Do Your Best, Caulk the Rest

The big news for this weekend comes courtesy of our brothers.  Leanne's brother Russell helped me over Easter weekend with removing and re-riveting the lower vista view windows to address some leaking Olympic rivets.  I'd show you pictures, but it looks exactly the same as when we started.  Then, this weekend, my brother Tim helped me finish installing the interior skins.  I'm happy to report that all of the skins are in, and we've started priming the walls.

Boy am I ever glad we have those Maxxfans installed.  Kilz oil-based primer is some nasty stuff to work with, but it sticks like crazy to anything, which is exactly what we need to coat these skins.  And Leanne's skin, apparently. 

The Airstream is looking much nicer just with the coat of primer. All the yellowed and faded bits are starting to blend together. 

Installing the upper interior skins can be maddeningly difficult.  You've got a long flat aluminum sheet that wants to bend and bow, and you have to hold it over your head  to fit a curve while someone else clecos it in place, all while it's flopping over on the parts you can't reach.

This would probably have been much easier if I didn't add insulation to the ribs, which covered all the original holes and changed the geometry enough to throw everything off.  But as it is, it's nearly impossible to avoid ripples along the edges of the upper skins.

Installing the center ceiling panel did help flatten out the ripples somewhat.  The center panel consists of two long strips of aluminum extrusion that are riveted to the ceiling (total width of 25.5"), and then the center aluminum sheet is snapped into place between the strips.

Once the first coat of primer is dry, I'll hit all the seams with latex painter's caulk, which should help the imperfections blend.  Then, sand everything with 220 grit, another coat of primer, and then paint.