Since the company’s inception more than six decades ago, Airstream has been providing distinguished trailer designs to a variety of consumers–from RV enthusiasts to rock stars and politicians.
The popularity of these models has withstood the test of time, as the company rolls out new models with cutting edge designs and innovative features every year. What is interesting, however, is visit an Airstream rally, a club-organized event or any given campground and you will see vintage Airstream models of all shapes and sizes, custom-designed with a style all their own.
These custom-made homes on wheels are impressive to say the least. They start with a vision from the owner(s), and are then transformed into reality by trailer restoration experts. The process is not a simple one, but the results are second to none.
Finding this fascinating, RV Life decided to find out why these models are so popular and why RVers invest so much into restoring a 20, 30, or even a 40-year old RV for nearly half the cost of a new one.
“A lot of people want to have something different, they want a model that is unique and part of their personality,” explained Paul Mayeux, co-owner with his partner Ann Flanagan of A&P Vintage Trailer Works in Paradise, TX. “They are an American icon and attract attention from people that just love to travel in them.”
From an RVing perspective, the addition of stainless steel appliances, wood flooring, retro-style artistic appointments, and creating rustic or chic, airy atmospheres is common. The custom choices available are also nearly endless from A&P and other shops offering this service.
While other common requests include upgrading the holding tanks, electrical and water systems, installing A/C units, and adding solar-powered systems–features not available when the particular model was built–complete restorations and upgrading a piece of history are always in demand.
“When a customer comes to us, we start asking them what it is they want and what style they like,” said Mayeux. “When then show them other trailers that we have done, as we can go from one end of the spectrum to the other–from modern and elegant designs to a more rustic approach.”
Other businesses that offer this unique service are Silver Bullet Trailer Inc. of Portland, Oregon and Avalon RV in Benicia, California, among others.
Whether the Airstream is to be restored for recreational (or even commercial purposes for the marketing or food service industries), each one is unique and completed to exact specifications.
“The Airstreams models that we do are timeless, and part of history at the same time,” said Sergey Shevchuk of Silver Bullet Trailer Inc. “If properly cared for, they can last many years.
Also, people like the feel of their Airstreams and in my opinion, it really adds to the camping experience. They make you feel like you are outdoors. Adventure with the Airstream in a way takes you away from everyday life into a different healthy and relaxed “mode” of your mind.”
For more details about restoring a vintage Airstream visit Tim Shephard, the author of Restoring a Dream and the creator/host of The Vintage Airstream Podcast, a restoration resource for vintage trailer owners, which is heard in over 22 countries worldwide.
Need Airstream Parts? Visit Air Stream Supply at AirstreamSupply.com, Airstream Classifieds at AirstreamClassifieds.com, or Vintage Trailer Supply at VintageTrailerSupply.com
Find out what other people are saying about vintage Airstream models at AirForums.com
Recent Works from Avalon RV, Benicia, CA
For more information, services, and completed designs by Avalon visit www.avalon-rv.com
Recent Works from A&P Vintage Trailer Works, Paradise, TX
For more information, services, and completed designs by A&P visit www.apvintagetrailerworks.com
Recent Works from Silver Bullet Trailer Inc, Portland, OR.
For more information, services, and completed designs by www.silverbullettrailer.com
Don’t brand new Airstream trailers have a satin mill finish aluminum, and not a reflective shine?
Eli Richardson says
I liked the idea of upgrading the electric and water system and any other features included. I didn’t consider the fact that this old trailer could be remodeled into something so realistic. My family and I need a vacation trip, so getting our old trailer should be beneficial for us.