Elvis Has The Floor

Since the Makel’s have been able to move out their ’52 Grumman, Elvis has the floor where the Grumman used to be.  Using some of Dave’s photos along with a few of mine, I’ll try to backtrack and bring the blog up to speed in one fell swoop.  I’ll try to go in sequence, but forgive me if something seems out of order.
The old beltline strips have been made like new again.
The last work on the drip caps, including the 10 foot piece for the streetside, is done.  I never thought that .  .  .
.  .  . could look like this.  Many thanks to Joey and Dave’s TIG welding skills.
Elvis has been flipped, more than once.  Belly-up at least once for the belly pan work among other things.
Not totally understanding everything, I can’t explain the entire process.
But I recognize Cleco’s and freshly-rolled banana wraps.
Some fine craftsmanship has been used to fabricate new corner wraps as well.
Here is an upside-down detail of the step area at the door.  Dave says the step tracks in the outriggers are a prime place for clever mice and such to slip into a nice warm belly pan.
So he has fabricated what I call “critter caps” which will enclose the outriggers adjacent to the entry steps thus eliminating this rodent entry point.
Both sets of Ultrafab Power Twin stabilizing jacks have been placed and locations marked for final installation.
Access panels for the fresh and gray holding tanks have been designed and fitted.
The tank holding brackets with double-walled insulation are off to the side waiting for the final installation.
The dump valve disasters I’ve had with the Tradewind won’t be an issue with Elvis.  All but the knife valve opening will be above the belly, as it should be.  Dave created a strong, fully-sleeved exit point in the streetside frame for the poop chute.
No contorted maze of ABS to “make things work” either (click here if you’re wondering what I’m talking about).  When the appropriate configuration isn’t available, Dave makes it himself, a custom job that WILL work.
Flipped right-side up again to start on the subfloor.
First layer, a reflective sheet of insulation.
I can’t remember the name or the manufacturer, but here is what the roll looks like.
Next, the plywood subfloor.   If I remember correctly, wood biscuits were used in the process.  Dave says many of the older Airstream plywood subfloors had trouble with glue failure and separation.  His method is improved over the original for a solid piece that will hold over time.
With all the plywood down Elvis looks big enough to hold a barn dance.  Now for more measuring, trimming, adjusting, etc.
A floor sandwich.  I believe the top layer is a template.  Dave indicated that the corner radius cut of Elvis is different compared to any others he has done, a different arc maybe?  That comes back in to the lateral edges at either a shorter (or was it greater) distance? Unfortunately, our conversation about that was several months ago and I can’t exactly remember the detail.  Maybe this is characteristic of 13 panels, but Dave has restored 13 paneled ‘Streams before.
Next, the cork underlayment made from cork composite. The corner radius does look different from my Tradewind.  Would this explain why Elvis feels so roomy inside under the endcaps?  I don’t think he slopes in as much as others.
 Now for the final layer of natural cork tile.  I love it.
When I left the end of June, Dave and Joey were wrapping up the last of the tile.  At some point, a few coats of protective sealer will be added.  A sheet of something (forgot what) will be put over the floor for damage protection while the rest of the trailer is completed. I believe the next steps are stubbing out any drains or other utilities, loading the belly with the holding tanks, etc.
So Elvis has the floor, in more ways than one.  Before I left, I walked back into Elvis’s shell.  Most of the interior panels have been removed revealing the underside of his skin.
This is the stuff that Airstream dreams are made of.

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