Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Without a kitchen

I have finally been able to put in enough time to pull out the kitchen. 

Street side: our layout has the fridge and microwave in a street side cabinet. This was kind of a pain to take apart. First, the fridge is not original to the trailer. It is a dometic fridge that is smaller than the original. When it was put in, framing with 2x4 was done. Not bad. But to seal up the back, half a tube of rtv was used, so I had to try and bust apart the frame without damaging the fridge. I finally got that done and the went to pull the microwave. This was the original micro. It has some slots in the bottom of the cubby which I guess us to hold it in place. It was a tight fit getting it out and it's heavy!  The built in vacuum just unplugged and pulled out. After finding all the screws the rest if the cabinet came lose. It was still too big to get through the door till a few strategic pop to a few came lose.
Curb  side: breaking the counter top lose was easier than I expected. The stove was held in with four wood screws and the gas line. As with many of the wood screws, the wood was too rotten to hold much. I cut the water lines - hot, cold and filtered - so the basin would be free. The built in mixer just unplugged. The counter top is screwed in from below and a few long screws along the back splash under the oven. It lifted out. I think I pulled a few screws that I missed pulling it out. The cabinet works had a several small screws, but it came out without much fanfare. The furnace is not original so it was kind of stuck in with some aluminum tape and boards. 

The scary bits: I found out why the oven light never worked. The wire was fed though the wall between the vent line and inner skin. It was severed. Kind of surprised it didn't short out. The floor under the sink was rotten. I guess that drip from the drain line took it toll. The water plumbing is crazy. There is a fresh water tank and the necessary lines going out the hot water heater, cold water lines, plus the fill line, water pump, and filter. There has to 100 lbs of copper stuffed under that cabinet. The duct work has really been a runway for dust bunnies and mice. 

In general the more I take apart, the better I feel about the decision to gut it. Now I just have to figure out where to stash all this stuff till its time to pattern it. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Demo... and more Demo

We have been trying to clean out the trailer since we moved out of it in 2007.  It's been a long road.

Here are some photos along the road.

I am finally getting some time on this.  To date we have removed most of the bathroom (why we started there, I am not sure), pulled the front gaucho and couch/dinette, and I am working on the galley. 

"As Found"

We bought the trailer in the summer of 2006. We were living off my internship paycheck and still had to move back to Austin so I could finish grad school. To quote Marge Simpson, "Grad students aren't bad people, they just made poor life choices." I think our choice will work out. We were tired of living in the crappy apartments we could afford, the trailer was a move up for us and gave us flexibility that we needed at that time.
Why an Airstream? We couldn't afford new, and the idea of buying anything else and the watching the money wash away with depreciation wasn't attractive. Owning an icon that we could keep for a while and using it as a guest house was very attractive.

Why vintage? Well cost was first issue, and second one too. We could get into something the right size for us with sufficient quality that we were comfortable.

About the trailer: It is a 1975 Excella 500. 31 ft long. There are some silly stuff left over from the previous owner(s). Some of it was probably done just so it could be sold (plumbing, electrical). When we looked at in the lot, it was plugged in and the electrical worked, but no gas to test stove, oven, heater. Water heater was made redundant by a 5 gal electric water heater (BAD IDEA!!), but a least we had hot water. In general it was in "working when parked" condition. It had been used, but it didn't end up as a deer camp. So it was ok, but not great.

I posted some early photos on the Photo-bucket site.