Why are Airstreams So Expensive

Recreational vehicles come with a hefty price tag and none more so than Airstreams. If you have been shopping for a motorhome you are probably wondering why Airstreams are so expensive. A 2020 Airstream will set you back anywhere between $35K to $150K. With this kind of price tag, “why are Airstreams so expensive?” is a common question among people shopping for motorhomes.

To understand why Airstreams are so expensive, we need to delve into the outstanding features of this premium RV brand to understand what sets its apart from the competition.

The Airstream Body

The first thing you will notice about an Airstream is the aerodynamic aluminum body. This head-turning exterior is made using aircraft grade aluminum over a hard steel frame. When it comes to quality bodywork, Airstream goes all the way and this is one of the primary reasons why Airstreams are so expensive.

The higher construction costs that come with the hand-crafted exterior that ensure a seamless and leak-free shell, is another factor in the high price of the Airstream. The investment in quality by Airstream means the consumer has to dig deeper into their pocket to purchase this RV brand.

The recognizable aluminum shell of the Airstream brand is one of its stand-out features and what distinguishes it from competing RV brands.

Unique Interior Design and Furniture

If you think that the beauty of the Airstream is only skin deep, you need to check out the interior cabin of this RV brand. The unique design of the cabin of an Airstream is a major reason why Airstreams are so expensive.

Airstream designs its own furniture that is carefully crafted to suit the unique shape and design of Airstream RVs. Airstream is a luxury brand and is finished with luxury interiors and fittings. This, of course, comes at a higher cost than standard RV fittings, explaining why Airstreams are so expensive.

In addition to the high-end interiors, all the furniture in an Airstream has to be manually carried in by hand to prevent any damage to the cabin. In contrast, during the production of other RV brands, cranes airlift furniture into the cabin, a more cost-efficient process. Since Airstream uses a more cost-intensive manual process to furnish the interior, the production costs of the Airstream are high. This in turn translates into a higher price tag.


When it comes to longevity, the Airstream brand is at the top of the list of the most durable RV brands. Airstream RVs can last up to 40 years because of the high-quality material and workmanship used in their production. If you have wondered “why are Airstreams so expensive?”, durability is one of the reasons.

From the aluminum body to the carefully crafted interiors, the Airstream RV keeps its mint condition longer than any other RV brand. Unlike the 10-20-year lifespan of other RV brands, the Airstream will easily last 40 years and beyond, if it is well maintained.

Airstreams may be expensive but ultimately, they are great value for money because they will last longer than other RV brands. The fact that Airstreams remain in good condition for a very long time means that if you need to resell your Airstream you will get a decent resale price.

Airstream is a Premium Brand

Why are Airstreams so expensive? Well, this is a premium brand specifically targeting the luxury RV market. Most RV brands will have a luxury model in their product offering, in order to cater to the more discerning consumer. Airstream, on the other hand, solely specializes in luxury brands and does not produce budget models.

Like any other luxury product, luxury brands come with expensive price tags to match. Simply put, Airstream is the Louis Vuitton of RVs. Fortunately, they have a solid reputation to back their premium price tag. If you are wondering why Airstreams are so expensive, it has a lot to do with its premium brand status.

Airstream Pros

When considering the high cost of an Airstream, there is an even more pertinent question –  Is the Airstream worth the high price tag? Here are some of the reasons why the expensive Airstream may well be worth investing in.

a)  Airstreams are fuel-efficient

The design of the Airstream creates less drag and results in even weight distribution. This makes the Airstream highly fuel-efficient. The Airstream’s sleek design will provide you with better RV gas mileage compared to other RV brands in the same weight class.

b) Airstreams handle well and are easy to maneuver

Airstreams have a low center of gravity. This makes Airstreams stable on the road and easy to maneuver.

c) Low maintenance

While the initial cost of the Airstream may be high, the maintenance costs of this type of RV is relatively low. Due to the high-quality construction and fittings, you will hardly need to repair any of the major components of your RV. With an Airstream, you can be sure you are getting a quality product that will not start to fall apart after a couple of years on the road.

d) Easy to Tow

Airstreams are designed independent torsion axles. These axles typically have their own shock absorbers which make the Airstream easy to tow. In addition, the even weight distribution in Airstreams also makes them more balanced and easier to tow.

e) Longevity

Airstream is a solid brand with a good reputation for longevity. This means that even if you find a new Airstream too expensive, you can still purchase a second-hand Airstream in pretty good condition that will last you a long time.

The durability of the Airstream brand of RV is a plus both for the buyer and reseller. The buyer can get a high-quality used RV in good condition, while the seller gets a good resale value for his Airstream because it is a trusted brand.

f) Quality Interiors and Components

When it comes to the interiors of the Airstream RV, you are sure to get a perfect combination of durability and timeless style. Airstream keeps their interiors at the same quality as their exterior. You can be assured that you are getting the best in fixtures and fittings when you purchase an Airstream RV.

Airstream Cons

1) Airstreams are expensive

The cost of the Airstream is prohibitive for many would-be RV owners. If you are looking for a budget model, Airstream may not be the ideal option for you. With prices ranging from $35K to $150K, this brand is not the most affordable option when it comes to RV brands.

2) Small living space

While this may not be an issue for those who want a compact RV, the small living space in the Airstream brand of RVs can be limiting. Most Airstream models will not come with slide-outs, so you have limited space. If you want an RV with ample storage space, you are unlikely to find it in an Airstream.

Popular Airstream Models

a) Basecamp

The Basecamp is a compact model at just 16 feet long. It is ideal for one or two campers as it can only sleep two in the compact cabin space. However, the dinette can convert into a bed. Despite the compact size, this model can still hold long equipment, such as kayaks, with the door closed.

Main features of this Airstream model include:

  • Size – 16 feet
  • Weight (unloaded) – 2585 pounds
  • 2 floor plans
  • Sleeps 2 people
  • Price range from $37,900 – $41,000

b) Bambi

Bambi is a mid-sized Airstream model at just over 16 feet long. This model can take up to 4 people and is therefore more spacious than the Basecamp model.

Main features of this Airstream model include:

  • Size – 16- 22 feet
  • Weight (unloaded) 3,000- 4,000 pounds
  • 4 floor plans
  • Sleeps 4 people
  • Price range $49,600- $52,600

c) Flying Cloud

The Flying Cloud is perfect for those looking for an Airstream that is ideal for a family. This versatile model can sleep up to 8 people and comes with 8-floor plans to choose from. This Airstream RV is a great family camper and will give you ample living and storage space.

Main features of this Airstream model include:

  • Size – 23-30 feet
  • Weight (unloaded) – 4,761- 6,557 pounds
  • 16 floor plans
  • Sleeps 8 people
  • Price range $77,900- $101,400


When you ask “why are Airstreams so expensive”, it is important to consider the value of this brand of RV and whether or not you find the high price worth it. For most consumers, the durability and quality of the Airstream make it a trusted and reliable premium brand, well worth the expense. However, like everything else, the most important things to consider are your individual needs and budget. If you find that Airstreams have all the features that you require in an RV, then you can safely settle on this reputable brand that is known to outlast many first-owners and keep its mint condition for decades.