Sunday, July 31, 2011
Once my roof was cleaned for the final time, Gary applied some super-sticky tape stuff called Eternabond over my two roof seams. I had never heard of it before. All I've known for most of my life is roof coatings from out of a big bucket. This stuff came on a roll, weighed next to nothing, and even matched my shiny roof. Gary says it's expensive, but once it's on, it's good forever, and forever is a LONG, LONG, time. I liked the sound of that! I promised you in an earlier blog, that I would show you a picture of my roof completely stripped, and here it is. Isn't it beautiful? I am SO proud. After Gary applied the Eternabond tape to my seams, he coated the area around my roof vent with GE premium waterproof silicone. It stays flexible and is shrink and crack proof. It's an aluminum/metal/gray color that goes nicely with my bare metal roof. With all of this work done, my roof edge strips were probably next, but Gary always kept me guessing.
With my edge strips removed, Gary was able to look at parts of me that haven't been seen since I was born. He was ecstatic to see that my plywood walls and thin ceiling wood was in EXCELLENT condition with no signs of water damage or leakage. My wood actually looked factory fresh. Parts of me had aged well. Must have been the Oil Of Olay (Ha-Ha!), or maybe it was the 15lbs. of roof coatings and the 310 edge strip screws. Whatever it was, it worked. Gary removed the paint that was hidden beneath my old edge strips, then measured to see exactly where to position my new strips. He wanted to attach the new strips along my roof area first, then bend them down my front and rear curves. I really didn't understand what he was doing, but that's nothing new. He always had a plan and somehow made things work. I sure was glad there wasn't any hidden damage. Gary was too. It looked like I would be around for many more years.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Poor old Gary had really been working hard on my roof, and his efforts paid off. Within a couple of days after the first picture here was taken, my roof looked AMAZING! I'll show you in an upcoming blog post. I had lost another 15lbs. of weight with the removal of all the roof coatings. I think Gary had lost more than that in the ridiculously hot Florida heat. The next step was to remove my old edge strips and prepare the surfaces under them for the new ones. In addition to the factory nails, my previous owner had gone crazy with a drill and a screwdriver, and had added a ton of screws in-between the nails. I guess he figured that with more screws, maybe I wouldn't have leaking problems. By the time Gary removed both of my old edge strips, he had a plastic bin with a total of 310 screws and nails in it. That's just WRONG!
It seemed as though Gary was feeling a bit of pressure to get me done in time for our campout in Ohio. He was working on me for a longer amount of time each day. In addition to stripping me down to bare metal, there were improvements to be made to my interior, things that would make me more "camping friendly". Also, I knew that Gary wanted to do some extensive work on the van that would be towing me on the trip. I know nothing about cars, so I wasn't sure how long any of that would take. As I stated before, I really liked it when Gary would spend time with me, and he was doing a LOT of that. As you can see in these latest pics, I was getting to be a shiny little guy. No more "ugly-duckling" remarks would be made about ME! You've heard the expression "dress for success"? In my case, it was "undress for success". The more naked I got, the better I looked. There was talk of what color my wheels, tongue, and rear bumper would be. Gary wanted something that would "pop" against my new shiny skin, but he hadn't decided exactly what yet. I could see a pile of parts being stacked up for my interior improvements too. Neither Gary or I knew for sure if there would be time to do everything he had planned, but I knew he would do his best to make it happen. Interior improvements would be the last to be done though. Right now, the focus was still on the seemingly endless chore of "exfoliating" my skin.
Friday, July 29, 2011
I found out early on that Gary was a good fighter. He fought a ton of obstacles when working on my interior, and won every fight but one (that pesky plexiglass entry door window). He fought intense heat for two summers while working on me. He fought what seemed like a mountain of roof coatings and layers of paint. He hadn't won the roof coatings and paint battle just yet, but he sure had them under control. There was still a good deal of paint lodged in the "nooks and crannies", but it looked like the worst of the work on the roof was over. Gary was still surprising me with gifts all the time. One day he came home with new edge strips, and there were loads of other stuff that I'll show you later. I am one lucky little Serro Scotty. These pictures were taken in early August, so there was 2 months to go before we were due to hit the highway. Things were looking good.
As long as Gary owns me, there won't be any more need for mops to apply roof coatings to me. Actually, there will NEVER be any more roof coatings on me at all. Once I'm stripped, I'm staying stripped. Gary took dozens of pictures of this long process, but I've been trying to sort through them and show you just the highlights. Hopefully, you've gotten an idea of what Gary and I went through, and hopefully I haven't bored you to death either. The work moved along with the deadline of that northern campout in both of our minds. You can see how thin the roof coatings and paint are at this point. That was encouraging. So was completing my lower front panel. I was getting more and more shiny with every passing day. My rear skin was looking better too. See that red, white, and blue thing under the left side of my rear window? That is a small portion of a real estate sign. My previous owner had cut into my skin there to put in an air conditioner. The hole had to be flled, and the sign did the trick. It would end up being stripped just like the rest of me. Thanks, Watson Realty!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Gary took time to do other things as he often does, leaving me to bask in the lingering smell of chemicals. I was buzzed for days! It's the price I had to pay to be a handsome little Serro Scotty again. The end of June was upon us. Gary announced to me that he had booked a campsite for us for 4 nights....in OHIO!!! The trip he planned was for mid-October, so he would have plenty of time to complete my makeover, at least I hoped so. He had made good progress so far, but there were lots of mountains yet to climb. I was excited (of course) about camping, especially so far away, but I was scared that I wouldn't be finished in time and the trip would be cancelled. Anyway, during the days that Gary worked on me, a LOT of my old roof coatings were removed. Not much of that black gunk was left, and there were a few small areas where bare skin was beginning to show. That work platform that Gary built was the BOMB! There's no way he could have been so far along without it. Even some of my rear skin was beginning to be stripped. All I could think of was "hurry up, I wanna go CAMPING!!" Am I impatient, or what?
A little ingenuity and a few pieces of wood was all it took to solve the dilemma of working on my roof. Gary whipped up this handy dandy work platform in minutes flat. It rests on my edge strips, so no weight is put on my thin sheet metal. The big plywood piece (shown upside down in the first picture) slides on the 2x4 rails. That's where Gary would work from. The 2x4's are attached to 2x2's on each end of the 2x4's. Those would slide easily along my edge strips which are attached (of course) to my sturdy plywood sides. The thin plywood strips attached to the 2x2's and 2x4's kept the platform aligned with the edge strips, and most importantly, kept my buddy Gary from sliding off the roof. Make sense? The platform provided Gary with easy access to any portion of my roof. It was much more comfortable and much safer for Gary to lay or sit on the plywood panel rather than stand on a ladder for several hours a day. Where there's a will there's a way, and Gary definitely had the will. He was ready to kick some serious roof coating "booty".
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The picture of my nasty roof doesn't show how bad it really was. There were several coats of mopped on roof coatings, plus my original paint and primer. Had the roof been smooth aluminum like the sides were, it wouldn't have been much of a problem to remove all that gunk. But the textured aluminum used on my roof and door created a BIG problem. I would best describe the texture as being like an english muffin. All those "nooks and crannies" made it very hard to strip. The photo showing the roof partially stripped represents about two solid days of work. Poor Gary. By this time, the summer heat was here again, and I was worried he would have heat stroke. At first, he reached as much of my roof as he could standing on a ladder. It was obvious to him that he needed to be ON my roof, but I'm not built that well to hold his weight. While he pondered ideas as to what to do, he came back down to ground level and began stripping the front panel under my window. I could almost hear the gears turning in Gary's head. I knew he would come up with a solution. Before calling it a day, he measured the width of my roof and started cutting pieces of wood. What was he up to?
Gary did SO well stripping the left side, that he kept the momentum going with side two. Now that he had the hang of exactly what to do, the right side was done more quickly than the left, 16 hours to be exact. The entry door is a textured type of aluminum like the roof. It needed to be removed to strip it, so it would be done at a later time. I was beginning to enjoy my new look. I know I was an ugly duckling before, and this was definitely an improvement. Gary had a long road ahead of him. The sides were the easiest parts to do, as well as the fastest. I wasn't sure how he was going to feel once he started on my roof. I hoped he wouldn't get too mad at me. That roof was a MESS!!!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Ha-Ha, not THOSE kind of strippers! It was early in May and Gary came out to see me with some very unusual things in his hands. Paint stripper, steel wool, plastic putty knives, and more. I knew right away what he was going to do. He was going to remove all of my peeling paint and roof coatings. Fixing up my interior was a piece of cake compared to what this was going to be. I really didn't think he knew the magnitude of this project, but he was determined to make me as handsome on the outside as I was on the inside. He started work immediately, and after 24 hours (spread out over 5 days), my left side was totally stripped. Gary used a gel-type stripper that worked pretty well. I had been painted several times, so it took multiple applications of the stripper to get me down to bare metal. The plastic putty knives didn't scratch my skin, and neither did the extra fine steel wool. The final clean-up was done with acetone and spray carburetor cleaner. As far back as I could remember, I had paint on me. This bare aluminum look was something I was going to have to get used to. I felt a bit lighter, but this was a heck of a way to lose weight. At least it was painless!
Our friend Nancy had the idea of a winter camp-in for Valentine's Day weekend. The premise was to camp in your Scotty or other brand trailer anywhere you were, or if nothing else, just have a meal or spend some time in your camper. Some people endured brutally cold weather and snow to participate. It was cold here in Florida, but nothing that Gary couldn't manage with a small heater. As for me, well I would camp in Antarctica if I had to. After all, camping is my life. So, after a little more than a month without much bonding time with Gary, he decided to pull me out of the garage for a night of camping. Gary had dinner and watched a movie with me, taking photos along the way. The photos were sent to Nancy for inclusion in the Winter Camp-In slideshow that she would prepare. Little did I know that this would be our last camping adventure for MANY months. It would be 3 months before Gary would spend much time with me, and when he did, it WASN'T to camp. Wait until you hear what happens to me next. I was SHOCKED!!!
Monday, July 25, 2011
After our Daytona trip, I didn't see much of Gary for two weeks or more. He had lots of other projects going on, and I was no longer the top priority. I knew we were going camping again soon, so I wasn't upset. Gary had joined the National Serro Scotty Organization long before he bought me. Nancy, who had created the N.S.S.O., was planning a trip to our hometown for a campout at Anastasia State Park just before New Year's. That's Nancy with me in the 3rd. photo. The park was booked solid, but there was a cancellation, and Gary got us a campsite. WOO-HOO, our second outing in a month. This was going to be FUN!!! Nancy and her dogs Mabel and Maddy arrived at the Green Acres Garage on December 29th. She was towing her ultra-rare rear door Scotty named "Rudy". I had never seen a rear door Scotty before. Very cool and very tiny. Other Scottys were going to be at the campout too, so this would be like a Scotty family reunion for me. It was a short ride to the campground. Nancy followed Gary and I there. We found our spot and got set up for our 3-night stay. I had lots of visitors, and people had nice things to say about me. Gary spent lots of time socializing with the other Scotty owners. I enjoyed the quiet of the campground and the distant sound of the waves rolling in on the beach. Anastasia was much prettier than Tomoka. The nip of the winter air felt good on my skin, and was a welcome change from the intense summer heat I had endured in the garage. I was having such a GREAT time, and I wondered what 2010 would bring. More big changes? Time would tell.
I thought the day would never get here. It had been SO long since I camped, and I just couldn't wait to get started. Off we went to Tomoka State Park, which lies just north of Daytona. We would be there for 4 days and nights. The trip took roughly an hour, me behind Gary's van, and Marty and Kyle right behind me in Marty's super cool '69 Chevelle. The boys spent their days at the Turkey Run Car Show at the Daytona International Speedway, while I enjoyed the sights, sounds, and smells of the campground. It was HEAVEN! That's Marty and Kyle in the second picture, hamming it up before heading to the car show for the first day. The boys would return to the campground in the evenings, and spend their nights in my new comfy beds. There were three minor problems that arose during the campout: 1) inadequate lighting, 2) my carpet was too hard to keep clean, 3) there was no place to put a garbage can. All of these issues would be addressed later, but none of them kept anybody from having a GREAT time. I knew I would be Gary's home away from home for many years to come. The 4 days went very quickly, and it was sad when it was time to leave Tomoka. Many more fun days were just ahead. Where were we going next?
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Everything in my interior was now in place. Some last-minute cleaning and a check to make sure that all my re-worked systems were functioning, and that would do it. With just a couple of days to go before Gary's "car guy" buddies arrived from North Carolina, I was finally whole and ready to roll. Gary seemed a bit nervous as to how things would go on this first trip. He was pretty sure that a few things would need some tweaking. Lighting was sure to be an issue. All I was equipped with was a battery operated light over my sink, and 4 un-attached touch lights. It was good enough for now. November 24th was here. Gary and I awaited the arrival of Marty, Michael, and Kyle. Unfortunately, Michael had just started a new job, and couldn't make the trip. Four beds, three guys, no problem. There was very little change in my outer appearance from the days with my previous owner. I wasn't much to look at until you opened my door and stepped inside. Marty and Kyle arrived, and came out to the garage to check me out. They were impressed! No more expensive motels for Gary and his pals. They were going camping, and I was the STAR of the show. Tomorrow we head to Daytona. Is it tomorrow yet?
The day that Gary bought me, our first stop on the way home was to visit briefly with his sister Pat and her husband Dan. I'm not too sure what they thought of me, but they were very encouraging. Fast forward a few months, and this time Pat and Dan were here to visit with Gary and me. Gary had called Pat, and told her about his concern with not having something to cover my foam cushions with in time for my maiden voyage. So, it was Pat and Dan to the rescue. With sewing machine onboard, they drove the 200 plus miles to sew my covers. How nice was THAT? Gary had bought all new foam for me from a vendor on eBay, custom cut for my new beds. Black bed sheets from Wal-Mart were sewn by Pat into large open-ended pillowcases. Dan and Gary wrestled the foam into the covers. As planned, they fit tightly over the foam. In just a couple of hours, my covers had been made. Thank you, Pat and Dan! The next day, Gary installed new nickel plated curtain rods in me. He used cheap Wal-Mart towels hemmed with iron-on seam tape as curtains, and attached the curtains to the rods with cafe clips. I'm sure I'll be getting something fancier in the future, but for now, these curtains will do just fine. They sure are nicer than the matted dog hair curtains I used to have. Yuck-O!!!!
Saturday, July 23, 2011
I couldn't remember when the last time was that I had my bearings packed. It was probably when I got new tires last. According to the manufacturing codes that Gary read on my tires, that was 9 years ago. Being the perfectionist that he is, I knew something that old wasn't going to be ignored by Gary. Although my old bearings looked decent after they were cleaned, Gary bought me brand new ones just to be sure. I got new grease seals too. My wheel hubs and related pieces were cleaned. My new bearings were carefully packed with high-temperature grease, placed into my wheel hubs along with my new seals, and mounted back onto my clean spindles. Gary disappeared with my old tires and spare, and came back about an hour later with 3 brand new tires. I LOVED the smell of those new "sneakers" as Gary called them. They sure smelled better than that Rustoleum door paint. I tried on my new "sneakers", and they felt REALLY good. I couldn't wait to test them out. ROAD TRIP!!!
Gary installed my door today, and it looks MUCH better than it used to. Originally, it was tan, but now it's bright white to match the rest of my new interior. It has new weatherstripping around the edges, and a new seal around the plexiglass window. My original door lock was lubricated and polished. It looks and works like new. The smell of the Rustoleum paint is a little nauseating, but I'm sure it won't stink for long. Just when I thought Gary was done with the door, he started drilling holes in it. I've learned not to question him, since he always has a reason for doing things that seem a bit crazy on the surface. Sure enough, the holes he drilled were to mount a window guard over the window. I didn't ever have one of those before, and maybe if I did, my window wouldn't have gotten broken out. I approve! Now that my door was on and I had all my windows, it looked like camping wasn't too far away. I'm getting more excited everyday!
First thing this morning, that big hole where my entry door used to be was finally covered....with NEWSPAPER! I thought at first that Gary had lost his mind. Where was my door? What did he do with it? Then I found out that the newspaper was being used to mask the areas around my rusty door hinge so that he could work on it. The hinge was sanded and primered, and later in the day, painted. Obviously, there wasn't going to be anything happening in my interior today with the "iron curtain" covering my one and only entrance. A few days earlier, Gary had removed all of my window screens and cleaned my grungy windows. Much like my entry door, I hadn't seen the tattered and torn screens since. My screen-less screen door was also missing. After painting my door hinge and removing the newspapers and masking tape, Gary walked in with a stack of re-screened screens for my dazzling clean windows. Minutes later, he installed my re-screened screen door. I hadn't seen screen in that in years! My entry door was still missing, but something told me it wasn't far away. I wondered what "Santa" would bring me next?