Tin Can Homestead: The Art of Airstream Living recently published in May 2018 and is a must-read for anyone who loves the classic silver bullet trailers. This new book comes from two authors, Natasha Lawyer and Brett Bashaw, who renovated their own 1971 Airstream Sovereign. It’s beautifully illustrated with photos as well as hand-drawn illustrations and diagrams.
This 216-page guide includes tips for every step of an Airstream renovation—from the electrical work and plumbing to the interior design. It has step-by-step instructions on how to build cabinets, install tiling, add a toilet, and polish the exterior. They also share what tools they used, the best houseplants for your RV, and things to look for when you’re buying a vintage trailer.
The authors Natasha Lawyer and Brett Bashaw lived in an orange 1978 Volkswagen van before renovating their vintage Airstream. In the beginning, they scoured classifieds and took time to plan and draw out their layout design, which they later included in the book.
“Brett and I already knew that we did well living together in a small space; the Volkswagen was tiny, so the comparative size of an Airstream seemed huge. As we traveled from place to place, I began my research. I read Airstream forums about renovations and common problems; I discovered Airstream classifieds and perused them daily. We figured since we were heading back to Seattle in a couple of months, we could buy an Airstream where we found one and bring it back with us.
We spent a lot of time in coffee shops—and still do—as we’re both coffee addicts, and Brett was enrolled in full-time university online. He would study, and I would endlessly scour the classifieds, drawing and redrawing Airstream layout plans.”