Do-it-yourself Airstream Renovators

Sharon and Sam and the airstream

DIYer fulfills a longtime dream

Not everyone who dreams of renovating an Airstream should try it. Tackling such a project requires a broad skill set, ample free-time, problem-solving patience and courage. As the Airstream ownership craze grows, an increasing number do-it-yourselfers are stepping up to the challenge, and a family-run Airstream renovator in Santa Barbara is happy to help.
In the past four years, Hofmann Architecture (aka HofArc) has become known worldwide as the go-to standard for custom Airstream design/builds. Their renovations feature clean lines, sustainable materials and spacious interiors.

“Airstreams, with their iconic aluminum exteriors and mid-Century retro interiors are capturing the attention of more and more clients who are willing to tackle a renovation themselves,” said HofArc founder Matthew Hofmann, “and we’re happy to support them.”
HofArc has assisted dozens of Airstream owners with select phases of their project – providing everything from a bamboo floor or copper countertops, to installing a new PEX plumbing and fixtures, or a state-of-the-art solar system for off-the-grid living.


A case in point is a 1973 Airstream Safari 23’ named Coco. The owner, Sharon, owns and operates a landscape company. “I’m not terribly skilled in any of these things,” she admitted, “but I’m not afraid to learn!”

Sharon and her husband David have been dreaming of owning an Airstream to take quick getaways along California’s scenic coastline. They also wanted a cozy and quaint guesthouse to park at home on their expansive equestrian property.


“We wanted a cozy, comfortable, yet fashionable space for visiting friends and family,” she added. “It’s the perfect, private place for the children and grandchildren. They love it!”
Sharon hired a carpenter friend to do her cabinetry work and flooring. Although he was an experienced finish carpenter, with a wealth of home building experience, he didn’t know a much about complicated RV systems. He had worked in other small mobile spaces such as boats, but there were a host details he and the owner knew they weren’t suited for, such as dual-fuel appliances, fresh and waste water systems and fixtures that actually make sense in a mobile space.


Sharon wanted to finish-off the project right, so she called on Hofmann Architecture’s team of electricians, plumbing/systems specialists, metalworkers and carpenters to supplement her plan.

“The project went smoothly and seamlessly,” said Sharon. “It’s been a dream to do this project and HofArc made it easy – we could not be happier with the results.”

Here’s a quick look at materials installed in Coco:

  • Stainless steel kitchen sink and faucet
  • Bathroom vessel sink, with modern tall chrome faucet
  • Shower arm/handle set, with 3-function valve control
  • Low profile toilet
  • Hofarc’s signature self-draining teak drop-in bathroom floor
  • Dove and Graylite Corian countertops
  • 24” TV/DVD with mounting TV arm bracket
  • Almond color switches, receptacles and faceplates – to be covered later with wall paper
  • Fern classic awning
  • Sconces over front couch
  • Bathroom light
  • Kitchen cabinet LED lighting
  • Reconfigure chandelier to 12v light
  • Water pump
  • Connector cable
  • Smoke alarm/gas/CO2 detector
  • Breaker panel for 110 & 12v
  • Converter
  • Battery
  • Solar panel, and solar controller
  • 30 amp contoured power inlet
  • 24” double doorstep
  • Steel propane tank, with new fittings and gas lines
  • Entry door handle
  • Exterior light
  • City water chrome inlet

bathroomliving roomfront to backexterior

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Jenna - February 3, 2015 Reply

Love the bathroom sink, do you have a source link?

Dominick Bundy - February 3, 2015 Reply

Too empty looking , sterile stark, and boring.. lacks storage, hasn’t any personality. . Reminds me of some type of prop to be use in a play.. not at all my taste..

Lisa E. - February 3, 2015 Reply

I’m not into metal trailers, but this is, with out a doubt, the best renovation of a metal trailer I’ve ever seen. It’s so warm and cozy with neat, clean lines, luscious fabrics and very efficient. LOVE the chandelier!!! What an elegant touch that gives the whole space a huge up-tick. Great job on this; two thumbs up!!!

Bob Ratcliff - February 3, 2015 Reply

Having lived in RV’s for years (happiest years of my life), you’ve created a heaven on earth. Impeccable taste and with every touch thoughtfully executed. You’re in a class of your own:)

alice h - February 3, 2015 Reply

If I were going to be moving around a lot an Airstream would probably be my home of choice. I would definitely redo the inside since I find the original layouts a bit too much just stuff lined up on either side of a hallway. This one looks nice but has that same setup.

Debbie - February 4, 2015 Reply

Beautiful! When you have a space this small you don’t want clutter. You’ve kept it simple with clean lines and exquisite deco. Love it!

Corby - February 4, 2015 Reply

A design element that I would normally never consider — the chandelier — really impresses me. The clean, elegant image this renovation embodies is beautiful. Nice work!

HQB - February 5, 2015 Reply

Isn’t hiring a company that specializes in Airstream renovations the opposite of a DIY renovation?

Kelly Pratt - February 5, 2015 Reply

total cost?

erin - April 30, 2015 Reply

Oh this looks great, congrats!

G&C - March 11, 2016 Reply

I know I’m late to the post but where did you find the bathroom sink? Website?

Daniel - September 15, 2016 Reply

Amazing! Great airstream travel trailer.

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