By Juan Fernandez

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The airstream is an American classic.

The airstream travel trailer was first introduced in 1931 — right here in Culver City.

A new airstream dealership opened in Los Angeles Friday — clearly RV’s are still big business. This dealership opened in the San Gabriel Valley. What down economy?

Airstreams are still rolling off an assembly line in a factory in Ohio.

Bob Wheeler, president of Airstream, said opening the new dealership in Southern California made perfect sense.”It’s a Southern California product. And California has been the number one retail state for airstreams for years and years and years. There’s just something about the California vibe.”

Juan Fernandez, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, says the airstream hasn’t changed much on the outside … the sleek, easy to recognize aluminum style looks much the same as it did when it first appeared 81 years ago.

But the inside? Totally different. Pimp my airstream. Today’s models have LED lighting, flat screen TVs, modern appliances and fixtures. All the conveniences of a home, or flying first class. Camping in style.Wheeler adds, “There are models with blu-ray capability, bluetooth, LED TV’s, all running together.”

Some people even use RV’s now for working.  Wheeler believes there are as many uses for airstreams as their are airstreams. “They’re offices, mobile retail, some full-timers live in them. It’s whatever you want it to be.”

Airstream hobbyist David Reel now owns two — most notably a 1962 classic. He says it’s a throwback to his childhood. “It brings people back to a simpler time of when they were younger. It’s a piece of Americana.”

He knows it’s a real crowd pleaser.

The airstream Fernandez checked out costs about $98,000 but he says many models cost more, many cost less.

The dealership has already sold six of the $98,000 model with two more sales pending.


Juan Fernandez

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