20.8.13

A Mod Airstream Remodel


I have some pretty incredible friends, Karina & Evan, who decided to take on the project of completely remodeling an Airstream while they were dating two years ago.  That is some serious commitment and partnership in the person you love if I say so myself!  Over the two years that they worked on the airstream, they got engaged and finished up the remodel right before their wedding last month.  So for their honeymoon this month, they decided to take their newly improved airstream on a honeymoon road trip!  How cute is that!  I wasn't able to attend their wedding because I was speaking at the Texas Style Council, but I was lucky enough to get to see them and photograph their gorgeous Airstream when they passed through Seattle.  Are you ready for a tour of all of the before and afters?  Oh man, there are few things that I love more than an extreme before and after! 

Karina:
April 2011. The boyfriend and I decided that it would be neat to get an Airstream and renovate it. We began by hunting craigslist. We quickly realized that they are very easily snatched up, and we needed to get our game faces on if we are serious about this biz'.


May 2011: After dozens of emails from Evan titled "Oh, look at this one!" and "Want to road trip to Iowa?" He finally sent me one saying "Check out this one!" with the body reading "$4,500 and we pick it up tonight". Luckily we didn't have to pick it up that night, and were able to go check it out the following weekend by having the guy "reserve" it for us. We drove down to the lovely Soledad, CA (It's happening in Soledad!), out to an abandoned dirt lot and saw the beauty that was a 10 year rotting Airstream. We quietly contemplated, "do we want to do this? do we reaaally want to do this?" The tires were flat, the door lock looked like swiss cheese from someone drilling their way in, and it smelled like a gigantic mouse litter box. We left that afternoon, contemplating the price. It WAS a bit over our price range, and it WAS a huge commitment. Over the next week we researched different parts that would need fixing and decided to go with it. We headed down and picked up our new, disgusting, outdated first-adopted-child. We then headed up to my parents house in Nevada County, CA since they have property and my dad has a workshop we could use.

6

May 2011: Renovation began. We tore out the shag green carpet (It wen't into the bathroom. It went into the bathroom AND up the walls part way.) We tore out the stove, fridge, oven, beds, couch…. everything. We wanted a blank slate. Oh! And the MOLD and dead mice.. So much rotting, molding and carnage. We wore respirators for the first year, immediately stripping and showering right after. I wondered if we would ever feel safe to breathe normally in the Airstream.
Over the next year and a half, Evan and I headed up to work on the Airstream about once a month.


November 2012: Evan proposed and we decided to get married the following August. We also decided that it would be awesome to honeymoon in our Airstream. The only issue here was that the inside was completely gutted, the windows leaked, and the Airstream was no where near ready for being "road worthy" (read that as Safe To Drive With Out Dying or Seriously Injuring Others While Driving).

9

Nov. 2012 - August 2013: Thus began our crazy hustle and bustle to finish the job we had started. For the next 9 months we would spend the majority of our weekends making the 4 hour trek to go work on the Airstream, rain or Shine or Blistering 100+ degree weather. We renovated the heck out of that old beast. Literally, the only things that are original are the kitchen sink and the overhead cabinets (that really, you can hardly tell are original due to the facelift we gave those puppies). We replaced the rotting floor, took down the vinyl/aluminum walls and replaced the fiberglass insulation with styrofoam insulation, re-plumbed, re-wired, built cabinets, designed beds, painted, floored, tiled. We did EVERYTHING, not alone of course. The amount of help we got from family and friends is INSANE. It probably would have taken us several more years to finish her if we didn't have the help we did. :)


Moorea: This is probably my favorite part of their whole airstream.  They turned their bathroom into the prettiest bathroom, from ugly yellow plastic & fuzzy green carpet to beautiful blueish tile everywhere!  It's way cuter than my apartment bathroom, that's for sure!  And if you study the photos below, you can see that they spent a HUGE amount of time just cleaning up the exterior of the Airstream.  Look at it shine now!



Thank you so much Karina & Evan for letting me photograph your beautiful fresh and new traveling buddy.  Your hard work over the last 2 years definitely paid off!  Cheers to your marriage and all of the exciting adventures that lay in wait for you and your airstream :)

35 comments:

  1. wow! their reno work is visionary and fabulous!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW- that is some renovation!!! awesome

    ReplyDelete
  3. this is INCREDIBLE. dave and i want to have an airstream one day and just tour the country. i'm loving this renovation.
    xo,
    andrea

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a transformation! Their Airstream is absolutely GORGEOUS. Congratulations to the beautiful couple-- I hope their honeymoon is as big as an adventure as the renovation!

    xo,
    katrina
    thedemuremuse.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Seriously amazing transformation. I LOVE all the white!

    ReplyDelete
  6. An amazing transformation. I love the happy pattern on the couch. Xo, Elba / live colorful

    ReplyDelete
  7. An amazing renovation story! My boyfriend and I would love to buy a little camper one day and do it up. Maybe maybe.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Amazing! Faced with what it looked like before, I don't think I'd be able to see its potential.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We just fixed our Airstream up, but our bathroom is no where near as nice. I'm so jealous!

    ReplyDelete
  10. this is SO SO SO increible, you've done an amazing job! xx
    Alice Barton ♥ TheMowWay

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is an amazing renovation -- but I especially love the "we're hitched" vinyl! Adorable.
    xx Abby | a geek tragedy

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love it!

    Thanks for writing it up and thanks to the Happy Couple for sharing the journey!

    My hubby and I hope to do this ourselves and it's inspiring to see what's possible.

    Steph

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is AMAZING! I wish a certain *someone* was as excited at the prospect of doing this as I would be ;) Maybe I will have a solo airstream project in my future haha

    xo Jenette

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is gorgeous, I LOVE it the whole space is so bright and airy. Where is the bed though?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Fantastic..!! This is such a nice renovation. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  16. WOW! That's so awesome! That's some serious transformation and it turned out so perfectly! Airstreams kind of steal my heart.

    -Jasmine

    quirkishembrace.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is stunning, and I am jealous! Jen and I had a chance of getting an airstream when we first got married, but we weren't working yet and figured we wouldn't be able to fix her up. Still regretting that! She WAS in truly bad condition, though.

    Getting an airstream, and making her ours is a goal of mine. I am addicted to remodeled airstream pictures, forum boards, etc. and this is, again, stunning!!! Great job, guys. :D

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love their renovation! Do they have a blog about their renovation/travels? I would love to learn more about all the work they did, as I have a 70s airstream that I am renovating, too.
    -Jennifer
    www.airstreamy.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. This reno is lovely!! We have the exact model '72 27 foot beauty. We gut it too and did full reno. LOVE what they did in the bath though....do you know if that is laminate wallpaper, that looks like tile?

    fervorgrl@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am just starting the renovation of an Airstream of a similar age. They have done almost exactly what i have envisioned for my Airstream. Would it be possible to contact Karina and Evan to ask about the materials and methods they used? I would really appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. That's the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Did you have any help from the folks at HofArc?

    ReplyDelete
  24. The bed is actually the couch! No, it's not a tiny bed that requires cuddling for two people to use it. The couch pulls-out to almost a queen size. There are two pieces of plywood that slide on top of each other, then one drops down to make a large, flat, surface. The back cushions then fold down to cover the rest of the bed, and you make it like you would any other bed. Oh, Karina's dad also fashioned some nifty drop-down support legs that automatically fold up when turning the bed back into a couch. The drawer slides could technically support all the weight on their own, but the legs provide more stability and ease of mind.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hey! My husband and I just started a reno of a very similar model. A 72 international. I was wondering how exactly you gave the roller cabinets a "facelift"? I love the light wood color much more than the original dark wood. Also, is that actual tile in the bathroom or laminate wallpaper?
    Thank you for your help!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Evan, I'm renovating a '78 Airstream and would love to speak to you more about the materials you chose.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'd be happy to share the materials we used.
    What's the best way for us to communicate? I'm on all major social networks.

    ReplyDelete
  28. How exciting! We gave the tambour doors a "facelift" by completely replacing the tambour and reconditioning the tracks/particle board/brackets. We ordered new tambour from Outwater Plastics Industries Inc. They carry a White Birch Veneer Tambour they we sanded/clear-coated. They're a bit of pain because they're a little too wide for the existing tracks, so the backs have to but cut down a bit. I can give you more details if you'd like, I just don't want to write an essay in Moorea's comments section.
    That is actual tile in the bathroom. There's an involved process to its installation I'd be happy to share with you. It probably adds more weight to the trailer than is necessary, but the look we achieved makes it worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks, Evan! I appreciate the offer. I searched for you on Facebook but I couldn't find you. Could you send me a message? My Facebook is https//facebook.com/skylers

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm doing a '71 Globetrotter right now, and your reno is very close to what I was trying to achieve. I was looking at

    tambour options, and I love yours. What made you choose the veneer over solid wood, and can you provide a link to the specific one you chose? I couldn't find a white birch one on there. Also, I'd love the info on how you did your bathroom tile... The whole camper looks amazing; beautiful work indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank you for the compliment, we're really happy with how the Airstream turned out.
    The reason we chose the veneer over the solid wood option it twofold. First, the veneer are far less expensive (and we had a wedding to pay for while finishing the Airstream). Second, we wanted to have the warmth of a natural wood and felt the White Birch would work best for the price. The product code on Outwater Plastics' website for the tambour we used is: 416-WB.
    If you're on Facebook hit me up, I'd love to share the methods we used on any parts of the renovation. https://www.facebook.com/evanconklin

    ReplyDelete
  32. Absolutely stunning remodel. Such a serene, organized, streamlined (pun <---) space. Two thumbs up!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hey Evan, I am trying to locate you on Google+ with no luck. Are you still using it? I have a few questions for you regarding your bathroom reno. We have 1974 31' Soverign with rear bath that I am considering renovating and I very impressed with what you did.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete

THIS BLOG IS SPAM FREE & HATE FREE.
Please be kind with your words. I respect honesty, but threatening, demeaning, or highly aggressive comments will be deleted.