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I Want a Hippie Airstream Camper Trailer – Retro RV Dreams

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

It’s raining and it’s cold in Seattle. My daughters have moved away to live in the sunshine of California and Arizona. And, actually, I’m a gypsy at heart, so I wonder if I should buy a used, retro Airstream Bambi trailer and travel the country… like I wanted to do (but never actually did) as a “hippie” kid in the 60s.

If you are an older Baby Boomer, you'll know what I mean... paint an old VW bus with flowers and just groove up-and-down-and-over-and-out around North America… stopping in places that turn me on, as I wander along the West Coast and throughout the rest of my "drivable world”… spending a few days in random places I’ve never seen or I’ve only driven through, like Eugene Oregon, Mt. Shasta California, Boulder Colorado, Missoula Montana, Flagstaff Arizona, Albuquerque New Mexico, Austin Texas… and maybe even some far flung spots like Homer Alaska, the Florida Keys, or the wild beaches of Baja.

rent an airstream or hippie camper van

Silver Trailer and Hippie Camper Dreams

Well, there are lots of pros and cons to my little plan... the plan which seems to have taken over my waking hours.  But, it all started a few years ago, when I went to New Zealand and saw zillions of free spirits (from all over the world) in their rented hippie camper vans.

However, one of the things holding me back is that my current husband, a corporate man for 36 years, is from an older generation. And, for the last nine years, I’ve been trying to explain to him that it is possible to travel without an itinerary and a tour guide.  But, it’s not easy for an old dog to change his paradigm (a word he hates).

what are airstream trailer people like?

The Pros and Cons of Travel Trailers

Well, I’ve been lusting after retrofitted, vintage, silver Airstream trailers. And, I’ve been doing a lot of research, because I haven’t spent much time in trailers or RVs or motorhomes or camper vans or anything like that.  Actually, I’ve only been inside an RV once (for a few hours) and it reminded me of the interior of a boat. Of course, I’ve looked down upon Winnebago owners for years, but when I saw the kitschy, retro Airstream, I fell in love. It was so ugly and adorable.

Note: I want you Winnebago owners to know that it's nothing personal. I was stuck behind a five-mile-an-hour Winnebago on Highway 1 near Big Sur for a zillion hours... back in the 60s... and it has been burned indelibly into my mind. I'm sure you would be smart enough to pull over at some point and let the 50 cars behind you pass. Also, I have a feeling that newer Winnebagos are capable of going at least ten miles an hour.


Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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  1. Brenda Oswalt

    Tina, lets just hope you never have to empty the on board human waste disposal assembly. It can be ugly, trust me.

    • Tina

      Ummm, Brenda...

      Holy Crap, Batman! I think that would be Ray's job. But, tell me how ugly...

      • Tina

        And, if Ray won't do it, can I pay someone? I'm hoping the newer models are not too bad, but I'm a noob. Sounds like you have way more experience at this than I do.

  2. Cheryl Probst

    Well, the price to park your Airstream overnight shouldn't be a consideration. If your husband doesn't want to overnight at Walmart, try an Indian casino -- they offer free or very cheap parking. Or get a federal senior recreation pass where you can camp at any federal campground for 50 percent off what the younger crowd pays. Get a Passport America membership and save 50 percent. Can't remember the name of it, but there's a membership website (like $35 a year) that lists wineries and farms where self-contained rigs can stay overnight for free. And, finally, when all else fails, just Google "free campgrounds" at your intended destination.

    How do I know all this? I've spent the last year researching the full-time RV life. My husband and I bought a 28-foot travel trailer (sorry, not an Airstream, but still pretty damned nice) last year, and plan to hit the road when our house sells. Destination: everywhere, but preferably warm for the winter months, as our senior bones don't like cold, rain and snow much any more.

    • Tina


      You know way more about this than I do. I doubt I could go full-time. Well, I could go full-time if I got to make all the decisions myself, but my husband doesn't usually go along with that.

      The silly little trailer I'm lusting after is a pup tent compared to what you have. And, it sounds like you know more about all this than I do. I tried researching going FT and I got sucked into a black hole of all kinds of things I've never heard of. Have you taken your rig out for some fun? What's it like?

      Tina Boomerina

  3. sue zq

    I have a hippie one, but it has scooby doo painted all the way around. Boy do all the children wave and come to see it. Have to be careful what you do around it because, you never know who's taking your picture.

  4. Tina

    Sue zq,

    No way! That sounds so cool. Can you post a picture on pinterest and send me a link?


    Tina Boomerina