Basecamp, in the wild. Photos by Airstream.
Q: How does the interior compare to other models? What steps did you take to pack everything in to make such a small space comfortable?
A: With Basecamp, the interior was really dictated by the exterior design. We wanted this really beautiful piece of industrial art, with the aluminum body, panoramic windows, and that tapering shape. The magic of the interior layout comes from locating spaces where you normally stand up – the kitchen and shower – where the height is greatest. Then logically the sleeping and eating area located itself near the back of the trailer, where the roofline sloped a bit.
Once those elements were set, our design team found creative ways of fitting everything else in, from a functioning kitchen with a stainless steel sink and a 2-burner cooktop, to the microwave and refrigerator. The toilet is porcelain and the fixtures are stainless steel. You really feel the comforts of home. It’s spacious, but not too big. The goal was the create something that people could come home to, without leaving the woods, or the boulders, or the edge of the lake.
Q: There is a lot of tech — for example, energy efficiencies — built-in. Can you talk about why that’s important to provide and how you managed to fit it in?
A: The fact is that even when people want to get away, often they still want — or need — to stay connected. Being connected enables many people to get out more, and stay out longer. If they know their devices are charged and they can access their email, they might be able to stay one more night and not have to play catch-up when they get home.
So in addition to 110-volt electrical outlets, Basecamp’s got USB charging stations too. When you’ve been enjoying the outdoors all day, you can still come back, take a shower, have a great meal, and then kick back with a movie on your tablet. It’s also solar ready, with a dedicated plug you can hook up to solar panels to keep your battery charged.
Q: The recent reawakened love of “van life” must have been exciting for your team at Airstream. How much did it invigorate the development process for Basecamp?
A: At Airstream we’ve been paying close attention to the van life movement, but we see it as a mindset and not necessarily about the van itself. We think of it as a nomadic lifestyle — the ability to get out, enjoy the world, and enjoy the beautiful things this country has to offer. We talk to people all the time who live full-time in their Airstreams, whether in a 30-foot Classic or a 16-foot Sport. Instead of valuing “stuff,” they’re putting their value in the experiences that having something like an Airstream can help them realize.
I love seeing how people are renovating vehicles, creating their own spin on #vanlife. A lot of the satisfaction comes in building their van out from the wheels up. Some folks may not want to renovate a van or a trailer, but they still want the experiences of a nomadic lifestyle. We really feel Airstream enables them to get out and have those adventures.
Review: You Will Fall in Love with the Airstream Basecamp
Last year, before we interviewed Wheeler, Eric Adams took the Basecamp for a solo spin and had a great time. Read the Story