We bought Emma, our 1970 Airstream Caravel
, on Craigslist three years ago. We live in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, where the fire danger gets worse each year, and we have mostly used her as a fire escape. Whenever there is an evacuation or Red Flag Warning (high winds & temps) we head down to a friend's driveway in town.
Emma was in great cosmetic shape when we got her, and Leale's in San Jose has been a huge help to us in checking and updating the mechanical systems. We did not want to have to worry about dump stations, so replaced the existing toilet with a Nature's Head composting toilet. It works great, with no odors, but is rather comical— since we weren't replacing the entire built-in fiberglass (?) bathroom structure, the Nature's Head had to be installed on top of the raised dais of the old toilet. I'm not that tall, so there's now a short step-stool for me to reach the throne!
We've had a good time fixing her up: new curtains, carpet, dishes, etc., and my husband seems to enjoy puttering and replacing things, but she is not one of the glamorous rebuilds you see on YouTube!
The pandemic has made RVing so popular that getting reservations at campgrounds is difficult, but we've finally started actually camping in her. Being retired has its perks, and being able to camp mid-week is one. I do feel a little shy around the newer, glossier, RVs, so it is great to see messages on the forums here from other vintage trailer owners.