The more I read about Airstreams the more excited I get. We didn’t go into this completely blind. We did read up and did a lot research on the trailers. We felt that we learned all we needed to know before pulling the trigger and buying our Airstream.
And now that we have our Airstream (after one very expensive and impulsive 96 hours), and we have her parked, and the first cleaning complete, I am beginning to dive deeper into Airstream history and I am loving everything I learn.
There is a thriving and wonderful Airstream community. The community answers questions, offers advice, shares stories and photos of renovations and travel and they hold rallies and meet-ups.
I knew we were getting an awesome travel trailer but I had no idea about the community we would become apart of.
The red numbers on our trailer were a bit of a mystery to me and it wasn’t until I Googled “Red Numbers on Airstream” that I discovered the vibrant Airstream community.
In the 1920’s there was a DIYer named Wally Byam that saw a need for a better designed travel trailer and he filled that need by designing the Airstream. He sold his plans for his trailers for $5 and also built trailers to sell.
During WWII Byam stopped making Airstreams, and in order to help the war effort he worked on aircraft. After the war, with the economic boom and with America starting to travel for recreation again, he started up Airstream. Airstream took off and became as iconic as Coca Cola.
In 1955 he started The Wally Byam Caravan Club International, WBCCI, and that is where the red numbers come in to play. Byam would thrive in modern-day social media. The red numbers give other members of the WBCCI a way to cross reference who’s trailer is who’s with an annual directory. Social Media Genius. Zuckerberg has nothing on Byam.
The number on our Airstream is 5326. When we join the WBCCI, which we will for sure be joining, I don’t know if we will get a new number or if that number will stay the same. For now though, I am revelling in our red numbers and dreaming about passing other Airstreams on the road and flipping through our directory to match a number to a name.