Suntory Airstream Renovation

Check out this deep dive into how we renovated a 1970’s Airstream trailer from run-down hunk of metal to peak-condition mobile sales center.

Hey, so we’re out here in the warehouse at the TTG headquarters and want to show you our latest project we’re working on, which is a 1970 land yacht Airstream trailer. You can see it is completely gutted out, and we’re going to refurbish this thing. My thing coming into this was to keep it as original as possible, but give it some modern conveniences and look good. And what we did was we pulled all the skins off of the inside of this trailer. It’s crazy the stuff that we saw in there. We took some of the floors out, and we saw some damage in there. Some of this stuff is just surface rust. It’s not a big deal that we can’t fix. We want to make this thing safe for our clients.

What we did was what they call the full monty, which is separating the shelf from the frame. We had to do some more welding on it. We put in some more structure, some more bracing. We added a new beam here. We have probably 75% of the original frame and then we’ve got new frame welded onto that and then everything is structurally sound there. We’ve got a brand-new belly pan across the bottom. We have brand new axles. Everything is new under there and then we’ve got a brand-new subfloor and then we’ve got our flooring on top of that. Once the floor was done we had to bring the shell back on it.

The shell is the original shell, the original glass; everything on that part is original. The glass actually was, dare I say a home run because we have all the pieces of glass in here. None of it was cracked, which is, you just don’t find that very often. We need to give a big shout-out to Augustine Rodriguez of the dealer tent out of Frisco, TX. Augustin and his team brought in 10 of these windows for us – they weren’t easy. We’ve got an inch and a half thick insulation that will be going on these walls and then we’ll start winning our skins.

As a project manager, only as strong as the people that work with you, right? So you got your carpenters, your electricians, there are two that worked really hard in the end to the guys in graphics—many making custom seat cushions. Engineering drawing out the overhead fixtures and stuff with custom LED lighting and things like that. Even accounting and Jody had several trips going back and forth to the DMV to get the tags, get registration and get all that worked out. You got a strong team that wants to do well and succeed and everybody succeeds.

We try not to get emotional about it. It’s been, you know, baby of ours here and everybody that’s worked on it. Nine months in the making, as you guys can see, we’ve come a long way. We tried to give this Airstream a vintage look it deserves with a little bit of modern touches. You get a dealer, you buy brand new one of these and then you got it out and you put some cabinets in and you put a TV that’s going up and down and you send it down the road. There’s no character; there’s no labor. There’s no sweat; there’s no tears. There’s none of that. I guarantee you there’s a lot of that in this one.

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