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Minno 09-26-2009 07:11 PM


Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV (Post 752143)
It's a real hi point when you realize the DE- is over and the CON- part of 'Struction' is underway.

Hi point will happen this week or next weekend. As soon as I finish putting the rear back together, we'll remove the rest of the floor from the axels forward. Once those 5 plywood sheets are out, the DE- part will be done! :)

Minno 09-30-2009 07:52 PM

Rear two subfloor sections in place
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Spent a good part of Sunday installing the elevator bolts. Seems that even the things I think should go pretty quickly end up taking two or three times as long as I expect it to. Good thing I don’t do remodeling estimates for a living! :huh: Only took 4 trips under Little Girl to get them all installed. First one was to drill up through the existing holes in the frame and through the plywood. Then I went inside and pushed the elevator bolts down through all the holes. Crawl back underneath, and install the lock washers and nuts. Thank goodness for my battery powered impact driver! But dang if I didn’t discover two frame holes that I missed the first time! :blink: So, crawl out, grab my drill, crawl back under and drill the holes. The back inside, push the bolts down through the holes, and crawl back underneath one more time to install the last two lock washers and nuts. I did not hammer the bolts over yet – I’m going to wait on that until I’m absolutely 100% sure I’m not going to have to remove any of the floor for any future item that may come up. Can’t think of anything, but you never know.

The last two evenings I spent installing the c-channel and reinforcements for the rear end. In the center section, I used a large aluminum angle to replace the very rusted and corroded piece of steel that used to be there. You can just see this new piece of angle aluminum to under the hatch in the right-hand picture below. It’s the shiny part peaking out from the hatch area. I bent it to match the angle of the old piece of steel that was there, which was a fun project all by itself. Basically, I clamped it to my workbench with a piece of angle iron, and “gently tapped” it with a baby sledge to bend it to the correct angle.

Attachment 88012 Attachment 88017

Here's the rear two sections of floor, all installed. I used a piece of 3/4" angle aluminum to replace the inside angle of the c-channel that was destroyed by the previous rear end sag repair.

Attachment 88013Attachment 88016

Here’s the outside rear. I replaced the piece of aluminum that runs underneath the plywood and extend out the rear on top of the frame. This is where the hinge for the bumper cover attaches to. This piece was about as far gone as the plywood.

Attachment 88014 Attachment 88015
Finally, here’s the two rear corners on the outside. The bottom of the rear skins were pretty chewed up by the old rear end separation problem she had, and the repairs made to try and fix it. Lots of extra rivet holes and wrinkles in the bottom edge. But, all of that will be covered by the rub rail eventually.

Right now, we are really happy that the rear of the trailer stayed level after I removed the jacks from under the back edge of the frame! :) And for the first time, the rear sections of floor are very solid to walk on. Lot’s of work to get to this point, but certainly worth the effort! :bb:

Tomorrow evening, on to removing the rest of the old floor.

Chris & Kay

mello mike 10-01-2009 10:29 AM

Looks fantastic, Chris. Congrats on your terrific progress.

Any reason why you decided to NOT go with Marine Grade Plywood for your subfloor?

Minno 10-01-2009 02:31 PM

Cost. $75 to $80 a sheet vs. the $15 per sheet we spent on BCX (on sale at Menards:)). This seems to be one of those items where different people have different opinions on whether you really need marine plywood or not. We took the stance of: the plywood that was in there lasted 30+ years, so if we seal it up really well, and do the regular maintenance things to ensure we don't have a long term leak, the BCX will be fine. We plan on putting a floating cork floor on top of the plywood, so again, BCX was fine for surface quality. We are putting the B side up, and priming the entire underside and edges with good oil based primer.


Minno 10-01-2009 07:10 PM

Little Girl Decor
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Ok, so we don't even have the floor all replaced yet, but it's never too soon to think about color scheme, right? I finished the bed quilt top for the AS this evening - it's been in the works on my sewing machine for 6 months now. Still needs quilting, whenever I get my quilter up and running. My plans are to match with one of the dark blue batik fabrics for valances and curtains, and to paint the walls with a 2 tone very light blue paint scheme with a double paint roller. The paint colors will be very close together so that it is a very subtle effect. Just my little unique contribution the the refurb. :band:

Airslide 10-01-2009 07:53 PM

That looks great. You are very talented. The pattern is awesome.


Minno 10-03-2009 05:33 PM

Deconstruction Done!!!!!!!
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Yippee!!! Woohoo!!! Deconstruction phase is done! :clap::clap:

I spent the last couple of evenings grinding off the heads of the elevator bolts, and the various bolts and screws in the c-channel all around the front of the trailer. That is until last night, when I had a ton of sparks, smoke, and blue flames come out of my dremel! :shock: And I only had 3 more screw heads and 2 nuts to go… So, first stop this morning was a trip to Harbor Freight and we bought a new motor tool.

Came home and finished grinding the screw heads off, and then cut the plywood sort of in half. Not directly up the center, but off to one side. Did that to make sure I didn’t cut into the fresh water tank. After lunch, Kay and I worked on getting all the plywood out. Some pieces came out really easy, and others – well let’s just say "not so easy" and leave it at that. The hardest one to get out was the front piece, because I discovered that there were six 1/4” bolts through the front edge of the plywood and frame. And they were under the c-channel. Plus, 4 more elevator bolts through the front c-channel, plywood and frame. :blink: Not sure if that was all original or not, as it looked like she’s had front end repairs as well as the rear end repairs we discovered earlier. Both curved skin sections under the front windows have been replaced at some point.

Anyway, the rest of the old plywood it out! Here’re a couple of pictures:

Attachment 88152 Attachment 88153

We discovered that all 4 outriggers around the wheel wells are sagging. These show the tow rear ones, but the front outriggers are just as bad. Each one has about a ½” sag. I’ll do the same repair to all four of them that I did to the one other sagging outrigger we found.

Attachment 88154 Attachment 88155

There is just one outrigger towards the front that has some holes rusted through it at the bottom. Overall, it’s still solid enough though, so I’ll just patch over the holes.

Attachment 88156

Finally, here’s the fresh water tank. It holds water, but seems to be a bit green inside. Kay has faith that she can get it cleaned out though, and has been reading about how others have cleaned their water tanks here in the forums.

Attachment 88157

Tomorrow, welding repairs, sand blasting, and priming the frame. :)

pbearsailor 10-03-2009 05:51 PM

Congrats on reaching the bottom, Chris. It is a great feeling to make it to that point. Beautiful quilt, Kay, I can see lots of hours there. :wally:

steve :)

Minno 10-04-2009 06:17 PM

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Didn't get as far as I had hoped today. I started off sandblasting the frame. 5 hours of sandblasting… That's me below, after I took off the face mask and respirator – on my way to the shower. After getting cleaned up and feeling a bit more human again ;), I worked on repairing the 4 outriggers by the wheel wells. Not only did all four sag, I discovered that one of them had a cracked weld where it was welded to the frame, and another crack on the little supporting arm on the back. I managed to get all four outriggers repaired before it got too dark to work easily. Plus, it was supper time. :) Still have a couple of outriggers to repair, and then I can prime and paint the frame.

goransons 10-04-2009 06:40 PM

Nice work, you'll love it when you have a nice painted, solid frame with clean solid plywood on top. Home free from there!

Minno 10-08-2009 05:00 PM

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Yesterday, it was finally warm and dry enough that I took most of the day off work and worked on Little Girl. I got the rest of the plywood cut to size and the bottom of each piece primed, and we primed the frame. Kay got home from work and helped me finish painting. Now we need to wait about a week based on the current weather reports for it to be warm enough to paint the frame, and then install the new subfloor.

In one of our fanciful moments at the end of the day, we did something normal for us, painted inside the walls. I can’t tell you how many “I K” and “I C” there are hidden inside the walls of our house for some future owner to find… :) At least one in each room. We’ve remodeled each room in our house at least once over the last 26 years – down to the studs remodeling projects and some additions. We also christened Little Girl while we were at it. ;)


Airslide 10-08-2009 08:47 PM

Can you define "Christened" without embarrassing us :lol:

Seriously, Great progress!


Minno 10-08-2009 09:11 PM

Ok, obviously you're not a sailor.:brows: In sailor lingo, christening means naming the ship, or in our case, the trailer. There's hope for you though, since you think like a sailor.:brows:


Airslide 10-08-2009 09:16 PM

A sailors life for me!
It's good to know there's hope for me :lol:

I'm going to go remind my wife! (just as soon as I spend a few more hours here on the forums..)


kmoore 10-09-2009 12:22 AM

You all have set quite a high water mark for production and motivation! I hope I do not have the extensive repairs that you have undertaken because with my available time you have done afew years worth of work.

Great job!

Minno 10-09-2009 06:35 AM

Hi Kmoore,

Welcome to the forums! Yes, this was (is) quite an undertaking. I still think of her as a 5 year project, but we’ll see how long it really takes. There’s a ton of information here on the forums, including several other complete remodel projects, which is where we got the inspiration to take on our Little Girl project. And this is stuff we both really enjoy doing, so that keeps us motivated. And a wealth of people to answer questions that come up and provide ideas. And people seem to love pictures (including us). So post pictures of whatever it is you’re doing with your AS! :)

Good luck with your project, and thanks!


mello mike 10-09-2009 04:39 PM

While you have your Sovereign frame exposed you may want to add the "stiffiners" to the frame just aft of the wheel wells. This helps prevent the frame from sagging/drooping. You can make your own or buy the kit from the factory. You probably already know this but there's lots of info on this forum about this modification.

Minno 10-09-2009 06:19 PM

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the advice. With all the rear end separation stuff, I mostly forgot about frame sag, other than to check our frame and verify it's not sagging. So, I didn't think about adding stiffeners. But you're right, now would the time to do that. I’ll need to do some poking around the forums and research that again.


mello mike 10-10-2009 08:31 AM

I've really enjoyed this thread. It's nice to see what my Airstream actually looks like beneath the floor and behind all of the walls. And you've given me ideas for my trailer.

Are you going to add a gray tank? What are your plans for insulation replacement between the belly pan and subfloor?

This winter I plan on dropping my belly pan to replace the pink insulation with another type of material. Not sure which, though. Still researching the alternatives.

Minno 10-10-2009 09:43 AM


Originally Posted by mello mike (Post 757642)
I've really enjoyed this thread. It's nice to see what my Airstream actually looks like beneath the floor and behind all of the walls. And you've given me ideas for my trailer.

That’s very cool to know that we’re helping others. That’s why we decided to document our refurb like this, and why I take so many pictures and post them. :)


Originally Posted by mello mike (Post 757642)
Are you going to add a gray tank? What are your plans for insulation replacement between the belly pan and subfloor?

Yes, we’re going to add a gray water tank. Hopefully, we can find one that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg that will fit inside the belly pan in the space above the axels. Or at the most, drop down an inch or so below the belly pan like the water tank does. I’m willing to gang two tanks together if I need to in order to get good capacity. That’ll be a next Summer (2010) project (hopefully).

For insulation we’re leaning very strongly towards prodex (sp?), both in all the walls and under the floor. The floor itself we plan on using a floating cork floor.


Originally Posted by mello mike (Post 757642)
This winter I plan on dropping my belly pan to replace the pink insulation with another type of material. Not sure which, though. Still researching the alternatives.

Our work is temporarily on hold since we got a half inch of snow last night! :shock: And it’s currently 27 degrees F. Above zero, but still a bit too cold to paint the frame. :) We still hope to get the floor mostly installed next weekend, when Indian Summer is supposed to be here. I don’t plan on bolting the two plywood panels to the frame that go over the axels until we have the gray water tank thing all figured out.

My other winter plans are to work on the layout, plan electrical and plumbing, and dream good Airstream dreams. Plus do a few woodworking projects. I need to build another crib for an arriving grandchild in March. :) And help plan our daughter’s wedding for June 2010. My allowed input to all wedding plans is to be a bank acocunt... :blink:

Winter Little Girl projects also include repairing the lower and upper wheel well covers with fiberglass and epoxy, and trying to straighten out the 4 banana wraps.


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