We have been camping in our Airstream Basecamp 20x trailer for three seasons. We stayed primarily in Alberta and British Columbia provincial park campgrounds. During those years, we camped for 163 days and travelled over 15535 kilometres. So, we used our trailer a lot.

In this blog post, I will give you a quick review of the Airstream Basecamp 20x trailer, why we decided to go with the Airstream trailer and Basecamp 20x in particular and how we like this trailer so far.

Why Airstream?

Olena and I have never owned trailers before, so it was an entirely new experience for us, from purchasing the trailer, its towing and maintenance, and, of course, camping.

I was always fascinated by the Airstream design and its aluminum surface, which looks modern and timeless. A lot of time was spent researching, watching numerous videos and reading books about Airstream company and their travel trailers. I can recommend one book, in particular — “Airstream: America’s World Traveler”, written by Patrick Foster. It provided me with a lot of historical and practical information about Airstream trailers.

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 visited the local RV shows and trailer dealerships several times to see different Airstream trailers. Still, we only got to the point of buying one once we saw Basecamp. It clicked with us on so many different levels.

Why Basecamp 20X?

We spotted Airstream Basecamp 16x (16 feet) when they were introduced to the market a few years ago. The “X” in the name means “off-road package,” and it is an upgrade option for the base model. It gives the trailer a lift, off-road tires, rock guards and solar panels on the roof.

When we saw Basecamp 16 for the first time, we liked its unusual design that reminded us of something from the spaceship program. In addition, 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.

These are the things that we liked about it:

  • The size is 16 feet, so it’s not that huge
  • Bed size is decent for two campers and can be tucked away, so you have a bigger sitting space
  • Shower and toilet that I can fit in (I’m 6'2")
  • A decent size 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 option to add an off-road package, i.e., the “X” package mentioned above
  • The GVWR was perfect for our towing vehicle at that time, which was the 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

We went to the dealership 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. While walking towards the bed, I hit an AC unit on the ceiling with my head. That was an unpleasant surprise, to be honest.

The next step was to try out the bed. It looked huge. 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 would have a small side of the bed left for her. We were discouraged at that point. Our dream to own Basecamp faded away.

We checked out some classic Airstreams, like Bambi and Sport, and even though they were similar in size, we liked the “spaceship design” of the Basecamp. At that time, we decided to put the whole idea on the back burner for now and talk it over. It was the November 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 when the trailer was announced. Of course, Olena and I looked at the upgraded design, and our dream 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, which was the Mercedes-Benz ML320 Bluetec (diesel)
  • Because of added trailer length, the bed size is upgraded to a “king size”
  • The AC unit was moved above the bed, so I’d not hit with my head
  • 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 right away. The problem with that was there were no trailers in the local dealerships. It was the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and trailers were sold out before arriving at dealership salesrooms. The only thing that we can do at that time is to 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 purchase Basecamp 20x, even though we never walked inside one in real life. It was crazy and an insane idea! The trailer cost an arm and a leg, but we still decided to proceed with the purchase.

I contacted a couple of Airstream trailer dealerships in Canada for a quote for a Basecamp 20x. Speaking about Canadian Airstream dealerships. It’s different from 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 salespeople only.

I went through a lengthy sales process with them, asking tons of questions about the trailer and upgradeable components and, of course, the price. I even contacted Airstream headquarters in Ohio 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 on August 18, 2020, when we agreed on the final price, and we paid our deposit. We were super excited and couldn’t believe we were going to own an Airstream trailer. Our salesman gave us a rough time estimate of when to expect our trailer, and at that time, it was closer to Christmas 2020.

Christmastime came and went, but we still had no updates from our dealer. So we contacted them around January 2021 and learned 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 2021 as well. Apparently, that was another pushback on the delivery date from 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 multiple delays in the delivery.

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

Delivery Date

our trailer delivery date was on June 17, 2021, and it was a sunny day in Calgary. We went to the dealership in Airdrie to pick up our brand-new Basecamp 20x.

The whole process of walking through the trailer details and accepting the papers took a couple of hours. I installed Andersen weight distribution hitch on our Mercedes at home. We hooked up the trailer and pulled it away from the dealership. We were super happy and couldn’t believe we were pulling our first trailer, Airstream Basecamp 20x!

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 Beauvais Lake (I have a separate review of that place here). The site we stayed at was with an 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 absolutely 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.

Season of 2021

During the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and our first year camping with the trailer, we travelled around 4600 kilometres. We stayed 41 days in Airstream Basecamp 20x and visited the following provincial park campgrounds:

Season of 2022

During our second camping year, we travelled around 6100 kilometres and stayed 68 days in our trailer. We visited the following campgrounds:

Season of 2023

We travelled around 4850 kilometres and stayed 54 days in our trailer during our third camping year. We visited the 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 all our camping seasons, many travel miles and camping days in the trailer, the Airstream Basecamp trailer proved 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 an SUV. Remember 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 only work with shore power, though.

Does the Airstream Basecamp 20X have lithium batteries?

No, the two factory-installed AGM batteries are not lithium. However, an option is to upgrade and change AGM to lithium batteries during your trailer order or later using a third-party service.

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 at half capacity, so it took a lot of work to get a camping spot in advance. Still, that year, we camped a lot, and I can tell you that Airstream Basecamp 20X delivered up to our expectations about this little trailer. It’s our first season in this trailer. Coming from 10 years of tenting, it’s another level of camping experience for us.

Here are some of the benefits of camping in the travel trailer. The excellent night sleep on the king bed, our own toilet and shower, the kitchen always there and ready for you, solar panels that keep batteries charged, a fridge that doesn’t require ice cubes, and cozy temperatures inside during the cold nights, thanks to the heater. These are some perks you can only think of once you try camping in the trailer. Besides, we can tow it with our SUV and do not need to purchase a truck.

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