Airstream, REI Expand Basecamp Travel Trailer to 20 Feet, Making More Space


  • REI and Airstream collaborated on an environmentally minded camper trailer last year called the REI Co-op Special Edition Basecamp.
  • That model added eco touches to the standard Basecamp trailer, but, at first, Airstream only offered it as a 16-foot model.
  • This year, Airstream has added a 20-foot REI trailer to its Basecamp lineup, which already includes a Basecamp 20 model that starts at $54,400. The EI Co-op Special Edition Basecamp 20X starts at $62,400.

Camping and sustainability should go hand in hand, but sometimes it helps to make the connection explicit. That’s what REI Co-op and Airstream did last year when they introduced a special-edition camping trailer filled with post-consumer recycled materials and sustainably grown wood used to make the components. The duo has now introduced a 20-foot version of the special edition Basecamp travel trailer for those who thought the original 16-foot model wasn’t large enough.

Called the REI Co-op Special Edition Basecamp 20X, the new, larger trailer can sleep four instead of just two. The extra room comes from the larger, 20-foot chassis and a front dinette set that converts into the bed. The bigger trailer also has larger holding tanks.

The original REI Basecamp trailer was designed to answer the stream of requests that Airstream told Car and Driver it received from potential customers for an Airstream camper that could fit larger families and groups in the backcountry. Airstream did not provide C/D any sales numbers, but a company press release called the first REI Airstream “successful.”

“While we initially introduced the 16-foot version of the REI Co-op Special Edition Basecamp to gauge interest and gather insights, our long-term vision always included the introduction of a larger model,” an Airstream spokesperson told Car and Driver. “We wanted to establish a strong foundation with the initial release, allowing us to fine-tune the design and gather valuable feedback.”

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The REI Co-op Special Edition Basecamp 20X starts at $62,400; that’s $9500 more than the 16-foot model. The non-REI Basecamp 20 starts at $54,400.

REI and Airstream gathered feedback on what a partnership trailer should look like before the 16-foot trailer was announced. The result was a trailer with a rear door to make loading outdoor toys like kayaks, bikes and fishing gear easier than a traditional side door. The REI trailers also use sustainable materials including birch plywood and recycled polyester to minimize environmental impact. The trailers provide off-grid capabilities like a UV-LED and pre-filter water purification system of potable water and an optional composting toilet.

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Contributing Editor

Sebastian Blanco has been writing about electric vehicles, hybrids, and hydrogen cars since 2006. His articles and car reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Automotive News, Reuters, SAE, Autoblog, InsideEVs,, Car Talk, and other outlets. His first green-car media event was the launch of the Tesla Roadster, and since then he has been tracking the shift away from gasoline-powered vehicles and discovering the new technology’s importance not just for the auto industry, but for the world as a whole. Throw in the recent shift to autonomous vehicles, and there are more interesting changes happening now than most people can wrap their heads around. You can find him on Twitter or, on good days, behind the wheel of a new EV. 

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