Archives For August 2016

Airstream Renovation Update

August 10, 2016 — 1 Comment

If you’ve been following along at all on Facebook, you’ve probably seen some of the latest updates on the Airstream. If not, here’s the summary:

Holy crap, this is hard work!

Okay, now I feel better. I’ve been working on the Airstream and home renovation full time since I quit my job back in June, so going on two months now. Much like what happened when we purchased our first two houses and said we’d make some updates, we’ve now turned it into a full gut job. The bad news is we still have a long way to go… but the good news is we’re at least starting to build back up now!

Also, Jocelyn quit her job last week so she’s full time on it which helps a ton. Let’s start with the outside.

I’ve replaced all of the window gaskets and cleaned all of the hardware. I’ve also taken a first pass on nearly 60% of the buffing… but I still have three more “passes” even after I finish this one. This will probably be the one thing I won’t complete before the end of August (when we want to leave). It’s getting shinier, but the pictures are always deceiving as it’s not that good in person.

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The inside is a whole other animal. Our renovation took the Airstream down to the internal shell and included the nastiest job yet – removing the vinyl covering to expose the inside aluminum. It’s turning out great, but I’ve cursed Jocelyn many times as she wanted to do it (in the end, she’s probably right).

I’m also replacing all of the plumbing, we’re redoing all of the cabinets with new paint, adding new flooring, countertops and fixtures. We’re pretty much redoing the entire inside. It will look great, but we have a lot of work left.

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As I mentioned earlier, the best part is Jocelyn is now off work so she can help too! It’s pretty nasty working with all of the chemicals, so here she is masked:

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She’s also getting all of the colors picked out for cushions, curtains, etc. I think it’ll look pretty good, and here’s the palette:

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We hope to put the floors in next week along with starting the bathroom. Once we get the floors installed, it will go pretty fast because all of the couches, chairs and counters will go on top of it… and it’s already assembled. Hopefully, we’ll be able to leave by the end of August or first week of September… so I better get back to work now!

I’ve been dropping hints lately about our next adventure. We’ve been planning it for a while now, so what looks like a random succession of events, has actually been somewhat planned.

The first major step was on May 1st – when we purchased our 1966 Airstream Globetrotter. It’s a major fixer upper, as I’ve learned over the last few months, but I’m currently working hard to get it fixed up. Seriously, I’m working like 10-12 hours a day on the dang thing.

1966 Airstream Globetrotter

The next step was to quit my job so I could work on all of the projects around the house and Airstream. My last day was June 14th and we’ve been working hard since remodeling our house and landscaping the front – here’s the before and after:

The top picture is original house - bottom is our modern landscaping

The top picture is original house – bottom is our modern landscaping

Next, was for my wife to leave her job. As I mentioned in a previous post, her last day is August 4th! It wasn’t an easy decision as she has been very successful in her career… but work will always be waiting when we get back.

So here we are now, eyeing our next adventure. As you might know, we traveled the world in 2013. It was an amazing (and exhausting) nine months full of new experiences, but it also made us realize how much cool stuff we have in the US. That is what prompted our 2016-2017 adventure, The Great American Road Trip.

We’re not exactly sure how long we’ll be gone or where we’re going yet, but that’s one of the things we loved about our first big trip. There’s nothing better than having the freedom to discover new places and explore based on the advice of strangers you meet along the way. We hope to start in about a month – depending on how fast we can get the Airstream and house ready. That’s another decision not finalized yet – if we will sell or rent the house. Anyone looking for a new house in Dallas???

The original goal was to get to Alaska before winter and spend at least one month exploring. However, since we still need to sort out the house situation and fix up the Airstream, it’s not likely we’ll be able to spend enough time in Alaska before winter. That would mean we couldn’t do Alaska until late Spring – 2017. Oy, that’s a long time away!

The alternative plan is to head up to the Northeast and explore during the fall, which we hear is quite beautiful. We could then swing back Southeast, South and Southwest… working hard to avoid winter and start working our way through California. This would set us up for a late spring drive up through Canada and finally to Alaska – to top it all off. We could also do the National Park road trip as outlined on the Washington Post:

National Park Road Trip

Along the way, we’ll explore parks and landmarks, meet up with friends (who has a driveway big enough for our Airstream??) and enjoy life. We’ll revert to a previous life when we weren’t controlled by the days of the week or work deliverables, but by our desire to explore further. Just like when we traveled the first time, we’ll have more time than money, and act accordingly. In the last two years since we went back to work, we had more money than time, and also acted accordingly!

We’ll need to watch our spending pretty closely again, as we won’t have regular incomes. Instead, just as we did for the first trip, we’ll rely on our savings and money from our investments. It’s always a scary feeling when you go from DINKs (dual income no kids) to NINKs (no income no kids), but we’ve worked hard in the last 10 year to pay off our debt, save money and invest in real estate and the stock market. We’re also confident we can get jobs again when needed.

I’ll try to post next week on the Airstream progress, but you can also like my BREAKFREE Facebook page where I post much more often. If you have any can’t miss destinations across the US and Canada, be sure to let us know! Otherwise, we’ll see you on the road…