A good number of people are asking “How Much Do Airstreams Weigh?” and ending up at TrailAndHitch.com so I felt it would be good to try and provide an answer. I suspect this comes up in relation to towing an Airstream rather than say, mailing it first class in the post.
Let’s start with a few terms used to specify the weight of trailers.
Hitch Weight: This is also called Tongue Weight. It is how much downward pressure the trailer puts on the hitch when attached. When you buy a hitch, you want the tongue weight capacity to be as much or more than the Hitch Weight.
Base Weight: This is how much the trailer weights when it rolls off the assembly line. It does not include the weight for fresh or waste water or any other stuff you put in your trailer.
Maximum Capacity: This is how much your trailer would weigh if you loaded it up to its maximum safe capacity. Thus it would include the trailer, all the water in it, and all your stuff. It is sometimes listed as (GVWR) Gross vehicle weight rating.
Net Carrying Capacity: This is how much stuff you can safely load in your trailer. It includes water weight.
The numbers that matter most
Of those above, the ones you need to pay attention to for towing are the Hitch Weight and the Maximum Capacity. You want to compare Hitch Weight to your hitch’s Tongue Weight, and Maximum Capacity to your vehicles Towing Capacity. Your hitch and vehicle capacity values should meet or exceed your trailer’s weight values.
You may find a lot more information about towing in other articles that go into greater detail but Airstreams are built to be well balanced and that means many of those considerations are not at play so you won’t need to sweat over them. It’s good to learn all you can, but with an Airstream, it doesn’t need to be complicated. They are built for easy towing. If the numbers match, you should be good to go.
So How much do they Weigh?
So glad you asked, it all depends on the make and model. I’ll start by giving you some examples from the modern fleet, but it is best to go look it up for whatever you specifically are interested in. I’ll help with that too.
2017 Basecamp or 2017 Sport 16′: This is the lightest Airstream currently on the market. It has a Maximum Capacity of 3500lb. You can tow a basecamp with a mid-sized SUV, light truck, or almost any vehicle intended for towing.
2017 Flying Cloud 23′ Full Bed: This is around the mid-sized range for Airstream trailers. Its Maximum Capacity is 6000lb. You can tow one with a larger SUV or mid-sized truck.
2017 International Serenity 28′: Now we are getting into the big, double AC Airstreams. This one has a Maximum Capacity of 7,600lb. Now you need the largest of SUVs or a full sized truck.
2017 Classic 33′: This is as big as they currently make them. The Classic has a Maximum Capacity of 10,000lb. You need to have good truck 1500 v8 or better to tow one of these and most will want a 2500 to be on the safe side.
Make model and year are going to vary and things like furnishings can change the weight. Generally, airstreams of a similar length will have a similar weight. Newer ones will often be a bit heavier than older models because they got a fair bit wider starting in 1994.
You can find modern weights on Airstream.com. Just go to the main page. Hover over the “Travel Trailers” menu and select the trailer style you are interested in. Then choose the Specs/Floorplans option on the page for that model. If there are multiple sizes for the model, a drop down menu will let you select them. Then just look for the values we discussed in the spec sheet.
For older models, go their library page and use the tools to search for the model you are looking for.
More Stuff To Read
I’ve got more articles you may find helpful on this topic.