Apparently, Airstream enthusiasts seeking both the vintage experience and comfort like to have two trailers: a cute, old one and a new, spacious one. This is called having a “Spare-stream”.
In Las Vegas, we got to do just that.
The city’s KOA offers two 25-foot 2009 Airstream Flying Clouds for rent, starting at $99 per night. They provide linens and full hook-up, and give a short intro to trailers for guests. So, it’s just like a hotel, on The Strip’s only campground. Part of the Circus Circus complex, it does offer a pool, slot machines and as much drinking in public as you like.
Desperate to know what life in a modern Airstream was like, we booked one.
Stepping in, Daniel exclaimed “We’ve just traveled four decades into the future!”
Jaws to the floor, we admired the trailer’s two flat screen TVs, microwave, built-in water filter, huge fridge/freezer, touch-of-a-button air con/heating system, separate shower and toilet rooms, spot lighting and copious storage.
And the space - that was the best part! A full foot wider than our little Caravel, this baby also had a separate bedroom with Queen-sized bed, with an accordion door. Luxury.
We celebrated Space with cocktails (margaritas for the adults, apple juice for Sophia and water for Lulu). Instead of speaking to each other, we all settled down to our own entertainment: news on the living room TV for Barbara, ‘Cats and Dogs’ DVD on the bedroom TV for Sophia (Daniel went back and forth), internet for me at the dinette and loads of crawl space for Lulu up and down the super-wide corridor.
Pizza for dinner, bedtime for the girls – who we were able to put in the bedroom until we went to bed – and then PBS (‘Antique Roadshow America’, for the adults.
Claire – On maternity leave from career as editor of monthly finance trade magazines, and occasionally a freelance translator. Half-American/half-English, raised in the suburbs of New York, has lived in London for almost nine years.
Daniel – Furniture designer/maker based on London’s Columbia Road flower market, for ten years, also an aspiring painter and DIY supremo. On one-year career break to reconsider options. English by birth, but mother is half-American and spent part of her childhood in Bronxville, New York.
Sophia – 3.5-year old spitfire who loves school, singing, swimming and being a big sister
Lulu – Born May 8 of this year, a model baby who eats, sleeps and gurgles.
Special guests – American, British and international friends and family who drop in along our trip to see whatever part of the country they fancy. They’re welcome to travel in the car with us and sleep in an adjoining tent.