Thursday, July 14, 2011

Long time no work

So It's been friggin COLD, and we've been busy working & building a company, so the Argosy has been pretty neglected. I'm going to spend the next couple of weeks getting some stuff done to make it a good camping trailer - but it's not gonna be pimped out. We are going for functional.

12V problem - none of the 12 volt interior lights are working. Replaced the inverter a few months back, and it's always something - but I do love this trailer! Have to patch an 8" hole in the roof too - tree branch damage from the winter.

 Wish us luck.....

A, A, & A

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The walls came tumblin down...

The wall is gone...

This week was super busy at work, so there was not a lot of progress on the Airstream. What I did get done was the removal of the wall between the office and the bath, lots of paint removing, and some cleanup. I pulled all of the latex paint from the office ceiling, removed the gold trim pieces, pulled out the flashing that was covering the ducting (not an easy task....I thing the PO used carbon fiber screws or something, I could not even drill them out). Not to mention it was like 100 degrees in Guerneville. The good news is that the air conditioner kept up nicely, and the Airstream interior was about 73 degrees. It's noisy though. Cool &  noisy or hot & quiet....hhhmmm....I suppose we'll figure that one out next summer when we're camping.

 Oh, and we scored a desk from Ikea, a neighbor gave it to us. So, like so many projects that are driven by some whim of fate, the color, scheme, and look & feel is set in my mind now, largely due to that one piece. It's going to take some modification but it's actually perfect. Also did some perusing at Tap Plastics, and I think we can use a thin plastic for the wall dividers, which I think will look totally cool.
Office wall with heat ducting and wheelwell

Next week I'm planning on replacing the flashing after stripping it, as well as finally completing stripping the bath. May even get to stripping the paint in the bedroom. Another 6 or 8 months is all I need.... LOL....

All in all, the project is going well. I may need to take a day off work to just knock out some stuff that has to be done in one pass, such as taking out the toilet & resealing it, or doing some plumbing re-routing. Plus, I'm already tired of living in a demolished will be really nice to come "home" to the finished product, to get ready in the bath, to cook in the kitchen.....

Also need to order the furnace motor and sand & touch up the exterior rust spots before it gets cold up there.

Be sure to check in next week, followers! There will be a lot of progress, I'm sure.
Downtown Guerneville

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cold on gas!

Dometic AC/LP Fridge
So this week, I managed to get the Dometic refrigerator working on LP gas as well as AC! So if we lose shore power, it will automatically switch over to LP gas and keep right on chillin the contents. Well, that is IF we leave the LP gas mains on, which I never do.

Also did some more work on the bath, removed the doors by drilling out the rivets. Looks like we're going to have to replace the piano hinges, because 1) they are GOLD, and 2) they are coated with the last several paint colors. "Goof Off" is a great product for removing sticky stuff, but I think it could get expensive in the quantities that I'd need to use, with all the sticky stuff in this Argosy. Worked some more on the bath walls, but honestly, the more I get into it, the more I want to tear out everything and just start from scratch. I'm trying to be efficient and get this done in a reasonable timeframe, but then I see a little bit of rot, or some trim that's all jacked up, and I just add more to the work plan. Plus, I see some folks who do a 2 year body-off-frame complete remodel, and that just fires up my competitive nature as well as gives me a gazillion ideas, and I seem to be creeping ever closer to a complete rebuild....Thank god there is a Home Depot right by the airport for my after work supply runs.
Stripped door, ready for primer

I also hooked up city water this week, and have figured out the waste water solution. It's not pretty, but it's functional. Oh, and I took out the wooden divider cap poles. Now all I need to do is decide what material we're going to have for the dividers, as the existing aluminum dividers are pretty thrashed. Heading over to Tap Plastics today to price out some plexi, but who knows? I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the bamboo sheets that the PO gave us with the Airstream.

The Internet problem has been solved @ Brians, so that's a good thing. Now I just need to work out a speaker solution so I can crank up some Yanni or something and annoy the local "Riverfolk".... ;-)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

No more sticky floor

So this week was only a couple of hours of work on the Airstream, seems like there is always something taking priority over the remodel. I'm impatient, I suppose. After all, I'm the one who has to live in the Airstream during the week, and I don't do well living in a mess. I lay down to go to sleep, and end up fixating on some random screw that looks like it held something, somehow, about 30 years ago, and it's all I can do to not crawl out of bed, grab a screwdriver, and remove it. So I get impatient, I just want it done so I can live in a nice environment during the week.

The new dump valve (red handle on the left, by the pump).
I got the dump valve replaced, but the valve that I replaced it with is about an inch longer than the one that was leaking. Woud not be a big deal, except that the old valve was plumbed right up to the side of the wall. So now, the new valve is wedging the main water line up the wall about 2 inches. Since this is a PEX line, I don't want to...wait, CAN'T cut it. So it looks like I'll have to relocate the drain hole about an inch further from the wall. Just like everything else, when remodeling anything that is 32 years old, everything that you fix creates more things to be fixed, and nothing is simple.

Before - sticky-yicky~~~
The Previous Owner (PO) had pulled up the flooring for us. Unfortunately, the flooring was glued down directly to the subfloor. It was a off while linoleum, done with 12X12 squares. Now that the floor is out, the adhesive is still there on the subfloor. The floor is so sticky in places that it actually caught one of the mice on night 2, as it was trying to get to the mousetrap. We had a few boards put down to walk on, but if you got off the boards (which were kind of like a catwalk), you got stuck to the floor just like the mouse. Since the last thing I am going to do is the subfloor and new flooring, I've implemented an interim flooring solution by covering and stapling in place several old blankets. The red floor in the kitchen was actually the drape that the PO had up between the kitchen & bathroom. So now we can walk everwhere in the Airstream and we won't get stuck. That's going to make the rest of the remodel much easier.
No more sticky toes!!!

The futon is turning out to be the perfect size to build into the front area. But I'm going to have to do something about the comfort factor. Even after Amber bought one of those memory foam toppers, it's still pretty hard and I think it's not good for my back.

Next week will be two nights getting the bath completely stripped. Coming along, but not as quickly as I'd like. My boss told me I was the most impatient person he'd ever met. All I could say was "I'm 50% done with my life but only 20% done with all that I want to do. What do you expect"? He just stared at me like I was from outer space. Oh well.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Base Camp

Base Camp
So this week, I made a deal with Brian to move the Airstream into the fenced backyard and set up camp for the remodel. We picked up a futon to replace the front bed, after the air mattress gave up. Not much else happened, besides getting 2 of the 3 ceiling vents screened, and getting the Airstream all leveled out and emptied out. Next week will be more progress on the bathroom, and maybe the furnace. Now that it's empty, I can get busy on the subfloor also. Baby steps here, but I'm having fun.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stripping in the potty

Bath cabinet after citristrip spray
This week, I bought some citristrip and started taking off the old, gross paint in the bath. First, if you are thinking of using citristrip, lemme give you some advice borne of experience. If you want to take off not only the paint, but the vinyl, right on down to the bare metal, use the spray can. It will bubble up after about 4 or 6 hours, and you can rip it right off. You may need to use several coats, and you will have to deal with the vinyl in the seams, overlaps, and cracks with a knife or something. This stuff works wonders, but I was not prepared to go down to the bare metal here. Oh well.

Vinyl after the citristrip gel
So I ran down to the local hardware store and bought some of the citristrip gel. Brushed that on the other cabinet, and an hour later, the paint was coming off but the vinyl stayed put nicely. This is how I wanted it to go - so much easier.  I also fixed all of the holes in the plastic wraparound & overhead, and will scrub down the tub surround and walls.

I pulled out the janky bath pocket door and all associated hardware. It looks as if I'll be able to use the hardware, but I'm going to want to build another door.

Vent screen frames
I found someone locally that was parting out a 1971 Sovereign for his rebuild, and I stopped by to peruse what he was getting rid of. I was hoping that the original furnace was a NT-30 like we have, but it was a NT030A and does not use the same motor. So next purchase will be a motor for our furnace. Also picked up a few vent fan screens, so now there will be fewer critters I hope. I began stripping the old vent screen frames, and I think this week I'll strip all of the screen frames as well as the bedroom ceiling, maybe.

Can't wait to get this thing out camping with the fam....Tahoe, Portland, San Diego.....too much fun in store for the AM Club!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

We are in hot water!!!

So the accomplishments this week are pulling the furnace out, hooking up the LP, and making the hot water work.

The Suburban NT-30S furnace on the OR table
After considerable angst, work, and several busted knuckles, I pulled the furnace out completely. These things make me waaaaaay nervous, as I've read story after story of how they explode, or worse, kill people in the dead of night with CO2 emmissions. Once the Suburban NT-30S was completely out,  I connected the thermostat, plugged it back in, and bam! nothing. After I gave the fan blower a nudge with my toe, it began spinning, slowly, grudgingly, squeakingly, and then it ground to a stop. So I pulled the entire thing completely apart. If I'm going to feel safe with the family being heated by this furnace, I want to know all about it, down to the smallest part. The end result is a new motor, first. I just hope that after we drop the $120 on a new motor, that there is not more broken stuff in store for us, just to get an 11 year old heater to work again. I could probably find a replacement for around $500, so I think if the motor is not the problem, we're going to have to look at other alternatives.

Magic Chef broken oven
I did get the LP hooked up after a trip to RV Pats in Petaluma for a new regulator and hose, and another trip down the street in Guerneville to Ace hardware for some pipe dope, and now the LP system is working great. Once I turned the valves on, I noticed a strong LP odor in the cabin. Valves off immediately. I'm suspecting the stove, as there is a broken oven knob and for all I know it's stuck on full open. So I climb under the Airstream, and with a hefty dose of WD-40 and some vise grips, I get the rusty, gunky, old  shutoff valves to the furnace and oven closed. Now I'm needing a success here - I decide to switch to the water heater. I cleaned out the water heater compartment, cranked it up, bled the air out of the line, and it fired right up! YAH! Houston, we have hot water. REALLY hot, if we want it to be.
Fire! Fire! Hot water works flawlessly....YAH!!!

At the beginning of the week, I power washed the trailer thoroughly, top to bottom. I'm going to get stock in a sealant company like Vulkem, cause we're going to need a lot. We also have some rust on the back endcap. I'm just thinking that, if I'm going to stay in this Airstream this winter, I need to focus on the outside now, while it's warm out. The last thing I want is to wait for the first really cold, hard rain to find out I have to climb on the top and fix a leak in the freezing rain. nah.

Next week maybe I'll finish the furnace project, and start focusing on the exterior. Been looking at fantastic fans or maxx fans too, maybe a little ebayin this weekend. And maybe even a trip to Camping World - my new favorite box store. Stay tuned, Airstreamers!