I was never a big fan of comedian George Carlin, but he had a funny bit about vacations. He was amazed that folks would wait all year long for a vacation to "get away from it all" — only to pack up "all of it" and take it with them.
There is no more luxurious and sophisticated way to do that than in an Airstream. According to the company's own facts and figures, 2012 was a big sales year for the 81-year-old RV trailer manufacturer. LAst year saw sales pick up 16% — even in a lousy economy in which disposable income is supposed to be rare.
Obviously, there's still a steady demand for vehicles that allow owners to take their creature comforts with them into the wilderness.
Even if you're not enough of an enthusiast to know one RV trailer from another, you've seen an Airstream. They're the classic "silver bullet" trailers with the simple gleaming, throwback design. The manufacturer looks to provide campers for luxury buyers (like its Eddie Bauer line) and the popular Class B Interstate model. Regardless, prices can range between $80,000 to well north of $100,000.
To offer a first hand perspective on what a top of the line Aistream looks like from the inside out, we had a chance to visit Airstream Los Angeles in San Gabriel, Calif. for a tour of an Eddie Bauer Edition.
There's a reason why Airstreams are often described as the Rolls-Royces of RVs as they are designed to offer all the comforts of home – whether in trailer or self-powered models. From the kitchen to shower to toilet, all of the fixtures of a small apartment are securely in place.
The kitchen and dining areas are fully equiped with adjustable, transformable furntiture that can be tucked away during transit or when room for more people is required.
The bed and other furniture throughout the trailer may not be as luxurious as a major hotel, but it's sturdy and comfortable — even for someone with a 6'3", 250 lb. frame like me.
The Eddie Bauer edition takes the already upscale features of an Airstream and adds the rugged requirements for a weekend in the wild. While any Airstream will take care of to envy of all at a campground, the big Bauer version transforms itself into your house in the woods — complete with a fold-out rear hatch that can become your picnic deck.
If the camping ground breaks down into the "roughing it," tent/sleeping bag on the ground club and the caravan/camper clique, the Eddie Bauer Airstream unabashedly nods to the latter. With its complete suite of appliances and creatures comforts, it's for those with enough money to look at nature without necessarily looking to roll around in it.