from airstream's new trailer to honda’s scooter, how aluminum is changing the way we travel

from airstream's new trailer to honda’s scooter, how aluminum is changing the way we travel

boom of aluminum in vehicles and camping trailers

 

Recent releases of vehicles and camping trailers, such as Airstream’s new Trade Wind trailer and Honda’s Motocompacto, are designed with aluminum. For decades, the alloy has been employed in vehicle parts and bodies in automobiles. It is believed that the first fully aluminum-bodied car was the Durkopp sports car, shown at an international motor show in Berlin in 1899. Since then, integrating aluminum into vehicles, trailers and caravans has experienced a visible growth.

 

Manufacturers turn to aluminum for their automobiles, trailers, and campervans since it is significantly lighter than steel, which helps with the overall maneuverability and performance of the car and makes mobile units more towable. Aluminum is also dubbed a sturdy material, a factor that helps construct vehicles and trailers that can withstand severe weather and environmental conditions. This feature can enable automobiles to be used all-year round without worrying about climate conditions.

 

Aluminum is also a pliant material. Manufacturers can shape or mold it into their desired forms, including hoods, fenders, trim, engine blocks, cylinder heads, and transmission casings. Compared to steel, aluminum is resistant to corrosion, which makes it an ideal material for creating vehicles, trailers, and mobile units that can stand the test of time. This is particularly beneficial for automobiles that are often taken on journeys.

aluminum vehicles camping trailers
Airstream Trade Wind trailer | image by Airstream | discover more here

 

 

Since aluminum is unlikely to rust or corrode, maintaining vehicles and trailers made with the material can be easy. Being low maintenance may likely attract users who may not have the time and resources to keep up with the upkeep of their automobiles. Manufacturers hopping onto the sustainability bandwagon may also turn to aluminum since it favors recyclability. A green shapeshifter, the material can return to its original state through melting and be molded into new products almost infinitely.

 

An Aluminum France report even states that the material is 100 percent recyclable and only consumes 5 percent of the energy in the initial production. In a recent study on aluminum use in vehicles, it is expected that companies using the material for their electric cars and camping trailers will grow through the end of the decade due to the increasing demand for sustainable transportation. The report states that the market share for aluminum content might increase to nearly 100 net pounds per vehicle from 2020 to 2030. Some of the latest vehicle designs may prove just that as they incorporate aluminum far beyond aesthetic use.

aluminum vehicles camping trailers
Airstream Trade Wind trailer | image by Airstream

 

 

Aluminum makes vehicles and camping trailers lightweight

 

Compared to steel, aluminum makes vehicles and camping trailers lightweight. It can be twice and even three times lighter than steel, so when integrated into the parts of a vehicle, the automobile can be easily towed and speed away with ease. Airstream has always been famed for its aluminum style and exterior. Its more than 90 years of legacy, documented in a 2021 film, as an American trailer icon or aerodynamic silver bullets.

 

It may not be a surprise then that its recent Trade Wind travel trailer follows suit in a familiar fashion for its exterior yet coupled with new rugged tires that can easily conquer rough terrains. Lugging the Trade Wind travel trailer around and sojourning in it can be suitable for nomads since the new model is solar-powered, thanks to the number of photovoltaic panels that are placed on its rooftop. Aluminum may also be known for providing good insulation, so travel trailers like Airstream’s can be fitting for all-season, on-the-road living.

aluminum vehicles camping trailers
X-Cabin300 | image by X-Cabin | read the full story here

 

 

Citroën’s recent Type Holidays caravan exudes the aluminum exterior too, and given that aluminum can handle extreme environmental factors and conditions, nomads taking the campervan for a journey might be secure during their entire trip. Chuck in the pop-up roof, a bench seat that converts into a bed, a kitchenette, and a fold-down table, the Type Holidays caravan can be a go-to ride for any season.

 

The transformable camping trailer of X-Cabin can also provide another example of the lightweight effect of aluminum on vehicles. X-Cabin300 seems flexible in terms of its design. The Japanese brand uses the same aluminum body for its caravan but also offers its users full customization. Because of this, the caravan can be converted into a towable food truck. Its windows have larger openings to set up the service counter, but its exterior material remains the same. As a caravan, X-Cabin300 also features a modular interior so the user can devise their own layout.

aluminum vehicles camping trailers
X-Cabin300 food truck | image by X-Cabin | read the full story here

 

 

Aluminum can be shaped in different forms

 

Since aluminum can be recycled several times and given a new face for a different purpose, it can be considered versatile with high functionality. Take BMW Motorrad, whose big boxer motorcycle bends aluminum sheet metal over the front-wheel suspension. The custom design by Dirk Oehlerking lends the BMW motorcycle a look that resembles a handheld video camera or an elongated projector, thanks to the folded aluminum.

 

Even WAU’s cyberpunk electric dirt and road bike gets its own aluminum body in hexagon form. The featherweight properties of the material enable the ride to speed away quickly, all the while conferring the vehicle a muscular look. Aluminum is corrosion-resistant as oxidation naturally forms on the material. It prevents the alloy from rusting and being gravely affected by outdoor air, so these vehicles and camping trailers can then be guaranteed a long lifespan.

 

On top of being anti-corrosion, aluminum can stand the test of durability. This is one of the reasons why Honda designs its Motocompacto with a heat-treated aluminum frame and wheels. The company believes that by using aluminum, it will confer the ride stability and long lifespan. The electric scooter that folds into a briefcase with wheels can be carried anywhere, especially around cities, by the user without worrying about its fragility.

aluminum-use-electric-cars-vehicles-camping-trailers-designboom-ban

Citroën’s Type Holidays caravan | image by Citroën

aluminum vehicles camping trailers
Citroën’s Type Holidays caravan | image by Citroën

bmw motorrad r18 the crown dirk oehlerking
BMW Motorrad | image by BMW | read the full story here

BMW-motorrad-r18-the-crown-100-years-designboom-1800

BMW Motorrad | image by BMW | read the full story here

 

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WAU Cyber | image by WAU
WAU Cyber | image by WAU
WAU Cyber | image by WAU
WAU Cyber | image by WAU
Honda Motocompacto | image by Honda
Honda Motocompacto | image by Honda
Honda Motocompacto | image by Honda
Honda Motocompacto | image by Honda

project info:

 

vehicles: Trade Wind, X-Cabin300, Motorrad, Cyber, Motocompacto, Type Holidays

companies: Airstream, X-Cabin, BMW, WAU, Honda, Citroën

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