This family with four kids is traveling full-time in a beautifully redone vintage Airstream trailer.
Durable and aerodynamic, Airstream trailers have an iconic, retro-look that is coming back in a big way, as a growing number of people are transforming these vintage campers into hotels, mobile offices and swanky homes-on-wheels. But would an Airstream work as a home for a family of six?
Well, apparently it is for the Longneckers, who are now living and travelling out of a beautifully renovated 1970s Airstream. Documenting their wanderings on their blog, Tiny Shiny Home, Jonathan and Ashley Longnecker sold their home back in 2015, moving first into a conventional RV, then finally into a revamped, 31-foot-long 1972 Airstream Sovereign Land Yacht that can go off-grid, allowing the family to travel full-time to more remote places without the need for standard hookups -- relying instead on solar power, a composting toilet and a "robust" Internet set-up that keeps them connected.
Stepping inside, one sees that the 220-square-foot interior has been completely redone to create a clean, modern space that can serve a number of functions, thanks to various transforming elements. For instance, the kids' bunk beds can be rearranged to form two couches to sit on.
At the other end of the trailer, the dinette table can be lowered down to create the master, king-sized bed. Underneath, there has been plenty of storage space added for shoes, camping gear, as well as the home's battery banks. The curtains here were reused from the family's old home.
Jonathan, who runs a web design and media consulting company, has his own workspace here, thanks to a clever standing desk set-up that involves a tripod, and a pivoting wall mount for his monitor. The tripod desk is something they adapted themselves, and is convenient as the table can be easily moved or stored away.
The kitchen keeps almost the same original layout on both sides of the trailer, though the countertops were raised for a more ergonomic feel. There is a compact stove and oven, and a sink faucet that can also extend out the window and act as an outdoor shower.
The bathroom is all the way in the back is nicely done, and includes a shower stall, a Nature's head composting toilet (meaning that the family now only needs a graywater tank, rather than a blackwater tank), and a vanity sink.
In total, the family spent about USD $52,000 for the renovations, including the cost of purchasing the Airstream. While the thrill of travelling full-time as a family might seem like a far-off dream for most people, the Longneckers have made it work by reducing expenses, earning a location-independent living and worldschooling the kids. Since moving in, the family continues to travel and work out of their compact but comfortable home-on-wheels, and you can follow their travels, tips and videos via their blog, Tiny Shiny Home, their YouTube channel and Instagram.