Airstream Travel Trailers – Brief History and Guide

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There's no mistaking Airstream travel trailers, is there? Since the first models rolled off the production line in 1931, built to the design perfected by Wally Byam, the silver, bullet-shaped travel trailers have been unmistakable.

They're still one of the best selling RV types out there, and they're legendary among recreational vehicles.

Airstream travel trailers are unmistakable

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Whether they're towed by a car (or by bicycle, as in one of the more famous pictures of the early trailers), or parked on a movie set, it's easy to spot Airstream travel trailers. Even with modern innovations, the exterior designs have remained consistent for decades.

Let's look at the history of the brand in more detail, as well as some of the current bestsellers, and where you can buy an Airstream today.

In The Beginning – Where Airstream RVs Started

It's hard to believe that the uber-luxurious, precision-designed and manufactured Airstream trailers of today started out as a platform on a model T Ford chassis, but that's exactly where they did start.

In fact, the very first Airstream was a platform with a tent on it, which Wally Byam built back in 1929. When he realized that there had to be a more comfortable way to spend his time when camping, the tinkering began.

The design, based on the fuselage of an airplane still looks space-age today, and the company has built a reputation as the manufacturer of one of the most high-quality RV types out there today.

What Makes Airstream Travel Trailers Special?

There are several things that set Airstream travel trailers apart from other RV types.

Their legendary aerodynamics, for one thing, is a major selling point. You'd be hard pressed to find any RV that slides through the air with as little resistance as an Airstream.

They are very stable RVs. Airstream travel trailers combine aerodynamics with a design that sticks to the road particularly well – thanks to a long wheelbase, its rigid design, and several other factors.

Then there's their longevity. Which other RV types can even claim that 70 percent of the models built over nearly 100 years are still on the road? None but Airstream! They were environmentally conscious long before 'green' was ever something to aspire to.

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Which Airstream Travel Trailers Are For You?

One of the best things about Airstream travel trailers is that there are models to suit nearly every need and price range.

So which ones should you be considering?

If you like to travel light (but still want your creature comforts) then the Airstream Sport travel trailers range is a good place to start looking. They're smaller, lighter and leaner, without compromising on comfort.

Then there's the classic Flying Cloud. Light, comfortable, contemporary but still classic, it combines everything you expect from a Airstream travel trailer in one stylish package.

For the seriously outdoorsy, the Eddie Bauer range has to be the ultimate choice in Airstream travel trailer. It's well-appointed, rugged, robust, and built to give you comfort, no matter where in the world you take it.

Airstream aren't only about travel trailers though. They also offer two RV types for the discerning RV enthusiast – the Avenue and the Interstate. The Avenue is smaller, nimbler and easier to maneuver, while the Interstate offers a larger, heavier option that's suited to longer trips down less-traveled roads.

New Airstreams Versus Used Airstreams

As we've already mentioned, 70 percent of all Airstreams ever built are still on the road, and most of those are still in great condition. That means that there are plenty of used Airstreams out there.

Used Airstreams are a great investment, if you love the styling of the classics, and you're not looking for top of the range features and functionality. They're comfortable, they're classy and they're usually going to keep on trucking for a long, long time. They also hold their value exceptionally well, as the RV blue book values demonstrate.

However, if you want an Airstream travel trailer that comes with a warranty, that offers all the very latest in modern convenience, and that is stylish and pretty spectacular, it's got to be a new Airstream for you.

A good way to decide is to spend some time visiting Airstream dealers (who are conveniently located throughout the US and Canada, large parts of Europe and Asia). Spend some time looking at the latest models, and find out if they have any used options on offer.

Ask about Airstream clubs and enthusiasts, and if you find them, ask the members why they love their Airstreams – most will be only too happy to tell you.

You could even book an Airsteam plant tour if you're in Ohio, and take a look at how the modern Airstream trailers are made.

After Sales Service for Airstreams

When you buy Airstream travel trailers, you're not only buying one of the most reliable and well-crafted RV types out there, you're also buying a product that has a great after sales reputation.

When you drive off the Airstream dealers' lot, you're not alone in the wilderness – even when you're in the wilderness – thanks to a huge network of service and repair centers. You can contact Airstream about any model they've ever made, with any question you can think of, and they'll give you the answers you need.

There are also licensed Airstream service centers throughout the US and elsewhere, and you can get hold of customer support through the company website.

Invest in the Best

When you buy Airstream travel trailers, you're buying a lifestyle, and the company does a lot to maintain that image. If you buy an Airstream, there's a good chance you'll still be driving it in 40 years time, and leaving it to your kids.

So if you're wondering which RV types to look out for, this is a definite winner. They might not be the cheapest RV types out there, but if price is less important than quality and reputation, you really can't go wrong.

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