Bruce’s Airstream Overlander

Bruce Czopek is a muralist, artist and avid backpacker who decided about two years ago to stop paying rent. While the costs of home ownership were out of his reach—he still wanted to own something that he wouldn’t have to worry about losing should he not be able to pay the rent. Enter a 26-foot 1966 Overland Airstream.

bruce-airstream-bed

Bruce found the trailer on the Denver, Colo. Craigslist and had it shipped via uShip to his friend’s home in Northern Nevada. He then spent over 80 hours stripping out old caulking and sealant from the exterior seams and resealing the skin of the trailer. Bruce spent even more time removing insulation full of mouse droppings, painting the frame with rust inhibitive paint and re-insulating the inside, refinishing the original cabinets, pulling out old plumbing and gas lines, installing a new heater, new propane regulator and new wood floors.

airstream-restore

airstream-rainbow

bruce-airstream-bed2

Bruce lives in the trailer most of the time and rents space for it from his friend. He does utilize his friend’s house for the bathroom and kitchen.

“Having access to the house meant I wouldn’t have to worry about plumbing and kitchen till Phase Two,” Bruce said. “Doing it on a budget also demands saving money for the next phase.  That will be installing new plumbing, a new water heater and finishing the bathroom.”

bruce-airstream-closet

airsteam-living

Bruce purchased the Overlander for only $4,500, but suggests if anyone else wants to attempt to restore an older trailer to be patient and accept that the amount of work will be more than originally considered.

“While repairing one thing you will find two or three other items to take care of,” he said. “The alternative is to pay a lot more for an Airstream that has been thoroughly inspected. There really are no deals out there any more. I had first thought to gut the trailer and do a modern interior but even though the cabinets were pretty tired everything was there and I decided to stick with the original look. The interior now feels like a first class cabin on an old ocean liner. Classy and comfortable.”

Bruce also plans to spend more time making the trailer more insulated for winter weather and appreciates the various Airstream forums and friends will skills who helped him along the way.

“I love the round quality of the Airsteam. Not being all angular, it has a calm feeling inside,” Bruce added. “I have found that using it as a bedroom while having the advantage of a separate bath and kitchen is actually very nice.”

bruce-airstream-lights

Photos by Bruce Czopek

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Tiny House in a Landscape

This weeks Tiny House in a Landscape features a Airstream trailer with the mountains in the background. I have been a big fan of Airstreams for many years and I lived in one for a year while in college. I think tiny house designers can take lessons from RV designs and apply them to their own.

I was recently on a tiny house panel at Sunset Magazine with Ella, Vina, and Catherine. While there I toured two tiny houses brought to the show by Tumbleweed and I also toured a 28 foot Airstream International Signature RV.

airstream in a landscape

To be honest with you I felt most at home in the Airstream. It was very modern and luxurious but the thing that stood out for me the most was the use of the living space. I have shown you the floor plan below. My wife and I both liked the fact that we could walk around the bed. There was lots of storage and the rest of the “house” just flowed and seemed wide open. I would really enjoy seeing this type of design in a tiny house.

tiny house panel

28 foot floor plan

 

Family of 5 and a Cat Traveling the Country in an Airstream

by Dan

About 4 years ago, when our first born was only a year old, we caught the road tripping bug and decided to buy a small travel trailer. We began traveling locally in California and Arizona and fell in love with the lifestyle.

t&b trailer

A year later, as we were expecting our second child, we upgraded to a 25-foot Airstream and began contemplating longer and more extensive road trips. Being self-employed in the software industry, we were able to work from anywhere. Even though our home in California was a small bungalow less than 1,000 square feet, we felt like it was a lot of space for our little family of 4.

family of 4 and a trailer

When our second daughter was just 5-months old, we packed up and left our house for a cross country road trip. Unlike most other road trips, this one was not a vacation but rather a working, living, and learning experience on the road. For the next 4 months, we lived in our Airstream with less than 200 square feet of space. We learned to live small, conserve our resources and were surprised that we were happier than ever. Continue reading