1976 Vintage Airstream Renovation : Week 1

Back in the 1920’s, a man name Wally Byam built the world’s first Airstream trailer. It began as a tent contraption that he built on a Model T chassis. After suffering through several rain storms, he decided a more permanent structure would be more beneficial and replaced the tent with a teardrop shaped shell to the chassis. Then he completed it with a stove and an ice chest. Other travelers caught notice of his inventive creation and so born the first generation of Airstreams.

As we stepped into our 1976 Airstream for the first time, we were hit with a smell of stale air and nostalgia. From the blue carpet to the old built in cassette tape player, the trailer screamed the 70’s. We couldn’t help but sit and take it all in for a moment. It was as if we were transported to another time!

Our 1976 Vintage Airstream is surprisingly in really good condition considering it has been sitting for over ten years in exposed to the salty marine layer that rolls in each morning here in Southern California, hot sun, and dust. Our plan is to tear everything down to the bare walls which are made from aluminum. I want to see what’s hiding behind this ten year old furniture! Our particular Airstream model, is called a Land Yacht Sovereign and has a center bath. We really like this layout because it feels the most similar to a traditional home.

In our last post about our Vintage Airstream, we gave a complete walk through so you could see the “before” renovation video and photos. With drills in hand, masks on our faces and gloves to protect us, we are ready to begin the rest of week one today! We honestly have no idea what we are doing, but there is no better time than now to figure it out and learn something new.

You can see below all the progress we have made so far! We have removed the nasty blue carpet, fridge, closet, kitchen cabinets, and shower in the bathroom. Everything we touch is full of dust and stickiness!

1976 Land Yacht Sovereign Airstream in Orange County, California.

Here is a view of the bathroom, bedroom and closet, which we have removed most of. We are currently scrubbing the walls with Goo Gone, and Mr. Clean erasers, they work like magic!

1976 Land Yacht Sovereign Airstream in Orange County, California.

We took out the old corroded heater and duct work, it resisted at first but with a good tug it finally came out!

1976 Land Yacht Sovereign Airstream in Orange County, California.

Still so much left to take out…

1976 Land Yacht Sovereign Airstream in Orange County, California.

Got rid of the old pull out couch…

1976 Land Yacht Sovereign Airstream in Orange County, California.

…and now we are finally starting to take the wall panels off to get to the electrical and insulation underneath.

1976 Land Yacht Sovereign Airstream in Orange County, California.

Wear gloves and goggles when removing fiber glass insulation : lesson learned! Ahh we can see the bare aluminum walls now!

1976 Land Yacht Sovereign Airstream in Orange County, California.

And this is where we end week 1 of our Airstream renovation…we are exhausted, and totally ready to take a nap, but excited to keep going next week!

Don’t forget to check back with us to see more of our vintage Airstream renovation progress.

Have a great weekend!

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