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What You Need to Know about Buying, Renovating, and Owning a Classic Airstream

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Americans have always loved the call of the open road. From the Oklahoma Land Rush to Route 66, Americans have heeded the call to explore everything this country has to offer. The iconic, silver Airstream epitomizes that love of adventure. Read on to learn more about owning and maintaining an Airstream. 

What is an Airstream?

An Airstream is a classic, teardrop-shaped travel trailer. First produced in 1931, it was the very first travel trailer made in the United States. Buying and renovating an original Airstream is a bucket list item for many people. 

What makes an Airstream so special?

For many people, the Airstream represents the freedom of the road and a simpler time in life, much like traveling Route 66 or eating at a classic diner. The shiny aluminum exterior and high-end interior are two more reasons why the Airstream has endeared itself to many Americans. 

Is it legal to ride in an Airstream?

It is illegal to be inside an Airstream when it is underway. Like any fifth wheel, travel trailer, or toy hauler that is pulled behind a vehicle, passengers cannot be inside when the unit is being transported due to safety reasons. 

What is the advantage of an Airstream?

The Airstream originally was designed to be a step-up from uncomfortable tent camping and expensive travel in sleeper cars on trains. Founder, Wally Byam, published do-it-yourself instructions in Popular Mechanics magazine, but people just wanted him to build them one instead. They liked the shiny aluminum finish, teardrop shape, and well-appointed interior. 

Can airstreams be renovated easily?

Buying a classic Airstream is a commitment of both time and money. Due to the curved interior, it takes a knowledgeable expert to renovate an Airstream well. In fact,  it can cost $20,000 or more to properly gut and remodel an original Airstream interior. Additional costs are involved to polish the exterior, fix any dents, and eliminate surface rust.

How often do you have to polish an Airstream?

Polishing a neglected Airstream is a tedious process best left to the pros. Once a thorough cleaning and polish are complete, Airstream owners can maintain the finish by polishing the exterior every six months or so. 

Should you cover your Airstream when not in use?

The Airstream is rapidly becoming a collector's item and great care should be spent to protect it from the elements when not in use. Covering the unit with a tarp works, but it is preferably to park it indoors when possible.

If you love the look and feel of a classic Airstream, be sure to find an Airstream renovation company to learn more about how to bring it back to life.