Nothing brings a family together quite like a road trip and a pickup truck. Trucks haul toys to the beach, gear to the mountains, and stuff to the desert. They can be used to help relatives move or even for an elegant night on the town. Although cars can get you from place to place, trucks help make memories. And that's exactly what we set out to do when the folks from Airstream called and asked if we'd like to use one of their trailers, which was too big for even most SUVs to tow, for a weekend getaway. As fast as we could say yes, we fueled up the truck, loaded up the family, and headed off on another adventure.
The Airstream trailer that we took on our adventure was a Classic model. Now, we know what you're thinking: Classic doesn't sound like the upscale vision of Airstream that we all have these days, instead this should be the lower end of the lineup. Alas, that opposite is true. The Airstream Classic model line is the top of the iconic trailer manufacturer's offering. The 2020 Airstream lineup goes Basecamp, Nest, Bambi, Caravel, Flying Cloud, International Serenity, Globetrotter, and finally Classic.
For our adventure, we would be taking a 30-foot Classic from the confines of urban Los Angeles north for some fresh air along California's costal wine country. To tow the Airstream Classic, we opted to use a 2019 Ram 1500 fitted with the company's four-corner air suspension and 5.7L Hemi V-8 engine. With 3.92:1 rear axle gears, this truck was rated to tow more than 11,000 pounds. This was fitting, as the 30-foot Classic weighed in at just under 8,000 pounds dry. We figure after adding water and gear ,we were towing closer to 9,000 pounds—still well under the truck's limit.
We'd had experience with Airstream in the past, having taken a Flying Cloud to Sequoia National Park, but nothing could have prepared us for what the Classic had to offer. We'll get the hard part out of the way first: The Airstream Classic that we used in 30-foot configuration carries a price tag of $156,400. From talking to Airstream owners at the campground, we figure you can negotiate a little off that price, but not much.
When it comes to the Classic, nearly everything is standard. Looking through the build sheet, there are very few options. Aside from the obvious—the hand-crafted aluminum exterior—the chassis is also constructed from aluminum for light weight and durability. The trailer's bearings are lubed for life, and the brakes never need adjusting. Combined with the torsion-sprung axles, this makes the Airstream Classic not only a joy to tow but also to own.
Moving inside, everything we found in the Classic was high-quality. The seating surfaces were soft and comfortable, and the queen size bed, specially made for Airstream by Tuft and Needle, was amazing. The 9-cubic-foot refrigerator was larger than most home units—OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but still, it felt huge)—and combination microwave/convection oven/air fryer proved to be quite the conversation piece. We loved that all the lighting was LED and dimmable.
Despite being confined to a defined space with no available slide-outs—Airstream doesn't offer slide-outs for obvious reasons—the Classic never felt small or cramped. Sure, the cheaper trailers next to us had multiple slide-outs, but honestly, we never missed them. We found the bathroom to be plenty spacious for the deeds that needed doing, and full disclosure, we didn't use the shower.
We found the kitchen to be more than adequate, with all the comforts of home and then some. The combination microwave/convection oven/air fryer was the talk of the campground, and the stainless-steel oven and cooktop were nicer than ours at home. And the fridge was large enough to hold food for a family for probably a week or more, depending on how many beverages need to be kept frosty.
All of the comfort and convenience aside, the technology is what really blew us away. It was love at first sight as we worked our way through the large color touchscreen. From it, we could control every aspect of the Airstream Classic, from dimming the lights to turning on fans. It controlled the air conditioning and heat, extended the awning, and even turned on the power inverter. We could also monitor tank levels, propane gas levels, and how the batteries were doing. If so equipped, you could also check the status of the trailer's tires through its tire pressure monitoring system. Next to the main screen was a second screen, which controlled the water heater, and a third screen that controlled the audio system.
Over the course of our four days—and three nights)—with the Airstream Classic, we had the most wonderful time camping and making memories. The trailer attracted all sorts of attention from folks at the campground and on the highway, and our 2019 Ram 1500 towed the extra long trailer with ease. At the end of the day, we're thankful for having a truck in our life, as it makes heading out on adventures like these a breeze.