Sunday, September 19, 2021
Sunday, September 19, 2021

RV Review: Airstream Pottery Barn Special Edition Travel Trailer

I’ve talked about the changes that a lot of folks make “right” when they get a new RV. This kind of opportunity hasn’t escaped the RV industry. The people at Airstream collaborated with Pottery Barn to create a special 28-foot travel trailer. I recently had a chance to look at one of these things and, frankly, I absolutely love the Airstream Pottery Barn Special Edition. 

Airstream

I don’t know why I even need to bother talking about Airstreams because I can’t imagine anyone reading RV Travel who isn’t familiar with them. The only thing I want to add is that, to me, the interiors of Airstreams are a bit industrial. But that’s also what’s so unique about them. 

However, the folks at Pottery Barn have taken that interior feel and really added warmth to it that I think would make even RV DIYers stand up and take notice. 

But Airstream itself has added some things to this model that are absolutely noteworthy. Those include 270 watts of roof-top solar and a 100 amp-hour lithium battery. That’s in a heated compartment so it can be charged even when the weather outside gets below freezing. 

This model also comes with a power awning over the camp side, which you might expect. But that awning has a striped pattern to the fabric that is unique to this model. There are also awnings over the rear window and over the road side as well. 

The Airstream Pottery Barn trailer comes with the CZone control system

This unit is fitted with a CZone control system that allows you to operate the lights, awning, get the propane tank levels, battery state of charge and operate the climate controls from a central control panel. But there’s also an app for that and you can operate these same features with a smartphone. The unique thing about this is that there’s available AT&T connectivity that allows you to operate these items on the trailer even when you’re far from it. 

Think about the value of this. If you have the trailer in a storage facility, you can determine the level of propane in the tanks to decide if you have to fill before your next trip, or precool or preheat the interior before you even get there. That’s pretty impressive. 

As to the lighting, it’s really a cut above and looks like it came out of a Pottery Barn catalog rather than the typical RV discount shopping guide. While all the lighting in here is LED, the fixtures are really attractive to my eye. They remind me of those in the Drab To Fab trailer which I also liked. 

This model is also among the first from Airstream to feature a Demco hitch. It is unusual in that you can leave the lever in the “closed” position and it will latch on to the hitch ball. Let’s face it, cheap trailer hitch latches are among the first things to get fiddly on a travel trailer. Let’s hope this doesn’t. It seems to be much higher in quality and easier to use, as well. 

Pottery Barn 

So what did they do? Essentially, they took a 28’ Airstream trailer and added a lot of little details to it – the kind of stuff a DIYer might do but right from the factory. 

There are also some accessories that were added. These include a set of outdoor chairs and a little table. Also, there is a very clever table that hangs off the window just outside the dinette which you can access from inside or out.

There’s a chalkboard on the inside of the entry door. Now, this might seem like a small deal. But I have been telling people for years to write down the name of the campground, site, county and phone number when they check in in the event of an emergency. Bazinga. 

There’s also an Airstream/Pottery Barn cast salt and pepper shaker that owners should be careful to keep. This will be one of those details that make the difference in the value of this trailer decades from now when one shows up in some auction. 

What has given the trailer a different feel, to me, is the “L”-shaped sofa right at the front. The company boasts it uses springs and foam in the construction, so it really has a residential feel. There are also really nice Roman shades that operate like typical RV shades but just offer such a nice appearance. 

There is also wainscoting in the cabinetry above the sofa and galley. The combination of the soft surfaces in this model along with the typical Airstream cabinetry and appliances, plus the aluminum surfaces, make for a uniquely warm yet thoroughly modern interior. 

Grand Tour of the Airstream Pottery Barn Special Edition

Stepping through the door that is built by Airstream, you come to that large “L”-shaped couch. This is in the shadow of the front windows that wrap around, giving you a really nice view. As mentioned there are thick Roman shades all around for privacy. 

But first, it’s good to notice that there are two drawers below the dinette on the left of the entryway. Those have some of the soft totes that are also part of the Pottery Barn edition. These are great places to put shoes. Those soft totes also let you take them in and load them. It makes getting ready to go camping a bit easier. 

Multipurpose table top

The table top can be moved around to accommodate campers of different sizes. It can also be slid toward the galley a bit to provide additional prep space. The table top is a really nice rough wood surface that is part of what I like so much about the decor in here. The table also can mash down to become a bed. 

The galley starts at the front with a large drawer that has a garbage can in it. But there’s also a cutting board on a drawer pull in here that sits atop the garbage can. That way you can cut your veggies and scrape the cuttings into the garbage can through the handle. 

Grab that cutting board’s handle and flip it over and you see that it’s also a serving tray. This kind of attention to detail is why more companies that aren’t RV companies should be doing RV interiors. There are a lot of these kind of features that DIYers have been implementing that are great to see in here. This is why I’m so enthusiastic about this model. 

The large farmhouse sink has a stained walnut cover that really is walnut. There is a three-burner stove. You can choose a propane oven or a convection microwave to occupy the space below that. 

The cabinetry below offers storage space while the cabinet doors also conceal two drawers. This model is only available with a 12-volt DC compressor fridge. 

Beyond the galley there’s a closet that features a mirror and your hanging storage. 

Split bath in the Airstream Pottery Barn trailer

This unit features a split bath, so the shower is on the road side with a frosted glass door. There is a seat in here and the shower head is not your typical lousy RV shower head. I can’t report on the quality of the experience other than to say this fixture is black like all the other fixtures in this model. 

On the camp side is the toilet room which features subway tile on the walls that match a round ceramic sink. Over the sink is a large round mirror which conceals the medicine cabinet. There is also back-lighting on the mirror, which really is nice. 

The bedroom

This model offers a choice of two types of bedroom: a single RV queen-sized bed or two twin beds. The company states that the twin beds are longer and also have the benefit of offering storage beneath them which is accessible from the outside. 

There is also an additional storage cabinet above the foot of each of these beds. This might help alleviate the common complaint about Airstream trailers that there is a limited amount of storage in them. 

On the nightstand between the twin beds is a small pull-out table and a lamp that operates by touch. 

A nifty feature is a switch above the head of each bed that allows you to extinguish all the lights in the trailer. Or, again, you can do so with your smartphone. 

In summary

I was surprised how big a difference those Roman shades and wainscoting on the cabinet doors made to my eye. I also really liked the light fixtures in the trailer and the table top for the dinette. 

I’ve seen a lot of DIYers do projects with vintage Airstream trailers. They do enough little things to make the interiors much warmer than stock units. For people with a DIY aesthetic but no DIY skills or time, and a lot of money, this could be a great choice. 

As much as the RV industry likes to copy one another, I’d like to see these Roman shades appear in more models as well as these nicer lighting fixtures. 

Small tank sizes in Airstream trailers

One of the things that’s a constant in Airstream trailers is that the tank sizes are a bit small at only 32 gallons of fresh water. One of the other complaints commonly heard about Airstream trailers is that they don’t have slide rooms and, frankly, that’s fine with me. Having had to resolve a lot of slide room warranty issues in my life managing RV warranties, I would be thrilled to see greater availability of RVs with no slide room, at least as an option. 

However, at $145,000, this isn’t going to be something you see at every campground. But I do hope the industry takes a look at some of the elements of this interior design and embraces it more widely. 

While I like Airstream trailers and love the fact that they have a consistent style and tend to last a long time, I haven’t wanted one. Until now. Yeah, I really like the aesthetics of this trailer. 

Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Design aesthetic
CZone control system
Attention to detail
Fresh water tank size

SUMMARY

Airstream and Pottery Barn have collaborated on a new model in the company's iconic travel trailer line bringing a new level of design aesthetic to the elements that one already expects in an Airstream.

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Keith
1 month ago

It has 2 100Ah batteries 🔋

Mitzi Agnew Giles and Ed Giles
1 month ago

Enjoyed the review even if I can’t afford the camper. I was trying to describe the model to DH and he got fixated on $$ and the relationship between Airstream & Pottery Barn. Finally I had what I thought was a good explanation of Pottery Barn style-. “It’s like an American IKEA”. He looked at it again and said “There’s no way one person could put that together.” I said, “Huh?” He insists IKEA means DIY kits and that you don’t get anything already put together there. Then asked what section PB would have RV kits in. Finally I tried, “Suppose Winnabago put a trailer together and then invited Hammacher Schlemmer to do the interior”? I think he got it now. I was trying to impress those Roman shades on him. I think they’re great and want to get some aftermarket.

Bob M
1 month ago

I wouldn’t rely on connectivity with AT&T for the CZone control system. The couple Pa State Parks I’ve camped at had no AT&T service as well as a lot I have in the Pocono’s. Looks nice but I agree the tanks are too small, especially if you pay $140,000.

Donald N Wright
1 month ago

I wish I could have that bathroom sink and counter in my 2020 Airstream International. Also an optional boards and mattress to slip between the twin beds for romantic evenings. Not to worry, several times I have had the only Airstream in a RV park full of boxes.

Dan
1 month ago

One thing I’ve noticed about Airstreams, especially this one, is that they seem to have more windows than most other brands. Those extra windows really open the space and make them feel larger.

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