The 1992 Excella 25' looked fairly decent on the outside. We are now calling it Boomerstream One
Shot minutes after we paid owner at our meeting spot in the Can-Am parking lot in London, Ontario on July 31, 2014.
Outside, it could pass for a fairly new one to the uninitiated. The inside decor was essentially as it came from the factory. The carpet had been replaced once, but was badly warn and stained in the high traffic areas. The carpet had to go anyway because our dog sheds hair constantly. We planned for a sweepable floor. Our design criteria was as follows.
Firstly, the original interior, although built in 1991, looked like a time warp. Think a summer cottage out of the 1970s. Wood— fake and real—everywhere! To me, this indicated that Airstream management had all the creative imagination of the Kremlin in the era before CCD redesigned the interiors for them. I don't think the factory changed much in the interior design since the 1960s at least. Although we couldn't make it match the modern aluminum, bright skylights, and multiple-windows look of the International CCD models, we wanted the interior to look more like a modern designer condo, rather than a 50-year-old cottage. We love the brightness and spacious look of white, hence we would pattern the look and feel of the trailer after our house that has taken us two years to redo the way we want it. In some ways we now have a matching Airstream and house. How cool is that! The entire trailer interior is white (wife does 98% of the painting), except for the bottom third of the bedroom, which my wife wanted in gray.
Second, the trailer was originally designed for family use, maximizing sleeping areas. There are twin beds in the rear, and the couch pulled out into another sleeping area, which could take two adults or a few kids. With us, we just needed sleeping for two retired boomers, traveling with a dog. Hence, the Boomerstream was born. It would have a fresh modern interior design, more suitable for a couple than a family. Bright, simple, and zen like. Besides drawing inspiration from our house, inspiration also came from Matthew Hofmann's Airstream remodels which I love.
The area least changed would be the bedroom, and the most would be the living area. We figured the couch could be replaced by a couple of reclining chairs more suitable for relaxing in front of a large TV. The floor would be a laminate more suitable to cleaning dog hair. All interior lighting would be super-efficient bright white LEDs.
The following shows the result of 4 months and hundreds of hours of constant effort. We figure it cost roughly $3,000 in material. Our labour…priceless!
Unfortunately for us, when we removed the night table between the beds to remove the carpet, my wife went throughout the floor. The rotten subfloor would have to be replaced before we could start renovations. I didn't sign up for this!
There was extensive water damage to the whole back of the trailer. Eventually I had to remove and replace the entire subfloor from the rear to over four feet out. I spent three days caulking the outside of the trailer everywhere, and seemed to have solved 98% of the water issues.
After three weeks of constant work (never again), the frame was restored, new insulation installed, and new marine-grade plywood subfloor was installed (two sheets at $100 each), and we were ready for the main flooring.
At least with the rear gutted, everything could be fixed, redone and repainted. This is a shot of the new flooring throughout the trailer:
The original idea was to use a traditional laminate floor, but the water issue dictated a change in thinking. We opted to use vinyl planks. It is totally waterproof, but is heavier and more expensive than the traditional wood laminate. Also the colour selection is limited. It took us a while to find the light gray that we wanted to compliment the white interior. I believe that anyone who puts traditional house laminate in a trailer is asking for trouble.
It took two weeks to do the floor since 85% of the planks needed to be precisely cut using custom templates. I needed dozens of custom templates just to do 120 sq feet or so. Never again! Now for the interior decoration.
BATH - BEFORE & AFTER
Standard trailer bathroom. Old Moen tap and yellow plastic sink (ugh!).
New Euro faucet with glass sink. New countertop matches the galley. Aluminum blind. The worst challenges in the whole reno was mating the obsolete poly-B plumbing to the new fixtures. A total nightmare getting something watertight. The kitchen was insane—more later!
GALLEY - OLD & NEW
This is the interior that most owners are familiar with. Old stainless double sink was way too wide and shallow and takes up way too much valuable counter space. The original counter was in fairly sad shape around the stove. There was only 7" between the stove and sink—almost no working counter space. My wife saw the original spice rack right behind the stove burners, and said that no woman designed the Airstream.
New Formica countertop (white marble) with large single sink. The sink is 8" deep! There is now 17' counterspace between the sink and stove. Faucet is a Pfister with a pull-down. Backsplash is a plastic material that looks like stainless. Connecting the plumbing was insane. The cabinet doors had been previously removed and I had my entire torso twisted inside the left cabinet to do the final plumbing connections. I figured there is no way an average size plumber could do it. I barely fit, and I am only 5' 5".
Here is a shot of the galley with the new LED lighting that I designed. The PO had replaced almost all bulbs inside the trailer with LED replacements. Unfortunately, the ugly old '90s fixtures remained. I wanted something totally modern. Above the sink is an 24" LED strip consisting of two 12" glue-on strips designed for automotive running lights. They are bright! The bulb above the stove in the range hood was replaced with a 20-LED square also designed for auto use. It needed a custom-designed mounting system. It is also far brighter than the original. All LEDs in the picture draw about 0.75A total!
(cont'd. in Part 2)