A 1970s Airstream Is Revamped Into an Off-Grid Home For Six

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By Anna Squier
Jonathan and Ashley Longnecker and their four kids live, work, and explore the world in this stylish, sustainable Airstream Sovereign.

The Longneckers were living the American Dream with a large house and plenty of material items, but found themselves wanting more—or rather less. Desire for more freedom, more adventure, and more time together with less financial stress and fewer things led the family to downsize from their spacious home to a 350-square-foot RV. 

Yet, after a year of living and traveling, they soon realized that even the RV was too comfortable, and the potential of living off-grid in beautiful, remote settings was the dream.

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The options for travel have become endless for this family.  The small trailer provides enough technology and flexibility to be allow the parents to work and teach from just about anywhere on the road.

The options for travel have become endless for this family. The small trailer provides enough technology and flexibility to be allow the parents to work and teach from just about anywhere on the road.

A shiny 1972 Airstream Sovereign was the perfect solution for their sustainable dreams. In just six months—thanks to the help of Ashley's dad—the couple transformed the vintage home on wheels into an off-grid living-machine, complete with plentiful storage, modern decor, and a workspace for Jonathan. 

Now, the Longneckers lives and works in the pristine wilderness with the comforts of a single family home in a sustainable "adventure-mobile." 

With their renovated airstream trailer, the family can choose where they want to live each week, whether it is the mountains, forests, desert, or by the ocean.

With their renovated airstream trailer, the family can choose where they want to live each week, whether it is the mountains, forests, desert, or by the ocean.

The shiny aluminum exterior screams vintage-classic.  Yet on the interior, there are modern touches and stylish, chic decor.

The shiny aluminum exterior screams vintage-classic. Yet on the interior, there are modern touches and stylish, chic decor.

Simple, clean lines and bright white interiors transform the airstream into a modern oasis. Dark wood accents and modern cabinets blend with personal artifacts and stylish decor. At moments, the original aluminum shell is revealed, providing shining reference to the vintage character. 

A neutral color palette is combined with wood flooring and cabinetry to provide warmth in the airy interior space.

A neutral color palette is combined with wood flooring and cabinetry to provide warmth in the airy interior space.

In the kitchen, there is plenty of counter space and storage.

In the kitchen, there is plenty of counter space and storage.

Despite its 220-square-foot size, the trailer is fully functional for the family of six. The kids have fold-down bunk-beds, which transform into two couches to provide enough space for guests or play. A luxurious kitchen and dinette allow the family to eat and cook together, and at night, with just a few maneuvers, the dinette can easily convert into a relaxing sleeping quarter. 

The kids' fold-down bunk-beds are complete with Beddy's Bedding, which helps the space stay neat and organized. 

The kids' fold-down bunk-beds are complete with Beddy's Bedding, which helps the space stay neat and organized. 

A look at the double bunk-beds that can convert into couches when not in use.

A look at the double bunk-beds that can convert into couches when not in use.

A large dining space provides enough room for the family to comfortably dine, work, and play games. Curtains from their previous home have been repurposed for this new space.

A large dining space provides enough room for the family to comfortably dine, work, and play games. Curtains from their previous home have been repurposed for this new space.

The dinette space can completely transform into an almost king-size bed.

The dinette space can completely transform into an almost king-size bed.

With sustainability at the forefront of the family's mind, everything was designed accordingly. Solar panels on the roof, efficient appliances, a 50-gallon fresh water tank, and a composting toilet allow the family to live efficiently, even when there are limitations to water and electricity.

An exterior canopy extends to create an outdoor living area.  Solar panels adorn the roof, catching the sun's rays and generating power for living off-grid.

An exterior canopy extends to create an outdoor living area. Solar panels adorn the roof, catching the sun's rays and generating power for living off-grid.

Sunsets, breezes,  and ocean views are just a small part of the experiences and adventures that this family now ensues.

Sunsets, breezes, and ocean views are just a small part of the experiences and adventures that this family now ensues.

The flexibility of the mobile dwelling allows the family to live, work, and learn from some of the most remote places in the world.

The flexibility of the mobile dwelling allows the family to live, work, and learn from some of the most remote places in the world.

Learn more about The Longneckers on their travel blog. You can also follow their adventures on Instagram at @tinyshinyhome.

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Project Credits:

Builder / General Contractor: Richard Peck (Ashley's Father)