Update: An inquiry by someone writing a paper for an MBA asking if Airstream ever built pickup campers finally resulted in the very little bit of research that I should have done back then (in 2011): it turns out this is an imposter. Airstream never made pickup campers. This is an Avion with Airstream badges. Sorry for any confusion.
The word “Airstream” conjures up the iconic polished aluminum trailers that we all know and love. Airstream also (belatedly) got into the motor home side of the business, although not with the success that might have been expected. And they built pickup campers too, and very nice ones at that (update: not!). This is one, snuggled into that rugged ’76 F-350, is a very nice combination indeed. I admit, this is a bit more realistic as an alternative to our Chinook than the old Ford and camper I swooned about recently. I’m a bit too woo-woo when it come to old stuff…duh! But this, hey; it’s only thirty-five years young! And it even sports louvers on the hood; and I just realized the hubcap on that car under the cover looks like off an early Jeep Wagoneer or J-Series truck. need to go back…
I’ve often wrestled with the advantages of a pickup camper on a newer truck, versus having to keep two old rigs running. The pros and cons make for interesting mental games while rolling down the highway, but then the reality of actually undertaking it seems too…well, let’s just say I tend to get attached to my stuff: I’m a curator, at heart. Twelve old houses, two old trucks, and a passel of old lawnmowers…speaking of which, one or two of those old houses need some attention right now, otherwise I’ll never get out of town in the camper by the 11th.
Wonder what’s under the louvers?
I’m hoping it’s a big block under those louvers that might actually need the extra cooling and ventilation. :))
Had something similar once. It went to my sisters house while I was away and when I eventually went back for it- it had no bottom. Sitting on the ground. Aaarrggh. Thats brother in laws for ya. Anyway, wrestle no more. Just buy a camper like this and slap it in your old truck. The camper jacks make that an easy job and no need for more than one pickup. From the writeup on your old truck it would probably make it all over the pacific northwest. Lots of us rednecks down here in East Texas would just put that in a trailer and pull it with something a lot lighter than a camper special. Anyway, I am sure that parting with the f100 is too painful to contemplate.
Yes, parting with the old F100 is too painful to contemplate. And it’s just too noisy and rattly to drive any long distances anymore. And then there are those little drum brakes, and… It’s staying closer to home now.
Paul, I think what you missed under that tarp is a C-101 Jeepster.
The hood shape and short front overhang are a dead giveaway…there was virtually nothing ahead of the front wheels on a CJ or C-101.
Wow, that’s some seriously awesome car spotting. Completely covered by a tarp and you still know what it is…..
Now that is cool caravan meets pickup with a pleasant result. Your truck has a manual tranny Paul brakes arent really that neccessary drums work ok, just dont ride em ease off the gas and enjoy the scenery there aint any rush turn the stereo up and drown the rattles out.
Dang, that is truly awesome!
Great find and on a utility box too. If it’s the 460, your looking at about 6 miles to the gallon. But what a wonderful six miles it would be.
Yeah, the idea behind a camper is to leave it off to one side when one has other uses for the truck, but that one looks to me like it’s never off the truck. And, that Ford one-ton definitely looks like a truck that can easily carry and move that camper.
Livable inable but lacking the ‘stealth” required to “fide” from the jack-booted thugs to keep the heathenish homeless horde moving along so as to not shun the delicate sensibilities of the “better classes.”
The Old Coot has spoken.
Well, actually writ but I assume thou gets my drift.
I bet the louvers are there to make up for cooling lost due to the worst possible placement of a spare tire!
Neat piece, truck campers are still popular in the PNW since I see a lot of Lance and Caveman rigs around. An Airstream would be extra cool for slickness and rarity.
The utility box is another nice touch, I’m surprised more people don’t use them for campers since you get a lot of storage in what would other wise be wasted space.
Come to that there is probably a CC worth of material on the evolution of utility boxes, toolboxes, flatbeds and so on.
As a further digression on campers, what about using a small cabover chassis like an Isuzu NPR for a motorhome? It would be more economical than a gasoline powered Econoline and more powerful and cheaper than a Sprinter. The loss of through cab access and clearance for tilting might be issues but European builders have been using cabovers for years.
I don’t think this is quite what you mean, but it has been for sale for quite a few months up here ((BC)
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Sweet, but pricey.
I definitely want one of these campers. There’s somebody running around the Rogue Valley in a newer truck with the same camper. It appears,to be a daily driver as I see it quite a bit. His is polished to a mirror-like finish-very beautiful.
The current rig is a 2005 Tundra 4×4 and 1994 Four Wheel popup that was originally mounted on a 1994 F-150. One modern truck for work and vacations makes sense. California has a weight fee and biennial smog checks (’75 and up), making multiple trucks expensive. Also, our properties are spread out between sea level and 6000ft, 100 miles apart, so I wouldnt trust an old beater, especially on mountain highways in winter.
I thought airstream did make a slide in camper, seems like I remember seeing one. This one does have the look of an avion which never had the class or style of the Airstreams in trailers. I remember camping as a kid and walking around the campground looking at the rigs.An Airstream with a big stationwagon to pull it was the thing to have. Unfortunately we were stuck with a 59 Nimrod Pop-up being pulled with either a 54 Chevy BelAir, a 60 Plymouth Savoy, a 63 Plymouth Savoy, a 67 Plymouth Fury II, a 73 Chevy Impala, and finally I think when my parents finally retired it was with an 80 Chevy Citation. My mom always thought the thing to have would be a Buick Wagon and an Airstream. I do not think an Enclave would pull one now. Do they make one that weighs 5000 pounds or less now? Most I see are behind Heavy Duty Suburbans or Pickups and are very long and probably weigh 7500 or more. I wish I had the time and the money to put a smaller Airstream behind my Roadmaster wagon and see the USA.
Airstream currently has three models under 5000lb GVWR. Hold on to your wallet because the prices are probably north of $50k. There are two reasons you see most Airstreams behind bigger light trucks, the macho factor and the fact that most Airstream models on the road arent exactly small and light. If you can afford and Airstream, most folks arent going to skimp on the tow vehicle either. That is why mom wanted a Buick, not a Chevy to tow her Airstream.
Love those Avion (formerly Cayo) campers. Been looking for a reasonably priced one for some time now. Only ever seen two in the tin… very unique contraptions, they were!
Looking to buy a avion camper in good condition that has been protected from the elements. Willing to pay a fair price.