What is the perfect companion to a 14-year old van? A 43-year old Airstream. New stuff is highly overrated!
In mid-December while riding through Louisiana we used AirBnB to find a dog-friendly place for rent that was just slightly off-route, at a good price and in an area where the camping was thin. The rental we found was located in the country and next to the main house, in a small mobile home which was installed for an aging parent, but now used for some additional income. The hosts, Toni and Dwain, are fantastic people with incredible hospitality. On the other side of their property, sat an older and clearly un-used Airstream. Mark has always loved Airstreams and Georgia grew up with a dad and grandmother who were obsessed with them. We have seen several in all ages and stages of “used-ness” on this trip, but for some reason we decided to inquire about this one. As it turns out, the couple purchased it nearly 10 years ago with the idea of fixing it up and traveling the country. That never happened and it started being used as a storage shed instead. We stayed in contact with Toni and Dwain, and now that we are changing gears on the trip we contacted them and made a purchase that benefited everyone. We got a 1973 31’ Airstream at a great price, and they received the funds just in time to do some work on their farm. It is going to need some work, but our current plan has us gutting the interior and removing most of the “systems” for water, drains, propane etc. For now, all we really want is a big comfy shell where we can have a little more space (and stand up!). We have water jugs for drinking water, a hot plate for cooking, and we’ll stay in cooler weather (by moving the home!) so can get by on a space heater and box fan. There will be very few active systems to fail on us. We may add some back as time goes on, but for two people who just finished living on bicycles for 6 months, it’s going to be luxury.
Which leads us to part of our next plan, we are aiming to work from the road. Lots of people work remote, we know many, but just typically from a home. We want to do the same thing, just from a parked Airstream.
Now we are drawing up a new squiggly line. One that will take us to Louisiana to pick up the Airsteam, then perhaps through Birmingham to visit friends, then back to Kentucky and Kansas to visit family, Colorado to see more friends, then to Utah, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington (more family!), and Alaska. All while working from the road. We will likely move at a very slow pace because most weeks we’ll be parked in one spot, ensuring we have good connectivity, explore on weekends, then when we are ready, move on to the next location.
For both the van and the Airstream, we spent less than most folks do on a single vehicle. Rejoining the workforce will correct any budget woes. And we will still be able to enjoy an active lifestyle. All of this was in our plans, just now sped up a bit.
Currently, we are heading east across Texas but still not in a big hurry, so we can see this amazing country as we travel across it. Please wish us good luck on the van, Airsteam and the job search as we embark on this new phase of the adventure! We are certainly excited.
FYI, we plan to keep the blog, Facebook and Instagram active. Now we have even more stuff to post about (van life, Airstreams, how to stay fit on the road, nutrition, etc), and will be able to do a better job of it, since we’ll have a place to work. Like say, in a chair. With a table!
Mark, Georgia, Junebug and Biscuit