Marine & RVs

The Most Common Airstream Complaints You Should Know Before Buying

If you’re buying an RV, choosing an Airstream can seem like a smart choice. After all, Airstream trailers are iconic. Which means that they must have something going for them, right? Of course, they definitely do. But that’s not to say there aren’t some downsides to owning an Airstream. With that in mind, let’s talk about the most common Airstream complaints that you should know about before buying one of these iconic aluminum trailers for yourself. 

An Airstream trailer parked at a campground
An Airstream trailer parked at a campground. | Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Buying an Airstream can be a needlessly expensive endeavor

First, let’s talk about the most common Airstream complaint. This one shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, either. It’s pretty well-known that buying an Airstream isn’t cheap. The most inexpensive travel trailer that Airstream offers is the Basecamp, which will run you just under $40,000. And the worst part? It’s not even that spacious. It sleeps up to four people, and that’s pretty much it.

For a more realistically sized travel trailer? You’re going to have to upgrade to the Airstream Bambi, which will have you spending a minimum of $51,000. That’s not even the most expensive Airstream, either. That honor goes to the Airstream Classic, which costs a whopping $161,900. So, yeah, high price tags are easily the most common Airstream complaint.

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Airstreams are made entirely out of metal, and that’s kind of a problem

Airstreams look pretty cool. And, for the most part, that look can be attributed to its metal exterior. But that aluminum exterior has resulted in some of the most common Airstream complaints. According to Go Downsize, Airstream trailers are susceptible to corrosion. Those aluminum walls can be dented too. And to keep an Airstream’s exterior looking fresh and new? Well, that’s going to take a significant amount of polishing, Go Downsize Reports. 

Challenging repairs make for another common Airstream complaint. According to Go Downsize, that has a lot to do with Airstream using different aluminum thicknesses on different model years of its travel trailers. That means, in order to buy the aluminum needed to replace panels and make any necessary repairs, you’ll have to find out precisely what aluminum thickness was used on your Airstream. 

Airstream Trailer at car wash being cleaned in Moab, Utah
Airstream Trailer at car wash being cleaned in Moab, Utah. | Joe Sohm/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

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Don’t expect a ton of space for sleeping or storage when buying an Airstream

Airstreams are pretty narrow. Because of this, Drivin’ & Vibin’ reports that you won’t be able to sleep quite as many people than if you’d chosen a larger fifth-wheel trailer or a bigger RV. And while some Airstreams do offer bunk beds as an option, snug sleeping quarters are a common Airstream complaint.

Don’t expect a ton of exterior storage, either. As Drivin’ & Vibin’ explains, “Most Airstreams only offer exterior doors that allow you to access hard to reach places such as the back of the refrigerator or the external knobs for the water heater.” Basically, if you need extra storage, you’ll have plenty to complain about if you choose an Airstream.

An Airstream parked at a campground.
An Airstream parked at a campground. | Airstream

RELATED: What Makes an Airstream a Classic?

Is buying an Airstream worth the cash?

While there are a handful of common Airstream complaints, these trailers are made to last. According to Camper Report, as long as they’re taken care of, Airstreams can last for 40 years or more. That’s obviously impressive. And that longevity? It can be attributed to the Airstream’s aluminum body. So while buying an Airstream might be really expensive? And owning one might take a tad more elbow grease? At least you can count on an Airstream trailer to least an impressively long time.