|Kaitlin Draper (l) and Erin Kilday are restoring a '69 Airstream. (Kevin Conklin )|
The Manassas, Va., siblings purchased the slightly beat up 42-year-old Airstream in April with the idea of fixing it up in time to pull it to their Labor Day weekend family reunion in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. (That's roughly 2059.9 miles round trip and 86.96 gallons of gas.)
Calling themselves the 'Silver Sistas' these outdoor-loving young women have turned bloggers to document the renovation and share their adventures.
Along the way they hope to inspire women and fellow Airstream enthusiasts. “We knew nothing going into this project,” says Erin. “You can’t go through life being scared; we decided to jump in head-first.”
|Kaitlin (l) and Erin dress to remove old insulation.|
"It was really bad when we were removing the old crumbly rodent infested insulation of the Airstream," she says. "Despite our efforts to wear respirators, we both had hacking coughs for days. At the end of the day we were covered in dirt, sweat, grease and fiberglass. A shower can wash away the dirt, but I will never forget the funk of a 42-year-old Airstream. I'm determined to get rid of that funk"
With the economy low and airline prices at an all-time high, the sisters are excited about saving money on their journey traveling in an RV. “It’s too expensive to fly and rent a car," says Erin. "We don’t mind driving, but hate staying in the many dilapidated hotels along their route."
"Before the Airstream we would have to smuggle our dogs into hotels or stay in the designated dog room' which I don't recommend," says Erin. "We look forward to traveling comfortably with our animals--as they are our family."
After returning home to Virginia, the sisters plan to camp and fish along the Shenandoah River. “There’s something about picking up and hitting the road with your dogs, going off-grid, and not being at the mercy of vacancy signs and chain restaurants,” says Kaitlin.
Follow the Silver Sistas
The YouTube video below shows the sisters (along with two of their helpers Scott, and Josh) gutting the Airstream. "All in all it took us six trips to the county dump to remove all of the trailer's innards," says Kaitlin. "We suggest recruiting family and friends whenever possible."
Photo: (Top) Sisters Kaitlin Draper (l) and Erin Kilday taken by Kevin Conklin
Other photos: Courtesy of SilverSistas.com To read other RV posts by Julianne G. Crane, go to RVWheelLife.com