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.