We didn’t have a shed or undercover space to work on Chickie. Instead we set her up in the front yard, up on blocks to keep her level and straight.
Over the next few months the chassis settled a bit. Every weekend started with checking the levels and adjusting it once more.
We started by taking out the windows, then the aluminium cladding on the walls, and the scale of the problem became apparent.
The timber base plates in the side walls was either missing, rotten or had been badly replaced or splinted by the previous owner. The lower frame on the front and back wall was almost gone.
The ends of the top and bottom beams supporting the front and rear windows were rotten and no longer holding. The plywood along both sides was rotten for about a foot from the base. The vertical beams had largely rotted for the bottom inch or two. And everywhere we saw dodgy repair work.
Essentially Chickie was being held together with silicone and sheer will. Although it does show how strong the monocoque design is with that much wrong and still surviving a road trip.
The walls had settled so far down we had to McGyver a series of props to try to jack them back up to their original height and begin replacing the lower frames.
And as we progressed it became apparent that some of the floor would need replacing as well, and we hadn’t really gotten into the ceiling as yet. This was going to be big.