New year; new adventures in an American icon

For one family in North Yorkshire, the dream of owning a design classic from the golden age of American travel has come true.

They have just become the first customers to take delivery of a brand new Airstream Yukon from Leisure World Catterick, and are now looking forward to great adventures in 2018 in the iconic American travel trailer.

Since the brand was first launched in the 1930s, Airstream has become synonymous with striking style, unparalleled luxury and top quality engineering and craftsmanship. For many, the trailers symbolise the adventure of life on the open road.

Three new UK models were launched in October 2017 and Leisure World Group is just one of six dealers in the country which has been appointed to sell them.

Jak Bailes, from Leisure World Catterick who sold the Airstream Yukon, says that the customer was attracted by the individuality of owning an airstream. “Because each one is handmade, every Airstream is individual. They are like snowflakes – not one is the same.”

To fully appreciate them, he explains, you have to understand how they are made. “A traditional caravan will take somewhere in the region of 40 man hours to build. An Airstream takes more than 400 man hours.”

Each one can have up to 3000 of the trademark rivets, each one fitted and secured by hand. Every Airstream is water-tested during production with more than 10,000 gallons of water sprayed onto each vehicle. In the unlikely event of a leak being found it is immediately re-adjusted and repaired before the hand-built interior is fitted.

Neil Farwell, sales manager at Leisure World Catterick, says that since the Airstreams have arrived on the forecourt they have generated a huge amount of interest, with everyone talking about them. “They are truly iconic,” he says, “and very different to your usual caravan.” He adds that their head-turning good looks make them stand out wherever you take them.

The level of design and engineering quality comes at a price, the Missouri starts at £78,000. But, notes Neil, they also have the best resale price of anything on the market. Not, he adds, that you’ll find many second hand models for sale, “The people that buy them intend to keep them and pass them down the family. They become heirlooms.”

And with good reason; that striking aluminium shell combined with the fact that each model is painstakingly handmade makes them extremely robust and durable. It’s said that up to 70% of all Airstreams ever produced are still on the road.

And they keep their good looks too. “Whereas in 20 years, a modern caravan will look dated, an Airstream will still have that stunning and timeless look,” concludes Neil.

Each Airstream is built to order in the company’s American production facility in Ohio, before being shipped to Swift’s factory near Hull to be finished to UK specification. That is also where any optional extras such as the 120W solar panel, satellite dish or air conditioning are added. From order to delivery it usually takes about three months.

To find out more about the three Airstream models available in the UK; the Missouri, Yukon and Colorado, please contact Leisure World Catterick on 01748 818391.

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