One more disgusting day still-to-come, that is. I removed the subfloor on the remaining side yesterday. I was really hoping it would be a one-day operation, but alas, no such luck.
If anything, this was the most disgusting demo-day yet (and I quit before dealing with the rodent's nests). The amount of nastiness below the floor was shocking. Maybe time caused me to forget the other side.
So I tried a new technique for removing the old flooring. I had realized last time that I used too much effort trying to pry the old floor up (where it wasn't rotten through). So this time I set the circular saw to about 1/16" less than the thickness of the wood and cut a checker board along the floor frame joists.
It worked well, but I was actively cutting the floor out from under me. So, I needed to keep a careful eye out for where the frame would support my weight, despite not being able to see it. A frame joist runs under every subfloor seam and obviously underneath all of the flat bolt heads. I put a picture below of them. These are where I was careful to step. By the end of the day, my ankles and calves were on fire from balancing.
The first panel I pulled up was an omen for the rest. I didn't remove the insulation missing in the center of that ring.
As I went, it was clear that this end of the airstream was favored real estate for rodents. Granted I found nests in the walls and in the other side, but there was nearly no insulation left under this side at all. There are at least four nests left in it right now; I had to quit before getting to them.
But the rodents' nests was not the worst concern of the day. Sometime in the past year I discovered that the tiles in my airstream were made out of asbestos. Asbestos is no big deal, right? As long as you don't disturb it... oh right. I cut the flaking, disintegrating tile out with a circular saw. That might make it dangerous.
If you're reading this for your project some time in the future, here is the best pic I have of the asbestos tiles:
I hope I followed enough safety precautions! I used a respirator, wet down all of the debris before bagging it, and wet myself down before throwing my (old) clothes away. Then I took a shower. The tiles pictured above were about half of the tiles left, so I was really not willing to pay for professionals. I'll probably spray down the walls and new floor of the interior just before I'm ready to completely close this side. Until then I'll use a respirator inside.
I'll leave you with the thought that kept me up one night a few months ago: I can't remember if I even wore a respirator on the other side.
Two months ago our airstream moved into a new home. Fortunately we went with it. The new house has a large gravel RV pad and, if airstreams had feelings, ours would feel much less claustrophobic, but very neglected.
I have done nothing substantial since my last post in March! It turns out that new homes are expensive and part of our airstream savings got diverted to the new house. But even more than the finances, since I have already bought materials for some of the most expensive next steps, I've been super busy with the new home. It takes time to make a house a home!
One more realization, everyone says renovating an Airstream will cost 50% more in time and money than you expect. I anticipated it being done by now, both in time and in money. So I guess this illustrates that I'm far worse at planning than average. I think it will end up double in both categories, maybe triple. I hope not more than that.
So being one year into this, here's my commitment: We will be camping in it next summer. It might not have all the bells and whistles finished, but we will be camping in June!
I'm not an Airstream Jedi, yet. Airstream Jedi would have sounded presumptuous, like I know what I'm doing. That couldn't be further from the truth. Padawan is a title I can hope to live up to.
Knots Per Hour
My friend Mike is building an airplane. Check it out.