It was a hard decision to make but we have decided to gut our Airstream entirely and “start fresh”. We are hoping to tear down, seal leaks, re-wire, re-insulate, re-plumb, and finally rebuild a custom interior. The decision was made by both of us after we started seeing numerous signs of critters including burrows, holes, and feces. The smell is similar to your grandmas moth ball infested closet, but we will get to that in a later post.
Whats in our toolbox:
1. DeWalt Cord Drill – We went with the cord so we could have continuous power. We didn’t want to have to worry about remembering to charge our drills. Right now we have an extension cord running from the house to a power strip in the airstream and are running all of our electronics through that. The drill came in handy mainly for removing rivets, but also proved useful for difficult screws in the bathroom. To remove rivets you just drill through the center of them. We bought ours at our local Ace hardware store for $59.99.
2. 1/8 Inch Drill Bits – Bit’s is plural because you will need a TON of these bits. The problem is when you are removing rivets they get stuck on the drill bits (see photo below). After awhile either the bit gets full of rivets, it’s too dull to drill through them anymore, or it just flat out breaks in half during drilling. The good news is they are fairly cheap so make sure to pick up a bunch if you are using them as your rivet-removing method like we are.
3. Work Gloves – You’ll need a good pair of gloves that fit well and are sturdy enough to prevent splinters from getting in. We chose our’s because they were rubber coated on one side which helped with grip, and provided adequate protection. Our 1969 Airstream has clearly been neglected and we have found some pretty disgusting things inside of it – so it’s nice to have a layer in between the mouse turds and our manicured fingers. The bonus is these gloves come in women’s sizes, so thank you for that Ace Hardware!
4. Screw Drivers – You needn’t go fancy on these so I have just provided a link for a search on generic screw drivers. You will need a philips head. If you are salvaging your cabinetry this tool will be your best friend. We unscrewed our cabinets for about an hour before we decided to scrap the cabinets and use our favorite tool (see #6.)
5. Shop Vac – When we were done tearing down all the cabinets, our floors were riddled with rivet casings, screws, wood shards, and yes…mouse turds. The shop vac handled it all, and eliminated a lot of the dust and debris that had collected on the floor. Clean up was a breeze afterward as I just flipped the shop vac upside down so it’s contents fell into a black trash bag for disposal.
6. Wood Maul – As noted above this was our favorite tool! Not only was it the right tool for the job, but swinging it around like a crazy person crashing through cabinets was a great stress reliever. (see video in next post)
See the progressive photos above of our work so far. Now what to do with the bathroom end caps…I suppose we will remove them like we have done to everything else!