Wednesday, June 13, 2012


We're still moving along with our little home.  Dustin's been working on the plumbing and water heater mainly and I've started priming all of the walls and cabinets.  I'm going to be swoll when this is all said and done.  I'm really excited because we're starting to shop for "fun" stuff.  We bought our range yesterday, our kitchen & bathroom sink, faucets and a couple other things.  I'm also picking out the colors for our walls and cabinets.  Check out some of the things we got:

how cute is our stove!?!

And here are some of our main inspirations for our stream:  

color palette idea


Thursday, April 5, 2012

"Are y'all done with your Airstream thing yet?"

This has been one of the most commonly asked questions we get these days! And as much as we WISH we could say yes, we're not there just yet. So while Dom has been spending most of her time continuing to strip the clearcoat that we talked about in the last post, I've been up on the roof for the last few weeks. It really should have been one of the very first things we did, but my focus lately has been finally making for dang sure that the exterior is fully sealed and water tight.

Three weeks ago I began by replacing the inoperable and leaky roof vents with three new Fantastic Vents. These are 12 volt 3-speed reversible fans with thermostats that ventilate your space (for that 3 months/ year) when you don't need to use the A/C. Then two weeks ago I measured, created and affixed a large body patch where the water heater access used to be. The old water heater didn't work any longer and we're now going with a propane powered tankless water heater that will mount in the enclosed space behind the refrigerator. And just last weekend I finally got our new A/C unit and replaced the old burnt up Coleman. I also replaced some patches on the roof that had been done incorrectly by a previous owner.

I still need to reseal the black tank vent pipe that's on the roof (it leaked a tiny bit during the last rain), create and affix a patch where the stove vent used to be, and fill in a couple of other tiny holes where the radio antenna was. I can't wait to get out there this Saturday and finish it all up! OK on to the pics...

Where the water heater vent/ access panel used to be. Cut and cleco'd to drill remaining holes.

All riveted up. These are 5/32 Olympic shaveable rivets. Not quite as strong as the original bucked rivets you can see to the left, right and above, but the next best thing.

After trimming the ends and cleaning the Vulkem up.
My office whilst on the roof
Muscled the old Coleman onto the ladder and let it slide! haha
New Dometic 15,000 BTU unit. This is the most powerful single unit you can get for RVs. Hope it can keep this beast cool!

Prior damage and the outline of where the huge steel *cringe* patch had been.
My smaller aluminum patch, getting all the holes drilled. I also drilled and riveted into the frame underneath where I could, so that this new sheet would provide strength to the shell as the original metal that was here would have.
Where the huge TV antenna used to be, and another small patch redone with the correct materials.

The guts of the A/C unit. Had to bend these all over to allow space for the notch that had to be cut in this box.

Here you can see what all this was for.. This A/C unit's interior opening and it's control panel were about 1/2" wider than the strengthened channel Airstream had originally built in. This took an hour or so, but it was much easier than moving the rails would have been.
How I felt after all this manly stuff!
Too bad the old A/C didn't work, this would have been nice! lol

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thanks Aaron and Crystal!

Forgot to post these up a couple of weeks ago..

Our roommate Aaron and his girlfriend Crystal came out on a Saturday to pitch in. Crystal and Dom tackled the clearcoat stripping, and Aaron changed out all of our exterior running lights to some new LED ones. Thanks guys, we really really appreciate it! :)

I know the clearcoat looks fine here, but look towards the top and you can see where the sun has taken it's toll..
You can really see a difference here between the bare and coated metal. Once all the clear is off, we can begin a mild polishing.
In the words of Ernest P. Worrell.. Ewwwwwwwww
The taillights are the only ones that aren't LED yet. YET.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Roof vents are in!

Last Saturday was another long day in Lago.. Dom couldn't make it out with me today, so my sister Cara and her boyfriend Mike came out to lend a hand. Thanks a lot guys!! :)  Unfortunately, I didn't get any pics of them hard at work, so here is a recent pic of them from Disney last January.

My goal for the day was to get the three old, rusty, leaky roof vents out and get the three new Fantastic Vents put in. Larry worked on getting the last lower interior panel in, and Cara and Mike continued work that Dom and Crystal started last weekend, stripping the exterior clear coat.

After punching and drilling out the many rivets, and starting to scrape the old sealant off
First of 3, all buttoned up. Copious amounts of Vulkem and about 1.5 hours later
Wide open. (Pay no mind to the nasty crud all around, will be a lot shinier soon!)

Dustin-3, roof vents-0!
I also managed to "work" on a pretty awkward sunburn. It was pretty sunny that day, so we all put on sunscreen. But being in a hurry to get out there, I missed a couple of key spots...  ;)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

“A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams."

Week two of walls going up, and we've still got a ways to go! A picture's worth a thousand words, so scroll down and throw up a comment if you have any questions.  :)

The insulation. While the reflective barrier beneath will work to keep the sun's heat out, this layer will work to regulate the temp inside and also provide noise suppression. It was too thick to fit into the 2" wall depth, so we halved it. This works out well, because it will only take half as much to cover it all and we can return the rest! :)
Like we did with the lower rear panels, we flipped this wall over to the backside. This saves us the time of having to strip the old paint, wallpaper and vinyl that's on the other side. Patches will be made and holes filled in as needed.
Clecos (klee-kohs). I'd never heard of these before a few weeks ago but they're a MUST for metal work like this!

One of the many many many rivets...
Electric shears, another must around here.
Shout out to Paw-Paw!  :D

Bye bye cracky vinyl trim. Go Dom!
Grandma's meatloaf. AMAZING. You haven't had meatloaf 'til you've tried hers.
See you next week!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Making Progress!

This weekend was a busy one. Got a full 8 hours in on Saturday and then another 3 before church on Sunday!

Last weekend, the tip of our brand new soldering gun from Home Depot had cracked after just a few minutes of use, so even though I got a replacement with no questions asked, I also bought one for half the cost at good 'ol Harbor Freight and gave that a whirl this week. It worked great, so Saturday started off with the last of the 12v wire splices getting soldered and heatshrinked up. (Is that even a word?) Next up was leveling the trailer.

The side yard that we're working in has us at a bit of a sideways slope, and everything was going to have to be true and level before we could start riveting any interior walls back in. (The interior skin actually gives the structure a lot of it's rigidity when it's all together.) I also wanted to get the frame up on stands to relieve pressure from the axles and tires. It's bad for axles and tires to sit unmoving for long times, I probably should have done this in the beginning.. 

Dom said it felt like I was gonna tip it over, haha!

Close enough.. ;)

Next up was walls! We're gonna be reusing as many panels as we can, so for the bottom ones in the rear we just flipped them over and from left to right and started lining them up. The holes didn't match up with the old holes (as expected), but we were able to use most of the existing holes in the skins and just drill new holes into the frame members. I discovered the wonders of Clecos (so glad I bought those!) and got to try my hand at riveting for the first time! It's all very cool. A little tedious, but cool. :)

We ended up having to split the insulation in half since it was so thick. Just means each piece will go twice as far!

First walls are up! You have no idea how good this feels.. :)
On Sunday I headed back out to the 'Stream to put a few hours in. We had some heavy rain about a week ago, and it was good because it let me know where all the little leaks were. There were 6 in total, but thankfully they were all in "expected" locations: 2 at the rear vent fan, 2 around the A/C, and two on the side where a small puncture hole is and where 4 exterior rivets had popped out. I will be replacing both vent fans and the A/C soon, as well as patching up all the exterior holes and riveting those missing rivets back in, but for now I fired some duct tape down in case it decides to rain in the next couple of weeks. While I was up on top, I also had a chance to remove the HUGE old school TV antenna.

First time up here! It's like walking in an attic, you have to walk on planks to keep from denting up the skin.
All taped up
Looong way down
Origami antenna

Stay tuned for more off the wall action! :D