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Despite earlier denials from the FOX TV network, the next installment of “The Simple Life” will feature socialite party girls Paris Hilton and Nichole Richie pulling a travel trailer cross country behind a pink pickup.
RV industry insiders should note that the 25-foot Airstream International CCD is not a Winnebago, as Hilton described it following the Golden Globe Awards in January, a reference that since has shown up in print and on television numerous times.
In fact, Airstream, which is donating the travel trailer to “The Simple Life’s” production company, has taken pains to see that Hilton’s mistake isn’t repeated.
“They said that the only RV they ever considered was an Airstream because of the iconic nature of the brand,” said Tim Champ, Airstream director of marketing and brand development. “The contract requires them not to refer to the vehicle by a competitor’s name. We have our fingers crossed.”
By the way, the contract also prohibits anyone in the series from using the term “trailer trash,” a derogatory term often used to describe people living in mobile-home parks, Champ said.
Although jobs will be set up for them in various communities, the girls will leave Miami with no money, credit cards or cell phones and wend their way through the southern United States to California.
Hilton told the Associated Press that she’s driven very little in her life, let alone pulled a travel trailer behind a pickup.
“The farthest I’ve driven is from L.A. to Palm Springs, which takes like two hours,” the 23-year-old heiress told AP.
Earlier, for unexplained reasons, FOX’s publicity department denied the girls would travel in an RV for the second installment of the show.
“They may have wanted to surprise the girls, but I don’t think that happened,” Champ said.
The initial showing of “The Simple Life,” an eight-episode “reality” series, was a ratings success for FOX in December. It featured Hilton, the granddaughter of hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, and Richie, the daughter of singer Lionel Richie, living with a seven-member Arkansas farm family for two weeks.
Prior to the television series, Hilton and Richie were most noted for their dalliances on the East and West Coast party circuits, and Hilton particularly for an explicit sex video released on the Internet by a former boyfriend.
The second eight-episode installment of “The Simple Life,” to be broadcast in May and June, will feature the girls towing their Airstream from Florida and California while visiting such tourist locations as the Grand Canyon, Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion in Memphis and Las Vegas, Champ said.
“What they told us they want to do is portray RVing as cool and fun,” Champ said. “We hope that they will uphold the RV industry’s wholesome nature.”
Working in Airstream’s favor is the fact that the subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc., has final review of the series and won’t transfer title of the unit until satisfied that terms of the contract have been met, Champ said.
“The news value to the industry of all of this is that Hollywood and the entertainment industry views RVs in a positive light,” Champ said. “Go RVing and the industry in general is really beginning to reach people with the message that RVing is a cool thing to do.”