I spent several years crewing on private yachts. I always appreciated the quality, design and sleek interiors of many motor yachts. So, much to my surprise and delight I learned that Airstream unveiled a new concept trailer at the National RV Trade Show this week in Louisville, KY called the Land Yacht. Inspired by luxury yachts and designed by Airstream in collaboration with Officinia Italiana Design and the maker of fine cabinetry, Technoform S.p.A ~ this new Airstream trailer will be a welcome improvement to the current high-end “Classic” model in current production. I can’t wait to see the new Land Yacht in person! Update: Airstream just added the Land Yacht Concept Trailer to their website. Click here to see more information and beautiful photos!
Never in a million years would I have guessed we would have visited Jackson Center, OH ~ the home of the iconic American travel trailer ~ Airstream, twice in 6 months. However, this visit was a bit different because we now own our very own piece of Americana. My first post about Jackson Center was all about the “Tour” and contains two great videos and more photos!
We arrived in Jackson Center late in the afternoon after a long drive from Maryland. The weather was crisp and cold and some of the mountain roads in Western Maryland were snow packed (Just another challenge for us “Newbies”!) but, the drive through Ohio was sunny and uneventful. Once again, I wanted to test my Newbie skills and try to back-up our Beatrice myself. Luckily for me (and for Hub’s) I nailed it after just one try, I was in. Now, I can’t brag too much because it was very easy conditions, no trailer on either side of us and no trees. But, it’s all really good practice! We parked at Airstream’s “Terraport” which is only $10.00 per night, full hookups and all RV’s are welcome. If you are having your Airstream serviced, like we were, the nightly fee is free. Best deal in town!
We were up and out at 7am because the tractor was ready to move Beatrice into her stall for installation of the roadside and back awnings. We were also having them check her out because she had just been through Hurricane Sandy. Our mechanic, Paul was sensational. He was very knowledgeable and patient with all of our questions! And thank you to Chris Burch, our Service Manager for assisting us prior to and during our visit. We appreciate everyone in the service department for their exceptional customer service. Photo below of Beatrice with her new back awning.
While you wait for you trailer to be serviced, the lobby is very welcoming. One has access to free WiFi and all the free coffee or hot chocolate that you can drink. And, there is the Wally Byam “store” where you can buy everything from stainless steel screws to flamingo baseball caps. Bring your credit card because you might not be able to resist all the Airstream paraphernalia.
The lobby is a comfy place to sit and wait for your servicing or for your 2pm Factory Tour. And the lovely ladies at the front desk are super helpful. It’s all about Airstreams here!!
When we visited the factory in July, I wrote a post about our tour and our amazing tour guide, Don Ambos. Well, Don was once again our tour guide and we enjoyed this tour even more because the factory was in production so we saw so much more. You see, when you tour the factory on a Friday, the factory is shut down. Some folks prefer Friday tours because you are shown areas that you can’t view when the factory is in production. I felt that we saw much more on this particular tour and learned more while the factory was in full swing. We saw how the window frames are made, side wall aluminum sheets are riveted, we saw a slew of Airstreams being made for Chinese and South Korean customers. It was fascinating.
Jackson Center, OH is a teeny tiny town in rural Ohio but, it’s worth a stop if you ever find yourself in the area. Good eats are The Spot in nearby Sidney, OH (thanks to Mali Mish for the recommendation) and The Inn Between Tavern in Botkins, OH just down the street from the factory for great fried chicken. But, be forewarned ~ there is little to no cell phone service in the entire town of Jackson Center! UGH!!
Photo source: Anna Sullivan Photography
The big day came and went! And what a day it was. I had been anxiously anticipating this day for months now! We arrived at Colonial Airstream in Lakewood, NJ late in the afternoon to meet our Beatrice for the first time. It was bone chilling cold but, our Airstream was warm and cozy as the staff at Colonial had her all prepared for us to spend the night. We emptied our SUV with “the pile” of stuff we brought to fill her up. After spending a week in our home kitchen to try to figure out exactly what we use and don’t use, we purchased items for our Airstream that will stay in Beatrice permanently. After moving in Hub’s made a yummy pasta dinner on our new stove top, we watched a little television and were as snug as a bug in a rug on our first night in our girl. This process made me realize we didn’t just purchase an Airstream, we purchased our second home. We are looking forward to taking our second home to as many states and national parks that we can muster!!
The staff at Colonial Airstream was extremely helpful, knowledgeable and made us “Newbie’s” feel right at home. Lauren and Pat Boticelli sold us the unit and were extremely patient with my non-stop emails with question after question. Au courant and insightful, both Lauren and Pat made the entire purchase process as smooth as silk even though this was a stressful decision and purchase for us (there is so much to learn about trailers, towing et al.). Kevin Amaro provided us exceptional service during our walk-thru which we appreciated greatly and Brian Hawtin assisted us with parts and went above and beyond to make sure we are satisfied customers. Colonial’s inventory is massive, they provide an amazing buying experience from start to finish. Plus, they have so many wonderful video’s on YouTube ~ everything from assisting you with picking out your favorite model to putting down your awnings.
At 3:30pm on the day of our walk-thru we decided it was time to hit the road. Hub’s handed over the keys to me and I just took the bull by the horn and drove out of the Colonial parking lot. You see, this was my first towing experience. Hub’s and I haven’t towed a thing in our lives. My maiden voyage included 4 toll booths, crossing 2 bridges including the Delaware Memorial Bridge, 5 hours (3 hours in the dark), 3 states and major rush hour traffic. After all the drama of our maiden voyage ~ we’re now hanging with the big boys in the big rigs! Honestly, I was terrified at first and about 2 hours into my voyage, I was just fine and enjoying the ride. So, the adventure begins. “See More, Live More, Do More”!!
Photo source: Anna Sullivan Photography
Well, it’s been a very long week! After 27 hours on the road in two days, we finally arrived in Maryland for a visit with family. Today, however, was the BIG day!! I am sitting in our Beatrice for the first time writing a post. Yippeee!! We’re finally here! After a three-hour drive to Colonial Airstream today, unpacking our car and trying to get all of our “stuff” organized, we’re pretty exhausted. After only being in our Airstream for less than 5 minutes, I had to call my friends Kelly and Steve to ask how to get the bed down after lifting up the platform (it wouldn’t go down). We both felt a little stupid but, Steve and Kelly helped us remedy the situation. Thank you dear friends! I’m sure there will be many more questions to ask the experienced Glampers! Hub’s is now lighting our oven for the first time and is going to pop open a bottle of vino and make us a spaghetti dinner. Phew ~ I’m feeling relieved after so much planning to get to this point. Below are pics of “The Pile”!
Tomorrow is our 9am walk-thru with a Colonial staff member. We’re really looking forward to this walk-thru because we have no clue about all the system or how to tow this 27′ baby! Here are a couple pics of the second we walked into Beatrice. She will evolve over the next couple weeks so more pics will be posted once I get her outfitted.