Welcome to our 195sq’ abode a 1966 26’ Airstream Overlander aka The Land Yacht. We purchased the Land Yacht in the Spring of 2011. We had just finished paying off our last debts (including the birth of our daughter) and beginning to make plans for Shae to quit her job so she could be a full-time mommy.
Over the years we had talked about selling everything and hitting the road. Since marrying in 2006 we had traveled every summer from California to Virginia Beach and everywhere in between. Most summers putting all our possessions in storage so we could save money on rent while we roadtripped. (This became a pain and we began to loathe stuff!)
To better facilitate our summer road trips we made plans to build a tiny trailer aka a Teardrop Trailer. In designing, building and using our teardrop we began to really evaluate our needs. We loved the lightness and freedom the trailer afforded and it had everything we needed. (Granted we had to get creative with minor details like finding a bathroom and showers.)
We really started to seriously consider a trailer existence after finding a blog by some kindred spirits the Janssen Family. They sold their home and bought a RV and gypsies around the states exploring and visiting friends & family. After seeing a glimpse of the possibilities with this type of lifestyle (affordability, simplicity & mobility) we began to shop for trailers.
I have always liked the look of Airstreams. They are timeless, well made, hold their value and just plain sexy! After seeing the work of Matthew Hoffman I was really inspired by what a vintage Airstream trailer could become: our own little home.
To the untrained eye the 1966 trailer looked in pretty good shape for its age…a few dings here and there, the interior a bit dusty but complete. The seller told us that it was used as a guest house on the previous owners property and that everything worked.
Before purchasing we had look at several other trailers (which were wrecks) and done some initial reading on the airforums about what to look for ect. I felt pretty informed as I poked around the aluminum looking for a saggy bumper, rotted belly pan and evidence of water on the interior. Good shape and priced right – sold!
Our initial plan was to simply reconfigure the interior by extending the kitchen counter, adding some paint, a bit of upholstery and maybe a bamboo floor…
The first thing that caught my eye was a large hole in the copper water main. Then as I removed the carpet several soft spots in the floor stood out and the bathroom floor was almost completely rotted. After surveying the damage and doing some research on the AirForums I was left with several options:
1. Ignore all the issues
2. Attempt some sketchy gerry-rigged repairs
3. Gut the interior and repair the rotted floor
So now months later and our Airstream Renovation is well underway. (If you did not catch on we went with option #3).
Airstream Renovation Updates
#1 – Demolition
After discovering the floor rot there was no option but to gut the interior. Lots of drilling out rivets later I had the interior gutted and was able to evaluate the extent of the bathroom floor rot and the condition of the frame. The frame had some extensive corrosion and needed some repairs and the black tank pan was completely rotted.
#2 – Waterproof Exterior
The first step before starting on the interior was to waterproof the exterior. All the roof vents leaked plus the running lights needed new lenses & sealed. I replaced all the running lights, installed a new fantastic fan and sealed all vents. The exterior is sealed!
#3 – Frame & Floor
#4 – Plumbing: Black Tank & Toilet, PEX
#5 – Wiring: InteliPower Supply, New Trailer Light Plug
#6 – Bathroom: Install Tub & Toilet