- Memories

Enjoyment of the whispering winds, the zephyrs, the airstreams of the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin areas of the United States.

Big Red Numbers

One of the distinctive features of membership in the Wally Byam Caravan Club International are the big red numbers. How did these numbers come to be? What do they signify? Who gets what number and why?

How the numbers came to be

In 1951 Wally Byam was asked by a customer to take him on a camping trip to learn first hand how his new Airstream worked. That trip was such a success that Wally then organized “the first trailer caravan in history” to Mexico the following year. At a brief meeting before the caravan started numbers were assigned to each trailer. These numbers were painted on the trailer. This enabled the caravan leader to check in each trailer at every stop to make sure everyone arrived safely. Each participant in the caravan also painted their names on their trailers to make it easier to find people in camp.

How do you get a WBCCI number?

Numbers are assigned when you join the club. WBCCI will assign a number to you based on their own selection criterea. You can request a specific number and as long as it is available and not one reserved for special circumstances as outlined in the Blue Book, every effort will be made to provide you with that number.

Under special circumstances, if you request a number in a restricted grouping, you may petition to obtain that number. For instance, when the Leipper family wanted to get their grandparent's original number (772) they had to enlist the support of the Unit officers. The Unit President and others wrote letters to WBCCI. If the number was available, which it was, approval had to be received from the international board of directors.

In Brief – who is assigned what numbers

As far as the lower numbers being reserved for officers I'll clarify a little. These series are estimations but close,

38-44 Airstream Exec's and employees

100-135 This series has been reserved for International Presidents

200-299 This series is reserved for Region Presidents

300-345 This series is reserved for other folks with positions in the club ie IBT members,constitutional officers,blue beret people etc

346-999 This series is only reissued with special circumstances. Very rare to have additions. You fall into this category along with Catherine Zimmer.

There could be exceptions to the above.

The Blue Book policy on membership numbers

  1. The Club will not exchange membership numbers for any reason except as outlined below.

  2. The newly elected International 3rd Vice President will be assigned the lowest available membership number in the 100 series. The newly elected Region Presidents shall be assigned the lowest available membership numbers in the 200-299 series, based upon a drawing in the presence of the IBT, unless sufficient numbers in the series are not available, in which case the lowest available numbers in the 300 series shall be assigned. The newly elected International Recording Secretary and International Treasurer shall be assigned the lowest available membership numbers in the 300-600 series, based upon a drawing in the presence of the IBT. The order of the drawing shall be the International Recording Secretary, the International Treasurer, and the Region Presidents, from the lowest number region to the highest. The use of membership numbers in the 700 through 999 series shall be held for future IBT decision. The procedure for membership number release shall not apply to numbers 101 through 999. Membership numbers 1000 and above shall be issued to new members using the lowest available number at the time the application is received for membership unless the member requests a specific available number or the membership number release procedure (see Para. 8) applies. (1/19/01)

  3. New Club members will be furnished their first set of numbers and decals at no charge to them. Thereafter, replacement num­bers and decals will be charged to the member and they will be sold only in complete sets. (3/3/83)

  4. Members owning two or more recreational vehicles manufactured by Airstream, Inc. shall display the same membership number on each recreational vehicle. Members who are the co-owners of a recreational vehicle manufactured by Airstream, Inc. shall use and display the same membership number. (1/19/96)

  5. Membership numbers are issued to individual club members only. They are not issued to units or companies.

  6. Membership number and decals will be mailed direct from Club Headquarters to the new and current club members.

  7. Membership numbers that become inactive, whether through reas­signment as in number 2 above or through member resignation, or dues delinquency shall remain in an inactive status and be unavailable for reassignment for a minimum of one (1) year. (6/18/82)

  8. In the case of a prospective member who has purchased a recreational vehicle manufactured by Airstream, Inc. from a member of the Inter-n­ational Club and the member, who was the former owner, does not own or contemplate future ownership of such a recreational vehicle nor the retention of the assigned International Club Membership Number, the purchaser may obtain the membership number of the former owner. A purchaser who desires to be assigned the membership number of a former owner of such recreational vehicle must obtain a written release of the membership number from the former owner. The written release must be included with a completed application for membership and forwarded to International Headquarters. The membership number of the former owner will only be assigned upon receipt of the written release and the completed application for membership. Membership numbers 101 through 999 shall not be reassigned under this procedure. (1/19/96)

  9. Membership numbers, 1000 and above, may be exchanged upon written request to Headquarters on the CHANGE OF MEM­BERSHIP NUMBER REQUEST FORM contained in Appendix 9, and the payment of a $25.00 administrative fee. In the event that duplicate requests for a specific number are received at Headquarters, the request with the earliest postmark will be honored. New numbers for one recreational vehicle manufactured by Airstream, Inc. will be furnished, and the new membership number will be noted in the next issue of the ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY. If the request is not received prior to November 30, the new number will not appear in the ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY until the following year. The old membership number will be immediately available for reissue. EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 1992.

  10. The membership number assigned to a WBCCI member remains the member's number as long as qualifications of membership in the club are maintained. (6/22/96)
  11. If, at any time, the Recreational Vehicle is disposed of, the numbers should be removed.

The Blue Book also contains a section on how the numbers are to be displayed on each type of Airstream.

Reassignment of Numbers

As you know,they have been reissuing the 1000-7400 series of numbers for many,many years. My hobby involves logging the big red numbers I see and with the same numbers being issued year after year its getting to a point where I've seen most of the numbers in the above series. I asked her if it was a possibility to issue some new numbers in the 8000-9999 series,just for something different. No extra cost involved,still 4 numbers as opposed to issuing numbers over 10,000.

For more information click here to see the owners guide page on identification


Mike Orchard

Trailer Travel Here and Abroad, Wally Byam

Blue Book, WBCCI

Sierra Nevada Airstreams: Memories - Family - Community - Owner's Guide - Education - Commerce - WBCCI Unit - Quicksand
Support our site, Donations accepted thanks to the

TechComm Labs (tm)
copyright 2005 Leipper Management Group. All rights reserved Please address comments or questions to Last updated 02/25/2006
supporting and using open software
Sierra Nevada Airstreams - photograph policy -

note: all photographs on this site are for personal, private, and non-commercial use only. All other copyrights are retained by the individual photographers. See our policy. Disclaimer: any advice or suggestion presented is provided for informational purposes only and is correct and accurate only to the best of our knowledge at the time it was written. Anyone using such information does so at their own risk. Errors or omissions may exist and additional sources of information or appropriately licensed or qualified personnel should be consulted in deciding a course of action. We assume no liability or obligation by providing this information and warn any users of this information that they do so at their own risk. All links or references to commercial vendors or other sources of information and equipment do not intend or imply or convey any endorsement of that source or the product. They are provided strictly for informational purposes to illustrate the topic at hand. Sierra Nevada Airstreams Enjoyment of the whispering winds, the zephyrs, the airstreams of the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin areas of the United States is a personal, nonprofit, noncommercial web site intended for educational and recreational use only. This site is supported by volunteer effort and contributions. Donations accepted thanks to the