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Posts Tagged ‘flooring’

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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Christie and I have been dreaming of going camping, so we decided to get serious about getting the airstream camp-ready. We basically took a long hiatus because the Airstream needs SO much work. We decided to focus on the plumbing, as this is the system that needs the most work. We already have the toilet. Today we went to Camping World to pick up supplies for installing the toilet. We bought black and gray water tanks last year. We need to mount them, which requires a lot of work. It’s amazing how much goes into making all the systems work. A 70s airstream like a classic car and a old house combined; repairs aren’t always as simple as they seem.

After a lot of research, we decided against getting a tankless water heater for the airstream. The reviews online are surprisingly bad. I was looking forward to reducing the trailer weight and contributing to a green renovation, but all research pointed to an LP 6 gallon water heater. We bought our new Suburban water heater through PPLmotorhomes.com. We’ll be spray-painting the new exterior door silver, so it matches the airstream.

I took some photos of Airstreamy today, as motivation to get it on the road! Can’t wait to go glamping! It’s sooooo dusty inside…time to clean!

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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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We knew the gross vinyl flooring needed to be removed, so that was our first project. We had to pull a lot of staples and nails from the plywood subfloor, but we found the plywood to be in really great shape overall. We sanded the plywood to remove the sticky mastic that was left behind. There are a couple small areas we are going to patch, prior to installing new wood laminate floors. We hope to start working on the new floors in a couple of days.

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