Today we continued to gut the trailer, ripping out the rest of the cabinets, seating and walls. The walls were originally plywood, but over the years have separated into many thin sheets instead of one solid piece. So the majority of the day was spent tearing off layer after layer. Under about a billion layers of wood was the original framing and insulation. Let me tell you, that fiberglass insulation gets EVERYWHERE and is super itchy. Happy to be (almost) done with it.
The frame of the trailer had water damage as we were expecting. Some areas we knew would have damage like under the windows and where the leaky water tank was. The curb side wall framing is in great condition. We will only have to replace one or two small pieces of wood. The majority of the damage is on the street side around the windows and corners.
We took out the back window. It had a ton of water damage around the frame and the glass was broken. I’m hoping to replace it with a larger window that opens. The other windows seem to be in good enough shape.
The piece of wood framing that runs along the top corner of the shell had entirely rotted to the point that it just flaked apart when touched. This specific rotted piece of wood makes everything a little bit more complicated. We will likely have to carefully take off the top shell of the trailer to replace the wood and patch the leak in the shell. Taking the shell off isn’t difficult, but it can easily be damaged in the process or in the meantime when it’s being stored away.
As we were taking the plywood off of the framing, we noticed some of the screws were drilled in from the outside. This means that the interior of the trailer was built first and then the shell was wrapped around the framing. Unlike airstreams, all the cabinets and seating and countertops (and everything else) was built without having to fit through a tiny doorway. Unless we take the shell off, we’re going to have to build everything while inside of that teeny-tiny trailer. Might be a little challenging.
Meanwhile, we applied some paint stripped (Citristipper gel) to the exterior, just to get an idea of how long it would take and what the skin looked like underneath. I was pleasantly surprised to find gold trim (brass, probably?) on the shell of the trailer. I haven’t seen anything similar to it in other canned hams. Hopefully the trim around the entirety of the trailer is in good condition and it’s not just one weird section of gold trim. We only got to a small portion of it today, though. We also bought a pressure washer to help strip the paint (and because pressure washers are amazing) so that should be here sometime next week.
I have to say, taking the trailer apart makes me feel like this is actually not going to be that hard because the whole thing is held together with 1x3’s and some staples. The construction is so simple. The water, electrical and gas lines are minimal. I know saying this is probably going to come back and bite me in the ass in like a week, but for the time being, I’m feeling super confident and excited about this project!
I just have to keep telling myself "It literally can't get any uglier from here on out". Because, really. Look at that poor lil' bean.