For the first four decades or so of Airstream’s life, we were exclusively a travel trailer company- Wally Byam had thought several times about diversifying and producing a motorhome, but each time decided against it. In 1974 that all changed. With leadership wanting to avoid being entirely dependent on one product for revenue, the Argosy motorhome debuted. Sales were modest, and the Argosy line would be discontinued in 1979. But the will to innovate would live on in later models like the Classic motor home, the Land yacht motorhome, and the Interstate touring coach.
As of January 2015 Airstream was producing 50 trailers per week or about 2,600 per year. The company was expanding its capacity with plans to increase production by at least 50% over 2014 levels. By April 2016, the Dayton Business Journal reported Airstream was producing 72 trailers per week-an annual rate of 3.744 assuming consistent production all year. The same article said they were aiming to increase to 77 trailers per week in 2016.
In 1974, Airstream began manufacturing a Class A motorhome, badged “Argosy”. They began as painted 20- and 24-foot (6.1 and 7.3m) models, and were followed in 1979 by the first examples of the Classic model motorhome, with an unpainted aluminum body much like the trailers.