Airstream owners are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
We found that out at our very first Airstream event, the Florida State Rally in Sarasota, Fla. Feb. 15-17.
So needless to say, there was some trepidation about attending our first rally, a Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI) event. WBCCI is the official Airstream owner’s club, with a rich history that dates back to the early 1950s. Wally Byam, the founder of Airstream, Inc, formed the club and hosted rallies and caravans around the world.
As we crossed the threshold, it was quite evident that we were the youngest people in the room by a good 20 years, give or take one or two people. All eyes were on us as we got our coffee and breakfast. There was plenty of staring, but equally as many smiles and kind greetings.
Again, more curious looks as we entered the polishing seminar. The older gentleman who told Justin, “You’re too young to be here,” at the breakfast must’ve been joking because a few minutes later, he sat down next to us and pulled an iPad out of his backpack. Pretty fly for an old white guy.
The turning point was when Justin asked a question during the seminar and the facilitator asked what year our trailer was. When he replied, “A 1960 Overlander,” everyone raised their eyebrows. They were impressed, or at least surprised.
It’s so nice to meet others who have- or are going through the same restoration processes. There isn’t exactly a wealth of knowledge available on restoring Airstreams. It’s out there, but you have to hunt for it. It’s nice to relate to someone face-to-face about the intricacies of vintage trailering.
Throughout the weekend, we met lots of incredibly nice people, some who owned vintage trailers and others with newer models. We strolled through the RV show and toured the newest Airstream models, which averaged between $75,000-80,000 (yikes!); checked out the trade show, and attended a few more seminars. We were like sponges soaking in all the information.
Our favorite part of the rally was the vintage Airstream open house. It was so neat to see all the different trailers and how each one reflected its owners' personality.
We asked lots of questions and took pictures of interior layouts and holding tank configurations. Yeah... that's what we get excited about these days, ha ha! Everyone was eager to hear about our Overlander and share their vintage Airstream knowledge. We made some great contacts and learned about various vintage parts suppliers.
As I was walking out the door, I discovered some vintage taillights and an indoor propane lamp that I snagged for $20 total. I couldn’t leave without something for our aluminum princess!
We drove home Sunday afternoon, thrilled with what we learned and the new friends we made, but eager to return to our pups and our own beds.
We vowed that the Riveted Roost would certainly be attending next year’s Sarasota rally, appropriately deemed “AlumaFlamingo.” We can’t wait to bring our dogs and aluminum abode with us next time.
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