, this is a rare occasion: The trailer that Tom Hanks used as his home away from home during the on-location shoot was auctioned off with
. It will be sold unreservedly at the Quail Lodge auction in Carmel, Calif. On Aug. 13, with the auction house estimating it could go between $ 150,000 and $ 250,000.
This is a 1992 Airstream Limited Excella model that the actor bought a year later and then customized like his own. As Hanks explains in an interview with Bonhams Magazine, he didn’t want it to look like a trailer, as he had already lived most of his adult life in ugly, impersonal, cramped trailers on trays. Instead, he wanted something that looked like a house, something he could make his own and enjoy living regardless of how long the shoot was.
So he ordered the Airstream almost naked, with just the bathroom and kitchenette, then worked to customize it. At first glance, it achieved its goal of turning it into a home-like caravan, although by today’s standards it has a certain dated vibe. But if you consider the fact that he really lived there, the places he’s been, and the people he’s hosted over a span of nearly three decades, the dated decor can be overlooked.
And you might have the perfect getaway vehicle for the summer, with the most interesting story to tell.
Hanks’ Airstream is a three-axle trailer with a small bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette with dining area and slash lounge. It is sold with all the furniture inside, including the Hanks sofa chosen for the living room, the carpet and the electric fireplace.
Furnished in soft fabrics and real woods, as opposed to plastics, vinyl and formica, the trailer displays personal touches throughout: Hanks signed one of the roof mounted AC units, as well as the side of a closet, for the next owner. He also added elements from his films: there’s an FBI proof tag from Catch Me If You Can, an Apollo 13 sticker from the film of the same name, and a FedEx sticker from Castaway. The cupboards are filled with his own choice of dishes and mugs from various movie sets, including an Apollo 13 mug signed by co-stars Gary Sinise, Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon.
At the back, there is a small single bedroom, with storage space below and in wardrobes above. The bathroom is small but complete: a shower with a glass door, a toilet, a vanity and a large lighted mirror.
The kitchen has a burner with built-in stove, a double sink and plenty of counter space. The cupboards also house an impressive collection of coffee makers, because, who knew ?, Hanks really is a coffee guy. Two teak chairs and a table provide dining inside, or can be used as patio furniture, under the large side awning. The living room is mainly occupied by the large sofa and the fireplace.
Other features include electric leveling jacks, two propane tanks, Honda ES 6500 120/240 volt generator, water heater and blinds. The dry weight is 7,300 pounds (3,311 kg), with an additional capacity of 1,600 pounds (726 kg).
Although never used for travel, the Airstream has traveled across the United States, from Los Angeles to Seattle for Sleepless to Seattle, Beaufort, South Carolina for Forrest Gump and Philadelphia for Philadelphia. When not in use by Hanks it has been stored indoors and professionally maintained, so it presents itself in excellent condition.
For Hanks, it’s not the custom work or the fame’s provenance that recommends it, but the very fact that it’s an Airstream. “You didn’t live well until you survived a mind-blowing thunderstorm in an Airstream while you were in Carolina” he says. “But, more than anything, an Airstream is beautiful and comfortable, which is why everyone who’s been to mine has gone wanting one.”