There’s something about traveling around the country in an Airstream that just feels right. Maybe it’s the freedom you get from going wherever you want, whenever you want. Or perhaps it’s the nostalgia you feel for the bygone era when people took road trips for fun. Whatever it is, there’s something special about hitting the open road in an Airstream.
From Downtown Los Angeles to Airstream Life With TikTok’s Tyler Regan
TikTok star Tyler Regan and his girlfriend Tara Roberts recently decided to do just that. The couple has spent the last few months living the Airstream life in various destinations around America with their dog. Regan’s videos cover a wide range of topics, everything from politics to corporate life. His humor is biting and insightful, and he has a talent for finding the absurdity in the every day, and his videos have amassed half a billion views across social media, and he shows no signs of slowing down online or on the road.
An Unexpected Journey
Oddly enough, an RV road trip was not in his big plan. “I have never camped a day in my life,” Regan told me as we sat inside their Airstream during their weeklong stop in Las Vegas. “I went from zero to 100! Some people are just like, ‘Wow, a road trip across America.’ If I had 100 places or 100 things on my bucket list, I don’t think RVing would be one.”
The idea for the trip is actually attributed to Roberts, who grew up in Oklahoma and spent many trips RVing with her grandparents growing up. “Yeah, I mean, I lost my grandfather a couple of years ago, and these are just like really good memories,” she told me. “Then we both went remote again, and we’re just kind of sitting there looking at each other. I love him to death, but after a month of just staring at each other, I’m like, ‘we’ve got to do something.’ And I asked him, what if we bought an RV and sold all our stuff and traveled?”
Regan also recounts the day they decided to live the Airstream life. “We were living downtown, and the upside of Downtown LA is you have access to everything,” he explained. “The downside is space constraint. When the pandemic hit, you are left with only the downside. There’s all this stuff you’re not allowed to do. But you’re still in this tinier space and are not allowed to do much. She woke up one day, and she was like, ‘I’m going to sell our things. You’re welcome to come.’ That was around July 2020. And then in October, we drove to Mississippi from Los Angeles and picked up this Airstream.”
Finding the Airstream
“First, we’re looking for a fifth wheel or a toy hauler,” Regan said of their search for the perfect RV. “We looked at some Winnebagos; we looked at a lot of different things and couldn’t find anything we liked. And then I think it was you and my mom that concluded it would be an Airstream, and they were all super excited. But I didn’t know what an Airstream was; I literally had no idea.”
Roberts was the one who found the vintage Airstream (it lived much of its first life as a deer hunting trailer). “She found it online; she found a listing for it in Mississippi,” Regan explained. “We drove down, and she negotiated fully. She’s pretty good at it. We picked it up. We brought it up to Philadelphia, where my parents have a warehouse and we kind of stored it there. And we started gutting it completely.”
Their Airstream is fully customized and gives off modern boho vibes with numerous unique touches. As a former Airstreamer myself, I’d never seen a setup quite like this before. “It’s real hardwood floors; most people go with like vinyl or laminate. We have a 13-foot butcher block countertop which is unheard of in an Airstream,” the couple said of the customizations. “We have a washer-dryer combo. We have a dishwasher, and we have things that most people don’t have the luxury of having. We were able to fit it all in, and the hard part was trying to reach out and the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours of research.”
Advice For Others Looking to Make the Jump to RVing
While the pandemic certainly made RVs and road trips more appealing to the masses, Airstreams as a whole are still part of a small niche. Van conversions have experienced a significant movement in the past three years, but Airstreams are still unfamiliar to many.
“The lack of universal information was the hardest part when you’re doing a custom renovation,” Regan and Roberts told me. “When you’re taking a vintage 1976 Airstream, and you’re just completely turning it on its head. There’s nothing to Google; you just have to figure it out. And I would say we went through a lot of different drawings and plans. Luckily, we found a guy in Virginia who had a background in Airstreams, who really gave us a lot of good guidance when it came to doing these plans because we, it was me and my mom, my dad, and Tara did all of the blueprints, all of the planning, all of the designs, and having him to kind of be like, keep this in mind or keep this in mind, etc., I would say still, eight out of ten times we still found a workaround to make it work.”
Budgeting also played a large part in prepping for the road. "The other hard part is just wrapping your head around the idea that whatever your budget and timeline is, quadruple it," Regan explained. "We went in thinking it would take six months and X amount of dollars. X became 4X very quickly, and the six months became two years. There are so many little things that you don't realize how much they add up timewise and price-wise. So that was another tough part for sure."