What next?

So I really thought we should name the airstream Waldo, but it seemed rather masculine for it….after many conversations about the name we still have yet to nail one down since our children had strongly opposing opinions on the matter. Anyway, name or not, our little tiny home has landed for awhile and we are taking a ‘break’ with some family. In fact, they want us to stay around so much that they are actually finishing out their basement so that we can have a ‘landing spot’ to come during our travels with some of our own furniture from our last sticks and bricks house!! Can you believe that!? We are super blessed that they would even consider doing that for us, and we are helping right now as they finish off that basement area (which is actually larger than our last house). So yes, before we’re even fully done with the airstream we’ve found ourselves knee deep in another renovation project, but I guess we know by now we’re suckers for a good renovation. While we’ve had fun staying here for an extended visit with LOTS of space, we miss some of the simplicity of our tiny home and having all the essentials right there at our fingertips.

Never to worry, we are hitting the road again in a few weeks and will focus on traveling around the ‘other’ side of the country for most of this summer! While I can’t pretend for a second that I don’t miss California weather, it is fun to get out and see all of our wonderful friends on the east side 🙂

We are looking at 2017 being a GREAT year for us as a family, traveling this half of the country and visiting many of your smiling faces. Our 6 month crash into full time life on the road was a big success, despite doing part of it in construction and going WAY too fast for what we wanted to be able to spend time in each place and really get to know it well.

Our favorite take-away from the 12 states and 12,000 miles we put on the new truck was probably the time we had on the Oregon coast. We saw SO MANY beautiful places, but that one struck a special place in our hearts. Not sure if it was enough to pull us back to stay, but we still have a lot more states to explore!! Along with this transition, we are FINALLY settling in to a pace that we can manage, doing school with the boys and traveling around teaching lots of awesome people more about natural lifestyle changes and how to use essential oils. That also means I have more time now to keep up with our travels and our posts, which makes me happy. There are way too many memories that we’ve made not to document them and share them with those who are following our journey!

Stay tuned for our 2017 adventures!!

SoLong SoCal

Driving out of LA and Malibu is exciting since I have never been further north in CA than Hollywood! It is crazy how fast the landscape changes just moving into central coast. We wanted to explore some of the coastline in this beautiful stretch, so found a place at Pismo Beach and decided to take a longer than usual day driving and push out a lot of mileage today. 

For those who have renovated airstreams, you know you can’t be in Santa Barbara without checking out some of Hoffman’s work. We were just quickly stopping through but caught sight of the Santa Barbara Auto Park!

Santa Barbara was a cute little town, but in order to cover our ground we kept on driving.

It is amazing how much wide open space there is in central coast! Beautiful farmland, rolling hills and of course, fabulous sunsets. We had fun dreaming of all the places that maybe we could see ourselves landing in one day, but for now….more adventure awaits!

seaside & sunsets

The beach is definitely one of our favorite places. The boys LOVE literally rolling around in the sand for hours. Middle little made this portrait of mommy and daddy in the sand today.

Here’s the glamorous campground bathroom selfie. Getting used to life with lots of dirt and very few showers. Thankfully this place has free showers – we do have a shower set up in the airstream, but we do NOT have full hookups here, so that means one shower pretty much will fill our grey water tank which is a HUGE pain. Moving the airstream once it’s set up at the campground is not something you want to have to do, so when we do not have a sewer hookup we have to 1) not use much water AT ALL or 2) hope that one of the mobile trucks that drives around and drains your tank for a fee has the right hookup for our system or 3) buy a mobile dumping tank that looks like a little enclosed wagon. This is not something we’ve wanted to do yet since we don’t have a spot to haul it around and store it and they are super expensive considering it’s just a plastic tank on wheels.

So for now we’re trying to use the campground showers as much as possible and when we wash dishes we scrape the food off, soap them up and then try and use one bucket of water to rinse them all off. It’s a good lesson in conservation and considering CA is in a 5 year long drought probably a necessary practice no matter what. It’s been great to teach the boys more about conserving!

Once again, all of these adjustments seem like just a small price to pay for these VIEWS! This will go down as one of the most beautiful sunsets I have EVER seen. EVER. We had a little glimpse of heaven tonight watching the sun go down on our last night here at the San Onofre Campground. Until next time!

new ride

So if you followed along with the last few posts, you know by now we have a dilemma. We ❤️ our Sequoia, but no way that thing is going to be able to take us where we want to go moving forward ? We definitely need to have a higher towing capacity.

Meet our newest member of the team….RAM, Dodge Ram (mega cab, of course if I have to sacrifice my SUV). I may have gone through this kicking and screaming bc I do not want a truck, but I do want to be safe and at the end of the day, that (and my husband) won out. This thing is a beast and will be able to tow whatever we throw it’s way. It is nice and has a ton of room in the cab for the boys so it will do the job (though the 3rd row seat option in the Toyota Sequoia is the bomb – just throwing that out there for those of you who may be able to get by without a 17k tow capacity 2500 diesel truck.

So here’s to another unexpected turn in our new adventure! All this truck stuff along with some other ‘business’ we had to take care of both for retirement, appointments and the airstream set us back about a week on any type of adventuring or seeing our friends which is a bummer, but now we can hit the road again safely!

life in airstream renovation

This is tough, guys. I’m not gonna lie. We have NO problem camping or roughing it, but moving into the airstream on top of extra boxes of stuff (because our cabinets and drawers are not finished), no washer & dryer, no dishwasher and no hot water makes the transition start to set in hard.

We have spent the past few days working on getting in some of the stuff we need to function better – we have our toilet all set up, the boys bunk room is now done enough that all of them can sleep and our stove and oven work! The dinette table/our bed is a pain and needs some more work, but it is all stuff we can fix.

I {may} have panicked a few times and freaked out at the tight space and all the crap with everyone crammed in. I just keep telling myself that it will get better and even moving into a big house is chaos for the first few nights. This is what the bathroom looked like for the drive trying to cram stuff in and make sure it would not slide around ? this makes me want to scream, but instead….lots of deep breaths!

The boys are loving it, but the difference between this and the vacation is that we have a lot of work we have to do each day to keep moving forward and getting this more liveable. The boys are not old enough to just send them off to the beach on their own, and movies and tv are off the table, so while it is awesome to make this adjustment, it will take some time! They are good sports though – even when we cram in a door above their heads that we had to snag on clearance from Lowes! ?

Seeing them all snuggle up in the top bunk for story time makes all this crazy go into perspective and reminds us of exactly WHY we are doing this ❤️

We are balancing these days between working on the projects, running errands and heading to stores (since that was a rare thing in the desert), taking them to the playground and taking them to the beach. Not too shabby, really.

After racking our brains and really looking at and praying about the right thing to do, we have come to the conclusion we are going to have to trade in our sequoia for something that will much more safely pull the airstream along with the other stuff we will want to have to do this (bikes, equipment, tools, etc). This is not how we expected to start our adventures, but then again that is how life works, and we have managed to find ourselves in the craziest twists to every story we have. Why would this one be any different, right? I love that we are here in this amazing place to keep me grounded during the stress. Just walking out and taking this in is God’s way of reminding me to keep perspective and be oh so thankful for this family and this opportunity!

first stop: San Onofre beach

Our go-to favorite beach camping spot in Southern California has always been San Onofre Beach, so when we thought about starting out we figured it is smart to start somewhere familiar that we love. We drove out of the 112 degree desert and have arrived at our ‘camping beach’ safely with the airstream!

We were saying our prayers all the way down the hill after finally pulling through the weigh station ? Turns out with all of our things loaded up + propane + water we are just out of the ‘safe’ towing capacity of our Toyota Sequoia ? We LOVE our sequoia and are racking our brains as to what we could take out of the airstream to lighten up. Thankfully we will be here working on some things in the area, so we have some time to figure out a plan before we have to drive again.

Talk about stress. We are FINALLY all moved in and managed to weed through everything we own and get rid of a LOT. We packed up the rest and had the movers take it to my family in SC to store, but kept all our favorite or essential things just to realize we are in a bad spot with the weight. Anyway, we have arrived in San Onofre and set up camp, unloading all of our tools and construction materials that we had to bring with us to finish up. The boys ❤️ their ‘camping beach’ so we have not had any issues with the transition for them so far. It just feels like we are in a weekend vacation. So weird.

We have water and electricity hookups here, but no sewer. We figured for our first night living in it we won’t know any different, so just pretending we are camping with some extra perks. ? We looked like the total amateurs that we are trying to back in and level it the first time, but we managed!

So we hooked up our water and have running water!!! Yay! Unfortunately we did not have time to hook up the propane tanks and hot water heater before leaving so we have no hot water ? we are just so happy to be out of the 112 degrees and the desert …..and this is our new backyard view, so we don’t even care!

on the road!

It’s been a few crazy months gearing up for our big move, but all the insanity has finally landed us ON THE ROAD!! ??

It is a weird feeling handing over the keys to the house, sending off everything that we own that does not fit into 200 sq ft and driving off. It was a BUSY, stressful week (renovations on top of moving are a bad idea) and we are exhausted, but excited!

I’ll do another post on the status of the inside, but we managed to get this thing ‘liveable’ and fit a LOT of stuff in there (more than I thought we would).
We officially have no home other than our 1973 Airstream Sovereign, and even with many late late nights our renovations are not completely done ?

Despite not being as ready as we’d like, we have moved in anyway and are hitting the road to explore, see the world, teach people about essential oils, and visit friends and family along the way.?

It has been a whirlwind of emotions – too much to really process what a massive change our lives just took. Hoping you will follow along and enjoy our journey with us!!

faq: plans for life on the road

We have a lot of questions about what we are doing, where we are with the airstream renovation and our upcoming plans for full-time life on the road!

We are so busy working on this airstream that we’ve only had time for quick Instagram photos! We are in CRUNCH time now! What does that mean? The movers come in less than a month to take everything we own that is NOT going with us in the airstream.

Here are some FAQ:

What are you guys doing?

E is retiring after 20 long (but good) years of service! We are renovating a 1973 airstream camper and will travel once we get outta here!

What is your timeline?

We’re moving into the airstream in July 2016 and will travel around SoCal traveling testing it out until Sept 1. Our first trek out of CA will be to CO to drop off a small load that we’ll store with family.

Where will you go?

After our CO stop, we have a week in Salt Lake City and then will hit Yellowstone and some of the beautiful National parks this fall. From there, PNW and then back down the CA coast exploring along the Pacific Coast Highway!

Who will you visit?

We want to see you! Shoot me a message if you want us stopping in and we will be in touch!

Where will you settle down?

No idea how long we will live on the road, but we will head to the east coast to see family by the end of 2016. We’ll start our east coast adventures in 2017.

What are you doing with your stuff?

We are getting rid of a lot of junk!! We are moving furniture that we  want to keep and household goods that we won’t need in the airstream to SC. My parents are generously allowing us to keep it all there until we decide if and when we will settle down.

How will you fit everything in there?

The airstream is 31′ – about 200 sq ft to share 🙂 The boys have a bunk room at the back, we have a kitchen, bathroom and a dining area that converts to a king bed (that doubles as our master bedroom). We have no idea, but we’ll make it work!

Why do you want to do this?

We can’t wait to get out, explore & show the boys what life is like across the country. We have so many friends and essential oils teams scattered across America. What better way to visit them all!

How will you work?

Thankfully Erin is retiring, but I have been working with doTERRA for the past few years and we are blessed with a large team of people who love and use the oils. Not only does doTERRA pay us well for sharing, but we get to continue to ‘work’ doing what we love everywhere we go!

What do the boys think?

They are super excited and cannot wait to get out and explore. They are over the moon that daddy will soon be with us every day. Camping in the airstream is their favorite thing – hopefully that will continue 😉

Will you have it ready in time?

Great question!! Man I hope so. We are working like crazy nights & weekends to get the renovation done. It’s come a long way, but we’re not there yet. Lots of stuff happening this month!

Follow us on Instagram @essentiallyunrefined to see updates and progress. I’ll update this blog and we’ll catch up once we are finally done and out of this house!

airstream renovation: back bunk room

It’s quite rewarding to spend so much time and energy making a plan for a versatile yet small space, draw it out, change it a million times, tweak it again, figure out how the heck it will work and then actually get to make it happen.

Today was a loooong day, but we finally made it happen! My poor husband has been putting in 12+ hour days on the weekends and long evenings during the week, so this week I jumped in to help and man….. I’m spent.

This weekend’s project was to start on the interior build-outs!
We chose to start with the back bunk room for a few reasons:

1: we knew the sizing of the beds that we wanted so the space was non-negotiable. With several spots still in question as to where we will designate the space, the beds with fixed sizing seemed like a logical spot to dive in

2: the curves are a pain. The back lower bunk on the curve gave us a good spot to practice that will be more out of sight than the front dinette in case our first attempt was less than stellar

3: the boys are over the moon about sleeping in this thing and it is pretty fun to watch their excitement over their beds going in – plus they can ‘camp out’ on them now over the weekends while we finish the rest

What we ended up doing:
2 twin XL bunks that will be cut down a few inches (35.5 width vs 39). We originally had them much narrower, but decided to pull them out a bit so that the edge would be on the rib and line up with the start of the back curve (for extra support and strength). We did not want the full 39 inches because every inch counts in this thing and we figured that narrowing it a few inches would be a happy medium and still sufficient for rapidly growing boys to house them for years to come.

Next to the bunks we have the awesome massive generator box :/ To cover this, we decided on a custom pull out bed that folded could still be plenty of space for our 2 year old and when needed would open up to a full sized bed. Instead of making it fold in half like a traditional futon does, we cut it in 1/2 the other way lengthwise. The folded dimensions will be 54″ x 40″ and it will open up to 54″ x 75″ for the full bed. Since our little guy is still mostly little, this would give us room to grow but should be more than sufficient space for him to sleep without opening it up each night.

We knew we wanted this room to be versatile and a spot that all 5 of us could use if we have travel guests, opening up the front ‘bed’ for the guests. During the day we also wanted a good spot for the boys to hang out, a place anyone could crash for a nap or curl up with a book, and also a spot that could function for he boys school work if needed. The full sized bed when folded next to the bottom bunk creates a large ‘L’ shaped seating area and allows space for a built-in desk under the opposite window to open up (we haven’t engineered this part yet). You can see how the 2 beds together make the ‘L’ shaped seating area, but check out when it opens! Not only can it be a full sized bed that will be next to the bunks, but the total sleep area on the bottom when it is fully extended will be slightly larger than a Cali King mattress, which will be awesome when we need it! The other reason we chose to go with a full bed cut in 1/2 is that we extended the center bath to be about 40″ wide so the door from the hallway should line up well with this offset layout.

We need every inch of storage space we can get, so under the beds will be the ‘dresser’ to store the boys’ clothes. There are 3 large storage compartments under the back bunk and we hinged the corner so that we can access that for less frequently needed items along with all the electrical boxes and breaker box.

Under the full bed when folded shut is the generator and then 3 compartment areas for additional storage. I am also working on a concept to make 3 storage boxes that will sit on the top half of this bed to turn it into more of a window seat. The 3 top storage boxes will be their ‘toy’ boxes – each boy will get his own box and that is where they will get to pick whatever toys they want to bring…..as long as it fits into their box.

I know, some people think it is crazy to limit them to one box, but the whole idea of this lifestyle is to get outside, get moving and SIMPLIFY! You would be shocked at how many toys still fit into that space. I am quite excited to put the rest of this room together, but for now you’ll just have to envision the plans based on the frame 🙂

For those who want the ‘how-to’ part, here ya go:

1 – we started with framing out the front of the back bunk. Keep in mind the walls are curved in all directions which can make a square, perfectionist personality literally lose their mind! The width of the airstream at 20″ high is several inches wider than what it is at the floor so the key to framing it out is measure 10 x & hopefully cut once.

We made the bed frames 20″ high because that is what we needed to clear the generator box after insulating. We knew we wanted the beds all the same height to give it the versatility to open into one large bed if needed. Once that front framing piece was set, we screwed it into the floor and went from there.

2 – made a back frame piece on the ‘straight’ part under the window that we could use to support the back.

3 – started filling in that area with slats since we knew those storage sections would be accessed from the front. We originally wanted to hinge the entire back bed, but for some reason once we started we figured we’d just go with front access storage areas. We cut a solid panel for the back corner since the only way to access that part will be top down. We have debated whether or not it was a mistake not to hinge the whole thing, but it’s done and I think what we have will still work out fine.

How to make the slide-out bed:

1 – Do the math to see how long you will need each section. for us, our open size needed to be 54″ wide by 75″ long.

2 – We made one frame that would be fixed and another frame that would move with the bottom when the bed was fully extended. Once you determine the length of the slats you need, you then alternate securing the slats to the “top” and “bottom” frame pieces. This is the point where a video is worth a thousand words, so I will post a video of how the frames work and slide later this week.

I would try and explain it more, but it’s late and our brains were fried hours ago from trying to do the math on this. We ended up with a bit of trial and error because it was just easier to dive in and figure out our measurements hands on. It led to a few more adjustments than we originally had planned, but it all worked out in the end and I think considering we have never built anything like this before it turned out pretty well!

Please post any questions here – we would love to answer them and are documenting more of the details in hopes that it may help some poor soul figure out their plan a little easier. We would be lost if it weren’t for so many of you awesome renovators that have gone before us sharing your tips, plans, ideas and how-to’s! We are so grateful!

airstream renovation: flooring

Something is FINALLY happening on the inside!! I think at the end of all this maybe we will have time to better organize our updates, but for now just trying to keep up with it so we can have some of this written down and documented. This week we’ve made some big strides!

We installed the floors early this week. We went with TrafficMASTER allure after reading a lot of reviews on what to use and not use in a travel trailer. It is so crazy the things you have to factor in and consider when taking your ‘home’ into all different climates and also moving it around constantly. It is like having to build everything to be able to withstand an earthquake at all times. So fun. Anyway, the floors we went with a floating plank style but since we could not use real wood bc of climate control, moisture and weight issues we went with the Allure vinyl plank. Here’s what went down (literally)

It is crazy how much the lighting changes the shade of this floor, but in most light it is more of a neutral unfinished tone than the golden hue. We wanted it to be warmer than a grey driftwood, but still light and very neutral.

Pros: easiest floor we have ever installed. So so so easy. Literally press it down and a pair of heavy duty clippers or box cutters did the trick to make the cuts. It looks great – has a nice texture and we loved the color options. It is super easy to clean and seems very durable as little ones have already dropped tools and heavy objects on it with no ill result (big plus).

Cons: installing it in a travel trailer voids the warranty or any type of guarantee it may otherwise have. In reading the fine print, it actually recommends installing it in a cool dark place. Well that makes life rather boring. Short story:: it can’t take the heat.

So the day after we celebrated our beautiful new floors it hit triple digits here in the high desert. Blaring hot sun with no reprieve. By mid day with it closed up and stored the floors were already having issues 🙁 we have several spots that buckled and warped with the high temps. Thankfully as it cooled again that night some of it went back down, but we are going to have to go through and glue down several parts of our nice new and NOT cheap floating vinyl floor….which is a bummer.

It still looks good. It will still work, but despite all the rave reviews we had read, we will NOT likely be recommending this flooring to anyone renovating an RV or travel trailer bc of this. Unfortunately most other flooring options would be just as bad or worse so we feel we still have a good choice, but definitely not impressed at it warping in spots on day 1. Hoping it will be a fairly easy fix and we will not have more issues with it moving forward. Overall we are still happy to have it in and excited to move on to the next step: building in the furniture!

airstream renovation :: wall panels back in

We finally have some visible progress! The walls are finally all in! E made a door to cover the big hole (aka generator opening) and we have sanded, primed and painted every single wall panel and re-installed them all.

Since we have moved several things on the top center panel, we had to cut a new piece of aluminum for both the center panel and the front end cap (curve). E did an amazing job engineering that – NOTHING about working with curved space is fun or easy, but he pulled it off and it looks great!

The kids are having a lot of fun now that they can spend more time inside with us ‘helping.’

Because we have added in fans and moved the A/C unit we had to completely replace the top center panel. This was a fun process of a LOT of measuring twice….and three and four times to make sure we only had to cut once. It was pretty funny watching 4 adults try and hold that piece of aluminum up as we slid it into the center holds. Amazing how heavy a little piece of aluminum can get holding it above your head for an extended amount of time, but we made it and it fit perfectly!!

We installed 12v led lights down the center panel through the whole thing. We now have working lights, outlets and a working A/C unit (we hit our goal to get the A/c installed and up and running before the desert heat creeps in!).

We’ve been really blessed this week with some cooler weather – I know it won’t last long, so we are enjoying the clouds and moderate temps while they’re here! 

It’s time to start getting serious about the interior design and build out the insides! We think we know what we want, but I am having a hard time deciding on some of the materials (shocker, I know). We want the interior to be bright, open and airy so we are going with a lot of white and light colors, but with 3 boys (ok more like 4 counting the hubs) and living outdoors most of the time, too much white may prove to be a bad call.

We are en route to the lumber yard as I type this so stay tuned for some good progress pics in the next few weeks!! We’re down to 7 weeks to get this thing completely DONE and get moved in, so the pressure is on and the hours are getting long!

airstream renovation :: part 4

This has been the most stressful, but rewarding phase yet. It’s about to start getting REAL! I have to give a shout-out to my super talented husband who managed to get all of the electrical wiring in the right place & tested, the spray foam in (despite a few challenges) and then completely cleaned up and ready for walls in a relatively short amount of time. If anyone is wondering what we’re doing in our ‘spare’ time – this is it….night and day aside from our normal work hours. The kids have been troopers and are really starting to get into it too as it’s getting to the point they can pitch in and help more.

Getting this thing water tight and all the last little rivets, caulking and cracks filled took a long.long.long time. Once we finally got everything in, set and sealed, it passed the water test! We then had to finalize the placement of all the electrical wiring. Trying to decide the exact spot that you want an outlet when you don’t even have walls in yet to work with is a challenge. I learned that I am very visual and my spacial orientation is lacking when it comes to envisioning where this all will end up. Talk about stress! Making sure you have every wire in the right spot and set before you’re about to foam it all in with NO undo button will definitely make you break a sweat. We had some intense days of making sure this thing was 100% ready for the spray foam.

Speaking of the foam…..now that it’s behind us, I’m sure it is awesome and will be a great asset to our comfort in the future. Up to this point, it has been nothing but a pain in the a$$. As you know, this stuff grows as it cures, and when you only have 1.5″ space and no wiggle room, the expanding qualities are nothing short of awful. Thankful that we have excellent safety gear on hand, and after many many many hours of ‘trimming’ it back down, we are about 99% DONE with the insulation phase!

The final step of this phase is salvaging the old aluminum wall panels. Man these things were rough. We have washed each of the panels several times, sanded them down and coated them with the best primer we could get our hands on. They look amazing compared to where they came from! We’ll hopefully be wrapping the walls up this week!!

Next steps: lights and switches installed, walls painted, A/C & generator installed & then we’ll get to lay the flooring!!!

airstream renovation:: part 3

We decided for sure in November that we were going to go forward with this and jump into FULL TIME LIFE ON THE ROAD (at least until we get tired of it), and since then have kicked this reno project into high gear! Despite spending a LOT of time on it, visible progress is LOW AND SLOW right now. We have been taking out the last little bits of the ‘old’… patching vents and spots that won’t be needed with our new design and layout, and getting it cleaned up and water tight. Within the next month, we should FINALLY be on the up and up and can start re-constructing this thing with new and usable insides.

People ask all the time how we know how to do renovations or how we’ve  created a successful home business and get the freedom that we are looking forward to. Our answer: we just decided what we wanted, followed our passions, jumped in, and you learn as you go – sometime along the way you start to actually know what you’re talking about! My husband is pretty much a genius, I will admit, and extremely handy, but we have adapted a little secret we have called – FIGURE IT OUT AS YOU GO. Seems to be our motto in life. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose {like discovering that a few of our windows are leaking when it rains}, but then you go back and learn how to fix it (thanks, YouTube)! Now we love sharing our stories with others in hopes they can save a bit of time and get to where they want to be a little bit faster!

I feel like we are finally starting to round the corner on this big scrap of metal….. and we’re getting excited!!

airstream renovation:: part 2

We arrived in the desert the end of May 2014 and soon realized renovating a camper in 110+ degree heat was not going to be an easy, enjoyable task. After we survived a summer and temps started to cool, we slowly started making plans and E started in on some of the critical framework. We figured it would come in handy by the time we had to PCS again (about 3 years down the road) so we weren’t in any hurry.

Once we finally got all the disease-ridden trash out of the thing and gutted everything that couldn’t be pressure washed or bleached off, Erin and a few guys started re-building this thing from the ground up. The frame had to be scraped to the bare metal, new parts had to be welded on, the entire thing was painted with POR-15, we went to a freshwater and grey water tank system only (going to use a composting toilet), and replaced the decking with a composite material from Nyloboard (marine board so it won’t rot….ever).

EARLY SUMMER 2015:: we took it in to get some electrical wiring set up. We worked long and hard trying to re-design the interior plans taking into account how we THINK we may use it (this is super hard since I am a visual person and can’t get a good idea of the feel of the space yet). With summer travel and crazy temps in the desert, not much happened with it until we finally picked it up from the electrician in November.

Next step:: get all the old patches sealed up, clean out all the old peeling clear coat off the double paned windows (what a pain), patch a few doors and get this thing water tight and ready for insulation to go in.

the airstream:: in the beginning

Some people have asked how we decided to randomly buy and renovate an airstream and travel the country. Short answer is….we didn’t. Now that we have been through counseling and I am hopeful that our marriage will no longer dissolve over this issue, I’ll post a bit of the back story…

Have you ever had one of those ‘maybe one day’ conversations with your spouse that you casually mention dreams or ideas that might be cool to do at some time in the way distant future, but isn’t even on your radar or in the scope of reasonable possibility at the time? So I thought we were having one of those the day Erin said, ‘Oh I saw an old airstream for sale on ebay.’ Fast forward (I’m omitting the part where I snapped back and said, HECK no) and by summer 2013 we were the new owners of a 1973 piece of rolling aluminum that came complete with the hantavirus.

Lesson here: not everything advertised on ebay is as it seems. picking it up

Fast forward a few more weeks and we were now the new owners of a Toyota Sequoia because our previous vehicle was not even able to tow the aforementioned ebay purchase. OH MY!!!!! Once we got the new ‘find’ home I was told I could actually not step foot in it for health and safety reasons (I was super preggo with baby 3) and even from a distance I knew why. GROSS {insert several weeks of marriage counseling over the disagreements on making this ‘investment’ at a time in our life where I was a frazzled mom with soon to be 3 kids 3 and under who was lucky if I got a shower once a week and CERTAINLY had no time or energy for a renovation project}.

So after much counseling and debate, I finally caught a glimpse of the vision that E had for a longer term dream he had for our family. With his love for adventure, activity and desire for our boys to grow up experiencing the outdoors as much as he did as a kid, he knew something like a camper could come in handy (not to mention we had to move 9 times in 5 years and this would have been super convenient in those transitions). I fully agreed, though the means by which we got to the end would have been very different if I’d had my way. But we were at where we were at, so we agreed to keep the crazy thing….rats and all.

Life threw many curves at us just a few short months later and we found ourselves in the midst of a lot of changes. Our 3rd child was born in October, we moved to a new house across the neighborhood in November, and by January learned we were making an unexpected move to the middle of nowhere, CA. Thing were a bit busy to say the least. 10 months after we had purchased it, once I was no longer carrying a little human inside me and could get away long enough to actually shower afterward, I was allowed to set foot inside our airstream (with hazmat gear, of course). April 2014 E and I ripped out all of the old ‘insides’ in about a day and it was NOT pretty. These are the first publicly released images of what we saw: