The silver-colored, rounded-edge aluminum trailers made by Airstream in Jackson Center, Ohio, have always been marketed as lifestyle choices for the casually affluent and retro-tastefuland they conjure up a very different picture of life on the road than the average RV. Using a new building material is a departure for the company, which has spent nearly 90 years perfecting aluminum construction. In the s, founder Wally Byam started experimenting with what was then a fancy new material called fiberglass. But it's taken more than half a century, and the acquisition of Nest Caravan infor Airstream to finally launch a plastic product. Airstream has used that versatility to build what looks like a miniature train carriage, with a central door at the back, rounded corner windows, and a snazzy two-tone gray-on-white paint job.
Have you ever fantasized about living in an Airstream? Pick up and go anytime you want! Be forced to carefully consider everything you bring into your home!
Is it everything its cracked up to be? Melanie shares her story. Tell us a bit about yourself!
In my spare time I like to blog, hike, and spend time with my husband, George and my dog, Bambi. What made you decide to make the leap into Airstream living? In May , my husband and I were at a crossroads. At the time he was a school teacher and I was a librarian.
We were newly married and I had just landed a new job closer to our families. We were also broke.
We took a look at our budget, started looking at apartments and we were instantly discouraged. We had no credit and almost no savings. We saw an endless cycle of debt in front of us and we wanted out.
George took that idea and ran with it. That night we stayed up most of the night surfing the web for travel trailers. We live in a Airstream Sovereign.
We have running water, heat and AC, electric and basically everything we need! Since the land was already set up with a septic system and electric, this made it relatively easy for us to plop the Airstream down and start living in it.
Prior to this, where were you guys living? Prior to living in the Airstream we lived in a gorgeous loft apartment in an old cotton mill. We also spent almost our entire paychecks on paying rent. I thought the adjustment period would be much harder, but it was a fairly easy adjustment.
Living with your in-laws is a great motivating factor! Now, if too many things are plugged in, the breaker in the Airstream will flip. And vice versa! If we do have a larger space, I hope we continue to be thoughtful and considerate about our surroundings. I think for a lot of us, living in such a small space with a partner could lead to A LOT of bickering.
Luckily George and I are very compatible. We compromise often. He gets rid of more stuff than he would like to and I live with more stuff than I would like to.
No one wins and no one loses. Cue the sappy music! In the beginning of our journey, George was an art teacher and I was a librarian. Our salaries were spent simply paying the rent each month.
We wanted to travel and we wanted George to be able to pursue his art full-time. Living in the Airstream and saving the money we would have spent on rent each month is an easy way to save. Most of the money George has made we put back into his business.
I feel really good about this number.
I know it might not be much money to some people, but it feels like a real win for us. I am a privileged person who chose to be houseless, not homeless.
At this point, I do think we could buy a traditional house if we wanted to do so. And we might buy a traditional house one day, but I never want to go back to living in a large or even average size home. What has surprised you about this experience? My passion for small living and strengthening my relationship with my husband has been the most surprising aspects of this experience.
In terms of Airstreams, Airforums is a good resource—although there are a lot of preservationists on there. Youtube is great for visual learners. I have a lot of free information on my website , and I wrote a guide that compiles all the things I wish I had known before living full-time in an Airstream.
What have you learned from this that ANY of us could apply to our daily lives? You create your own limits. Thanks so much for sharing your story, Melanie!
Do you guys have any questions for her?