AIRSTREAM RENO WEEK 3 & 4

It’s been about 2 weeks since my last update on Caroline. The reason being the air compressor we needed to rent to sandblast the frame was being repaired. The mechanic took his sweet time fixing it which delayed us a week or so.

Before we started sandblasting.

While we patiently waited for the air compressor, we managed to tint (with many profanities and practice) 3 windows… and of the 3 windows we tinted, we are keeping one of them. There are TONS of tiny bubbles on the first one and the 2nd one Talulah (one of our Frenchies) decided to trample on. Evidently she wasn’t impressed with our tint job on that one either.

Rust, rust and more rust! 🙁

We FINALLY acquired both the sandblaster and the air compressor this past weekend. We did manage to finish it in 2 days but not without several issues (most of which were self inflicted). The biggest snag being that neither one of us had experience with a sandblaster that big… and we had a very limited idea on how to get it unclogged (who knew the top of the hose came off… duh)!!

We bought 14 100lb bags of medium grade sand to start with. We loaded the sandblaster up with 3 bags only to find out it kept clogging. After fighting with it for about an hour, Blake eventually got it working again for another 45 minutes. 🙁 Then it was clogged yet again! *Side note for all of you that know all things sandblasting – we were told over and over again that it was ‘too wet’ and that’s why it was clogging… WELL! Let me tell you! There was NO moisture or humidity – we are in the desert!

After several hours of this, we decided to rally up some of the locals to pick their brains on any tips and tricks. We were told that the sand we had purchased (specifically for a sandblaster, mind you) was ‘too big.’ So with that in mind, we went to Tractor Supply and purchased silica – based on the recommendation of a fellow RVer at our park who swore that was the issue. Blake dumped all the sand out of the sand blaster and put in the new and improved sand. It worked great but the silica went EVERYWHERE and it hurt!! It was super abrasive. We then decided to mix the two sands together and see what would happen. It worked great then too. Turns out the medium sand we bought was just fine. The sandblaster was clogged when we got it – we didn’t do the clogging. We also found out that the tip of the hose comes off and there was a big rock in there that was causing it to clog. Total rookie mistake but no one told us the tip came off. Blake found out because he was very, VERY disgruntled and just tore it off!

There was a whole lotta dust!

Overall, sandblasting was a success! But we won’t be playing this game ever again. If we ever do another restoration, we will be happily paying someone else to do this dirty job. Although, I really did fancy our outfits!

We almost look like we belong in the Breaking Bad sequel! 😛

Caroline’s frame is now at the welders to get repaired. Once all the rust was gone, we could really see what needed attention. Most of the outriggers will need to be replaced (one even fell off). The whole rear end of the frame where the bathroom and tanks lived is getting rebuilt and we are adding additional support. Some of the spots that were welded by the factory many, many moons ago we done terribly so we are getting that fixed as well. She definitely needs some TLC! Blake also persuaded them into painting the whole frame while it’s there – another dirty job tactfully avoided!

We are about 4 weeks in and have made some decent progress. We are SUPER excited to get her back from the welder, put the subfloor down and get her shell back on!! 🙂 I can not WAIT until she’s put back together!

I will make an update as soon as we get her back from the welder. So, stay tuned! 😀

MORE PHOTOS FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE!

Blake had sandblasted only the first bit of the frame – you can see the difference.
90% completed.
The finished product! We left the very rear alone because it’s getting chopped and replaced.

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