Day One | Siya & Kristen's 1976 Sovereign
Siya and Kristen are world travelers and well-known YouTube personalities who vlog their travels, tips, and tricks. These two are nomads at their core, and have been living out of a suitcase since August (and much of the time prior!). They call Canada home, and will be traveling around Canada to celebrate their country's 150th Anniversary in - you guessed it - their new Airstream home, designed and renovated by us here at The Modern Caravan!
We've spent the last four days with this amazing couple, getting to know them and showing them the ropes of renovating, realizing how important it is for the folks we work with to lay their hands on their home and take part, even if small, in the work. Working alongside these guys has been so incredible, and I promise that's not just blog speak. There were a lot of laughs, lots of good food, some crazy long hours, supply ordering and picking up, and good conversation. We couldn't get over how hard these two work - we've never seen two people more willing and excited and ready to get their hands dirty. They dove right in without hesitation.
They arrived on Friday night after a long day of hauling through, as Siya called it, a monsoon. Their first big drive with their Airstream home, they arrived weary but smiling, giving us giant hugs and helping us position the trailer in it's renovation spot. After nearly three months of planning and prepping, the day had arrived - seeing their Airstream arrive out front was a monumental moment for both of us, and felt crazy surreal. It gives me goosebumps to think about how our dream is really happening - and we couldn't ask for kinder folks to be our first clients.
Prior to hiring us, Siya and Kristen's 1976 Airstream Sovereign (31') received a shell off chassis repair. The frame was sandblasted, repaired, and repainted, and new tanks were installed and propane lines were run. Our portion of the renovation involves skin removal, running new electrical, installing Roxul and Reflectix insulation, reinstalling the skins and crafting custom endcaps, new lighting installation, surround sound, paint, flooring, and a total custom build with brand new appliances from Furrion, handcrafted barn wood countertops (made by us!), custom cabinetry, and a gorgeous mid-bath with a full shower and composting toilet from Nature's Head and surprise element I'm so excited about.
Day One began early, Ellen and I rising before the sun and heading out to assess the Airstream. We first pulled out the flooring and barn wood Kristen and Siya had already purchased and sourced, and then got to work, dismantling what was left in the space and then beginning to drill out rivets. Siya and Kristen had noted quite a lot of water coming in on their drive, and once we had the skins down, it was plain to see where the water was coming in: unfortunately, while the new subfloor looks great and the frame feels solid, the previous company who had their hands on this trailer wasn't entirely thorough. There were parts of the shell not attached to the subfloor and frame, and places where water from the road likely just poured in. There were some trouble spots inside the walls as well, but we've since addressed the issues we found. We can luckily move forward now that we know the Airstream is going to be watertight - despite the issues, this trailer is in exceptional shape and it's obvious that it was taken care of.
We removed everything within one day, clocking 38 (wo)man hours, pulling out skins, insulation, wiring, and the old furnace, water pump, and the remaining upper cabinetry. We organized the skins, packed the demo debris into a Bagster, and even recycled all the metal we didn't need through a local woman who donates the proceeds from scrapped metal to local schools. Whew!
The next few days were spent waterproofing, repairing the issues unaddressed by the previous company, and ordering and picking up the majority of the supplies we'll need for the next several months of renovation. Siya and Kristen headed back north this morning (we miss them already!) and are preparing to depart for destinations all over the world. The next time they see their Airstream, it's going to be completely transformed and ready to call home. They'll be vlogging about our time together here - look for that link tomorrow!
Keep checking the blog for progress on Kristen and Siya's Airstream renovation!