Every brand name has a certain number of “stereotypes” attached to it. Stereotypes are the associations people get when they hear a brand name. They can have both positive and negative connotations. Depending on the perspective of a potential buyer, a single characteristic can be viewed both as positive or negative.
Airstream trailers are no exception to this. The usual attributes attached to this brand are: pricey and modern, expensive and elegant, costly and comfortable. Or in many cases, just pricey.
From whichever angle we look at these descriptions, we can conclude that they have one thing in common. A high price is an inseparable part of the Airstream trailer stereotype. But is this stereotype good or bad — are Airstream trailers worth the money, or are they just overpriced?
This is the question we’ll be addressing in the text below.
To be able to discuss the question of whether Airstream Trailers are worth the investment, we should know what that investment is. The cost of an Airstream trailer is between $30,000 and $150,000. The price varies depending on the trailer’s capacity, surface, and equipment. As the wide price range indicates, Airstream offers many different choices that can meet a wide range of needs, including yours.
Regardless of whether you’re thinking about the Airstream trailer from the lower or the higher end of the price range, you should pay attention to all the details before making the decision. Any long-term investment like this one requires a lot of analysis. Grab a pen and paper and write down everything that can significantly influence your decision. Once you have everything on paper, you can compare what you need and want with the details about Airstream trailers we bring to you here.
We keep mentioning the high price of Airstream trailers, so now is a good time to discuss why they are so expensive.
“Expensive” is, you will agree, a relative term. Not all people have equal purchasing power. Even though we consume similar products, eat similar food, etc., there is a difference in whether we buy those in a local supermarket or in an organic shop. Although most people own a car, there are a few that drive a Ferrari.
However, when it comes to Airstream trailers, price is not such a relative term after all. If you look from the right angle, you will understand that Airstream trailers are not actually that expensive or luxurious items like a Ferrari is. With these trailers, you’re not overpaying for the brand name, you’re paying for the quality.
In order for you to be able to calculate the ROI of your investment, you should first get to know the relevant factors that influence its value. The major value of Airstream trailers lies in their construction quality. This is something we will be addressing more closely next. But for now, it is enough to understand that Airstream construction quality enables you to save money in the long run.
How? Here is the formula for calculating the ROI of your investment.
For starters, multiply the average yearly cost of maintaining an average trailer with 15 and then deduct this sum from the cost of an Airstream trailer.
Now, you might be wondering why we are asking you to deduct the 15-year maintenance costs from the cost of an Airstream trailer. The answer is simple — the yearly maintenance cost of an Airstream trailer can be much lower (a couple of thousands lower) than the cost of maintaining other types of trailers. Also, 15 years is the minimum lifespan of an Airstream trailer, but in most cases, they last much longer than that. As a matter of fact, there are still Airstream trailers from the 30s on the American roads. Some Airstreams even outlive their owners, so 15 years of great service is the very least you can expect from these trailers.
Next, take off the gas consumption savings from the already reduced cost. The savings you’ll make with an Airstream trailer are between 10% and 20% compared to the competitive trailers.
If you’re still skeptical about the price, go ahead and deduct the cost that you would normally pay for the accommodation on your trips. You will never have to pay for accommodation again. Airstream trailer can guarantee you comfort and pleasure. The only thing you might miss is room service, but considering the organization of the interior of Airstream trailers, you will get over this “deficiency” quickly.
These are only a few important factors that influence the high price of an Airstream trailer. Keep reading to learn about the other advantages of these trailers. One thing we know for sure — you won’t be able to stay indifferent.
We’ve already mentioned that the highest value of Airstreams comes from their materials. Airstreams are well-known for their steel frame riveted by unique aluminum, seamless, hard shell. This is the material that is used for making aircraft, which means it is strong but light.
The durability of this material ensures the longevity of the Airstreams, while its lightness is responsible for all the gas savings.
Contrary to other trailers manufacturers, Airstream’s usage of plywood is very limited. They use it for the subfloor only, and even there, they put it within the double frame to prevent rotting.
When materials are concerned, you can rest assured that with Airstreams you will get the most bang for your buck.
When build quality is concerned, there are 2 important factors to consider: materials and the construction process.
We’ve already discussed materials. Airstream has kept pace with technological advancements without giving up on their original idea of producing trailers with an unlimited lifespan. The proof that they’ve succeeded in their intention is the fact that there are trailers from the 30s still cruising the roads.
The other important factor of the Airstream build quality is the construction process. Airstreams are famous for the amount of manual work employed in the construction. Each aluminum rivet is put on the frame by hand. This way, Airstream avoids potential damage to the frame, but also to ensures leak-proof seals.
Another important fact is that Airstream produces their own furniture. They adjust it so it perfectly fits the shape and the design of the trailer. This provides for more space and high functionality of the trailers.
With all this added value, we can agree that it is no wonder that Airstreams cost more than the competitive trailers.
Another important thing that should be taken into consideration when purchasing a trailer is insulation. Airstream trailers have high-quality openings that seal well, which has a positive influence on insulation.
Furthermore, Airstream uses EcoBatt insulation for shell isolation. This insulation is made of sand and recycled glass and is known for its great quality.
This means you won’t have to worry much about the weather conditions when starting your camping adventure. You can travel with your Airstream regardless of the temperature. It will serve you well, both in the summer and in winter.
Now that we listed all the qualities of Airstream trailers, we should list a couple of disadvantages as well. We tried to determine if there’s any defect that’s specifically related to Airstream trailers. Believe it or not, this was the hardest part of our task. There is, however, one Airstream characteristic that some might find disadvantageous.
After a close inspection of Airstreams’ interior and exterior, functionalities and technical characteristics, we’ve determined that Airstream simply doesn’t make compromises. They have a characteristic design line which they just build on. In our opinion, they’re constantly staying ahead of their time while keeping the recognizable shape of their trailers.
This might be considered a disadvantage by some people, but we still believe this is just another advantage. They know what they’re doing, and they make sure they stay consistent.
If this text made you think that Airstream has no competition, you’re wrong. There are many trailer manufacturers, and each of those has its place in the RV market. However, not all of those can be at the top. The most popular ones, besides Airstream, are certainly Escape trailer industries and Oliver travel trailers.
You will probably be able to find a lot of other manufacturers — small and big, but none of these can match a deep history and interesting story of Airstreams.
Now that we’ve mentioned the competition, it’s time to answer the question “Are Airstreams better?”
When we compared Airstream trailers with other trailers out there, we concluded a couple of things. Except for durability and cost-effectiveness of the maintenance of these trailers, which is a clear advantage, Airstreams are well-known for their efforts to provide pleasure to their owners every step of the way.
When comfort and capacity are concerned, Airstreams offer more space, although the surface of their trailers doesn’t differ much compared to the competition. Airstreams are equipped and organized in such manner that they provide high esthetic and functional value. This, unfortunately, is not the case with some of the competitors.
Also, if you happen to be in the driver’s seat, you will highly appreciate the effort Airstream put into the driver’s cabin. They made sure the drivers will stay comfortable and fully enjoy the long drives. True lovers of traveling will be delighted at how the driver’s cabin is organized.
Quality, comfort, functionality… These are some of the factors that make Airstreams better. But to truly understand the value of Airstreams, you should check out what Airstream owners (Airstreamers) have to say about these trailers. You’ll see they don’t try to hide their delight and gladly keep getting back to their RV adventures.
If you have ever laid your eyes on an Airstream trailer, you might have noticed some of them feature a very characteristic red number on their fronts and backs. People often wonder what this number means. We will now discover the secret that lies behind the mysterious numbers.
The trailers that have the numbers on them are owned by members of the WBCCI (Wally Byam Caravan Club). The creator of Airstream trailers led the first Airstream Wally Byam Caravan that traveled to Mexico and Central America. He found it important to keep track of all the trailers that participated, so he issued them numbers. Naturally, he marked his trailer #001.
The first six caravans welcomed all types of trailers, but then the owners of Airstreams decided they wanted an all-Airstream club. This is how Wally Byam Caravan Club came into being. Now, every trailer whose owner is a member of WBCCI gets a number.
This speaks of the rich tradition of Airstreams and even helps you learn about the history of the trailers you meet on the road. If your trailer had other owners besides you, you will be able to learn about its history with this number.
These numbers are an essential part of the Airstream community and are a testimonial of the deep tradition and many happy miles traveled.
This is another question that pops up quite often in relation to Airstreams. Part of the answer lies in everything we’ve discussed so far — high-quality and longevity of the trailers, comfort and savings, rich history and a strong community. But there is more to it than this.
The first Airstream was revolutionary, and it caught a great deal of attention and interest. Can you imagine it was back in 1929? In the early 30s, a hobby of the Airstream constructor grew into a strong business idea that keeps living even today. Since then, the popularity of Airstreams only kept growing.
By constantly improving every aspect of the trailer, Airstream constructors created a sort of a timeless design. Today’s Airstreams are a mixture of traditional and modern design. On one hand, they remind us of elegant retro trailers. On the other, they remind us of aircraft that we could easily imagine cruising into space.
For everything they’ve achieved, we get an impression that the popularity of Airstream trailers will last forever.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t pinpoint the exact number of Airstream trailers on the road today, but it is significant to know that their production capacities keep growing to satisfy the increasing demand for RVs. In 2016, they were producing 72 trailers per week. However, since 2017 was their best year, and they even announced an expansion, we can conclude that they’ve surely exceeded this number in 2018.
Even without knowing the actual numbers — which are certainly high, we can see that Airstreams are becoming increasingly popular. With everything we’ve said so far, we can conclude that their popularity is quite justified. And if you decide to get an Airstream, you will be joining a vast community of RV enthusiasts.
If you haven’t got it so far, Airstream is a popular American brand.
The manufacturing takes place in Jackson Center, Ohio, USA. Although they are producing trailers for the entire world, they haven’t changed their manufacturing location since the middle of the last century. This is just another proof they care deeply about tradition.
Considering Airstreams are fully equipped and highly functional trailers, they can easily become your cozy tiny homes. Tested in all kinds of weather conditions, they offer a well-organized kitchen and a living area that can easily be converted into a bedroom. Airstream meets all the conditions for becoming your motorhome. For those who cherish the RV style of life, Airstream is a perfect choice.
After everything we wrote, is it necessary to answer this question? As a matter of fact, it is. You should be certain about your purchasing decision. Even though it isn’t easy to resist the charms of a trailer that is like a yacht of road traffic, you should give your decision a second thought. Make sure that it’s based on your objective needs vs. your infatuation with the Airstream trailers.
One thing is certain. Airstream is worth the cost. You will get a high-quality trailer that will last long, offer comfort and pleasure, and let you save money in the long run. If you’re an RV enthusiast who spends a lot of time on the road, this trailer will be worth every penny. Go for it! But if you need a trailer for occasional trips to nearby destinations, then this trailer is not for you, and you should consider some less expensive options. The choice is yours!