Last week we talked about our dilemma in choosing between a new RV, Remodeling an RV, and building a Skoolie. After the family talked it out, we are choosing to remodel an RV, but not just any RV. We are wanting to remodel a Vintage Airstream. So, let’s talk about a few things in this post of not just the Vintage RV, but Airstreams, remodel tips, inspiration and so much more.
Why a Vintage RV? And Why The Airstream?
First, lets talk about why we are wanting to remodel a vintage RV and specifically the Airstream. I have always loved Airstreams, but every time I have ever looked at one of their models that would fit our needs, I was looking at $90K+. I love the clean lines of the Airstream and the fact that the Airstream has not changed on the outside at least since they started manufacturing. This pretty much means the Airstream has never gone out of style. They seem to hold their value if they are in good condition better than other RV that lose their value real quick.
Another reason I like the Airstream is due to their size. 99% of the Airstreams I have found are under 30 feet in length. Why is this important to us? If you look at National Parks you will see that most of them require rigs under 35 feet in length. We might be able to find a different vintage trailer to meet that requirement, but it wouldn’t be the Airstream. So for us, when we do get on the road and start traveling full time, being able to get into the parks we want to visit. This would also make it a lot easier to tow as we won’t be towing a huge 5th wheel that requires us to have a larger truck (saving money) Or buying a huge Class A RV and towing a car behind us. Remodeling an Airstream also was appealing since we wouldn’t have to add plumbing or electricity (even though we might have to replace them).
Finding Our Vintage Airstream
Instead of searching Craigslist every day, I have set up IFTTT app on my cell phone to search Craigslist for me and send me a report of their Airstreams it comes across in the DFW area. If I find another avenue of searching for ours, we will update this post to include it also. Comment below if you know of another means of finding a vintage airstream.
Inspecting a Vintage Airstream
When inspecting a Vintage Airstream expect a lot to be needing work. What do you need to look for?
- Airstream model in the late 1960s has known issues with the wiring.
- Any appliance over 20 are NOT trustworthy and will need to be replaced.
- If your potential rig is older than 20 years old, the axles will most likely be shot.
- Smelling fresh chemicals, caulk, glue, and carpets under the sink and under windows are prone to damaging leaks.
- Expect leaks, if the potential rig has been leaking for a long time, expect a lot of damage.
- Look for corrosion on the frame.
- Look for outriggers that have rubbed through the belly pan or body especially in the 1950’s and early 1960’s while checking for corrosion.
- Check the frame connection at the tongue and bumper.
- Check for softness in the plywood floors around windows, doors, and wheel wells.
- Check for weather sealing.
- Has the plumbing been updated? If not, there may be drips or leaks that caused damage over time.
Looking for inspiration in remodeling your Airstream? Below are some of our FAVORITE Airstream remodels we have found so far! Is your Airstream on the list and you wish it wasn’t? Let us know and I will gladly take it down.
Not only do Marissa and Nathan have one of my favorite Airstreams, they are also one of my favorite YouTubers! Check out our post about Our Favorite Fully Time RVing YouTube Channels.
Marissa and Nathan’s Airstream is beautiful with the white walls and cabinetry.
I am not going to lie and say I have followed Lynne for a long time, the truth is I just found her and her Airstream while looking up inspiration photos to pin. When I originally pinned her Airstream it didn’t even go to her blog. It had her name in the description and I was able to find her blog and a VIDEO tour of her Airstream! She has a new follower also since I just LOVE her blog!
Rachel Horn’s design of this Airstream is dreamy to me, a little darker than we would like ours, but this design is beautiful. Check out her design and services page!
Kristen and Siya from Hopscotch the Globe also own another AWESOME vintage Airstream that we are in love with. Not only do they have a blog post about their remodel, but a video also explaining everything about their Airstream. Even down to how much they spent on their renovation.
These were just a few of our favorite Airstream remodels, we have a board over on Pinterest with all things Airstream just waiting for you to go explore. Go ahead and head over there and explore everything that we have found!
Things We Want to Buy For Our Airstream!
There are a few things that we do want to buy for our Airstream. Knowing space will be limited, I am searching for smaller appliances or items made for RV’s and small homes. All of these links are associated with our Amazon Affiliate Account and are products we want to buy. When we start to remodel our own, We will have reviews of all of the products that we used for our Airstream.
In The Kitchen
I love to cook and have never had a gas stove or oven before. This 20″ range seems to be perfect
I am still looking for a refrigerator but this one kinda looks promising, but we may want a larger one.
Looking for a space saving sink and I found a 17×17 one… that may be a little too tiny for us. That is when I found the 25X22 inch one.
Fabrics, Paints, Flooring and more
We will need to either reupholster different things or make new things. We will also need to paint and lay new flooring down. These items below are just a few that I would like to use.
I may not be able to talk James into all of these fabrics, but I LOVE them!!! We will also need to find a theme for colors once we get the Airstream. I like blues and purples.
We already know that we will need to paint, and paint a lot. For a light and airy feeling, we will need a LOT of whites. Once we have a theme, we can add in a splash of color here or there.
Carpet is SOOO hard to keep clean. I want to use Vinal or Laminate flooring.
Have you Remodeled or Renovated an Airstream?
As we start looking for our own Airstream to gut and make into our dream home on wheels, we will be following other Airstream owners and getting ideas for our own. Let us know if you have renovated or remodeled an Airstream down in the comments so we can go follow you!
*Special Note: Featured image is by Duncan Rawlinson, 203 Airstream and AEZ At Roughly 7 and E Burning Man 2014, Liecence Some rights reserved Downloaded on 1/24/18)