before & after: airstream trailer makeover


This is the second camper/trailer renovation we’ve received that features boldly patterned walls. I don’t think it would ever have occurred to me to use a busy pattern in such a small space, but it’s an awesome idea. I like it not only because it packs a serious style punch, but also because it’s a nice homage to the groovy era when lounge vans were all the rage.

Vintage campers and trailers are certainly enjoying a resurgence lately, and it’s wonderful to see people adapting the interiors to suit various needs. Ida Gleaton, the woman behind this transformation, uses her airstream as a traveling storefront for her shop, The Urban Cottage, selling revamped vintage furniture pieces straight out of this lovely interior. So clever, and nicely done, Ida! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

See more of this trailer makeover after the jump . . .


Time: 3–4 months

Cost: about $4300 ($4000 for airstream and polishing service, $300 for interior decor, parts)

Basic Steps: The first thing we did was gut the entire airstream, taking out all the interior appliances and built-ins. It’s like working at a puzzle because each piece of furniture is connected to the next. Removing the 30-plus-year-old bathroom and plumbing was by far the worst part. We sold the interior on the cheap to those trying to restore their airstreams to original form. Then we repaired the rotten subfloor, rewired electrical where needed, sealed any leaks, laid the new laminate flooring, applied beadboard wallpaper to the wall and hand stenciled the top pattern on the wall. We also added molding and trim to create a clean, finished look. Keep in mind, nothing is straight in an airstream, so all your products need to be able to bend and flex with the wall curves. We got the exterior polished by the pros due to the sensitivity of aluminum.

Our advice: Be patient and do your research — there are a lot of steps in restoring the airstream, and a lot of repair items are not commonly found. We didn’t know the first thing about airstream restoration, and we relied heavily on airstream forums and our original 1975 airstream manual. Chances are there are others coming across the same issue you are, and they are always willing to help. Also, recruit some help. I somehow convinced my husband and family to help me out — I definitely couldn’t have done it without them. Keep the end goal in mind! — Ida

Sources
Mechanical questions: Airforums
Original airstream parts: Out of Doors Mart
Wall Stencil: Chez Ali pattern, Royal Designs

  1. Laci says:

    This is so awesome! What did you make the white seating out of in the top pic? Thanks!

  2. Roanne says:

    That is awesome! I want to do that to mine! We thinking about getting a new one because we found a great deal at Colonial in NJ. http://www.colonialairstream.com/

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