Saturday, July 3, 2010

Airstream Project: A Few Before & After Pics

We kept the original stove and the Dometic refrigerator, but refinished them to match the new cabinets. The old cabinets had limited storage behind flimsy plastic tambor doors, most of which had deteriorated substantially and were being held together strips of duct tape.

Aaron built all of the new cabinetry from Paulownia, a plantation grown wood that is incredibly lightweight and moisture resistant. Light materials were becoming important as we started to adding more cabinetry, solid surface and thick bamboo countertops to the camper.

Friday, July 2, 2010

5 Reasons to Reconsider Renovating your Airstream:

1.) You may discover things you wish you hadn' the previous owner's Swinger magazines stashed under the bed (eeww). Or evidence of critters making their home in the underside of the trailer.

2.) All of the old fixtures, cabinets and panels you plan to remove are permanently fastened by fifty thousand rivets.

3.)  Everything (everything!) is curved, which doesn't make for easy cabinetmaking.

4.) The lights and turn signals never work properly. Sometimes only the turn signals work, sometimes just the running lights.....sometimes using a turn signal turns on the running lights (seriously, this has happened to us because of a grounding issue). It's an evolving mystery we have yet to completely solve.

5.) There is nowhere to hide....even our very small airstream is much to big to fit into a garage. And the silver finish isn't low profile either. For city-dwellers like us, our little project doesn't exactly blend in. Make sure you have friendly and tolerant neighbors.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Vintage Airstream Renovation

A few years ago, Aaron and I decided to purchase an old 1971 Airstream Caravel trailer. At the time, the thought of ditching our tent to camp in a warm, covered trailer was very appealing. But we were also excited to renovate the interior. For one thing, the 70's era decor - walnut brown, avocado green and gold - was dark and worn (and not exactly our style). We wanted to convert the interior into a fresh, modern space worthy of the trailer's sleek exterior.

We had big ideas for our new trailer.....and like many projects we have undertaken, an optimistic view of what it would take to accomplish our goal. But in spite of the setbacks and challenges along the way, our newly renovated trailer has been so much fun to own and use. To us, it's a grown-up version of a kid's dream fort - complete with a flat panel TV, bamboo countertops, and a zen interior.

Read on for some of the highlights (and lowlights) of our adventure in airstream renovation - enjoy!