This year our National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday. With the timing of the Centennial, vacationers and adventurers alike are setting out to experience, explore, learn, and be inspired by the more than 400 natural, historical, and cultural parks that beautify America’s landscape. From iconic Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, and the Everglades to seashores and wildlife habitats in every state, each are a national treasure we all need to protect for the next 100 years. Says Bryan Shilling, an AAA managing director, “Demand for national parks is off the charts, and it’s exciting that Americans are poised to take even more national park vacations in the years to come. In times of global uncertainty,” he says, “many are turning to domestic vacations and the wide variety of national parks offer something for every traveler to discover.”
Makers of the beloved American silver bullet, Airstream was founded on the dream of Oregon innovator and visionary Wally Byam: To build a travel trailer that would “move like a stream of air, be light enough to be towed by a car, and create first-class accommodations anywhere.” With more than 85 years of experience, Airstream is the most thoroughly vetted brand in trailer history, tested upon millions of road miles throughout the world.
Enter the 2017 “Basecamp” from Airstream. Put simply, the travel trailer delivers a new way for both casual explorers and extreme adventurers to discover destinations like our national parks in a manner that’s anything but roughing it. Equipped with every living necessity in one tidy, uncomplicated design package, Airstream’s nimble Basecamp is making remote locations more accessible than ever before. With every inch of the 16-footer functional, Basecamp provides the spontaneity of having a personal mobile home base anywhere your spirit takes you, and to whatever journey inhabits your dreams.
Mike Arzt of Denver-based The Public Works, recently piloted Basecamp for one of its inaugural spins, and says: “It is hard to believe something that tows so easily behind a mid-size SUV has so much room, a full bath, large bed, and just about every other amenity you’d expect from a condo. Only it’s on wheels.” In fact, Basecamp has features that include a sprawling panoramic window with blackout shades, handcrafted Italian cabinetry, skylights, a full-service galley, under-bed storage, wireless Bose speaker, USB ports, a two-year warranty, 24/7 roadside assistance, all of which are standard equipment—and Basecamp sleeps two.
Suffice it to say, it’s a rig that any serious adventurer likely will never want to leave home without. And to borrow a phrase that Airstream founder Byam himself once said, it’s a way to “place the great wide world at your doorstep.”
Embedded in our national parks’ DNA is the credo “leave no trace.” It’s the strongly maintained belief that the parks belong to all of us, with the understanding that anyone visiting our nation’s parks must take their role as conservation steward seriously. Last year alone, more than 300 million people visited our national parks. The mission is that each of us be aware of our environmental responsibility, and that we protect and sustain the natural beauty we encounter. And that likewise, we make every effort to leave natural settings in the condition in which they were found. Visiting in a self-sufficient travel trailer like the Basecamp not only makes it easier for vacationers to access what were formerly off-the-beaten-path destinations. But it allows them to carry their personal effects, disposables, and recyclables out of our parklands at the end of their stay, thus leaving these national treasures in pristine condition for future visitors to enjoy.
So go ahead, set your GPS, pack up, hit the road, explore, and head to off-the-grid places, get closer, and go farther than ever. The newest member of the Airstream fleet, Basecamp, is a silvery streamline looker that’s ready for just about anything you’re planning. And spur-of-the-moment is just fine. It’ll work for you again and again. You’ll have all the lasting quality and thoughtful design you’ve come to rely on from Airstream, and the kind of versatility you might never have expected from a travel trailer.
Every adventure needs a Basecamp.
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