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Airstream Tweaks and Improvements


We're at Armitage County Park in Eugene for the night. We picked up our Airstream from George Sutton this afternoon and figured we'd stay down here to check out the new things we had added and tweaked. You can see in the photo above that it's absolutely gorgeous here. We've had some off and on rain and sun and everything is all "SPRING!!!!"

On our drive down:


Okay, and now, the improvements. We had the exterior vent for the stovetop swapped out for the stainless steel model (much nicer):


We had the heater vent cover replaced with the stainless version as well:


Originally we also had them add the cover for the water heater, but when we saw it installed, it actually looked worse than the non stainless version. It's not big enough to cover the space and the gray goo that goes around the edge of that cavity showed all around the edge of the pretty stainless and looked really crappy, so we had them swap it back for our old one. Oh well. Saved a hundred bucks.

We got a new toilet…the porcelain model that comes standard in all new Airstreams now. Our previous model was a left foot flusher and this one is a right foot flusher. That'll take a little retraining. 🙂


We got a new water heater…the one that works on gas AND electric. Now, when we're plugged in, we can use the campground electricity to power our little heater and our hot water, and we'll only need propane for the oven or stove.  There's a new switch now in the bathroom underneath the light switch that looks like this:


We had them wire an electric outlet in the cupboard above the dinette (another thing that now comes standard in new Airstreams). No photo for this because Kevin's working up there to wire up, um, well, some stuff…I'm not sure what all he's doing but there are tools and cables all over the place.

We had two additional antennas mounted up on the roof: one for Wi-Fi and one to boost our internet data card.


The Wi-Fi antenna is for when we're using campground Wi-Fi to give us more range (to reach the campground Wi-Fi), and in our tests today it made the campground Wi-Fi between 5 and 10 times faster than just hooking up straight from our laptops. The other antenna increases the range and speed of our internet data cards. For the internet data cards, we're adding two amplifiers (one for 3G and one for 4G) and those increase the range and speed of the internet data cards even more. All those data cards are connected up to a Pepwave router that makes our own little secure Wi-Fi network and the Pepwave router lets us choose whether we want to use campground Wi-Fi, Verizon data card, AT&T datacard, or the Sprint datacard. We should be able to rock the work days even more now!!

We also added two covers on the roof of the Airstream over the Fanstastic Fans so that we can keep the fans/vents open even when it's raining if we want to. As it is now, even when it's barely drizzling (which it often does here in the Pacific Northwest) the rain sensors on the fans will cause them to close. But then they open right back up again. And then close again. And then open again. When you're trying to sleep…this can be super annoying. 

One in back:


And one in front:


They're smoke colored, but not any darker than the vent cover, so it doesn't block out any light. At first I thought of having a dark one over the bedroom fan but changed my mind because I like it as bright as possible in here…especially in the winter.

We also had them lube the main jack, as well as our stabilizer jacks (they were getting noisy), fix the light by the sewer hookups, replace the electric cord connector with the one with the little blue light that tells you when you're plugged into power. They checked the wheel bearings and brakes, they fixed our LP detector (the light had been red for months), they replaced the surrounding bezels on the running lights (and the lights themselves) to deal with and cover up some of the corrosion around them (apparently under warranty, though none of the other corrosion issues are…let's not talk about that). I think that's it! We picked up a new metal Airstream license plate frame (we didn't have one at all before) and it looks great.

Also, I switched out our pillows!!


The tangerine quilted ladder design pillows are from Barbara Perrino (her Etsy shop is here) and the colorful retro leaf pillows are from Jo in the UK. Her Etsy shop is is Little Joobie Boo and you can find it here. Both of these gals have some fabulous designs and I'm happy to be able to mix and match them together. The retro leaf fabric has all the colors that the Nelson clock does and looks great right below it:


Right now I've got a big orange velvety pillow from Ikea there at the end of the sofa. It might be a little big, but I'm going to live with it for a day or so. It'll be great for movie nights when Kevin leans back on me to watch the t.v. from the end of the sofa side of the dinette. It's a nice big blast of color and the darker orange matches the orange of the Pixie Nespresso machine over on the kitchen counter. Always a bonus when the decor matches the espresso maker, dontcha think?


  1. Jake Jake

    Very nice upgrades and thank you for describing them. Is there a schematic diagram anywhere of your Wifi hookups? We’re leaving for the Florida keys week after next and I plan on acquiring a Verizon Wifi hotspot device. We used an AT&T Wifi hotspot last summer (Utah, AZ) and were very disappointed with the performance. I’d very much like to duplicate y’all’s configuration and my mind needs a diagram to understand it.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jake in Boerne TX.

  2. Russ Carpenter Russ Carpenter

    I’m with Jake – please help us less-than-gifted folks understand the wifi/card world you’ve so brilliantly devised (yes, that’s a compliment veiled in some ego stroking).

    I love your upgrades!


  3. Tiffani Tiffani

    Nice! I think you’ll love the vent covers — I do. Im also jealous of the sprayer holder… we didn’t get that with the toilet!!

  4. We love the vent covers! And the new toilet is so much better than the other one. The sprayer/cleaner was a surprise bonus…I didn’t know it was coming with that either.

  5. Thanks Jake! Kevin’s writing up a post that explains all the technical details…coming right up!

  6. Thanks Russ! Kevin’s writing up a post that explains all the technical details…coming right up!

  7. Don’t you love Sutton? They’re so awesome. I think I’ll add that lube list to ours in June.

    Love your new pillows.

  8. I do usually love Sutton. This time we were less than amazed at the service though, honestly. The Airstream was dirtier inside than when we left it with them (sawdust, fingerprints, wet dirty shoe prints on the floor, what the hell?) and they said they were going to wash the trailer for us and they didn’t. At all. Our guy did give us a free bottle of Walbernize (to make up for the non wash job I guess?) but I’d really rather it was a little nicer than when we brought it in.

    Also, two or three times they said they’d call us back to answer some question (“We’ll call you with an answer by the end of the day!” …. crickets….) but they never ever called us back…we always had to call a couple days later to check on whatever the thing was.

    Makes me want to give Airstream NW another shot next time. :-

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