The ALV Journey
Our company was established in 2005, initially to bring Airstream trailers to Europe.
Some 75 years after Airstream’s beginnings in 1931, 3 Englishmen (Michael, David and Anthony) decided it was time that Airstream came to Europe to stay – and approached Airstream Inc. with a proposal to develop a European Airstream trailer fleet.
Work started in earnest on the engineering work in 2004 and production commenced in 2006. Jon our head technician joined us in 2007 and we moved to our current Tebay premises that year, occupying 1/3rd of the building to begin with (the rest being devoted to storage of Christmas Puddings!). Airstream Europe was born.
2010 was a year of expansion. We decided late in 2009 to take the Airstream internal fitout in house (and to buy the shell only from Airstream Inc, in Ohio, USA) and production rapidly expanded to occupy the whole building at Tebay. We also expanded to a 2nd location opening a southern UK depot. Lastly, we started to diversify and retail other ‘Cool Camping’ brands, initially Holtkamper tent trailers made in Holland. We soon decided that canvas was not for us and within a year had dropped the Holtkamper brand, replacing it with the T@B teardrop trailers made by Knaus Tabbert.
T@B proved to be an ideal ‘fit’ with Airstream, being rounded and retro, but at a cheaper price point. We changed the name of the business from “Airstream Europe” to “Airstream and Company”, to signify that Airstream now had company. We exceeded our first year sales target for T@B by 50% and were very confident for the future for this super cool brand alongside Airstream.
The ERIBA Touring range, manufactured by HYMER of Germany, joined our product line in early 2013. We had long wished to represent ERIBA, so this appointment represented a pivotal moment in our future growth. The ERIBA Touring is a cult product, with a strong following who appreciate its aero steel shell, excellent towing characteristics and beautiful interior finish. Other HYMER/ERIBA caravans followed and proved popular with customers wanting the best of German engineering.
During 2015 we ventured into selling Motorised Leisure Vehicles, with Autotrail and to mark the venture we changed the company name once more to Adventure Leisure Vehicles...then favouring Hymer as our main supplier we decided to concentrate on HYMERCAR...which have now become HYMER Campers.
Sadly in 2016, due largely to the fall of the £ vs the $ we had to relinquish the Airstream franchise and close our Gloucestershire branch. This enabled us to make way for the Buccaneer franchise, now made by Elddis...which we began with way back in 1970! (Michael remembers selling the 1st Buccaneer Caribbean for £630!). Erwin Hymer Group then bought Elddis bringing all our brands under one roof, followed in 2019 by THOR of America (who own Airstream) buying The Erwin Hymer Group.... How things change in the weird and wonderful World of Motorhomes and Touring Caravans.
Here at ALV... We only change for the better... Improving our facilities and Team to serve our customers the very best we can from far and wide.
Michael, Mike and all the team at Adventure Leisure Vehicles.
Click here to meet the ALV Team.