2009
02.02

The past two weeks have been packed with floor removal.  We spent a weeknight prepping the garage for long-term Airstream parts storage. We spent the next weeknight unloading the loose parts from the Airstream and stacking them in the garage much like a Tetris puzzle.

Two weekends ago weekend we removed the pantry, room divider, one twin bed, and the upper cabinets (basically everything down the streetside of the Airstream).  With some prying, chiseling, and luck we were able to remove the first section of flooring (the piece previously hinged up). With that piece up we could get a good view into the frame and cross-members.  Again, some surface rust but nothing that looked completely rusted through.

We spent the remainder of the day Dremeling elevator bolt heads out of the C channel around the perimeter of the curved front section of wood subflooring. Between each bolt was a nail that had a T head barely protruding above the aluminum. Prying these out was next to impossible as most broke. As daylight dwindled, we lassoed the flooring through a chiseled out hole and try to tug it free of the frame.  No dice.  Apparently those broken nails were holding better than expected.  We picked up some reinforced Dremel cut-off disks to make the job a bit easier the next time we tackled the elevator bolts.

This past weekend we re-assessed the front flooring section.  With the new cut-off disks, we carefully trimmed the nail heads flush to the C channel. We then used a nail to punch the rusted nail shank through the flooring.  This turned out to be quite effective at removing the remaining nails.  Unfortunately, there were two more elevator bolts we originally missed in the middle of the flooring.  More chiseling, Dremeling, and prying dropped those bolts out as well.  From what we could see, the flooring was completely free of fasteners.  Still no luck with removal, though.  Time to get out the circular saw.  With two passes down the middle of the flooring (being careful not to cut into the frame) we were able to remove the center of the floor (a piece that aligned with the front window). Now that we had some leverage room, the two side curves were removed quite easily.  Only a small portion of the streetside curve crumbled to sawdust and will have to be approximated.  At this point, our backs were sore and we recognized we couldn’t pull up any more flooring until we remove the kitchen cabinets and sink.  Instead of that undertaking (the garage is getting full already!) we disassembled and labeled all of the wiring connected to the Airstream control panel.  It turns out all of the 12 volt wiring is stranded copper and all of the 120 volt wiring is aluminum.  So I guess the upside is that we only have to replace half of the wiring, not all of it. Grrr…  At this point everything is removed down the streetside and we are now ready to tackle the curbside.  That’s what next weekend is for, right?

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