Saturday, August 6, 2011

Progress Report

This posting was updated on 11/26/11 to remove personal information of the previous individual restoring the trailer. Please refer to AIRforum thread, "Relapse-1956 Sovereign of the Road".

Well I am at one month since my last post, so here is a progress report. As some of you are aware, the second worst drought in Texas history is currently going on. With the lack of rain has been a punishing heatwave that has reached record temperatures across the state over the last month. Unfortunately, this heatwave has stunted progress for the last three weeks. Originally, we had a group of people willing to remove the shell in order to access the frame, do the welding, paint the frame, place the new floor, and replace the shell. Unfortunately, our host had other plans and work days were canceled. After the cancellation, Voldemort wanted to move the trailer to his backyard in order to have better room for working on it. He spent two weeks mixing concrete by hand, making a gate into his back yard, digging out bushes and dirt that were in the way of said gate opening, and cutting off a portion of his roof to make this happen....all in the sweltering heat.

Finally in the back yard!

Voldemort has continued progression of interior skin and floor removal. The really good thing about the frame is that besides the rear crossmember and very front of the A frame, the frame is in excellent shape. Here are some pictures from the continued removal.

Today, Voldemort removed the rear belly pan up to the axle and degreased the rear frame. Not bad looking for 50+ years old.

For the past two days, Voldemort has been prepping the new sub-floor for installation. The sheets were cut to width, and are being treated top and bottom. The first coat was a mixture of 1/2 Spar Varnish, 1/4 Denatured Alcohol, and 1/4 petroleum distillate. This was done to penetrate better into the wood and seal the pores better. Subsequent coats will be full strength spar varnish. We went with the satin finish as gloss would make adhering the future flooring more difficult. For insulation under the floor, we are going with 3/4" polyisocyanurate insulation with foil on both sides. Voldemort plans to build an air gap with strips under the floor to provide extra R value.

Before the floor goes down, the few issues with the frame need to be addressed. The rear most steel cross member needs replacement, and a stress crack on the main door step area needs fixing. After these repairs, Voldemort will apply Eastwood Rust converter to paint the entire frame. The Eastwood system is similar to POR-15, but not as expensive. Thanks to Lance (Top on AIR) for the heads up on this product. For the top coat over the rust converter, I have purchased Chassis Saver by Magnet paints. This product was suggested by Robin (Melody Ranch on AIR). He uses it on his farm trailers that are exposed to the weather all the time. Other reviews for this product from people who carry the product or have used it in the past were very good. I purchased a gallon of each, so there should be plenty for this job.

Aside from the work Voldemort is doing, I have been going crazy purchasing everything I can think of that will be needed. Robin sent me a great seller on Ebay that has incredible prices on items. I have purchased my new LP tank rack, 7 way wire pigtail, LP regulator with hose pigtails, and tank monitor panel panel from this seller...all for about $45 not including shipping. Other purchases were two Optima blue batteries, a KIB monitor panel, grey tank probes, 600 sq ft of Prodex insulation, Kitchen sink from Ikea, progressive dynamics power center, and two orders from Vintage Trailer Supply.


Sugarfoot said...

Steve, you've been going through aluminum withdrawal for a while now. I'm so excited for you and Amy. Can wait for the '56 Sovereign brothers to camp together!

I will be interesting to compare notes through the restoration. Your outriggers look fabulous. Some of mine were like Swiss cheese and none had any sign of original paint. I can't believe our SOTR's are the same age. And yours from near the Pacific coast with mine from hot dry OK and TX no less.

I love Airstreams said...

Greetings from the Island of Am. Samoa! We are so glad you are back in business....! Awesome! Love the unit!
I can't wait to keep seeing the progress...Keep us all posted..

Our best to you and the fam.

Kani and Jack