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Was Airstream an Accident?

Wally Byam, not unlike a mighty oak growing from an acorn, groomed and cultivated himself over the course of his lifetime. Frequently, the question comes up: why did Wally have the vision to create an Airstream, the legendary and iconic recreational vehicle whose lifetime stretches from one century to the next? Wallace Merle Byam came from pioneer stock. His paternal and maternal grandparents came overland on the Oregon Trail to settle down in Eastern Oregon. As an adolescent, he tended to his grandfather’s sheep on the rolling hills of eastern Oregon. This fostered his deep-seated love for camping. His sailing

Airstream’s Enduring Promise

“To keep alive and make real an enduring promise of high adventure and faraway lands…of rediscovering old places and new interests.” Stories of Airstream’s history take you to exotic, far away places as well as unvisited destinations just over the horizon, closer to home. The old times will tell stories of visiting pygmies in the old Belgian Congo, or parking beneath the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Even more amazing is landing in Singapore and traveling overland to Land’s End in Portugal. Andy Charles reported the Around the World Caravan was on the road for 403 days and 31,000 winding


Sinking Under the Nubian Sand

The Cape Town to Cairo Caravan traveled over 12,000 miles over seven arduous months, trekking through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt. One notable experience, prior to traversing the Nubian Desert to Wadi Halfa (in present-day Sudan) took place after stocking up on supplies in Abu Hamed. Before leaving Khartoum, all Caravanners attended a general meeting run by Wally. Caravanners heading to Wadi Halfa had two choices. They could either safely and painlessly go by train and flat car, or they could elect to cross the sandy and ever-so-treacherous Nubian Desert. Wally had one stipulation:


The Troubleshooters

Do we take for granted that Airstream trailers appear on television programs, in movies, and in advertisements today? Perhaps. During the middle of the 20th century, things were a little different. Today, Airstream has proliferated as a “rock star.” But in those days, Airstream trailers appeared in Life, Look, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and in numerous other magazines. There were Airstream Wally Byam Caravans traveling across five continents, with newspapers and periodicals covering the Airstream adventures. But movies, television, and advertising hadn’t adopted Airstream as a movie star just yet. Then NBC scheduled a new series in 1959, The Troubleshooters, starring

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