Thursday, September 28, 2023


RV Electricity – Road Signs: Elvis-Aluma-Palooza

A tale of Elvis and Airstreams

Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? Say Elvis-Aluma-Palooza three times fast and you’ll find it quite a mouthful. Well, by the time you read this Road Signs article I will have just finished doing an RV Electricity Seminar for Alumapalooza® (the Airstream factory rally in Ohio) on Friday, and run sound for my first Elvis Presley show on Saturday. No, I’m definitely NOT dressing up like Elvis and singing Hound Dog – I’m simply setting up all the microphones, speakers and other sound gear needed for a small concert, and I’ll be mixing the King for a non-profit event. However, I WILL be dressed up as Mike Sokol for the Alumapalooza rally on Friday and teaching my full RV Electrical Safety seminar to owners of all those shiny silver Twinkies.

Why am I writing about my parallel but seemingly unrelated activities? To me, Elvis and Airstreams have a lot in common. Read on…

Both have a unique look

You can recognize Elvis (or an Elvis tribute performer) from a long ways off. His look is unmistakable. While Elvis changed a bit with the times, you can still recognize him no matter what his age was. And just say, “Thank you, thank you very much,” with his classic drawl and everyone will know you’re talking about the King of Rock ‘n Roll.

You can recognize any Airstream trailer from a long ways off. An Airstream’s look is unmistakable. You can simply say “Bambi” and everyone knows you’re talking about a single-axle Airstream. Yes, there are variations, but no matter the details, the design is basically the same, and everyone knows it’s an Airstream.

Longevity is in their blood

Elvis has been around for a LONG time. Starting in the ’60s as sort of a joke on the Ed Sullivan show, he has persevered to this day. In fact, Elvis is more famous now that he’s passed on than he ever was while alive.

Airstreams have been around for a LONG time. Starting in the ’50s as a riff on WWII aircraft designs, Airstream has persevered to this day as the champagne of travel trailers. And every vintage Airstream that shows up at a campground or rally is sure to get looks.

Both have big fan clubs

Elvis has a LOT of fans and a huge fan club. I’m not sure of the exact number but it has to be in the millions. Just look at all the Elvis tribute acts and shows that they flock to. Sing “Love Me Tender” and hearts just melt everywhere.

Airstreams have a lot of fans as well. Just look at Alumapalooza, for example. There were hundreds of Airstreams and their owners of all sizes, shapes and ages that showed up the previous week at the Airstream factory. It’s a super fan club of sorts.

They have a one-name destination

No self-respecting Elvis fan would turn down a visit to Graceland. I mean, even Graceland is a one-name destination. Just saying it conjures up images of the Jungle Room and the gated entrance.

Every Airstream owner I know wants to visit the Alumapalooza Rally and Airstream factory in Ohio. After all, that’s where their baby (or Bambi) was born. There’s an entire section of the Airstream plant that’s devoted to rebuilding and refurbishing vintage Airstreams, and it’s quite a site. Airstreams can live on and on and on, some finally being turned into high-end hotel rooms at unique locations.

Finally – They’re just plain COOL!

Okay, enough about Elvis and Airstreams. Let’s hope everything worked at both of my unique gigs last week, and perhaps I’ll have a story or two about it later. In the meantime, go out and find your own unique adventure. I dare you…

Let’s play safe out there….


Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.



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