As the sun sets on another summer, Airstreamers turn their attention to what many consider their favorite season. Autumn brings the relief of cooler temperatures, a cornucopia of festivals, and the golden-red hues of leaves changing color. Every year, outdoor adventurers embark upon the quest to witness mother nature’s color palette transform in real-time.
Follow the Fall Colors in Your Class B Motorhome
No matter where you live – or where your trip takes you – there are spectacular offerings for campers of all kinds. From the Great Smoky Mountains to the Sierra Nevadas, there’s nothing like a cool, misty October sunrise with embers still smoldering in the fire pit. From the redwood forest to the gulf stream, the opportunities to catch this annual fall spectacle are plentiful all across the U.S.
Timing is everything if you want to improve your chances of encountering peak fall foliage on your next camping trip. Generally, fall colors cascade from east to west, with the window opening in late September and closing by early November. This varies widely from region to region and is dependent upon many factors — such as dominant tree species, altitude and current climate conditions — so campers will need to do their research and plan accordingly.
The Perfect Vehicles for Experiencing the Season’s Best
Upfitted by hand in Jackson Center, Ohio, on Mercedes-Benz® chassis, Airstream Touring Coaches offer everything you need for the trip of a lifetime. With onboard bathrooms, kitchens, sleeping space, and more, your touring coach is built for comfort, convenient storage, and all the comforts of home. As the days get shorter and the northern breezes begin to blow, an onboard furnace will keep you toasty no matter the temperature. Depending on which motorized Airstream you choose, your A/C may also include a heat pump or heat strip to cut the chill without the need for propane (be aware this technology is only effective above about 45 degrees Fahrenheit). And the ample storage throughout every Airstream Touring Coach means you have plenty of room to bring along the clothing layers you need to make the most of the sometimes finicky fall weather.
Wherever you’re headed, we have useful tips on where to camp and recommendations for how to get there. And we’ll highlight some of the features and floor plans of our Airstream Touring Coaches so you can navigate your fall adventure in comfort, style and utility. Let these tips inspire you to chart a course for enjoying everything fall has to offer.
Cruise the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina
As the largest city in North Carolina’s Western border, Asheville offers breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and serves as home base to nearby fall foliage hotspots such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Check Asheville West KOA for campsite availability or investigate any number of options along the parkway and off the beaten path.
With a reputation as one of the most stunning drives in the catalog of American roadways, the Blue Ridge Parkway spans 469 miles of the Appalachian highlands within both North Carolina and Virginia. From a distance, the Blue Ridge Mountains seem to emit shades of blue haze, which – when contrasted against vibrant fall foliage and scenic sunsets – create unforgettable vistas.
The Airstream Interstate 19 is a perfect choice for navigating these winding, hilly roads without sacrificing comfort or stability. Ideal for a romantic weekend getaway, this nimble motorized touring coach offers the flexibility to easily park at a local pub or restaurant around downtown Asheville, and then retire to a campground for the evening. The Interstate 19’s floor plan sleeps two and is equipped with everything you need inside its 19 feet, including a kitchen, bathroom and lounging space, plus an automatic awning for outdoor convenience.
For those seeking the area’s peak fall colors, we recommend driving the stretch from Craggy Gardens to Graveyard Fields during mid-October when both high and lower elevation leaves are on full display.
Take the Road Less Traveled in the Ozarks
Spanning more than one million acres across northern Arkansas, the Ozark National Forest promises a rugged, scenic excursion and a multitude of camping options for fall foliage-seeking adventurers. The forest runs along the Arkansas River Valley and is home to the state’s tallest mountain, Mount Magazine, in addition to a variety of other natural attractions. Crisp weather and clear skies make fall the perfect time to take in the forest’s brilliant display of oranges, reds, yellows, and greens — whether that’s through camping, hiking or exploring its six national byways.
Take the scenic drive east from the Ozark National Forest to visit what’s considered the folk music capital of the world, Mountain View, Arkansas. Reserve a campsite at Ozark Folk Center State Park to experience this unique site dedicated to the music and culture of the Ozarks. As its namesake would suggest, Mountain View is also a prime location for fall leaf viewing. We recommend planning your visit from late October through early November to see peak colors.
The all-new Airstream Interstate 24X Touring Coach is ideal for navigating the Ozarks’ diverse terrain – especially when you want to venture off the byways and onto roads less traveled. Our most rugged touring coach offers 4X4 capabilities and the most robust, off-grid power system to date. Its spacious and adaptable floor plan allows you to return to the creature comforts after a long day outdoors so you can get cleaned up, prepare a delicious meal and recharge for the next day. Essential camping features include an onboard restroom, thoughtful kitchen space, and a vast convertible living area.
You have plenty of room to bring along all the gear your adventure requires, with plenty of storage compartments that maximize the use of space. Swing open the back doors and load up the kayak, paddle boards, or mountain bikes. Keep everything secure with the Aluminum Aircraft L-track Storage System on the walls, ceiling, and floor – simply twist and lock the moveable latches to create highly flexible storage and securing solution for everything you’re bringing along.
If it’s one of those magical fall days where the weather is perfect – but you need to catch up on work emails or plot your route on the road atlas – set up the Modular Table outside the entry door for an impromptu work-from-anywhere station (the table can also be set up behind the captain’s chairs, or in either of two spots in the living space as well). Like all Airstream touring coaches, the Interstate 24X is pre-wired with Airstream Connected, featuring a high gain, multi-band antenna. This roof-mounted antenna, along with the router (sold separately), boosts quality LTE reception and creates a powerful local Wi-Fi network for you and your guests, keeping you connected to work, family, and friends who aren’t along for the ride.
Backed by a 3.0L V6 Turbo Diesel engine that packs 188 horsepower and 325 lbs. of torque, the Interstate 24X empowers you to confidently transition from smooth blacktop and more rugged roadways — all while towing up to 5,000 lbs.
Soar the Rocky Mountain Heights of Aspen, Colorado
The Rocky Mountain Range of Colorado is a premier autumn destination for adventurers, campers, and fall color seekers. Regardless of where you decide to make your destination, you’re sure to witness all the spectacular vistas that the expansive landscape and bristling wildlife have to offer. Among the many Rocky Mountain camping options, you’ll find Aspen — a well-known Colorado ski town nestled in the heart of the White River National Forest and surrounded by the peaks of the Elk Mountains.
From late September through mid-October, the dense foliage of Aspen mountainside takes on deep yellow, auburn and orange hues. Five miles southeast of downtown sits Difficult Campground on the Roaring Fork River. There, campers can gain a perfect vantage point for exploring the endless wilderness and seeing some of the most incredible fall colors in the continental U.S.
There’s perhaps no better way to immerse your senses with fall Rocky Mountain splendor than by exploring the landscape in an Airstream Interstate 24GT Touring Coach. Designed for maximum comfort, the GT moniker stands for Grand Tour (which is what every trip out in this spectacular vehicle will feel like). Featuring a floor plan with amenities at every turn — from the cockpit to the large galley to the spacious sleeping quarters and well-appointed bathroom – the Interstate 24GT elevates every aspect of your travel experience.
The 24GT is designed for long-term trips for two. Its sleek powered sofa easily converts to a comfy rear bed in the back of the RV. And if you like to stay connected to email and work while on the road, the driver’s seat swivels around to become the “out of office” chair of a convenient workstation.
Road Trip to the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, California
If you make your way to California, the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is one of the premier locations on the west coast for watching the fall leaves change color. The mountain range itself stretches for over 250 miles — from the Mojave Desert up to the Cascade Mountain Range in northern California and Oregon — and offers a vast expanse of wilderness to attract and entertain campers and tourists.
Mid-September through October is the best time to see the colors change in the Sierra Nevadas, starting first in the northern areas and then finishing throughout the range in late October. If you are looking for an ideal spot to take the family camping, Emerald Bay State Park provides generous accommodations, gorgeous wilderness areas and panoramic vistas. Located on Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Bay, the state park is situated just west of the resort town of South Lake Tahoe.
With a floor plan that seats up to nine seat-belted passengers, the Interstate 24GL Touring Coach is ideal for gathering the family, the kids’ baseball team, or a group of your best friends for a Sierra Nevada sightseeing excursion. Whether you’re enjoying the campsite, trekking to a scenic overlook or hitting the lake, your passengers will travel with the comfort and convenience of an onboard bathroom and kitchen.
Keeping the troops occupied is no problem in the 24GL, which is designed with everything you need to entertain in style. Prepare and serve snacks and drinks on the galley countertops; store your accessories in the European-style curved cabinetry; watch a movie on the widescreen TVs; and relax on the plush, sumptuous Ultraleather® seats. The Interstate 24GL is ready to impress at every turn.
Head-Up to the Upper Peninsula for a Fall Adventure in Michigan
Without major highways traversing it, Michigan is what we like to call an intentional state. No one accidentally wanders through Michigan: It’s a destination to plan to see – a place you set off for with a purpose.
If you’ve never been to this capstone of the Midwest, Michigan begins to feel rural almost from the moment you cross its borders, as the trees begin to crowd closer and closer to the highway. After several hours of driving, Michigan becomes one of the wildest and most secluded places you can travel in the continental USA. Long stretches of road meander through pine stands and past crystal blue lakes where wildlife flock in numbers.
Cross the Mackinac Bridge into the state’s Upper Peninsula and make your way through the thick forests to Munising – the gateway to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. There, you’ll find Munising Tourist Park Campground – an incredible lakeside campground. From there you can explore the gorgeous painted cliffs that descend into Lake Superior.
Just because you’re far from civilization, doesn’t mean you can’t have all the comfort of home. Head north for your Upper Peninsula adventure in an Airstream Atlas – our largest and most luxurious touring coach. With a slide-out Murphy Suite that transforms the sofa into a comfortable bed, to the residential-style bathroom that wouldn’t seem out of place in a five-star hotel, the Atlas is a touring coach unlike any other. While technically a Class B Motorhome (just like all of the touring coaches in our motorized lineup), we like to think of the Atlas as a Class B+. You’ll see that extra plus throughout the coach, from the retractable, hidden flatscreen TV to the wide galley where you can whip up a delicious meal no matter where you’re parked.
Plan the Fall Adventure of Your Dreams
From sea to shining sea, campers and adventurers in the U.S. have nearly endless opportunities to enjoy the fall color change and experience the transition of seasons. The locations we highlighted are among the best, but they are just a jumping-off point. Every state has its own natural wonders ready to be explored, and Airstream is committed to helping you discover yours.
Airstream Touring Coaches are the result of a partnership with Mercedes-Benz®, featuring iconic Airstream design and legendary German engineering. Inside the cabin of our Class B and Class B+ RVs, you’ll find every luxury you need to feel completely comfortable. Behind the wheel, you’ll have every safety and performance feature you need to enjoy the ride. Contact us to find the optimal touring coach that fits your lifestyle and embark on your fall adventure.