The Iconic Silver Bullet: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Airstream RV Brand
The silver aluminum recreational vehicle is an American icon, a throwback to days when families would pour into a trailer and drive across the country on a Chevy Chase-style vacation. The distinctly American Airstream RV is still every bit as stylish and iconic as it was in it’s heyday. Here are ten things you may not have known about the Airstream Silver Bullet:
Wally Byam, the creator of the Airstream, credits the inspiration for his design due to the fact that his wife hated camping. She did not want to sleep outside or vacation without a kitchen, leading to the creation of a mobile recreational vehicle.
The Airstream company has trademarked its distinct silver shape, which was originally designed by William Hawley Bowlus, who also happens to be the man who helped Charles Lindburgh design the Spirit of St. Louis.
3. Exceptionally Light
During the 1940’s, Airstream advertised photographs of a man riding a bicycle pulling an Airstream to prove how light they were.
Between 1986 and 1991, Airstream commissioned the production of a square Airstream which was a financial failure. RV enthusiasts have come to compare this debacle to Coca Cola’s introduction of New Coke.
5. Colored Airstreams
During the 1950s, owner Wally Byam considered introducing a line of colored Airstreams to compete with the new schemes of cars. He began working on a gold Airstream but quickly abandoned the idea.
NASA commissioned the use of Airstreams to transport and quarantine astronauts returning from the moon during Apollo 11. President Nixon conducted his interview with the astronauts while they were located in their Airstream.
7. Airstream Ranch
Inspired by the famous Cadillac Ranch, an artist buried eight Airstreams nose-first in the ground in Dover, Florida. Although local businesses were upset that it was a visual distraction, a petition of over ten thousand signatures led a judge to declare it not a nuisance, and the exhibit remains intact today.
8. Military Use
The United States Air Force utilizes a collection of Airstreams to house VIPs. In addition to that, they have revamped a unit of Airstreams into mobile communication centers.
9. Magazine Plans
Originally Wally Byam sold plans in Popular Mechanics that instructed users how to build a trailer in the backyard. The oldest Airstream trailer that is still in existence today was built using these plans.
10. Airstream Hotels
There are Airsteam hotels that use Airstreams as hotel rooms in both South Africa and France. The French BelRepayre Airstream and Retro Trailer Park also includes a bar made out of an Airstreamed called the Apollo Lounge.