Livingreen Renovation of an Airstream


My grandfather had an old Airstream that he sold to my dad for $2,000.  It was in bad shape after some neighborhood kids smashed in the windows, so it was sold to someone else for a pittance.  Now, I wish we still had the Airstream because after seeing what Jim Gooley did to his, I have a hankering to do the same.  Gooley partnered with Livingreen to trick out the Airstream’s interior with all sorts of green products.  The renovated trailer was on display at Altbuild last weekend in Santa Monica, and here’s what they used:


  • American Clay earth plaster walls;
  • Bamboo counters and cabinets;
  • Cork floor tiles throughout;
  • Energy efficient LED lighting; and
  • Eco-friendly fabrics and organic bed.

Also, Jim Gooley plans to make the Airstream entirely off-grid.  There’s a strip of solar wrapped around the front of the trailer, which will help get him there.  And while we’re talking about off-grid trailers, this project reminds me of Emergency Response Studio, which is an off-grid FEMA-style trailer that was gutted and retrofitted inside and out with interesting green gear.  FEMA or Airstream, which would you rather have?




First noticed at Re-nest; Photo credits: Dubroworks.

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  • Portland Real Estate

    Thats pretty dang cool. I would love to have that camping instead of having to sleep in a tent or something. Off grid electricity, but I wonder if you could install a WaterMill or something in order to get off the grid clean drinkable water as well. That would make the perfect campingmobile.

  • Ron

    I’d have to go with the Airstream. Airstreams have to be the coolest trailers ever made. I always thought trailers defeated the point of going camping; going off the grid is what camping is all about. But, something like this looks like a good compromise for someone who wants to take the family out.

  • henri

    I’m a bit dubious about the earth plaster walls. Doesn’t that make for a lot of weight. I’ve started diving into my own Airstream renovation and realizing that sustainability has to take into consideration costs, longevity, and gas consumption in the process. Interestingly enough, one of the most green floors is linoleum, but it just doesn’t make the fancy green look.

    • Anonymous

      Jim here :) the builder.
      The “plaster” is a veneer troweled on at a 1/16th inch thick so the weight is not an issue. I was very conscious of the weight issue as I recreated this space so considered all of the variables. As an artisan installer and cheerleader of american clay it was important to incorporate. I have taken on road trips without a problem as there is flex in this plaster.

  • Anonymous

    We have a 1974 31 footer that we are gutting it will have a marmoleum floor and I will build the cabinets out of renewed plywood. I will have a composting toilet that is designed for boats so it can handle movement and also my waste tank will then become a grey water tank that is more responsible. My friend Paul is helping with alot of great Ideas. He owns a green building center in Durham NC there are also cork countertops that are light and beautiful. Tons of Ideas!

  • Anonymous

    I have been looking for led /dc lights for my Airstream. What kind r u using on this green airstream? the ones I m using r ac. I thought they would work on dc as well as ac, but so far none of my experts in north Georgia think they work on dc

  • Anonymous

    As someone who has “owning and renovating an Airstream trailer” on my life goal list, this post truly brightens my day. Love, love, love it! The American Clay plaster was such a surprising choice. I’m building a modern, sustainable house and seriously considering American Clay. It’s such a natural product-even the kids can get involved in applying it!
    Can we see before pictures?

    I would love to see before shots, if any are available.

  • Vanette Harris

    Oh my gosh…this website is awesome.  We have just purchased a 1977 Airstream and are in the process of renovating it.  Your website has a wealth of information for us.  We want to be full time RVers by the summer of 2012.

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