Vintage RV

Vintage RV—1970’s (?) Airstream travel trailer

These distinctive, shiny silver classic trailers have a dedicated, almost cult-like following.

Picture of shiny silver Airstream trailer.
This shiny silver beauty was spotted for sale in front of a local used RV dealership. — Photo courtesy Keith Powell

There’s a little RV campground/used RV dealer in the tiny hamlet of Canal Flats, B.C. – situated in the Columbia Valley, just south of Invermere and Fairmont Hot Springs.

I recently spied several vintage Airstream trailers parked out front at this lot, ready to be sold. So for the next two postings we’ll be featuring these two units. The first of the two looked a little bit more “well-used.” However, it also looked like it was ready for refurbishing and would still give some camper many years of service.

What can you say about vintage Airstream trailers that hasn’t already been said? These distinctive, shiny silver, classic trailers have a dedicated, almost cult-like following. This holds true whether we are talking about a brand new Airstream or a vintage model, like the one we see here.

According to the company’s website, “In 1929, Wally Byam built the world’s first Airstream trailer. It started out as a tent contraption that he built on a Model T chassis, but it wasn’t a lot of fun in the rain (and Wally’s first wife Marion wasn’t a fan). So he replaced the tent with a teardrop-shaped permanent shelter – and added a stove and ice chest, too. It was easy to tow and caught the eye of other travelers, so much so that enough people asked Wally about it for him to decide it might be “a pretty good business to get into.”

Airstream also hosts one of the world’s biggest RV clubs, named after its founder Wally Byam. Here’s what their website states about the club:

“In 2005, the Wally Byam Caravan Club International celebrated its 50th anniversary. From the first Central American caravan Wally led to his adventures across Europe with Neil Vanderbilt, from tours of the United States to trips to Africa and China, the WBCCI has spent half a century helping Airstreamers meet each other, form lasting bonds and memories, and travel the world safely and enjoyably.”

Do you have a vintage Airstream story and/or photos?  Share them with us at RVwest at [email protected]


Related Articles

The two sons of Kustom Koach founder Carl Carstensen standing in front of trailer.
Vintage RV

Vintage RV: Meet the sons of Kustom Koach Founder, Carl Carstensen

RVwest reader Eric Hicks owns a 1965 K Koach and met the sons of Kustom Koach founder, Carl Carstensen.

A vintage Li'l Loafer trailer.
Vintage RV

Vintage RV: The Lil Loafer – “You’re Following an Aristocrat”

The little trailers are often remembered for their distinctive design and style – and, of course, many sported the slogan, “You're following an Aristocrat” on the back bumper.