Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Enthusiasm May Be Secret to Successful Airstream Dealership

©Bert Gildart: “We really didn’t get into the Airstream market until about 15 years ago,” said George Sutton of Sutton RV, which is located in Eugene, Oregon.  “That coincided with a downturn in the RV market,” continued George, who now operates — with his wife Martha — the second largest Airstream dealership in the USA.


George and Martha Sutton believe in the Airstream product -- and helped with the heroic Airstream book covered (appropriately)with aluminum


To some extent George believes  success results from his endless thinking about ways to improve the looks of Airstream.  Most recently, he suggested that Airstream create a black interior and though management in Jackson, Ohio, wasn’t sure, the concept is going over well.  Apparently Airstream will now be offering the look to any interested.

At the time of our visit, Sutton RV was also renovating an Airstream that was called the Norman Rockwell design. We had a chance to see it, and the look certainly was exquisite.


As well George has been involved with Alcoa Aluminum in the experimental use of Xzilon, a compound that is supposed to prevent the buildup of filiform corrosion, such as we’ve recently (and tragically) experienced  (See: Worse Case Ever).  I say “experimental” as I don’t believe the coating has been on the market long enough to provide definitive answers. So whether a coating of the substance would have prevented our disaster is debatable, but after our experience with filiform corrosion we had it applied anyway.


Interior of Airstream, a model called "Normal Rockwell"


Sutton, of course, stands by the product and to experiment,  said that they sprayed an aluminum panel with Xzilon, then took a can of spray paint — and to simulate an act of vandalism — they sprayed it.  According to our salesman, “the paint wiped right off.”  Nevertheless, Airstreams do come with a protective coating of some kind, so if Xzilon proves its mettle, perhaps it might be make better sense to apply it several years down the road, after the factory coating begins to wear.


Justifiably, George and Martha were particularly proud of an Airstream book (above) created as an in-house product, which included several pictures he had taken.  The book’s cover is aluminum, and the size is heroic.  Text and images tell the history of Airstream and the evolution of a unit that has become an icon among those seeking travel adventures.

We’re now home, but must head back out almost immediately.  We’ll be taking with us memories of bad luck but which eventually  transitioned to good luck. It was a delight to meet with the Suttons and we wish George and Martha continued success with Airstream, a product that has proven itself through time.



*Shenandoah — A Walk In The Rain


Comments are closed.