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AirDream

Ever since I was nine, when I built a seven-story tree house next door to my home in Mammoth Lakes, I’ve been reusing old stuff and making it usable again.

My latest idea was to remodel a 1978, 25-foot Airstream. It’s my office, my home, and quick access to the great outdoors.

It’s also labor-intensive work, but it was worth it. The finished product is not only beautiful, it’s efficient. It’s got everything I need, and nothing I don’t.

A Google search indicates that I’m only one a handful of Airstream DIYers with the chutzpah to pull it off. There are only about a dozen trailer restorers in the US.

Saving money was my primary motivation. I left a 9 to 5 job to start my own architectural design firm HofArc and, naturally, I wanted to reduce my overhead. This was a good way to do it. I have bigger dreams than working in an office all day.

Airstream’s been around since 1936 when these smooth-skinned aluminum bodies rolled aerodynamically off the Chicago production line. They temporarily stopped production in 1938 when the new lightweight material was needed for World War II.

It’s nice to see that many are still on the road today. I smile when I see one — especially one that’s been well-cared for or restored.

It’s about getting an idea on paper then making it real. I guess I’m still a kid who gets a buzz from creating things and seeing them become reality.

…still a kid with big dreams.

In upcoming weekly blogs, I’ll talk about how the restoration process went and continues to go. Come along for the ride.

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6 Responses to “AirDream”

  1. Malita Jones says:

    Have you ever heard of the Grand Daddy Hotel in Cape Town – their rooftop has an air stream park – they call it the air stream penthouse park http://www.granddaddy.co.za/sleep/airstream_rooftop_trailer_park/

    Great ideas and I could easily see someone doing that in the US – or anywhere for that matter

  2. Valynne says:

    Matthew,

    Just read the LA Times article and shared it with friends : ) My Dad had an Airstream when I was little and I plan on having one of my own one day.

    We have “downsized” as well. Sold the big house and 95% of the stuff in 2009, went from 2 cars to one, and now house and pet sit all over the US. I love our new lives!

    What you have done with your Airstream is so inspiring! I am going to “like” your fb page and check out your blog now : ) Thanks for sharing your story,

    Valynne

  3. impatientgirl says:

    Really want to see pictures of that 7 story tree house…

  4. LexieJae says:

    I stumbled-upon this blog and I am loving what you did to the air-stream. Amazing, amazing, amazing. Keep up the baller remodeling and designing!

  5. Sam says:

    Perfect! I have seen many renovated Airstreams and I drool at the sight of your hard work and vision. Clean, bright, simple, and warm! I want to copy exactly what you have done (but of course I won’t). I have just purchased a 76 sovereign 31′ and cannot wait to get started.

    Knowing that weight is an issue, how much did your airstream end up weighing in the end? Do you exceed the limit when fully loaded (water, clothes, people)?

    Thanks so much for the inspiration, your design is truly amazing!

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