Airstream trailer weight

Airstream Trailer Weight: a Guide with Stats for Each Model

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People see advertisements with mid-size SUVs connected to 25-foot travel trailers. Yet when they see something like an Airstream Caravel in a similar ad, it’s connected to a full-size SUV. Many wonder how much does a 25-foot airstream trailer weigh and why the difference? We’ll show you the average Airstream trailer weight in a guide with stats with each model.

When you look at how much an Airstream Bambi trailer weighs compared to other brands of similar lengths, you’ll see how different they truly are. The construction materials, building methodologies, and components set Airstream apart from all other manufactures in the RV industry.

This difference is part of the reason why 75% of all Airstreams are still on the road today. If you’re looking to buy one of these iconic RVs, understanding their weight is a great start. You’ll need the right tow vehicle, how much you can load them up, and other important facts to properly care for your travel trailer.

Airstream Trailer Weight Terminology

Airstream trailer parked under the tree

Airstream uses its own terminology to describe various weight values. We’ll define these terms and show you their universally accepted counterparts.

  1. Unit Base Weight (UBW): UBW is the Dry Weight or Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW) of the RV. This is the weight of the coach when it’s completely empty.
  2. Gross Vehicle Weight (GVWR): The GVWR is a universally accepted term. It is a rating the manufacture publishes telling both official governing bodies and consumers what the maximum amount of weight the RV can hold safely.
  3. Net Carrying Capacity (NCC): The NCC is universally known as the Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC). It tells owners how much storage weight the coach can hold.
  4. Hitch Weight (HW): Other manufacturers refer to this as Tongue Weight (TW). This is the pressure put on the hitch of the tow vehicle. The best weight is between 10-15% of the RV’s Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). If it’s too light, you’ll have a lot of sway. Heavier percentages overstress the vehicle’s suspension and other towing focused parts.

Understanding Tow Weights of Airstream Trailers

Airstreams have three major size levels. All Airstream models within the levels share commonalities that can confuse the untrained eye. Later, we’ll discuss how each model is different from each other.

Meanwhile, to help you start to understand Airstream travel trailers, we’ll show you the shared factors that each level has to help your prepare for the towing weight of an Airstream trailer.

Small Level

Small airstreame parked near house

There are eight models of Airstream travel trailers. Four of them fall under the small lightest weight Airstream category.

  1. Basecamp
  2. Nest
  3. Bambi
  4. Caravel

Each one of these models has an average GVWR under 4,700 pounds. They also have lengths ranging from 16 to 22 (21.8) feet.

For those looking to balance pulling power with fuel efficiency, mid-size pickups (also known as a quarter-ton) or full-size SUVs are a great option. Allowing about 1,500 pounds for cargo weight, passenger weight, and driving horsepower, you’ll want a vehicle with a towing capacity with at least 6,200 pounds or more.

Mid-Size Level

The mid-size Airstream models include the Flying Cloud, International, and Globetrotter. All three models measure between 23-30 feet in length and have a GVWR of 7,475 pounds.

The best tow vehicle for a 30-foot Airstream in this level or one of the shorter versions must focus on pulling power. Half-ton trucks are going to be your best option for these travel trailers. If you’re looking for an SUV, the Ford Expedition with the heavy tow package has a capacity of up to 9,300 pounds.

Car manufactures have been doing a lot to make their half-ton pickups more fuel-efficient in recent years. Even with the Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB weight behind it, your truck will get more miles per gallon today than previous year models.

Full-Size Classic

The Classic is the only model that fits in the full-size category. The GVWR is 10,000 pounds and it comes in either 30 or 33 feet in length. Towing this legendary icon takes real muscle.

Three-quarter ton trucks like the Ram 3500 have the power and size to pull the Classic comfortably. This class of truck has a towing capacity of up to 15,000 pounds. Fuel efficiency isn’t calculated for these heavy-duty trucks, but best estimates are 10 city and around 14 highway.

Certain half-ton trucks with heavy towing packages are capable of towing the Classic. The Ford F-150’s 3.5L EcoBoost V6 has the option to come with a towing capacity of up to 13,000 pounds from the factory. Talk to your truck dealer for more details.

Average Weight by Airstream Model and Other Features

Basecamp

  • Average Dry Weight: 3,075 pounds
  • Average GVWR: 3,900 pounds
  • Average NCC: 850 pounds
  • Average HW: 473 pounds
  • Floorplans: 4
  • Starting Price: $38,400

The Basecamp series started in 2016 and quickly became Airstream’s top-selling model. It started with the 16-foot model. Recently the 20-foot model came into the world with two multi-functional dinettes that fold down for additional sleeping space for four people.

The new “X” version allows your Basecamp to go off-road. The rear hatch allows you to store long items down the center aisle while you’re traveling.

Airstream does a great job keeping the Basecamp protected with the front corner rockguards. They also place all of hookup connections strategically so your mini Silver Bullet looks sleek and stylish driving down the road.

Nest

  • Average Dry Weight: 3,350 pounds
  • Average GVWR: 4,000 pounds
  • Average NCC: 700 pounds
  • Average HW: 375 pounds
  • Floorplans: 4
  • Starting Price: $42,900

Aluminum and Airstream are like peanut butter and jelly. When you think of this RV manufacturer, everyone’s first thought is of an airplane-quality aluminum shell with rounded edges in a twinkie-shaped design. That’s until the Nest came along.

Airstream wanted to try their hand in the fiberglass realm but had little experience with it. Once they found Robert Johans and his design, Airstream knew they had something special. They bought his design, brought him on board, and finished it with the features and quality you would expect from them.

The Nest has a rear entry door, wet bath, and all of the features you could ask for in a 16-foot trailer. It comes with either a front bed or a front dinette that folds down. Critics generally prefer the memory foam bed over the dinette when it comes to comfort, but having the versatility of a U-shaped dinette is worth buying a simple bed topper.

Another interesting point is its overall weight. The Airstream Nest weight (4,000 pounds)is heavier than the Bambi 16-foot version (3,500), but lighter than the 22-foot version (5,000 pounds). The advantage with the Nest is having the same feature of the 22-foot Bambi in the 16-foot Nest.

Bambi

  • Average Dry Weight: 3,050 pounds
  • Average GVWR: 4,250 pounds
  • Average NCC: 925 pounds
  • Average HW: 485 pounds
  • Floorplans: 4
  • Starting Price: $49,900

The name “Bambi” has a diverse history with Airstream. In 1961, the company launched a small single-axle travel trailer named Bambi in response to consumers’ desire for smaller travel trailers. After that model fazed out of production, the name continued as a nickname for any small, single-axle Airstream.

A popular model from 2009-2019 was the Airstream Sport. They brought the Bambi back a few years ago in its 16-foot incarnation. Since the new Bambi and Caravel were so similar to the Sport, in 2019, Airstream decided to stop production of the Sport, and expand the Bambi increasing the line to include lengths up to 22 feet.

The Airstream Bambi comes in a 16 rear bed, 19 rear corner bed, or 20 and 22 front bed configuration. It’s the first model that has the traditional Airstream shape. The bright cabinetry and overall interior make it look spacious. The overall features are more standard-issue than it’s sister coach but meet the high bar of Airstream quality.

Caravel

  • Average Dry Weight: 3,900 pounds
  • Average GVWR: 4,650 pounds
  • Average NCC: 850 pounds
  • Average HW: 528 pounds
  • Floorplans: 4
  • Starting Price: $62,200

Airstream founder, Wally Byam, had two recreational loves. RVs and boats. That’s why he named the Caravel after a sailing ship. He wanted his customers to feel like they were experiencing the same features of a yacht. This model has stayed in production since 1956.

When you compare the Caravel to the Bambi, you’ll notice upgraded amenities that tip the weight scale a little bit. The floorplans and lengths are the same. Differences include a panoramic rear window, electric hitch jack, and other components of improved luxury.

Unlike the Bambi, you’ll find side and rear awnings for the windows. The Caravel also has a front corner rock guard and a windshield protection shield to maintain shell integrity. This RV also has a classier interior look with name brand components and other high-end touches.

Flying Cloud

  • Average Dry Weight: 5,639 pounds
  • Average GVWR: 7,400 pounds
  • Average NCC: 1,761 pounds
  • Average HW: 781 pounds
  • Floorplans: 14
  • Starting Price: $78,900

Airstream advertised the Flying Cloud as the RV that “flys behind your car” in the 1950s. Airstream played on their aircraft-quality aluminum shells. Decades later, the Flying Cloud returned for today’s RVers to become the most versatile and family-friendly travel trailer in their lineup.

The Flying Cloud now has 14 different floorplans that come in:

  • Rear queen bed
  • Front queen bed
  • Rear corner queen bed
  • Rear double twins beds
  • Front double twins beds
  • Rear lower full size and upper twin size bunk bed

The sofas and dinettes fold-down/out for additional sleeping space allowing large families to sleep up to eight people. Even though Airstreams don’t have slideouts, these travel trailers make great use of space to give everyone their own personal space.

Some of the unique features include a rear hatch on 25 and 27 front bed floorplan to store long items while you’re traveling. There are plenty of USB charging ports and the latest in entertainment technology to keep everyone happy on rainy days. You’ll have all the storage you need for personal items and food to keep your brood’s bellies full.

International

  • Average Dry Weight: 5,639 pounds
  • Average GVWR: 7,400 pounds
  • Average NCC: 1,761 pounds
  • Average HW: 781 pounds
  • Floorplans: 12
  • Starting Price: $91,900

In 1958, Wally Byam and his team introduced the International as the first self-contained travel trailer that was battery powered. It was one of the first RVs that had the capability to boondock with electricity.

Today’s International is the luxury version of the Flying Cloud. It has the same length options (23-30 feet) but doesn’t have the bunk bed or 30-foot rear bed options. Many of the luxury options you find on the Caravel come on the International.

The forest or seashore inspired natural interior brings the outdoors in. You can enhance your experience by allowing the breeze to flow through the coach through all the windows. As you enjoy your new book, you can let the smells and sounds of nature relax you.

When the temperature isn’t ideal, both the air conditioner and heater give you that perfect temperature. The low profile A/C doesn’t have an interior section that sticks out from the ceiling, so you have the best aesthetic look and still receive efficient performance.

Globetrotter

  • Average Dry Weight: 6,144 pounds
  • Average GVWR: 7,550 pounds
  • Average NCC: 1,407 pounds
  • Average HW: 818 pounds
  • Floorplans: 8
  • Starting Price: $96,400

The Globetrotter is unique in its own right due to its adventurous origins. To further advertise his product, and go on a grand adventure Airstream hit Europe by storm. Wally Byam and his friend Cornelius Vanderbilt took a 22-foot model in the 1950s and set out for a worldwide adventure starting in Europe to show how durable his trailer was.

To memorialize that great trek, today’s Globetrotter comes with European-inspired interiors with lengths between 23-30 feet in length. Floorplans feature front or rear bed features. You can choose between the queen or the double twin beds.

The dark wood walls are offset by the bright cabinetry and flooring. Stainless steel appliances and trim give the coach a finished look of high-class appeal. This land yacht travel trailer look has the sophistication that fits the best French districts or contemporary styling of the best crafted Scandinavian decor.

Classic

  • Average Dry Weight: 8,025 pounds
  • Average GVWR: 10,000 pounds
  • Average NCC: 1,976 pounds
  • Average HW: 1,031 pounds
  • Floorplans: 4
  • Starting Price: $157,400

The Classic is an amalgamation of many of Airstream’s previous models. They took the best ideas, the most iconic look, and rolled it into this 30 to 33-foot travel trailer. You’ll see hints of the Argosy, Safari, and Land Yacht. Today’s Classic gets most of its DNA from the 1980s Excella.

The 30-foot version comes in either a rear queen or double twin. The 33-foot has a front queen or double twin. Despite its size, it only sleeps up to five people. The reason for this is its overall purpose. The Classic is primarily designed for full-timers that want that combination of functionality with iconic style.

It features components like a full dry bathroom that takes up the rear section of the coach. A real desk space for those that work from home. Residential size appliances that allow a couple to live comfortable for weeks without restocking. It now comes with a wifi package and mobile device app to control and stay connected to your coach while you’re away.