- Updated: 06 May 2015
About the Wally Byam Caravan Club International
The Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI) is the RV Club of Airstream Owners. It is named for Wally Byam who was the inventor of the Airstream travel trailer. It is a nonprofit organization with headquarters in Jackson Center, Ohio. To be a member and participate in club activities, you must own a self-contained recreational vehicle made by Airstream Inc. - also located in Jackson Center, Ohio.
In 1951, Wally Byam conducted the first group RV Tour (Caravan) in history. He did it to encourage people to get out and use their travel trailers, to see and enjoy the world around them, and to be used as a test environment for the travel trailers he manufactured. This first Caravan traveled to Mexico. Wally continued his Caravan activity and eventually operated Caravans that traveled almost everywhere in the world. It was on one of these Caravans to Eastern Canada in 1955 that the Wally Byam Caravan Club International was formed. The goal of the club was to foster Fun, Fellowship, and Adventure as members enjoyed the lifestyle offered by traveling in an Airstream. As the club grew (to more than 25,000 members at one point), more management and organization was required. An organization of Units (local), Regions (several states), and National (the whole club) was created to better respond to the members needs.
Activities at all levels consisted of lunches, dinners, rallies, and caravans – anything that could be enjoyed by members as they traveled around in their Airstreams. However, in 1972 it was recognized that groups that conducted Caravans seemed to be more successful. To encourage more Caravans, a Caravan Handbook was created to help those who were not sure of what to do (the WBCCI Caravan Handbook is included in this web site). A numbering system was developed to recognize any group that conducted more extensive Caravans and to track the club's Caravan activity.
A Caravan need not be numbered to be fully supported by WBCCI, but participants in a numbered Caravan will have the numbers of the Caravans they have completed listed behind their names in the annual Membership Directory. In fact, non-numbered Caravans exceed those that are numbered.
Since the number system was started in 1972, WBCCI has conducted over 1000 such Caravans (an average of 30 per year). We still operate around 30 numbered Caravans each year. This continued experience makes WBCCI the leader in what has become a major activity in the RV industry today.
Because we are a nonprofit club, our Caravans are operated at cost and led by experienced volunteers. The Caravan Leader will have pre-planned the entire Caravan, arranged for campsites, set up group meals, and arranged many interesting tours. The participants in the Caravan (caravanners) pay a "Kitty" fee that has been established by the Leader to cover expenses for the Caravan. Any money that is left in the Kitty at the end of the Caravan is returned to the caravanners.
Caravans range in length from 10 to 60 or more days and can include 15 to 40 Airstreams. An average cost for a Caravan is $50 to $60 per day for 2 people in an Airstream, but this varies with the cost of campsites, the number of group meals, and the extent of tours that are included in the Kitty fee. Our Caravans do not rush from stop to stop; we try to give everyone plenty of time to get familiar with the areas we travel through. Since we are traveling as a group, we can often arrange tours and visits to locations that are not available to the general public. There is also ample opportunity to sightsee on your own.
WBCCI Caravans offer a wide choice for those who like to travel. Although specific Caravan offerings can change from year to year (a list of current Caravans is included in this Web Site and appears in the club monthly magazine - the Blue Beret) we do have many that are popular enough to run frequently.
. For those who enjoy sports, you can go fishing in British Columbia or golfing in a new area each year.
. For the history buff, you can travel the Oregon Trail, explore the Lewis & Clark Trail, or visit Civil War sites.
. If you want to see and enjoy the country, you can travel with us to Alaska, Western Canada, Eastern Canada, Newfoundland, Cajun Country, the Great Southwest, many National Parks and Monuments, and much, much more.
If you already own an Airstream, pick out a Caravan, contact the Leader to make your reservation, and get prepared to enjoy yourself. If you do not own an Airstream, now is your chance to find one and join with us on a WBCCI Caravan for Fun, Fellowship, and Adventure.