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Restored 1971 Avion Trailer Is a Breathtaking, One-of-a-Kind Blend Between Old and New

Building a custom camper is quite a challenging task. But what's even more complicated is restoring an older vehicle to its former glory. Today, I'm checking out a stunning, one-of-a-kind camper restoration.
Restored 1971 Avion Trailer Is a Breathtaking, One-of-a-Kind Blend Between Old and New 25 photos
Photo: YouTube Screenshot / New Jersey Outdoor Adventures
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Most people know about Airstream trailers due to their iconic design. However, there are other trailer models that resemble it, such as the one I'm checking out today: a 25-foot 1971 Avion travel trailer. Bill and Kim have single-handedly restored this beauty, and you'll soon understand why their feat is so impressive.

Avion travel trailers were first built in 1956, and their aluminum trailers were manufactured until 1990. Airstream was so convinced that Avion plagiarized their design that they took the company to court, where they ended up losing, as there were many other trailer manufacturers, such as Spartan or Silver Streak, producing all-aluminum trailers.

It took Bill and Kim three years to completely restore this rig. When dealing with such an old vehicle, you don't have to just integrate a new interior but go deep into its construction and ensure it's structurally sound.

The couple made a shell-off restoration – let me tell you how they did that. Shell-off involves, as the name suggests, removing the shell from the chassis. First, they drilled out all the rivets and gutted the whole interior. Then, they crossed the ribs that make the frame with 2x4s, tying them all together. They did that so that when they separated the shell from the chassis, there was no twisting, which could compromise the frame's integrity.

Restored 1971 Avion Trailer Is a Breathtaking, One\-of\-a\-Kind Blend Between Old and New
Photo: YouTube Screenshot / New Jersey Outdoor Adventures
Afterward, they used car jacks to lift the shell, added cinder blocks beside the trailer, and lifted it high enough to insert beams underneath to support the body. And finally, they pulled out the entire chassis. Amazingly, they did this all by themselves.

Of course, there was still lots of work to be done, such as restoring the frame and installing a new floor. And then, you can put the chassis back and reattach it to the shell by doing the whole process in reverse. Even though it's difficult and scary, that's the best way to restore the vehicle, as it allows you to fit new insulation, wiring, and all that jazz.

I'll start with the exterior, which is filled with features. First off, the trailer comes with a torsion bar independent suspension, as well as stabilizer jacks that the couple added. Moreover, you'll notice beautiful chrome wheels, complete with sensors that notify the owner of any leaks or issues.

Regarding its construction, the Avon is made up of 14 panels connected by around 1000 rivets at the front and another 1000 at the back. By comparison, the Airstream had only six panels. Bill and Kim kept many of its original elements, such as the windows. Moreover, they reinforced the roof to hold the A/C unit.

Restored 1971 Avion Trailer Is a Breathtaking, One\-of\-a\-Kind Blend Between Old and New
Photo: YouTube Screenshot / New Jersey Outdoor Adventures
You'll find various storage spaces all around the trailer. At the rear, there's a sizable bumper where the duo plans on adding a toolbox. At the front, a massive plastic shield is finished with Raptor lining that protects the large front window. The old battery box was repurposed to integrate an outdoor shower, and you'll also notice two propane tanks.

Other notable elements include various connections for power and water, an instant water heater, and a backup camera. What's more, the compartment where the refrigerator used to be is now occupied by a 12 V switch – the couple can use it to select the power between the trailer's system or the car's system.

Step inside, and you'll find part of the kitchen dead ahead. It features three spacious overhead cabinets, a beautiful wooden countertop, an aluminum sheet backsplash, a sink with a water filter, and storage spaces underneath in the form of Ikea drawers and cabinets. Believe it or not, most of the overhead cabinets inside are original – they were just repainted.

On the opposite side, the duo fitted an additional countertop that serves as a bar area, complete with a bottle opener on the wall, as well as a 12 V fridge and a wine cooler underneath. There are also two other large cabinets, where the duo stores a microwave, a Bluetti portable power system, and various other kitchen essentials.

Restored 1971 Avion Trailer Is a Breathtaking, One\-of\-a\-Kind Blend Between Old and New
Photo: YouTube Screenshot / New Jersey Outdoor Adventures
If you walk toward the front of the interior, you'll be in the seating area. It consists of a U-shaped couch and three overhead cabinets – the best part is that it's very well-lit due to the many windows around, which also allow you to take in the beautiful views.

The windows have an interior plexiglass layer for additional insulation. Furthermore, in case Bill and Kim want to accommodate more people inside, they can transform the couch into an oversized queen bed.

The next area in this trailer is the bedroom, which is divided into two RV-size twin beds, one on each side. There's plenty of storage via overhead cabinets and spaces underneath the beds. Surprisingly, the beds can't be connected, but Bill and Kim are happy with this setup. Up above, they installed a 13,500-BTU A/C with a heat pump, as well as a Maxxair fan.

Lastly, the bathroom is located at the very end of the interior and separated from the living space by an original door. It's pretty spacious and features a sink with a cabinet underneath, another much larger cabinet, a sizable window, a shower with the original fiberglass tub, a urine-diverting toilet, and a tiny Maxxair fan.

Restored 1971 Avion Trailer Is a Breathtaking, One\-of\-a\-Kind Blend Between Old and New
Photo: YouTube Screenshot / New Jersey Outdoor Adventures
All in all, it's impressive how much time, energy, and money the couple invested into this rig. It was surely a difficult conversion, but it was all worth it in the end - it's impossible to miss this masterpiece on the road. It's a fine blend between old and new, something we don't often see these days.

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About the author: Mircea Mazuru
Mircea Mazuru profile photo

Starting out with a motorcycle permit just because he could get one two years earlier than a driver's license, Mircea keeps his passion for bikes (motor or no motor) alive to this day. His lifelong dream is to build his own custom camper van.
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