The Pros and Cons of the 2021 Airstream Basecamp 20X

If I do know something about my fellow Individuals, it’s that we don’t like being instructed no. We’re additionally extremely resourceful. With most worldwide borders closed to us due to uncontrolled COVID-19 unfold, Individuals have more and more been trying towards campers and RVs to scratch that journey itch. Airstream, makers of the long-lasting silver-sided journey trailers, has been one of many many corporations to see elevated gross sales because the pandemic has raged on. It additionally launched a brand new model of its entry-level Basecamp trailer this 12 months, the Basecamp 20. To get a style of what life is like with a camper trailer, we grabbed a new 2021 GMC Yukon, hitched up a 2021 Airstream Basecamp 20X, and headed for campground within the Santa Monica Mountains. Listed here are the professionals and cons of the brand new Basecamp 20.

However first, what’s the Airstream Basecamp 20X?

Merely put, the 2021 Airstream Basecamp 20 is barely longer model of the model’s entry-level Basecamp trailer, which has been retroactively renamed the Basecamp 16. Geared towards these new to journey trailers and designed to be towed with midsize pickups or crossovers, the Basecamp fashions are comparatively small and light-weight. Customary Basecamp 16s are 16 toes, Three inches lengthy, weigh in round 2,650 kilos, and may sleep two. The brand new Basecamp 20 is 20 toes lengthy and ever so barely wider, weighs about 3,400 kilos, and because of a barely totally different inside configuration, can sleep as much as 4. There are a handful of different minor variations between the 2 Basecamp trailer lengths, too.

The Basecamp X off-road package deal, out there on each the Basecamp 16 and Basecamp 20, provides 16-inch all-terrain tires on distinctive wheels, a 3-inch suspension carry, and a few further safety within the type of a chrome steel stone guard up entrance and a few skidplates beneath.

Airstream Basecamp 20X Professionals

It seems nice: Though it isn’t as glossy as Airstream’s extra conventional choices, the Basecamp 20X nonetheless turns heads wherever it goes. Its satin aluminum end, artwork deco-like wraparound home windows, and meaty tires meant it was extra of a dialog starter with strangers than the brand-new GMC Yukon AT4 that was hooked up to it.

It has an ideal inside structure: Not solely good to have a look at exterior, however the inside of the Basecamp 20 additionally makes an ideal first impression, with trendy Ikea-like finishes and nice pure gentle thanks (once more) to these wraparound home windows. Having camped within the Basecamp 16 earlier than, I discovered the Basecamp 20 to have a much-improved inside structure. The additional four toes of area permits Airstream to reposition the kitchenette (together with a sink and two-burner range) from the entrance of the trailer within the 16 to the suitable facet (dealing with towards the entrance of the trailer), simply aft of the door and ahead of the convertible bench/mattress within the 20. Up entrance of the Basecamp 20 is a beautiful wraparound breakfast nook that may convert right into a mattress that sleeps as much as two. (This mattress is small, so it’s doubtless greatest for a smaller grownup or a few young children.)

With simply two adults and a 25-pound beagle-dachshund combine on our tenting journey, I discovered the additional size of the Basecamp 20 allowed an grownup to stand up in the midst of the night time and use the restroom—positioned on the left facet of the Basecamp, simply behind the fridge and ahead of the mattress—with out tripping over odds and ends (or a canine), a pleasant enchancment over the Basecamp 16.

Nice kitchenette: For many who like to prepare dinner, the small however environment friendly kitchenette was an ideal place to make a meal. The fridge—powered on this case by an elective photo voltaic panel on the roof—was large enough for a weekend’s price of meals, permitting us to go away our cooler at residence. The burners had been on the small facet however efficient, and the Basecamp 20’s 27-gallon freshwater tank was greater than sufficient for cooking, cleansing, and handwashing for a weekend away.

It’s simple to tow: There’s no denying that towing for the primary time will be intimidating for a lot of, however the Basecamp line is a fairly good place to start out. The trailers themselves are comparatively light-weight, steady at velocity, maneuverable in Los Angeles site visitors, and straightforward to reverse right into a surprisingly tight tenting spot.

Airstream Basecamp 20X Cons

Skip the Off-Highway X package deal: In case you actually need to go off-road with a camper, the Basecamp X is the fallacious alternative. Regardless of the addition of some gentle armor, a suspension carry, and off-road tires, there’s fairly a little bit of delicate {hardware} hanging low and uncovered beneath the Basecamp, impeding clearance. The Basecamp, regardless of being pretty small and light-weight, continues to be most likely a bit too massive and heavy for many severe off-road trails. We’d advocate saving the $2,700–$3,000 upcharge (16X and 20X, respectively) and sticking with an ordinary Basecamp. In case you really need an off-road-ready camper, you’ll little doubt be higher served by a small teardrop trailer, rooftop tent, or a slide-in camper designed for a pickup mattress—or perhaps a pickup bed turned into a camping trailer, like Toyota recently showed off as an idea.

Construct high quality is missing: As we found on the far more expensive Airstream Flying Cloud, inside match and end left a lot to be desired. We had been truly the primary to ever use our Basecamp 20, and if it had been my cash, I doubtless wouldn’t have accepted supply on the dealership. Among the many damaged or breaking objects: window screens separating from their seals and leaving gaps for bugs to come back in, knobs for the assorted storage cupboards that often fell off, and a ripped material sheath housing the mattress extension items. The cushions for the bench and breakfast nook had been additionally secured by only a single strip of Velcro and button every and had been extra doubtless than to not wind up on an inevitably soiled flooring after transit.

It’s costly: Which brings us to our final level: The Basecamp 20X is pricey, with our Basecamp 20X beginning at $48,900 earlier than choices like photo voltaic or air-con. Count on to spend round $55,000 or so for a unit like ours, which isn’t a small funding for many Individuals. Much less the X package deal, Basecamp 20 costs begin at $45,900, whereas the Basecamp 16 begins at $39,100 and Basecamp 16X at $41,800. Though most rival campers lack the fashion of the Airstream—save for Happier Campers—many can beat the Basecamp on worth and possibly construct high quality.

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