If you read my last post about planning, you might remember I talked about wanting a bus to convert, and being pretty much dead set on it. But, I guess I’m not that set on it because I’ve been looking at Airstream’s near me, mostly older models and ones that need some work so I can renovate and update it for my needs. I’m also kind of liking the set up that Nathan and Marissa from Less Junk, More Journey have using a van to pull their Airstream.
While a bus conversion, or even a Class A, with a tow car would be convenient and has a ton of space, a travel trailer looks like it might be feasible for what I want, and easier to get into state and national parks. As long as it has enough storage for essentials, it would be great for full-time RVing. I’m also being drawn more to being able to separate my transportation from my home, and my home isn’t motorized. As you may know, with a motorized RV and a toad you now have 2 engines, transmissions and fuel to worry about for 2 vehicles.
The Airstreams I’m Interested In
The first one I came across is a 1960 25‘, but I’m not sure on what model it is, as the seller doesn’t say in the ad. But, it needs extensive work, and may have been left to rot too much to be salvageable. From the photos, it looks like the curb side is rotting, and the door has a huge chunk missing. Its $1000.00, so I may take a look at it when I get home to see how bad it really is, but I think it may be too far gone for my needs.
The second Airstream is a 1977 Argosy and is in pretty good shape. It’s a 2 owner and 95% original, with new tires and a water line. The body is in good condition, but does have some dents and dings. This one is going for $5000.00. I haven’t researched pricing, but it seems like a decent deal.
And last on the list, for the moment, is a 1973 Excella 500. This one really has me interested, but it’s much larger than what the old Ford Ranger can pull. But, it is definitely the best of the 3, and looks to be well worth the $5900.00 price they have on it. I also really like the horizontally split windows on the sides.
If I do go this route, I’d like to keep it close to original, but with a modern twist. Some upgrades I’d love to do are….
- Add solar power, enough to power the A/C unit.
- Switch to a composting toilet and get rid of the black tank for more storage.
- Add a cell signal booster like a Weboost for RVs.
- Update the interior to give it a light and airy beach cottage feel. Including paint, new floors and a coastal vibe for the upholstery.
The Research Begins
I still need to research these models more and find the pros and cons of each, but if I go the travel trailer route, I think an Airstream may be the ticket. I need to save some more money before I can pull the trigger, but it’s good to know what’s out there and the price they go for these days.
I’d really rather have an older one like these so that when I renovate it, I won’t feel too bad about tearing it apart. But, I would still try to maintain the classic character an Airstream has by keeping it close to original looking. And one bonus I have is living only about an hour and a half away from the Airstream plant in Jackson Center, OH. So, if I need to, I can run up there for hard to find parts and service I can’t do myself, which I think would be rare since I have a construction and automotive background, and I’m able to do the work myself.
So, with ALLLL of that being said, it’s time to do some homework and see if this is the way I want to go. I guess we’ll just see what happens.