Range Rover Tows Airstream to Africa & Back

To demonstrate the towing ability of the all-new Range Rover, Land Rover teamed up with an American icon to take part in the ultimate road-trip to one of the highest points in Africa.

The 250kW, 700Nm Range Rover SDV8 pulls the Airstream.
The 250kW, 700Nm Range Rover SDV8 pulls the Airstream.

According to Land Rover, more European Airstream owners choose Land Rover products to tow their “silver bullets” than cars from any other manufacturer so all-new Range Rover and Airstream made for an appropriate pairing.

With a newly launched Airstream 684 Series 2 travel trailer hitched to its electrically deployable tow bar, a Range Rover Autobiography with the 339PS SDV8 engine was chosen for the challenge—to drive from the English Lake District, to the top of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco—and back.

The journey started at the factory where Airstream finishes its European-specification caravans in Tebay and went to Oukaïmeden, the highest ski resort in Africa.

En route, it visited Land Rover’s factory in Solihull, Frank Gehry’s amazing aluminium Marques de Riscal building in the Spanish wine region of Rioja, the beach near Casablanca, the desert outside Chichaoua, and the race track at Marrakesh, where Land Rover was based for the launch of the new model.

Often on the move for more than 12 hours a day on every type of road imaginable—from the empty motorways of Spain to the precipitous hairpins of the High Atlas—the all-new Range Rover coped imperiously with the challenge of towing a 5,291 pound (2,399 kg) Airstream 3,676 miles in just 11 days, according to the Land Rover blog.

Ben Samuelson, whose firm Samuelson Wylie Associates planned and executed the trip, was impressed by the new car.

Parked at the aluminum Marques de Riscal, designed by Frank Gehry, in Rioja.
Parked at the aluminum Marques de Riscal, designed by Frank Gehry, in Rioja.

“The new Range Rover’s towing ability is nothing short of stunning. It pulled the two and a half ton Airstream like it simply wasn’t there.

“It didn’t matter what we, or the weather, threw at it—it just did the job we asked of it without question, while truly cosseting us with its extraordinary luxury and refinement. Half way through Spain, we encountered horrendous side winds, the type that sees articulated trucks tipped onto their side, but the Range Rover’s Trailer Stability Assist meant that any sway in the trailer was dealt with before it ever started.

“And mountains. What mountains? With 700 NM of torque from that mighty V8 diesel at our disposal, there wasn’t an incline that slowed us down at all.

“What was possibly even more impressive was the way that, even after repeated 12 hour driving days, we’d step up into that exquisite cabin in the morning and still appreciate its sense of occasion.”

According to the blog, the overnight stays were no less luxurious.

“You can compare the Airstream to a boutique hotel—albeit a mobile one—and taking this combination of rig on your travels injects some serious style and comfort, Samuelson said.

“The moment that really summed up the magic of a journey like this was waking up in the Airstream on a sunny morning next to the beach just outside Casablanca—only a few days after towing it down a crowded British motorway through typically dismal autumnal British weather.

The High Atlas is no place for sissies. If you look carefully you can see the Range Rover and Airstream trailer in the hairpin bend.
The High Atlas is no place for sissies. If you look carefully you can see the Range Rover and Airstream trailer in the hairpin bend.

“A hot shower was followed by breakfast rustled up in a luxurious Corian-worktopped kitchen and that morning’s Times newspaper downloaded onto the iPad via the Airstream’s satellite broadband. I think we proved that luxury and adventure are not mutually exclusive.

“Travelling doesn’t get a lot better than that.”

Worth Pondering…

I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band,
I saw a needle that winked its eye.
But I think I will have seen everything
When I see an Airstream fly.

—music and lyrics by Oliver Wallace and Ned Washington, in Dumbo

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Five-Berth Airstream Unveiled at London Caravan Show

A slice of classic Americana that is big enough to accommodate larger families was unveiled by Airstream Europe at the recent ExCel Motorhome, Caravan, and Camping Show.

The Airstream International 685 proved popular at the London Caravan Show. (Source: caravantimes.co.uk)

Showcasing the latest additions to their award-winning range of aluminum trailers, the pioneering U.S. trailer company introduced its latest family-oriented five-berth trailer— the new International 685 and the Series 2 534—at the London show.

The president of Airstream and Company partner Airstream Inc, Bob Wheeler, flew in from the U.S. to take part in the show, Caravan Times reported.

“Airstream has always been synonymous with great style and design and these two additions to the European range have got both in abundance, said Wheeler.”

The new 685 has a neat layout that includes three fixed bunk beds at the rear, with a clever partitioning door allowing a children’s bedroom to be created in addition to the traditional double or twin singles at the front.

Instead of simply stacking all three bunks on top of each other, the middle bed is set at a right-angle to the other two, resulting in more headroom for all the youngsters in the back.

In addition, the bathroom door can double up as a solid dividing door when opened by 90 degrees, meaning that parents can enjoy added peace and quiet in the front of the trailer.

This new model has been five years in the making and was designed in reaction to feedback from customers with larger families, following the launch of the International 684 in 2006.

Airstream International 685 interior (Source: airstreameurope.co.uk)

The new family-sized twin-axle Airstream would require a serious heavy-duty tow vehicle while also carrying a starting MSRP of £59,980 or nearly $81,000, Caravan Times noted.

Anthony Slocock, technical director of Airstream and Co, said that in creating the 685 the company was responding to demand for a bigger family model.

“The Series 2 534, meanwhile, is still gracefully compact but is incredibly roomy for a single axle trailer,” he added.

Details

Airstream Europe Ltd.

The new 685 has a neat layout that includes three fixed bunk beds at the rear. (Source: airstreameurope.co.uk)

Wally Byam founded Airstream 80 years ago. Wally was driven by his passion to build an innovative, well-designed, high quality trailer product that met the needs of a new breed of adventurer. Airstream, Inc. has been making trailers and motorhomes ever since.

Over sixty percent of all Airstream trailers made are still active on the road today—and of the 300 U.S. trailer companies active in 1936, Airstream is the only survivor.

Address: Clock Garage Industrial Estate, Tebay, CUMBRIA, CA10 3SS, UK

Phone: +44 1539 624141

Website: airstreameurope.co.uk

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 Worth Pondering…

I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band,
I saw a needle that winked its eye.
But I think I will have seen everything
When I see an Airstream fly.

—music and lyrics by Oliver Wallace and Ned Washington, in Dumbo

Read More

Airstream Europe Introduces Five-Berth Caravan

Airstream Europe has announced plans to introduce a brand new addition to its iconic range of silver bullet tourers in the form of the five-berth International 685, the Caravan Times reported Friday (December 2).

The 685 will feature the iconic silver-bullet exterior of its predecessor the 684. (Credit: caravantimes.co.uk)

Due to be launched at the NCC Motorhome, Caravan, and Camping Show, February 14-19, at the London Excel Center, this model will offer a slice of classic Americana that is big enough to accommodate larger families.

The 685 is the first European Airstream caravan to feature a bunk bed arrangement and the triple bunk in this model is certainly out of the ordinary.

Instead of simply stacking all three bunks on top of each other, the middle bed is set at a right-angle to the other two, resulting in more headroom for all the youngsters in the back.

In addition, the bathroom door can double up as a solid dividing door when opened by 90 degrees, meaning that parents can enjoy added peace and quiet in the front of the trailer.

As you would expect from an Airstream, the build quality of this tourer is unrivalled, with Italian-made aluminum alloy framed beds that are at least six-feet in length.

A convertible double bed in the front end, a nearside kitchenette, and an offside bathroom complete this unique layout.

This new model has been five years in the making and was designed in reaction to feedback from customers with larger families, following the launch of the International 684 in 2006.

Airstream International 685 trailer cutaway. (Credit: caravantimes.co.uk)

Michael Hold, sales director for Airstream Europe, said: “The interest over the years in a large family-orientated European Airstream has always been there and now we can deliver a travel trailer that comfortably fulfils the requirements of a family of five.”

The new family-sized twin-axle Airstream would require a serious heavy-duty tow vehicle while also carrying a starting MSRP of £59,980 or nearly $81,000, Caravan Times noted.

You can place your order now for spring delivery, or if you’d prefer to wait until you can see one for yourself, make plans to attend the NCC Motorhome, Caravan, and Camping Show, February 14 to 19 at the London Excel Centre.

Details

Airstream Europe Ltd.

Wally Byam founded Airstream 80 years ago. Wally was driven by his passion to build an innovative, well-designed, high quality trailer product that met the needs of a new breed of adventurer. Airstream, Inc. has been making trailers and motorhomes ever since. Over sixty percent of all Airstream trailers made are still active on the road today—and of the 300 U.S. trailer companies active in 1936, Airstream is the only survivor.

Airstream International 685 trailer cutaway. (Credit: caravantimes.co.uk)

Airstream’s European range was developed in 2004-2006 by Airstream Europe in tandem with engineers in the U.S., essentially to follow the design cues of the most successful décor developed to date (the International CCD, styled by architect Christopher Deam) and put this into a European compliant form.

In early 2010, Airstream Europe obtained permission to take all design work in house, to develop the new vehicles completely themselves, giving them control on materials, specification, etc.

The first generation 684 was named Best Caravan in the Caravan Club Caravan Design Awards for three years running from 2007 to 2010. Airstream Europe decided not to enter the competition in 2011, but to return in 2012 with the Series 2 model.

Address: Clock Garage Industrial Estate, Tebay, CUMBRIA, CA10 3SS, UK

Phone: +44 1539 624141

Website: airstreameurope.co.uk

Worth Pondering…

I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band,
I saw a needle that winked its eye.
But I think I will have seen everything
When I see an Airstream fly.

—music and lyrics by Oliver Wallace and Ned Washington, in Dumbo

Read More