Why Buy an Airstream Travel Trailer?
The choices in purchasing a travel trailer are as plentiful as the types of fish in the sea. From A to Z, there are currently 200 brands of travel trailers on the market and nearly twice that many obsolete, or defunct, makers if the used trailer market is considered. With a focus only on buying a new unit, why would Airstream be a good choice?
Let’s get this off the table immediately: If your purchasing decision is based on price per square foot alone, an Airstream is not for you. Simply put, virtually every other trailer on the market is cheaper – generally because they are made with less expensive components. The Airstream line has evolved over eight decades based on improvements to a platform with proven strength, reliability, comfort and durability. Airstream founder and visionary Wally Byam is often quoted as saying, “Let’s not make changes, let’s make only improvements.”
The iconic Airstream “Road Blimp” is instantly recognizable. It is essentially unchanged in outward appearance since the first Airstream “Clipper” was introduced in 1936. According to loyal owners, “it is difficult to improve on perfection.” With affectionate nicknames like “Twinkie,” “silver bullet,” and “aluminum egg,” brand loyalty for the Airstream products is higher than the fierce loyalty attributed to Harley Davidson owners.
Comments compiled from the Airstream forum (www.airforums.com) provide some compelling reasons an Airstream trailer should be the choice of any consumer. In selecting a travel trailer, owners cite these attributes as the most important:
QUALITY OF CONSTRUCTION
The handcrafted aircraft grade aluminum shell of the Airstream trailers is virtually impervious to weather and, since it is not painted (or coated with decals) it does not deteriorate over time. The chassis construction is superb in its alignment and weight distribution, making the Airstream one of the easiest trailers to pull on the market.
LIGHTER WEIGHT AND AERODYNAMICS
Airstream continues to lead the industry by producing the lightest weight travel trailers with the best aerodynamic qualities. The rounded shape is computed to be 20 percent more fuel efficient than box trailers, and lighter overall weight means fuel efficiency, too. Even the largest Airstream units do not require a heavy duty truck for motive power.
FEATURES CONTINUE TO EVOLVE
The newest Airstream models feature flat screen television, premium sound systems, electronic monitoring systems and automatic leveling systems in addition to a full range of appliances and a wide selection of interior décor packages. Some of the newest models are specifically aimed at improving market share by attracting new “millennial” consumers. Much to the surprise of the company, people in older age brackets like the contemporary interior styling, too.
DURABILITY AND LASTING VALUE
Airstream trailers are truly built to be on the move, not anchored to a pad in a trailer park. The design, construction, configurations, and distribution of weight contribute to the longevity of these trailers. They are made to take the vibration of the highway and assembled to withstand constant use. Thousands of owners are proud to say their Airstream is 30 or 40 years old. Between 65 and 70 percent of all Airstream trailers ever manufactured are still on the road according to 2011 figures published by the company. When considering an Airstream, consider this: The resale value of classic Airstream trailers has been on an upward trend for 25 years.
FUN AND FELLOWSHIP
Dedicated to the idea that travel trailers would open up the world to his customers, Wally Byam began leading groups of owners on “caravans” to remote areas of the world in the 1950s. The Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI) was chartered in 1955, and today there are 5800 Airstream owners who are active members of WBCCI, also known as the “Wally Club.” The Airstream continues to have an emotional appeal to people of all age groups.