SaddleSpan tents and Airstream trailers – an amazing combination

If you’re attending a festival, corporate event or perhaps you’re lucky enough to experience the delights of a VIP hospitality space next year, you might spot a gleaming new addition to the standard event tent set-up.

Amazing Tents, specialists in SaddleSpan tents for all kinds of events, has been fortunate enough to acquire a couple of stunning Airstream trailers, direct from the U.S. The trailers, known as ‘Annie’ and ‘Betty’, were imported during 2014 and will now take pride of place alongside SaddleSpans for events in 2015. ‘Betty’ is a 26 foot Airstream Overlander 1967, while ‘Annie’ is slightly older, being a 24 foot Airstream Safari 1960.

These iconic trailers, from Texas and Virginia respectively, will be available as an add-on for event organisers to make use of alongside a range of event tent and marquee configurations.

Like the SaddleSpan, Airstreams are highly versatile as well as making a strong and stylish statement as the centrepiece of an event set-up. They can be customised to feature your branding on the outside, while the interiors can be used as a party space, an area to showcase products, an exclusive VIP hangout or a hospitality suite. If you’ve got an idea for your Airstream, it may well be possible to pull it off.

Airstream – an American icon

The Airstream trailer is known for its distinctive silver shape and rounded aluminium body, a design first used back in 1930. The creator of Airstream was Wally Byam, who created the very first one in the late 1920s in a very primitive form – a Model T chassis and a tent. The vehicle was designed to realise a dream of freedom, the open road and the great outdoors, which, being concepts ingrained in the American consciousness, goes someway to explain the lasting popularity of the Airstream trailer even to this day.

Discovering that the tent and chassis form of his invention wasn’t necessarily very practical, Wally Byam moved on to a more recognisable trailer design. His first big hit was the Torpedo, a bullet shaped trailer, which was briefly successful before the Great Depression and World War II halted production due to lack of demand and a lack of aluminium. However, as the war ended, Byam seized the opportunity to restart his business and developed the Curtis Wright Clipper, a vehicle that is similar in style to the Airstreams in use nowadays.

From the 1950s onwards, the Airstream went from strength to strength. It had more capabilities, became more self-contained and as a result, production of the trailer increased considerably. Byam passed away in 1962, but the Airstream continues to be hugely popular in the U.S. and throughout the world.

101 uses for the versatile Airstream

While many Americans and other holidaymakers from across the globe still use the trailer for recreational purposes, for weekends in the countryside or in the woods with the family, many more unusual uses have been found for the versatile Airstream. Some even choose to make their Airstream a permanent home, the vehicle being spacious and customisable enough to create a comfortable home for adventurous couples and small families.

Small businesses use Airstreams to travel to fairs and markets to sell their wares, and you’ll often spot the trailers at corporate events, festivals and hospitality spaces in the U.S. You don’t often spot them in the UK, but now that Amazing Tents has flown a couple over, we may be treated to a glimpse of the gleaming aluminium trailer at events next year.

Fun facts you might not know about Airstreams

Over in the U.S, the Airstream is well known as an iconic American vehicle, but we don’t know too much about it in the UK. Here are a few fun facts you might not know about the Airstream, to help you get better introduced:

  1. Early Airstreams could be pulled by a bicycle. Back in the 1940s, the company released publicity photographs that showed one of their Airstream models being pulled solely by a cyclist on an ordinary pushbike, demonstrating just how light that strong Aluminium shell really was.


  1. Airstreams were used by NASA. Unfortunately, the Airstream hasn’t been in space, but it has provided transport for astronauts who had. When the Apollo 11 mission returned home, American heroes Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were transported from the space craft to the base in a modified trailer called the Astrovan. The astronauts were quarantined in the trailer until they could be cleared of any space-borne infections, and they were reportedly interviewed by President Nixon through the door of the Astrovan. NASA also used Airstreams to ferry astronauts to and from the launch pad in style all through the 1980s.


  1. There was once a miniseries about the Airstream, narrated by Vincent Price. Since the 1950s, Airstream expeditions to far-flung parts of the world have been organised every year. Launched by created Wally Byam, these expeditions were as much about adventure as they were marketing opportunities for the brand. In 1966, a miniseries documenting these expeditions called ‘Around the World Caravan’ was shown on television and bizarrely; it was narrated by famed horror actor Vincent Price.


  1. Airstreams nearly became colourful. The trailer is known for its iconic silver look, but it very nearly became colourful. Creator Wally Byam toyed with the idea of creating coloured Airstreams to match the pastel schemes of 1950s cars, but gave up after experimenting on his own model. Thank goodness he did!


  1. There was once a “Squarestream”. We know the trailer for its bullet shape and rounded body, but between 1986 and 1991 there was a new square shape introduced to the Airstream lineup. It is still possible to track down the squared-off trailer, which was once banned from the Wally Byam Caravan Club, but die-hard Airstream enthusiasts consider them to be far below the standard set by classic examples of the iconic recreational vehicle.





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