News Home & Design AutoCamp's Airstreams Are Remade For Boutique Camping Experiences These iconic recreational vehicles have been transformed into comfortable guest suites. By Kimberley Mok Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who covered architecture and the arts for Treehugger starting in 2007. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Kimberley Mok Published June 8, 2021 04:00PM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checker Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a writer, fact checker, and conservationist with a certification in sustainability. Our Fact-Checking Process Article fact-checked on Jun 08, 2021 Haley Mast Matt Kisiday Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices Whether they are Westwoods, Shastas, or Spartans, vintage trailers can have a certain cachet in the recreational vehicle community, thanks to their retro appeal that evokes the sweet nostalgia of simpler days. In fact, the retro aesthetic is so coveted that some companies are actually manufacturing new trailers with an old-fashioned look. But perhaps the most iconic of vintage trailers is the Airstream, which boasts a unique, silvery bullet-like exterior made of durable aluminum. Besides serving as conventional travel trailers, we've seen Airstreams being repurposed as tiny homes and mobile home offices. Revamped Airstreams are even being used even as so-called "glamping" (or "glamorous camping") destinations, such as the ones found at AutoCamp, a boutique camping outfitter with various locations in the United States. The company's latest glamping venue at Cape Cod offers up a comfortable stay in Airstreams that have been renovated with a mid-century aesthetic, as well as luxe cabins and safari-style tent suites. The idea is to provide a fully equipped camping experience—some of them ADA-accessible—along with a communal Clubhouse that features a modern lounge. Matt Kisiday As AutoCamp's design director Will Spurzem tells us: "AutoCamp was designed to connect people to the outdoors. Our locations in Russian River, Catskills and Cape Cod offer communal Basecamps with firepits, a general store and many other amenities. In each location we have Airstream suites, X suites and accessible suites as well as Basecamps, which allow for a larger family or group." Matt Kisiday Created in collaboration with Airstream and New York-based firm Workshop/APD, AutoCamp Cape Cod's renovated Airstreams feature a modified floor plan that includes more traditional hospitality amenities like a queen-sized bed, standard toilet, and walk-in shower, which are better suited for temporary stays. Wherever possible, natural materials with a sustainable life-cycle and long-term durability were prioritized in the design. As Spurzem explains: "Our Airstreams rarely move, so we were able to do away with certain features and make for a better guest experience. The casework and floor plan are unique to this model and designed with all of the guest supplies in mind. We also worked... to incorporate higher quality materials like walnut and natural stone so that it felt more at home in a natural setting." Matt Kisiday The layout seen in this 31-foot-long Airstream features a bedroom and bathroom on either end of the suite, as well as a central kitchenette and lounge. Here we have space to prepare food indoors or outdoors on the fire pit, a wardrobe, as well as a place to sit and relax inside. Matt Kisiday With the use of the convertible sofa-bed, the Airstream can sleep two adults and two children comfortably. The sliding door leading to the bathroom helps to save space while providing privacy. Matt Kisiday The continuous stretch of windows at the head of the bed offers panoramic views to the outside. Matt Kisiday On either side of the bed, there are built-in side tables, as well as pendant lamps to provide cozy lighting during the nighttime hours. Matt Kisiday Outside, a lounge area has been set up to permit guests to enjoy a fire, or to cook on the outdoor grill. The outdoor furniture here is made by Loll, a company that specializes in cradle-to-cradle certified furnishings. The company ships replacement parts when needed and old components are then recycled into new items. Matt Kisiday Besides these smaller-scale details, AutoCamp's Cape Cod location has a system that captures, treats, and stores all wastewater and stormwater on-site, through a treatment plant and a rehabilitated wetlands project, says Spurzem: "This property connects to a unique ecosystem along the coastline of Buzzards Bay, and we have rehabilitated a 20,000 square foot rain garden and wetlands area, specifically to help minimize our impact and restore some balance to the area." It's a model that other touristic venues would do well to emulate: finding restorative ways to connect daily operations with the greater ecosystems around them. In the case of AutoCamp's approach, not only are renovated vintage Airstreams are a great way to acquaint the curious with the possibilities of RV living, but it will also help to get people in touch with a gentler version of camping in the great outdoors. Suites start at $179 a night; to find out more, visit AutoCamp.