On my way from the West Coast to the East Coast, I stopped in Jackson Center, Ohio for a visit to the Airstream factory. What a cool place! I went to get some repair work done, but I have to admit, I also wanted to tour the assembly line and meet some of the people that made my traveling home. The people could not have been nicer; everyone from the front desk to the technicians doing the dirty work. It truly was a productive (albeit expensive) couple of days.
It all starts at 7AM sharp when a guy with a John Deere tractor picks up the Airstream at the Terra Port (a free campground for Airstreams needing service) and tows it in to the Service Center. Then, one of the technicians comes out to talk over the list – the list of stupid things I have done while on the road: oh, things like a bent step, a hole in the underbelly, a broken shower rod. And then there are the minor annoyances: a sticky dead bolt, missing rivets, a bad battery, a broken black water sensor. That’s what happens after 20,000 miles in five months! After two days, we were able to cross off all 12 items on my list.
With the Airstream in the back service area, I took one of the daily tours of the factory next door. Surprisingly, around 20 other people showed up for the tour, but only a handful were current owners. The others were simply curious. The tour was incredibly enlightening. Plus, I felt a connection whenever I saw other 23′ Internationals on the factory floor. The only problem – now I want to upgrade to a bigger, better, newer model! I got a few photos of the outside with my iPhone, but absolutely no cameras were allowed inside. Speaking of photos, the crew was very impressed with some of the upgrades in my Airstream. They brought in a few people to take photos of my custom-built desk. Who knows? Maybe a future production model will include my design ideas!
So, anyone who happens to be near I-70 and I-75 in Ohio, make a slight detour north to visit the Airstream factory. And, all Airstream owners, definitely take your Airstream here. I promise, it is well worth the drive. Hey, they even have a gift shop with all kinds of Airstream merchandise!