Airstream Inc. in May will roll out a European version of its legendary, aluminum-skinned travel trailer.
“We took a number of retail orders, but more importantly, we had strong interest expressed in dealer groups in Holland, Ireland and France,” Airstream President Bob Wheeler reported upon his return from the trailer’s debut at the National Boat, Caravan & Outdoor Show in Birmingham, England, which ended Sunday (Feb. 26).
Wheeler said the narrower, 7 1/2-foot-wide trailer will be manufactured at Airstream’s Jackson Center, Ohio, facilities, then sent to Great Britain for upfitting to meet European codes by July. The first unit should be in a consumer’s hands by early September.
A 22-foot model will retail for a base price of $61,000 while a 26-foot version will go for $72,000. Multiple floorplans will be available in each length with unusually light GVWR ratings of 3,527 and 4,800 pounds, respectively.
Trailer weight was reduced by making the unit six inches narrower than its American counterpart, laminating the floor and using ultra-lightweight cabinet materials. The European Airstream also will be built on a lightweight German-designed, tapered frame bolted together as opposed to welded like Airstream’s American products.
The unit was displayed at the Birmingham show hitched to a Land Rover Discovery LR3 SUV. Consumers and dealers were escorted individually into the coach and Wheeler reported that some stood in line for up to 45 minutes for a tour.
“The knowledge level about Airstream was pretty high,” Wheeler said. “I was surprised that a lot of people knew about Airstream. That’s largely due to (Airstream founder) Wally Byam’s caravans in the ’50s that trekked all over Europe.”
Although anticipating limited production initially, Wheeler said the company expects to eventually manufacture one European Airstream a day.