Here at Curbed, we’re big fans of all things midcentury modern, from gorgeous real estate to amazing furniture. We also love alternative living, especially design-oriented campers and RVs. In fact, we host two community groups (one for campers, one for midcentury modern) to obsess over our interests on Facebook.
The latest cool RV to cross our desk brings both passions together. This 40-foot Airstream was renovated and restored by Colorado-based Timeless Travel Trailers with midcentury design in mind. And while we love the styling, there’s also plenty to gawk at thanks to the trailer’s rarity.
In 1962, the Western Pacific Railroad Company commissioned Airstream to manufacture ten 40-foot trailers to serve as housing for people laying rail track. Unlike other Airstreams, these trailers were symmetrical from end to end and manufactured by riveting two 20-foot trailers together.
In 1989, Union Pacific Railroad acquired Western Pacific, and for the first time in 27 years, the unique trailers were dismounted from their flatcars. Some of the 40-foot trailers were destroyed, some went to railroad museums in California, and others were auctioned. Only five trailers are in public possession, including one belonging to a private owner who asked Timeless Travel Trailers to restore it with the 1950s and 1960s in mind.
The result is a shiny, beautiful blend of modern amenities and midcentury design. A wide center aisle welcomes people inside, and the trailer gleams with an aluminum interior skin. Wide-plank bamboo flooring is rich and cozy, while walnut veneer cabinetry and built-ins pay homage to the midcentury era’s love of wood paneling.
Large horizontal windows let in light and provide views to the outdoors. In the kitchen and bathroom, white solid surface counters help break up the wood, and a geometric black-and-white ceramic backsplash provides a touch of whimsy. The longer you look, the more midcentury references you’ll see, whether it’s the spaceship-inspired lime green lamps, the spindle cabinetry, or the sleek couches.
We’ve always wanted Airstream to come out with a midcentury-inspired travel trailer to mirror its classic vintage styling. The work of Timeless Travel Trailers shows that it’s a match made in heaven.