Kelly gives me a hard time about planning things out. I tend to do projects at my own pace, but there’s usually a method to my madness.
Sometimes I breeze down our checklist, but there are times when I move at a snail’s pace and spend hours on something that appears simple from an outside perspective.
It was clear when we bought our 26-foot aluminum can that the subfloor would be an issue and some areas needed replacing. I tried to remain positive, but the visible water damage on the tongue-and-groove wood flooring was a glaring imperfection that suggested otherwise.
When we finally moved the Riveted Roost into the backyard, I knew I’d have to pick a day where I was free to curse, spit, drink beer and get to work without offending anyone. So one Saturday, Kelly left for a horse show at 6 a.m. and I was working on the trailer by 7. I started by removing the full-size pink porcelain toilet from rear of the trailer so that I could begin ripping out the wood flooring.
The toilet came out with ease, as did the wood planks, so I proceeded to rip out about ¼ of the flooring to access the entire rear end cap subfloor. After about 20 minutes on my hands and knees I stepped away to open a beer. It was about 8 a.m., but sometimes that’s just the fuel the body and mind needs for something like this.
As I continued to remove more of the wood flooring I began to see additional signs of water damage behind the street side (port/left) wheel well. I tried to remain optimistic, but each wood plank I pulled revealed more and more water damage.
Once I removed all the flooring, I stepped away to grab another beer, not sure what time it was. The oat sodas were keeping my mind limber and going down the hatch nice and smooth.
Some people are tidy when it comes to deconstruction and probably use proper foot and eye protection. Not me. I rip, yank and saw my way through the process while wearing flip flops, board shorts and a T-shirt.
Parts of the subfloor were OK, while other parts had been replaced and some had rotted as much as a foot from the sidewalls. The subfloor beneath the refrigerator was previously replaced, but the wall and roof vents leaked (probably the refrigerator, too) and that section needed to be replaced again.
I also discovered an interesting solution to repair an outlet. Instead of replacing the damaged outlet behind the refrigerator, the previous owner decided to tie in a 2-ft section of extension cord that hung freely from the outlet opening in the wall. Black electrical smoke stains suggested the outlet failed a long time ago and we’re lucky it didn’t burn the Airstream to the ground.
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