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Archive for the ‘kitchen’ Category

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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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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Yesterday our friend Christine and her son Espen came over. They came right before a big dust storm hit, so we had to close up the airstream while the storm rolled through. This morning we worked on installing new electrical outlets and covers to continue with the crisp white updates. We also took down the 70s wall speakers and spray-painted the yellowed plastic white. The speaker grills look like little chocolate bars…I wanna eat them. We have to connect a couple wires up to see if the 8 track player works. We’ll probably work on that tomorrow.

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We have been throwing around ideas for how to renovate an airstream, long before we actually bought one. We first thought we would gut the interior and start from scratch. That would be the easiest way to get a fresh modern-looking interior. However, we don’t want to sink $5,000+ into the airstream, if we don’t have to. We figured out that we are going to try to salvage any of the walnut finishes throughout and work off that wood tone for decorating. I’m sure we’ll think of more work that needs to be done, but these are our priority items for the renovation:

Kitchen

-Paint walls and ceilings white (done)

-Clean the cooktop, sink and stove (sink and stove done)

-Clean the inside of all cabinets

-Replace ceiling light panel with new white one

-Replace the worn and broken tambour fronts on the kitchen cabinetry

-Replace the cracked countertop with a white, orange or green laminate

-Install new drapery

-Replace receptacles and covers with decora white ones

-Install a new RV refrigerator

-Install new dark wood laminate flooring

Living Area

-Paint walls and ceilings white (done)

-Clean the inside of all cabinets

-Install new dark wood laminate flooring

-Replace ceiling light panel with new white one

-Replace the front reading lights with silver ‘bullet-style’ sconce covers

-Install new drapery

-Replace receptacles and covers with decora white ones

-Replace the 8 track player with a stereo and aux jack (we’ll keep the 8 track player, in case we decide to ever use it again)

-Install a wall mounted long countertop with a pull out dining table (Matt will make this piece)

-Install a sofa bed (one that can be turned into a lounger, sofa and bed)

-Get a couple comfy chairs for lounging or dining

-Spray paint the speaker surrounds white to match the new white paint throughout

Bedroom Area

-Paint walls and ceilings white (done)

-Install new beds (done)

-Clean the inside of all cabinets

-Replace ceiling light panel with new white one

-Replace missing window screens

-Get new pull trim piece for tamboured cabinet door

-Install new center support beams for twin to queen mattress conversion

-Get bedding and pillows for the new beds

-Replace receptacles and covers with decora white ones

-Install new drapery

-Install new dark wood laminate flooring

Bathroom

-Paint walls and ceiling white (done)

-Epoxy bathtub, sink and counters (done)

-Install new large pebble, mosaic tile or retro thick linoleum flooring

-Install matchstick bath and sink skirting

-Change out the cracked amber plexiglass in shower door for new opaque plexiglass and paint brass frame silver

-Change out bathtub fixture

-Change out sink faucet

-Install new RV toilet (just arrived today from Amazon)

Mechanicals/Systems

-Remove evaporative cooler from roof and patch roof with riveted metal (hopefully happening tomorrow)

-Set up a battery charger

-Re-key the door and all outside storage bins (done)

-Install a 30 amp receptacle in our garage to provide enough power to test the AC (currently the 15 amp one doesn’t provide enough power)

-Install a missing black water tank

-Install a missing gray water tank

-Install 2 new propane tanks

-Get the old suburban heater, stove and cooktop checked out professional

-Install a new water heater

-Install new window and door seals (ordered from out of doors mart online)

-Replace burnt out light bulbs inside and out

-Check all plumbing

-Check all electrical

-Replace the awning

-Buff and polish the exterior

We’re making good progress in the short 8 days we’ve owned it.

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After everything was primed throughout, we painted with Olympic no voc paint in a natural white. It is amazing what a difference paint makes!

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This is still a work-in-progress, but many Mr. clean magic erasers and steel wool pads later, the cooktop is looking better. We bought some oven cleaner which we are going to use to finish the job of polishing up the stainless steel cooktop.

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