Trekking: The Second-Gen Basecamp Is 16 Feet of Unfettered Luxury
Man isn’t meant to stay indoors — our weekly “Trekking” column can attest to that. It’s a column dedicated to the adventurer inside of all of us, the one pining to ditch the office humdrum for a quick surf session or seven-week jaunt in the Grand Tetons. One day we may highlight an ultra-light stove and the next a set of handmade canoe paddles. Life doesn’t just happen inside the workplace.
Much has changed since Airstream first introduced the Basecamp in ’07–a time when the recession was in full swing and most people weren’t looking to pony up the cash for a glorified toy hauler. The original, spaceship-esque camper lacked a bathroom and many modern aesthetics, yet it still managed to showcase the company’s innate knack for crafting timeless towables that beckon for the open road. Only 200 or so were made, but it appears the basic concept behind the Basecamp wasn’t abandoned alongside the product line, as evident by the new-and-improved Airstream Basecamp ($34,900).
The 2017 Basecamp isn’t your everyday adventure trailer. Its sleek, aluminum frame keeps the weight to a paltry 2,585 pounds — meaning you can tow it behind your Suburu Outback so long as you don’t fill it to the brim with gear — and it’s outfitted with a new profile roof, designed to add to the trailer’s rivet-laden aerodynamics. It’s the lightest camper in the Airstream lineup, too, outfitted with aggressive angles, wrap-around windows, and brawny tires meant for more than just pavement.
Inside, you’ll find enough space to comfortably seat five and sleep two. The convertible rear allows you to change the makeup of the space on the fly, whether you plan on sleeping in the full-size bed or eating at either of the two benches, and the interior decor plays off the natural tones you’re likely to find outside, ones reminiscent of stone and amber. The latest Airstream model also features a host of tried-and-true amenities, including a two-burner cook-top, a refrigerator and stainless-steel sink, a sliding door, a shower, and loads of storage compartments for housing gear throughout the 16-foot trailer. A bathroom pass-through even lets you use the shower head outside, while optional tents allow you to outfit the camper with additional storage spaces and sleeping quarters.
The various packages and added touches of luxury, such as the 160-watt solar option, don’t come cheap. But, then again, at least the Basecamp is more affordable than its six-figure siblings…