Magdalene, Week 2 Renovation



It’s always so refreshing to take a weekend off + enjoy family time. Zach normally works 6 days a week so when we took a 3 day weekend off to spend time with my in-laws, Zach actually crashed. He fell asleep on the floor in the living room at our rental because its been so long since we truly had nothing on the to-do list. Make sure you check out our video on youtube of our fun weekend in Mountain View, AR!

After our weekend it was hard to get back in the groove of working. We took off Monday and went to Conway to get more supplies from our second home, aka Home Depot. We picked out our flooring + paint colors.


We also had a guy come out last Friday to give us a budget on polishing Magdalene. It was a good price, but I don’t know if we have it in the budget, so as of now we are leaning on polishing it ourselves. The Airstream doesn’t look like much has been done to it, but Zach has been constantly working. Replacing subfloor where needed and treating it with a moisture barrier, trial fitting the bathroom subfloor and temporarily installing it, fabricating a new galvanized holding tank box, wire wheeling the frame to prep for paint, and lots of other tasks here and there. 

Zach making a template for the new subfloor. That was how much the old toilet leak rotted the original subfloor.

Zach making a template for the new subfloor. That was how much the old toilet leak rotted the original subfloor.

For treating the new subfloor and eventually the original we chose to use Flood CWF-UV penetrating wood finish. Not only is it a water repellent, but it provides a mildew-resistant finish to go along with its Acrylic/Oil resin that provides durability. We figured that if this wood finish is suitable enough for the outdoors then it will be perfect- if not more than perfect to protect the subfloor from any possible future leaks. 


As for fabricating the new galvanized box, Zach had some 22ga ordered from our friend Andrew over @darkthreatfabrication. Going through a metal fab shop is much easier and friendlier on your wallet than going directly through the supplier. In order to bend and fabricate the box Zach asked his dad to bring up his old metal break that his dad used to fabricate a/c duct work and a/c pans. Zach had been around this break since he was a kid so using it would be a piece of cake. I asked Zach how long it would take him to make the box and he said a day.. I thought surely it wouldn’t take that long and that possibly Zach was joking. Once Zach started it took about 2 hours tops. He mentioned that he was totally over-thinking the whole thing and finally something clicked. All that was left to do once the metal was bent was to rivet the sides to the main pan and then cut holes for the waste valve and the hose to heat the tank in this ’68 year model. 

Replacing the rear subfloor turned out to be a tad bit easier than Zach expected. He was worried because we did not have a true template from the epic toilet leak. But he used the subfloor that was there and also used the rear C channel to see the exact curve and shape. This worked very well. He made a template from a cheap piece of luan and then transferred it to the 19/32 plywood. The hardest part of the whole process was ensuring it would fit.. With our Sovereign we did a shell off, so this shell on thing was new to him. Not only is the shell on, but the closet and other cabinets are still in place. Zach finally was able to get the plywood in place and it fit perfectly- with the help of a bottle jack to lift the shell a bit so the plywood would slide nicely into the C channel. Next is to remove the plywood and paint on the Flood penetrating wood finish.

As mentioned earlier, we are leaning towards polishing Magdalene ourselves to save a bit of money. We are still on the fence because we know the polisher is a professional and use to this task and can do it in a timely fashion. We would probably take a bit longer to polish. SO with that said, did you polish your trailer yourselves?? What did you use? How long did it take you? Was it an easy skill to learn? And if you had it done by a professional, were you happy? Could you have done it yourself after watching? Let us know! We still need to shine our Sovereign or use a brightener.. Decisions Decisions.. 

My parents + I took the kids to Little Rock to do the river bike trail + the Big Dam bridge. Then we went to the Little Rock Zoo. We had a blast!

Ezra + Harvey are at the shop everyday to help along the way. Harvey started walking around the shop this week + I officially have my hands FULL.

Meet Magdalene, Our 1968 Airstream Ambassador

We recently felt God lead us into a new season of renovating Airstreams. We are so excited, but scared to death! Meet Magdalene, our 1968 Airstream Ambassador. She is 28 feet + in excellent condition. We purchased Magdalene in Quitman, TX and she towed beautifully back home. The '68 year models were the last of the squared windows on the sides. The '68s also were the only year models to have spray foam underneath the subfloor. The spray foam under Magdalene seemed to have helped her frame out by not letting moisture in the belly pan. Her frame was night and day difference from the frame on our Airstream. She was a very well kept trailer. Only downfall was the bathroom floor was sagging and she had a bit of rear end separation. Come to find out, that rear end separation was due to a leak from the toilet which resulted in the main hold down bolts being rusted away. The toilet leak was something was not undiscovered from previous owners. And I know this from the discovery I found once removing the toilet. There were 4 metal street signs holding the toilet up. You really can't say "lazy" because the owners did some work.. Smart?? NO! But with all of that behind us, we are more than ready to bring her back to life so she can adventure for another 50 years. She had original appliances that all worked besides the refrigerator, but we opted to give her an update. The original cabinets were in great shape so we decided to use them and just freshen up with some paint. Magdalene will have an extreme makeover by the time we are done with her. We are hoping to get her a beautiful shine to make her more noticeable! She deserves it after all. So stay tuned and follow along our journey of revamping/refurbishing/renovating this beauty- whatever you'd like to call it! We can't wait for you to see the final product. 

Magdalene Back

PS. Don't judge our first youtube video! We realized our mistake too late + decided to roll with it! (Laugh with us, not at us)

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