Let me tell you the story of how we decided to tow a 28′ Airstream International Signature trailer around the country …
Two 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.
Because 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.
Once 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).
Our 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.
Would 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.
The 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.
The 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.
I’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.
Again, those windows make such a difference! They really open up the whole space.
Opposite the dinette is the small kitchen.
It’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.
Down the hall on the left is the bathroom door and opposite it is the shower.
The main bedroom is in the very back with wardrobe closets on either side and tons of storage above and under the bed.
The cutouts make great bookshelf/nightstands and genius! there’s an outlet on either side to charge our phones overnight.
At the foot of our bed are two small walls where we added stick-on hooks to hold coats, hats, and bags.
We 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.
You 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!
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 …