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1973 Airstream Sovereign 31′ – Michelle

About This Project

In 1967 during the Summer of Love, The Beatles lyrics, “Michelle, ma belle, these are words that go together well…” expressed a simple, yet deep emotion that translated into one of the most popular pop tunes of the ’60s.  The lyrical love ballad, Michelle, co-written by the Beatles front man Paul McCartney, offers a much deeper message than the simple tune’s name implies.


Michelle was inspired by this Beatles tune because like the song, this 1973 Airstream Sovereign possess a deeper breadth of functionality and hidden qualities beneath her silver skin.


In 2016, the same pure, heart-felt message continues to strike a chord with those looking for a deeper sense of connection to each other, their families, and their environment.
Michelle is yet another vessel by Hofmann Architecture that has been carefully designed and crafted to serve a family who will share an adventurous lifestyle while building memories for generations to come.


Client: A California couple that’s ready to take family time to a whole new level with their 6 month old as they seek adventure in comfort and luxury.


Vessel1973 Sovereign 31’


LocationMichelle can adapt equally well to extreme heat and cold; whether it’s at her temperate home on San Diego’s coast, the sizzling Mojave Desert, or subfreezing nights in the Eastern High Sierra.


PurposeVersatility reigns in this beach-to-mountain vacation home for an active family looking to maintain creature comforts, while enjoying the John Muir’s Sierra Nevada Range of Light.


GoalFamily-friendly functionality meets hidden high-end electronics, state-of-the-art HVAC heating and cooling, and easy-to-use tech features. Behind the clean, rustic finishes is an Airstream “rocket ship” like no other. Not one automated function or space age-like component was overlooked. It’s easily the most self-contained, ready-for-anything vessel we’ve ever designed.


Design aesthetics are combined into a durable package of natural, quick-to-clean-and-maintain surfaces. The vessel needed to have a separate sleeping space for mom and dad, with bunks for the children. Durable flooring, countertops and cabinet finishes blend rustic barn wood and smooth surfaces. A high priority has been placed on self-sufficient electrical power generation with maximized solar panels and battery storage.


Design HighlightsThe client’s self-described “clean and cozy style” was achieved by blending a careful mix of contemporary, modern, clean white, aluminum, stainless steel, and warm rustic reclaimed wood. “And, of course, because it’s a vintage Airstream we want the outside to be shiny!”


The Airstream features state-of-the-RV-industry heating and cooling systems. The Alde radiant warm floor and wall heating will reduce the chance of drafts, even in the coldest settings. There’s even a towel warmer! The ducted air conditioning in the ceiling provides well-distributed cooling throughout the vessel.



  • As part of the shell-off restoration the body was raised 6 additional inches for a ducted air conditioning system in a hidden ceiling for even distribution of cold air
  • Four ceiling fan vents in the lounge, bunk and bathroom areas for natural light and ventilation
  • Large u-shape lounge that converts into adult bed for two or dining for six
  • Automated dining table raises and lowers with a switch
  • Comfortable memory foam mattress with hidden night stands on either side, and USB chargers, and reading lights
  • Two under counter refrigerators/freezers
  • Isotherm mini refrigerator for drinks located at the entrance for easy access
  • Flat screen TV and Bose Surround Sound soundbar integrated into solid oak cabinetry
  • Top of the line Bose speakers throughout the interior and exterior
  • Expansive solid surface grey countertops in the kitchen galley
  • Large under mount stainless steel sink and homestyle chrome faucet
  • Combination washer/dryer — that’s right, say, ba-bye to the local laundromat
  • Smooth white cabinetry with locking chrome Hafele hardware throughout
  • Two burner induction cooktop stove
  • Double bunk beds with rail, memory foam mattresses, reading lights, and personal skylights for stargazing
  • Lower bunk bed automatically expands from a single to a cantilevered double with the flip of a switch
  • Spacious built-in storage closets for hanging and numerous drawers
  • Built-in digital safe for securely storing valuables
  • Convenient storage shelves with USB power for keys, wallets, mobile phones
  • Large water-resistant pull out drawer under lounge seat at entry for wet shoes and gloves
  • New LED lights throughout
  • Reclaimed wood floors and the table in the lounge area
  • Sunbrella upholstery cushions throughout and the exterior awning
  • Frosted translucent plexi-glass surface bathroom door
  • Alde radiant hot water system provides heat for the interior walls, floors, bath towel, and water storage tanks
  • Icynene spray foam insulation for increased R-value and structural stability
  • Battery storage and electronics equipment located over the axles for optimum weight distribution
  • Glass tiled bathroom with sink, shower, and toilet
  • Self-draining teak drop-in bathroom floor
  • Electric ZipDee awning
  • Two 40 lb LPG tanks
  • Protective front rockguard window
  • Electric water heating system for fresh/waste water valves
  • Automatic levelers
  • Electric hitch jack
  • Power entry step
  • New running gear, wheels and tires
  • And finally, Michelle’s been polished to a mirror shine!


Guesthouse, Recreational
  • Dana Hunter
    Posted at 16:36h, 27 May Reply

    I am in LOVE!

  • Ryan B
    Posted at 16:27h, 15 June Reply

    That’s the single most perfect airstream yet to date. Bravo!

  • Emily Mason
    Posted at 18:21h, 09 August Reply

    What brand are the undercounter frige/freezer?

  • patricia qualls
    Posted at 21:10h, 23 August Reply

    I am in love with the art you have made with these gorgeous usable homes on wheels.

    Take a look at my website and let me know if you have any interest in art and lots of it for a home on wheels!
    Blessings, paq

    • Profile photo of Hofarc Info
      Hofarc Info
      Posted at 13:48h, 24 August Reply

      Hi Patricia, we really appreciate your kind words! We’ll make sure to check out your website and contact you if we’re looking for art in the future. Happy trails!

  • Craig Patterson
    Posted at 00:00h, 05 September Reply

    I’m glad that i found you ! , I was going to do this really exspensive renovation job ! But now ! … I can just buy from you in California ! THANK GOD ! I will be looking out for all of your Airstreams ! I like 1973 Michelle a lot !

  • James Carroll
    Posted at 16:24h, 07 December Reply

    This is seriously a perfect work of art! Well done!

    Did you just paint that wood or is that special high-glass cabinetry?

    Also, what kind of door knobs are those on the cabinets? They are so cool.

    • Profile photo of Hofarc Info
      Hofarc Info
      Posted at 09:59h, 08 December Reply

      Hi James,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! The wood is reclaimed from an old barn, and the smooth white cabinetry is fitted with locking chrome Hafele hardware throughout.

      Let us know if this helps!


  • Kim W.
    Posted at 17:17h, 10 December Reply

    Love the dinette/bed! The bed looks like a more traditional bed thn most. It looks like it pulls out front to back to make a larger bed. (Queen?). Are you going to post any videos on how you built it?

    • Profile photo of Hofarc Info
      Hofarc Info
      Posted at 10:05h, 13 December Reply

      Hi Kim,

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful compliments. The table does lower down flush with the couch to make a level flat space. It is nearly the same size as a full/queen bed, and just as comfortable! Unfortunately we did not record the construction process, the photos are all we have. We do have other videos at where you might find more interesting HofArc builds!

      Thank you again for the comment!


  • James Carroll
    Posted at 19:04h, 19 December Reply

    Sorry for the follow-up questions on those knobs, but are those push-pop out knobs that can be pushed in? Would there be any possible way you could show us all the exact ones you all used? I have looked everywhere for those and can’t find them! Thanks in advance.

  • Chris Carroll
    Posted at 13:43h, 22 December Reply

    Thank you so much!

    • Profile photo of Hofarc Info
      Hofarc Info
      Posted at 09:57h, 03 January Reply

      Of course, anytime!

      Good luck!

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