• Jana Kelley

I just bought an Airstream. What?!


So I decided I wanted to invest in a camper. This revelation happened after a recent camper vacation in Elberta, AL (near Gulf Shores) after vacation plans were derailed due to Hurricane Michael in Panama City this fall. It ended up being one of the best family vacations ever, and I wondered why I hadn't thought to invest in my own camper sooner. Obviously, I'd love to purchase a beach condo, but how many campers can I buy for the price of a beach condo? Hmmm. Also, if a hurricane comes, I can pull it to safety. So much money saved on insurance, and no HOA fees! It's a no brainer, right?

Below are a few photos from that trip.

Drone shot photo cred: @leekelley








My mind was made up, so the hunt began. In fact, before we made it home from that vacation trip, we stopped along the way to view an airstream that was listed for sale. It gave us a good reference point for pricing and condition, both of which were in the wrong direction for this first airstream.

This one was priced high for the condition. YIKES!


Proof that I was searching online for my next project while stuck in traffic on the way home.


I knew I wanted a vintage camper and was leaning towards an airstream, for obvious reasons. I was shopping actively for this vintage camper for about a month before finding one with serious potential on airstreamclassifieds.com. It was in Centre, AL so my boyfriend and I drove there from Birmingham to check it out. On the way there, we decided to join forces and partner up on this project. He'd be doing most of the work anyway, he says. Mmmhmm.


We have no idea what were getting into, but we're both great at research and enjoy a good challenge. HA! Also, we both happen to be engineers who love to fix all the things and love travel adventures.

Initially, our idea was to use the airstream for vacations and as an airbnb investment with the possibility of flipping at some point in the future. The biggest challenges we initially saw were 1) getting this massive camper down my driveway and 2) replacing and/or repairing the existing windows. Fingers crossed, we don't find serious leaks.

In preparation for parking our new airstream in my backyard, we made a pit stop at Lowe’s for some gravel and pavers for the jack stands. Looking back, I wish we would have purchased an adjustable hitch also!


It took us 2 hours to get our new project into its temporary home at the end of my driveway. There may or may not have been some scraping during the process. We're hoping an adjustable hitch will help to remedy this driveway situation for its next descent. Also, those pavers didn't work out so well. However, my LR4 rocked at pulling it.



Here she sits in her temporary resting spot for renovations, in my backyard. Her name shall be Charlene.


Naming her after Charles, who may or may not have owned her. We found his name under the front door mat.



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