I bought this 29ft. 1970 Streamline Empress (imperial level) from some family friends in November for $5000.
They did some mild work on the trailer: replaced the subfloor by the toilet, removed water/greywater/blackwater tanks, installed new hot water heater, added a kind pullout in the front, and put in bamboo laminate floors. They removed the toilet and replaced it with a compost toilet. The trailer came with three solar panels on the roof and four deep cycle batteries with an inverter. They also got a new California title and up to date tags as well as new tires!
We towed it from Santa Barbara to Salem, Oregon and with the help of my brother, have started to renovate! It towed smoothly with a large Toyota truck and I was able to redo the pigtail cord to get running lights, brake lights, blinkers, backup lights, and the electric brakes to work. We had to extend the pigtail about a foot for turning safely but overall it was a good journey.
I had every intention of keeping most of the interior aluminum cabinetry... until I started to remove a few things and saw the state of the subfloor under anything I moved..
Since I am planning on living in the trailer full time, my brother being an electrical and computer engineer, my father being a contractor, I have decided it is safer and a better investment to almost gut the trailer and make sure everything is done right.
My original plan was as follows:
Clean the trailer like I have never cleaned anything before.
Paint the interior cabinetry doors and paneling white.
Replace all lighting with LEDs & safety check electrical wiring.
Repair windows so that they close all the way & replace all seals.
Get new locks on the door and replace screens.
Fix exterior & interior lighting fixtures.
Tear out kitchen counter & replace with butcher block and new sink.
Replace fake backsplash with real tile.
Possibly sell all of the original useless fixtures on ebay.
Refurbish propane stovetop oven and refrigerator.
Replace living room table with new wood & get new chairs.
Possibly eliminate one of the beds and replace with pullout couch.
Safety check plumbing & propane systems.
Clean and create new setup for solar batteries.
Apply new coat of paint to shower stall & refurbish shower door.
Redo “office” area of trailer with new desk and editing station.
Eliminate unnecessary cabinetry & install any needed shelving.
Refurbish speakers and sound system with working setup.
Create floorpan for storage & decorate.
As you can see, this would have worked great for a quick renovation and do-over! Sadly... it did not go as planned (as I have read in most stories on this forum) and I am now starting from scratch. I created this blog to track my progress but I may also post images on here to make it easier for other Streamline owners to see everything and talk to each other about renovations.
This is what I have completed so far:
Gut trailer down to the subfloor
Remove wall panels down to floor level
Vacuum out walls
Remove wheel well covers
Replace subfloor completely
Rust-Oleum the frame and replace insulation in floor
Install bellypan patch in rear
Install either plywood or new aluminum sheeting for wall panels
Install new plumbing in floor for mid cabin bathroom & kitchen
Remove old copper pipe propane lines
Add new flexible hose propane lines in walls
Paint interior white
Install hardwood flooring
Seal old exterior vents no longer in use (furnace/fridge)
Create bathroom walls
Create kitchen counter
Test wiring and install solar system/electrical in rear of trailer under bed
Install new continuous hot water heater
After all that jazz:
Install overhead shower head and foot wash (for laundry)
Tile entire bathroom floor/shower pan with drain
Build queen bed platform in rear with lift up access for electrical/solar storage
Rehab existing windows with new seals and new coat of paint
Install chest propane/electric refrigerator
Install propane stove top & farmhouse sink in kitchen counter
Install new lighting fixtures
Remove air-conditioning unit and install port hatch
Seal exterior seams above windows with silicone
Finish up with furnishings and decorations!
Obviously I have a lot to do, but I am confident I can save a lot of money with the help of my family and doing the work myself. Craigslist has been a dream on scoring hardwood for the countertop. I will be on the lookout for a deal on hardwood flooring as well. My floor plan is very open and will require walls only for the bathroom, no cabinetry in my trailer's future.
If anyone wants anything from the original trailer please check out my blog to see what has been removed as well as my craigslist ad for specific parts in more detail. Thank you! I will post updates as they happen and welcome any advice/ideas for the interior.
vintage airstream/streamline trailer parts etc.
Here are the exterior images from when we got the trailer in California.