Posts Tagged ‘airstream’

Airstreams are for Mother-in-Laws? (Part three)

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

No Place Like Home

We settled on a trailer for my mother and I have to tell you straight away that it is not an Airstream. It is a 35’ Silver Streak.  Brian did a lot of research on a model that was for sale near by that had a lot of upgrades and had been well taken care of.  It had a built-in office in the master bedroom, solar system, satellite, surround sound, among many other nice amenities. Since this trailer will be boon-docked in my yard and will be a permanent home, the general floor plan and the amount of storage made it fit the bill. Home Sweet Home, Grandma!

Needing a few modifications and a minor cosmetic make-over, it made a great practice trailer for us to work on while we are still in the very early stages of the Safari total renovation. (FYI- Elvis has a brand new axle, beefed up chassis, new tanks, new sub-floor and is looking forward to getting his shell back on soon.) It will be a long time before I get to use my decorating talents on him.

For my mother to live full time in 35 feet, the Silver Streak needed to feel like a multi-room house where she could have a change of scenery throughout the day. In her home now, she spends most of her time in the bedroom, kitchen, and living room. This trailer could accommodate that; plus when the weather is good,  she will have a very nice outdoor space under the main awning. Once we are certain that she is happy in her new aluminum house, we can build a permanent deck and shade structure to protect her from the extreme desert sun.

First we needed to create more livable space in the bedroom.  The area underneath the bed was hard to reach through hinged doors (unless you lifted the mattress and bed board up). So Brian installed full length dovetailed drawers on extended drawer guides, giving the space very easy access. With all the extra useable storage, we could sacrifice the long bank of drawers against the wall (along with the metal file cabinets) and claim the space for a small swivel rocker/recliner chair and second flat screen TV.

We reconfigured the pantry with several pull-out drawers and moved the microwave in order to open up the space above the stove. We fabricated new solid surface counter and table tops, and installed a new under mount sink and faucet, which helped the appeal of the kitchen tremendously. The bathroom also got a makeover; the window treatments were updated, and the floors went from blue carpet to oak. I think my mother will be pleased.

After a visit from the electrician, a guy with a tractor, the septic guy, the Dish guy, and the A/C guy, we were ready to tow the trailer from the shop to our yard.

My permanent lawn art has arrived. My life will never be the same.

Silverstreak Master

Silverstreak Cabin



Airstream Ghosts

Saturday, May 18th, 2013


My last trip to Bisbee, AZ was over 10 years ago.  We had some biker friends visiting, and they wanted to ride there for an overnight trip. One friend, a history teacher, wanted to see the old mines and stay at the historic Copper Queen Hotel. However, it was Easter weekend and all the rooms were sold out.  We decided we should ride there anyway— maybe we would get lucky and there would be last minute cancellations.

So six of us rode off on Harleys and when we arrived at the hotel, sure enough, there was nothing available. I asked the front desk clerk if he could recommend another place we might check. He said that the city gets completely booked on holiday weekends and there was little chance of finding a room anywhere.  Then a woman behind the desk said to hold one moment while she made a call. Two minutes later, she announced that The Oliver House bed and breakfast just up the street had 3 rooms available. Three rooms in a sold out town! What luck!

We quickly checked in, threw our overnight bags into the rooms, and rode into town for a cold drink before dinner. The old saloon that we stumbled into had been a stock brokerage firm from 1914 to 1964 and still had the original stock board with NYSE ticker tape on the wall. The history of the entire city is fascinating, but I had no idea that it was filled with ghosts.

After watching my friends play a couple games of pool, I was ready for a hot shower and a lot less leather.  Standing by the saloon door, I noticed a bulletin board covered with miscellaneous ads pinned to it. A fresh newspaper clipping caught my eye. It read, “Priest Performs Third Exorcism at The Oliver House”.  I knew there was a catch.

This would make a much more thrilling story if I could tell you about all of the paranormal activity in my room that night. However, I was smart enough to have that extra cocktail that guaranteed I would sleep soundly through any ghostly shenanigans. The next morning, we learned through the owner that 26 people had died in The Oliver House and that it was not uncommon for guests to encounter some of its spiritual inhabitants during the night. Thank goodness for alcohol.

This past weekend, Brian and I returned to Bisbee with another couple that is fascinated with ghost towns. If we had been alone, we probably would have hauled the Airstream with us to provide a ghost-free place to sleep. But the Caravel being a Caravel, and the Safari far from ready, we had to opt for another haunted hotel.

I discovered that Bisbee has an RV Park/Hotel, called the Shady Dell, that rents restored vintage aluminum trailers. The “resort” is a throwback to the 50’s with an interesting collection of mid-century trailers including a 1949 Airstream! They each have original kitchens and era-appropriate antiques and décor. There is even an authentic railroad style Valentine Diner that serves breakfast. Very cool.

Then I find that located just behind the little bushes at the back of the property is an old cemetery. Many famous people that supposedly inhabit some of the town’s buildings in ghostly form are buried there. Guests of the Shady Dell can wander the grounds of the graveyard at night to add to the “experience”. This was a bit too creepy for me. So were the stories about one of the trailers being haunted and the guests awaking in the middle of the night– all from the same nightmare of being buried alive! We didn’t stay there.

Even Airstreams are not ghost-proof.





About the Author

After searching for the perfect travel trailer to make camping experiences more enjoyable, I discovered the world of Airstreams. I’m not only learning a lot about Airstreams, but I’m learning a lot about myself, my relationships, and how an aluminum trailer added into the mix can change your life.