At American Retro Caravans Ltd we work very closely with our customers on each project to create the perfect American Airstream trailer or luxury RV to meet their needs. Here is some feedback from some of our satisfied clients:
"This project started as an idea to create a design-led, innovative and functional mobile corporate exhibition trailer whilst somehow fulfilling a responsibility to restoration and to the regeneration of an aging vehicle. Through research, we found Kathy and Darren at American Retro Caravans and the rest, as they say, is history.
"Kathy and Darren sourced a very tired 1960's Overlander vehicle in North America and had this shipped to the UK.
"Over a period of 5 months, and to a very exacting specification developed in conjunction with Kathy and Darren, they have transformed the trailer into a stunning, showpiece exhibition unit which has drawn admiring comments from everyone who sees and enters it.
"The trailer recently took centre stage at a major oil and gas exhibition in Stavanger, Norway, and the event was a huge success.
"The quality of the refurbishment and fit-out is fantastic and the team at ARC American Retro Caravans are to be congratulated on a tremendous job. It has been a real pleasure to work with them."
Scott McCallum, Managing Director, Avian CommunicationsSenergy Airstream (above)
"Dear Kathy, It has been a wonderful experience and journey working with you and Darren - an absolute pleasure as we embarked on the creative process - thanks for all your ideas, patience and attention to detail - it's been wonderful working with a team that truly value the art of craftsmanship and love creating unique experiences!"
Sue and Bernard Fontannaz of Origin WinesLava Lamp Airstream (above)
"Just a few words to say how delighted we are with the Airstream show-van you supplied us with. We put a lot of trust in your professionalism & creativity, and in no way were we disappointed!
"Your enthusiasm, practical advice, and ongoing customer service has been excellent - I cannot recommend your services highly enough. I have no doubt that this current Airstream will be a great success promoting our Company in such a fabulously striking way at all the various consumer and trade events we have planned for it, and I'm also sure it will turn heads whenever & wherever it is seen on the roads of the UK & Ireland as it moves from event to event.
"Many thanks for a great job well done, and special thanks for going that extra mile to make this project really work for us."
John Cooper, Vice-President Weber-Stephen Products North West EuropeWeber Barbecue Airstream (above)
"Thank you for all your and your colleagues’ expert work in restoring our 1953 Clipper Airstream. Although the interior space that you had to work within was small, you have created a relaxing, functional and stylish environment. The transformation is stunning. We are particularly pleased with our Cinderella toilet in the bathroom which incinerates our waste and reduces the amount of water we use in the Airstream.
"Your use of quality materials and the focus on attention to detail is impressive. With your in-depth knowledge of how Airstreams were originally manufactured, you were able to restore the exterior of the van accurately keeping to its original design.
"We appreciated all your and Kathy’s help with the interior design and layout.
"Our challenge will be to regularly polish the exterior to maintain the brilliant mirror finish that you’ve achieved on the exterior of our Airstream.
David and Alison
"Our project began in a vast empty warehouse in Watford. Our first live sighting of Airstream Sovereign LandYacht no T3I-O6J-3602; 'a travel trailer' completed 17-06-76 at Cerritos, California was in a space big enough to conceal an entire tank army. (pic). The 1976 trailer looked fine and dandy to me, because I didn't know what to look out for. All the windows were covered up with vinyl and the interior had several tons of chipboard shelving lining the walls pretending to be record racks. The Airstream had seen hard service at music festivals on behalf of Three 'the mobile phone company made for the internet'. It was no longer needed on the festival circuit and was going for a song. More about that later. Being parked indoors meant you couldn't see any sign of leaks.
ARC Airstream's response to our enquiry was by some margin the most responsive and convincing of the people we contacted. They had the right questions and answers.
We met with Kathy and Darren. It became clear immediately that with this particular Landyacht we had almost certainly bitten off more than we could chew.
It also became clear that as far as Darren and Kathy were concerned, none of this presented a real problem. It was all certainly do-able and probably even worth doing. It was a relief to be in the hands of people who clearly knew what they were doing and were rather good at it. At the time of our project there were different cost options available from ARC. From modest to luxury. We wanted quality and economy. Our concerns were taken seriously and we were assured about meeting our particular budget, which has been pretty much adhered to. Quite a lot of the parts and materials have been salvaged and restored from other projects.
Our idea was to convert the vehicle back to something at least respectful of the original principles. There would be a kitchen galley, a wetroom/bathroom, a pair of bunks behind sliding doors, a rock and roll bed/sofa and a bit of storage, As usual with us, there would be an exotic foreign boiler and invisible underfloor heating, but above all there would be the luxury of space. This is somewhat at odds with the norm, as most of the other Airstreams we've since come across are packed so tight with 'stuff' that moving around inside is something to think about before doing.
There would only be a few materials used. Matt white aluminium for the walls, oak faced ply for the cabinets, oak veneer for surfaces and white laminate for the door fronts. White Corian for the bathroom, with a cedar duckboard over a stainless steel shower tray. Stainless steel for switches. Both 240v and 12v.
Darren and Kathy were pretty receptive about our ideas and very good about how to achieve them technically. They were rightly critical too, when we went off track. It's obvious to us now, but wasn't so much then, that weight and weight distribution is a significant design consideration. Material stability was an issue. We know from experience that a simple modest aesthetic is both difficult and expensive to achieve. Kathy coined our project 'the minimal airstream'.
The finished product is better than we could have expected. It is conspicuously plain. The look is pretty austere and the detailing quite robust. The process was fun all the way.
Doug Hamilton, Wham AgencyThe Minimalist Airstream (above)
"As owners of Huntsman, we are used to our clients commissioning totally bespoke pieces. So when it came to adding two bedrooms to our country house, we thought of a bespoke commission of a legendary airstream, and chose Kathy and the ARC Airstreams team after seeing some photos on the internet of how they'd translated someone's dream into a rolling room. And we wanted a rolling one bedroom shooting lodge for us. Huntsman specialise in bespoke tweeds to make totally custom shooting suits and other garments, so there was only a short distance to cross to use those as a backdrop for the decor. We specified the function, i.e. we'll never cook or eat in the Airstream - so no need for kitchen or dining room - but it would need room for a cloakroom where wet clothes brought back from a day's shooting could be hung to dry. We choose earth tones contrasted with a moorland purple tweeds - emphasising different moods for the two rooms; and let the ARC team come up with suggestions for other wall and floor coverings, wood panelling and built in furniture. We let the team choose those to match or contrast with our tweeds in full trust in their knowhow, and were delighted to receive mood boards by return of mail, much alike those we do when thinking about our collections. We totally took in their suggestions, we then added black forest carvings and antlers to complete the look.
"The experience of designing the airstream together was a wonderful collaboration, and an extension of our bespoke practice into a new territory! We love the Airstreams so much that whereas they started out as extra rooms for guests, they will probably end up touring Scotland with us next summer!"
Pierre La Grange and Roubi L'Roubi, owners of Huntsman, bespoke Savile Row tailorsHuntsman 65 and Huntsman 68 Airstreams (above)
"I am not someone who generally gives out glowing references but in the case of Kathy and Darren I am more than happy to do so.
"The design and build of our Airstream was a genuinely enjoyable experience with the flexibility to incorporate our ideas but the practicality to keep things to a budget and timescale. Everything was correctly quoted and built to a very high specification with no corner cutting. The finished product really did turn out to be very special and unique. I'm not sure if you have seen the pictures of ours when finished but it really did exceed expectations and the quality of the finish was really very high.
"I am not the most practical person but it all worked and was easy to use. There were a couple of teething problems but Darren was fantastic at resolving these and even drove to Hertfordshire to fix them.
"These are incredibly hard working and trustworthy people who I would have no hesitation in recommending to anyone."
Liam Griffin, Managing Director, Addison Lee PLCLuxury Airstream (above)
Check out our gallery page to see some recent examples of our vintage Airstream renovation work.
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