The iconic 'silver-bullet' Airstream bodies are clad in aluminium
Monday, 26, Jul 2010 04:46
For over 75 years this American company has produced unique and iconic trailers made from aluminium.
The original Airstream caravan was conceived by Wally Byan in the States back in 1929. Wally purchased a Model T Ford chassis with a platform on the back and pitched a tent. His wife, rumoured to been discontented with the distinct lack of comfort, urged Wally to upgrade his rudimentary structure to a teardrop shaped cabin - and the Airstream was born. Wally christened his creation thus, because it felt like 'a stream of air'.
From these humble beginning, Airstream Caravans have grown to become an eyecatching and popular range of tourers. Not long ago, they were only available in the States, but with Airstream tourers long since being the envy of caravanners across the pond - the Airstream Caravan team designed a range specifically suited to European roads.
The Silver Bullet
Built from the ground up, the monocoque shells and chassis are assembled and each frame is put to the test in Airstreams' Category 2 Hurricane Force water check facilities. The rib structure covered with hand riveted aluminium panels is narrower and more lightweight, making it a better fit for European roads and towcars.
No wood is used in the construction of the outershell lessening the risk of damp and rotting, and the iconic bullet-like bodies are clad in aluminium. All models are certified by the National Caravan Council. All furniture and interior fittings are fixed during assembly through the door, which means they can also be removed easily for cleaning and repairs.
Hand built and engineered for life
Each model comes pre-wired for optional air conditioning with 12v sockets and low voltage ceiling lights. Dometic fridges come as standard ranging in capacity from 105 - 142 litres depending on the model size, and an integrated sounds system with CD/ radio are always included. The upholstery is fire retardant, and mattresses comply with health and safety regulations.
Hand built in Ohio, Airstream tourers take on average 400-450 hours to build and are engineered for life, so they are less likely to deteriorate. An impressive 70 per cent of Airstreams built since 1932 are still in commission today, giving them one of the highest resale values on the market. Already a cult product in the States, owning an Airstream will draw attention on the road and raise smiles from fellow caravanners. The numerous Airstream member clubs are well populated and give Airstream owners a chance to take pride in their slice of American engineering.
For more details, news, rumour and discussions on Airstream Caravans, join our community group for Airstream Owners.