Why Are Airstreams So Expensive? (Airstream Costs Explained)

9 min read

The Airstream brand is a classic American icon. But ten years ago, this Airstream name was nowhere to be seen in the travel trailer industry.

These travel trailers seem to be taking over the camping and other outdoor adventures. It is known to ooze more freedom and exploration than other products in the industry.

Thanks to Wally Byam, who played a crucial role in the growth of the airstream community. He organized an international caravan of airstreams that fostered its appreciation across the world.

The airstream name has rapidly developed into a niche brand. It could be one of the reasons behind the high prices. But that may not fully answer the question.

So, why are airstreams so expensive? We came up with the following ten reasons that make airstreams cost so much:

  1. Build materials
  2. Efficient Design
  3. Construction process
  4. Long lifespan
  5. Reputation and resale value
  6. High-quality materials
  7. Classic feel
  8. Low maintenance cost
  9. Fuel efficiency
  10. Drivability and performance
  11. Aesthetics
  12. Warranty
  13. Loyal fanbase

In this article, I’m going to detail finer qualities that make airstream models cost a little higher than other RV trailers. But these airstream models are worth the value of your money.

 

13 Reasons Why Airstreams Are So Expensive

Airstreams are super expensive when compared to trailers or RVs from any other brand. Below are the main factors that contribute to increases in their prices:

 

1. Build Materials

Airstreams are made from premium and stunning aluminum materials. These construction materials happen to be the main reason behind the increase in their prices.

Aluminum materials are iconic in the travel trailer industry. These materials offer both solid construction and stunning appearances of airstreams.

The stunning appeal and durability of aluminum materials attract a large number of outdoor enthusiasts across the world.

The costs of acquiring aluminum materials are super high. Most companies have to increase the general price of airstreams to earn profit.

One of my favorite features about aluminum materials is their toughness. It can withstand adverse outdoor conditions for an extended period than other traditional trailers.

Besides that, it offers ultimate insulation against heat or cold. It makes the campers feel more comfortable during their adventure in the wilderness.

Aluminum materials are also rust-proof. It implies that airstreams rarely experience corrosion unless otherwise. It is a feature that makes the trailers attract high price tags.

Airstreams made from aluminum bodies rarely need the use of plywood. The plywoods are only limited to the flooring and provision of anchor supports of appliances.

Thanks to the double frame that offers insulation and reduces the risk of corrosion. Thus, airstream build materials are the main reason behind the high price tag.

 

2. Efficient Design

Airstream is an iconic trailer brand in the United States of America. It is among the first travel trailers to enter the industry.

But the incredible designing task made these RVs and travel trailers more popular than their traditional counterparts.

This excellent designing job happens to be yet another reason behind the high price tag and brand recognition across the world.

The company has a team of professions with skills and experience in designing high-quality trailers. These professionals are paid better remuneration due to their excellent job.

The construction design makes airstream RVs ageless. Keep in mind that these airstream RVs come in different models but have the same design principle.

The design used in the 19850s has slightly changed due to the advancement in technology. It has helped to enhance the production of RVs and trailers that look spectacular.

All airstream RVs have a stunning appearance and adequate space. It makes the camper stand out in a caravan and also enhances free movement inside the trailer.

Besides that, the design is aerodynamic. It does not inhibit the movement of the camper while being pulled by the vehicle.

The combination of elegance and aerodynamic design causes the price to shoot up. But most airstream RVs are worth the value of money regardless of the model.

 

3. Their Construction Process

Airstream RVs are handcrafted by highly skilled and experienced technicians. These individuals are employed by airstream at their headquarters.

Each RV takes about 350 hours to complete. It is 300 hours more than typical Whitebox trailer construction. Besides that, the construction process is quite tedious and time-consuming.

The extra time and effort put into these airstream RVs are what makes the price to be higher than any other brand in the market for the last 15 years.

Airstream is the only brand in the travel trailer industry that designs tanks in specific places. The purpose is to enhance the lower center of gravity and better aerodynamics.

The overall weight distribution is below the floor to facilitate better balance and stability. It also makes the trailer be pulled by SUVs with ease.

Airstream RVs are designed from aluminum materials. These materials are lightweight and highly flexible. They can be cut, flexed, and bent into different shapes with ease.

The technicians will need about 3000 rivets. Each rivet is placed to work in a syn mode on both inside and outside of the RV. All these rivet seams are sealed to provide ultimate insulation.

The whole structure of the airstream is later attached to the chassis. It helps to make the structure stronger and more durable. Plumbing, wiring, and installation of plywood commence later.

The airstream will undergo rigorous testing before being released to the market. These durability testings make the trailer super expensive.

 

4. Long Lifespan

Most travel trailers have a lifespan of 15 years. But Airstream trailers can last more than 15 years and this feature makes them quite expensive.

Airstream RVs and trailers undergo rigorous durability testing before being released in the market. The purpose is to ensure they can withstand adverse weather conditions.

The hurricane test is where the trailer is sprayed with 10,000 gallons of water at high pressure for about 30minutes.

A professional quality controller usually gets inside the trailer during the hurricane test. The technician will identify any sources of leaks.

If there is any water leak, the area identified will be repaired and sealed. This durability testing takes place before furniture and other fixtures are installed.

The extra time is taken during the construction process also helps to make the airstream RVs and trailers more durable. The aluminum materials also offer additional durability features.

The extensive testing and use of high-quality materials make the airstream products super expensive. Getting a durable RV or trailer is usually worth the value of your money.

Besides that, the better remuneration of employees makes them more dedicated. The dedication and precision result in long-lasting airstream RVs and trailers in the market.

 

5. Reputation and Resale Value

Most automobiles usually drop by 20% of their original price. RVs and trailers from many brands apart from Airstream usually have low resale value.

Used RVs and trailers give dealers an upper chance to claim some kind of damages. It usually hurts resale value in the long run.

But airstream is a reputable brand in the market. Either used or new RVs and trailers from the company tend to hold a high resale value.

Thanks to the quality and construction design. All airstream RVs and trailers are built to last for an extended period than any other brand.

The airstream RVs do not get scratched and damaged while navigating in challenging terrains. This high durability feature makes the products hold a high resale value.

If you are looking to sell your used airstream RVs or trailers, many dealers find it hard to drag the price down as they do to other trailers.

Some people have reported having sold their airstream RVs at a higher price than the original one. Thanks to the brand recognition and ability to hold the resale value.

Remember to maintain your RVs or trailers from the airstream in the right way. Proper care and maintenance is another crucial factor that helps to hold the resale value.

 

6. High-Quality Materials

Airstream RVs and Trailers are also built with premium components. The wiring and plumbing is tested to ensure everything is running smoothly before being released in the market.

The RV has a high-quality braking system to prevent the occurrence of road carnage while heading to the camping site. The driver usually has an easy time controlling the trailer or RV.

The furniture and fixture anchoring the appliances are made from premium materials. They rarely experience wear and tear despite hitting the road for many years.

These high-quality components happen to be another factor contributing to the high price tags. But all these components make the RV or trailer worth the value of money.

 

7. Classic Feel

Airstream trailers and RVs have a shiny siding that brings out that classic feeling while heading to a campsite in a caravan.

These eye-catching materials help to bring out the trailer’s sleek design. It is something that makes manufacturers raise the prices of their products.

Acquiring premium aluminum materials is super expensive. Airstream has to shift some costs to their customers to remain in the industry for long.

If you are looking to steal the show every time on the road, consider buying airstream RVs and trailers. The brand trustworthiness and quality products make them priced higher.

 

8. Low Maintenance Cost

Airstream does not compromise the quality of RVs and travel trailers. These products are also built by professional technicians.

The rigorous testing ensures the product released in the market is of high quality and can last longer than other brands.

The robust construction and quality design help to reduce the maintenance cost. The average cost of maintaining airstream RVs is super low when compared to other brands.

If you are looking for an RV or trailer that will last longer with minimal maintenance, I recommend going for the airstream brand.

 

9. Fuel Efficiency

Airstream RVs and trailers have an aerodynamic design. It makes the RVs have less dragging force while pulling behind your car or truck.

The construction design helps to save on money meant for gas bills. The cost-saving on fuel allows an individual the extra cash in something else.

Other brands are built from heavyweight materials. It makes your trailer drag more while heading to the camping site. Keep in mind that off-road rides consume more gas than on-road drives.

 

10. Drivability and Performance

Airstreams are built within the chassis and use suspension made from rubber torsion. The round edges and slightly curved body facilitate proper aerodynamic wind flow.

The low center of gravity and sleek design make the RVs have incredible performance. The driver can shift lanes with ease while on the highway.

Other brands are usually swayed by the wind to the sides and experience too much road vibrations. It later affects the drivability and performance of the trailer.

But airstream trailers give the driver more stability and safety while riding. These safety features and sleek design make the price a bit higher than the other brands.

 

11. Aesthetics

The incredible style airstream trailer is the reason why many people are willing to pay more. The style is super unique and stunning.

A lot of people romanticize the brand due to the shiny bullet on the exterior. The appeal usually outmatches the traditional trailers in the market.

Airstream RVs and trailers are eye-catching like supercars. Their style usually steals the show every time and can easily be recognized from far-distant.

 

12. Warranty

Airstream RVs and trailers used to come with a lifetime warranty about 40 years ago. Thanks to high-quality components and robust construction.

But the emergency of modern technology and more road risks forced the company to lower the warranty to two years. The period is still much higher than the other brands in the market.

The warranty is transferable to the second owner. It is a factor why many people are opting for airstream campers than other brands.

 

13. Loyal Fanbase

Airstream has a large number of followers, starting from employees to customers across the world. The quality reputation is the main reason behind this scenario.

Employees take their time, care, and dedication to create something appealing to the eyes of customers. The loyal customers are even willing to pay more for this brand.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Long Do Airstreams Last?

A: Approximately 40 years and above. But it depends on your level of maintenance and care. Airstreams are built from high-quality materials to spearhead longevity and higher performance.

The aluminum material is durable and rust-resistant to extreme weather conditions. The quality of the material and high level of maintenance make RVs from the airstream last longer.

 

Q: Do Airstreams Have Slide Outs?

A: In the 1990s, the airstream had not adopted the innovation of slide-out construction. But modern technology has made manufacturers consider slide-outs in their campers.

Most airstream campers have slide outs and others do not come with them. It offers a wider option for customers to choose something that suits their preferences and tastes.

 

Q: Do Airstreams Come with Generators?

A: Not really. The idea of generator installation usually varies from one person to another. Besides that, most generators are noisy and cause air pollution.

In case an airstream camper has a pre-installed generator, be ready to pay even more. A lot of people find it to be super expensive.

The cost of refueling the generator and the camper can drain your pocket. Consider an airstream camper with solar panels since it is more affordable.

 

Q: How Much Do Airstreams Weigh?

A: It is quite difficult to give an exact value. But the size and interior space determine the weight of an airstream camper. More space implies that the camper is bigger and heavier.

But airstream RVs and trailers are made from lightweight aluminum material. It is the material that is also used to construct the aircraft. Hence, all the airstreams are lightweight.

 

Q: Do Airstreams Leak?

A: Not really. Airstreams undergo rigorous hurricane testing before being released to the market. So any leakages are repaired by sealing.

The owner of the camper needs to take care of and maintain the trailer to enhance longevity and reduce the risk of water leakages.

But any metal usually experiences wear and tear. The depreciation causes the airstream to leak at some point in their life stage. Proper care and maintenance are key to prevent leakages.

 

Q: Are Airstreams Worth the Money?

A: Absolutely. Airstreams are worth the value of money paid. The brand is known for manufacturing durable and stylish trailers or RVs.

Besides that, these airstreams have adequate interior space and offer higher performance while driving to the campsite. These factors make airstreams worth the money paid.

 

Q: Do Airstreams Have Bathrooms?

A: Absolutely. Most camping sites have no bathrooms. Airstreams come with bathrooms for better service delivery. But airstream basecamps are quite small and the limited space inhibits the installation of bathrooms.

 

Q: Are Airstreams Good in Cold Weather?

A: Airstream RVs have double aluminum frames that offer ultimate insulations. The materials can also withstand cold weather to make the user feel more comfortable.

But in extreme weather, you need to burn some propane to provide warmth in the camper. The insulation materials also prevent excess heat into the camper.

Victoria Miller

I'm the founder of NTT. I live in Miami, Florida, and enjoy learning everything there is to know about tiny spaces.