Caravan Review - The Airstream Colorado
Living the dream in the American Airstream
Wednesday, 14, Nov 2018 03:54
By William Coleman
The all American touring icon has been available for purchase from main dealers in the UK for just over a year or so now. Since Airstream's launch in the UK I have not seen a huge amount on the highways of caravan parks across the UK. There may be quite a few reasons for this, most of which have nothing to do with the quality of design build but more to do with how the UK consumer sees the larger red white and blue towing caravan.
When you first see the Airstream Colorado you can't not be impressed with how it looks. They are an extremely cool and sleek looking van. Maybe a little bit too good looking?
Having a van that is so eye catching, especially on a bright sunny day, can put a lot of people off, especially the traditionalist among us. When driving down the motorway though it does have its perks. People see you from a mile off and seem to give you more space than your traditional "white box" caravan. Not sure why this is but it kept happening.
The shiny chrome bullet design is like having a Ferrari, looks amazing but how practical is it for day to day use? Having spent a good amount of time in one I would say very practical but, like most vans on the market, does have its strengths and weaknesses.
I can't help but picture the the Airstream Colorado set against the backdrop of the Arizona desert with a huge flatbed pickup truck parked next to it with a Harley Davidson hitched to the rear. It just screams America to me.
I do love the look of the Colorado and it would be a dream purchase for me. A van this size and weight it packed with style, comfort and practical living space. You certainly will be the talk of the town once you tow one of these down the local high street. With the riveted panel design these vans really are one of a kind with a 80 year back story.
Interior Style For A Plush Living Space
The Colorado is not just a very good looking chassis, the interior design and layout rivals the stylish exterior. There are several different colour schemes to choose from for the living/dinner area but the mid western rustic tan leather is a clear winner for me.
The living area comes with a U-shaped lounge with fixed collapsible table, very different from a living room you'd find in a Coachman, Swift or Bailey. For this reason it does feel limited to more of a sit "sit at the table" style living room as opposed to a lounge traditionally found in caravans.
The inside is very smart and does make for an exciting stay for a few nights, maybe a week. You may start to find that after a while the living room just cannot compete with your traditional vans. Something to be very mindful of if you have the chance of staying in one for an extended amount of time. Maybe I am being a tad too picky because once the table is out the way it is pretty much business as usual.
Kitchen, cooking & Cleaning
Being 8ft wide does provide a great amount of space for food storage and provides a perfect amount of room to be able to cook and not interfere with the living room.
When it come to cooking I need a lot of space, something the Colorado has an abundance of. Large counter worktops to the left and right of the 3 gas ring hob means that you have all your prep, cooking and dishing up space all on separate surfaces. This means you can move around without tripping over yourself and getting in a fluff, not that I do that at all...
The fridge is a massive with enough storage for chilled goods to keep you going for a week, maybe even two! Once you've stocked up the fridge you can then cook to your heart's content with the separate oven and grill.
Day Time Living
One thing that I absolutely love about the about the Airstream models, the Colorado especially, is the amount of natural light it lets it. Surrounded by large windows and skylights you get pretty much as much sun sitting inside as you do outside.
The dining area is large enough to seat 6 people quite comfortably with a possible 2 more at the end of the table but that would start to invade the cooking space, big no no if I'm slaving over the stove.
For those with little ones you have enough power points for chargers for laptops, iPads, DVD players and a TV monitor. As far as creature comforts go the Colorado is pitch perfect and comes, as standard, with pretty much everything you would need for a trip.
The 2018 Airstream trailers are fully kitted out with all the modcons both in and out. Outside you have an exterior shower point, gas BBQ point and a fantastic quality roll out ZipDee awning.
On the inside you have central heating, LED lighting, a Bluetooth sound system with speakers at both ends, a large fridge freezer and a double mattress that is as comfortable as your bed at home.
Being a 4 berth with an island bed means that you are required to make up the bed for persons 3 and 4. Which if you are a seasons caravanner you will have very little problem doing, even if the table is a little stiff to deal with.
The make up bed is extremely comfortable and very spacious. So expect some squabbles over who gets what bed.
The one issue I did have was all the little neon LED lights scattered throughout the van. Once the main lights are off you still have a bluish hue throughout the van all night. There may be a way to turn these off but it is not very clear at all. Although it does provide a good guiding light to the bathroom in the wee hours, sorry couldn't help myself.
The rear island bed is a very good size with panels and surfaces on both sides you you can down your phone, book and glasses of an evening when it's time to call it a night.
The curtains that surround the sleeping quarters do not block out as much light as shutters do but again that is very much a me issue as I am a super light sleeper.
As if it wasn't clear from what I have already said, I am a very big fan of the Airstream Colorado, but there are a few points that I did not overly care for. There is a lot of plastic finish inside. The plastic slide doors on the storage cupboards are fiddly and if pushed too far, which happens every time so it is a design fault, need pinching and prying out.
There are elements that do feel a bit cheap, which is far from the case as you are not getting much change from £100,000. With this price tag you can see why some sites have opted to use these to push the glamping craze and introduce non caravan folk to the idea of using a leisure vehicle for their holidays.
The washroom was not amazing in my humble opinion. A little too cramped and I found that using the toilet with the door closed a bit too claustrophobic at time, and I am not a massive human by any stretch of the imagination.
With such a high price tag I would possibly want a little more for my money, especially in the washroom. Aside from a few little personal niggles I love the Airstream. It looks amazing, feels amazing and truly lives up to its iconic status that is has gained over the past 80 years.
Internal Length- 6.81m
Overall Length- 8.25m
Overall Width- 2.50m
Overall Height- 2.65m
Internal Headroom- 1.99m
Mass in Running Order- 2135kg
Tyre Size- 185/60 R15C 94 T
Maximum Technical Permissible Laden Mass (MTPLM)- 2400kg
Optional Upgraded MTPLM- 2680kg
Total User Payload- 265kg
Personal Effects- 159.0kg
ZipDee® Awning- 40.0kg
Hitch Limit- 150kg