Airstream’s New Pottery Barn Trailer Rides The Wave Of RV Popularity

Jul 28, 2021

Airstream teamed up with Pottery Barn to create a premium travel trailer inspired by the Pacific Coast Highway and loaded with familiar collections from the home goods giant. Though it won’t come cheap, Airstream hopes the lavishly decorated trailer will attract Boomers nearing retirement.

Road travel has been in a growth mode for a very long time. RV ownership over the past two decades has increased more than 62%, according to a study conducted by the RV Industry Association (RVIA). The global pandemic also has transformed the way Americans travel, with personal transportation naturally providing a socially distanced experience. The ability to work remotely and attend school online also has highlighted the benefits of the road trip over other modes of leisure travel.

Sales of RVs also are up, supercharged by pandemic-induced longing to get out on the road. During the first half of 2021, RV shipments topped 300,267 units, an increase of over 70% compared with the same period in 2020, according to RVIA data. Travel trailers account for more than half of all sales, with shipments of 209,830, or an increase of 73.5%.

Business is “exploding” for the maker of the iconic silver bullet travel trailer, according to Bob Wheeler, Airstream’s President and CEO, citing a “huge uptick” of sales. Wheeler said industry sales are on track to hit 500,000 units in 2021, a figure more modest than the 575,000 already forecast by RVIA.

Timing seems spot-on for Airstream to launch a special edition, 28-foot trailer draped with high-end appointments by Pottery Barn meant to exude what both companies describe as “casual sophistication.” The Airstream x Pottery Barn Special Edition trailer also follows an earlier collaboration with Pottery Barn that includes furnishings such as bedding and kitchenware.

The trailer is based on the International 28RB, which comes in two layouts: a queen or twin beds in the rear bedroom. With the standard Airstream trappings (dedicated onboard kitchen and bathroom as well as sleeping and lounging areas), both layouts start at $115,300. The Pottery Barn Special Edition will cost $145,000.

Of the growing crop of RV travelers, 22% are Boomers, according to the RVIA. The largest slice are Millennials at 38% and Gen X at 31%. Though the average spent on a trailer was $75,000, Millennials shelled out an average of $82,000. So it might not be a stretch to project that the older, more established generation on the verge of retirement will be willing to pay $145,000 for an Airstream x Pottery Barn Special Edition trailer.

Read the rest of the article from The Press of Atlantic City here

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