Do friends envy your freewheeling Airstream lifestyle? They can have a taste of it—and may fall in love enough to buy their own Airstream—when they take a journey with an Airstream 2 Go rental trailer.
The only factory-authorized source for rentals, Airstream 2 Go—launched in 2012 by Richard E. “Dicky” Riegel, former President & CEO of Airstream, Inc.—is the only agency appointed by The Mothership to represent the brand to the rental market.
The fleet consists solely of International Signature Airstreams: four 23-foot and 19 28-foot travel trailers. To date, many hundreds of Airstream 2 Go customers have taken advantage of this “quintessentially American” type of travel, said Riegel. “The Airstream travel trailer is not only the longest tenured brand in the RV industry, it is arguably the sole iconic brand.”
“The ‘road trip’ may or may not have been invented in America, but it has certainly been perfected here,” he said. “The Airstream 2 Go experience harkens to authentic road trips of yore. Travelers have the opportunity to experience not only the greatest American venues and outdoor activities, but to do so in distinctly Airstream style.”
Each International is hitched to a custom-matched to a Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ and comes fully loaded with “everything a vacation traveler needs,” said Mona Heath, General Manager. “It was so much fun to work together to establish the standard provisions for the fleet. We’re all campers and each had a strong perspective on what should be included in the trailers,” she said. Input from Rich Luhr, Publisher of Airstream Life magazine and an early partnership with Zappos.com “gave a solid baseline. Over the last few years, we’ve listened to our clients and incorporated the majority of their input to standard provisions.”
“We’re all very proud of this collaborative, comprehensive effort to deliver a five-star camping experience,” said Heath—an experience that includes fine cotton bamboo bath towels, Egyptian linens, Melitta drip coffeemaker for boondocking, and solar string lights for the awnings.
To ensure that users get the most out of their experience, Airstream 2 Go partners with the travel planners at Off The Beaten Path, who help coordinate a dream itinerary and then load it all into an iPad mini to bring along on the journey. (Experienced travelers who want to map their own trip can simply select the “Take It & Go” option.) “We provide all the travel planning help you want, or as little as you need,” said Heath.
Expect a premium-priced vacation—Airstream 2 Go rates start at $4,500 to $5,300 for a Take It & Go rental during the off-peak season, and the price climbs from there as your travel planning partners pile on the peak season fun between March 15 to September 30. “The sky is the limit” guided tours could include tidepooling, kayaking, slot-canyoneering, and more. Browse the sample itineraries (like the Big Sky Bonanza, California Adventure, Southwest Sojourn, and Texas Two-Step) at their website for ideas.
Customers often rent as a way to road test the Airstreamer lifestyle before investing in a new model. Airstream 2 Go offers a three-day, two-night rental at reduced rates for clients interested in purchasing, and Airstream, Inc. extends a $1000 rebate if they buy a new unit within six months of their rental.
Those of us who’ve been in a banana-wrap bender (or worse) may be thinking the same thing: how does this work? Imagine the potential for dents—and the liability. “You’re right,” said Heath. “Some of the trailers do come back dented. I myself just backed into a tree branch and dented the curbside end cap of my beloved little Bambi! But I’m confident that our vehicle set-up and prioritized communication before and during the orientation ensures our clients have a safe and enjoyable vacation. The best thing about towing an Airstream is they tow so easily you forget they’re there,” she said. “That’s a bit of a mixed blessing, and one we continue to emphasize.”
Client orientations—which take anywhere between ninety minutes to two hours—are based on driver “experience and comfort level,” said Heath. “The majority of the orientation is focused on safety when connecting and disconnecting the Airstream, and while towing and backing up.”
New this year is the implementation of a secure electronic communication process “that allows us to share rental agreements and, most importantly, our Things to Know Before You Go document,” (that emphasizes, along with other relevant information, a recommended maximum driving speed of 55mph—which is also the towing speed in California). Clients are prepped to arrive at their orientation confident, aware, and ready to roll. They even recommend that renters prearrange food deliveries to reduce the need for extended shopping delays before hitting the road.
For easy access to Western destinations, fleets are based in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Bozeman, where the company operates out of custom 28-foot International Signature office trailers. Opportunities further east, including Florida, are being considered as well.
For now, top client choices are consistently Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Zion, the California central coast up to Monterey, and Yosemite, “with quite a few preferring to spend part of their journey camping on dispersed or Bureau of Land Management property,” Heath reported. “Our Bozeman Manager just noted that they had 46 rentals leave their location in the last 54 days. Las Vegas and Los Angeles are also busy with client and commercial rentals.”
Corporate rentals are an important aspect of the Airstream 2 Go business model. They can apply a logo or partial to full-body graphic wrap for touring product launches, and the office trailers are available to serve as green rooms for private events (like Coachella and the Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas) and mobile pop-up retail shops.
Customers often choose an Airstream vacation to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary, “even a surprise vacation for a husband who always wanted to travel in an Airstream,” said Heath.
“My favorite was a darling ex-pat family from Singapore,” Heath recalled. “They spent a month traveling with us, beginning in Los Angeles and eventually ending their holiday in Las Vegas. Their two girls were enthralled with pink flamingos and we had a few sets on hand for clients to use. The girls named them ‘Dishwater’ and ‘Toothpaste’.”
– By RG Coleman