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Take A Tour of Our Airstream Trailer

Let me tell you the story of how we decided to tow a 28′ Airstream International Signature trailer around the country …

ryantrailersmTwo years ago, when we began planning for this trip, we found and bought what we thought was going to be the vehicle we would take on the road. You may remember when I first posted about our Class C Motor home and we had all sorts of plans to fix it up and make it amazing.

We kept pushing off the big trip, but still took the RV on a handful of overnights – to the beach in the summer, to the mountains in the winter.

On those trips, we learned three things: driving in the RV was very, very noisy, the engine sits between the driver and passenger seats and gets very, very hot and we didn’t trust its build quality. It seemed like something was always breaking.

Which left us wondering if maybe we should take something else  on our big trip around the country. Something less noisy, more comfortable and something we had a bit more confidence in.

If you know anything about Ryan and Emily, you know that we are very good option-analyzers and not very good decision-makers. Round and round we went for months trying to decide what would be best for our family of six to live and travel in for just under four months.

Ultimately, we decided to go for a trailer instead of the motor home.

airstreamBecause we planned on doing a lot of sight-seeing each day, we knew we needed a car we could take day trips in. We thought for a split second about towing a car with the RV, but decided against it as we would have to buy a new (smaller) car that could be towed (but it couldn’t be too small because we needed to fit all six of us in it).

We went to a few RV shows – something I never thought I’d say! – this past winter and looked at every single option for trailers. There are so many different choices and we probably could have been fine and happy with any one of them, but we especially liked the quality, durability and clean lines of an Airstream.

airstreamsideOnce we decided on an Airstream, we had to narrow down our choices.

You can find old, vintage models that need full remodels (super fun and creative if you have the time – we didn’t). You can buy brand new (very fancy and fresh and great if you have the budget for it – we didn’t). Or you can search long and hard and pretty much every single day until a slightly used model pops up on Craig’s List and snag it while its available. (Hint: we chose option three).

IMG_2077Our Airstream trailer is 28′ with a lounge, kitchen, dinette, bathroom, shower and bedroom in the back. There are larger models that made more sense layout wise for our big family, but they maxed out our family SUV’s towing capacity and short of buying a bigger car (which is pretty hard to find – we drive a Ford Expedition EL), we just couldn’t pull such a big trailer.

This 28′ fits within our towing capacity, Ryan feels comfortable driving with it, it is a 2010 and in great condition and we’ve been doing just fine in our tight quarters with the six of us.  So far, we are extremely happy with our decision.

airstreamwithcarWould you like to see inside? Let me give you the grand tour. Or maybe it should be called the petite tour. Either way, here it is:

When you open the front door, you walk into the living room, with an L-shaped built-in couch.

couchkitchen

couch2The windows let in gorgeous natural light and there are cabinets above and below which provide a surprising amount of storage space.

If you’ve been in many RV’s, you’ll know how terrible the upholstery can be. While not a total deal-breaker, I knew if I had the choice, I wanted a space that felt clean and minimal and very few RV’s offer that.

Side note: Why?!! Why must RV/trailer manufacturers use the worst upholstery fabric known to man? Why the valences and borders and speckled walls? I do not understand it.

When we found this trailer, with its wood-tones, gray upholstery, metal walls, and white cabinets, I knew it was right up my neutral-loving aesthetic. Now that we’ve lived in it for 3 weeks, I will say that I am so thankful to have such a clean palette.

couchThe dinette seats were originally upholstered in a red microfiber that I tried so hard to convince myself I could live with. A few days before we left a friend stopped by and she was very quick to convince me otherwise. I called my mother-in-law, pulled out an old set of navy blue IKEA curtain panels and by the end of the next day we had slipcovers for the cushions.

dinette-from-backI’m so, so happy we did the slipcovers. First, because the blue works so much better with the clean, neutral look in here. Second, because those kiddos of mine are ridiculously messy eaters and these can be thrown in the washer without any trouble.
bowlAgain, those windows make such a difference! They really open up the whole space.

bowlandflowersOpposite the dinette is the small kitchen.

kitchentobed2It’s teensy, but very workable. There is just enough counter space between the extra deep sink and the cooktop for a cutting board, which was a weird, but important criteria for me when choosing a trailer.

Next to the stove/convection microwave combo is a good-size fridge and above the sink are cabinets which store much more than I expected.

tablestraight
dinetteDown the hall on the left is the bathroom door and opposite it is the shower.
tablewithpictureThe main bedroom is in the very back with wardrobe closets on either side and tons of storage above and under the bed.

bedroom

bedroomsideThe cutouts make great bookshelf/nightstands and genius! there’s an outlet on either side to charge our phones overnight.

pillowAt the foot of our bed are two small walls where we added stick-on hooks to hold coats, hats, and bags.

accessoriesWe are learning how to live efficiently in a small space, maximizing every inch and making sure everything has a place.  There are systems we’ve established to make sure we stay organized and so far, this little trailer is working out very well for us.

airstreamback2You may be wondering Where does everyone sleep?! Where is all the stuff?! Don’t worry, those posts will come soon :)

Until then, I hope you enjoyed the tour. We’re pretty pleased with the Airstream!

 

SOURCES

Striped Pillow | USA Pillow (no longer available – Target) | Plaid Throw (coming this fall to my shop!) | Sea To Shining Sea Print | Acrylic Tray | Wood Bowl | Striped Dish Towel | Sheets (no longer available by Cynthia Rowley) | Blanket | Pom Pillow

Questions? Ask away …

82 thoughts on “Take A Tour of Our Airstream Trailer”

  1. Some time ago you mentioned a great coffee table book about the 50 states that you loved for kids. I’ve scoured the blog looking for it & cant seem to find it. Could you help with the recommendation again? Thanks so much!

  2. We love camping! We are in the process of buying a new car for our family of 7. Suburban or Expedition?? Would love your opinion.

  3. We like this particular model. Just wanted to know what year and do you know if the 2nd door was an option for that model year?

  4. How did you hang the picture behind the dinette? We just bought a travel trailer and are nervous about screwing into the walls. Any tips? Thanks!

    1. So happy for your family and love the airstream. We live just 20 minutes from Jackson Center, OH – Airstream’s home. We have toured the plant a number of times and dream of owning one someday. As I am originally from WA state and we head out there fairly often, we would definitely be open to hearing your asking price on your trailer when you are finished with it. We love road trips and are actually heading to Spokane with a stopover in Grand Tetons and Yellowstone along the way. Enjoy your trip. I studied abroad and traveled all over Europe. It was amazing, but so is our country. We have such variety and amazing sites right here so I always tell people there is no need to head over seas until you have have toured from sea to shining sea! :-)

    2. One question I’ve had for awhile and been curious about is: What is your family doing for family worship since y’all are away road tripping for four months? Online sermons, or does Ryan lead your family into a devotion/study or are y’all visiting churches across the US?

    3. i used to have a small obsession with watching those shows where they make luxury RVs and everytime they unveiled those suckers with the terrible, shiny cabinetry i was yelling, “why!?!?! you ruined a good thing!!” at the tv. you definitely lucked out with this beauty!

    4. ok, very silly questions as these pictures are wonderful… the kavu bag, which one is that. I cannot seem to locate it. thx u Enjoy your trip!!!

    5. Thanks for the tour. My husband is obsessed with airstream trailers and the one you have just might convince me that he’s right and we should get one. :) Happy traveling!

    6. So fun to get a peek inside! I’m actually curious about that Kavu bag – do you like the cotton vs the polyester? How is the light color holding up? It looks so perfect for traveling with kids once you are past the diaper bag stage!

    7. thanks for sharing your wonderful adventure. love your airstream. what model is it?
      keep the updates coming.

    8. Thanks for sharing! You guys look like you’re having so much fun. And I love your style, so I have to know where you get your linens and sheets? Looking forward to see what other places you explore.

    9. Wow! I am enjoying and learning with each of your posts, I love your Airstream, the colors and decor are super pretty. What a wonderful experience ! I would love to do this with my Family too :) Thank you so much for sharing.

    10. Love it! Love your blog! We bought a vintage airstream (1989 29-foot) and we are in the middle of a total remodel on it. If you could recommend one thing (spatial design, practical tips, storage hints, etc) what would it be? We’re a family of five and our kiddos are still very young!

      1. Great question!

        Counter Space. Deep sink. We haven’t needed an oven, so the microwave/convection is great. Very carefully consider the layout (look at boat construction – they seem to optimize every single space).

    11. Love following you and your family on your extended trip and all of the pictures that accompany your posts. We bought a used Ford King Ranch 2 years ago and my husband is dead set on getting a slide-in camper with no pushouts! We have gone to a few RV shows and as I keep pointing out to him, we are getting older, not younger, and I don’t know if I can get up into that cabover bed like we used to BC (before children, and now grandchildren)!
      I keep looking lovingly at each Airstream that we pass, pointing each one out to him, but I haven;t been able to change his mind yet. He’s worried about the backing up with the trailer part!

      1. We can’t recommend an airstream enough! Backing up hasn’t been too difficult. Ryan is planning on putting a small camera on the back, though, just to make things easier. He used to drive a fire engine for a living, so this trailer isn’t out of his comfort zone :)

    12. Gwen, The Makerista

      Oh my goodness, yes, I’m dying to know where everyone is sleeping! My in-laws just sold their trailer because we just didn’t use it like we used to but yes, they had a HUGE diesel truck to pull the thing and while it was really spacious (with a master, a loft bed and a garage in the back for motorcycles) the truck was a whole other animal. It was like a small semi! I’m very curious where all of your clothes/stuff goes and also where those kiddos are sleeping…I’m guessing that couch folds out or something? It always amazed me though how every square inch was not wasted inside those things. Love following this!

    13. Love the look! Can’t wait to hear more about the systems you’ve established to make sure you stay organized. Thanks for taking the time to share your adventure and you how you’re doing it! I have three boys and this kind of adventure is right up our alley!

    14. I think this might be a dumb question….I have no clue about RV or Airstream travel. Are you only able to be in the Airstream when you are stopped? No one can be in the Airstream when you are traveling on the road, right???

    15. Hi Emily! Great information!! Thank you! So do you recommend the camper route for short trips or airstream for both weekend getaways and longer trips? Do you think y’all will keep it after the trip for weekends away?

      1. I would recommend the trailer for any of it! The RV would have worked fine, too. There are tons of motor homes out here at every campsite we stay at. It just depends on what works best for your family and adventure.

    16. this was such a fun post! i’ve never seen inside an airstream. beautiful! as a side note – where did you find your Kavu bag? or do you know the pattern name? looks perfect for vacations!

    17. When the children sleep ?
      I wanted to ask you a story about the caravan !! Thank you for having done !!
      We are a family of 5 and we dream to visit the USA . But for us as the hotel would not be possible for a long time and would love to Airstream !! Thank you for doing that for us before !! However , we live in Europe, in France and for now this American Travel project is only a sweet dream … ! Thank you and good travel !

      PS : I have a blog http://mariemaguelonecreations.com with a travel section ! Maybe would you read by translating our travels in Europe! http://mariemaguelonecreations.com/category/voyages/ Bye bye

    18. My question is what did you do about your jobs for 4 months? I know your job is easy to convert to being mobile, but what about your husband’s job? We struggle to get a week off here and there, much less 4 months!

    19. I love this! Can you share the decor details? Like the linens ( I’m weird) on your bed, acrylic tray, painting in the nook?

    20. Your trailer is stunning. The nicest I’ve ever seen. What an amazing experience you’re giving your children. They will remember this forever!

    21. Can I just say that I LOVE reading your blog. They way you are raising these beautiful children makes me so excited to have some of my own one day and I would LOVE to do a trip just like this!

    22. Oh, and yes! I couldn’t agree more: “Side note: Why?!! Why must RV/trailer manufacturers use the worst upholstery fabric known to man? Why the valences and borders and speckled walls? I do not understand it.”

    23. It’s gorgeous! We’ve been searching for this exact model. If you decide to sell when you get home please email me:) were local. safe travels!!

        1. You should check out Currently Wandering! It’s a friend of mine whole travels the US in an airstream with their family of 5. They have great ideas and advice for mobile living and places to see/go.

        2. This is awesome! My big question is where does everyone go when you’re traveling, since the driver has to be separated from the airstream (unlike an RV)? Does your husband drive and you all hang in the airstream or do you all stay in the truck until you land at your campground or hookup? Do you take turns driving? We have talked about taking a cross country trip with our three kids since we both have flexible work schedules, thanks! – Aviva

          1. We all ride in the car – no being in the trailer while it is on the road.

            Ryan has done all of the driving so far. I’ll do a post about our car setup with the activities and arrangement we have going on …

        3. You made this look so homey. I love all the blue and the Sea to shining Sea picture. So cute! Love following your adventures!

        4. Awesome! You brought up great points=RV vs. Trailer. I am all for the Airstream. Beautiful trailer and you have decorated so nice. What a great gift you are giving your whole family (the Trip.)

        5. Thank you for sharing this- I have been waiting on this post! I am really enjoying following along with your trip and can’t wait to see more!

        6. I totally agree that rv’s have the worst styling!! This is gorgeous. What year model is it? Was it made like this or remodeled?

        7. You are SO right about ugly RV decor! We had a trailer that was the least awful I could find, but still…ack. The only thing I can figure is that the manufacturers think that the awful upholstery will hide dirt, but whats with the stuff on the walls and dreadful valences???

          Your Airstream looks amazing! If we ever have the need for a trailer again, I know what to look for!
          Thanks for the tour.

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