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Old 06-09-2012, 10:30 PM   #1
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1971 27' Overlander
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Danish Designer - AirStream RV

Boy am I glad to find this site, thank you guys for sharing all your experiences with these lovely trailers and RV's.

I'm a Danish designer with studios in Denmark Copenhagen and in New York, I'm based in New York since January 2011, I'm spending my time 50/50 on architecture doing residential projects and designing furniture.

After I had been living in the US for only a few month I started thinking about a "con-amour" project which I could dedicate some time to which had one criterial it should be something very American which I could add something interesting to design wise. As you might now have guessed I feel in love with the Airstream, but mostly I fell in love with the different RV's - maybe because they seem a little more rare than the trailers (I never new about them before I came to live here) -but mainly the reason for this is that in Scandinavian we have tons of trailers (not as nice as yours) but very few motorhomes, and I love the holistic approach that you settle up in your home and drive away for adventure.

So my concept is simple it will be the classic AirStream RV on the outside - a silver bullet - restored down to the bolts... immaculate! - but with a minimalistic interpretation of how a Danish, Swedish, Norwegian or Finish family would live, this will hopefully result in a version that has both different interior and materials than what we have seen so fare.

I'm in the initial research phase, which currently has me looking for a 1981 Airstream Excella 28' Turbo Diesel Motorhome, but I'm certainly open to other suggestions since my knowledge to these beauties are some what limited. And there might be strong arguments for choosing another model?

My goal with the project is to do something fun, to document the entire project on a blog with both pictures and video. And the final test will be a 6 month road trip through The United States with my wife & 3 children.

Again any tips or help I can get to prep me for finding the right model, the purchase, the planning of the design, which mean if anyones has PDF's with plans, DWG, 3D files etc which will make it easier to design the projects, part specifications of the existing interior with dimensions in these models etc.
Any input is highly appreciated!!

I'll also make sure to post any progress with my project at the community.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:46 PM   #2
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What a cool idea and a fun project! Many of us have made significant interior design changes to fit our families. I can't wait to see yours! How old are your children?
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:49 PM   #3
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2 month, 2.5 and 5.5 years.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:51 PM   #4
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Wonderful! Will you build bunks for them? We built a bunkroom for our children.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:04 PM   #5
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I can't wait to see the finished product. This will be gorgeous!
Lisa
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:11 PM   #6
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Yes, I noticed that on your gallery... I'm also planning on bunks.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:12 AM   #7
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Sounds like a great project that will end in a memorable experience for your children.

Hope to run into you while you are here. My paternal grandparents came over from Copenhagen in the early 1900's, settled on Long Island.



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Old 06-10-2012, 06:30 AM   #8
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Welcome Soren,

We are glad to have you with us and wish you the best on your project. Please keep us posted once you get going.

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Old 06-10-2012, 07:18 AM   #9
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Fantastic idea! The motorhome idea is very attractive but it does have some downsides...what happens when you forget milk for dinner and you have to go to the grocery store. ...what happens if you want to go sight-seeing for the day but you don't want to take your "home" with you..! I would consider the traditional airstream trailer with a separate tow vehicle. Good luck to you with your wonderful project!
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:37 AM   #10
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I think that what you are doing is very cool, however I would choose a little smaller AS. A 24 ft bus would be better in that you would be able to get into many more camping spots. Be sure to get a diesel as you will get better mileage. After two years rebuilding my '65 Globetrotter, I am also thinking about a AS motorhome. They are pretty hard to find out here in California.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:08 PM   #11
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Okay experts,

I think I might have found my darling.

It's an 1979 Airstream Excella 500 24ft Motorhome, it has a 454 chevy cc with 40.000 miles, 1 AC unit, seller claims the vehicle to be in 'good condition'.

Any comments, pros and cons about this specific model? I'd appreciate any help I can get.

Thanks.
Soren
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:54 AM   #12
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just an non-desginer opnion (and only an opinion :D)

It is hard to argue that the Airstream is not an iconic, classic, and enduring design. Time has proven that, and a quick study of the company's trailer design evolution can provide clues as to what elements are true to that design.

The curvature, symmetry, proportion, and material design elements are, in my non-designer opinion, unique to the trailer. The motorhomes borrow some of these design elements but the need for a motor, windshield, grille, higher/heavier chassis, etc often overpower them.

I guess I just feel the essential design elements of the Airstream lie in the trailer and that might just be a better designer's canvas.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:46 PM   #13
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I completely follow Wayward, and I have spent many nights think about the RV vs the Trailer, but seen from a conceptual point of view I really like the idea about driving around in your house. I also might be extra fascinated about the idea since RV'ing certainly isn't a typical means of traveling in Scandinavia.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayward View Post
It is hard to argue that the Airstream is not an iconic, classic, and enduring design. Time has proven that, and a quick study of the company's trailer design evolution can provide clues as to what elements are true to that design.

The curvature, symmetry, proportion, and material design elements are, in my non-designer opinion, unique to the trailer. The motorhomes borrow some of these design elements but the need for a motor, windshield, grille, higher/heavier chassis, etc often overpower them.

I guess I just feel the essential design elements of the Airstream lie in the trailer and that might just be a better designer's canvas.
To add to this: while I have not worked on an airstream motor home I can imagine that adding personal design touches that are any more involved than superficial changes would seem to be much more difficult on a motor home since certain things MUST be in certain places. With the trailers the sky is the limit as far as what you want to do with it structurally and design wise. You can strip it down and have a blank slate of a wall, ribs and a shell and go from there. With a motor home you would be limited (although limitations can often add to creativity).

The other big consideration is the life of the engine and the "drivin' parts" in a motor home. I have heard from more that one motor home owner that they would NOT get another motor home, that the repairs are costly and inconvenient. Let's face it, there MAY be a motor home or two out there from the 50s, but not a fraction as many as there are travel trailers. The trailers outlast the tow vehicles, but if your trailer IS your tow vehicle....

Anyway, welcome and enjoy!
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