Thursday, July 05, 2007

For RVers who own Airstreams, it's one big 'silver family'

J. Rick Cipot remembers the first time he saw an Airstream. He was just a boy.

"I didn't know what it was at the time," he says of the shiny silver trailer that resembles a giant toaster on wheels. "But I knew I wanted one."

Today he not only owns a shiny 2005 Airstream Safari, he attended a ceremony this year when a 1963 Airstream Bambi — a smaller version — was installed in the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Cipot took his obsession with the American icon to the next level last month when he and his fiancée, Sandi Gould, tied the knot at an Airstream rally that attracted dozens of members of the trailer-toting tribe.

Lest you think Cipot needs to get a life, Airstreamers quickly will tell you he has a life. A very good life. In fact, he's running with the in crowd. Airstream trailers, on the road since 1936, are as hot as, well, a cat on a tin roof.

Even though they cost an average of $50,000, Airstreams are "so retro (they're) hip again," says Bob Wheeler, Airstream's CEO in Jackson Center, Ohio, the tiny town where 2,000 of the trailers are built each year.
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