Joshua Tree Is Now Home to a Chic Airstream Oasis—Featuring 4 Trailers Available to Rent

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By Lucy Wang
Three friends on a tight budget transform a desert site into a charming Airstream oasis.

When musician Joseph August left Los Angeles in early 2015 for a sabbatical in the area where he grew up, his solo sojourn inspired him to create an artistic AirBnB experience in the desert.

Together with his partner Justine Bennett and his childhood friend Andrew Uhlhorn, the trio of friends purchased a lot unseen later that year and bootstrapped their way to build Joshua Tree Acres—a growing village of Airstreams that just added its fourth rehabbed trailer last month.

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Pictured from left to right: Andrew Uhlhorn, Justine Bennett, and Joseph August.

Pictured from left to right: Andrew Uhlhorn, Justine Bennett, and Joseph August.

"We’re all self funded with money saved and borrowed, so cash flow has always been tight," says artist and musician Justine Bennett, who explains how she, Joseph, and Andrew renovated their first property to fund the purchase of JT Villager—one of the original 1947 homes in the heart of Joshua Tree Village that became their first AirBnB rental

Unsurprisingly, yoga retreats are popular at Joshua Tree Acres.

Unsurprisingly, yoga retreats are popular at Joshua Tree Acres.

The revenue from that first project enabled them to purchase their "dream property," a five-acre site with stunning mountain views, a 280-square-foot homestead cabin, and plenty of twisting Joshua Trees.

The property is a quick 20-minute drive to downtown Joshua Tree.

The property is a quick 20-minute drive to downtown Joshua Tree.

Along the way, they had also started collecting old Airstreams plucked off Craigslist that they’d flip for additional funds. Their hard work—they once traveled as far as Mexico to bring an Airstream home—paid off when the friends began adding renovated Airstream trailers to their property.

The property is outfitted with solar-powered lights that automatically turn on at night.

The property is outfitted with solar-powered lights that automatically turn on at night.

"We also started thinking about what we really enjoyed as avid travelers ourselves," shares Justine. "The theme that kept surfacing was that we wanted to create a communal space—a place where like-minded people could come together to meet, share stories, and experience the stark, beautiful, unique nature of the Joshua Tree desert."

Shop the Look
Anthropologie Curved Rattan Bed
Anthropologie Curved Rattan Bed
Crisscrossed rattan creates a light canopy, giving you the feeling of being at once cocooned and open to the breeze.
Rejuvenation Woven Outdoor Pillow
Rejuvenation Woven Outdoor Pillow
With a look inspired by the texture of rattan, this durable outdoor pillow will add warmth to any outdoor space. It's made with a water-repellent fabric and insert for versatile use both indoors and out.
The Citizenry San Rafael Safari Stool
The Citizenry San Rafael Safari Stool
Thick caramel leather. Rich Haya wood. This stool is one handsome fella. With its streamlined design and “throw-me-anywhere” size, this classic piece instantly ups the game of any extra corner. Style as a set of two for the end of a bed or entryway.
Guests can enjoy a hot tub, outdoor shower, outdoor kitchen, communal table, and fireplace.

Guests can enjoy a hot tub, outdoor shower, outdoor kitchen, communal table, and fireplace.

A sharp eye for thrifted pieces, a bootstrapping mentality, and a commitment to eco-conscious design were three important ingredients to bringing Joshua Tree Acres to life.

The starbust cedar wall was constructed by  local carpenter Nathan Mcconnell.

The starbust cedar wall was constructed by local carpenter Nathan Mcconnell.

The project began with the complete overhaul of the existing cabin on the property, now called "The Clubhouse." Working in collaboration with local carpenter Nicholas Holmes, they covered the walls with eco-friendly American clay, added recycled blue-jean insulation, and used locally felled timber from an Idyllwild forest. 

The Clubhouse also includes an outdoor shower powered by a solar hot-water tank, which was designed by their neighbor Dusty Devine.

The Clubhouse also includes an outdoor shower powered by a solar hot-water tank, which was designed by their neighbor Dusty Devine.

What makes this desert oasis so unique is how there are a total of four Airstreams on the property. 

The Piece of the Sky 1975 Airstream and Sound of Silence 1964 Airstream—both named after songs of their respective eras—were lightly renovated to retain original vintage elements, yet modern touches were also integrated for additional comfort.

The Kind of Blue 1959 Airstream is the newest addition.

The Kind of Blue 1959 Airstream is the newest addition.

For a more contemporary stay, guests can rent the fully renovated Merchant on the Road Airstream, which features eclectic midcentury-modern and Moroccan influences, hardwood floors, white walls, and custom cabinetry. The interior of this trailer was led by Merchant Modern.

Shop the Look
IKEA ASKHOLMEN Table
IKEA ASKHOLMEN Table
Perfect for your balcony or other small spaces as it can be folded up and put away.For added durability, and so you can enjoy the natural expression of the wood, the furniture has been pre-treated with a layer of semi-transparent wood stain.
String Light Outdoor Cafe Lighting
String Light Outdoor Cafe Lighting
Come the warmer weather, no decor feels more festive than twinkly string lights draped everywhere. Simple spherical or vintage-style bulbs dangle from thin black wire ready to adorn a patio, a fire escape, a bush in the backyard, you name it. They’re safe outdoors and indoors (just be sure to...
IKEA ASKHOLMEN Chair
IKEA ASKHOLMEN Chair
Perfect for your balcony or other small spaces as the chair is easy to fold up.For added durability, and so you can enjoy the natural expression of the wood, the furniture has been pre-treated with a layer of semi-transparent wood stain.
The Merchant on the Road Airstream interior was curated by the mother/daughter duo of Merchant Modern.

The Merchant on the Road Airstream interior was curated by the mother/daughter duo of Merchant Modern.

Last month, Joshua Tree Acres added their fourth and newest Airstream: Kind of Blue 1959 Airstream. This trailer has been completely overhauled into a crisp modern space. 

Plush Casper Beds, white linens, and cozy touches can be found in all the Airstreams.

Plush Casper Beds, white linens, and cozy touches can be found in all the Airstreams.

The Clubhouse and vintage Airstreams are all fitted with vintage finds and second hand treasures that Justine, Joseph, and Andrew collected from around the world. "This organically became our design style—vintage treasures mixed with found objects combined with handmade pieces," explains Justine. 

The Kind of Blue 1959 Airstream features a completely renovated interior with crisp white walls, custom cabinetry, and hardwood floors.

The Kind of Blue 1959 Airstream features a completely renovated interior with crisp white walls, custom cabinetry, and hardwood floors.

"We collectively have spent hundreds of hours laboring and hand-making things, such as curtains, pillows, benches, tables, planters, and wall hangings. We’ve pulled all nighters cutting wood trimmings by hand, painting, and finishing every detail to stay within a deadline. We’ve done everything we can with our own hands to showcase our unique style, while also sparing our limited cash flow."

The fully stocked kitchen can be found in the Clubhouse.

The fully stocked kitchen can be found in the Clubhouse.

The growing success of Joshua Tree Acres has given the three friends the means to purchase the five-acre plot next door, where they plan to add a saltwater pool and an eco-campsite. 

The Clubhouse is the communal hub, housing the bathrooms, kitchen, and shared living space.

The Clubhouse is the communal hub, housing the bathrooms, kitchen, and shared living space.

The growing Airstream oasis also has its eye on hosting more events, including celebrations of every solstice and equinox in the coming year.

All the Airstreams are shoe-free zones.

All the Airstreams are shoe-free zones.

Joshua Tree Acres recently hosted their first curated live music/dinner event and plans to host more in the future.

Joshua Tree Acres recently hosted their first curated live music/dinner event and plans to host more in the future.

Many of the furnishings were handmade and decorations thrifted.

Many of the furnishings were handmade and decorations thrifted.

Interested in booking a stay at Joshua Tree Acres? Check out all their listings here.

Project Credits:

General Contractor: Jim Roses + Joshua Tree Acres Design

Landscape Design: Joshua Tree Acres Design

Cabinetry Design/Installation: Jim Roses + Joshua Tree Acres Design

American clay walls/ceilings with textural straw: Nicholas Holmes 

Cedar wall: Nathan McConnell