I have good news for anyone sleeping in an Airstream bed… or at least a center double bed in a 1978 Argosy. You are safe. Your bed will not collapse, and there is no possible way that funny looking wall light over your head is going to fall on you.
I know this after a combined two-hour effort trying to remove the center gaucho bed and later deciding that the weird light fixture needed to go away right then and there.
The first part of the bed removal went great – pull off the cushions, try to not touch the nasty one that wasn’t reupholstered with the others, play with the slide mechanisms until you figure out that you have to raise the upper slides vertically and wiggle them out of the lower slides. Easy peasy.
Then I was left with the base, which is basically a lightweight metal frame, a laminate covered front with a thin plywood floor, and three tambour doors. Three or four screws into the wall over the wheel well and it was as wiggly as a loose tooth… and just as attached. After 10 minutes of wiggling (the frame, not me) I found more screws going into the end cap attached to the bathroom wall. Still attached.
After 10 more minutes of wiggling I found the giant metal L brackets holding it to the floor. In my defense, they were mostly hidden by the leftover carpet padding. Then came more cussing, pulling out screws, wiggling, cussing, pulling out screws… you get the picture.
One thing I’ve learned so far is there are really only four things required to tear the innards out of an Airstream… a GOOD screwdriver, a hammer and chisel (or giant rasp in my case) to pop rivets loose, and a healthy vocabulary of profanity. Luckily I’m well equipped with the latter after years on a construction site. If the Jehovah’s Witnesses ever show up while I’m working out there I guarantee they’ll leave and mark the end of the driveway to warn the others.
So at this point I have the bed completely detached from the wall finally, and I’ve done my victory dance. Unfortunately even though it’s really lightweight it’s just large and awkward enough that I know better than to try to get it out of the camper and into the basement by myself. So just like the refrigerator, it’s detached and waiting on one of two things: Some unsuspecting person to wander through the yard and be lured into helping me with the promise of non-existent cookies, or me to get my druthers up (I think they’re in the trunk of the car) and decide to get them out on my own.
The next day I wandered out to survey my new kingdom and decided that taking the bedroom wall light out couldn’t be so hard, I’d just grab a screwdriver and pull that down while I was standing there.
Airstream did not want that light fixture coming down. They liked it and wanted it to remain a permanent part of history.
After much investigation of the seemingly floating fixture, I finally found two screws in the top and took those out, assuming in my naivety that it would nearly fall off the wall then.
No. It took another 15 minutes to wiggle it off of the GIANT metal bracket it was snugly clinging onto.
After finally wiggling the cover off and snipping the wires with a pair of pruning shears (I got creative) I was down to removing the bracket. Which was riveted to the wall. Seven times.
That’s right. That less than one pound weighing light fixture was held up with seven rivets. Time for the rasp and the hammer. At this point I was so determined that I forgot to take any pictures… you’ll just have to trust me.
After wedging myself awkwardly between the scooted out bed frame, the hot water heater, and the wheel well, I set about popping the rivets off. There was a lot of grunting and some more cussing, but eventually I managed to free the bracket from its confinement without breaking any of the bulbs or any of my fingers.
Victory is mine.
Yesterday a lovely friend wandered unknowingly into the yard and ended up leaving with her truck bed full of carpet and window blinds, so now the pile of crap that resided in front of the couch is gone and I can set about figuring out how to fix that subfloor up front without tearing the whole kitchen out.
In other news this week, I ordered a replacement vent fan for the bathroom, some curtain hardware, and new sink drains from Vintage Trailer Supply, which has quickly become my new favorite website. And they sell gift certificates, in case anyone was curious. I’m also on the hunt for a used refrigerator to replace the tiny model that came with this floor plan, I’ve found a few prospects so far but no winners. And I put together my Home Depot list of supplies for the fun parts of this remodel… paint, flooring, faucets, and possibly one really cute rug I couldn’t say no to. I still have quite a bit to do before I get to those parts, but there’s nothing wrong with a little planning. My awesome brother also stopped by to move Dharma from her awkward position at the end of the driveway, so as soon as I fix the cord and get an outlet set up I’ll be ready to plug her in and test the important stuff.