The Open Road, America
Airstream's iconic chrome trailers were the aristocrats of the RV park when road trip culture was at its zenith and stylish travelers still spent more time in their cars than the Admiral's Club. A lot has changed since the 1950s – the once swanky term "recreational vehicle" now sounds déclassé – but a bit of shiny modernism still turns heads. With its fleet of rolling suites, rental service Airstream 2 Go is making turning those heads easier then ever before and reminding Americans that it isn't just the places you'll go, but the places in between the places you'll go that are worth seeing.
With hubs in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Bozeman, Montana, A2G0, which opened earlier this year, is already offering access to a broad slice of the American West. The big idea behind the company – helmed by Dicky Riegel, former CEO of Airstream Inc. – is to encourage travelers to get out into national parks and recreation areas by telling them that, yes, you can take it with you. And how. A2Go's trailers are meticulously retrofitted with efficiently luxurious couches and beds. Press a button and an awning extends from the roof. Plug in the sewage and electrical lines and you're in four-star luxury.
The obvious catch is that most modern travelers have no idea how to hook an RV up in a park, much less hitch one up and maneuver it down the highway. A little bit of tech and a lot of foresight helps A2Go alleviate this issue. Rather than simply renting trailers, the service rents trailers hooked up to 2013 GMC Yukon Denalis via an idiot-proof modernized hitch. The SUV has enough towing capacity and trailer specific accoutrements to make pulling the chrome a cinch. The RV park lifelines have also been streamlined to the point that a six-person Signature Series can be plausibly described as plug-and-play. And, yes, there is a Internet connection.
But the point of renting an Airstream isn't the trailer itself, however spacious, equipped, and attractive it might be. With roughly 50 percent of the land west of the Mississippi owned by the government and largely open to exploration, wheeled accommodations are a ticket to the greatest show on Earth. A2Go helps clients create customized itineraries so they can make the most of their mid-century mobility, but there is another approach: Wing it. The real luxury on offer is freedom, an amenity that seems increasingly mutually exclusive with plusher comforts. The chance to linger in Gallatin National Forest on the way to Yellowstone from Bozeman is the chance to explore a beautiful swath of country away from the madding crowds.
A2Go turns out to be a modern service in vintage clothing. All that shining chrome may offer a heaping helping of 1950s flare, but the main attraction here is the chance to strike out on your own and find something new.
More information: A2GO offers 28- and 23-foot trailers that can comfortably sleep six and four respectively. Each trailer comes with a kitted-out GMC Yukon Denali and all the necessary trailering equipment. The company creates custom itineraries for road trippers in need of guidance, but playing it by ear can be a bit more fun. Rates for planned 8-day trips start at $7,500.