May 25, 2023 | Club News, Education, History

Big Red Numbers – They Tell A Story

For over 60 years, the Wally Byam Caravan Club International (Airstream Club International) has been assigning members numbers and it all started in 1951 with the first Airstream Wally Byam Caravan.

From #1 to #29187: The Origin of Airstream Numbers

Why were they needed?

Imagine leading a caravan of 63 or so Airstreams throughout Central America not now, but in 1951-1952. Without having the benefit of cell phones or GPS to connect with caravan members, Wally Byam assigned big red numbers (sometimes referred to as BRN) which were placed on the front and rear end-cap of the Airstreams – making it easier to keep track of a large group of travelers facing rugged terrain and many weather-related problems.

Purchase Replacement Big Red Numbers and Decals (Airstream Club Store)

How are they chosen?

Upon joining Airstream Club International, members get to select their preference of a BRN.  If available, they are assigned that number or the following sequential number available in the Club. Numbers available range from 1000 to 32000.  Numbers less than 1000 are reserved for specific leadership roles within ACI.

Red Stars?

Each of the red stars on either side of these numbers reflects five years of membership in the Club.​​

Alternate BRN Display Ideas

Don’t want to apply your numbers to the Aluminum: Maybe this is not your forever trailer or you don’t want to get the ladder out. You can apply your numbers and ACI emblem to an aluminum panel attached across your rock guard or mount your numbers in the upper center or driver’s side of your rock guard. Add your numbers to your back window or rock guard. Applying numbers to the rock guards makes them easy to remove when you get that next trailer.

Airstream Travel Trailer Number/Nameplate

The perfect option for Airstream Club International members who want to proudly display their big red club numbers while preserving the shiny look of their Airstream travel trailer. Airstream Supply Company

These sturdy Airstream-shaped plates are made from brushed aluminum and provide enough room to apply your club numbers and display them in style. Whether you hang your number plate or prop it up at your campsite, show the world you’re part of the largest Airstream club in the world.

Removing old numbers

If your Airstream has old numbers to remove, a hair dryer will soften the adhesive and allow them to be peeled off. Don’t get anxious; peel carefully; a needle nose plier is useful to keep from burning your fingers. Aim the dryer right at the old number and try to get it off in one piece. When the numbers are removed, clean the area with kerosene or WD-40, wash with soap and water, then dry.

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