January Recap!

I’ve decided that I will be recapping our Airstream adventures at the end of every month for the next few months; we have a trip planned for Stella Stream at the beginning of August. We are road tripping to upstate New York for SpiedieFest (http://www.spiediefest.com) and to visit my extended family up north. We don’t have ambitious plans to have a fully complete Airstream by the time August rolls around, but we do have definite plans to have the frame finished, the body back on, the flooring in, and everything squared away to make her road ready – with an air mattress thrown inside for the time being. :) We have 7 months total to get our girl whipped into shape so I’m hoping that recapping each month will hold us accountable, keep us motivated, and keep our friends and family informed on our progress. So here’s our recap for January – our first full calendar month of working on Stella!

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April 2015

It boggles my mind that the janky frame with new steel strapped to it pictured above has evolved into the picture below after putting in a months worth of work.

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January 2016

We’ve totally rebuilt her – Stella’s got herself a brand new frame! You can’t see it, but the original frame sits just to the left of this picture. We reference the schematics of the old frame often when building the new one. It’s unbelievable to think that we are so close to being done with the old frame! It is so exciting knowing we are making progress. Right now we are waiting on axles – fingers and toes crossed they show up this week?! It’s been about 5 or 6 weeks since we ordered them so they should arrive any day now. Once the axles arrive, the last few outriggers that aren’t attached will go on (in accordance to where the axle plate will go) and we will no longer need to use the old frame as a template. I’ve been trying to think of a clever way to keep a part of the original frame as a little memento; a token of where we started. I haven’t come up with any great ideas yet.. lol.

Since our last post, we have:
Finished cutting & welded on all but 6 outriggers – we are waiting for the axles to arrive before we get to putting the last few on.

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We put a new coupler on the front of our tongue.

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We’ve removed the bumper from the original frame, filled the holes in the bumper created from the jack stands poorly affixed by previous owners with weld to make it one solid piece of metal again, and cleaned it up a bit. Fits perfect on our new frame, by the way. :)

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The frame has been ground of almost all surface rust and is ready for painting once axles arrive and are installed.

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We’ve made the step outriggers and tack welded them on, but are waiting to weld the other two on until we get the steps – much like the outriggers by the axles.

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We’ve put extra supports between our outriggers so we have extra surface to bolt our c-channels to.

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We saved the curvature pieces from the original belly pan and bonus – it fits perfectly against our new frame!

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We made the axle plate, though we are unsure if we will have to re-make it or not yet.. will have to wait and see how they work.

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Obviously the ‘we’ I speak of is Casey and whoever is down to help. I help of course but find myself more in the way since I am not well versed in welding, or cutting metal, or much anything that we have been doing thus far lol. I have been of minimal [albeit important] help; I specialize in cleaning up the frame with the grinder, cutting outriggers to size with the stationary bandsaw, ample comic relief, some moral support, the occasional tool grab, cleaning the general work area, and most importantly — chief of documentation. (I am best at that last one.)

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(This is me trying to take a picture of Casey welding while wearing a black-out mask. Obviously it didn’t work because I couldn’t see. But I look nice in the helmet, right?!)

And extra exciting news – we’ve decided on a floor plan for our Airstream! This isn’t to spec quite yet and the finishes will be different when finished, but it is the general floor plan we will be working towards. SO exciting!

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But most importantly, we’ve had a lot of fun along the way!!! It’s a lot of work but there is nobody else in the world I would want to build an Airstream with. #overalls

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Our plan in February is to get those axles we keep harping about!!! ;) We will then get the axles put on, get the frame painted, put the plywood down, and get the c-channel bolted to the frame. And hopefully our end-of-month picture will look quite a bit different than the one above. Making progress, making memories, & making Stella.

3 thoughts on “January Recap!

  1. Hey Carissa,

    I just stumbled across your post after spending the last month off and on researching what to do about our frame. My boyfriend and I are in the process of redoing a 1975 31ft Land Yacht/Sovereign. Before ripping out the subfloors we were dreading that our frame would be shot. Turns out it is! Well, hopefully not. The frame is pretty rusted to the point that I don’t think just a little patching is going to fix it. We’ve gone back and forth on wether or not to rebuild the entire frame from scratch, or to use our old one and try to Frankenstein a frame together. Our concerns with rebuilding the old frame are if it will be harder to shape the steel to match up with the pieces that can be salvaged, and that if it’s rusted through in many places, is it even worth saving? Will it be sturdy enough? It looks like you guys did a great job on yours. I know even with the small amount of work we’ve put into ours we’ve learned a ton. Any insight you could share would be helpful, and thank you! We don’t have a website, but we’re on instagram :) @airstream_rosa

    Like

    • Sorry for the late reply! In case you haven’t already figured out your solution, I’ll go ahead and give you our two cents. If we were to re-do another Airstream, we would do what we could to salvage the frame. If you had some pictures, we could try to help more! Any metal shops could bend up sections to fit the contour of your frame rail. We would love to hear what you have done to yours! I believe we befriended you on Insta already, but feel free to find me on FB too! :)

      Like

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