Design Trip: Room Enough for Two
A down-to-the-ribs remodel made this Airstream a house. Sharing it made it a home.
August Hausman, an interior designer from Montana, was still a lone ranger in 2018, when his dad offered him a neglected 1968 Airstream that had been in the family for a long time. Hausman couldn’t have imagined that in two years, he’d be sharing his self-renovated home-on-wheels with the love of his life— never mind that she’d be no stranger to Airstream living.
August met Madison Goetken through Instagram, where they were both tagging images #AirstreamDreams. He’d been roaming the American West in the trailer he’d nicknamed Harlow. Madison, a Canadian citizen, was parked outside Vancouver in her 1977 Airstream Overlander. After three months of DMs, they decided to meet. It was March 2020, and pandemic border closures loomed. Madison came to the U.S., and the pair camped for a week in a lush Oregon forest, near a waterfall.
Before the year was out, and after several long visits, Madison sold her Airstream and moved into August’s. Harlow is a 22-foot vintage Land Yacht, polished to mirror shine—a project Madison took on when she moved in. When August designed the interior, he largely kept the original layout: he didn’t want to mess with a good thing. Fortunately, given 130ish square feet to work with, he enjoys designing small spaces, and he kept material choices sparse—inspired, he says, by nature and Japanese interiors. He painted the cabinets and walls a bright white and used black walnut for surfaces and accents. The walnut, Madison says, feels grounding, like bringing the outside in.
A bed made up with crisp white linens spans the front of the trailer, with storage beneath. Madison and August have few possessions. Hats hang on the wall beside the bed, some worn and some decorative. There’s a candle on the just-for-two oak dining table, which hides the wheel well and sits across from a simple kitchen with an under-counter fridge, a three-burner Dometic oven and range, and a single-basin sink with a matte-black gooseneck faucet. A floor-to-ceiling cabinet and overhead bins, trimmed in slim pieces of black walnut, add smart storage. Hanging over the dining area is a colorful painting of bison and mountains, one of August’s favorite possessions. “I tried to move it once,” Madison says, “and August asked me to put it back.”
Madison’s favorite element is the walnut-and-frosted-glass pocket door that opens onto the cheerful bathroom and lets the light move through. She loves that Harlow feels cozy but still bright, simple but functional. “It’s a little house,” she says. “One with everything you need, and nothing you don’t.”
August spent nine months on the restoration. It was his first time working on an RV, and everything took twice as long as anticipated—replacing the axles and rewiring were especially time-consuming. He spent $25,000 on materials but nothing on labor, doing all the work himself, from replumbing the bathroom to building the cabinets.
The detail August loves most is the original control panel, which he salvaged while gutting the old interior. He reinstalled it in the kitchen, rewired, so the couple can keep an eye on levels in their tanks, battery performance, and more. “It’s quite literally the heart of the Airstream,” he says.
A self-professed minimalist, Madison brought only a small suitcase of clothes when she moved in. Over time, she’s added decorative elements, like a burnt-orange pillow that warms the interior. “Madison brought a depth to Harlow that didn’t exist, something I couldn’t have imagined for myself,” August says. “She made it home.”
In late 2022, August and Madison were married in Squamish, British Columbia. She got ready in the Airstream; he met her at the door. Together, they walked under the pines to say their vows. Mr. and Mrs. Hausman now look forward to the day, maybe soon, when little feet (not their dog’s) will pad around Harlow, the same Airstream that August camped in as a child, the trailer that sparked their love story.
Tech Tip: To get that cooking-with-gas feeling, explore models like the Dometic CRG 3333—a three-burner set-up like the Hausmans use. Every RVer needs to know some propane basics, install a leak detector and clean propane-powered appliances regularly. For more insights, click here.