The paint stripping is done, yay! Our friend Michael came over and helped us bust it out. We now have a shiny silver interior. With that behind us, I think it is safe to say that it was a lot more work than we had hoped, and not all of the areas turned out as shiny and beautiful as others. Some sections of aluminum we revealed are permanently textured from when they were installed at the factory, and unless we re-textured them with a grinder or something, will always look that way. In any case, the walls will always have our stamp of sweat and toil, so we will just love them for what they are!
Last night we started peeling up the carpet and investigating our rotten floor that needs replacing. We knew from the beginning that the floor was completely shot, so we were not totally surprised when we punched through at times while stripping paint.
The floor basically disintegrates in your hand and crumbles into a wet pile - yuck! The worst water-damaged area is of course where the old tub/shower, bathroom sink and toilet were located. It is hard to tell what is going on in the photo below, but we just peeled back the fiberglass box cover that was situated over the wheel well. We weren't sure exactly what we were going to find, but underneath it is the steel wheel well covered in what's left of a bunch of insulation. Let's just say that if I were a mouse, I'd want to live in there too.... ew. We were both a bit dismayed to discover the terribly poor condition of both the steel wheel wells. They are very wet in places and nearly rusted through. Working on an airstream is one way to officially learn that steel rusts, and aluminum does not! It's also a great way to see what materials "survive" mother nature after 50 years, especially in the damp pacific northwest.
This is a good time to point out that it will unfortunately be necessary to take off all of the lower aluminum panels inside in order to access and replace the floor. This involves drilling out about a hundred+ rivets... and then putting in a hundred+ rivets to put it all back together again. Amazingly, the side lower panels are one solid piece of 23 feet long aluminum!
Finding a new use for the linoleum tiles: "salad-tongs" for picking up mouse-poop laden 50-year-old insulation. Very happy to be wearing a respirator right now.
Goodbye nasty carpet
For some good news: you wouldn't think our airstream is still keeping secrets from us after all this time, but we have been unable to locate the actual plug to get hooked up to electrical! So we have had no idea if the wiring was still good inside or if the lights even worked. Jacob was pretty excited to find it the other day, buy the yellow adapter and plug it in...and find that all the lights came on!! And the airstream gods and goddesses shined down upon us and there was light :)