Airstream, Tiny House

Celebrating two years of Airstream living!

It’s hard to believe we just celebrated two years in the Airstream.  We decided to simplify and downsize in 2012. In 2015 we made the decision to do a tiny house or full-time RV.  In 2016 we got the Airstream and we moved in the fall of 2017. It’s been a long journey to get to this point!

Overall we really like living in the Airstream.  Yes, there are struggles. Do I think we’ll still be here in two more years? I doubt it.  Do I think we’ll move into a “real” home within the next two years? No. I think we’ll end up either upgrading to a larger RV, downgrading to a van, or moving into some sort of a tiny house scenario.  We’ll see. Today we’re enjoying where we’re at and grateful to have a place to call our own.  

I want to share some reflections from my family with you on two years of Airstream life.

What do you like the most?

Hubby- I love the way that living in such a small space has helped me get outside more.  I end up outdoors rain or shine to take care of tasks that can’t be done anywhere else as well as to provide me with the opportunity to help my inner introvert reset.  As the poster we have hanging up says “Never be within doors when you can rightly be without” ~ Charlotte Mason

J (almost 9-years-old)- Umm… how free I feel like I can be in it because I feel like there’s just more to explore because in a house I feel like it’s so big that you don’t get to explore that much because you’re busy cleaning and you have so many toys. 

Me- My favorite thing is how healing this space has been.  It’s been healing for our family in so many ways. This space has helped us to reconnect with each other, heal our bodies and minds, and process some of our trauma from the last several years.

What has been the nicest surprise you didn’t expect when we moved in?

J- How much space there is and how many hiding places there are. 

Hubby- I was surprised by the amount of space we realistically had.  Given the fact that we were bringing new things in with us, there wasn’t as much to fill with as we had originally expected.  This has been great because I was incredibly concerned by the lack of space and the challenges it would bring.

Me- All of the natural light!  It should have been obvious but I really didn’t think about it.  In the summer here in the PNW we never turn on lights. It’s so bright and cheery.

What has been the biggest struggle?

Me-  Getting the privacy I need for meditation, yoga,  journaling, writing, and work. I really miss having the ability to get up in the morning, shut a door, and have my morning routine or work   My family knew not to bother me until I opened that door unless it was an emergency. Writing and working have bee n a lot more difficult than I thought it would be…  I need a she shed 🙂 

J- Umm… surprisingly, keeping my area tidy. 

Hubby- I would say that temperature control has been one of the biggest struggles.  We didn’t take the Airstream down to the bones and I wish we had. It would have solved that problem and a few other frustrations such as the lack of usable space in our bathroom area.  I wish it was simultaneously warmer, cooler, and more usable.

What do you like the least?

J- How we never leave the same place.  Not having my own room. 

Me- Having our bed in front of the door.  I also don’t love that we literally have to make the bed every single day.

Hubby-  I had hoped that the futon we purchased at first was going to last longer.  I think that having to put out and clean up our bedding every day is the thing that has begun to wear the most.

What advice would you give to people thinking about moving into an Airstream or another tiny space?

Hubby-  I would recommend trying some extended camping trips in your space before jumping in 100% so that you can reconfigure your space a bit as necessary first.  If this isn’t an option for you find a tiny house hotel to spend some nights in to see what you do and don’t like. If you’re going the RV route, rent one for a month or so.  You’ll learn pretty quickly the pros and cons. I definitely recommend the life to those who are curious and can find a place to park. Figure out where you will be staying before you jump into things.

J- If it’s old, buy it gutted because it might have some problems that you need to fix.

Me- Check out my post with tips, it’s one of my most viewed blog posts!

What would you change about our home?

J- The front overhead cabinets because Mom hits her head on them so much and the kitchen counter.

Hubby-  I would make it easier to transport.  Hitching up and towing your home is nice sometimes, but I really wanted to travel more even if it was just around the area we live in on weekends.  It stinks to have to pack everything up so it doesn’t break, hitch up, and then move it. It’s also not nice on the gas tank.

Me- I would gut it and put things in different places. I don’t like having our bed right in front of the door but there’s no other way to set it up. I’d also rearrange the kitchen differently.

Do you ever wish we lived in a sticks & bricks house?

Me-  Sometimes.  I think if we had our own property and could spread out more it would feel different.  Or if I was able to rent an office space nearby. I wouldn’t mind having a 400-500 sq ft house with a van we could travel in but for now, I’m really content here.

J- No because then we can’t go anywhere we want unless we have a house and some sort of camper and we might have to pay a lot of rent. 

Hubby-I more often wish for our own land than for our own home.  It’d be great to have our own space to sprawl a bit more.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

J- Being 9 and going to different campgrounds.

Me- We were gifted a Thousand Trails membership so I’m excited to explore more! We will also hopefully pay off the last of our debt this year.

Hubby- I look forward to traveling more either with the airstream or with the other camping gear we recently brought into our family.

Any other thoughts or favorite memories from the last two years?

Hubby-Moving out from Colorado was great in a lot of ways.  I loved being able to sleep in my own bed every night, cook my own meals, not have to hope for a decent bathroom or outhouse when stopping for gas.  I loved traveling. One scary thing was experiencing significant sway while coming down a mountain pass. That was an important lesson in taking my time, towing gently, and being thankful it all turned out well.

J- Last Christmas when I got Tigey it was really really special.  If you like having your own room, don’t expect to have your own room. If you’re afraid you never know what the next day may hold and it could hold another adventure or a new sight that you will see out of your own house window. 

Me-On our first morning in the Airstream we woke up to thousands of birds migrating overhead.  We’ve seen so much wildlife that we never would have noticed inside a house. I work in the front and we eat meals in the front.  We’ve watched deer forage in the garden, baby bunnies, and squirrels, a bald eagle catch and eat a fish, baby deer with their mama, and dozens (maybe hundreds) of different bird species.  I love how much we’ve learned about, and connected to, nature in this process.  

Note- I apologize there aren’t more pictures. The campground we’re staying at has a lot to be desired in terms of their Internet connection- and we have to pay for it! It won’t upload any of my pictures, I’ll add more when we get back to our home base in a couple of weeks.

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