1972 Airstream

Airstream is an American brand of travel trailer (“caravan” in British English) easily recognized by the distinctive shape of its rounded and polished aluminum coachwork. This body shape dates back to the 1930s and is based on the Bowlus Road Chief, an earlier all-aluminum travel designed and built by Hawley Bowlus, the same designer and engineer who also oversaw the construction of the Spirit of St. Louis.

Airstream trailers and recreational vehicles are manufactured in Jackson Center, Ohio, United States. The company, now a division of Thor Industries, employs more than 800 people, and is the oldest in the industry.

The company was created by Wally Byam who began building trailers out of Masonite in his backyard in Los Angeles during the late 1920s. Byam published a magazine selling “how-to” kits to customers wishing to build their own trailers. In 1936, Byam introduced the “Airstream Clipper”, which was essentially a rebadged 1935 Bowlus Road Chief, with the door relocated from the front to the side. The design cut down on wind resistance and this improved fuel efficiency, iIt was the first of the now familiar sausage-shaped, silver aluminum Airstream trailers. In 1936, the first Airstream was introduced. Named the Clipper, after the first trans-Atlantic flying boat. Sold for $1,200 it was able to house four people, had electric lights and a water supply. Of more than 400 travel trailer builders operating in 1936, Airstream was the sole survivor of the Depression.

This trailer came in for some electrical, plumbing and a complete renovation inside. We will ultimately be gutting this entire interior to start with a new fresh look.

The kitchenette has been dismantled.

We have begun to tear down the bathroom.

Further teardown of the bathroom, almost completely torn out.

We have removed the skin, endcaps & electrical to replace with new pieces.

New outlets and electrical ran through trailer. The breaker box has also been redone.

Installing monitoring system and rerunning the 12 volt wires.