It’s been exactly one month since we brought the Airstream home, and I’m not sure this renovation will be as short as I was hoping. Between me working a normal 40 hour work week and Mason’s work schedule being the exact opposite of mine (working in the evenings and almost all weekend), we haven’t gotten as much finished as we would have liked. We get so much more accomplished when we are both working on the renovations together, but that time is scarce.
Even with such little time spent on it, we are falling head-over-heels for the ‘ole tin can. Despite setbacks, like having to figure out how to put the windows back on after re-doing the weatherstripping (or even just the weatherstripping process itself) and figuring out how we would get the new A/C on top of the roof with nothing but muscle and ladders, we are even more excited about the project than before. Or at least, I am. 😉
An initiation into weatherstripping
The first thing on our list after getting the Airstream, besides getting the title and paperwork in order, was making sure it was sealed tight to prevent future water damage. M tested out the weatherstripping he purchased on the door first, before starting the windows. It went so quickly and seamlessly. The old weather stripping came right off and he only used a bit of Acetone (followed by a quick rinse off with water) to clean up any leftover residue and glue. And viola, the door was done, 35 minutes tops.
We were pretty confident we could knock out all the windows in a couple days of working an hour here and there…
Oh how wrong we were.
First, we tried taking the old weatherstripping off with the windows still attached to the Airstream… which was awkward and not very efficient. I did some research and learned that you could disconnect the arms and lift the window as far up as possible and they would come right off, so that was an exciting discovery.
Yet, the process was still tedious with both of us using putty scrapers to remove the old strips and glue, and we weren’t too happy with having to use Acetone. So after we were able to do a decent job on one of the windows we gave up for the day, with plans for investing in GooGone. It was about 8:30pm by then, and when we went to put the window to the left of the door back on, we could not get it to go. The top of the window frame where the hinge was supposed to pop back in was bowed, and despite using a mallet and piece of wood to try and pop it back on, we had to give up around an hour later because it was too dark and difficult to see. We taped it into place and called it a night with bruised egos and a new hole in the window screen from trying to pop it back on.
That weekend we resumed work on the same two windows. We were able to remove the last remnants of the stripping and glue by soaking it in GooGone and carefully scraping it off with the putty scrapers. Three-ish hours later, we finished cleaning off the old gunk and had replaced it with the new stripping. Once again, that second window just wasn’t working with us. Another hour passed, and finally M was able to get it back on using a wooden board and a car jack (our problem solving skills at their most creative). Two windows and a door down, and six more windows to go…
For now, we are taking a break and moving on to other projects. Sealing up the windows has turned into a beast that we’ve decided to work on over time, enabling us to keep moving forward with the rest of the renovation.
The A/C makes its anticipated arrival
The most exciting part of this venture so far has to be when we were able to put the new A/C into place on the roof. It took some brain power, but at the end of the day, mostly just brawn.
We were feeling a little defeated before putting it up, thinking we would have to shell out even more money to rent a cherry picker or scaffolding. Despite our best efforts, we had accepted the fact that we would have to take apart the old A/C piece by piece to get it off, thereby ensuring we wouldn’t damage the Airstream trying to remove it in all it’s huge and heavy glory. To the salvage yard it sadly went.
In the end, M, an amazing friend, and my dad were able to use two ladders side by side to haul the new one up. In retrospect, I should’ve taken a picture, but I was too concerned for their safety and holding ladders to think of it. It would’ve provided a good chuckle after the fact.
Finally, the electrician came out to check on our wires and the safety of the trailer -giving us the green light to turn the power on. I have to say, it was the most magical moment for me so far. With the weather being 90+ degrees since we’ve had our little aluminum home, we haven’t gotten a true sense of what it will be like living inside it.
For the first time, we sat in it with the door and windows closed, the lights on, and the A/C humming happily in the background. We walked around rambling off all the things we can’t wait to do and some ideas here and there. We played with all of the lights, marveling at the way it made the trailer come to life. Mostly, we just took in the moment. A rewarding, sweet little moment to dream together.
–Tearing out the gaucho/front couch and the galley
-Removing some of the vinyl panels inside to pop out two dents in the aluminum exterior
-Sealing the roof
-Putting in the new bamboo flooring
-This list seriously goes on foreeeevvverrr… Stay tuned!