A motorcycle racing paddock is not a hospitable environment. You’re outdoors, exposed to sun, wind, and noise. Lots of noise. So if you’re looking to share a race weekend with your sensible significant other, good luck. I’ve failed to coax my wife out to the track countless times, but recently, I succeeded. And I owe it all to an adorable Airstream trailer, lent to us by Airstream of Los Angeles.
ALA handed over the keys to a 22-foot Airstream Sport, which is one of the smallest travel trailers Airstream offers. Its low weight means you can tow it behind an SUV or a full-size pickup truck (or in this case a Nissan NV2500 van, which also contained our racebikes), but its size doesn’t mean it’s short on amenities. And compared to the accommodations I’m used to (an air mattress on the ground), it was pure luxury. My wife Loren may be on to something with this comfort thing.
Between the queen-size bed at the front of the trailer and a table that folds down into a twin, we were able to comfortably sleep four people: Me, Loren, my coworker Zack, and his lady friend Kat. Our videographer Spenser and another friend even squeezed in for meals. And oh, the meals! I’ve been going to the track for years and I’ve never had a real breakfast before a race. Instant oatmeal or a banana and coffee were the best I managed, but thanks to the Airstream’s galley kitchen with its dorm-size fridge and two-burner stove we feasted on scrambled eggs and turkey sausage every morning and cooked up some great dinners.
True, the trailer’s interior space is fairly small and feels that way with four or more people fumbling about, but the layout is sensible and the Airstream does a lot with very little area. There’s a full bathroom with a toilet, sink, and shower, the aforementioned kitchen and sleeping areas, plus a sizable closet and a ridiculous amount of storage space in various cabinets, drawers, and compartments. There was even a flat-screen TV, stereo system, and USB charging ports sprinkled about the trailer. You could throw a proper little party in one of these things.
As RV neophytes we felt a little out of our element, like farmers in the governor’s mansion. We certainly overlooked or improperly used some of the Airstream’s features, but even so the trailer elevated our four-day race extravaganza to a whole new level. I’m not sure how I’ll go back to camping on the pavement and eating out of a cooler, and I’m certain an Airstream or better is going to be required by Loren from here on out. And I don’t blame her! Sonoma is my favorite track, and having a comfortable, quiet place to sleep, eat, and relax between races (and having my wife there to share it all with) made the whole experience so much more enjoyable.
And while the Airstream is an excellent little haven, Zack and I noted a few shortcomings when it comes to the trailer serving as a race base. For starters, there’s no onboard generator, and we were really hoping to be able to plug our bikes’ tire warmers into the Airstream. Turns out we had to plug the Airstream into our generators! There’s also the price, which took my breath away when I first reviewed the specs: $52,900. And that doesn’t include a rig to tow it…
For track days and racing, most folks are going to be better off with a self-propelled RV and a trailer for the bikes, but damn if we didn’t enjoy our time in the little aluminum Twinkie. Seeing the glinting skin of an Airstream out on the road already made me smile, but now I understand why the people towing it are grinning so hard.
AIRSTREAM SPORT 22-FOOT TRAILER
VERDICT: High-end accommodations you can haul behind a pickup or SUV.