- airstream is launching a variant of its midrange flying cloud travel trailer with a built-in office area.
- the 30-foot trailer combines the space and luxury of the regular model with a special setup intended to give remote workers or students a dedicated place to work.
- as the coronavirus pandemic continues into 2021, the rv industry is poised for continued success as americans look to motorhomes and travel trailers as alternatives to vacations that involve flights and hotel stays.
an unexpected winner during the tumultuous, virus-choked 2020 calendar year was the american rv industry, as more families took to the road to cure the quarantine blues. as remote work and school continues to be the norm for many, the opportunity to satisfy one's wanderlust while remaining dedicated to a career or home-schooling children is something luxury travel-trailer maker airstream is hoping to enable with its latest product.
based on the brand's mid-range flying cloud trailer, the new 30fb office floor plan offers a built-in desk in the back adjacent to the lavatory that would allow a remote worker to maintain a 40-hour work week while also traveling the country. the desk features built-in drawers for storage, usb ports for charging devices, and a pull-out table to create a larger workspace. it's not the most roomy home office, but airstream has put considerable thought into setting it up perfectly for video conference calls, with blackout curtains on the windows and a privacy divider to shut the area off from the rest of the trailer.
the new model is based on the 30-foot-long flying cloud—the lineup's longest model—and features a queen-size bed in the front and a spacious dinette that also can be transformed into a bed for guests or children. the office area can also be used for guest accommodations if needed, as the integrated side seat can be transformed into a twin bed.
mobile internet is available through the brand's airstream connected service, which uses at&t and the 4g lte network. plans start from $25 per month, but remote workers will likely need more connectivity than that basic plan offers. airstream also offers an optional roof-mounted antenna to make the best use of campground-provided wi-fi signals at a campsite. workers or students who need a more robust service may find that newer 5g hotspot devices provide a better method for getting online from the road. that technology, however, isn't as widespread as 4g and may limit destinations for working road trippers.
according to the recreational vehicle industry association (rvia), rv sales surged to over 430,000 new motorhomes and travel trailers sold in 2020—an increase of 6 percent over 2019. rvia is projecting an even more lucrative 2021 for the industry, with sales expected to grow to over 500,000 this year thanks to growing interest from millennial and gen-x demographic groups.
airstream's decision to offer a mobile office floor plan appears to be a smart one and it's a trend that could spread to other motorhome and travel-trailer manufacturers in 2021. the flying cloud 30fb office starts at $107,500 and is available for order at airstream dealers now.