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Airstream 2 Go is Airstream Glamping for Everyone

Kamil Kaluski September 7, 2017 All Things Hoon 13 Comments

Our family vacation was a modest one this year, nine days camping in northern Vermont. We stayed at a few places, all really nice cabins in the woods, away from everything. Everything except a general store, wifi, television, proper bathrooms, a swimming pool, a full kitchen, heat and air conditioning, laundry facilities, a grill, and comfy beds. You know, only the essentials of camping in the wilderness.

Despite our glamorous camping cabins being nicely stacked, we still had to bring a ton of crap. The trunk and the roof-top box were filled with things we may or may not need. And each time we moved I had to load and unload this crap. And those cabins were not exactly cheap, either. And those cabins had somewhat of fixed locations.

While I am not a camper/RV type person, I always had a thing for Airstream trailers. I just love the look of them, a timeless design that gets better each time you see it. Throughout our trip I kept pointing them out to my wife and kids. When I got back I read Jeff’s Airsteam article and it only fueled my interest in Airstream.

The issue that many Airstreams enthusiasts are facing is that Airstream trailers are extremely expensive. The Airstream Classic that Jeff reviewed was over $140,000. Even used ones are pricey compared to typical campers, many of which are equally as nice and functional inside, if not more. Airstream ownership is therefore out of the question for many people.

Airstream saw this problem and the opportunity to fix it. And that’s how Airstream 2 Go came to be. It’s basically Airstream rentals but it’s also a lot more than that. The issue is that Airstream trailers can’t move under their own power like an RV one would typically rent because they’re trailers and trailers don’t drive by themselves. Therefore, Airstream will rent you their current 28-foot International Signature model, along with a really nice Chevy Tahoe LTZ tow vehicle.

For many reasons Airstream won’t let you tow with your own vehicle but those full-size GM SUVs are damn nice road trip vehicles. Due to their size they have one of the highest tow ratings of their class. They are also available with a trailer brake controller, trailer sway control (via the stability control), and air suspension – all very helpful when towing. All Airstreams are a custom specification with dual batteries, extra insulation, power awnings, BBQ grills, camp chairs and table, bedding and linens, and fully-equipped and accessorized kitchens.

Since most renters do not have towing experience before renting this SUV and camper combo, Airstream says that they will provide details on how to use their trailers and how to properly drive when towing. They’ll even give you lessons on backing up with a trailer, a task that is somewhat difficult to master. Travelers are required to provide proof of insurance that their personal/auto policy provides coverage for both the tow vehicle and the Airstream. If their policy does not provide that coverage, a third party insurance provider is available.

Airstream 2 Go is available in four locations: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Montana, and Rhode Island. Airstream also planned out several itineraries but renters can just go off on their own if they want. Minimum rental is for five days and the vehicles must be returned to the same spot.

The price, well it isn’t cheap. But when you consider that the package consists of a premium rental vehicle, a $90,000 Airstream, which serves as a really nice hotel room that you can take anywhere, it really isn’t that ridiculous. Unlike in many galmping cabins, bed sheets and towels are included, along with many things one would expect in a hotel room. It’s up to you to make your own bed, however.

 

  • P161911

    Or you could just go to Air BNB and rent one already set up in the area you want to go camping (assuming you don’t have to be in the absolute middle of nowhere) for about 1/5th the price!

    • And skip over re-packing the car twice, the logistics is stunning:
      1. pack your own car
      2. drive to the rental spot
      3. move everything into the Towhoe
      4. go someplace
      5. repeat 2.
      6. repeat 1.
      7. drive home.

      Alternatively:
      2., 7., 3., 4., 7., then
      8. unpack at home, and
      2. (deliver the tractor/trailer), 7.

  • “For many reasons Airstream won’t let you tow with your own vehicle…”

    No, in my case I suspect there’s really only one reason.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c97f0e74a1e7005fe542d6023dc6c729011c5a66415651d1b8a4f5c493b0bbdc.jpg

    • No need in towing your own vehicle, either of them would fit onto the Tahoe’s roof.

    • Rudy™

      So I guess towing an Airstream with a ’69 Beetle is out of the question, eh?

  • GTXcellent

    clicked on the rate link – all I can say is wow.

    • P161911

      For the nearly $15k peak time price of the 14 day rental, I’m pretty sure that I could buy a used Tahoe and a used camper.

    • Sjalabais

      It’s not called “glamping” for the giggles.

  • Let’s say a Tahoe is 70k, so we’re facing ~150k investment for them (I doubt they own the Tahoe, but for this scenario). at 5k/week the investment is back, nominally, after 30 weeks. Given they don’t rent out much in winter, and don’t have super high maintenance cost, they should be making money in the second year.
    Throw in Tahoe leasing and the fact they don’t pay retail price for the trailer, this could work if they actually manage to rent out their vehicles.

  • Rudy™

    I went on a long-overdue trip Out West™ about a month ago, taking my daughter who had never been on a long road trip prior to this. (Beyond going to Disneyworld, Chicago, Cedar Point in Ohio, etc..) We made a loop through SD, WY, UT, NV (Vegas, baby!), AZ, NM and CO. We visited seven national parks and a national monument. I was last out in CO back in 2006.

    What really struck me on this trip, especially at the national parks, was how many rental RVs were out there. I would say half or more (many more) of the RVs I saw all had rental company names on them. I have no idea what they cost, but at least having rentals allows travelers to take part in the RV experience without all of the costs associated with them. Monthly payments, insurance, maintenance, repairs, winter storage, plus not using the RV for several months out of the year…it all adds up. So even with owning an Airstream outright, there are all of these additional costs to contend with. Rentals might seem pricey but given the initial outlay and ongoing expenses, rental rates start to look a whole heck of a lot better.

    • P161911

      For comparison sake I checked the CruiseAmerica website (they seem to be the big name in RV rental). One week in a “standard” RV that sleeps 5, with 700 miles, kitchen kits, linens, etc.,for 4 people is $1455.20 plus a $500 deposit. 7 days in peak time for the Airstream is $7490. I really don’t see where the Airstream is worth the nearly $6,000 premium.

  • boxdin

    Ibought my Chinook for a third of what they want. Yes it needed some work but that’s the fun of it. Glampers need glamping otherwise they would be in the Marriot. Yes lots of rvs out here in NM and there are still plenty of places to go on federal lands. Boondocking as it were, but wild animals are everywhere so bring your pistol. I thank our new admin for giving us some of our lands back.

  • boxdin