The Before

So here is the trailer that I purchased in all of its “original” glory. Looking at these photos more than 2 years after the purchase and after all the work, I say to myself, hey, it doesn’t look that bad! It was, after all, largely original. Very 1977, but original.

Then I reflect and realize these photos don’t adequately convey the revoting feeling of stickiness on all the wall surfaces due to the degradation of the pressed on vinyl sheeting, the brittleness of the yellowed plastic fixtures and housings, the unconvincing fakery of imitation wood paneling, the flimsiness of the bulkheads and cabinets, the lack of care in joinery and fitting one thing against another, the tambour doors that wouldn’t open or close without patient and undue effort. The whole thing felt cheap and depressing like a 5 year old white RV box that’s been neglected.

And that, in a way, is the magic of the thing: that is how a lot of RVs feel five years after they are built. But this Airstream was almost 40 years old. 40 years for a travel trailer? Maybe there is something behind the Airstream reputation. Still, even cleaned up and repaired that interior would not be the kind of place to spend any time–living or leisure. And then there were the leaks.