Airstream, the luxury trailer brand that continuously releases sleek, modern and streamlined designs. The brand may not make the lightest trailers of all time, but with the number of luxury amenities and comfort it provides, keeping it under 3,000 pounds is considered impressive.
Airstream isn’t synonymous with low prices, but the quality really does make a difference. Will Airstream uncharacteristically sacrifice comfort or quality for the sake of being lightweight? Let’s find out.
The Lightest Airstream Trailer:
The title of the lightest Airstream trailer goes to – the Airstream Basecamp. Coming in at 2,600 pounds, the Basecamp is Airstream’s lightest design. Another model, the Nest, may come to mind for some of our readers, and while that unit is a little lighter than the Basecamp, we’re sorry to inform you that it is no longer in production.
It’s called the Basecamp for a reason. The lightweight Airstream trailer is perfect for setting up your base camp and includes all the amenities that take glamping up a notch.
You will find a small kitchenette where you can showcase your culinary skills on the road, a bathroom complete with a shower and toilet, sleeping quarters and a cargo area. A part of why the Airstream Basecamp is so light is the size. It’s not the largest, with 2 floor plans that measure either 16 or 20 feet in length.
Even with the smaller footprint, the Basecamp can successfully sleep a family or group of 2 to 4.
What about the construction? The Airstream Basecamp is crafted from aluminum, which is a lightweight yet durable metal. The aerodynamic shape helps to increase fuel efficiency, which saves you some money.
If the Airstream Basecamp is a little bit tight, you can expand the living space with the tent attachment that instantly makes everything roomier.
Why Does Travel Trailer Weight Matter?
The weight of your travel trailer matters for a few reasons. If your vehicle does not have a large towing capacity, then you’d want to go for a lightweight model. It’s also useful to know that lightweight trailers can be cheaper. Lightweight trailers are typically smaller, which means they don’t be packed as full of features as full-sized options. So aside from gas mileage, you’re also saving money on the initial cost.
It may seem like lightweight trailers are flimsier in comparison, but it’s not always true. Sure, they can be made of cheaper materials that contribute to the lighter weight, but if you find the right one, like the Airstream Basecamp, then it won’t be the case.
Lightweight trailers may also pose some disadvantages – if you pick one of poorer quality. The thinner shell may make for poorer insulation, which means you’ll be hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
As we stated, lightweight trailers could be crafted from poor quality materials, so we stress again to avoid this by checking what the trailer is constructed from.
Another con to lightweight trailers is they are generally more susceptible to external conditions. By external conditions, we mean terrain and weather. It’s inevitable that a lighter trailer will get jostled around on uneven roads while heavier ones will remain stable. This fact alone can be the difference between a comfortable ride and motion sickness.
Weights of the Other Airstream Trailer Models
Airstream does trailers well, and even their most lightweight option, the Basecamp, is still relatively balanced and durable. It is a bit small, so we have compiled some other options for you that offer a larger living space and more or full-sized amenities.
Weight: 2900 lbs
As you can clearly see, the size of the trailer is a great contributor to the weight. The Bambi offers a much roomier living space within compared to the Basecamp. It also offers more floor plans that can still be as compact as the Basecamp at 16 feet to a larger 22 feet in exterior length.
The Bambi has room for a dinette and a bed for two with heating and air conditioning at the ready for you to battle unplanned climate changes, all the while being lightweight.
You can also customize your interiors and build on the neutral design Airstream provides.
Weight: 3200 lbs
The next option is the Caravel, which has the same panoramic windows as all other Airstream trailers to give you access to the outside world with a pull of the curtains. There is enough space for a small kitchenette with a mini fridge, stovetop and microwave.
There is also enough room for a seating area, double bed, and a TV! The largest floor plan also goes up to 22 feet in exterior length, which is enough to house a full bathroom! One of our favorite features about the Caravel is the solar panels on the roof to power you off-grid.
Airstream Flying Cloud
Weight: 4806 lbs
We get to a larger profile with the Airstream Flying Cloud, which we feel is very aptly named. The Flying Cloud is significantly larger than the previous two with quite a few floor plans from the smallest measuring around 23 feet in exterior length to the largest 30 feet.
The unit is climate-controlled with leather seating for the peak of luxury. The design is also built upon a neutral palette that is easy for you to mix and match. You see the same smaller kitchen as you would in the previous two models, but the seating area is quite a bit bigger and it can convert to a sleeping area if needed. There is even room for an office space!
As far as lightweight trailers go from the innovative Airstream brand, the Basecamp is our number 1 recommendation and their lightest option. We understand that some people may need more room, which is why we have also included the next-in-line models for lighter-weight trailers.
A lightweight trailer may not be for everyone, but it sure is a great choice for people who are looking to save a bit on cost, do not need a big living space, or are looking for compact options.
(featured image: airstream.com)