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Week 4: 1976 Airstream Sovereign

Ready for flooring! 

Ready for flooring! 

Sitting with an extra dry gin martini (with a caper berry, my favorite), to soothe the adrenaline rush and relax myself after the past weekend of crazy. It's been absolutely pouring here, just buckets and buckets of rain. Much of the Midwest is under flood warnings, and we are no exception. Rain poured into part of our basement (luckily far from where we're storing renovation supplies), and onto our backs as we stepped out and back into the Airstream repeatedly. I even found myself (not wanting to lose any more time due to the storms) on my hands and knees scrubbing window frames as the skies unleashed. The thunderstorms brought lightning, which dampened our efforts at times, and overall, the rain always contributes to slowed productivity when working on an Airstream, as the lines between indoor and outdoor are so blurred. Yet we pushed through and pushed on, and had an incredible weekend to be proud of. 

Last week, before we laid on that first coat of primer. We used Zinsser on this Airstream, but Kilz is just as good and we've used it in the past. We recommend both of these primers when painting over the skins with the existing vinyl for stain, grease cover-up and fantastic grip/stick. 

Last week, before we laid on that first coat of primer. We used Zinsser on this Airstream, but Kilz is just as good and we've used it in the past. We recommend both of these primers when painting over the skins with the existing vinyl for stain, grease cover-up and fantastic grip/stick. 

Cutting the aluminum - keep it in the box while it's still got quite a bit of length to it. Cut a slit along the long side of the box and slide the aluminum skin through the slit. Repeat this process until all your pieces are cut to length. This image was taken when we only had this length left in the box, and removed it only then. The tight coil and pressure could be dangerous, but mostly, it's much more manageable to cut, especially in a tight space. 

Cutting the aluminum - keep it in the box while it's still got quite a bit of length to it. Cut a slit along the long side of the box and slide the aluminum skin through the slit. Repeat this process until all your pieces are cut to length. This image was taken when we only had this length left in the box, and removed it only then. The tight coil and pressure could be dangerous, but mostly, it's much more manageable to cut, especially in a tight space. 

Friday night we took off, per the usual - our one night off per week to recuperate, be together as a family, or hang with our people. We spent time with our amazing friends, Scott and Erin, and their brood of girls. Lots of wine and the most amazing salmon (flown in fresh from Alaska) and such good conversation. We are going to miss them so much! 

We were up bright and early Saturday morning to strong thunderstorms, making a Lowe's run for some electrical supplies and then crossing some items off our personal to-do list while we waited for the lightning to slow. As soon as the dangerous weather cleared, we hit the Airstream work hard. We worked consistently the rest of the weekend, taking breaks only to eat and sleep, with serious focus and determination. Knowing we've had this Airstream for one month and have only two months left to finish is pretty good motivation to kick it into gear and get shit done. 

Clean, gorgeous end cap. The dining space is going to feel so open and inviting. Picture some cozy benches with neutral, gray linen cushions and a custom solid Elm table, made right here by us. 

Clean, gorgeous end cap. The dining space is going to feel so open and inviting. Picture some cozy benches with neutral, gray linen cushions and a custom solid Elm table, made right here by us. 

Here's what we've been working on since we last checked in: 

- Finished installing/riveting in ceiling panels

- Installed remaining patches

- Cleaned the skins thoroughly

- Custom cut aluminum for both end caps and installed

- Primed

- Painted

- Installed electrical boxes (in skins only)

- Wired in 35 DC recessed lights and 2 custom made swing arm DC sconces, installed

Wiring in one of the DC lights - after 35 of these, I definitely felt like Popeye. My forearms were getting a crazy workout. 

Wiring in one of the DC lights - after 35 of these, I definitely felt like Popeye. My forearms were getting a crazy workout. 

- Installed/wired AC outlets

- Installed/wired DC switches (in skins only)  

- Cleaned and installed window frames/screens

- Reinstalled door frame

- Painted window frames

- Cut aluminum to square and installed Fantastic Fan framing (link below to the fan model we love)

- Reinstalled AC unit and ceiling assembly

- Installed four Furrion speakers

- Cleaned and prepped for floor installation 

Lots of white primer and lots of wire. 

Lots of white primer and lots of wire. 

Most of this work was done in the past two days, starting at the DC lighting in the above list. The end caps, along with priming and painting, took about a week. We've been surprising ourselves, quite honestly, with our ability to keep at this work at such a fast clip. Hard to believe that just two weeks ago, we were finishing up insulation and installing interior skins, or that just one mere month ago, we were gutting and taking out interior skins and wiring to start fresh. 

Everything starting to come together. The recessed 12v lights came from Amazon and we love how they look so much we may replace the ones in our own Airstream. Link below - we purchased the white finish, which we love. The lights blend in perfectly with the ceiling, keeping the look clean throughout, which is good, since we have 35 lights up there!   The 12v swing arm sconces are from Lucent Lightshop, and were custom made for our partnership. They are launching a 12v line of RV lighting and asked if we'd try out their product. We love how they look and the smaller sizing suits the Airstream bedroom space so well. 

Everything starting to come together. The recessed 12v lights came from Amazon and we love how they look so much we may replace the ones in our own Airstream. Link below - we purchased the white finish, which we love. The lights blend in perfectly with the ceiling, keeping the look clean throughout, which is good, since we have 35 lights up there!  

The 12v swing arm sconces are from Lucent Lightshop, and were custom made for our partnership. They are launching a 12v line of RV lighting and asked if we'd try out their product. We love how they look and the smaller sizing suits the Airstream bedroom space so well. 

Thanks to Airparts, Inc. for the aluminum for our custom end caps - we ordered the 60-inch width this time around and just loved the flexibility it gave us in cutting those curves for this project. While the end caps aren't a quick project, we love how they open up and modernize the space instantly, as opposed to reusing the original molded plastic from the 70s. We think a lot of folks make the originals look fantastic, we just prefer the open, clean look for our Airstreams. 

On another note of gratitude, this one is for you all: thank you for hanging in there, guys. Our tight turnaround on this project, along with finishing up our current jobs, limits time to produce content (and respond to comments/emails) significantly. We can't thank you enough for your patience with us! 

Until next time, folks. 


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Kate OliverComment