Dmitri Sorokovski started out four years ago with the intention of merely restoring an Airstream trailer for his own use, but he enjoyed doing it so much that he now owns the Airstream dealership in Salt Lake City and a business supplying Airstream parts worldwide.
How Sorokovski became the owner of Intermountain Airstream and its parts division, Silver Trailer Supply, is an interesting story. Seventeen years ago, he was practicing law in Moscow when he decided at the age of 30 to come to Seattle in search of better opportunities. He spoke little English and would have had to go to law school here to continue in the legal profession. That held no appeal, and besides, he needed to work on his English, so for five years he took jobs in construction.
After that, he went to work in finance. He had always admired Airstream trailers and decided to buy a 1967 model and restore it in his backyard garage. “I liked the process,” Sorokovski said, and so he began buying and restoring Airstreams, acquiring 50 in a year. What started as a hobby turned into a business.
To restore that many RVs requires lots of parts, and Sorokovski amassed a huge inventory. He became known not only for restoration work, but also as the person to see for hard-to-find parts.
With its art deco silver bullet design, Airstream is an American icon unique in the RV world. The brand is more than 75 years old, and an estimated 80 percent of all the trailers it ever built are still on the road. Owners hang onto them and pass them down to their children and grandchildren. Even people who could afford to buy a new Airstream often want instead to restore their grandparents’ model, Sorokovski said. That fact enabled him to build a growing business, and as it grew, he began learning more about the RV business through connections he made at the Airstream Los Angeles dealership in California. Before long, Sorokovski became acquainted with the top management at Airstream and was offered the opportunity to open the dealership in Utah.
Now, he operates both the dealership and his parts and restoration business in Salt Lake City. Intermountain Airstream sells and services both new and used Airstream travel trailers and touring coaches. Sorokovski has restoration work booked a year out, and his Silver Trailer Supply ships parts everywhere—Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Finland, and much more. In fact, Sorokovski said his company is now the largest supplier of Airstream parts in the world. When original factory parts are no longer available for various models, it supplies reproductions.
A unique feature of the dealership is its collection of historic RVs. Sorokovski has five aluminum trailers built from 1934 to 1941, including two Bowlus Road Chief trailers that are considered a forerunner to the Airstream. The collection also includes a trailer that Howard Hughes started building in 1941 and had employees work on during World War II. None of the historic trailers are for sale, and some are still undergoing restoration, but they can be viewed at the dealership.
Intermountain Airstream is at 2651 South 600 West in Salt Lake City, near the intersection of Interstate 15 and Interstate 80. For information, visit intermountainairstream.com.