For many Americans, living and exploring in RV trailers has become a culture of its own. Reports state that millennials have shown pure love to RV’s, resulting in a massive surge in sales.
If you’re part of the RV community, then Avion and Airstream are two names that you may have come across.
All boils down to a simple question, is Avion better than Airstream or vice versa? RVs are expensive, and it would be a bummer if you choose the wrong one.
In this article, I will discuss everything from features that the companies offer to their RVs’ resale value.
Let’s get started.
Avion vs. Airstream History
Avion vs. Airstream is not a new debate. Let’s dive into their history to have a better understanding.
Airstream is the older company of the two. It was founded in the 1920s and has introduced several RV models to provide maximum comfort. They’re made from top-quality aluminum, and over the decades, they have only got better.
The first Avion RV was produced in 1955 and instantly proved to be a hit among campers. Made from high quality, sturdy material, Avion claimed that their RVs would last generations. The company steadily grew and opened production units in different parts of the US.
These two companies have been in the game for decades. They have garnered long time enthusiasts who have uploaded tons of information online, including maintenance tips, vintage brochures, manuals, guides, photos, and much more.
All About Avion RVs
So let’s go a bit deeper now. To give you a better picture, I have individually talked about both RVs.
Here are some important features of an Avion RV, including pros and cons.
- They provide an anodized aluminum finish
- The furnishing is made from hard-wood, which offers a sleek and comfy build
- The dual furnace keeps your RV thoroughly heated
- Some Avion RVs offer external or overhead storage compartments
- MOR/Ryde suspension system
- 6″ deep Thermo X-frame
- The quality of the build is remarkable. This is why their RVs are still in demand. The build is strong, rigid, and designed to keep you warm even in the coldest days.
- The shock absorbers make sure your ride remains smooth. The MOR-Ryde suspension does a pretty good job of keeping in check air pressure, springs, and tires system.
- You will like the interior and hard-wood furnishing. It’s sleek and offers tons of space to move around.
- Not readily available in the market.
- Since you can purchase only used Avion RV, renovations might be necessary.
- The 1950s: Regal, Rover, Rambler
- The 1960s: Imperial, Holiday, Tourist
- The 1970s: LaGrande, Travelcader, Voyageur
- The 1980s: V-model, W-model, 30P model, 28A model, 35X model, 32S model, Silver Anniversary model, Dura-Brite Aluminum painted models
- The 1990s: 5th wheel trailers
All About Airstream RVs
Let’s take a look at how Airstream is different from Avion.
- They come with an aluminum finish
- Modern furnishing, design, and layout
- Hydronic heating for insulation
- Overhead, external, and under the bed compartments for excess storage of must-have gadgets
- Torsion axle suspension
- Made from the most durable materials like high-grade aluminum.
- Modern Airstream trailers have a lighter build while offering an A-class experience.
- They are also aero-dynamic, thus showing cost-effectiveness in terms of fuel consumption.
- They are expensive, so a dent in your wallet might be inevitable.
- You may not be satisfied with insulation. Vintage Airstream RVs are better suited for summers.
- The 1930s: Torpedo, Silver Cloud, Clipper
- The 1940s: Liner, Wee Wind, Whirlwind
- The 1950s: International, Flying Cloud, Sovereign of the road
- The 1960s: Bambi, Safari
- The 1970s: Excella 500, Argosy Travel Trailers, Argosy Motorhome, Airstream Motorhome
- The 1980s: Excella/Limited, Land Yacht
- The 1990s: B-190, Safari, Land Yacht Motorhome
- The 2000s: Basecamp, International CCD, PanAmerica
- The 2010s: Eddie Bauer, Pendleton, Tommy Bahama Special Edition Travel Trailer, Sport, International Signature, International Serenity
The recent Airstream trailers are equipped with modern interior and several tech features.
Some Major Differences Between Avion and Airstream
Even though both Avion and Airstream are top-notch, you need to go with the one that suits your personal preference. Take a look at their differences below.
Avion RV parts are not readily available in the market. The company ceased production of trailers in the 1990s. So you most probably can’t expect a brand new purchase of any part.
However, you can buy some parts second hand from donor coaches. Some sellers may take advantage of this situation and jack up prices, so you need to look out for authentic dealers.
There are some hardware stores where you can order custom made RV parts. But keep in mind that this option will cost you a lot of bucks. If you’re planning on purchasing an Avion, take a look at the stores near you and gather information regarding the parts.
Airstream is still in production. The company is steadily producing new trailers in the market, offering modern designs. So it’s not difficult to get a hold of specific parts, and many dealers will provide you with several options.
Moreover, you can upgrade your RV as gadget stores offer tons of hardware. You will easily find stuff like slide-out stabilizer jacks, digital tank monitors, light-weight aluminum bumpers, and a lot more.
Avion has produced incredible quality RVs that are meant to last a lifetime. However, they seem a bit old fashioned in front of Airstream because the company has stopped manufacturing trailers, so it’s not keeping up with the trends.
This can be a problem if you are looking for modern RVs.
On the other hand, Airstream has kept up with time, leading the company to produce modern RVs for the present-day traveler.
For instance, Basecamp X is a recently announced Airstream RV that equips several modern features. It also offers an app that you can download on your phone. Using it, you can control several functions such as lights, AC and heat pumps, awning, and a lot more.
One thing you should note is that Basecamp X is smaller. If compact trailers for one or two persons is your thing, then you should consider buying this.
It’s alright if you’re old school, or don’t care about modern gadgets. Avion RVs’ massive and robust build might sway you in its favor.
Due to their interior, Airstream trailers generally weigh a tad less than its similar-sized Avion RVs. Avion’s interior has been crafted from all-wood, while Airstream hosts materials such as plastic and aluminum.
Although Avion’s fit and finish are admired by many, it’s heavier build might strain on towing.
Both Airstream and Avion are the oldest running RV manufacturers in the market. The companies have produced A-list, quality trailers. Their vintage RVs are so well built that they are still standing upright and competing against new ones.
But in terms of durability, I’d say that Avion wins this round by a slight margin. Many RV users agree with this opinion as well, considering Avions are known for lasting longer.
Airstream’s exterior is made from light-weight aluminum, which is slightly less durable and is more likely to wear out.
Coming to Avion RVs, they are made from steel or anodized aluminum, which is rigid and protects against natural elements. Both materials are less likely to scrap and prevent dents as well.
Since Avion RVs have a square design, they offer more storage space. It provides a little bit more space to store in your goods.
However, the difference in storage space is not immense, and Avion wins only by a slight margin, compared to Airstream.
Some users say that Airstream’s rounded design is the reason why storage space is affected.
When talking about price, you must understand that both Avion and Airstream are expensive.
As Avion RVs are no longer in production, you can purchase only used or vintage ones at a bit cheaper price. But this is not always the case.
Avions are in demand, and since they’re limited, the sellers might ask you for a heftier price. This also depends on the model you’re going for.
Airstream RVs are expensive, especially if you go for a newer, first-hand model. They offer better equipment, have kept up with the time, so the hike in price makes sense.
Remember, your budget and personal preference must be the sole reason for your purchase. Even with a limited budget, you can find your dream RV if you research thoroughly. Just make sure to visit local dealers and take a look at the product in person.
Let’s talk a bit about resale value.
You might want to sell your RV in the upcoming future, so thinking long term while purchasing it won’t harm.
Whether you go for Avion or Airstream, if the RV is in good condition, the resale value will automatically increase.
But what if your RV is old and rugged? You can renovate it to increase the merit. Initially, you will need to spend some money, though.
Generally, the resale value for a modern Airstream is more. However, Avion is still quite popular in the market. They are classic, and a lot of people prefer buying their RVs.
Avion vs. Airstream: Which One to Buy?
Up till now, you may have an idea about their features, advantages, and disadvantages. I also talked about some major differences to help you make an informed decision.
Undeniably, both companies have their charms, and choosing the right one can be difficult. If you are still confused, you need to ask yourself some questions and consider the following points below.
How Do You Plan on Using Your RV?
Will the RV come into use only when you take your yearly camping trip? Or are you planning on temporarily, if not permanently, living in your RV?
If you’re planning on purchasing a vintage RV, you might want to look at Avion. They are designed to withhold the coldest of winters as their heat insulation is remarkable. In the RV community, I have always heard praises regarding this feature.
If your budget is high, looking into modern Airstream RVs for a living is an excellent option.
Renovation and Maintenance Cost
If you plan on going for an Avion, keep in mind the maintenance cost. You can only find old trailers used over the years. Their parts might break down, leaving you in a difficult position.
Take a Look at the Spacing Layout
This is all about your personal choice.
Do you like the position of the bedroom? The kitchen, lounge, and dining setup- are they good enough?
Will you prefer the space left to walk after furnishing?
The only way you can answer these questions is if you physically and thoroughly examine the RV. If the spacing layout is your deciding factor, you can opt for either Avion or Airstream.
Both are great, so it’s all up to what you decide.
Would You Like a Warranty?
If your answer to the above question is yes, then vintage RVs are no longer an option. The sellers do not give any warranty for vintage RVs. Go for the new Airstream RVs if you want a 24month warranty.
Last but not least, thoroughly research online and in-person so that you find the best RV.
Avion and Airstream are the backbones of the RV community. As we see today, they have remarkably developed and expanded the usage of RVs.
Both companies have produced the most comfortable, lavish, and excellent RVs up till now. They have their pros and cons, but most importantly, they barely disappoint. That’s why even after decades, they’re at the top of the market.
I hope this article has answered all your questions related to Avion and Airstream. If you are hesitant in buying an RV, you need to keep on researching and looking out for authentic dealers.
Remember: communication is the key here. Ask your family and friends for recommendations as well, but above all, make up your mind first. Be very sure of what you want.