The reconstruction of the Flying Cloud was a labor of love that lasted over seven months from the time we brought the "Doris" Mae" home. to the time we hit the road. While the outside skin of the Airstream was in pretty good shape, 47 years of travel and some previous owners "remuddling" had left its mark. We were also determined to set a new benchmark for the design and execution of small space living. Conventional trailer design was thrown out the window, and numerous redesigns were tested out in recycled cardboard before being committed to wood. The "cardboard castle" as we took to calling it became rather humorous, with little felt pen drawings of the stove, sinks and refrigerator, looking more like cartoon characters than the real thing. But none the less, it did the job, and we soon had what we felt and are being told is a groundbreaking design for modern living in a vintage trailer.
Once we had finished gutting the interior, we began the long and arduous task of rebuilding the interior from scratch. The first step was to update the plumbing and electrical in preparation for installing the new toilet and water systems, as well as upgrading the electrical to handle the solar. Once that was completed, the next phase involved sanding and refinishing the interior with zero-voc paints, and preparing the floor for the installation of the new cork flooring.
With the floors and walls now complete, we began to install the most difficult and challenging components which included the cabinets and counter tops, appliances and most challenging of all, the solar system. When rebuilding a vintage Airstream, one quickly discovers that not only does it curve from the floor to the ceiling, like a boat, it also curves from front to back! Luckily, Larry Hein who would prove essential when it came time to build the cabinets, had experience working on boats. We also discovered that like an airplane, the skin on an Airstream expands and contracts with the heat of the day. Frequently, that which fit well in the cool morning air would be off by a mile in the afternoon heat.
All of these factors contributed to an interesting, challenging and exciting remodeling process. Pictured below are some of the highlights of the reconstruction.
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