This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy.

Make Your Airstream Last Another 50 Years With A Frame-Off Restoration

The dream of restoring an aging Airstream trailer to pristine condition resonates with many Airstream lovers. However, as with any vintage RV renovation, there can be a lot of work involved. Worse – hidden problems that the average “do-it-yourself” renovator might not find or know how to repair often crop up. Like with any major mechanical project, the best solution is to turn to a professional, and in the Airstream world the go-to team is Hofmann Architecture.

This family had their Airstream trailer completely restored for full-time RV travel.

Fully restored vintage Airstream

Matthew Hofmann, the company’s founder, is an architect by trade. He bought his first Airstream on a whim, and ended up gutting it and fully redesigning it. He then lived in it full time. The experience taught him the ins and outs of Airstream living, and makes him the perfect consultant for others who want to live in their Airstream full time or for those who just want to restore their trailer to its former glory.

Sign up for the newsletter today!

Please enter a valid email address.

An error occurred. Please try again later.

× logo

Thank you for subscribing to the Do It Yourself RV newsletter, keep your eye on your inbox for updates.

His father, Wally Hofmann, joined him when he decided to start a business restoring Airstreams and other similar vintage trailers. Wally explains what sets them apart,

We’re the only licensed Architecture firm in the world we know of that specializes in Airstream renovations. Since 2010, Hofmann Architecture has designed and renovated more than 120 vintage trailers, mostly Airstreams. This hands-on experience has taught our design team and craftsmen how to do it right.

Most of these beauties have survived more than 50 years. Our goal is to make them last another 50 years. We admire the designers and builders who created these iconic trailers. It’s an honor to follow in their footsteps.

What makes a Hofmann restoration unique is their full, frame-off renovation process, in which the shell is completely removed from the chassis. Then everything is repaired and updated, from the trailer’s interior to the plumbing, wiring, and more. This ensures the trailer itself is in good condition, and will last for years to come. Eventually the shell is reattached, and a fully customized interior goes in.

A frame-off restoration ensures no problems get overlooked.

Interior of fully restored Airstream

Another benefit to a frame-off restoration is a healthier living environment. Mold, rodent droppings, rotted wood, and many other problems that come with age can not only make vintage trailers smell bad, they can pose serious health risks.

A recent project by Hofmann Architecture involved a 31 foot 1971 Airstream Sovereign. This 45-year-old Airstream was renovated for an Oregon family that intends to travel in it full time for several months. Along with a down-to-the-frame remodel, the Airstream received a fresh kitchen, mid-floorplan bathroom, master suite with a double bunk, and a children’s sofa nook that can double as a twin bed.

The updated interior of this 1974 Airstream Sovereign includes a renovated kitchen, reading nook, master suite, and mid-floor plan bathroom.

Kitchen and reading nook area in an Airstream

The reading nook doubles as a twin bed and “bedroom” for the couple’s child.

Reading nook in Airstream

A stylish master bedroom has a double bed and an extra twin bunk if needed.

Master Bunk Room in Vintage Airstream

The twin bed bunk makes for plenty of cuddling space.

Mother and child use the twin bunk in the master suite

The generous bathroom includes modern fixtures, a shower, toilet, and plenty of storage.

Brand new bathroom installed in vintage Airstream

In addition to their full service offerings, Hofmann Architecture stays true to the heart of “doing it yourself” too, offering inspiration to Airstream owners who might not be ready to hire their team to do a full RV renovation. Currently their website has video tutorials dedicated to helping you complete various Airstream-specific renovation projects. Later this year, they’ll be adding an online store with some of their best trade-secrets up for grabs, including products that they use in their own custom renovation projects!

Resources:




Leave a Comment

Welcome! Please follow these guidelines:

  • Be kind and respectful.
  • Keep comments relevant to the article.
  • Avoid insults, threats, profanity, and offensive remarks.
  • Refrain from discussing gun rights, politics, or religion.
  • Do not post misleading information, personal details, or spam.

We may hide or remove comments at our discretion.