FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
You can find the answers to the most frequently asked questions by clicking on the individual questions here.
We are also happy to be at your personal disposal under +49-6471-50888-4130.
Why Airstream Germany?
We are the official AIRSTREAM importer for Europe.
Our products come with a 2-year factory warranty and only with us can you obtain the official Airstream European models. These have been specially developed and optimised for the European market and have all the necessary approval documents.
We will be happy to advise you!
As enthusiastic AIRSTREAM owners we know our products very well. We offer you a comprehensive consultation all around the acquisition of your AIRSTREAM. All accessory options offered by us are tested in advance by us. Whether multimedia, combustion toilet, solar panel or other unusual accessories - just ask us. We will be happy to advise you!
We offer service
Even after the purchase we are there for you and offer you a extensive service including the procurement of original spare parts from the USA. In the event of repairs, our technicians trained by the manufacturer will ensure that your vehicle will be available again soon without any discernible damage. We have almost all spare parts in stock for our customers and can also be contacted outside business hours or in emergencies.?
No financial risk
We do not demand excessive deposits or advance payments if you order a Airstream from us. If we agree to make larger deposits with you due to long delivery dates or custom projects, you can of course receive a bank guarantee.
Tradition and reliability for over 50 years
We have been known to our customers as vehicle manufacturers and metalworking companies for over 50 years and supply premium products in the highest quality of craftsmanship. With our approx. 100 employees we have almost every necessary qualification in our own company and deliver about 150 sales, promotion and recreational vehicles to our customers in the year. As a company of a medium-sized group of companies with approx. 350 employees, we have the necessary financial background to handle complex projects, special requests and large orders.
In our modern sales and service centre we look forward to your visit. There we keep all current Airstream models ready for you to visit. We try to shorten the long delivery times from USA for you by ordering vehicles in advance or even available from stock. Just ask me!
We live airstream!
We live the lifestyle of Airstream and not only talk about it. Many of our employees are enthusiastic Airstreamer. As an official German representation, we actively work on the construction of the Airstream community in Europe and organise regular meetings to which we invite our customers. Beginners will find useful tips and tricks on how and where they can best use their Airstream.
Where can I see the European Airstream models?
You will find our current showrooms in Merenberg near Limburg and in Augsburg.
Further information about our showrooms and opening hours can be found here.
What makes an Airstream so special?
Timeless and durable
Airstreams are timeless design icons with over 85 years of tradition. More than 70% of all airstreams ever built still exist.
Manual Work and quality
Each Airstream is a hand-made single piece. For the production of a Airstreams 300 – 400 working hours are spent, for the construction of a normal caravan often not even 10% of it.
Caravan for more information about the particular technical design and the design of Airstream can be found here
Airstreams often remain the property of their owner for decades or are even inherited. Should you nevertheless want to sell your Airstream, you can be happy about the high value retention of your vehicle. Design Airstreams are never old-fashioned. According to the philosophy of the Airstream founder, our products are carefully maintained but not radically changed. The unique design of Airstreams is unrivalled to this day.
More than 80 years of tradition. The brand Airstream owes its worldwide fame to the long company history and the legendary caravans of the company founder Wally Byam. But even today the Airstream community is very active worldwide and is looking forward to many new members every year.
What is the difference between European Airstream models and the US Airstreams?
Why do you offer special European Airstream models? We are often asked this question. Of course it would be much easier if Airstream could simply sell its US models in Europe. Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why this should not be the case. American Airstream models are developed purely for the US market and comply with local technical and legal requirements that differ significantly from those in Europe. Here's a little lineup:
|?||USA Models||Europe Models|
|Exteriour Width||Over 23 feet in length, too wide and not approved in Europe||Max 2,55 m wide|
|Tongue weight||between 220KG and 500 KG||Up to 150 KG|
|Electricity||110 volt||230 Volt|
|Heating||Air blower heating or heat pump via air conditioning system||Water-bearing central heating with radiators Walls|
In Europe, the maximum vehicle width is 2.55 metres.
In the USA, the maximum vehicle width is 2.68 metres.
It is known that in the USA everything is a bit bigger, so does the streets. For this reason, trucks, large motorhomes and caravans in the USA are much wider than ours. All US Airstream over 23 feet total length are therefore offered in 2.58 width. Together with the awning, they are then even up to 2.68 centimeters wide and may not be approved in Europe.
Only models up to a maximum of 23 feet are built in the USA with a width of 2.43 meters. Together with the awning you are about 2.53 centimeters wide and therefore just as wide as our Airstream 684. The popular 2.3 meter wide version is not even offered in the USA.
Maximum vertical load Europe max.: 150 KG - USA up to 500 KG
The most used towing vehicle in the USA for Airstream is the Ford F150 pickup. It has a large loading area and 1.5 tons payload. This commercial vehicle has a correspondingly hard suspension at the rear axle. In order to pull an Airstream weighing 3 tons safely with such a vehicle, the trailer should have a support load of approx. 20% of its own weight. For a 3-ton trailer this is about 500KG. The support load is determined by the position of the axes. On US models this is located further back than on Europamodels. The position of the axis can hardly be changed afterwards. Extensive conversion measures are necessary for this and usually only lead to an unsatisfactory result. The ground plan of the European models was developed from the beginning in such a way that the axles and wheel arches are in the middle.
Power supply Europe = 230 Volt - USA = 110 Volt
In the United States, the standard for current voltage is 110 volts, while in Europe 230 volts. Heating, refrigerator, microwave, charger and outlets are operated in US Airstreams with 110 volts. Europe models were developed from the beginning for 230 volts operation. All devices on board come from Europe and are operated at 230 volts.
Brake Europe = mechanical - Brake USA = electrical
In the USA, trailers are electrically braked. For this purpose, each towing vehicle has its own control unit to send appropriate signals to the trailer. The parking brake in the USA requires a 12 volt power supply. In Europe, trailers in the class of up to 3.5 tonnes are typically mechanically braked with a so-called casserole brake. The parking brake works just as mechanically. The approval of a trailer with electric brakes in Europe is not excluded, but very expensive. In addition, the replacement supply is scarcely guaranteed and you will hardly find someone who is familiar with the US system.
Heating Europe = central heating - heating USA = hot air blower or air conditioner
In many regions in the USA, the heating of caravans and motorhomes is rarely or not at all necessary. Often the cooling is more important than the heating. US campers and caravans therefore usually have a relatively simple heating system which heats air and distributes it through several outlets in the vehicle. Alternatively, the air conditioning system is often used as a heat pump to generate warm air. In contrast, Airstream uses a water-bearing central heating system from the Swedish company Alde as standard for the Airstream European models developed especially for the European market. These heating systems are operated with water just like at home, are quieter and more even and cover the entire room. Here, water flows through the vehicle in circuits up to 14 metres long with radiators. The result is a very pleasant indirect heat that is passively distributed in the vehicle without a fan. This also results in significantly less dust turbulence.
Supply of spare parts and warranty.
All new European models have a 2-year factory warranty. All important component suppliers have a Europe-wide service partner network.
What should I consider when buying a used airstream?
Also a used Airstream represents a great investment due to the high conservation of the value and should be planned so carefully. Basically Airstream Europe models offer a better value retention than imported U.S. models which were then more or less professionally converted to European standards. Here you will find some hints on what you should pay attention. For further questions we are gladly available
Check whether all necessary papers are available
Also in the case of vehicles from other European countries, you should carefully check whether all the necessary papers are available. In order to umzumelden a vehicle within Europe, it is necessary to provide proof that the vehicle was already registered in Europe. For example, caravans from England do not have their own approval and therefore no English vehicle documents. For these vehicles, therefore, you have to complete the approval process here in Germany with a single purchase completely new.
No authorisation without proof of customs clearance
At the latest at the admission board, you must prove that a vehicle from the USA has been properly cleared. For a vehicle that has never been approved in the EU, you need a so-called Customs exemption certificate in Germany. However, this will only be made for you by the Customs authorities if you can prove that the vehicle has also been properly cleared. The indication that the vehicle has been used in England for several years is not enough and the procurement of a vehicle that was imported many years ago is often no longer impossible.
Check the correct information in the vehicle documents!
Unfortunately, we are constantly seeing that the support loads are being massively cheated in vehicles from the Netherlands. Often, several hundred kilograms of ballast in the stern are simply invited for individual acceptance to reduce the load. After unloading, the customer then simply continues with 300 kg of load. In Europe, however, only 150KG are allowed in the case of ball-head clutches. Such a massive overrun of the load on the towing vehicle and trailer can lead to loss of insurance coverage in the event of an accident and may result in legal action.
Weight - empty weight - load - effective weight
Check the effective weight of the vehicle by weighing it and compare it with the total permissible weight. Unfortunately, we always see vehicles that are considerably heavier due to the installation of ballast in the rear than the indication of the empty weight and partly even above the permissible total weight. For the possible loading of a trailer is the difference between weighted empty weight and the permissible total weight. For the question whether you can pull the trailer with your towing vehicle, the effective weight and the load in the laden state are decisive
Listed by width
As already mentioned, all US models over 23 feet length 8 ′ 5.5 ″ = 258cm without awning wide. Even without an awning, they already exceed the maximum permissible width of 2, 55cm. With an awning, the vehicles are already 2, 1 cm wide and therefore 5 inches wider than a 40 ton truck. Apart from the fact that such a vehicle can hardly be moved sensibly in Europe, you have to reckon with serious consequences in the event of an accident.
Also, please note that a has already been granted type-approval may be revoked at any time when it is known a such rough false claim.
Can I stay on the road with an airstream?
With an Airstream caravan you are basically self-sufficient on the road as far as the energy and fresh water supply. An important prerequisite to be at all independent of campsites on the road.
The question as to whether you can park your Airstream in public traffic areas is quickly answered. You may park your team wherever it is not explicitly forbidden. However, contrary to popular opinion, parking on the sidewalk is not permitted. Not even if it is permitted with a special sign, because an Airstream train combination usually has more than 2.8 tons gross vehicle weight. Of course, you should be considerate of other road users when parking and should not obstruct anyone beyond what is necessary. Parking on a narrow road, which then creates a traffic jam, promises no restorative night. Under these conditions you can spend the night without worries in the public traffic area, i.e. on the street and also in public parking lots, provided that parking of carriages is not expressly forbidden there.
How sleeping in the Airstream parked? Camping in public transport is generally not allowed. The unique overnight to restore the ability to drive according to road traffic regulations is, however, permitted. According to the ADAC, judging from here by a period of 10 hours. Several times overnight, however, is not permitted.
When parking and possibly necessary unique overnight to restore the ability to drive note however some ground rules. Although you can use the facilities inside the Airstream like bathroom and kitchen without hesitation when parking, you should avoid but extend the awning, use of camping furniture and shutting down the columns to avoid suspicion of unauthorised camping.
Caution is also for example in the State Schleswig-Holstein. There the following is restricted in the Landesnaturschutzgesetzt section 37. "Tents or other portable accommodation (caravans, camper vans) may be placed only on the courses approved and used." This law is not limited to protected areas, but applies in the entire State. 2 States however: subject to traffic rights provisions remain unaffected. This means that a required under the road traffic regulations overnight to restore the ability to drive normally can be rejected. The minds may be but do not deliberately, caused for example by the consumption of alcohol during a break or when you visit a restaurant of.
Unfortunately, parking and therefore also staying overnight on motorhome pitches with a team is generally not permitted. Exceptions are pitches that explicitly allow this. On many pitches, the use of a self-sufficient caravan is tolerated depending on season and occupancy, but in case of doubt it is always advisable to ask by telephone or personally.
Use of motorway service areas On motorway service areas, parking and thus also the one-time overnight stay on the specially designated parking lots for trucks with a caravan is not actually permitted. In normal parking bays, on the other hand, where you can find space with your team and do not obstruct anyone, parking is probably okay. Some service areas and many car parks also offer special caravan and motorhome parking spaces away from cars and trucks, where you can sleep much better anyway. In case of doubt you should accept a small fee rather than a restless night between the trucks.
The above statements do not claim to correctness and reflect only our current state of knowledge. As so often in life courtesy and consideration the decisive factor even when traveling with a so eye-catching often mobile as an airstream. We certainly never had problems in restoring the ability to drive...
Is there an Airstream Club in Europe?
The Wally Byam Caravan Club International
Founded in 1955, the Wally Byam Caravan Club International has enriched the lives of many Airstream owners over the years. Even today, the club is managed in the spirit of Airstream brand founder Wally Byam and has more than 6000 members. The club is organized into regions and regional units in the United States, Canada, Australia and now Europe. All clubs comply with WBCCI rules, but have their own bylaws, bylaws, elected directors and dues.
Due to the ever-growing number of Airstream owners in Europe the establishment of a European unit of the Wally Byam Caravan Club International ws a logical consequence. The WBCCI Europe is the youngest unit of WBCCI with a rapidly growing number of members in the whole of Europe and was founded in July 2015. A membership in the WBCCI Europe is open to all Airstream owners in Europe and is the key to participation in the events that the Club makes unique in the world.
More information to the WBCCI Europe and registration can be found here Europe.wbcci.NET