One of the readers of The Small Trailer Enthusiast, Dustin Smith, has started an online forum geared toward owners of the 2014-2015 Shasta Airflyte reissues. Airflyte Hacks was formed to be an online gathering place for owners to share experiences, modifications, improvements and hacks.
Per the Airflyte Hacks website, “The goal of this website is to learn from each other, and build an archive of information that will last as long as our trailers do. This is not a social club. We will not be organizing outings. There are lots of other great trailer groups out there (including several just for the re-issues) that provide those kind of social forums wonderfully, and we are not trying to replace them.”
I find these types of internet resources much more favorable than social media pages such as Facebook. It gives members the opportunity to search archives and previous threads that pertain to information they’re looking for in an easier to find manner.
Little Guy Worldwide has jumped into the national spotlight with the debut of a new FOX network reality show called “Home Free”, which airs Wednesday nights at 9pm ET.
The premise of the show involves a competition between eight different families who are renovating homes in the Atlanta area, with guidance by contractor Mike Holmes. While they’re on location, the families are living in Silver Shadow teardrop trailers by Little Guy.
(photo courtesy http://golittleguy.com)
Chris Baum of Little Guy Worldwide has been making the rounds promoting the show and Little Guy’s participation. He was here in Indianapolis where he spoke with affiliate FOX59 at their studios (Hey Chris, don’t forget your friends at The Small Trailer Enthusiast the next time you’re in town! :-D).
Back in November 2014, Indianapolis, Indiana based diecast collectible manufacturer Greenlight Collectibles introduced a diecast series called Hitch & Tow, which featured four different vehicles hauling some sort of trailer, be it a cargo trailer or the popular Airstream Bambi hauled by a 1967 Chevrolet Impala.
There have been two other Hitch & Two series introduced to the market since then, and both have featured an Airstream Bambi hauled by a different vehicle.
However, GreenLight’s Series 4 Hitch & Tow will feature a 1:64 scale 1962 Dodge D-100 pick-up truck and an early 1960’s era Shasta Airflyte. The Series 4 addition will hit the market sometime in the fall of 2015 and will retail for $9.99.
In an e-mail from Josh Hollandsworth of GreenLight Collectibles, he tells me of the Shasta diecast, “This is authentic to scale 1:64 in size, shape and proportions. The beautiful thing about this casting is that both the trailer shell and the chassis are metal which you don’t see in 1:64 very much these days. We did this not only for value, but for the quality as well as it feels like a more substantial and accurate piece.”
Josh further told me, “These trailers are licensed by Shasta and every piece is reviewed and approved along each step of the process by them: casting creation, 3D, test shots, car artwork, decorated pre-production samples, packaging artwork and final production pieces. This is to help ensure authenticity along every step of the way.”
With the popular resurgence of the Shasta Airflyte reissue travel trailer over the past year, these diecasts will surely be a huge success once they hit the store shelves later in 2015. But look for more Airstreams and other vintage trailers to be produced by GreenLight in the future. Says Josh, “Expect at least one per release and we’re working on getting more vintage trailer castings as well to release every couple releases. For the Airstreams, we have a whole wall of ideas.”
Shasta RV parent company Forest River is recalling 249 of the 1,941 (12.8% of production) Shasta Airflyte reissued trailers due to incorrect Federal Certification Labels, according to RV Pro magazine. The labels incorrectly state the trailer tire size, gross axle weight rating, gross vehicle weight rating and cargo carrying capacity. Incorrect labeling opens the door for the trailer to be overloaded and thus increasing the risk for tire failure.
Forest River will notify affected customers and dealers will install the correct label at no cost to them, with the recall starting sometime this month. To find out if your Shasta Airflyte is affected, owners can contact Forest River at (574)825-8717, and mention recall number 54-06052015-0047.
A few months ago, I opened up some space on The Small Trailer Enthusiast for any RV manufacturer or dealer to advertise on the site. With the addition of my first paid advertiser, I thought I’d take the opportunity to give them, and future advertisers, a little bit more publicity than the ad for them that appears to the right of this post.
With that in mind, I want to welcome Pierce RV as a partner to The Small Trailer Enthusiast. Pierce RV has three Montana locations in Great Falls, Billings, and Kalispell. They carry a huge inventory of class A, B, and C motor homes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, cargo trailers, and toy haulers.
Of the travel trailers they carry, manufacturers include Heartland, Winnebago, Cruiser, Keystone, KZ, Prime Time, and Cricket. The history of Pierce RV dates back to 1924 when George R. Pierce started selling, as he called them, “Experienced Automobiles”. In those 90 years, Pierce Companies include an RV division, leasing division, a modular homes division, and a flooring division, employing some 170 employees among all divisions.
So if you’re in Montana or one of its nearby states, do consider our new friends at Pierce RV for your next purchase, and tell them The Small Trailer Enthusiast sent ya!
Last month I gave you a brief post on the introduction of the White Water Retro 177 Special Edition by Riverside RV. It appeared the 177SE had the same floorplan and specs as the White Water Retro 177, and that is indeed the case.
The 177SE comes with a few extras that give it an eye-catching look that will surely draw the attention of everyone. I spoke with Riverside RV general manager Mervin Lehman recently to get the scoop on the 177SE. Mervin tells me, “This has been in the works for about 2 months and we used the 177 as it is our most popular model. The first run of these will go into production the week of May 18 so they should be arriving on or about June 1.”
The 177SE will come as a package with no options. But the upgrades from a typical 177 include birch interior, painted rims w/ whitewall tires, radiant insulation, LED lighting, Fantastic Fan w/rain sensor, 6 cubic foot refrigerator, and a deluxe memory foam mattress.
“There are no options with this unit as we are doing this as a special package so that every unit is built exactly the same except for color. This allows production to produce these very efficiently, hence the special price.” And that special price is a reasonably priced MSRP of $18,600.
Although the 177SE is an in “as is” package, customers will have a choice in exterior colors: white/aqua, white/red, or pewter/red.
I was curious about the announcement of the Retro 177SE on the heels of the successful venture by Shasta RV coming out with the reissue of the 1961 Airflyte. When I asked Mervin if this was their response to Shasta, he told me, “The Shasta reissue had very little to do with this unit. This a very different floor plan than the Shasta unit and has been holding its own in that market.”
Currently there is no set number of 177SE units that will be produced. “The number of units isn’t limited but we are limiting the time frame. The exact date hasn’t been set in stone but we are talking about a July 31 cut off date for orders.” And as far as orders are concerned, Mervin tells me the entire first run has already been sold.
And dealers seem to be excited. I spoke with Austin Braun of Braun’s Fun Time Campers in Indianapolis, a White Water Retro dealer. “We ordered one of these on Saturday as soon as we heard about it! I think it’s exactly what we’re looking for.”
The specs for the 177SE should be on par with a standard 177 model: 18’6″ length, dry weight of 2530 lbs, 20 gallon fresh water tank, 32 gallon gray water tank, and 10 gallon black water tank with an aluminum framed construction.
Currently the Riverside RVs website does not include the 177SE, but my suggestion would be to keep tabs on rvtrader.com sometime in early June to find out which dealers have the 177SE in stock.
LaGrange, Indiana based Riverside RV has announced a new addition to their White Water Retro lineup. The popular 177 floor plan will be the basis for a Special Edition model that will hit dealer showrooms in the coming months. Additional features to the newly named 177SE will be a new paint scheme with three color options, whitewall tires, birch interior, upgraded LED exterior lighting, and wheels painted to match the trailer’s color.
This looks like it will be a very popular addition to the Retro lineup, and I’d venture to say it’s an answer for those who’ve had concerns about the 1961 Shasta Airflyte reissue’s sleeping set-up, as the White Water utilizes a rear island queen bed and front dinette.
I’ve got a call out to Bob Taulbee of Riverside RV, so once I get more info, I’ll post it here. Stay tuned!
The resurgence of Shasta in the RV industry over the past few years has been welcomed with open arms by consumers with a desire for a quality trailer, but one with value in mind. Since current Shasta RV president Mark Lucas took over the reigns of the Forest River subsidiary in 2012, their line of travel trailers and fifth wheels have been streamlined and well defined.
However, aiding in that resurgence of the Shasta brand was 2014’s reissue of the 1961 Shasta Airflyte, in both a 16′ and 19′ model. Once the news of 1,941 of the Airflytes were being reissued, with a little modern technology tweaks, it created a buzz in the RV industry the likes of which haven’t been seen in decades. As a byproduct of the Airflyte reissue, the iconic Shasta name has been put back in the forefront of the minds of RV consumers who recall the days when they might’ve gone camping with their grandparents in an original 1960’s or 1970’s Shasta. And although they may not have purchased a 2015 reissue Airflyte, it opened some eyes to the main lines of Shasta trailers currently produced in their Middlebury, Indiana factory.
Currently Shasta produces two fifth wheels: The Revere and the Phoenix, and three travel trailer lines: The Revere, Flyte, and Oasis. Today I want to focus on one that falls in the range of our theme here at The Small Trailer Enthusiast that is right at 20′ long: The Shasta Oasis 18FQ.
I first brought this unit to your attention back in December 2014 at the RVIA trade show in Louisville, Kentucky where the 18FQ was first introduced. It’s taken some time, but the 18FQ (and its brother the 18BH bunkhouse) are finally hitting dealer lots here in April. However, we’re still awaiting Shasta to update their website with specs and floorplans for each.
Some of you loyal readers of this site will know that I recently purchased an Oasis, although a much longer floorplan, due to a growing grandchild base. So I’ve been able to have a little more of an in depth take on the Oasis than I might other brands I discuss here. The 25BH Oasis that I have is my third trailer, after owning a 2010 T@B and a 2010 Serro Scotty HiLander. The materials and appliances Shasta uses aren’t cut rate, as it has a 6 cubic foot Dometic refrigerator, a 3-burner Atwood stove and oven, and a High Pointe microwave, which are all brands you’ll find in higher priced RVs. Shasta prides itself with the Oasis being the RV industry’s “leading value in the RV industry“.
From a construction standpoint, the Oasis utilizes a 5/8″ tongue & groove plywood floor that’s covered with a Congoleum covering that has a 3 year warranty against cold cracking. The frame is a solid steel I-beam that’s solid as a rock. Prior to purchasing an Oasis, I did some homework and asked questions. I spoke with Rusty Eckstein, vice president of the Shasta dealer in Central Indiana at Mount Comfort RV, and he told me about the Oasis, “We have done well with the Oasis trailers. They have been out about 3 or 4 years now. Shasta has made improvements on them as far as looks and quality each year. They had been trying to get us to carry the line and last year, we finally decided that they had them dialed in. So, we picked them up. My dad and I spend A LOT of time shopping for RV’s. It is a large part of what we do. The Oasis is one that we bought!” That was pretty much all I needed to hear. I had looked at some other brands that I had knowledge of, but the floorplans didn’t quite offer what the 25BH did, so ultimately we were comfortable with what we saw and we put our order in on one. So far so good!
This brings back to the 18FQ. I’ve been able to put bits & pieces of specs together on the Oasis 18FQ. First, it’s a single axle with a dry weight in the 3200 lbs range and is right at 20′ in length. So as trailers go, it’s relatively light weight for that size. It has pass through storage in the front, and inside has the signature Oasis 60″ X 74″ queen walk around bed in the front. Although the video I’ve attached below states it’s a 6 cubic foot refrigerator, that is not the case on this model. It’s more in the ballpark of a 3-4 cubic foot. As you can see from the photos, it’s got ample counter space, a nice sized dinette, plenty of cabinet space, and a nice sized full bathroom in the rear with a 36″ bathtub, medicine cabinet, foot flush toilet, and additional cabinets for storage.
I was really impressed with the layout of this 18FQ when I first saw it back in December. This is an excellent fit for a couple with a smaller budget, as it gives plenty of room without stepping on each others’ toes. However, for those of you with kids and a smaller budget, Shasta does also offer the Oasis 18BH, which provides two single rear bunks. However, it does not offer the walk around island queen bed, but yields plenty of kitchen counter space.
While prices of the Oasis 18FQ and 18BH vary when you check on rvtrader.com, you likely shouldn’t expect to pay higher than the low teens for a new model. And as 2015 rolls on, more and more units will be hitting dealer lots, so the need to order one may not be necessary. But if you do order one, options are minimal for you to choose from, as the Oasis line is a value driven model that cuts back on goodies so you can keep your cost low.
Below are a couple of videos. The first is of a Shasta Oasis 25RS model, but I’m including that because Mount Comfort RV shows some really good footage throughout the walk through from the Shasta factory in Middlebury to give you a brief glimpse of a few Shastas during the production process. The second video was just published a day ago by Atlantic Marine & RV in Fort Pierce, Florida of a 2016 Oasis 18FQ.
UPDATE: I’ve added a video of my Oasis here. Again, this is the larger 25BH, but it gives you a little more visual of an Oasis from yours truly:
As some of you who follow along know, we became trailerless 2 months ago when we sold our 2010 Serro Scotty HiLander that adorns the heading of the website you’re reading. Since we were expecting grandson #2 (arrived March 22!), my wife & I realized we’d need a little more room for the four of us than the 15’9″ Scotty allowed. We chose a Shasta Oasis 25BH, which compared to the Scotty is a 28’11” behemoth.
I had a lazy Sunday on this Easter holiday, so I decided to drive up to Middlebury, Indiana to poke around the Shasta RV factory. They weren’t open, but there were plenty of new Shastas up in front for anyone to stop by and look at.
We are close to getting our Oasis as I type, but whether it was still at the factory or in the hands of a shipping company wasn’t quite clear. However, my trip all but clarified its whereabouts. The 25BH isn’t one of the most sought after floorplans in the Oasis line. But we liked it based on our needs and it has a good price point. However, one thing I did spend a little extra on for it were the wheels. The only thing an Oasis comes with are these standard white steel RV rims, which lack a bit in appeal….
However, the Shasta Flyte, which is similar to the Oasis but come with fiberglass siding instead of aluminum plus a few extra standard features, has optional mag wheels.
I thought I’d ask if it would be possible to upgrade the Oasis’ rims to the optional Flyte mags and that got the OK from the Shasta folks. Chances are it just might be the only new Oasis with mags on it.
With that in mind, I thought I’d kill a day and a few gallons of gas and head up US 31 to the RV hub of the world, Elkhart County, Indiana. All I had was an address to the Shasta factory and the hope that maybe I’d get a glimpse of a Shasta somewhere. I got more than I bargained for. As I mentioned above, several Shastas are parked out front for anyone to look at. Many Airflyte reissues where on hand in both the 16′ and 19′ models and all three color schemes were parked out as well awaiting their shipment. But what I saw back beyond a locked, barbwired fence is what made my heart skip a beat. In the distance was a new Oasis 25BH….with mag wheels. I figure I’m probably the only guy out there requesting that floor plan with mags. It also had the optional exterior shower we ordered, so I knew at this point I’m looking at our trailer, although from a couple hundred yards away. I took what pics I could of it from the front side and rear side, although both were partially blocked by a much larger Shasta Revere.
Being somewhat satisfied with the photos of it I took through a barbwire fence, I found an office building to the west of the lot that gave me a much better vantage point from the rear.
So there it is. The beast that I’ll be towing for years to come and making some good memories with the two grandkids. It’s not small by the standards of what I cover on The Small Trailer Enthusiast, but we all know how life tends to change things. But rest assured, I’m still here seeking out new and interesting small trailers and news to keep you updated on the latest & greatest relating to small trailers.
Beginning this month, the RV Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana will feature an old and new Shasta in the Go RVing wing of the hall of fame. The two-trailer exhibit will feature a 1954 Shasta that currently resides in the hall of fame’s main exhibit. The other is a 2015 Shasta Airflyte reissue model that is being donated to the museum by Wisconsin RV dealer Mick Ferkey, who also is a board member for the hall of fame.
In an interview with RV-Pro, Ferkey says, “One of the reasons I wanted to do this was to bring more people into the Hall of Fame,” he said. “You’re going to get a lot of these employees that work for Shasta that want to bring their family in to show them what they did. They’re proud of their work. I want the public to see what the RV industry can really do when they put their minds to it.”
The Small Trailer Enthusiast is a home for news on small travel trailers, typically 20' or less. Here you will find info on new models, industry news relating to small trailers, and any other stories I think you might find interesting. Have some small trailer news you'd like to pass along?