Well, I am coming off 7 straight work days – catering here, there and everywhere. There are times when my three jobs conspire to pull my attention, reluctantly, from Sparta. But she is patient and has waited years for this rebirth. Besides, this is Wine Country, and I’ve got to make hay (and bread) while the sun shines.
We were last discussing sealing up the trailer’s many presumed leaks, so that future flooring work is not damaged by the elements. At the moment, that means making sure every window (and there are 20 of them) and skylight (exactly one) are water-tight. Once that is done I will bring on the garden hose and create a mini monsoon to shower the exterior while having a friend monitor the interior for leaks, labeling each with a sharpie. Window fixes are pretty straight-forward and readily identified. Skin seam leaks, on the other hand, are a bit trickier – both in terms of their identification/locating and their solution. We’ve all seen RVs with obvious roof patches. You know, the ones where globs of sealant ooze like dried toothpaste from the many breaches. That is not the look I’m going for. I need to find a product that is inconspicuous and still effective.
A brief digression while I share my love of Amazon. As I mentioned a few posts ago, my hiatus from trailer work was necessitated by my past indiscretions. As a result of these same offences, the California DMV deemed me unfit to drive, at least temporarily (ouch, stupid me). Ok, you get the picture. Thank God for Amazon Prime! Last week I received by courier/mail a plethora of goodies helpful to this project, some of which would have been difficult to find and transport on the back of my bike. I searched, found and purchased, with free delivery, some great stuff. I got a gallon of aluminum restorer (Aluminox), 100 feet of self-sticking window stripping, respirator replacement filters, wire brushes, steel wool and “Captain Tolley’s Creeping Crack Cure”. I shit you not – creeping crack cure. No, this is not yet another dubious rehab option for those over-indulging in that insidious version of cocaine, it is actually a British product used for boat repair in the damp and inhospitable North Atlantic. It is a liquid that is runny enough (as the name suggests) to infiltrate seams in the aluminum skin while drying to a hard, impenetrable clear finish. Sounds good…we shall see and I will show you the results later.
But, back to windows. As the last blog mentioned “improvements”, this is now the point where I transition from demolishing certain aspects about Sparta and begin incremental progress towards her beautification and renewal. Although she is far from a butterfly, she is now a chrysalis – making the change from eyesore to asset. The many windows are a vital first step and can only be restored with good old-fashioned elbow grease and the miracle of opposable thumbs. Here are the basic steps I have undertaken over the past couple of days to restore their functionality and beauty. First, I unhinged the windows from their frames which also required decoupling them from their crank mechanisms. Second, I removed the rusty steel sliders from each window (where the window crank arm slides) and immersed them (along with their little rusty screws) into watered-down acid (Aluminox). Third, I vigorously wired-brushed all windows front/back/edge to removed encrusted gradoo and oxidation, followed with an orange cleaner bath. Fourth, I rinsed the sliders of acid (after an overnight soak) and first primed and then painted them with Krylon rust converter and silver paint. This probably sounds like overkill, at least as it relates to the minor slider parts, but the deeper I get into this project, the most fastidious grows my attention to detail. Check out these pics: