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RVs have become wildly popular ways for Americans to head outdoors without dealing with tents and sleeping on the ground. And the RV industry offers many options for people who want to vacation this way. One common camper brand is Airstream, famous for its iconic “silver bullet” travel trailers. However, 368 Airstream models with serious safety issues have prompted two recent recalls. Which models are affected, and what’s the problem?

The Airstream Interstate 19 is a small luxury RV

The 2021 Airstream Interstate 19 is an interesting RV because it doesn’t exactly look like an RV. That’s because this camper is built into the chassis of a Mercedes Benz Sprinter, with a small footprint that blends in on the highway. It’s a rear-wheel-drive vehicle with a diesel engine, and the interior includes a bathroom with a shower, seats that fold into beds, an awning, and a small kitchen area that even has its own microwave.

The design can also be customized, and it features the driving technology for which Mercedes-Benz is known. You can even add four-wheel drive if you choose, and you can convert the cockpit into an extra sleeping space. The Interstate 19 represents many remarkable technological developments between when Airstream began making campers and now.

These new models have serious safety issues

Unfortunately, the efforts to make a technologically advanced RV did not prevent some models from being released with defects that can endanger drivers and others on the road. Last month, the Detroit Free Press reported car recalls, including the 2020 and 2021 Airstream Interstate 19.

The first recall involves the radio system and affects 180 Interstate 19 units. Some of the wires are too small, greatly increasing the risk of a fire.

The second safety recall concerns 188 2020 and 2021 Airstream Interstate models. The weight limit label on these models might be incorrect, potentially leading users to overload the vehicle. This increases the risk of a crash.

Airstream is offering repairs free of charge


Never Do This While Driving Your RV

The recall officially began on June 20, so owners should have received or will soon receive notices from Airstream. If not, owners of 2020 or 2021 Airstream Interstate 19 models may contact the company at one of two phone numbers: 877-596-6505 (ext. 7401) or 937-596-6111 (ext. 7411). If an owner has an Interstate 19 with an incorrect weight limit label, the company will replace the label free of charge. And if the vehicle has the radio wire defect, the dealership will replace the vehicle’s circuit breaker, also free of charge.

It’s scary to think that any vehicle, especially one you use for leisure, could have a dangerous defect. Fortunately, however, dealerships can easily fix these errors for free. Anybody with a 2020 or 2021 Interstate 19 should check with the company to see if their vehicle needs one of these fixes. After all, road safety involves more than the driver and passengers — it’s about everyone else on the road.