Mont. Firm Expands RV Restoration Business

July 27, 2011
Filed under Trailer News

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Vintage Airstream trailers will always have a place in Rory Burmeister’s heart and in his business, according to a report from The Missoulian, in Missoula, Mont.

But after three years of polishing up the silver bullet-shaped relics of adventures past and making them roadworthy for the modern world, Burmeister was inspired to do more than bring these travel icons back to life.

“We are taking what have learned from that process and we are building our own trailers, taking what we know works from the Airstream and changing what doesn’t,” said Burmeister, owner of Mintage Airstreams, an East Missoula company that restores vintage travel trailers. “Beginning in August, we will begin building vintage-looking trailers that have a modern twist.”

Partnering with CTA, a Montana-based architectural and engineering firm, Mintage Airstreams will begin producing a high-end travel trailer, and also the Mintage “Canned Ham,” a smaller travel trailer whose name is inspired by its shape, and the Mintage “Teardrop,” a petite travel trailer light enough to be hauled behind a Subaru.

“CTA is helping us design our own high-end trailer that is Airstream traileresque – something that is our own shell and is built from scratch in our shop,” Burmeister explained. “There isn’t anyone doing deluxe high-end traveler trailers like we envision, so we believe we will really fill a niche.

“What will make ours over the top is the attention to detail – everything from having fireplaces in these trailers to custom-made materials,” he said. “Every detail will be perfection.”

Such luxury accommodations come with a high-end price tag, starting somewhere around $60,000, Burmeister said. But Mintage is also catering to more modest budgets.

That’s where the “Canned Ham” and the “Teardrop” come in. The Canned Ham, which is 12 feet long and 8 feet wide, has a bathroom, a kitchen, can sleep four people and can be pulled by a small SUV, will sell for $18,000 to $20,000. The Teardrop, which is a much smaller design that is more nimble for backroads, will sell for around $5,000.

“I’m really excited to be a part of this,” said Laney Hensel, an interior designer at CTA, who along with her co-worker, architect project manager Shane Jacobs, is bringing Burmeister’s dream to life.

Normally constrained to home and office blueprints, the travel trailers are a unique and creative diversion for the building firm.

Read the rest of the article on RVBusiness.com.

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