The Writing Studio: Airstream Bathroom Demolition

As the story goes, in December we bought the 31′ Airstream Sovereign (1971) for a song, but we knew we’d find surprises. First surprise? The bathroom floor was rotten. Completely. Why? Because the hot water heater was busted and had at some juncture leaked all over and in between the flooring (and the insulation, and so forth). It’s been a long process and Dad’s done all the work, but since we’re switching to a composting toilet, not only did he have to remove the rotten floor and blackwater tank, he then had to rebuild a wooden frame for the flooring (where the blackwater tank used to be) and attach it to the existing steel frame.
Bathroom on the day of purchase (left) and bathroom a few weeks later (right).
Second surprise? The frame was mighty rusty…
Bathroom in mid-demolition (left) and bathroom with all components removed to reveal rusty frame (right)
But thanks to this product called POR 15 (and a mild winter that allowed Dad to apply the treatment), the steel frame is now rust-free and stronger than it’s been in years. We thought we might have to replace or weld a beam or two–not so. They say Airstreams are built to last and when it comes to the frame, that much has indeed proven true.
Steel frame treated with POR 15 and the start of Dad’s wooden frame (left); Wooden frame completed (right)
Yesterday, Dad cut the first slab of pressure-treated plywood for the flooring and today he bought a piece of galvanized sheet metal and insulation. All the pieces of the “sandwich” are on hand…now we just need to get everything perfectly trimmed and lined up, secure the flashing, and dare I say the first major demo and restoration of this here Airstream might be complete! Meantime, I’m researching sleeper sofas, marveling at the wood pile, and trying to save pennies with arts writing and Monthly Fiction to contribute to the fund.
Today’s Monthly Fiction excerpt is from “Poo Mission”:
When we got back to the main room, most of the guys were asleep. I could hear Ruiz snoring and right next to him laid Sergeant Fisher, twitching away in some sort of half sleep. It’s an odd thing, seeing your squad so vulnerable like that. They almost looked like strangers—my brothers, my fellow Marines—the way the moonlight cast a blue light across their bodies. It made them look holy. More than anything, it made them look dead. (Read the rest of this story…)

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