The luxury of traveling the country with a travel trailer in tow allows many people to realize their dreams of seeing the country in ways that staying in a hotel won't allow. While there are many reputable brands on the market today, many consumers favor Airstream for this purpose.
If you are considering an Airstream and are curious about how much one might cost, we can help you. We researched the Airstream brand from multiple professional sources so that you will have a great idea of how much you'll be expecting to pay.
The price of an Airstream will vary depending on the model and the age. For a new Airstream, the price range is between $43,900 to upwards of $179,000. Used models from the past 20 years begin at around $25,000.
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Now that we have a price range for both new and used Airstreams, we'll take a closer look at each current model as well as a price range for good used ones. You might also be wondering how long an Airstream will last or why these travel trailers are so expensive. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has uncovered.
Prices for Airstreams by model
The Airstream Classic starts at $179,000 for a new model and can be had for well under $50,000 for quality used models, though many are priced between $80,000 and $100,000. The primary reasons for such a wide range of prices in the used market are the age of the Airstream, the onboard amenities, and the length. The Classic will sleep five and is one of the more spacious models of a travel trailer on the market.
Airstream Pottery Barn
This model Airstream has a starting price of $157,700 for new models. As this special edition collaboration with Pottery Barn was released in 2022, there aren't any used models on the market. This model sleeps five and has two distinct floor plans to choose from.
The Globetrotter starts at $120,900 for a new model. In the used market, there are many available that span decades. You should be able to find a used Globetrotter from the 1960s for less than $35,000. The Globetrotter was discontinued after 1969 but re-released in 2018. Getting a used Globetrotter from the past several years averages $100,000.
A brand new International model will start at $103,900. The International has existed since 1958, and there are still some used ones available from that era. This model underwent several redesigns over the years, which has impacted the prices in the used travel trailer market. Getting one from the 1970s for less than $20,000 is possible, but expect to pay more than $60,000 for any from the 1980s.
Internationals less than ten years old have held their value well, averaging $85,000.
Airstream Flying Cloud
The Flying Cloud offers 13 different floor plans, more than any other Airstream model. The starting price for a new model is $89,900. Models in the used market from the last ten years average $50,000. There are some available from the 1950s, which was the first decade of their production.
These older models have held their value well, with a 1958 Flying Cloud we found for $31,500.
This smaller model Airstream sleeps four and has four-floor plans. New ones start at $70,500.
Used Caravels from the 1960s are less than $20,000, while the re-released models from the past few years are an average of $65,000.
The second smallest Airstream has a new starting price of $56,500. Finding older models from the 1960s can be difficult, but they average $25,000. Like many model Airstreams, they were discontinued but later re-released in the early 2010s. Getting a used Bambi from the last decade will run an average of $40,000.
Why are Airstreams so expensive?
Airstream has manufactured quality RVs and travel trailers for decades. As other companies produce these items and offer them for sale at lower prices, some are left wondering why Airstreams are a bit more expensive. There are several reasons why you might consider paying more for one of their models.
Airstreams are constructed on steel frames, then double wrapped with an aluminum body. The exterior shell is constructed and installed, then is insulated from the inside. Finally, the second layer of aluminum is applied to the interior, sandwiching the insulation between them.
The rivets are all done by hand. This maintains the integrity of the construction and ensures that the body is sealed correctly. Of course, doing this by hand increases the amount of labor, which drives up the cost.
These pull-behinds are aerodynamically designed to get less drag while being pulled. This means better fuel economy. Being a bit lighter weight with the aluminum body also helps in this area.
From the wood for the subfloors to the onboard appliances to the windows, every interior component is from reputable companies. The high quality of all of the parts and add-ons for an Airstream comes at a premium price, but as they add sustainability and comfort for the user, many consumers feel that it is worth the extra cost.
You've probably seen more than a few older model Airstreams at RV parks or campgrounds. If you stay at these places often, you might have even seen some dating back to the 1960s or 1970s. The durability of these travel trailers is second to none, and many owners find that they can use theirs for decades.
You might be surprised to know that more than 75% of Airstreams ever manufactured are still in use today.
Are Airstream campers worth the money?
As we pointed out above, Airstreams are noticeably more expensive than other brands of travel trailers. Whether or not the Airstream is worth the additional cost is a personal preference. But keep the following in mind if you are unsure.
You will be hard-pressed to find a travel trailer that is better designed or better built than an Airstream. Quality parts and craftsmanship come at a premium price because these attributes make the product more sound.
If you are the type of person that will get a lot of use out of a travel trailer, recall how we pointed out that more than 75% of Airstreams are still in use today. You'll pay more for their products, but even with a lot of use, you'll find that over time the amount of money spent can be stretched over decades. Airstreams also hold their value for travel trailers in the used market, making it possible to recoup a good portion of your initial recreational investment.
Does the Airstream get hot in the summer?
With an aluminum shell, you can imagine how warm the interior of an Airstream might get in the summer heat. But there are ways to avoid being baked inside of one of them. Of course, these well-insulated travel trailers do have high-quality air conditioners installed. But there are other actions you can take to keep it cool.
If you can, park on the grass or a gravel patch at the campgrounds. Parking on pavement or asphalt will transfer the heat from the parking spot to your aluminum frame. If you're able, try to park in the shade so you can avoid direct sunlight.
Finally, avoid using the oven on the hottest days. Following these tips in conjunction with using your air conditioner will keep your Airstream comfortable even in the most intense summer heat.
Can you live in an Airstream in the winter?
The aluminum shell of the Airstream has high-quality insulation sandwiched in between the two layers. But you'll find that this might not be enough to live in one of these travel trailers if the temperatures drop well below freezing. Some owners have blown in additional insulation, helping to keep the heat in and the cold out.
As long as you are using the heater, you won't freeze and will stay comfortable in most cold climates. But you want to make sure that all of your water pipes and lines are well-protected. Frozen pipes can cost you thousands of dollars, mainly from the water's damage to your Airstream.
Be sure your pipes are well insulated, above and beyond how the manufacturer has insulated them, should you be staying out overnight in extremely cold temperatures. And if you are storing your Airstream for the winter and won't have the interior heated, read your owner's manual on preparing your travel trailer for winter. Draining water holding tanks, pouring anti-freeze down drains, and other steps need to be taken to winterize your Airstream fully.
How long will an Airstream last?
As we pointed out earlier in this post, more than 75% of Airstreams ever manufactured are still in use today. The quality craftsmanship and high-grade materials ensure that this travel trailer can even outlast some people's retirements.
Camper Report estimates that the Airstream you are considering will last 40 years or longer. Of course, you'll need to make sure that it is properly maintained and stored by the manufacturer's guidelines when not in use.
The Airstream brand has been an iconic travel trailer since before WWII. The high-quality materials and craftsmanship add to the overall cost of their products and ensure that they have the potential to last more than 40 years. Properly maintaining and storing your Airstream will help you one day have a classic model that is still perfectly useable. Travel safe!
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