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Fate, Chance, and the Family History of Airstream

On August 15, 1862, at twenty-four years old, a farmer named Loren Byam enlisted in the Union Army. He served until the war came to a close and was released in Brownsville, Texas almost three years later to the day. The Byam family history is important: Loren, as the progenitor, had two sons whose two grandchildren affected the lives of today’s Airstreamers. Wally Byam was born in 1896 and his cousin, Helen Byam Schwamborn, was born in 1904. Without Wally and Helen, there would have been no Airstream and no Wally Byam Caravan Club. In 1910, Loren received a Certificate

Airstream and the Hurricane Power Test

From the time the first line was drawn on a blueprint, Wally Byam was cognizant of quality. Two important aspects that Wally focused on were usability and durability. The early Airstreams, the Torpedo and the Airlite, had less complicated designs. The Airstream Clipper, which first appeared in 1936, could be compared with a jigsaw puzzle. It was made up of thousands of rivets, aluminum panels, plumbing and electrical components, propane lines, cabinets, kitchens, and fitted interior wood paneling. Attention had to be paid to the integrity of every single rivet. Rivets, doors, and windows were sealed to keep out dust


Stories from Africa: Drum Hill

Travel opens doors for unexpected experiences. It was no different for the 1959 Airstream Caravan. After leaving northern Rhodesia, we began to experience many different types of roads. Limited tarmac, smooth but unpaved roads, and even shake-you-up washboard roads. If you’ve ever experienced road construction in the United States, you’ve seen how we control traffic. A flagger directs you with a handheld stop sign, hand motions, or some other way of coaching you through safe passage. In the Belgian Congo, the Caravan approached an area called Drum Hill. In several respects, the tight control of the Hill was atypical of


History, Like Lightning, Can Strike Twice

In 1960, the Airstream Caravan traveled across the great continent of Africa. One destination was the ancient Roman ruins located at Jerash in Jordan. The ruins were nearby the capital city of Amman. The 1963-1964 Around-the-World Caravan arrived and stayed at the Jerash ruins in 1964. Wally Byam always enjoyed the benefits of advertising, beginning with his Stanford University days working on the school newspaper as advertising manager. Wally would have enjoyed this two-page spread in an RV magazine, published in 1968, with the caravan once again parking in a wagon wheel in the main plaza at Jerash. This area

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