I know… it’s been a while. But I come with some news…
There has been some pretty major progress on #projecttinyhouse (aka my Airstream renovation project) that has officially taken over all my weekend hours for the past six weeks. I’m so excited to share this progress with you after the many man hours my crew and I have spent on it.
My airstream was built in 1973, and even thought it was in pretty decent shape, I expected there to be a lot of things that needed replacing. Despite being told that gutting the trailer would be an Airstream-sized can of worms, I was determined to get everything out and start from scratch. Below is a detailed account of the gutting process, in all of its sweaty, exhausting, disgusting glory:
The first thing we did was remove the “floor” that came in the trailer when we bought it. It was basically plywood that was screwed in by the previous owner over the existing subfloor, which we found out was rotted and would absolutely need replacing. At this point, I was still in the honeymoon phase with my trailer (see: me laughing while working).
After exposing the subfloor, we had to reposition the trailer in our yard, which involved destroying my mom’s beloved succulent wall (sorry mom!!!).
The next thing we did was probably the worst part of this renovation so far-we removed the vinyl from the interior aluminum skins, which involved some cool suits, chemicals, and despair:
If you can avoid doing this, I would recommend that you do. The original vinyl covered every wall surface inside the trailer and did not want to come off. Unfortunately, there were some moldy pieces of vinyl, so they had to come off, but the process is time consuming and difficult for as much as it accomplishes. I was determined to save the aluminum skins (that I will later be re-hanging) but looking back, I would probably rather find a way around this.
After removing the vinyl, we removed the aluminum panels. The most complicated part of this process was numbering and organizing them in a way that would allow us to reassemble all the pieces again.
To be completely honest, I am very nervous about putting the skins back on again when the time comes. But I’ll deal with that later on…
We knew there were some issues with the electrical when we started this renovation, so we (carefully) removed the existing wiring after removing the interior skins.
The next step was removing the subfloor, which was rotted through in many places, and checking out the floor joists and “belly skin” (I know how bad “belly skin” sounds, but as far as I can tell, that is the technical term for the under-part of Airstream trailers.)
This is currently where we are at in our renovation:
I’m so excited to share this progress and I couldn’t be more grateful to the team that has helped me and my can of worms get to this point.
The next steps will be re-wiring the trailer, setting up the plumbing, sealing up all of the little holes, and installing the new subfloor, which, now that I’m writing all of this out, seems like a whole lot…
The next part of this renovation will probably be just as hard, but will also be a lot of fun, so I’ll keep you posted on the progress!