Last summer, I bought a 1966 Kit Companion. Her name is Griselda, and she's an adorable little camper. She measures 16' long (tip to tongue), and has a 12' box. She has one full size bed, a dining table that folds down into a full size bed, a closet, an oven, an ice box, and a sink. She lacks a potty, electricity, enough beds for all, and she was seriously damaged in some storms during our cross country move. I have been mourning the loss of the functionality of our camper.
A few days ago, I came up with this hair brained, crazy dream of buying a larger camper (you know, one that has electricity, a fridge, and a potty in it!!), and very thriftily travel the East coast with my family during the summer. It would have to be small enough to be towed by my SUV, but big enough that I could work from it as well. I searched Craigslist a few times, just on a whim, to see how the camper market differed between Oregon and Michigan. All I can say is WOW!! I almost want to start bringing campers back to Oregon to sell, if that says anything! I hadn't really intended on buying anything before winter, but things don't always work out as I intend them too either.
I have to preface this by saying I've wanted an Airstream for as long as I've known Airstream exists. I LOVE vintage. I love a challenge of fixing something, of molding it into whatever I can dream of in my mind. I've often joked with my husband that I will someday have one. Someday far, far in the future, when business is more stable, all the bills are paid off, etc etc. You know, someday when I'm an adult and have all of my stuff together. ;) I routinely search for Airstreams, dreaming of when that day will come, while telling myself it likely never will.
Wednesday, I stumbled across an ad for a 1968 Airstream Ambassador that seemed too good to be true. It is in mostly original condition (it is missing the fridge, most of the flooring has been recarpeted, and the beds and sofa were reupholstered, minimal water damage). I saw the ad when it had been up for just 2 hours. I called the number and left a message, expecting to hear nothing at all back. I did tell my husband that we may be bringing home a new camper sooner than expected, if it happened to be a real ad! He just chuckled at me, and said okay. Imagine my surprise when I received a call from the seller! It was already 7 PM, and I was 89 miles away, so we set up a time for me to pick it up the next night.
The entire night, I had a serious internal debate. I wasn't super ready to buy, it was larger than I wanted, but I've never, ever seen an Airstream in my price range before either. What to do? Put it off until I was "ready?" Take the leap of faith (and a small loan!) and go get it anyways? I found myself wondering, was I worthy of this? Do I work hard enough to justify buying this? Am I worthy of this happiness? I spent 22 hours straight, trying to talk myself out of it (no joke, I didn't sleep over it). I had long conversations with myself, with my best friends, with my husband, with multiple Ford dealerships verifying the towing capacity of my SUV since this was longer, and a bit heavier than I was looking for. I looked for every reason in the world for why I wasn't worthy of something I have wanted for a very long time. I couldn't come up with a reason to say no to myself.
I decided I WAS worthy. I decided there is no "right" time to ever do something, we can only go for what feels right in our soul.
Meet Cerridwen, my 1968 Airstream Ambassador. She is 28' long, 7' wide, and completely unrestored.
|Cerridwen, in all her beauty.|
|A back view, this is her winter parking place, right next to my house.|
|When you walk in, this is the view to the right. The couch folds down into a pretty good sized bed. Not shown to the left, is a table that collapses when not in use.|
|It has the original thermostat, and these really cool lights above the beds!|
|And the bathroom. I think my 5 year old daughter almost cried when she saw it had a potty in it! The water lines need to be repaired, but I will be having a local RV repair shop do that.|
|The other half of the bathroom. It's in desperate need of some scrubbing. :)|
I've already decided that Cerridwen will stay with me forever. I will be renovating and remodeling to my taste, not for resale value. I hope you all will follow along!