Aaaaaand... This is as far as we made it this week! ;)
We'll be adding more diagonals and more boards tying it all together this coming weekend! Then after that - lift off!
Have a great week, you guys! <3Becca
So, I've talked and talked and talked about lifting the shell off Maude in order to replace the rotten subflooring. We're nearly there! This week we got started on the interior supports to make sure that Maude's shell doesn't shift out of shape while we've got it lifted off. What normally gives Maude all of her stability is the shell being attached to the trailer frame and her inner skin. Without those, she's a bit wobbly!
We started with a frame of 8-foot 2"x4" boards around the perimeter. The boards are screwed directly to Maude's ribs.
Next, we added boards attaching the two sides and diagonals to support the roof.
Aaaaaand... This is as far as we made it this week! ;)
We'll be adding more diagonals and more boards tying it all together this coming weekend! Then after that - lift off!
Have a great week, you guys! <3Becca
The last couple of weeks have been all about getting Maude waterproofed!
This is a huge hole in the side of Maude that used to be a vent for a water heater. We don't need the hole anymore, so we're going to cover it up! In reading about patching holes in Airstreams, we've found that many people are getting creative with the shapes of their patches, which I thought would be totally fun!
It took several tries to get the template in the outline of Oregon to be the right size for our patch. I think this was try #4 - finally, success!
After we got the patch to the right size, we realized that because it would have to attach to the bellypan, and since the bellypan is next on the list of pieces to remove and repair, we should wait to install it. Oh well! Oregon will just hang out with the rest of our tools and supplies for later use!
In the meantime, we got a cheap piece of sheet metal to make into a BORING patch so that Maude could still become waterproof!
Here's Mike applying a seal for the patch.
Okay, this tool here, I think is going to be a LIFESAVER. It's called a Cleco fastener. It holds pieces together to line up all of the rivet holes! This little patch probably wouldn't have been a huge deal, but once we get to the point where we can put Maude's inner skin back on, I think we're going to be SO glad we made the investment! It was definitely fun to try out the new toys!
SPEAKING OF NEW TOYS! That's our pneumatic rivet gun!! Holy cow, riveting is a blast! You guys can just call me Rosie now, K? ;)
And here's Maude all patched up! The second, smaller, one was a kitchen vent. It, too, is just temporary and will get a fun shape! I haven't decided what shape it will be yet, but a simple beaver outline is a possibility! We struggled a bit with this second patch, as pop rivets (the type of rivets we're using for the temporary bits) aren't quite as sturdy as the Olympic rivets that we'll be using for the permanent patches. Because the sheet metal needed to flex a bit, some of the rivets kept popping loose! Once we get the Olympic riveting tools and rivets, I'll try to explain a bit about the difference between all of the types of rivets you'll be seeing on Maude ;)
Maude is getting waterproofed enough that we're seriously restricting the airflow that she used to have - condensation is building up! We'll definitely have to figure out a plan for keeping moisture from becoming a problem for poor Maude.
Our final project for the last two weeks was making a temporary cover for one of her roof vents. Eventually, it will be covered by an air conditioning unit to keep us all nice and comfortable in the summer. We don't want to be doing Bikram Acupuncture during the summers ;)
Here's the vent hole. It would normally have had a metal or plastic "lid" that could open to allow for air flow. Somewhere along the line, someone used some plywood to make a little cap to replace the missing one.
Got to use our rivet gun some more!
Mike's attaching Maude's little hat. What you see around the vent cover on the roof is some sort of material that is hard as rock and is NOT wanting to budge. We'll deal with it when we deal with the a/c unit and/or polishing.
As always, thanks for checking in on Maude's progress! Have an awesome week :) <3 Becca
We don't know about all of Maude's adventures - she WAS born in 1959 after all! But we do know quite a bit!
In 1973, Maude was purchased used by Alpenrose Dairy. For those of you who've been in Portland a long time, this should be a familiar name! I wonder what she did during the years they had her? Did she travel the country? Did she just hang out and serve as some sort of office? Did she take the Alpenrose family on road trips? That part we won't get to know. What we do know is that in 1986, Maude was gifted to another one of her previous owners as a retirement present! I wonder what sort of condition she was in at that point, already a spunky 27 year-old! Then when that gentleman passed, his son inherited her. She lived in his field for many years, and when it was clear he was going to be unable to bring her back to her glory, she was purchased by a friend of mine who had dreams of making her shine again! But you know how life goes, life changes, dreams shift and Maude sat in her field for several years - Until the day I mentioned that I was looking for an Airstream to turn into my new acupuncture practice space! Then Maude came home to live with us :)
In the meantime, Maude's title hadn't been transferred since 1973! I called DMV to see what the process would be to correct the situation - turns out that since she was so old they had purged her record from the system in what the guy told me on the phone was "The Great Purge of 1999." Luckily, he was able to go into the old system and he found her! So he rebuilt her record. Then it was a matter of bringing all of the documentation I had on her (which wasn't much!) so that they can create and issue a new title for her :)
It'll be a little while until it's all OFFICIAL official, but it's official! It's a girl! ;)
When I first got to the DMV, they were on number 40. My number was 89. Believe it or not, I only spent an hour there! Nice work, Powell DMV!
Our next step in Maude's renovation is to get her waterproof to protect all of the future steps. She was missing 1 window completely - the frame and everything was missing; 2 windows had the frame, but were missing the pane; and one window had a piece of plexiglass that was "installed" in a way that wasn't working. Above is one of the windows that was missing the pane, but the frame was still in place.
We still have a ton more research to do on vintage Airstream windows. It turns out you can't just do a search for "1959 Airstream Overlander Window" and for sure find what you're looking for. In the early years of Airstream, there were no consistent model years - you couldn't guarantee that your 1959 would look like other 1959s. If they had a style of window leftover from a previous year, they would use up whatever inventory they had before making any changes. So once we figure out what parts we'll need and then find them, we'll fix the windows properly. But in the meantime, here is Mike measuring the plexiglass in order to cut it to size.
It's a bit hard to see here, but Mike is applying a black tacky strip that helps seal the window and hold the pane in place. Of COURSE it was pouring rain as we were trying to do this ;) It turns out it doesn't like to stick to wet, cold aluminum very well, but it LOOOOOVES nice warm hands. It was a pain the butt ;)
And here is what the windows look like now! We used duct tape to further waterproof and hold everything together. Not very pretty, but seems to be doing the trick! For the most part, anyways ;) We're still getting a few drops inside from the top of the window frame. The gutter (above the window) on all of the windows is bent and misshapen, so they're not directing the water away properly. But that's a project for another day ;)
All in all, this week was a mixed-bag. DMV went WAY smoother than I had expected, while the windows were much more frustrating than anticipated, so it all evens out!
Our next step is to patch holes in the aluminum. We've got aluminum ordered and it should arrive before the weekend!
Until next time! <3 Becca
Hey Guys, things are still going swimmingly in Maude-Land! We finally managed to finish getting her gutted!
Here's where we left off after last week. Almost there!
We were surprised at how few rivets there were left holding these endcaps in place! Some of them had overlapped with other segments that we'd already removed, but many of them had just popped loose - possibly when we brought her home! Thank goodness we're doing the Full Monty (as they say, in Airstream-ese)!
There are now TWO of these giant suckers in our garden shed! I think Mike's hopeful that we'll be at least far enough along in Maude's progress to get the endcaps put back in place before we need any yard tools again ;) These endcaps, as I mentioned in my previous blog post are made of fiberglass. They came out really easily and weren't as fragile as we had feared! Phew!
It's the last little bit of insulation!! Can't say that I'm sad to see that stuff go ;)
All clean!! I MIGHT have held a tiny, personal, careful dance party at this point ;)
Then it hit us. We JUSSSSST finished the easy bits! From here on out, things get complicated. As I've been mentioning, the next major step is to pull the shell off of Maude so we can replace the rotten sub floor. We've got at least one "minor" job to do before we can lift her up, though! We realized that once we've got the new sub floor down, we won't want any water getting in, so we've got to get her sealed up for the winter! This weekend, we ordered aluminum patching, rivets, a rivet gun for the holes where old vents used to be that we no longer need. We also ordered plexiglass for the missing/leaking windows as a temporary fix. We'll fix them properly once we find the parts! *crossingfingers*
Our next realization was that once we've got that floor pulled up, we've got to have all of the rest of the inner workings of the trailer figured out, because we'll lose access to the belly and the inner skin soon!
So, on Sunday, we spent about 4 hours researching heating, cooling, windows, electrical systems, plumbing, lighting, pretty much ALL of it! Nerdy Becca even made an outline of the steps that need to be completed and a rough order in which they need to be performed so that we could not go so overwhelmed by all of the details! One step at a time :)
So there ya go! Sorry(?) there weren't as many nasty progress pictures this week. LOTS of brainy-work happenin' around here!
As always, thanks for following along on the Adventures of Maude The Acu-Trailer!
This week was a little less productive on the Maude Front, as I moved my practice this weekend! I'm all settled in at my new space, and if I do say so myself, I think it's lookin' pretty cozy!
My new address is:
3133 NE Prescott St.
Portland, OR 97211
We have plenty of parking! Come visit me :)
Alright, so now on to the Maude Update!
Maude's inner skin is all aluminum except for the end caps, which are made of fiberglass. You'll see them a little later :) The aluminum sheets overlap and are riveted into place. So we drilled out a TON of rivets! But before we got too far, we had to make sure we would know where each of the panels belong once we start putting her back together. We numbered them in the order they had to come off/go back on in. We had to correct our numbering a couple of times - see the panel below that was once numbered 3, but got changed to 9 ;)
Oh my god, you guys. The insulation was SOOOO disgusting! And pretty useless! Over the years, mice had tunneled through the walls and the insulation had settled and degraded. Maude is going to be super cozy once she actually has insulation! And CLEAN insulation at that ;)
In this picture, you can see where the mice had gathered plastic and aluminum to help make their nests. I suppose the insulation is probably pretty itchy to them, too?
And here's Maude with all of her inner skin removed and insulation GONE! Here you can see the fiberglass end caps I mentioned earlier. Mike and I weren't able to work on her at the same time this week, so we've left them until we can, so that we don't break them! Not sure how we'd replace them if we did!
Not shown: I spent quite a bit of time punching out stuck rivets. Once we drill off the front of a rivet, we can pull off the skin, but the back half of many of the rivets stayed stuck in place in the frame. I used a punch and hammer to dislodge them, so that when we're ready to put her all back together, the holes are open and ready to go!
Also not shown: On Sunday we took a HUUUUGE load to the dump! I rented a utility trailer and loaded her up! We had thought that except for the floor that we haven't removed yet, we'd be able to fit it into one trailer load. NOPE. But that's alright, since we still need to make another dump run anyways!
Thanks for continuing to follow along on our adventures with Maude the Acu-Trailer! <3 Becca
Due to our kids' Back to School Nights this week, we didn't get to put in too many hours on Maude, but what we did still looks pretty exciting - we began removing Maude's interior skin! Sorry, that sounds creepier than intended ;)
It began with even more rivet removal! We're going to be some pretty serious rivet experts by the time we're done with Maude! Maybe I'll go as Rosie the Riveter for Halloween with my new-found skills! ;)
Because of the way the panels overlap, we had to start at the top and work our way down. Mike made some make-shift supports for the uppermost panel so it wouldn't fall on us as we drilled out rivets. Turns out that upper panels goes almost the entire length of Maude, so it was a bit of a beast, but we did it!
A sneak peek under Maude's skin! You can't really tell from this picture, but the insulation was full of mouse feces, insect nests and tunnels where mice had traveled through it! Blech! I am SOOOO glad we're cleaning out all of the old insulation - she'll be much cozier with new (and CLEAN!) insulation!
I don't want to talk about the amount of yuckiness that fell on us as we were getting this sucker down from the ceiling - but we did it (and thank goodness for showers)! That is one big piece of aluminum! We ended up tying it with twine into a cylinder in order to get it out the door. Luckily, it's not particularly heavy, but it IS awkward!
Poor Mike. I think he's doing the Caber Toss all wrong!
And finally, a little before-and-after action!
I can't wait until next week to show you Maude all cleaned out! Have an awesome week, guys! <3 Becca
This week we're making progress toward getting the subflooring replaced. In order to do so, we've got to pull the shell (walls and ceiling) up off of the subfloor and trailer frame. It's going to be quite the feat! We didn't make it far enough this week to show you how crazy that will be, but hopefully soon!
The first step to pulling the shell off is to remove the Belly Pan. Airstreams are completely covered in aluminum, including on their underside! Here, we're pulling off Maude's "belt," as I call it. It's just a trim to hide where the sides meet the belly pan on the front and back of the trailer. The screws that held them on were INCREDIBLY rusted, though! Turned out to be a job for Mike - I'm helping in this picture ;)
Now that Maude's Belts were removed, we could access the rivets that hold the belly pan in place. It was quite the job! First, we had to center punch each rivet, so that it gave a starting place for the drill. Then we (mostly) carefully drilled out each rivet. We have to be careful not to make the original holes that the rivets are in any larger, or else we risk leaking when we go to rivet her back together! The last picture here is of us unscrewing the rusted screws that broke off when we were removing Maude's Belts! We didn't count how many rivets there were, but all in all, it took the two of us about 3 hours to complete!
Someone along the line welded on this spare tire bracket. Unfortunately, it was in the way for removing Maude's Belt and then also getting at the rivets along the back bumper, so it had to go!
On Sunday, we did research! We went to the Portland RV Show to not only day dream about trailers, but to see what sorts of fixtures were available for updating Maude. The first picture is of some shelving that is reminiscent of the original shelving that was in Maude! Funny how styles come back around :)
I've started keeping track of the total hours we put in to working on Maude. This week we put in 5 hours, not including the RV show (which was *4* hours! ;) ). Our grand total so far is 22.75 Hours!
Thanks for following along! <3 Becca
This was a big week for Maude in transforming to her future glorious self!
A few more finds prior to the really rough work. Anyone need a shave? Or maybe a hot meal on the plate we found? ;) *DISCLAIMER No meals or shaves were had using these tools in this trailer. BLECH!
It's demo time! Because of the amount of mold/mildew and mouse feces, we wore masks. As an aside, Thanks, Mike, for working so hard on our Lucky 13th Anniversary weekend! Luckily, we do projects well together, so while it wasn't glamorous (in fact, it was downright disgusting at times!), at least it was harmonious and productive!
For those of you who maybe don't know, the black water tank is where everything from the toilet is stored until you can dump it. Grey water is what comes from sinks and showers. This is the original black water tank. We didn't spend too much time looking in it ;) The good news is that it seemed to be intact, so this part wasn't QUITE as nasty as it could have been.
This was about 1 hour's worth of demolition! Not too shabby! Well... she's still pretty shabby, but you know what I mean ;)
SOOOOO much mouse poop and even little mouse mummies! Current mouse mummy count: 4.
This is the shower pan. If you look past the spiders and other insects, you might notice that there's a pretty sizable hole that we had been unaware of. Kind of a bummer, but since we won't be planning the floor plan around keeping the shower in tact now, it opens up a ton of possibilities!
Lookin' pretty good, Maude! After another 3 hours of demolition (the right side took WAY longer than the left because of all of the plumbing fixtures for the bathroom and kitchen!). We also pulled up a layer of flooring. Someone had laid down 1/4" plywood then covered it with red tiles all on top of the original flooring, of which you can see some of it in this photo (the brown squares).
Because of our new-found freedom with the floor plan, we're now imagining the treatment room at the back with a tiny bathroom in the middle and the waiting area up front. Of course, this will all depend on logistics, so we're staying a bit flexible in case we need to change course ;)
Next on the agenda for Maude is to get her sealed up. She's missing several windows and other ones leak, so we need to fix that before we get too much further. After that, we'll lift the shell (the walls and ceiling) so we can replace the subflooring!
Hope you all have an awesome week, and thanks for following along on Maude's adventures!
Hi Guys! Time for your update on Maude! My plan is to aim for once a week updates, so here ya go!
We got to work on Maude a few hours here and there in the evenings this week. We went camping over the holiday weekend, so we didn't get a TON done, but still - some progress! Keepin' the balance!
Maude was one dirty lady! After sitting for so many years, she had gathered quite a bit of moss. Here you can see just how dirty she was! She cleaned up nicely!
We got a buffer for Maude! We've decided to go ahead and give Maude a once-over so that she's most of the way to her mirror finish before the weather turns rainy. What a motivator - look at her shine! It will take 3 different buffing compounds each of a finer grit to get her to that mirror shine that is the signature Airstream look!
Camping for the holiday weekend was glorious! We couldn't have asked for better weather! We did a little foraging, which was fun - we found blackberries and huckleberries, but not much by way of mushrooms. Going to need a little more rain for that!
Back from vacation, back to work! On Monday after getting home from camping, I pulled all of the external lights while Mike finished bathing Maude. Then I scraped all of the putty that had sealed them in preparation for buffing her.
Oh Boy. This is going to take a while! It took Mike about an hour to get this much buffing done - it was quite the workout. BUT! Holy smokes, she's going to look AMAZING!
While Mike was buffing Maude, I got to work inside removing cabinetry doors and hardware. We'll reuse some of the hardware when we put her back together. Anything we don't end up using we'll sell on eBay so that other Airstreamers who want to keep with the original fixtures will have an opportunity to do so! Plus, I figure it's good karma - we're going to be needing to find some original parts of our own!
First bag for the dump! I'm recycling and salvaging as much as I can from Maude's insides, but not everything will fit that bill.
Another little treasure was hiding inside Maude! The Lifetime Warranty Certificate was hiding in her wardrobe. I think this will get preserved and brought back in once she's all put back together!
So there you have it, her first week with us! She's going to be a lot of work, but we're totally falling in love with our Maude!
You guys! I have some super exciting news to share with you all! Let me introduce you to Maude!
Maude is a 1959 Airstream Overlander trailer that is going to become my new treatment space! Obviously, she needs a little TLC, but I'm totally smitten with her!
For the last several months, I've been contemplating what I want the future of my practice to look like, and working from home, but not out of my house, feels right. Now, you may be wondering why I'm moving in October, just to move again once Maude is ready to go? My current office mate is moving on and I can't afford our current space on my own. I could have possibly found more renters, but being an office manager AND trying to renovate Maude were too big of projects to do at the same time, so I made the choice to move twice in a not-very-long-period of time. We're HOPING to get Maude complete in a year *crossing fingers!* So for those of you who are disappointed that I'm leaving the neighborhood, I'll be back soon!
My plan is to keep you all in the loop with her progress, so you can see her go from neglected old lady to a shining (literally!), cozy treatment space :)
So, without further ado, let's take a look at what we're starting with!
As you can see, Maude needs a full gutting in order to be safe. Floors need to come out and be replaced. She's missing a couple of windows as well. What you see in this picture is the front of the trailer. This will be a reception/waiting area.
This picture is from the front of the trailer looking back. Again, everything you see here will be removed. In the way back is the bathroom, which will get completely redone. In the middle you can see two twin-sized beds and storage that will become the treatment room. In the front is the kitchen and more storage. We're not sure exactly what this space will look like, but will be where I store all of my Chinese herbs and supplements.
Maude's previous home was in Corbett, so it was a BIT of a trek getting her home! We had to do some fun things to make her as road-safe as we could. The newer piece of equipment you see there attaching from Maude's tongue to our truck's hitch is the sway bar from our personal camping trailer (Harvey, in case you're wondering. Yes, I'm a weirdo who names things ;) )! Maude already had the proper attachments! Not shown: the magnetic tail lights we stuck on her bumper!
Maude was a real trooper! She gave us no trouble getting home, and even though she's quite a bit larger than Harvey (Maude is 26', Harvey is 21'), she pulled very similarly! Very smoothly :) Not shown: As we looked back to keep an eye on her, we could see some of Maude's windows and cabinets flapping ;)
When we got her home, we started taking a closer look at her. Look how close we came to probably blowing a tire! EEK! But we made it. New tires are definitely on her wish list ;)
When we got to looking around inside, we found some treasures! Note: the little hurricane lamp will be a part of Maude's decor once she's a treatment space :)
That 1963 penny will TOTALLY help pay for Maude's renovation ;)
Here's Maude in our driveway! The picture on the right is after we gave her a quick bath to see how difficult it would be to get all of the moss off. Thankfully, it was super easy - and doesn't she look better? Eventually, she'll get a polishing that will bring her to a mirror shine!
I hope you all have enjoyed meeting my new friend Maude, and will have fun following along on our adventures to make her beautiful again!