Week 3 | 1976 Airstream Sovereign

We're neck deep in renovations on Siya + Kristen's 1976 Airstream Sovereign and it's going well - we're a few days behind schedule, but that's not bad, considering we added tasks to our list we'd not planned for originally. When we took on the project, it was simply planned to be a build-only: it would arrive ready for paint, flooring, and a full interior build. 

Siya and Kristen's busy schedule didn't allow for some of their plans for the Airstream to unfold prior to it arriving, so we added some tasks, such as: 

  • Finishing the interior gut: upper cabinet removal, furnace + water heater removal, pump removal 
  • Removal of all framing + skins
  • Removal of all insulation and old wiring, wash walls 
  • Removal of old vents and installation of new Fantastic Fans 
  • Waterproofing all seams, rivets, and patching where applicable on exterior skins (four patches overall)
  • Mapping and planning a new electrical system 
  • Running all AC and DC wiring, including solar prep, wiring harness, etc. 
  • Re-insulating with Roxul and Reflectix
  • Reinstalling aluminum skins and installing electrical boxes
  • Ordered supplies, Lowe's runs, scheduled demo pickup 

We've accomplished about two months' worth of work in the past two and a half weeks, which has translated to a lot of late nights. Ellen is still teaching, so she arrives home around 4:30 and is in the Airstream by 5. On good days, Kate's already gotten out there and started work, her hours begin around 1:30-2. Until then, she's answering emails, writing blog posts, or working with clients on ordering supplies or design work, or working on her other projects - freelance interior design projects, blogging, or adding things to her vintage shop. 

This weekend, we hope to:

  • Finish installing skins (just the ceiling panels and window frames remain)
  • Cut and install custom aluminum endcaps
  • Paint
  • Install remaning electrical boxes 
  • Begin floor installation 

With all luck, we'll be starting the interior build early-to-mid next week, framing out the front dinette, and then moving to the bed build. These will be the simplest builds, with the kitchen running a close second to the bathroom, which is always the most complicated, taking quite a bit of engineering to install everything needed (plumbing, proper slope, tile) in such a small space. During the dinette and bed build, we'll also be wiring and installing lighting, switches, and outlets. 

In the meantime, we've been filming and putting together a video of the last two weeks, packed with information, tips, and progress. We hope to have it posted for you all as soon as time allows, and we stop falling asleep while editing!