Nathalie, Louis, and their dog Parker live aboard a vintage Airstream Globetrotter trailer with 17 feet of interior space and a ton of charm. Nathalie, from Utah works a photo editor, handling remote clients, while Louis, from Kansas City, is a carpenter who takes on odd jobs while on the road. And they are always on the road. They set off on this adventure to spend more time in nature, doing things they love. As simple as that. What other reasons would you need, really? Neither wanted to end up living where they grew up, so they figured they’d cash it all in, hit the road, and stumble across a place they’d eventually want to build a cabin in to call home. On the road, they typically post up on BLM land or anywhere far from other campers. After two years of living in the trailer, the only sketchy situations they’ve encountered have been in cities, which is fine, they didn’t move into the trailer to explore urban areas anyway. They want to be out there, as far as possible, living in the wild. Just inside a trailer.
Year, make, and model of the trailer? And how about the truck you use to tow it?
1969 Airstream Globetrotter. Our truck is a 2017 Toyota Tundra.
How’d you find the trailer?
We came across the Airstream parked by a wood shop. It was partially gutted like somebody intended to refurb it, but it never made it to the renovation phase. We offered to take the project off the owner’s hands and were able to buy it at a very reasonable price.
How long have you owned it?
We bought the trailer in late June 2017 and moved into it August 2017.
Were you set on picking up a trailer, as opposed to a van? Why not just throwing a big camper shell on the Tundra?
There are two main reasons we have a truck and trailer, instead of a van or camper. One being Louis works as a carpenter and needs to have all his tools with us so he can work on the road. The back of the truck is the “garage.” The second reason is, we never want to go without a home. If the truck breaks down, we can stay in the trailer until itʼs fixed. If a van or bus breaks down, we could be without a home for an unknown amount of time. Plus, Airstreams are classic, live forever, and have great resell value.
How have you modified the trailer?
We did a full renovation to make this trailer optimal for off-grid living. We started with reinforcing the frame, adding 60 gallons of both fresh and grey water, and building all the cabinetry and furniture by hand. Letʼs just say we bought A LOT of plywood during our initial 6-week build. We also have 600 watts of solar on the top of our Airstream. The last modification we plan to make is adding airbag suspension to the truck to help with the weight.
How many states and countries have you visited?
In the last two years alone we have traveled more than 35,000 miles, and visited 17 states and 2 countries.
What kinds of things do you get up to while you’re way out there?
We love to hike, kayak, motorcycle, and ride bikes. That means we may carry a bunch of extra stuff and look like a circus on wheels but we wouldnʼt have it any other way. We love getting to spend time doing things we love.
Is this a full-time or part-time living situation?
We live on the trailer full-time.
What do you love? And maybe not love about living in a trailer?
The biggest pro is exploring beautiful places and meeting new people. Traveling this way has meant we have become better versions of ourselves. Our perspectives have changed and we feel more grounded. We appreciate things both big and small that we took for granted or hadnʼt even noticed back when we still lived a stationary lifestyle. The biggest downside is probably missing out on life events. We canʼt always make it to weddings, holidays, or to meet new babies. Itʼs something we knew going into the lifestyle, but it is still hard to find a balance of traveling for yourself and traveling for other people. We also tend to lack familiarity in our routines. Some days we really miss going to a coffee shop and having the barista know our orders.
Anything you’d do differently?
Honestly, no. Life is going to have its ups and downs no matter what you do. So far we have been able to tackle everything thatʼs come at us living in the trailer. However, it would be great if the trailer could be just two feet longer so we could have a larger pantry to store food in. Sometimes 120 square feet just isnʼt quite big enough.