Airstream RVs: 11 Facts You Should Know (Explained)

Airstream is literally the oldest travel trailer company in the United States and perhaps the world.

Beginning before WWII and withstanding the Great Depression, the Airstream company is as “classic” as you can get.

Their two different model types – travel trailers and touring coaches – are popular and great for adventurous campers.

We’ve listed 11 different facts you should know about Airstream:

1. Where Are Airstream RVs Made?

Airstreams are manufactured in a 750,000-square-foot plant that remains in Jackson Center, Ohio, near their operations base.

Their facilities are large and updated, which provides them plenty of tools and space to make quality products.

Their new facility also includes a Heritage center which acts as a sort of homage and museum to Airstream’s history and older models.

2. Who Owns the Airstream Company?

Founded by Wally Byam, the Airstream Company’s humble roots stem from Wally attempting to build an easier way to camp for his wife, who didn’t like sleeping on the ground.

As interest in his model-T contraption of a tent-on-wheels grew, so did his idea for a travel trailer company.

In the 1930s, Wally created the first Airstream factory in Culver City, California, but World War II and the Great Depression took a big hit on the travel trailer industry.

Through the 40s and 50s, Wally perfected and upgraded the Airstream to include things like hot water systems and no longer needing external hookups.

Airstream even constructed a quarantine trailer for the first astronauts who visited the moon in 1969!

As the decades passed, Airstream got many upgrades, design changes, and even more popularity as the oldest travel trailer design in the entire world.

Today, Airstream is now a division of Thor Industries, which owns many of the RV manufacturing industry.

3. What Types and Sizes of RVs Do Airstream Produce?

Airstream manufactures travel trailers and touring coaches, which are more like campervans.

Airstream does not produce fifth wheels.

Their touring coaches do come in Class B+, B, or C Mercedes RVs and are often considered to be small but luxurious for the perfect traveling experience.

Airstream Classic 30RB 2021:

The flagship of the Airstream Travel Trailer company is the Airstream Classic.

This travel trailer is the largest model in their travel trailer lineup.

At 31′ 3″ X 8′ 5.5″ exterior, this is a large travel trailer that includes many amenities and space for you to stay comfortable and supplied.

The freshwater tank holds 54 gallons, while the grey water tank holds 37.

The Airstream Classic comes with a full bathroom, closet, kitchenette, lounge space, and ample sleeping arrangements.

This model also comes with six different styles and designs, with wood and leather ranging from maple to cherry to crisp white accents.

Airstream Atlas Murphey Suite Touring Coach:

Listed as their most “luxurious touring coach to date,” the Airstream Atlas is a great campervan-style RV built within a Mercedes-Benz.

This is one of their B+ Class RVs and comes with impressive features and amenities.

This touring coach can tow up to 5,000 lbs and is 24′ 9″ X 10′ 6″, including the airconditioning unit.

it has a fresh water tank capacity of 23 gallons and a greywater tank capacity of 31 gallons.

It includes power slide-outs to create the “Murphy Suite,” or master bedroom, and has a Samsung Smart TV, a full bathroom, and five different color and style combinations.

4. Does Airstream Make a Toy Hauler?

Airstream does not make a toy hauler model.

Their company predominantly makes their classic models with premium and luxury upgrades, or their touring coaches which are like campervans with style.

This means that most Airstreams are smaller than your average luxury RV,  but their classic style and modern features still make Airstreams the most sought-after models in the United States.

5. What Are the Smallest RVs from Airstream?

Airstream Basecamp 16 Travel Trailer:

The Basecamp by Airstream is a 16′ to 20′ travel trailer with just enough space for one or two campers.

It comes with optional solar panels, LED taillights, a spare tire, propane tank storage, and a shower/toilet combo.

It also comes with a kitchenette and a full bed (when folded down) or two twins.

This would be the ideal companion for tent-campers who want a little bit more security or amenities when camping to keep out the cold and to cook dinners or make coffee within the comfort of their airstream.

Airstream Interstate 19 Touring Coach:

This little touring coach is larger than the Basecamp Travel trailer, measuring at 19′ 5″ X 9′ 7″ (including the A/C & Antenna).

The Airstream Interstate is the perfect travel companion for drivers who prefer something smaller to navigate cross-country.

It comes with a fold-down bed option, backseat buckling during transit for family members, a full bathroom setup, and a small kitchenette.

The lounging space also includes storage and closet space for added supplies.

6. What Are the Biggest RVs from Airstream?

The Atlas and Classic models we discussed above are the largest in measurements from Airstream.

The Classic can sleep up to five guests, while all touring coaches can sleep up to two guests but can fit between 4 and 9 seats.

These are the largest and more luxurious models in the lineup.

7. How Are Airstream RVs Made?

Airstreams are made with incredible attention to detail and care.

Following their classic roots while maintaining modern and luxurious amenities takes time and a skilled hand to pull off.

Using knowledge learned from the Airstream site, we’ve briefly listed how both the travel trailers and touring coaches are made:

Travel Trailers:

The Airstream travel trailer begins with the frame.

The frame is manufactured to build holdings tanks and has great weight distribution to keep the ride smooth with better balance.

Their aluminum shell is crafted from an average of 1,200 square feet of aluminum. This is shaped and built around the shell of the trailer.

Rivets are installed, and then the entire model is attached to the chassis.

The trailer is insulated, tested for leaks (using a hurricane test of 10,000 gallons of recycled water at massive pressure for 30 minutes), and then furnished.

The entire time, inspection checks are done to ensure that the trailer maintains the quality that an Airstream is known for.

Touring Coaches:

Airstream touring coaches differ from the travel trailers in their build because they start with a Mercedez-Benz base.

This means that the Mercedes-Benz is prepped, updated, improved upon, and prepared for the rest of the touring coach features and amenities to be installed.

Once that is done, the process is pretty similar to the travel trailers.

The coach is put through a hurricane test, insulated, furnished, and then the interior walls are covered in what they call “Magic Suede,” or EcoBatt, primarily recycled materials that help retain temperature.

Finally, the generator, water tanks, plumbing, and electrical are connected and set up through the bottom of the Mercedez-Benz shell.

Once the rest of the furnishings go in and quality control checks it off their list, the Touring Coach is done!

For more information on this process, we’ve added a link to the site’s articles on how they are made below in our references section!

8. What Are The Most Popular RVs by Airstream?

The most popular model from Airstream is its “Flying Cloud” model, a travel trailer, not a touring coach.

Not only do they claim that this travel trailer is the most popular, but also the most versatile, as it has many different floor plans and options to choose from.

It also has the ability to sleep 7 people when arranged properly, and it comes with a full bathroom, storage space, and kitchenette.

Maybe it isn’t the classic, but it is a pretty good place to start when you go Airstream camping!

9. Has Airstream had Any Recalls Over the Years?

According to Consumer Affairs, in 2019, the Airstream Company had to recall almost 2,000 model-year 2019 and 2020 trailers.

These included:

  • Sport
  • Nest
  • Flying Cloud
  • International Serenity
  • International Signature
  • Classic
  • Globetrotter
  • Tommy Bahama
  • Basecamp
  • Bambi
  • Caravel

It was reported that improper welding prevented the travel trailer from clamping properly and could separate from the tow ball.

As of 2020 and 2021, there is no word about if any more recalls are needed or necessary.

10. Are All Airstream Keys the Same?

All Airstreams come with multiple keys for the front door, the deadbolt, and facilities, such as the water fill, access, and trunk and battery boxes.

This means that losing one will result in having to get a blank cut for you.

It is unclear whether another Airstream owner would be able to get into your trailer or not, however, but it does seem unlikely.

11. Are Airstream RVs For All Four Seasons?

Even though the company takes great care to insulate and protect its products from leaking, Airstream travel trailers are generally summer-only for camping.

This is because their aluminum shells generally retain and conduct the cold throughout your trailer.

However, it is possible that you could use their Touring Coaches in the winter months, but whether or not their insulation can withstand the cold is up for debate amongst most Airstream owners.

References:

Airstream Heritage & History

How They are Made: Travel Trailers VS Touring Coaches

Airstream recalls various travel trailers

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