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Archive for the ‘Flooring’ Category

DAY 1:

We hit the road on our maiden voyage on Tuesday November, 20th, 2012. We wanted to hit the road at 7:30am, but due to the need for a stop at Camping World in Avondale, about 30 minutes away, we decided to leave at 8:30am instead. We didn’t really know how much time it would take to get to Malibu, but we were guessing 7-8 hours.

We pulled out of the driveway and I felt a sense of accomplishment; we got the airstream ready in time!


Matt drove the whole time, while Christie and I napped (I didn’t sleep the night prior, as I wanted to get everything I could done before we left).
We stopped for gas 3 times on the way and arrived to Malibu Beach RV Park right before sunset. We checked in, were shown to our spot (#19, overlooking the beach!) and proceeded to get the systems connected. One thing we forgot was a cable wire. We ended up buying one at the RV store onsite, so we could watch TV on thanksgiving….watching the parade and dog show are family tradition.

Malibu Beach RV Park is located above the Pacific Coast Highway, about 3.5 miles from the Malibu Pier, overlooking the ocean. Rates at this time (Oct 1st-May 23rd are $47/ night weekday and $52/night weekend. There is a 3 day minimum and a $20/day extra fee for the thanksgiving holiday stay).

As the sun was setting, I wanted to take progress photos of the interior, after we unpacked.

Check out the dreamy view out the bathroom window!

Once I got done snapping some interior shots, the sun was setting. It was magical….this is reason enough to stay at Malibu Beach RV Park. We didn’t have any neighbors on our first night stay either. We paid for a full hook-up including 30 amp service, water, sewer and cable.

Day 2 is our Disneyland adventure!

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A week before we left for our maiden voyage, I decided to try my hand at tiling. We had leftover tile from a few years ago when we remodeled our hall bathroom. So, I asked Matt to pick up some thinset, grout and other tiling supplies. I spent a few hours a night working on the tile.

I started by cutting the tile to a dry fit, then applied the tile using a V-notch trowel and thinset.

I had to cut some corner tiles and didn’t need to get too close to the toilet.

Then, I applied grout and waited 24 hours to survey the final product. I found that the grout shrunk after 24 hours, so I proceeded to apply more grout. Luckily, the next night (the night before our maiden voyage), the grout was perfect and we were able to seal it.

Here is the finished product. We are still working on the sink and tub skirting, but that will come soon.

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So Christie and I decided to sleep in Airstreamy a few weeks ago. We got so excited about taking it out for trips that we wanted to know what it would be like! We turned the AC down to 60…..brrrrrr. We brought blankets, pillows, a TV, computer and popcorn out into the airstream for a movie night sleepover.  We watched Home Alone 2…..my favorite movie ever is Home Alone, but we misplaced the dvd. We even brought out some fall decorations. The funny thing is that there was no working water in the trailer, so we didn’t get the full experience of camping. I can’t wait until we have running water…faucets and toilet! I figure it will be pretty infrequent that we use the shower, but that will be fun, once it is hooked up.

We realized that we’ll need some good window coverings and lots of blankets, when we go camping for real in November. We have been planning our maiden voyage and booked our first RV location at Malibu RV Park. We have a whirlwind of stuff that we have to do before we take the trailer anywhere. We plan to visit family in Pasadena for Thanksgiving and spend a day at Disneyland (should be decorated for Christmas, as of November 12th!).

This is a photo of the Malibu RV Park….looks heavenly!

I am trying to find good tutorials for making the old school curtains that came in the airstream originally. We have the upper and bottom tracks, and we ordered the glides that attach to the curtains. I haven’t settled on a fabric yet…I think I need to get something thicker than I was originally planning. As long as I can figure out the pleats, we’ll be set.

My goal is to have them look something like this (Photos from Pinterest):

I have been trying t find cute vintage-esque vinyl tiles for the bathroom and could only find good ones with like $100 shipping, since I was only ordering a small quantity! So, I went out into our pool house today and grabbed some leftover blue mosaic tile we had from our hall bathroom remodel. I laid it out to see how it would look….very hard to get a good visual of it, but I am excited. It is lightweight, basically cost $0 and is ready to install as soon as Matt elevates the floor 3/4 inch. He thinks the floor needs support back there and I think the tile will lay easier on a nice new subfloor! I’ll be finishing up cosmetic stuff inside, while Matt handles all the big stuff.

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We have owned Airstreamy for about 1.5 months and keep working on getting her ready for the road. Our custom-order black and grey water tanks arrived a couple days ago. We now have the task of installing them, which should be a lot of fun (not!). Since this airstream was lived in, a lot of the traveling components were discarded, by a prior owner. We haven’t been able to test the plumbing yet. We have heard the water pump turn on when we use the control center on button, but we haven’t filled the water tank. The waste tank install is a major hurdle to getting us on the road. We also have to take the airstream in for service to have all our gas appliances pressure-tested, to ensure they are safe for use. We hope to do that in the next couple weeks.

There aren’t many things that Christie and I can do in the trailer, as we have no mechanical knowledge whatsoever. We’re good on the cosmetic/design side. We’ve been hunting for some good drapery fabric, but still coming up slim on options. Most of the patterns we find are too busy, so we think we’ll go with a simple off white. I put together a $10 table I got at Ikea for a coffee table; It’ll work just perfect. We got all the ceiling lights working and bought brand new plastic covers for them. The covers don’t fit properly, so we have to make a few adjustments to the power knobs to get them to fit snug. I got the old speakers all painted and ready to be installed, but Matt thinks we should get new ones. Speakers are low on my priority list, as we can just bring a stereo with us. I have been spray painting the screen door silver and working on some kitchen solutions. I wish there was a way to repair our existing kitchen cabinet tambour doors, but they are in rough shape. We might build new cabinet doors or buy new tambour…we haven’t decided yet. Here’s some updated progress photos:

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I guess it is a good thing that I suck at measuring things. In an effort to get the sofa bed to fit where it is supposed to fit, we decided to take out the side living room cabinet with the 8 track player (*tear*). We had noticed a small area of rot in an inaccessible area behind the cabinet. So, we picked up from 23/32″ plywood (really Lowes, no 5/8″ plywood?!….geez) to repair the damage. We were able to replace the damaged plywood in 2 of the areas and used bondo by the door. Matt sanded the bondo and got dust evvveeerrrryyywwwhhhheeerrrreeee! I was so sad because I had been cleaning this airstream for weeks now (assuming demo was done!). He redeemed himself by thoroughly cleaning the sofa and floors. I primed and painted the wall that was behind the cabinet. Next, we have to caulk the edges of the floor where the patches are and install the new flooring over it.

We’re making progress with other projects. We ordered new blackwater and graywater tanks today. They are being custom made and should be here in 4-6 weeks. I feel like making a paper chain counting down the days because that is a long time to wait!!

We got the 1974 AC working for about 1 minute. We’re pretty sure it’s gonna be trash because A) It is impossible to find someone locally to work on it, B) It uses R-11 refrigerant, which is basically for sale at the price of gold, and, C) We could spend $450 and get a brand new one a lot easier than trying to fix this one.

Christie and I priced out fabrics for curtains. I am not in love with any of the patterns available locally, so I am researching some good modern fabrics online, but we might just go with $.99/yard muslin and possibly use it as a liner, once we find some rad fabric for curtains.

I cleaned the inside of all the kitchen cabinets….all I can say is EW. Gross. Yucky.

I’m thinking we could be ready for camping in about 30-45 days, depending on when our waste water tanks come in. Or, we can find a KOA with bathroom facilities and take airstreamy out sooner. Can’t wait!

Here are some photos of what we’ve been up to over the last few days:

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This project sounds easier than it was. We bought a sofa bed ‘site-to-store’ from Walmart called the Atherton Home Manhattan Convertible Futon Sofa Bed and Lounger (Pearl color) for $269. It had great reviews and was the cheapest, nicest looking one we could find online. We picked up the sofa in a big box last night that barely fit in the back of Matt’s Expedition. We decided to wait for daylight to move the sofa into the airstream. We kept it wrapped and carefully wiggled it inside. Once inside we had to install the short little legs and figure out the ‘click-clack’ function. The sofa bed can be a sofa, double chaise lounge or a bed, with a couple clicks. We got it all put together and tried to squeeze it into the area it was supposed to go….it didn’t fit! Boo! I took measurements before buying the sofa to ensure it would fit, but what I didn’t account for was the slight curve at the front of the airstream, which strips us of 1-2″ of square space.  The sofa base is square and can’t be changed. So, in the meantime, we have it set up as a double chaise. Matt is going to do some measurements to see if it will fit snugly, if we cut the countertop to the side back a little bit. It sure does make the space look cleaner and newer. Every project gets us a step closer to a modernized airstream. Don’t mind the filthy floors in the photos….we just finished laying them last night. We still have some trim pieces to install before they’re finished.

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The airstream definitely needed new flooring; the existing vinyl flooring was worn and didn’t match the retro trailer. Once we started taking up the vinyl flooring, we realized it was not only glued down (and super sticky), but it was also nailed down. We spent a while sanding the sticky floor with 3 sanders and removed all the nails. I had originally thought of sanding the plywood smooth and painting a glossy white finish over it, but the time and cost associated with that project made me think more towards traditional floors. I really wanted white flooring, but Christie and Matt talked me into a dark wood laminate instead, which they said will be easier to keep clean. We got 7 boxes of the Tundra dark brown laminate from Ikea, which should be enough to cover the living area and bedrooms. The cost per/sq ft is $1.15, so it ended up being a very cost-effective improvement.

We are about 1/3 of the way done with the flooring. Matt hurt his back yesterday, so we are on a short hiatus until he recovers. I’ve been cleaning the inside of cabinets and working on little projects on the inside. I have to locate a light-weight modern/contemporary flooring for the bathroom and find a good fabric for the drapery this week. We have a new sleeper-sofa coming on Friday, which will get us another step closer to getting this trailer out of town. We also just got the owner’s/service manual in the mail. We are looking at dimensions for the blackwater and graywater tanks, so we can get those installed asap.  This week is expected to be HOT…some forecasts say up to 116 degrees. Until we have our 30 amp circuit installed in the garage, we won’t be able to test and/or fix the AC unit. I am counting down the days to AC!!!

UPDATE 8/24/11: We have finished laying the flooring in the living space and bedroom area. We just have to install some trim pieces and transitions.

Here are some before and progress photos of the flooring:

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