Before & After: Returning An Airstream to Its Former Glory

Before & After: Returning An Airstream to Its Former Glory

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Tess Wilson
Feb 6, 2018
(Image credit: Andrew Schnack)

Behold this tragic trailer, 63-years-old and abandoned in the woods of rural Mississippi. Is there any hope for this rusty, busted, pest-infested little sweetie? Hold out for a hero, brave Airlight!

(Image credit: Andrew Schnack)

It's so SHINY! This major makeover was undertaken by Andrew Schnack of Andy's Trailers, and lest you think getting an Airlight trailer this incredibly shiny can be done with a gentle buffing, here's what it was actually like:

The polishing process took over 100 hours, and was extremely grueling. I'd certainly think twice about undertaking such a project again. I love the mirror shine, and it is truly a head turning effect. But restoring aluminum is a dirty dirty job.

One hundred hours of polishing! That is no joke; kudos to Andrew for sticking with it and returning this 1955 piece to its former glory.

Before
(Image credit: Andrew Schnack)

Here's the interior before renovation, but apparently after lots of work and cleaning:

This trailer was a true barn find that I pulled out of the woods in rural Mississippi. I had to completely gut the trailer to the frame, and spent three months rebuilding it into what you see now. The trailer was in terrible condition, the exterior aluminum deeply pitted, the interior filled with pests and mold. Most of the windows were broken out. My friends wondered what I had gotten myself into.

I wanted to bring this rare travel trailer back to its former glory. It's such a unique example, from the heyday of aluminum camper manufacturing. I also wanted to utilize salvaged wood, which is so available in New Orleans.

Seeing these images, I'm amazed that Andrew was able to complete the entire project in three months. Especially impressive once you've seen the shots of the trailer now...

After
(Image credit: Andrew Schnack)

So gorgeous, and that floor is STUNNING. The white curves remind me of white adobe, while that floor is a bold work of art. The floor's shine echoes that of the exterior, but it adds a warm, organic flair that's the perfect counterpoint to the futuristic aluminum. This space is going to be an office/studio; how dreamy to have a desk set up under that big window!

Before
(Image credit: Andrew Schnack)

Another view to appreciate what condition this trailer was in at the start of the project.

After
(Image credit: Andrew Schnack)

Ah, so much better. I love how the bed fits into the space—there's just enough space to walk on each side, so it doesn't feel crowded but it's also a "Bed Only" space. The lights are charming, and the blanket adds such a fun pop of color. This renovation is fabulous, and, fortunately, the person who spent countless hours on it feels the same:

I love the wide-open minimalist space. Travel trailers often become so cluttered. I wanted to make something airy and light filled, basically the perfect bedroom I want to wake up in.

This trailer was sold, so it seems like the project was a total success!

Thank you, Andrew!

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