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American RV manufacturers building ecologically “green” units might take notice – with a wry sense of humor – of the self-sufficient British Ecostream, a retro-fitted 22-foot Airstream travel trailer featuring a wood-burning stove, plastic tabletops made from recycled shampoo bottles and a composting toilet.
The over-the-top Ecostream was the brainchild of Steve Berry, a radio DJ and former host of the TV show “Top Gear” who had the backing of the Caravan Club, a combined British trade association representing the caravan industry and U.K. campgrounds
“The Ecostream gets you back to the spirit (of Airstream founder Wally Byam),” Berry told The Sunday Times of London. “You can take it to the remotest places and be self-sufficient.”
To prove the point, Berry plans to recreate one of Byam’s celebrated caravan journeys from Cape Town, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt.
Ecostream debuted in February at the International Caravan and Motorhome Show in Birmingham, England.
If nothing else, Berry was creative in designing the unit donated by Ohio-based Airstream Inc. for the project.
Portions of the roof have been replaced by four solar panels controlled by a master unit that provides power for low-energy LED lighting and the water system. The unit has no air conditioning in the European tradition, while some of the furnishings are made from hemp and chair backs and cushions are stuffed with straw or animal hair.
Ecostream’s entertainment system was salvaged from a Mini Cooper and the shower uses a Harley-Davidson motorcycle fuel tank.
Seriously, Airstream President Bob Wheeler said some of Berry’s off-the-wall ideas, although impractical in some cases, may end up in RVs someday.
“Will all of those things find their way into RVs in the future? Probably not,” Wheeler told RVBusiness. “They are on the hairy edge. Some of the concepts, though, may come back in.”