Citing Airstream founder Wally Byam’s philosophy of continuous improvement, Airstream has begun using composite flooring in its 2021 units. The manufacturer chose to use TransCore composite flooring made by Ridge Corp. in its iconic travel trailers.
Wood flooring has been one of the most requested areas for Airstream to look for improvements, the company said.
After thoroughly exploring flooring options, Airstream has officially made the transition away from ⅝-inch WBP tongue-and-groove wood flooring and has shifted into a new era of seamless composite flooring. This innovative and industry-leading flooring material is now a standard feature on all traditional Airstream travel trailers which includes Bambi, Caravel, Flying Cloud, International, Globetrotter and Classic.
“One of our mantras at Airstream comes from our founder, Wally Byam, who said we shouldn’t make changes – only improvements,” Airstream VP of Product Development McKay Featherstone said. “This was an opportunity to improve with a composite flooring product that we feel is better than anything else on the market.”
“Because it’s one large seamless floor it is both stiffer and lighter weight. We can also now print location information for screws and parts directly on the material,” Featherstone said. “That information will help our associates be more accurate, and create a more repeatable process. We believe this is a big step forward for our customers in terms of quality.”
Airstream ‘silver bullet’ travel trailers are now built with TransCore – a proprietary composite formed from waterproof, inert recycled glass and polypropylene. Developed by Ridge Corp., TransCore is a state-of-the-art composite engineered for firmness under foot, strength, and screw retention. Ridge’s manufacturing process utilizes heat bonding instead of adhesives, which results in all the layers fusing together in a complete, single piece without bonding lines and is manufactured exclusively for Airstream.
“Because it’s one large floor we can now print location information for screws and parts directly on the material,” Featherstone said. “That information will help our associates be more accurate, and create a more repeatable process. We do believe this is a big step forward for our customers in terms of quality.”
This new flooring is environmentally friendly which is a primary objective for the organization, the company said. The composite material is 100 percent recyclable, emits zero harmful gases and doesn’t contain carcinogens. In addition to passing quality and environmental standards, the material meets fire ratings and California compliance testing.
“The bonding method in creating this composite material means you don’t have the squeaking that can come with plywood pieces rubbing against each other, and it improves the longevity of the flooring,” Airstream VP of Sales Justin Humphreys said. “In addition to being slightly lighter than wood, it could potentially extend the life of your vinyl flooring – and the value of your trailer over time. With the addition of TransCore, the iconic Airstream shell is now completely free of any wood product.”
Ridge’s TransCore was selected out of a diverse field of composite flooring manufacturers for their product quality and their willingness to work with Airstream to create a product that met the company’s goals for strength, durability, and screw retention. By choosing a material that minimizes movement of furniture, resists material separation, and will never soften or degrade over time, the finished product maximizes the longevity of the trailer over thousands of miles of adventure.
Taken as a whole, the benefits of composite flooring add up to a travel trailer that lasts longer, retains its excellent value, and improves the camping experience. Airstream is excited to lead the way in this industry evolution. The addition of our new state of the art travel trailer manufacturing facility allowed us to introduce this new technology to our iconic Airstream travel trailers.