Airstream Introduces 2015 Airstream Classic

Jackson Center, Ohio-based Airstream has announced the introduction of the latest addition to the brand’s legendary travel trailer model line with the 2015 Airstream Classic.

2015 Airstream Classic in Macadamia
2015 Airstream Classic in Macadamia

The new Classic trailer was inspired by the needs of generations of owners with a passion for perfection and a love for the open road, according to a company news release.

Airstream took the collective feedback of customers at Airstream rallies, on phone calls, in e-mails, and during visits to the company factory in Jackson Center, and turned it into a new and improved version of a beloved Classic trailer for 2015.

“We don’t update the Airstream Classic very often,” said Bob Wheeler, Airstream’s president and CEO.

“But when the world’s most passionate customers come to you with great ideas, you listen. Our R&D team searched the world for partners and innovators to bring these improvements to life.”

With many customers requesting an “at home” look and feel while they prepare their favorite meals, Airstream started with the kitchen to incorporate cherry-wood cabinetry, hardware from Amerock, high-polish Corian countertops, and durable Kohler faucets.

Additional updates include a premium stainless steel oven from Smev and high-end range hood from Baraldi which complement the Classic’s refrigerator, Airstream’s largest, and a slide-out pantry with significantly increased storage, according to the release.

2015 Airstream Classic in Macadamia
2015 Airstream Classic in Macadamia

The 2015 Classic also features a redesigned master bedroom and bath, adding more space and convenience with a new power-adjustable queen bed. Designed in concert with Airstream’s partners in Italy, the bed adjusts to provide more floor space for a wardrobe change and the perfect position for curling up with a book in bed.

Lastly, Airstream’s team of engineers integrated a complete air-duct system hidden within the trailer’s unique curves and edges—all to deliver even cooling throughout the trailer for any camping condition, according to the news release.

“The passion of our customers to find new freedoms, new places, and new friends was the driving force behind the transformation of the Classic,” said Wheeler.

“By the time all was said and done, we introduced dozens of customer-inspired upgrades to our totally new 2015 model, carefully balancing innovation with time-tested Airstream design and quality. Following our founder Wally Byam’s Credo, ‘let’s not make changes, let’s make only improvements,’ we are proud to say it is the best Classic yet.”

Additional upgrades to the 2015 Airstream Classic include:

  • High-end Villa furniture including a sofa with individually power reclining seats
  • More of the iconic Airstream windows
  • Low-energy, high-visibility LED lighting
  • A marine-grade Polk stereo system
  • Powered stabilizer jacks
  • Awnings with matching foldable Zip Dee chairs
2015 Airstream Classic in Macadamia
2015 Airstream Classic in Macadamia

2015 Airstream Classic travel trailer specs include:

  • Sleeping Capacity: 2-5
  • Exterior Length: 31 feet 3 inches
  • Exterior Width: 8 feet 5.5 inches
  • Exterior Height with A/C: 9 feet 9.5 inches

MSRP: Starting at $121,720

Details

Airstream

Airstream, maker of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer, is the oldest recreational vehicle manufacturer in North America.

Following founder Wally Byam’s credo, “Let’s not make changes, let’s only make improvements” Airstream has remained a timeless classic.

A division of Thor Industries, Airstream is based in Jackson Center, Ohio.

Address: 419 West Pike Street, P.O. Box 629, Jackson Center, OH 45334-0629

Phone: (877) 596-6111 (toll free)

Website: www.airstream.com

Worth Pondering…

Airstream Song

Sometimes I wish I lived in airstream homemade curtains
Lived just like a gypsy.
Break a heart, roll out of town
Cause gypsies never get tied down
—Lyrics by Miranda Lambert, Natalie Nicole Hemby, Natalie Hemby, Miranda Lambert; sung by Miranda Lambert

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Students Reinvent Airstream With Millennials In Mind

In an earlier story on Vogel Talks RVing, I reported that one of America’s leading art and design colleges, Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD), was partnering with iconic RV manufacturer, Airstream, to create a new product concept.

CCAD students are building out the interior of a 23-foot Airstream trailer
CCAD students are building out the interior of a 23-foot Airstream trailer as the prototype for a traveling home office. The rear hatch of the Airstream opens so you can sit at a desk and work with open air. (Credit: Janet Adams)

The Airstream Pursuit was designed and named by a team of students who collaborated across all nine of the college’s majors. Designed with milennials in mind, the trailer features a work area combined with a living space, geared toward young professionals looking for a mobile office concept that allows them to blend their personal and professional pursuits.

One hundred twenty students and 17 faculty worked together to develop the full-scale prototype with the primary goal of helping Airstream, whose current customer base averages 60 years old, reach a younger audience. The project, a part of Airstream’s Live Riveted Campaign, was a 16-week undertaking during spring semester 2014.

The newly designed trailer made its debut at the Industrial Designers Society of America’s International Conference last month in Austin. Airstream is evaluating the students’ work for possible inclusion in future products.

CCAD is taking its student-designed Airstream live-work studio on a tour of high schools and colleges to drum up enrollment interest.

The newly designed Airstream travel trailer will visit eight cities on CCAD’s fall admissions tour of high schools and colleges throughout the Midwest, kicking off in Pittsburgh September 25 and concluding in Washington, DC, November 24. Other major stops on the tour include Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Detroit, and Louisville.

The rear of the Airstream will have a twin-size bed
The rear of the Airstream will have a twin-size bed. (Credit: Janet Adams)

“As discipline-specific lines blur, this experience is invaluable to our students,” said Thomas White, president, CCAD.

“Working in cross-functional teams enabled the students to achieve a level of insight that resulted in a product seen as highly differentiated in a competitive marketplace. The scale of the project is extremely unique.”

“Airstream chose CCAD to create a new product concept because we value the perspective of millennials, who are our future customers,” said Bob Wheeler, president and chief executive officer of Airstream.

“Having a leading art and design college just an hour away from our facility allowed us to bring students to the factory throughout the process so they understood the manufacturing implications of their design choices.”

Students from all nine of the college’s majors contributed to the project:

  • Industrial and Interior Design majors created the interior concepts and fabricated the trailer prototype
  • Advertising & Graphic Design majors and Illustration students collaborated on the ad campaign for the product and created assets to use in social media
  • Animation students created animated shorts with Airstream founder Wally Byam as the central character
  • Cinematic Arts students created a documentary of the project, while Photography students documented the project and supported the promotional campaigns
  • Fashion Design majors developed a line of Airstream branded sportswear for the target buyers
  • Fine Arts students created many of the interior décor elements

Details

Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD)

CCAD students gather in the Airstream
Industrial Design professor Joel Gundlach, seated at center left, assistant professor Kelly DeVore, to his left, and CCAD students gather in the Airstream. (Credit: Janet Adams)

Columbus College of Art & Design, founded in 1879, is one of the oldest and largest private art and design colleges in the United States with more than 1,300 undergraduate and graduate students. CCAD offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Fine Arts.

Undergraduate students choose from nine majors: photography, industrial design, advertising and graphic design, animation, illustration, fine arts, fashion design, interior design and cinematic arts.

Website: www.ccad.edu

Airstream

Airstream, maker of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer, is the oldest recreational vehicle manufacturer in North America.

Following founder Wally Byam’s credo, “Let’s not make changes, let’s only make improvements” Airstream has remained a timeless classic

A division of Thor Industries, Airstream is based in Jackson Center, Ohio.

Address: 419 West Pike Street, P.O. Box 629, Jackson Center, OH 45334-0629

Phone: (877) 596-6111

Website: airstream.com

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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Airstream Introduces Quietstream Climate Control

Just when you thought an Airstream was the most streamlined travel trailer available, the manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer went one step further by adding ducted climate control.

Airstream Introduces Quietstream Climate Control
Airstream Introduces Quietstream Climate Control

Sleekly integrated ceiling vents throughout the travel trailer not only add to an already aesthetically pleasing interior, but the reduction in noise is phenomenal—all making your travel experience perfect.

Quietstream is standard on Flying Cloud, International Signature and Serenity, Eddie BauerLand Yacht, and Classic models 25 feet and up.

Quietstream at a Glance

What can you expect from the Airstream Quietstream Climate Control System?

Significantly reduced noise-level, thanks to an exterior-mounted heat pump/ cooling unit

Integrated venting for a sleek interior design aesthetic

Improved cooling efficiency to save money and energy

Improved heating performance, supplementing the standard LP gas furnace

Available on all 2015 models 25 feet and up

Details

Airstream

AAirstream Introduces Quietstream Climate Control
Airstream Introduces Quietstream Climate Control

Airstream, maker of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer, is the oldest recreational vehicle manufacturer in North America.

Following founder Wally Byam’s credo, “Let’s not make changes, let’s only make improvements” Airstream has remained a timeless classic.

A division of Thor Industries, Airstream is based in Jackson Center, Ohio.

Address: 419 West Pike Street, P.O. Box 629, Jackson Center, OH 45334-0629

Phone: (877) 596-6111 (toll free)

Website: www.airstream.com

Worth Pondering…

Airstream Song

Sometimes I wish I lived in airstream homemade curtains
Lived just like a gypsy.
Break a heart, roll out of town
Cause gypsies never get tied down
—Lyrics by Miranda Lambert, Natalie Nicole Hemby, Natalie Hemby, Miranda Lambert; sung by Miranda Lambert

Read More

5 Facts You Should Know about RVs

Here are four facts to know about recreational vehicles, RVing, and the RV industry.

1. Modern RV Industry Began in 1910

1928 Pierce Arrow Fleet Housecar © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
1928 Pierce Arrow Fleet Housecar © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In the early years of the 20th century, Americans became accustomed to owning cars and traveling around the United States by automobile. The modern RV industry began in 1910 when car maker Pierce-Arrow unveiled the Touring Landau at Madison Square Garden in New York. The vehicle, widely considered by historians as the first motorhome, features a backseat that unfolds into a bed, a sink behind the chauffeur and, remarkably, a chamber pot.

2. First RVers Club

The first RV enthusiast’s club, the Tin Can Tourists was organized at Desoto Park, Tampa, Florida, in 1919, and still exists today. The group known for the soldered tin can on their radiator caps grew rapidly during the ’20s and ’30s.

The group’s stated objective was “To Unite Fraternally All Auto Campers”. Their guiding principles were “clean camps, friendliness among campers, decent behavior, and to secure plenty of clean, wholesome entertainment for those in the camps.”

Members could be inducted by fellow campers through an initiation process that taught the prospective member the secret handshake, sign, and password. After singing the official song “The More We Get Together” the trailerite was an official member of the Tin Can Tourists of the World.

Summer reunions were held at various Midwest locations, with Traverse City, Michigan serving as a primary host city. The club spent winters at Desoto Park until 1924 when they moved the Winter Convention to Arcadia.

3. First Travel Trailers

1958 Airstream Der Kleine Prinz
1958 Airstream Der Kleine Prinz (The Little Prince) at the RVMH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart, Indiana. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Built by Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis Superintendent of Construction, Harley Bowlus, the Road Chief had much of the same construction methods of airplanes of the early part of the 20th century when it first debuted in 1934. However, it took Wally Byam to take control of Bowlus’ struggling company, and in 1936 rename the Road Chief the Airstream Clipper, which ultimately put Byam’s Airstream on the map for generations to come.

A lawyer by training, Byam began building trailers out of Masonite in his backyard in Los Angeles during the late ’20s. Byam published a magazine selling “how-to” kits to customers wishing to build their own trailers.

Byam’s 1936 Airstream Clipper was essentially a rebadged 1935 Bowlus with the door relocated from the front to the side. The design cut down on wind resistance and thus improved efficiency. The Clipper slept four, carried its own water supply, was fitted with electric lights, and cost $1,200.

Of more than 400 travel trailer builders operating in 1936, Airstream was the sole survivor of the Great Depression. Part of American culture that transcends time, Airstream, manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer, is the oldest and most recognized recreational vehicle manufacturer in North America.

4. First Truck Campers

Pickup campers were first created by Walter King in 1945 when he began manufacture of the Sport King camper in Torrance, California. King loved to hunt and fish and came up with the idea while pursuing these hobbies with his buddies.

King was the first to use foam insulation, wallpaper, Formica, and mini-blinds. These materials made his home-away-from-home campers both lightweight, and pleasing to the eye. The lighter weight made them easier to carry on the truck bed, allowing for better braking ability and better gas mileage. He understood that people wanted their recreational vehicles to be comfortable as well as practical.

Though King Manufacturing, Inc., he expanded his product line in the early ’50s by offering small travel trailers and in the ’70s with motorhomes. The cab-over camper remained one of its most popular products until 1987 when the company officially shut down operations.

5. World’s Most Expensive RV Sold For $3 Million

Marchi Mobile eleMMent
Marchi Mobile eleMMent (Source: marchi-mobile.com)

The futuristic Marchi Mobile eleMMent, dubbed the most expensive motorhome in the world, recently sold in sunny Dubai for a staggering $3 million. The eleMMent Palazzo is made by an Austrian company called Marchi Mobile.

The opulent slightly bizarre Palazzo features two floors of entertainment and extravagance, with a giant master suite, multiple bars, and a liftable “flybridge” lounge up top. It also features a pop-up cocktail lounge, a living room complete with a fireplace and a ginormous 40-inch TV set, and a master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. Another appealing feature is it can even clean itself after a dusty day of motoring through the desert.

The ultra-luxury RV can reach 93 mph despite its 44,000-pound (22-ton) weight.

Worth Pondering…

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.

—Tony Robbins

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Every Airstream Has Its Own Story

Every Airstream has a story to tell.

Airstream travel trailers attract attention like no other RV: they’re the Harley-Davidsons of the RV world
Airstream travel trailers attract attention like no other RV: they’re the Harley-Davidsons of the RV world

Step inside an Airstream travel trailer and you’ll step into a different era. The Airstream trailer with its distinctive aluminum body and rounded shape has become one of the most iconic brands in America today.

Tracing the ownership of a particular Airstream is like following the life of a cultural icon.

The iconic trailers have the unmistakable curved aluminum exterior, giving them the nickname “the silver bullet.” They look more like the fuselage of an old airplane than a modern RV.

These silver bullets of Americana have shuttled NASA astronauts to launch pads; been pods of presidential reprieve in wartime; housed celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, Tom Hanks,  and Johnny Deep. After returning from the moon in 1969, Neil Armstrong and other members of the Apollo 11 crew were quarantined for three weeks in an Airstream to determine whether they had been exposed to lunar pathogens.

“Don’t stop. Keep right on going. Hitch up your trailer and go to Canada or down to Old Mexico. Head for Europe, if you can afford it, or go to the Mardi Gras. Go someplace you’ve heard about, where you can fish or hunt or collect rocks or just look up at the sky. Find out what’s at the end of some country road. Go see what’s over the next hill, and the one after that, and the one after that.”

The Airstream trailer with its distinctive aluminum body and rounded shape has become one of the most iconic brands in America today.
The Airstream trailer with its distinctive aluminum body and rounded shape has become one of the most iconic brands in America today.

This is the message of Wally Byam, the man behind Airstream. The words are simple and direct.

Byam’s iconic travel trailer is a bit like Tiffany’s little blue box: You immediately recognize it, it brings a smile to your face, and you want to know what is inside.

Wally Byam designed his first Airstream in 1931, and the current versions still maintain that early, distinctive look. Shiny, sleekly rounded, and riveted together, the aluminum recreational trailers have been rolling down the highway for decades, picking up a throng of loyalists along the way.

Byam stated in 1936 that he is in business “to make people’s dreams come true.”

Now the Jackson Center, Ohio-made trailers are enjoying a new found status: They have gone from cult classic among nomadic retirees to chic design statement for the young and affluent.

Every Airstream has a story to tell.
Every Airstream has a story to tell.

Airstreams both old and new are making a comeback—a resurgence fueled by demand for the sleek retro style. Airstream trailers were trendy then and they’re trendy now. Today, Airstream’s trailer production is at its highest level since the 1970s. Sales for travel trailers this year alone are up 33 percent.

In short, the retro design is still in style.

You see an Airstream out in the desert, in a national forest campsite, or along Route 66. Wherever you see an Airstream, it looks like it belongs. It’s sitting there and it’s supposed to be there.

These trailers are reliable. Almost 70 percent of all Airstreams ever built are still on the road today.

The world today is dealing with a lot of change. Embracing change creates a path to future success. If we don’t run from change, it can be the first step in discovering the future.

Apple Founder and CEO, Steve Jobs was able to create technology that was unimaginable just a decade ago by being open to change. He embraced change and saw things in a different way. Every day he defined himself by change. In the midst of his prime at Apple, he said this about change:

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

There is a change in the way people will view life in a vintage Airstream for years to come. By focusing a keen eye on design and executing thoughtful craftsmanship, Airstream creates spaces that offer customers the opportunity to experience change for the better.

Wally Byam not only created a timeless product, but he also inspired a lifestyle and dream for millions of people.
Wally Byam not only created a timeless product, but he also inspired a lifestyle and dream for millions of people.

In the words of Winston Churchill, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

Which takes me back to the beginning.

If you’re the proud owner of a sleek, functional, and decidedly chic, Airstream vintage trailer, you have a story to tell.

I just hope that Airstream can bridge all its different customers and remain faithful to the details. As is true with many longtime brands, the loyalists have kept it alive—but it is the new blood who will make or break the future.

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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Luxurious RVs For Life On The Road

The level of comfort and luxury in recreational vehicles varies wildly from basic pop-up trailers and truck campers to opulent and massive diesel pushers motor coaches.

These luxurious condo on wheels often take their interior cues from luxury yachts, with leather upholstery, fine wood cabinetry, and a slew of other high-end amenities. These plush land yachts will make you forget you’re not staying at a plush luxury hotel or spa. Whether you rent or buy, following are four options to inspire your next road trip.

Millennium Luxury Coach 

Millennium Luxury Coach
Millennium Luxury Coach

You’ll be blown away by the efficiency and innovation of a Millennium Luxury Coach.

The opulent features in the 2015 Millennium line—including a sink top glass bowl in the bathroom, quartz countertops, and Swarovski crystal accent fixtures—put this traveling home in a category of its own. The 45-foot, quad-slide 2015 Millennium H3-45 Prevost conversion is powered by a Volvo D-13 diesel engine.

Millennium is a family owned company with over 20 years history in the marine, aviation, and luxury coach building industry.

American Coach

2015 American Eagle 45A in Pacific Royale interior décor and Rich Caramel wood cabinetry
2015 American Eagle 45A in Pacific Royale interior décor and Rich Caramel wood cabinetry

The 2015 American Eagle by American Coach is outfitted with the latest and greatest perks, including polished porcelain tile floor, a cedar-lined wardrobe, shower skylight, central vacuum system, and dishwasher. Or customize your own luxury motorhome and add a washer/dryer, satellite dish, and heated tile floors.

American Coach is available in four lines—Revolution (approximately $400,000), Tradition (approximately $460,000), Eagle (approximately $620,000), and Heritage (approximately $850,000).

American Coach is manufactured in Decatur, Indiana, by Allied Recreation Group.

Thor Motor Coach

2015 Thor Motor Coach Tuscany
2015 Thor Motor Coach Tuscany

The 2015 Tuscany Diesel covers all the bases and then some. Amenities like an electric built-in fireplace, full-sized stainless steel fridge, and a cushioned dining booth will practically make you forget you’re living on the road.

The Thor Motor Coach flagship luxury Class A Motorhome offers the ultimate in beauty, styling, and power in the most livable floor plans with all the high-end amenities. The wide-open floor plans are complimented by premium Comfort-fit by Villa custom furniture, polished porcelain tile with elegant inlay, and hand crafted solid wood cabinetry.

The 2015 Tuscany is available in six floor plans ranging in length from 41 feet to 45 feet.

Newmar

 

2015 Newmar King Aire Diesel Motor Coach
2015 Newmar King Aire Diesel Motor Coach

Newmar is a world leader in making incomparable luxury coaches that offer comfort, durability, quality, and reliability. Newmar continues to raise the bar when it comes to luxury diesel motorhomes.

For 2015 Newmar offers four lines of luxury motor coaches—Mountain Aire, London Aire, Essex, and the top of the line King Aire. Available in five distinct floor plans with four different wood colors to pick from along with four interior decors, the 2015 King Aire is powered by a 600HP Cummins ISX15 and the paint graphics are extended over the windows for a clean look.

Five years ago, Newmar created the ultimate combination of advanced technology and intelligent design. The Newmar Comfort Drive Steering System is one of the most significant innovations in motor coach drivability ever. And it’s another innovative feature that defines the Newmar difference.

For over 40 years, the Newmar mission has been to create recreational vehicles that are unlike any others.

Airstream

Create only memories with an Airstream
Create only memories with an Airstream

As soon as you invoke the word Airstream, people get the attraction. It’s a part of American culture that transcends time. Airstream, manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer, is the oldest and most recognized recreational vehicle manufacturer in North America.

In 1931, Airstream began with Wally Byam’s dream: to build a travel trailer that would move like a stream of air, be light enough to be towed by a car, and create first-class accommodations anywhere.

Every inch of an Airstream has a function. Airstream is the most thoroughly tested brand in trailer history. Its engineering is the culmination of over 80 years of experience plus millions of miles on roads throughout the world.

Worth Pondering…

Stop wishing; start planning: A goal without a plan is just a wish.

—Larry Elder

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More Celebrities Who Own RVs

When you think of celebrities, you might not picture them tooling around the country in an RV. And yet, there are numerous celebrities who have grown to love the RV lifestyle, either due to a fear of flying or just a love of cross-country travel.

The Madden Cruiser at the Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans, LA., on Sunday February 3, 2002. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect)
The Madden Cruiser at the Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans, LA., on Sunday February 3, 2002. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect)

These celebrity trailers and diesel pushers are a scale-up from your average weekend trailer, but the free-wheeling sense of travel is there. These celebrities have been lured in by the intoxicating mixture of open road and the luxuries of home. In short—they’re RV people.

John Madden, the well-known football coach turned TV sportscaster, turned away from the back and forth world of flying cross country when in 1979 he suffered a serious panic attack.  The confined space of a commercial aircraft without the ability to exit at any time triggered a claustrophobic reaction in Madden. In order to travel to NFL games to call, he got around in “The Madden Cruiser,” a tour bus that doubles as an RV with all of the comforts of home.

Dolly Parton isn’t famous for doing anything small, and that extends to the extravagant RV she uses on tour. You can see it in the photo below—and there’s no mistaking this RV for anyone’s but Dolly’s.

The 1939 Charles Lindbergh Travel Trailer was recently up for auction in Carmel, California. Skinned in aluminum to reduce weight and enhance appearance, the trailer boasts two axles, one at each end. The design gave the trailer a great deal of stability when parked for overnight stops and did not require that the tongue be supported on jacks when unhitched from the tow vehicle. Its interior is furnished with well-preserved oak paneling. This legend’s trailer was expected to fetch anywhere from $150,000-200,000.

Dolly Parton's custom tour bus
Dolly Parton’s custom tour bus

Twentieth Century Fox spent a rumored $75,000 in 1960s dollars ($560,000 in today’s dollars) to build a fully customized 36-foot dressing room/trailer for Elizabeth Taylor during the filming of Cleopatra. Designed in the theme of the Egyptian/Roman epic, the 36-foot Aljo trailer featured rose-colored carpeting, hand-painted ceilings, hand-painted bedroom murals, detailed crown moldings, custom makeup dresser and vanity, full columns mounted on the walls, and other columned furniture and decorative pieces. This special hideaway was designed to make the star feel like the Queen of Egypt.

A 1931 Chevrolet based custom made housecar was one of the enticements offered by Paramount Studios to get Mae West to leave the Vaudeville circuit and begin to make movies from them. It is designed as a chauffeur-driven lounge car and not as a camper unit. It features a hot plate stove, an icebox, and a small table to enjoy lunch. It was used for several years to transport Miss West from her home or hotel to shooting locations.

Vintage Mobile Dressing Room used during filming of Cleopatra in 1963. (Credit: Premiere Props)
Vintage Mobile Dressing Room used during filming of Cleopatra in 1963. (Credit: Premiere Props)

Some folks prefer a more homely mobile home, others prefer a bit of extravagance in their RVs. Pamela Anderson falls into the latter category with her highly customized Airstream trailer, a gift from Hugh Hefner. The Lovestream came with a number of unusual and unique features like mirrored ceilings, white carpeting, playboy bunny logos on some of the furnishing, a round vibrating bed, stripper pole, and a mirror ball.

Nowadays, you can’t help but pay a lot for a feature-laden motorhome. However, the expensive madness goes over the top with the opulent slightly bizarre luxury eleMMent Palazzo.

Recently sold for a staggering $3 million in sunny Dubai, the Palazzo features two floors of entertainment and extravagance, with a giant master suite, multiple bars, and a liftable “flybridge” lounge up top. It also features a pop-up cocktail lounge, a living room complete with a fireplace and a ginormous 40-inch TV set, and a master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom.

The ultra-luxury RV can reach 93 mph despite its 44,000-pound (22-ton) weight. A step up from the Palazzo is the eleMMent Viva–V.I.P. shuttle.

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie took an Airstream with them when they filmed their Simple Life road trip show for MTV.

Along similar lines, other celebrities have also taken fondly to RVs.

1931 Mae West Housecar
1931 Mae West Housecar as viewed at RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Brad Pitt owns a vintage 345 Airstream that he likes to call The Love Sub. According to sources Brad lived in the Sub for a short while during 2005, after his split from Jennifer Anniston.

Other Airstream owners include Anthony Edwards, Ron Howard, Tom Hanks, John Ratzenberger, JJ Cale, Corbin Bernsen, Rutger Hauer, Sean Penn, David Duchovny, Tim Burton, Brian Johnson, Andy Garcia, Matthew Modine, Denzel Washington, and Johnny Depp.

Please Note: This is Part 2 of a 2-part series on Celebrities And Their RVs

Worth Pondering…

I’ve gone from being a major league pitcher to a major league RV owner. I’ll travel roughly 5,000 miles in my RV this year. It’s a great way to see America, and as relaxed a way to see the country as there can possibly be.

—Jim Kaat, former major league baseball pitcher

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10 Facts About Airstream

Airstream, manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer, is the oldest and most recognized recreational vehicle manufacturer in North America.

1958 Airstream Der Kleine Prinz
1958 Airstream Der Kleine Prinz (The Little Prince) at the RVMH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart, Indiana. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The design of the Airstream was based on an airplane fuselage with lightweight aluminum and the effect was stunning, sleek, and silver.

Founder Wally Byam stated in 1936 that he is in business “to make people’s dreams come true.”

When Airstream began, there were less than 48 trailer manufacturers that were registered for business. Five years later, nearly 400 companies squared off against each other. Today of those 400 companies, only Airstream remains.

Born in the California backyard of inventor Wally Byam and inspired by a trailer designed by Hawley Bowlus, the famed chief builder of The Spirit of St. Louis, the Airstream’s modernist aesthetic has remained relatively unchanged in eight decades, and its industrial durability has earned a reputation without peer with more than 65 percent of all Airstreams still on the road today.

Following founder Wally Byam’s credo, “Let’s not make changes, let’s only make improvements,” Airstream has remained a timeless classic throughout its 82-year history.

Wally Byam designed his first Airstream in 1931, and the current versions still maintain that early, distinctive look. Shiny, sleekly rounded and riveted together, the aluminum recreational trailers have been rolling down the highway since before there was an interstate system, picking up legions of loyalists along the way.

Wally Byam pulls his '30s Airstream in a promo.
Wally Byam pulls his ’30s Airstream in a promo.

Airstreams have always had their fans, but now they are cashing in on their cult following, with sales that have recovered from the recession and prices that exceed the industry norm for both new and used trailers. These days Airstreams seem to be popular across the board, from young travelers who tether their bikes on the back, to seniors who spend their retirement seeing the country in their Airstream Flying Clouds or Land Yachts.

10 Facts About Airstream

1. A 1960 Airstream Bambi trailer has a permanent home at New York’s Museum of Modern Art as an example of excellence in design.

2. The aluminum outer shell of the Airstream is based on an airplane fuselage design. Its rounded corners make it more aerodynamic, cutting drag by 20 percent and increasing fuel mileage.

3. Airstreamers love to attend rallies and travel in caravans around the nation, and the world. The first official Wally Byam Caravan Club was formed in 1955 in Nova Scotia. One of the earliest caravan routes was up the length of Africa, from Cape Town to Cairo.

Life on the Road in an Airstream with Matthew McConaughey
Life on the Road in an Airstream with Matthew McConaughey

4. Airstreams have some famous fans. Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Adrian Brody, Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, Lenny Kravitz, and Sean Penn are just a few celebrity Airstream owners. In fact, Matthew McConaughy lived in a 28-foot Airstream for several years in Malibu before buying a house there, which still has enough property for the three Airstreams he now owns.

5. President John F. Kennedy used an Airstream for a mobile office when he spent time in White Sands, New Mexico, checking out Army innovations.

6. Designer Ralph Lauren transformed four vintage Airstream trailers a dozen years ago and auctioned them off to raise money for his foundation, which benefits medically underserved patients.

7. After returning from the moon in 1969, Neil Armstrong and other members of the Apollo 11 crew were quarantined for three weeks in an Airstream to determine whether they had been exposed to lunar pathogens.

Create only memories with an Airstream
Create only memories with an Airstream

8. When flying to visit the troops in Afghanistan, first lady Laura Bush spent time in her own private Airstream on board the plane.

9. A 1957 Airstream trailer became one of the early symbols of MTV. It was displayed outside its headquarters in Santa Monica, California.

10. Two classics combined in 2009 when Airstream partnered with Victorinox Swiss Army for a world tour in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the original Swiss Army knife.

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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Airstream Introduces New Interstate Grand Tour

Jackson Center, Ohio-based Airstream announced the introduction of a new addition to the brand’s Interstate Class B motorhome lineup, the Airstream Interstate Grand Tour.

Airstream Introduces New Interstate Grand Tour
Airstream Introduces New Interstate Grand Tour

Combining the qualities of the classic “silver bullet” Airstream travel trailer with the Airstream Interstate, the new Interstate Grand Tour offers all the amenities of a “home on the road” with the quality, easy maneuverability, and convenience of a motorhome from Airstream.

The new Interstate Grand Tour is built on the foundation of the Airstream Interstate EXT touring coach, a Class B motorhome with a Mercedes-Benz chassis.

The Interstate Grand Tour combines functionality for everything from short camping trips to extended adventures with three Airstream interior décor choices. Compared to the standard Interstate range, the Grand Tour design includes a larger galley with additional counter and multi-functional storage space, a flexible workspace desk and an expanded bathroom area, oversized fridge and freezer, standard power awning, and optional dual screen doors.

“The Interstate Grand Tour provides everything a couple needs for a comfortable and convenient life on the open road,” said Airstream CEO and President Bob Wheeler, in a news release.

Airstream Introduces New Interstate Grand Tour
Airstream Introduces New Interstate Grand Tour

“For more than 80 years, Airstream travel trailers have enabled people to explore the romance of the world around them. The new Grand Tour embraces that spirit of adventure in a modern, perfectly sized, premium touring coach.”

“Like our traditional Airstream travel trailers, the Interstate Grand Tour touring coach packs so much luxury and utility into a convenient package—office, bedroom, patio, the works,” added Wheeler.

“It brings the classic Airstream design aesthetic to life, with well thought-out features, exceptional fit and finish and attention to detail.”

The new Interstate Grand Tour will be available at Airstream retailers beginning in September.

The Interstate Grand Tour is based on the Interstate EXT and has an overall exterior length of 24 feet 4.5 inches and an overall exterior height of 9 feet 8 inches.

Airstream Introduces New Interstate Grand Tour
Airstream Introduces New Interstate Grand Tour

With its car-like handling and standard rear backup camera, it is easy to maneuver on the road, in campsites and in parking lots.

Standard features include UltraLeatherseating, convertible rear sofa/6-foot 10-inch double bed, Corian countertops, adjustable LED interior lighting, drawer microwave, refrigerator/freezer, large bathroom with shower, navigation system, Kenwood Multimedia Entertainment System with rear speakers, twin high definition LED televisions, and rear storage space. The interior is offered in a range of durable yet luxurious fabrics and colors.

The Interstate Grand Tour also includes Xenon headlights, forged aluminum-alloy wheels, hidden trailer hitch, power awning ,and power entry step.

Details

Airstream

Airstream, maker of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer, is the oldest recreational vehicle manufacturer in North America.

Following founder Wally Byam’s credo, “Let’s not make changes, let’s only make improvements” Airstream has remained a timeless classic.

A division of Thor Industries, Airstream is based in Jackson Center, Ohio.

Address: 419 West Pike Street, P.O. Box 629, Jackson Center, OH 45334-0629

Phone: (877) 596-6111 (toll free)

Website: www.airstream.com

Worth Pondering…

Airstream Song

Sometimes I wish I lived in airstream homemade curtains
Lived just like a gypsy.
Break a heart, roll out of town
Cause gypsies never get tied down
—Lyrics by Miranda Lambert, Natalie Nicole Hemby, Natalie Hemby, Miranda Lambert; sung by Miranda Lambert

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Vintage RVs: Canned Hams, Shiny Hineys & Tin Cans

Vintage trailers continue their popularity among today’s RVers. There is a certain charm and nostalgia with vintage trailers that you can’t find with new recreational vehicles.

The Tin Can Tourists heated tin cans of food on gasoline stoves by the roadside.
The Tin Can Tourists heated tin cans of food on gasoline stoves by the roadside

Nostalgia is tops on the list of reasons folks are attracted to vintage trailers. When they were kids, they went camping in something similar, so it brings back memories for those people.

And don’t forget the decorating. From kitschy pink flamingos to leopard spots to Route 66 memorabilia, folks love to make their trailers look different from everybody else’s.

The rolling homes were small: a bed, kitchen, and dinette in one room. Over the decades they expanded into today’s large-sized RVs, but there’s an increasing demand for the older trailers.

These vintage models are often called Canned Hams, Shiny Hineys, or Tin Cans. Whatever they’re called, classic trailers from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s are rolling back into popularity.

These vintage boxes on wheels are more artsy than your new trailers now, have a character, and a style.

This '60 Airstream Traveler has been completely restored. (Credit: rrvintagetrailers.com)
This ’60 Airstream Traveler has been completely restored. (Credit: rrvintagetrailers.com)

When travel trailers first started roaming American roads in the 1920s their owners were called Tin Can Tourists because they heated tin cans of food on gasoline stoves by the roadside.

The Tin Can Tourists formed the first camping club in the United States, holding their inaugural rally in Florida in 1919 and growing to 150,000 members by the mid-1930s. They had an initiation; an official song, “The More We Get Together;” and a secret handshake.

Women gather from across the country to camp out and many bring their vintage campers. They call themselves Sisters on the FlyFounded in 1999, Sisters on the Fly has grown from three members to nearly 4,500 worldwide including in Canada, England, and Australia, in addition to the United States.

The Get’away Gals, a group of women from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, gather for camping trips once a month in their tricked-out vintage trailers.

Vintage style in tiny packages, teardrop trailers, around since the 1930s, are seeing a boom in popularity. Teardrops are streamlined, compact, lightweight travel trailers, which get their name from its teardrop profile. They usually range from 4 to 6 feet in width, 8 to 10 feet in length, and 4 to 5 feet in height, and have sleeping space for two adults and a basic kitchen in the rear.

In recent years, vintage trailers have been renovated into mobile store fronts, mobile eco-homes, mobile art galleries (Happy Camper Mobile Art Gallery), mobile gourmet coffee shops (Cadillac Coffee), a mobile distillery (2 Gingers Irish Whiskey), and a bargain clothing store (Buffalo Exchange).

Have you considered a vintage trailer? People around the country are restoring and refurbishing vintage trailers in unique ways and women are finding them particularly appealing.

Vistabule Teardrop Trailer
Vistabule Teardrop Trailer

Restoration is a slow, time-consuming process. Carpentry, plumbing, and electrical skills are needed to tackle a fix-up job on these old trailers. Always start at the top and work down. One panel at a time. Persistence, perseverance, and determination will get you to the end.

But, restoring vintage trailers is not for the fainthearted. That’s one reason Flyte Camp (Bend, Oregon) is in high demand and quickly earning a reputation as one of the best vintage RV restoration shops in the U.S.

Retro Trailer Design (Glenwood Springs, Colorado) recreates vintage travel trailers reminiscent of the canned hams of the 1950s and 1960s.

Hofmann Architecture (Santa Barbara, California) takes vintage trailers and brings them back to life through custom design based on the owner’s preference.

Mintage Airstreams (Missoula, Montana) is dedicated to restoring classic Airstreams. From the initial design to the finished product, each custom-made Airstream is designed to accommodate each customer’s personal preferences.

Russian River Vintage Travel Trailers (Guerneville, California) re-designs the interiors of Airstreams and other campers. Prices for restored vintage Airstreams vary wildly, depending on the age, the condition of the exterior shell, and the extent of the interior design.

1939 Charles Lindbergh Travel Trailer Up for Auction
1939 Charles Lindbergh Travel Trailer Up for Auction

Is the iconic Airstream a bit too passé for your tastes?

The 1939 Charles Lindbergh Travel Trailer is up for auction. Designed in San Carlos, California, by an engineer of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, this trailer was custom-built for famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, hence  its name.

Buying this legend’s trailer, however, won’t come easy on the wallet. The 1939 Lindbergh travel trailer is expected to fetch anywhere from $150,000-200,000. The 1939 Charles Lindbergh Travel Trailer is part of the Maranello Rosso Collection that will be auctioned at the 17th annual Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction in Carmel, California, August 15.

Worth Pondering…

As I read, and thought, and stared at my stuff around me, I slowly realized a simple truth. The amount of freedom in my life was inversely proportional to the amount of stuff I had.

—Emily Fagen’s blog, Road Less Traveled

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