We did some major cleaning this weekend and Alice had never looked better. Plus, with the discovery of another dead mouse, Alice is one dead mouse closer to being mice free. The whole mice thing would be so much easier if I just knew when we would be done discovering them.
Mice in an Airstream is like being in a haunted house. You know there is some underpaid teenager in a horrible, plastic mask just waiting to jump out from behind a corner and scare the piss out of you, but you just don’t know when it will happen. This weekend’s dead mouse took me by surprise because I was just sweeping the area between the AC/DC converter box and the batteries where we have swept a half-dozen times before. With every stage of demo more pink insulation falls and I think that little mouse was decomposing behind the end cap and fell to the ground when Tim demoed the end cap. Enough talk about mice? Yeah… I think so too.
So we cleaned. Our method was this: Wet insulation with a squirt bottle filled with just plain ol’ H2O and once it was wetted down enough that it didn’t float through the air in tiny little lung killing particles we would start to scrub with a “heavy-duty” scotch scrub sponge and soapy water. The soapy water was Method dish soap and water. You have to be careful of what cleaning solvents you use on aluminium because anything harsh with break down the aluminium. Anything with alcohol is bad. Read labels people. Plus, Airstreams are small, the last thing you want to do is fill that small area with toxic fumes.
Side note: Tim surprised me with a GoPro Silver camera for our 10th Anniversary. We set up the camera to record a time-lapse video of us cleaning. Here she is all set up.
The scrubbing lasted all Saturday during our window of Airstream work time which was about 2.5 hours (Way to play nicely kids!). We made it almost to the end but didn’t quite finish. Sunday we finished the scrubbing, I started scraping off the caulk and swept while Tim vacuumed. We are in no way affiliated or are being compensated for this next statement, I just want to make that clear: If you need a wet/dry vac that can get the job done without taking up a huge amount of room in your garage, look into the RIDGID 4-Gal. Wet/Dry Vac. It is awesome. It had done such a great job cleaning up all the pink insulation and years of dirt and grime. It even cleaned up the bucket of water Tim knocked over while cleaning with no problem. The only thing it hasn’t been able to handle is when I tried to suck up some fuzz in the corner of one frame brace channels that ended up being a dead mouse in a very rigid and none suckable state.
Check out my caulk scrapping. I know. I am awesome.
After two days of scrubbing and vacuuming we were excited to be moving on to the stripping of the orange glue and all the old caulk. Before we started scrubbing on Sunday, Tim put a layer of Citristrip on some of the orange glue as a test area. We let it sit for the recommended minimum of 30 minutes while we scrubbed. We checked in on the stripping progress about every half hour and nothing was happening. When we finished cleaning for the day I put a little more Citristrip on the glue and then we went inside. After lunch, some down time and a hectic trip to Target to buy school supplies, we went back out to Alice to see if there was any progress with the Citristrip and still, not much had changed. Tim got a little to scrape off but not much.
This was not what we were hoping for. I was bummed to say the least. The Citristrip cost almost $18 and we have already used probably an 1/10 of the bottle on just one little area. There is still a lot of orange glue left so we are left with a few questions. And that my friends, if you are still reading after all the gross mice talk (thank you for still reading my dear friend!), can we just ignore the orange glue and continue on or do we need to get rid of it? Also, why is there all this extra orange glue on the road side of Alice where there is none on the same area of the curb side? AND why is there no caulking/sealant over the rivets on the curb side but there are lots on the road side?!
Watch the video to see what I mean. We are baffled. Does anyone know the reasons behind this? If you do please sound off below in the comments! It is driving us crazy!
And finally, here is our GoPro video time-lapse of our two days of cleaning. It turned out pretty well. The first section we shot the camera was set to take a photo every 2 seconds and the 2nd section the camera was set to take a photo every 1 second but that made a really long video so in the editing processes Tim set the video speed to 200%. I am loving the GoPro and I am excited to make more videos with it. Maybe some day we will actually finish renovating Alice and we can tack the GoPro to the top of Alice as we drive off into the sunset!
Seriously, if you have any clue why there would be caulking, sealant and glue on the roadside and not the curbside, PLEASE sound off below in the comments! Thank you!!