Neanderthals who link the word trailer with the word trash are way out of date, and out of line. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Poets, artists, fashion designers, actors and just plain travel buffs have refurbished their Airstreams to resemble highly efficient and often opulent yachts.
Hollywood retailer and interior designer Barclay Butera in his customized airstream at the Sundance Film Festival. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
There’s something contagious about just looking at the simple but elegant innards of the silvery, bullet-shaped trailers -- and imagining how it would feel to take off for points unknown.
In Yosemite, Tina and Michael Lambert dress the part outside their ’71 International. (Dan Neil / Los Angeles Times)
You’d have every amenity of home -- downsized and encapsulated into something mobile and easy to maintain.
A Bambi II Airstream in Bath, England. ()
The Airstream originated in an L.A. backyard in 1936, the brainchild of outdoorsman Wally Byam, whose wife refused to go camping with him unless she had access to a kitchen.
David Barra and Claire Kelly outside a friend’s Airstream Sovereign in Kingston, N.Y. (Simon Brown)
He created the lightweight metal and futuristic shape as a cozy home away from home for her. It was so successful that he started making the trailers to sell -- and though he’s now gone, the Airstream is still produced in America. By hand. (Simon Brown)
Author of “Airstream Living,” Bruce Littlefield, says travel was the original idea, but now it’s just one of the Airstream’s many uses. He bought his in 2002, and retrofitted it as a bar that sits in the garden of his Catskill Mountains restaurant. (Simon Brown)
Other Airstreamers have turned their trailers into high-tech offices, either stationary or on the move.
Airstream as hot dog stand in Portland, Conn. (Simon Brown)
As the world propels ever faster forward, the Airstream remains what it has always been: a womb-like space within a timeless shell.
CONCEPT CAR: Ford’s Airstream uses a hydrogen fuel cell to power its electric motor. It awaits a hydrogen fuel distribution system. (David Burgess / Ford)