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Airstream Reincarnated: From family camper to AirBnB

The Wisman's camper provides easy access to comfortable travel.

Joshua Huston

Avid campers from the get-go (they even mentioned camping in their wedding vows!) Jeff and Laura Wisman of Seattle found that tents and sleeping bags didn’t seem to cut it, with a newborn and a toddler with sensitive sleep habits. When the couple decided to invest in an Airstream trailer for occasional trips with their two young children, Sylvia and Charlie, they didn’t know that the trailer would end up serving as an extra room, an escape and a source of income as well.

DIYers at heart, the couple snatched up the trailer on Craigslist, making plans to fix it up to serve as a guest room and off-site work area. Plus, the trailer provided easy access to comfortable travel: “We started taking weekend trips to state parks and finally enjoying the PNW!” says Laura. “It became a sort of extra room to our small house. I invite girlfriends over to play cards in the evening, Jeff started working from the camper on days when he didn’t need to go into the office, and out-of-town guests were much more comfortable in the camper than on our couch.”

Joshua Huston

The Wisman family. 

Ecstatic to be able to have great summer adventures in the Airstream, the family traveled all over the Pacific Northwest, making memories along the way. “Our grandest trip was up to the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park. It rained the whole time, but the kids and I embraced it. After soaking through our clothes and boots, we’d retreat to the camper and warm up with some hot chocolate. It was a trip that we never could have done without the camper,” says Laura.

With the end of summer came the beginning of kindergarten for Sylvia, and new priorities for the school year. Other than some weekend getaways, the Airstream camper seemed destined to sit and wait for warmer days. “It was one of my girlfriends who suggested I list the camper on Airbnb, since we aren’t using it much right now. I loved the idea of it, but didn’t think anyone would want to sleep in a camper next to our house,” Laura says.

Much to her surprise, the trailer was a hit with wayfaring travelers. The family welcomes each guest with a private, clean place to stay and fresh flowers. As an added bonus, the rental cost supplements their income to save for future redecorating projects. Laura and Jeff have long-term plans to install solar panels on top of the trailer, and reupholster the furniture.

“We’ve met so many interesting and kind people,” she says,”and my kids have enjoyed having new people come and go. All and all, this has been a great experience for me and my family!“


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