A Look Back at Airstream and the Airstream Interstate
Helping to make family vacations more comfortable and efficient, the Airstream Company has been manufacturing travel trailers since 1931. Introduced by Wally Byam, the airstream travel trailer was the origin of today’s Recreational Vehicle (RV) industry. RV’s have come a long way since their beginnings and provide conveniences that make it almost like bringing your home on the road with you while you travel.
Byam’s idea was to create a trailer that could be pulled behind the family vehicle to be used for providing more convenience while traveling. His design would include a bed and maybe a kitchen area to accommodate the family needs while traveling. The trailer would be designed with a rounded aluminum body to reduce wind drag and be easier to tow.
The first design of the Airstream travel trailer was created by designer Hawley Bowlus, designer of the Spirit of St. Louis airplane, flown by Charles Lindbergh across the Atlantic Ocean. Byam hired Bowlus to help him design a travel trailer that would be convenient for families to use while vacationing or traveling across country. The idea was to provide a place for sleep at night as well as storing and preparing food during the day.
The Airstream Clipper was introduced in 1936 and set the stage for a new industry to emerge. The Clipper was designed to sleep up to 4 people and included both electric lights and its own water supply for a cost of $1,200. The company grew slowly, but after World War II it began to take off as more families started taking to the road on family vacations, towing their trailers with them.
The Airstream company continued manufacturing trailers and by the late 1970’s the Airstream trailer gave way to a new design called the motorhome. This would combine the efficiency of the travel trailer with the capacity to drive the trailer just like a car. The motorhomes became a very popular part of the American travel experience. A number of manufacturer’s had jumped into the business by this time, including Mercedes-Benz and Ford.
Airstream continued to make motorhomes more efficient and family friendly and in 2004 they introduced the popular Airstream Interstate Class B Motorhome. Built on the chassis of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, the new Interstate continued in redesigns and better conveniences until today it is one of the most popular in the Airstream line of RV’s.
Today the Interstate Class B Touring Coach offers both the Grand Tour EXT and Lounge EXT models. The Interstate models can seat between 2 and 9 people with an overall length of 24′-1″ and a width of 6′-7.7″. The new designs provide for plenty of storage as well as sleeping accommodations and provide you with all the amenities of home, including satellite TV, restroom area and a kitchen area with cabinets, refrigerator, sink and cooktop.
If you are looking to expand your traveling abilities, take a look at the Airstream Interstate Inventory at Dave Arbogast Conversion Vans for a great new Class B Motorhome.