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Old 06-20-2013, 10:32 PM   #121
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We haven't made much progress on the trailer lately because our business has kept us too busy and the weather in Ohio has been unseasonably wet and cold. One night we had severe tornado and hail warnings and used the opportunity to learn that our trailer fit in my dad's garage with exactly one foot of clearance on all sides. It was good backing practice and we got it in there on the first attempt!



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This week we've been working on the shower again. We found a reasonably priced local supplier of anodized sheet aluminum, and he did all our straight cuts and bends for us, leaving us with only the curved piece to cut ourselves. What a huge time saver for us!

The first and longest piece went in pretty easily; we notched it every few inches to be able to bend it to the shape of the ceiling.



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The radius wall is definitely proving the most difficult. We made a template out of newspaper, being that it's so flexible and we could cut the curve of the wall easily with a knife. We then laid the paper on our aluminum and cut the curve with snips. It was very close to perfect in the dry fitting and after a few minor adjustments it appears it'll fit well.



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We're planning to glue the aluminum sheets to the walls then caulk all the corners and bottom, screwing through the caulk with stainless screws in important places. Being that each wall is one solid piece, the corners and plumbing fixtures are the only places we should ever have to worry about leaks. There's the 90 degree bend in the aluminum at every corner too, so that should help prevent some moisture problems.

Now to figure out how to do a shower curtain or door to fit that curve...
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Previously owned a 1965 Overlander, fully renovated it, then sold it after a year of full-time travel. We're taking a break from trailers to try a class A for a while, but we're still Airstreamers at heart!
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:54 PM   #122
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Kristen, we have a different type shower, but you might be able to do what we did with curtain track fastened to the ceiling. We curved ours out from the tub/shower, and started and ended it so the track and curtain ends at the edge of the shower. I had to recut the top of the shower curtain so the bottom of it was straight due to the curve of the wall down at the back of the trailer. I sewed curtain carriers onto the shower curtain. It works very well for us. We have a tub though so no problems with the curtain going outside of the shower enclosure. Maybe it could help you fashion your own?

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Old 06-27-2013, 08:59 PM   #123
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Thumbs up Back from our first trip!

Thanks, Kay, that's helpful! I'll take a look at yours and see what we can do. My latest idea included doing a half wall of plexi or resin cut to fit the curve of the outer wall, creating a regular rectangular doorway that could use a regular curtain. We'll see what we come up with!

We spent the last two nights at Stonelick State Park east of Cincinnati. It was only $12.50/night with our Passport America membership (Sun-Wed). We had a 70' wide wooded campsite that backed right up to the lake with a level concrete parking pad, fire ring, picnic table, and a flat concrete area for our grill.

The park has electric hookups only, but there was a water fill station right across from our site and a dumping station near the entrance. We don't have our fresh water tank hooked up yet, but the showers were clean and had great water temperature and pressure. The only downside was poor to no cell service, which is understandable, but we needed to do a little bit of online work while we were there and couldn't get any service with either AT&T or Verizon devices. We ended up driving into a neighboring town and hanging out there for a bit so we could answer some emails and make phone calls. It was also a great excuse to get ice cream.

With this being our first trip in our trailer, we sure learned a lot, as I'm sure many of you can relate to! Here's a few things we used that we realize we won't be happy without going forward:

Our new axles from Colin Hyde! We had barely any problems with anything falling, coming loose, or breaking inside the trailer, except when it was our fault for not securing it well. The trailer seemed to ride amazingly well, despite some rough patches of road and lots of rain. Our brakes worked flawlessly too, coupled with our Brake Boss G2 brake controller from Hayes. We made it up and down some good-sized mountains and through lots of tight turns and narrow roads with far less stress than I'd have imagined. Towing an Airstream really is as easy as they say when you have working brakes, new tires and a suspension that isn't 50 years old!

Our Millenicom wifi hotspot saved us (professionally) countless times on this trip. We own a predominantly online business and need fast internet quite frequently. There were many times that the promised free wi-fi wasn't available or strong enough to do what we needed, even with our useful Wi-Fi Ranger boosting antenna, and having a 20 GB/month limit (the most any carrier offers) is a godsend so we aren't fretting about every kilobyte of an email message or website. Highly recommend them for the value and amount of data provided. The only downside is that they only give you updated usage information once a week, so you do have to be careful not to exceed your 20 GB or they will discontinue your service with no warning until the next month. I've heard horror stories from others, although we have not had this issue yet ourselves.

We finally had a chance to fire up our new Coleman Mach 8 air conditioner at the state park (our first location with 30 amp service) because it was well over 90 degrees outside, and our trailer was even hotter inside! The thermostat said 99 degrees when we arrived. We unhitched, turned it on high, and within an hour, when we were done setting up camp and checked inside again, the trailer was nice and cool at around 76 degrees. We turned both Fantastic Fans to "out" for a few minutes to get rid of a lot of hot air first, but the 13,500 BTU AC unit had no problem cooling our 26' trailer.

It's not the loudest AC I've heard from the exterior, but it did sound somewhat like a jet taking off when it cycled on, especially from inside. We couldn't sleep well with it kicking on and off all night, so we just turned on the Fantastic Fans instead once it had cooled off outside. I'm not sure how loud other rooftop AC units are because this is our first RV, but with it being right over the foot of our bed and us being somewhat light sleepers, we weren't able to sleep through it turning on. We also wake up when our Fantastic Fan lids open and close because of the rain sensor, so this isn't a deal breaker for us, just something to be mindful of if you like to camp in hot temperatures where you'd need it on all night.

We prefer not to be somewhere that's more than 80 degrees at night, so I don't think it will be an issue for us. Having the heat strip, fan-only, and AC all in one unit coupled with the black, low-profile sleek look on our trailer matters much more to us than the occasional times we'll need to sleep with it running. It was incredibly easy to install ourselves, and we were definitely novices. I may poke my head in some other peoples' trailers to see how loud their AC is so I can make a fair comparison, but my understanding is that they're all pretty loud, so I'll reserve my judgment on that until a later time.

The other items we used for the first time and loved was the EyeTV by Elgato, paired with a Jack HD rooftop antenna. We don't have a tv in our trailer - just our 27" iMac and a Macbook - but with the EyeTV device you can connect your cable tv line to your computer's HDMI input and watch live TV, pause, rewind, or record shows on your computer to watch later. We got rained on both nights in Cincy and didn't bring anything to do indoors for those nights. Being able to watch travel shows on PBS took our minds off the fact that we couldn't be outside toasting marshmallows on our own vacation!

The EyeTV also tells you the name of the channel, the show title, what time it starts and ends, and what's coming up next on an info bar at the bottom of the screen. It comes with a TV remote that controls channels and volume. I was skeptical, but it's a really handy and compact device, and a great deal at $149! The Jack antenna was incredibly powerful too considering how far we were from a tv tower, and the fact that we had no cell phone service, but could still watch a few dozen channels in HD for free. It also doesn't require a crank, and the direction can be adjusted from inside the trailer, with a signal strength indicator right on the knob. It's a great setup and I highly recommend the two together if you want to watch tv on your computer (Mac or Windows) and are tired of the old crank antennas.

We're back home now and ready to dive into the finishing work on our trailer before our next getaway: Cabinet doors and trim work, finishing our shower, hooking up our fresh water tank and pump, calibrating tank monitors, finishing our window hardware and seals overhaul, and starting some polishing. We also need to paint our tongue, steps and bumper, since we POR-15'd them but never did a topcoat of paint.

I'll try to keep this updated as I go! We're hoping to do a 2-3 month trip to New England this fall, but we have a lot of work to do first!
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:11 AM   #124
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Where has July gone?! We've been swamped with our business and trying to finish the Airstream and get our house ready to rent at the same time. In case you haven't heard, we caught the wanderlust bug really bad on our first month-long voyage, and made the decision to full-time for the indefinite future.

Our house is already rented for at least a year, and we're so excited for this thrilling opportunity to live and work on the road. I've never been able to get away from a job and travel for more than a week at a time, so having no end date in sight just sounds glorious to the adventurer in us both - even if we'll be working a lot of hours for our business a good deal of the time while on the road.

This past week and for the next couple, we're having a hired carpenter out to help us finish our cabinetry because 1) we're not very good at trim work and fine details and 2) we've been too busy with our business to spend much time in the trailer. It's coming along so nicely though, and we're pretty confident it will all be finished by the end of August when we hope to take off. We just have a little more woodwork, electrical and plumbing to finish up first.

We're working on building an L-shaped sofa with a movable dining/work table that folds into the side table next to the couch. I saw someone else do it on the forums (I can't remember who, but thank you for the inspiration!!) and we borrowed the idea and modified it a bit. We're using the original gaucho slides to build a pull-out guest bed into our sofa base. All the darker wood accents you see as the table and couch trim is original wood reclaimed from our cabinetry.

We're also reusing all the cabinet doors and hardware, cutting some of them down to be kick-plates and cabinet faces and using whole doors in other places on the new cabinets. The upper cabinets are being rehung mostly intact, and we'll be making new bulkhead doors to replace the vinyl-covered originals. We've been so excited to incorporate so many bits of the original wood into the new design, though! I can't wait to see it all stained and poly'd and start on upholstery and decorating the Airstream!
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:31 AM   #125
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Clever! I like your table storage idea and the large adjustable table space that will give you. I envy you the ability to go full-time - a recent 2 1/2 week trip made me not ready to go home yet. I hope it works out well for you. I'm looking forward to seeing more pics of the trailer as you progress!

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Old 07-20-2013, 08:39 AM   #126
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Thanks, Kay! Our goal was to be able to maximize living area/floor space when we weren't working or eating, especially with three dogs in the trailer with us! I think it'll work out much better for us than a dinette. We like to cuddle up with all the furballs and watch tv at night, and I've already claimed that cozy-looking corner of the sofa as mine

Thanks for the well wishes on full-timing. I hope it works out well for us too, but we have the house as a fall-back just in case! We've always wanted to do something like this and the Airstream has been the first realistic and affordable way to do it. Owning our own business is immensely stressful, but having the freedom to roam will hopefully balance it out and make it worth all the long hours.

We'll definitely try to meet you guys someday and see your trailer. I can't tell you how much following your renovation thread helped us with ours!
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:26 PM   #127
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Wow... That table is genius! Did you come up with that idea yourself? I just read all of your posts on this thread and am feeling very motivated to begin our project. We are in the very beginning of planning stages on our '73 Land Yacht. I have been researching and combing through this forum for a few weeks now.
Thank you for documenting your rebuild with such great detail!
Btw... Did you finish the shower?
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:45 PM   #128
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Thanks, Jeepster! We saw someone on the forums do a similar table that folds up and stores next to the couch, but we changed our design to be a bit more curvy to match our funky trailer. The legs are offset and diagonal so it has more stability than a t-shaped base (we have a 60 lb dog with a big tail!).

We haven't finished the shower yet. We're debating how to finish that curved corner since there's a little too wide of a gap for just gray caulk. We were debating using metal flashing that would bend easily and just be caulked behind and riveted in place, but don't want it to be an eyesore against the clean sheets of aluminum. A gray 90 degree vinyl material would work too if we could find it. We're open to suggestions!



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I'm so glad our thread was inspirational to you! We spent hours pouring over other threads during our project. Post lots of pictures as you do yours! They will also help you remember how things came apart and how to put them back together. We'd have been in a lot trouble if I hadn't taken as many as I did!
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:23 PM   #129
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love the table you are doing great job!!!!
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:30 AM   #130
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One month to go until full-time living!

Thanks, bama gail! We've had some help with our wood trim and cabinets, but most of the planning and a lot of the work until just recently was all ours!

We're in the homestretch now, with only a month to go until we hit the road full-time! Our carpenter is doing an AMAZING job salvaging every bit of usable wood from the original cabinetry and adding in new wood we're having to purchase to replace what was too water damaged.

We opted to do a two-tone theme throughout the cabinetry and trim, with the dark wood being the original mahogany and the new birch and poplar wood staying lighter with just a coat of Waterlox (tung oil) to seal it. I'm loving the contrast so far. We're aiming for a modern industrial look for the whole trailer, and I think it's turning out to be exactly what we envisioned!

A week or so ago we had the couch framed out around the freshwater tank and batteries, and built the slide-out platform that turns the couch into a small spare bed. We actually used the original wood sliders from the 1965 gaucho! They were too well made and practical not to.

The empty spot near the floor to the right of the slide-out is going to be filled by a foot stool that fits in legs-first, then when standing up will fill in the empty area next to the side table to create the last flat bit of the bed platform. We decided we wanted a little foot stool for when we're watching tv and want to prop up our feet, and we ended the slide out where we did so it's easy to lift the seat board next to the table in that corner. That's our access to the freshwater plumbing fittings where the fill comes into the trailer and will be some extra storage too.

We stained most of the couch this week and had foam cut for the sofa. It's starting to look so finished! We're going back to the foam store tomorrow for indoor/outdoor vinyl-backed fabric to upholster the sofa cushions. That should stand up really well to dogs, dirt, sand, spills, you name it. It's just soft enough to feel like fabric, but vinyl-coated enough to resist most staining.

Also got our refrigerator and stereo cabinets built, are working on trimming out the bathroom. We did aluminum 90* corner covers on the walls in the hallway, which is looking really neat, especially with the brushed aluminum fridge!

Our carpenter was able to cut down the original upper cabinets to fit the new trailer layout. We'll have uppers running the full length of the kitchen from the trailer door to the bedroom endcap, and from the living room to the bathroom wall on the other side. We're going to make new doors for them since the old ones were particle board with yucky vinyl covering glued to them. The extra storage space gained by reinstalling all those upper cabinets is going to be well worth the time spent making new doors!

We also built in our stereo and made a removable countertop on the stereo cabinet to let us hide away laptops and our wi-fi router on a shelf inside. We also trimmed out the ceiling access panel and new Maxim skylight in lighter oak to make a nice contrast.

I promise to do some fisheye or panorama photos as soon as we're close to being done so you can see how works looks together!
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Previously owned a 1965 Overlander, fully renovated it, then sold it after a year of full-time travel. We're taking a break from trailers to try a class A for a while, but we're still Airstreamers at heart!
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:02 AM   #131
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Looking very good!

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Old 08-08-2013, 01:23 PM   #132
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65 Taillights

KristinS

Your taillights are beautiful post #94. We also love our 65 TW and are following your progress but did we have to be so special that only that year got those special taillights that obviously didn't work out so good. We would love to contact your craftsman to see if we might also get a pair of those.

Thanks in advance
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:15 PM   #133
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Hi Hittenstiehl,

Thanks for the compliment! I'll send you a private message with his information. I unfortunately can't give you a price estimate because he's a family friend and did it partially as a favor, but if you give him a call I'm sure he'll provide you a quote. The taillight issue sure is a tough problem for us 65 lovers! Ours looked just like yours and he had a heck of a time making a mold without them dissolving into nothing!

Best of luck with your Tradewind! I can't wait to see your pictures.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:18 PM   #134
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The polishing has commenced!

Two days in and we have a good first pass with the Nuvite G6 or F9 (depending on the amount of corrosion) on the curbside. Can't wait to finish her up!



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Got the front end cap trimmed out this week. Glad we decided to go two-tone with the wood. It looks really warm and very vintage with all the different wood finishes.



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Also added our 12V outlets, including the original cigarette lighter from the bathroom of our Overlander (yes, I said bathroom..lol). Loving the "vintage meets modern."



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Only three weeks til we're full-time! I have A LOT of staining to do this weekend to finish up our cabinet doors!!
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:05 AM   #135
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One and a half weeks til we start full-timing and we're getting close on all the finishing touches!

Our couch cushions are done! (Ignore all the tools and temporary curtains!)


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The curbside is mostly polished. The other side has a lot less corrosion and no major scratches, so should go a lot faster. We are taking the polisher on the road too. The cyclo fun will happen sometime in our travels.

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I got the first set of no-sew curtains made. They're just split fabric panels that slide to both sides on a small curtain rod. We drilled set screws up from underneath each bracket into the rod to keep it from bouncing out of the bracket while driving. Worked out well! The rods were $3 at Home Depot and I made the curtains using a polyester shower curtain and double sided hem tape from Hobby Lobby.

For the front living-room curtain we're using the grommets at the top of the shower curtain to thread it on the rod, and for the side windows I just made flat panels hemmed on all four sides because we're using the original curtain rails with the plastic curtain carriers and metal curtain clips.

We opted against using curtain clips on the front window because the curtain had a gap at the top when we did. We couldn't move the rod higher either because that's where the endcap starts to curve. My first fun experience hanging curtains on curved walls!

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Will update this with better pics when we finally clean out the interior of tools!
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:06 PM   #136
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looks great. I like your styled walls and end cap
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:28 PM   #137
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Thanks, Alan! We just had our family photos taken (us and our dogs) in the Airstream last week with our end cap as the background. We hit the road to live in it full-time this past Thursday, for at least a year, but probably permanently. We're in WV right now at a great little campground ( Five River in Parsons, WV) on our way to Niagara Falls, then Maine and back south down the east coast as it starts to get too cold.
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:30 AM   #138
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You did this all in a year and are on the next phase of life adventure.

Congratulations.

I don't think you'll know whether this is permanent until you change your minds, or don't. Whenever I make big plans for the future, I'm wrong. We recently bought our third "last house".

Gene
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The Airstream is sold; a 2016 Nash 24M replaced it.
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:22 AM   #139
KCN
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1962 26' Overlander
Victor , Idaho
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 200
Kristen and Jason,

Very cool trailer. As I've been working on mine this past year in my storage unit, I've met some really unique people that utilize the other units for various things, among them a family of full-timers They've been on the road for six years now, full-time more or less, and have even had kids along the way..now three - 9 years old, 3 years old, and 18 months old - and a dog. They do rent a unit in my facility for various reasons, which is how I got to know them - extra vehicle storage, repairs, shop equipment etc.. but they mostly follow the seasons (though they did spend a winter in Breckenridge, CO when their oldest was ready to learn how to ski.) I've met some of their other friends as they passed through, also full-timers they've met along the way. It's like a mobile neighborhood at times, and they keep track of each other's whereabouts and camp together for months at a time. What an adventure! I'm envious!

Kathy
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:49 PM   #140
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Full-Timing , All states!
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 120
Thanks everyone! Your kind words and support are so appreciated! The hardest thing so far has been planning how to work consistently from the road. If we were retired it would be much easier to camp at state parks and boondock on public lands, but alas, we need internet pretty much every day to communicate with clients, so we have to do a lot of careful preparation to make sure we're never too disconnected.

So far we're having a blast, though! Found a few issues like a couple leaky windows when we drove through pouring rain, and that we packed too much stuff, but we'll get it figured out with time. Right now we have no idea what we'll really use regularly. Need to get our trailer weighed too because our tow vehicle seems to be struggling a bit on hills and we don't want to damage it if we just need to trade up for a bigger truck.

Heading to Niagara Falls next, then the Finger Lakes and Adirondacks. We spent last night at the Purple Fiddle restaurant in Thomas, WV, listening to live music and drinking local microbrews on the patio with our dogs. It was a perfect way to start our trip. Highly recommend the mountain town of Thomas. It was like a smaller version of Asheville, NC. Can't wait to get back there someday!

Tonight we're boondocking in the parking lot of the Seneca Allegany Casino in southwest NY state on our way to Niagara. Nice little casino, great management that welcomed us warmly to park here, free wi-fi, and good food!



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Previously owned a 1965 Overlander, fully renovated it, then sold it after a year of full-time travel. We're taking a break from trailers to try a class A for a while, but we're still Airstreamers at heart!
Our blog | Video tour of our trailer
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