Still, they’re off to a great start, having checked off seventeen states from their list.
This family started whittling away at their epic goal in their 2017 22’ Airstream® Sport, which the girls named “Adventure Pod.” They traveled extensively in their Sport – from beaches to mountaintops, from state parks to boondocking, with the occasional tailgating event thrown in. Kennedy does competitive Irish dancing, so when she had a meet, they’d take the Sport to serve as their “hotel room.”
It is cool to see that our Airstreams are something special to the kids
- Brian Riley
Then, in August of last year, they decided to trade in their Sport for a 2018 27’ Airstream Globetrotter FB, named “Adventure Pod 2.0” by the girls.
“What I’ve loved about the Globetrotter is we can go out for longer on just our internal resources. I appreciate the self-contained sustainability of having solar and plenty of fresh water, so we really don’t need a campground. We can find places to set up camp in the middle of nowhere and we’re all set,” says Brian.
Brian’s favorite part of the Airstream lifestyle is being with his family and creating memories through wonderful experiences. His daughters share this sentiment. Brian will tell you that Kennedy and Julia have loved every Airstream moment as much as he and his wife have.
Because the family lives in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, they can quickly get to Jackson Center. So, they went to the factory both times their Airstreams were being built to see them on the assembly line. The four brought Sharpie markers and, while the microwave was installed, signed their names in a hidden spot on the cabinetry.
“It is cool to see that our Airstreams are something special to the kids. It cemented what my wife and I thought would happen, which is they’re starting to attach their childhood memories to all the cool things we’ve done with the Airstreams,” says Brian.
What’s funny is that Brian and Erinn used to be, as he says, “anti-RV people.”
“We were backpackers. We loved to go carry a tent and get out in the woods and be self-reliant. That was when we lived in Seattle. We even took the kids backpacking with us when they were small. So, we thought people with travel trailers were cheaters!” says Brian.
Traveling with your Airstream is just like regular highway driving.
But on one particular backpacking trip with friends who had brought an RV, a massive storm blew in. Brian thought, “Okay, there may be something to this. We found out there’s just something about a hot cup of coffee and a warm shower in the morning that changes your life from tents to trailers.”
Brian and Erinn were of the mindset that if they ever got a travel trailer, it would be an Airstream. They have friends who have an Airstream Tommy Bahama and just love it, plus Brian appreciates the concept behind the brand.
“I’m not a big buy-it-and-throw-it-away type of person, so I love that Airstreams are built to be highly durable. The towability was also appealing because they are such a smooth tow. Traveling with your Airstream is just like regular highway driving. Really, we didn’t consider any other brand,” says Brian.
While it took the couple three years before they pulled the trigger, since they’ve owned Airstreams, they take them out at least twice a month practically year-round. Their favorite places to camp are secluded areas, where they can just focus on being with each other.
“The best places we've been so far are a few different waterfront campsites. Both the lakefront in Northern Michigan and a deep panhandle right on the sand in Florida come to mind. These have been some spectacular places where every morning when you wake up, you step out the door and you’re on the beach, 100 feet away from the waves crashing,” says Brian.
This family isn’t one to sit idle while they’re camping. They prefer adventuring, whether it’s hiking, mountain biking or kayaking.
Currently, Brian and his family are planning a trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan along Lake Superior. They’re also considering venturing out into some national forests, like Hiawatha National Forest.
In a way, their Airstream travels are reminiscent of their love for backpacking. It’s just that now they have that hot cup of coffee and warm shower to start their day.
Professionally, Brian is a senior executive of a Columbus based fiber-optic technology company. He’s also a licensed pilot and car aficionado. Outside of he and Erinn’s full work schedules, his girls are also very active, so they all stay busy. They recharge by taking “Adventure Pod 2.0” out into the depths of nature. That’s life for them, and it’s a good one.