning. It was very poorly attached to Stella. And by poorly – I mean POORLY. It wasn’t drilled into anything structural; it was essentially free-floating on the side of our Airstream and was only good for putting ridiculous holes into the aluminum. Not ideal in the least; plus whoever put the awning on drilled a hole right thru a badge that was on the side of the Airstream; not sure what it was for but we’re kind of bummed it has a gaping hole in it now! Maybe we’ll just put a rivet through the hole. [note: it’s apparently hard to find Airstream’s with these badges; they’re classy badges that basically state that the Airstream originally met American standards adopted by the Motor Home Manufacturer’s Association]

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Once we got the awning hardware removed from the sides, we cut off the actual awning itself. There was no saving that bad boy! We also threw all the awning things out; we hope to get a Zip Dee awning instead. We called it a night after getting the awning off; it was starting to get really cold and my belly was grumbling, which meant dinner time was around the corner and we were breaching hangry status. Though our stay was short, it was very successful. Next time, we plan to clean her out and remove the insulation. We’ve been waiting for respirators and now we have them, so I’m excited to sweep up all the dirt & grime on the inside. It’ll be nice to cut out some of that dust! Black boogs aren’t my favorite. ;)

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