the truth about an airstream renovation

an airstream renovation / the truth

How can you not love all the fun renovations you see on pinterest & instagram?

why renovate an airstream?

As our family has been navigating our life this year, pursuing a more simple life, we came across the idea of fixing up an airstream (or camper of any kind) so that we could airbnb our house on weekends.

This seemed like a great solution to me. I easily convinced my handy husband. More on that on our podcast.

where did we shop?

So we began our search. Facebook Marketplace seems to be the new craigslist. Craiglist, of course. Then

We started searching beyond our community because it seemed like most airstreams in our area were starting at 10k for a complete gut job.

So we found the airstream pictured in Virginia - my husband must have been searching around where he went to college. There we found the best price we had seen for a working one. It was a 1976, but the family was using it actively so we thought so great…we can just clean it up, paint the cabinets. Fix up the interior.


I started to get skiddish about the whole things & wanted to get it checked out by an rv professional person. My husband drove it up to get it checked out.

We NEEDED a quick flip project. We did not have the TIME or SPACE for a long project.

As you can see here, we have a small driveway with an incline. We can do a lot of DIY work, but we did not have the space for it here.

When my husband told the RV repair men what we were trying to do…he said…

You don’t want any part of this.

Lol. Okay. Eye roll.

He went on to say…an airstream renovation like this is a labor of love. It would take about 6 month of hard work.

Maybe that is the timeline that is okay with you.

That was not going to work for us with our life right now.

I just thought I would share our experience if anyone is considering taking on a project like this. I still hope this is something we can do in the future, but under our current constraints it was not going to work for us.


If you buy an old airstream you are PROBABLY going to have to replace the floor & the walls.

We learned the floors are connected to the entire integrity of the structure staying together. If they are soft, it needs to be gutted.

An airstream restoration is a labor of LOVE, not just a romantic quick DIY project.

If that’s what you are looking for, maybe this is a great project for you, but we may just go with a typical camper in the future to save the money.

Best of luck!

airstream argosy / one delightful podcast