We had some theoretical ideas about how many people we could host in the Airstream and about how ready it was for the open road but we wanted to do a trial run and really work through any unexpected challenges. With Hope's birthday around the corner, we decided to try out one of our special programs ... the Colors of Creation.
Like many children her age, she loves painting, coloring, decorating, and experimenting, so we created the Colors of Creation program. All of our party guests got to make their own colorful pinwheels, gummi worms and gummi bears, shake it up ice cream, and a custom shrinky dink key chain based on the days of Creation. A dear friend helped set up a rainbow balloon arch for a special photo booth in the back of the Airstream. We even created custom name tags with a special QR code on the back where we were able to share all the event pictures with participating families.
With our first test-run special event coming on 6/6, we pulled out all the stops. We were simultaneously troubleshooting the AC electrical system while finishing the rounded corners of the front benches, while staining the interior wood furniture, while prepping to install the vinyl flooring.
One of the challenges we faced was a desire to stain the interior wheel well covers and benches while the subfloor was still exposed and to let it dry enough to install the vinyl without staining it. Fortunately, the triple-digit weather helped accelerate many processes ... even getting the vinyl flooring adhesive to get tacky really quickly.
I've never installed vinyl flooring prior to this adventure but with a sharp knife and some patience, it is a rather straight-forward task. I'm excited to have the flooring in.
It's been a long day so we are going to wait to put down the adhesive tomorrow.
By the way, a great friend and long-time supporter came by to help me take a look at the electrical system. He was able to find some simple fixes and help me experiment with a few different ideas to see if we could get the system to work. We thought there was more work ahead of us to try to solve the electrical problem but it turns out it was a stray wire tucked behind the breakers that seemed to be the culprit. After he left, I was cleaning up and putting all the breakers and panels back together and I thought I would try the air conditioning unit one more time before I put the generator away for the night and miracle of miracles it turned on! We tested all the outlets and still have one path that needs some work (two outlets not functioning properly) but we had air conditioning and about 11 other outlets that were working perfectly!
We finished installing all the electrical system components (batteries, control panel, lights, outlets, and A/C) and it was time to test the system. So I fired up the generator and started checking each part of the system. I rigged up Hope's rain umbrella to cover the face controls of the generator during some on-again-off-again showers we were having.
As you can imagine from the title of the post, I found some new opportunities for troubleshooting--the AC system was not working correctly. Only the DC system was working (pulling from the battery array inside).
As we turn the corner into the hot Texas summer, we were very excited to get one more step closer to turning on the air conditioning unit of the Airstream. We installed the compressor last fall but we didn't have enough pieces in place to test it. You can see we still have more to build with all my wood pieces on the floor--I can't wait to get back to wood working :)