The airstream

We’re Dave and Lorrie, and we would like to share our journey in restoring our 1966 Airstream trailer. We hope you’ll find this interesting and entertaining.

Earl is a 1966 Airstream Overlander that is 26’ 8” in length hitch to bumper. We are the third generation to have owned the Airstream. In 2017 we decided to live a life of constant travel and adventure living in the Airstream.

We decided that this was too important to be our first project. We took our time investigating professional vintage trailer restoration companies in the state of Texas.

One company, was A&P Vintage Trailer Works in Paradise, Texas. We visited them a couple of times, viewing completed and current restoration projects. We were impressed not only with the quality of their work, but the owners were precisely the kind of people we wanted to bring the Airstream to the vision we had.

Below is the story in pictures, as best we can tell it. As we were living on the road in a interim trailer, we kept in touch with the process as best we could.

The restoration is near completion, and we’ll have the final reveal hopefully late February 2020.

 

Sleeping Area

We wanted the layout of this area to be original. It's only a full size bed, but that should be plenty of room. The bath would remain in the rear, wardrobe and dresser opposite the bed. There is door to close off the bathroom, and a fabric curtain will separate the bedroom and salon

Sink and Prep

The sink on the curb side will stay in the same location, only smaller. Going with a smaller sink makes room for more cabinet storage.Under the clipboard, in the picture, is a three burner cook top. That area will be turned into counter top and storage, without the L shape. We'll use a oven /cook top combination.

Everything Goes

It all had to go. There was so much damage by the weather, varmints and time. Nothing was worth salvaging.

Shell Off

Working on the frame, axles and sub-floor requires that top of the camper, or shell is removed in it's entirety. The frame was modified and strengthened for the 50 gal. fresh and grey water tanks. The black tank is in the bathroom.

Frame and sub-floor

The new tanks are installed and the sub-floor completed. The interior shell has been cleaned, ready for insulation.

Cabinet Construction and Installation

New Sink Area

We opted for a smaller sink to give us more counter space and larger drawers. Easy maintenance aluminum backsplash. Upper cabinets will start just above the window. The counter tops will have a retro aluminum trim.

Refrigerator

The refrigerator is a Vitrifrigo, it has AC/DC compressors. And will run off the lithium batteries when traveling down the road. And, it works with the trailer up to 33 degrees off level. We opted to use the microwave area as cabinet space.

Oven Cooktop

The 21" furrion oven is plenty for our needs, with plenty of room on the sides. The retro exhaust fan is more powerful than range hoods, and gives us more room for upper cabinets.

Dresser

Plenty of drawer space. Using an open floor plan allows for more storage. The bottom drawer is a false front. That's the wheel well for the drop axles.

Bathroom

It's hard to see in this image, but the bathroom will be pretty spacious for 26' trailer. The sink cbinet goes in front of the window. To the right, behind the wardrobe will be the toilet and more cabinets. With a continuous propane water heater that was installed under the bed.

View Forward

The salon area will have a L-shaped sofa with a 6' slide-out bed. You can see the 2 - 400 AH lithium LiFeBlue batteries. What space isn't used for the solar system will be storage. A cabinet will be above the front window.

Updates Below - May 2020

Sadly, the COVID-19 Pandemic has delayed the completion date. Most workers were sent home and just the owners continued the work. But, things are opening up again and we are still hopeful to get our baby in May.

Lorrie's Home Office

Simple, yet functional. Lorrie needs an organized to work. We came up with this solution that should give her everything she needs. The laptop table swings inward when not in use.

Kitchen

Not finished in this image, but you can see there is plenty of counter space for two people. Back lighting and under cabinet lights with the slide doors.

Oven / Cook Area

So glad we went with this design. The storage space we gained by NOT having a conventional vent-a-hood is amazing. Plus, the 2 LED lights and head space will make cooing so much easier.

Sleeping Area

Not a bedroom, but part of the flow of the trailer. There will be some privacy curtains and ample storage under the bed.

Living Area

We wanted an area that would be comfortable for guest and give the dog space to play. The long section on the left turns into a bed. Plenty of storage under the couch.

Forward Storage

The original end cap was molded fiberglass. It was damaged and just wouldn't work. They built this custom piece to expand our storage capacity.

The Nose

The front rock guard will have a tinted poly-carbonate glass. the propane tanks are 30lb polished aluminum.

The Tail

When the frame was rebuilt, we asked that the be able to handle a 2" receiver. This is a new bumper with a storage area. The window will have an awning. Solar screens were used instead of window tinting.

Patio Entrance

We are looking forward to hitting the road in our new Airstream. We will have full use of the patio area without the intrusion of slide outs. Yes, we've some living space inside, but we actually gain storage space. The width and length of this trailer will open up so many camping opportunities in the future.

We have moved into the Airstream – see the Final Images

We hope you will join us on our adventures traveling North America.

Coming in June to YouTube