After 10 years in a driveway at San Jose, the time had come to make a decision on the Airstream’s future. Megan’s parents were downsizing, so it was either sell or bring the trailer home to Australia.
We’d had 10 years to think about it, and research – and we’d found a company that specialised in converting American trailers for Australian use, and shipping them, so we had a plan – but not long to put it into action.
Megan was stuck with work in Australia, so I travelled to San Jose and in the space of about 10 days bought and installed all of the appliances and parts we wouldn’t be able to easily get back home. A new Zipdee awning went on the side, new hot water system, stove, seals and more.
The old air-conditioning unit had to come out, to be replaced by a Fantastic Vent, furniture we didn’t want to keep went to Goodwill, and the furniture we did want was screwed to the floor. We ordered and installed traditional Airstream style curtains at the front and got her ready to move.
We spent our last night sleeping in the Airstream in San Jose, before it was picked up to be towed to Los Angeles, ready to be shipped to Brisbane.
It took 4 months for the Airstream to arrive in Brisbane – shipping delays leaving Los Angeles, then a 3 week sojourn in Yokohama. It was fun tracking the ship online to see it slowly make it’s way towards us.
Once in Brisbane and through customs, its sailing days weren’t done. We had a block of land on an island in Moreton Bay where we had used the Franklin for some years, and had cleared and levelled a spot for the Airstream for its now down under home. Which required…..another boat trip….
This leg was planned to precision – to get the right size ferry, at the right high tide to make it off and up the boat ramp. And we did!
For the first time we were able to give the Airstream more dedicated attention. Over the next few months we set up for off-grid life – flexible solar panels on the roof, upgraded battery capacity, replumbed the fresh water system and installed a composting toilet.
With a new deck out the front, we were able to enjoy the Airstream camping for the first time – in luxury!
After four happy years on the island, it was time for our next move. After the Airstream arrived, we moved the Franklin back to our house in Brisbane to be restored and taken on the road. We were spending less and less time out at the block, so decided it was time to sell up and bring the Airstream back home – where for the first time we’d have 24/7 access and be able to work on it any time (and all of the time!).
This time no stress around the tides, as we were taking her home on a flat bed truck – although we did have to schedule for the right size ferry on the right day still to make sure she was afloat. Will it be the last time the Airstream goes sailing???