This year is our third season with Airstream Basecamp 20X.

We camped in our trailer in many Alberta and British Columbia provincial park campgrounds. During our first season (2021) we camped for 42 days, and 68 days during our second seson (2022). So, you may say those were busy seasons for us.

How it all started. Why we decided to go with the Airstream trailer and Basecamp 20X in particular and how we like this trailer so far. I have answered all these and some other questions in this blog post.

Why Airstream?

We have never owned trailers before, so it was an entirely new experience for us, from purchasing the trailer, towing, and maintenance to actual camping.

I was always fascinated by the Airstream design and its aluminum surface, which looks modern even now. A lot of time was spent researching, watching numerous videos and reading books about Airstream company and their trailers. One book, in particular, is on top of my recommendation list — “Airstream: America’s World Traveler”, written by Patrick Foster. You can see I’ve been into Airstream for some time.

Olena and I have discussed the possibility of owning a trailer one day. It’s been our dream to get an Airstream for many years. We went to the local RV shows and trailer dealerships a couple of times to see different Airstream trailers but never got to the point of buying one until we saw Basecamp.

Why Basecamp 20X?

We spotted Airstream Basecamp 16X (16 foot) a couple of years ago. The “X” in the name is an upgrade option that gives the trailer a lift, off-road tiers, rock guards and solar panels on the roof. It was not a usual Airstream design but rather something built for the spaceship program. In addition to that, the way it was constructed and the internal layout that had everything we wanted from the trailer pushed it up in our list of Airstream trailers that we might want to own. There were a couple of things that we liked about it:

  • The size is 16 feet, so it’s not that huge
  • Bed size is decent and can be taken away, so you have a sitting space
  • Shower and toilet that I can fit in (I’m 6'2")
  • A decent kitchen with a stove, sink and plenty of countertop space
  • A fridge operated by propane or batteries
  • AC and heater
  • Solar panels on the roof and batteries that keep everything charged for days
  • The trailer has an off-road package, i.e., the “X” package mentioned above
  • The GVWR was perfect for our towing vehicle at that time — Honda Pilot
  • Two doors, one of them at the back, allowed to get a canoe inside the trailer
  • And of course price. It was the entry-level trailer in the Airstream lineup of travel trailers, so we saw it as a perfect upgrade from our tenting life.

We went to the dealership here in Airdrie to get a feel of the trailer. The first impression was up to our expectations. We walked around the trailer and were blown away by the design and craftsmanship. It was perfect. Until I got inside. Did I mention that I’m 6'2"? Right, that was a problem right away. When I walked towards the bed, I hit an AC unit on the ceiling with my head. That was a surprise for me, to be honest. The next thing was trying out the bed. It looked huge from aside. When I got on the bed, I couldn’t properly fit, and I had to move and lay down in a diagonal. That was not optimal since Olena will have a small side of the bed left for her. We were discouraged at that point. We checked out some classic Airstreams, like Bambi and Sport, and even though they were similar in size, we liked the design of the spaceship Basecamp more. At that time, we decided to put the whole idea on the back burner for now and talk it over. It was the fall of 2018.

Fast-forward to July 2020, when Airstream announced a new 20-foot model of Basecamp. This news hit my inbox the same day. Of course, Olena and I looked at the upgraded design and our hopes to own Basecamp got real again. The new design of the trailer had some upgrades that, we thought, would work for us:

  • The length of the trailer is 20 feet instead of 16
  • The dry weight was great for our new tow vehicle — Mercedes-Benz ML320 BT
  • The bigger bed size
  • The AC unit was located in a way that it had enough clearance for me
  • The whole kitchen area was moved to the side of the trailer
  • There is a dinette area at the front of the trailer that gives additional sitting space We wanted to see a new Basecamp 20X and walk around one right away. The problem with that was, there were no trailers in the local dealership. It was the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and trailers were sold out even before hitting dealership salesrooms. So the only thing we can do is watch some Airstream promotional videos to get a feel of the new trailer.

Order and Wait Time

After going back and forth on the purchase decision, Olena and I decided to get Basecamp 20X, even though we never walked inside one in real life. It was crazy! It was an insane idea! The trailer costs an arm and leg, but we still decided to go ahead with the purchase.

I contacted a couple of trailer dealerships in Canada to get a quote for Basecamp 20X. Speaking about Canadian Airstream dealerships. It’s not like in the USA, where you have a handful of options to choose from. Here in Canada, it’s only 2-3 official dealers. Most of them are located in Ontario, on the east side of the country. I contacted Can-Am RV Centre in London (Ontario), Traveland RV Supercentre in Airdrie (Alberta) one and a couple of dealers in British Columbia. I’ve got a reply with a quote from Ontario and Airdrie salesmen only. Furthermore, I went through a lengthy sales process with them, asking tons of questions about the trailer and upgradeable components and the price. I even contacted Airstream directly to see how much it would cost to purchase a trailer from the factory and tow it to Canada. There were many back and forth emails and phone calls, and eventually, we landed with a local dealer at Airdrie. The quote they gave us and proximity to the dealer played in their favour.

It was August 18, 2020, when we agreed on the final price and paid our deposit. We were super excited and couldn’t believe we would own an Airstream trailer. Our salesman gave us a rough estimate of when to expect our trailer, and at that time, it was closer to Christmas 2020. Not bad at all.

Christmastime came and went, but we still didn’t have any updates from the dealer. So we contacted them and got to know that the Airstream factory is back-ordered due to the COVID-19 pandemic supply shortage, and our delivery time is shifting to May 2021.

Needless to say, we didn’t get our trailer in May as well. That was another push on the delivery from the Airstream. At that time, we had already started booking provincial campgrounds with the hope of hitting the ground running in June. Unfortunately, we had to cancel and move a couple of bookings because of another delay in the delivery.

The news from our salesman came at the beginning of June 2021. Finally, our trailer was ready at the factory and already on its way to Canada. Happy dance! We adjusted our camping plans and waited eagerly for our trailer arrival.

Delivery Date

The delivery date was on June 17, 2021, and it was a sunny day in Calgary. So we went to the dealership in Airdrie to pick up our brand-new trailer.

The whole process of walking around the trailer and accepting it took a couple of hours. I brought an Andersen weight distribution hitch with us, so we fitted it on the trailer and pulled it away from the dealership. We were super happy and couldn’t believe we were pulling our first trailer, and it was Airstream Basecamp!

Did I mention that I never pulled or backed up any trailer in my life? Right, that was a bit of a nerve-racking experience for me. Nonetheless, I made it all the way from Airdrie to our house in Calgary. I even backed it up to our garage! Not bad for a first-timer.

First Camping

We took our trailer to the first shake-down camping we had booked at the Beauvais Lake (I have a separate review of that place here). The site we stayed at was with the electric hookup. We tested everything in the trailer, i.e., AC, heater, water pump, shower and toilet, external shower, kitchen, dinette and of course, the bed. It was completely the way we expected it to be. Basecamp delivered the experience we had imagined we were going to have. It was comfortable, convenient, and altogether cool to be camping in that trailer. We liked the whole experience so much, so we extended our stay in the woods and spent an extra night at another close-by campground — Castle Falls. I have a separate blog post about that stay here.

Season of 2021

We have travelled around 4800 kilometres and stayed 42 days in Airstream Basecamp 20X. During the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and our first year camping with the trailer, we visited the following provincial park campgrounds:

Season of 2022

During our second year we travelled 6240 kilometres and stayed 68 days in our trailer. We stayed at following campgrounds:

Airstream Basecamp 20x: Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Airstream Basecamp worth it?

You will like this trailer if you want a luxury off-road experience and love the Airstream brand. After two camping seasons, 11040 kilometres and 110 days in the trailer, the Airstream Basecamp trailer proved to be worth the money.

Do I need a weight-distribution hitch for the Airstream Basecamp 20X?

We highly recommend installing a weight-distribution hitch if you are towing with SUV. Do not forget to install a trailer brake controller as well.

How tall is the Airstream Basecamp 20X?

The height of Airstream Basecamp 20X is 9'5" or 113.00".

How long is the Airstream Basecamp 20X?

It’s 20 feet from the back of the trailer to the trailer coupler.

What does the Airstream Basecamp 20X weigh?

According to the manufacturer specification, Airstream Basecamp 20X weighs around 3500 pounds with 4300 pounds of GVWR, respectively.

Does the Airstream Basecamp fit in the garage?

We store our Airstream Basecamp 20X in our garage, which is 20x22 feet, and the garage door is 10 feet.

Does the Airstream Basecamp 20X have an inverter?

Yes, it does have a factory-installed inverter with AGM batteries. So you can run all the internal lights, water pump, fridge and charge small appliances for several days. All the 110V outlets will not work without shore power, though.

Does the Airstream Basecamp 20X have lithium batteries?

No, the two factory-installed AGM batteries are not lithium. However, there is an option to upgrade and change AGM to lithium batteries.

Airstream Basecamp 20X Conclusion

We planned our first camping season in advance, and we are so happy we did it. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many campgrounds were booked and operated half capacity, so it was not an easy task to get a spot in advance. Still, that year, we camped a lot, and I can tell you that Airstream Basecamp 20X delivered up to the expectations we had about this little trailer. It’s our first season in this trailer and coming from 10 years of tenting, I can tell you it’s another level of camping experience.

Here are some of the benefits of camping in the trailer. The excellent night sleep on the king bed, our own toilet and shower, the kitchen that is always there and ready for you, solar panels that keep batteries charged, a fridge that doesn’t require ice cubes, heater during the cold nights. These are some perks you never think of until you try camping in the trailer. Besides, we can tow it with our SUV and do not need to have a truck.

We are happy with our Airstream Basecamp 20X and can highly recommend it to anybody who is coming from tenting camping to the trailer world.