Well we had a pretty busy weekend, and got lots of work done on the trailer. We focused first on prep work, getting all the badges and vents off the body and placing them in tidy labeled Ziploc bags. We got about half the screws out of the body, starting with the front and curbside, and were just saying how great things were moving along when we moved around to the back side. We quickly realized that the back and the streetside had gotten the brunt of the weather over the years, and most of the screws were rusted away to nothingness. We couldn’t get them out with the tools that we had with us – at least, not in a way that wouldn’t result in tears, swearing, and gnashing of teeth. We ordered some specialty pliers and we’ll see if they work as promised! We saw great reviews from folks who had used them on their trailers. We hope so – we don’t want to have to drill them all out.
Until then, we did what we could. We got all the screws out of the front window, and got it out without any difficulty. That’s when we got out first look at the water damage to the frame. It wasn’t as bad as we’d been afraid of, but we’ll definitely have to replace part of the frame around the front window. We also got the fridge vents off both the top and side. The vent on the top had been damaged, and as we’d previously posted we’d gotten a replacement… which, it turns out, didn’t fit. The other thing that didn’t fit was our screwdriver – apparently there’s a special RV screw head that we hadn’t known about. But after a quick trip to the hardware store for a new screwdriver, and a long battle with loads of caked on sealant, the roof vent did come off. We’ll have to bend the vent we’ve got back into shape, which won’t be that difficult. There are lots of parts on this beauty that we’ll need to bend back into shape!
Once the vents were off, we could see the rotted plywood both underneath the fridge and up in the ceiling where the water had been seeping in. However, the frame doesn’t look too bad so far, just a little soft in spots. The worst frame damage we’ve seen is definitely around the window. We’re expecting to see the same thing on the other sides, once we can get the rest of the screws out.
We’ll resume work at the end of the month, building scaffolding so we can get to the main roof vent and antenna. Meanwhile, we’ll polish all the badges we brought home… She’s going to be one shiny trailer!