Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Where We Live: Inside a renovated 1961 Airstream travel trailer

WILMINGTON — A local paddleboard shaper has renovated an Airstream he used as a utility van into a spacious camping trailer, and now he’s sharing it.

Ian Balding traded his handmade, custom paddle boards for the trailer that would end up tugging more boards.

Related: Float away in this sailboat home

“I bought it from a guy who was a local remodeler and I actually traded him for a couple of paddle boards,” Balding said.

Before renovating it to a home-away-from-home, the Airstream was more of an afterthought.

“I used it as a utility trailer just tugging boards around to events,” Balding said.

“Before it was kind of more of a utility vehicle and he would pile all his boards in it,” his wife, Kristi Balding said. “It was a work in progress.”

Balding intermittently worked on his 1961 Airstream travel trailer this fall and now, it lives in the parking lot of Waterman’s Brewing Company.

While it has received plenty of visitors, it’s not bound to the brewery. The Airstream has been tugged up to the mountains and beyond.

The approximately 21 feet by 8 feet was gutted to make the small room surprisingly spacious.

“When I first got it, because it’s a ’61, the windows were kind of falling apart,” Balding said. “I tinted them, I built a couple of the window frames just to keep it water tight and usable.”

The Airstream now has board straps inside, where Balding can display his designs and suit up for a surfing trip at will.

For more information on Ian Balding’s designs and products, visit https://ianbalding.com/. The renovated 1961 Airstream is available to rent on Airbnb for $65 a night.

Local shaper Ian Balding renovated a 1961 Airstream travel trailer into a spacious loft. (Port City Daily photo /JOHANNA FEREBEE)
Local shaper Ian Balding renovated a 1961 Airstream travel trailer into a spacious loft. (Port City Daily photo /JOHANNA FEREBEE)

Where We Live looks at the homes and unique places to stay in the Cape Fear Region. Do you have a home, on or off the market, that our readers may be interested in seeing? Let us know at PCD@localvoicemedia.com.


Johanna Ferebee can be reached at johanna@localvoicemedia.com or @j__ferebee on Twitter

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