We’ve toured a lot of offices (ie Buzzfeed, Pixar, Zappos, etc), because behind-the-scenes always gives us a deeper appreciation for what they do. But this was our very first factory tour where we got to not only learn about the process but actually see something made in the production line!
As we pulled into the parking lot at the Airstream warehouse in Jackson Center, OH, there was no doubt that we were in the heart of America. Airstreams are an American icon and the more we learned about how they were made, the more we fell in love with them.
Every Monday through Friday at 2PM, you can tour the factory and see how each piece of the Airstream is crafted. It’s amazing to see that the majority of these trailers are handmade. Everything from shaping and cutting the aluminum, to the furniture pieces inside.
Each rivet takes two people (one on each side). It was fascinating how they know each others’ rhythm and don’t need to even look at each other.
As you walk through the factory, you get a sense of pride that goes into all the details. A lot of the employees we talked to have worked here all their lives, and the craftsmanship isn’t something you can learn in any classroom. Some of the knowledge is even passed down through several generations. It’s amazing to see the groove that they get into as they work and to see how many hands work on each trailer before its ready for us.
It was a special feeling to see all the work that goes into one just before we stepped into our new home. Ours had just come off the floor the Friday before we arrived, and it has helped us appreciate each detail that much more.
Pro Tips for the Airstream Factory Tour:
- Tours happen Monday through Friday at 2 PM.
- Be sure to wear close-toed shoes.
- Eye and hearing protection are required (provided by Airstream).
- Photos are only allowed in certain areas.
- Walk-ins are welcome.
- If you have a group larger than 10, call ahead to make special arrangements.
- All ages are welcome, but kids need to accompanied by an adult.
Have you visited any factories? Which ones and what did you learn?