Jayco Introduces the Hummingbird

Middlebury, Indiana based Jayco, Inc. has introduced a new product to their travel trailer line for 2017 called the Hummingbird. Currently there are three floorplans  for this new lightweight unit that, as you might guess with one look at it, will be in direct competition with Forest River’s R-pod and Winnebago’s Winnie Drop.

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The three floor plans will be the 2715 lbs Hummingbird 17FD:

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The (weight TBD) Hummingbird 17RB:

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And the 2910 lbs Hummingbird 17RK:

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From the specs on the Jayco website, they’ll have 25 gallon tanks for fresh, gray, and black water with a 6-gallon gas/electric DSI water heater. Some of the usual modern day standards will include interior and exterior LED lighting, AM/FM/CD/DVD/Bluetooth stereo with speakers, black tank flush, power awning with LED lighting, 2.1-amp USB port in all models, solar ready, and 3 cu. ft. 2-way Norcold refrigerator just to name a few features.

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MSRP for these 20 footers will start out at just under $22,000, which should put them in the same price range as R-pods and Winnie Drops. And with Forest River’s lawsuit against Winnebago earlier this year regarding the similarities between the R-pod and Winnie Drop, don’t be surprised if we see similar action taken against Jayco, as has been the Forest River way starting out with the defunct Heartland mpg a few years back.

I checked out R-pod’s floor plans and sure enough, all three floor plans of the Hummingbird are floor plans that R-pod has:

The Hummingbird 17FD = R-pod RP-178

The Hummingbird 17RB = R-pod RP-180

The Hummingbird 17RK = R-pod RP-179

So I’m pretty sure we’ll see press releases by summer’s end pouring out of Forest River’s legal team. One possible saving grace from an exterior standpoint for the Hummingbird is the lower front end, where it has a concave look to it, similar to that of a late 1960’s era Shasta Loflyte.

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Without seeing one in person, I have to say I really like the looks of the Hummingbird when compared to the R-pod and the Winnie Drop. The decal package on the Winnie Drop is a hot mess and the R-pod never really has done much for me aesthetically. And as a point of disclosure, I say this as an owner of a Forest River product and a stockholder in Winnebago.  And don’t forget, Jayco offers their 2-year warranty on these where the others are just 1-year.

You can find out more about the 2017 Jayco Hummingbird at their website at: http://www.jayco.com/products/travel-trailers/2017-hummingbird/

 

(Hummingbird photos courtesy jayco.com)

 

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Forest River Issues Shasta Airflyte Recall

In a May 2, 2016 letter to Forest River, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acknowledged Forest River’s notification to the NHTSA of a recall concerning certain 2015 and 2016 Shasta Airflyte 16 and 19 foot reissued travel trailers. The recall covers potentially 1,736 Airflytes manufactured from April 28, 2015 through May 14, 2015. According to the letter to Forest River Director of Corporate Compliance Keith Fisher, “The dinette table on the affected vehicles may not have adequate support when lowered on its supporting leg. Without adequate support, the dinette table may fall between the dinette benches without warning, possibly resulting in injury.”

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The recall will begin around June 9, 2016 and Forest River will notify affected owners.  Dealers will install two new support legs, free of charge to the owners. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-821-1314.  Forest River’s recall number for this campaign is 53-04112016-0170.

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Riverside RVs Revamps Website

One of the big things I’ve heard in recent years in regards to Riverside RV’s website is that it’s one of the clunckiest, least professional looking RV manufacturer websites around. It was hard to disagree with that assessment. Within the past two years, they upgraded the site,  but it was still lacking in continuity. However, they’ve made now another update to the site and this one should end the talk of the website and should focus on the product Riverside produces.

The updated site highlights the two White Water lines of trailers and toy haulers: The Retro and the Mt McKinley. Of note in the Retro line is the discontinuation of the first model that was introduced in 2011: The Retro 155 (also the 155XL). 11198333184_a118c2c416

All other floorplans seem to be intact, as well as the Retro, Jr teardrop trailer. Specifications are also uniformly laid out among the eight Retro floorplans.

Riverside always had a contemporary trailer outside of the Retro, but with the change in name of it to the Mt McKinley, it appears they still want to have a mainstream trailer should the Retro fad start to fade.

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To view the updated Riverside RVs website for yourself, check it out at http://riversidervs.net.

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Airstream Acquires NEST Caravans

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Jackson Center, Ohio based Airstream, Inc. has acquired the assets of NEST Caravans, an Oregon based molded fiberglass trailer company that saw its first prototype produced in just the past year.

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In a press release from Airstream President Bob Wheeler, “We’ve been imagining a small, well-thought-out fiberglass travel trailer for quite some time and are very confident about its potential. Nest is a product that conveys sophistication, simplicity, and upscale modernity, so it made sense for us to partner and help bring this design to market.”

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The NEST is the brainchild of Robert Johans, President and Lead Designer of the Bend, Oregon based company. After moving to Bend  in 2006, Johans started a fiberglass trailer restoration business called The Egg Plant. It was his time spent restoring and modernizing Scamps, Bolers, Trilliums, and other fiberglass “egg” trailers where he envisioned creating his own offering to the fiberglass trailer market, and thus the NEST Caravan company was born.

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The NEST is rear entry, monocoque bodied, 2400 pounds, and is 16’8″ from hitch to tail. It is by far an upscale offering as molded fiberglass campers go. According to the NEST Caravans website, the price on a base model starts at $29,995 and goes up from there, depending on additional options. Perhaps when Airstream gets them into mass production, that price may be a little lower, but when it comes to the price of any Airstream, that’s really anyone’s guess. But considering the upscale features NEST already incorporates, I don’t see Airstream backing off of that philosophy and in reality, they’ll likely raise the bar.

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Obviously this story is developing and much more will be learned in the months to come as Airstream gets production underway. I’ll post here as I hear new updates. For more info on the NEST, you can visit their website (until it shows up on Airstream’s website) here: http://www.nestcaravans.com In the meantime, below is a short video with Robert Johans discussing NEST Caravans.

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A Tour of Scamp Trailers

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I’ve always been a fan of Scamp trailers ever since we started our small trailer search back in 2009. Whether it’s because they’ve got a fun name or whether it’s because they’re built in a region of Minnesota where I vacationed when I was a little boy, they’ve always been one of my favorite small trailer companies. If I had a “Mount Rushmore of Small Trailers”, Scamp would be one of the four on it. Scamps have been at the top of the heap of molded fiberglass campers since they first emerged from an old Ford garage in Backus, Minnesota back in 1971.

imageWhile perusing through some links on our Manufacturers page, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well Scamp has recently updated their website. One thing that I was extremely impressed with was a 13:38 minute video, showing all their lines, floor plans, and the manufacturing process. Although the video was produced in 2012, it’s still relevant and highly informative and well worth the time to watch, especially if you’ve had Scamp on your list of potential trailers to buy. I was unable to embed the video in this post, but here’s the direct link to it. Enjoy! Scamp Trailers Video

 

 

(photos courtesy scamptrailers.com)

 

 

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And Now a Word from Our Sponsor…

I’m happy to announce another new partner to The Small Trailer Enthuisast in 2016. Vintage Camping Gear is a relatively new online business specializing in vintage & classic trailer accessories.

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Owners Jeff & Karen Matson of Kalamazoo, Michigan have been fans of vintage trailers, and have recently purchased a 19′ Shasta Airflyte Reissue earlier in 2016. Karen is an artist and painting and graphic design instructor, while owning Matson Art & Design. Jeff owns Creative Group, a web and graphic design firm as well as Matson Woodworking. Jeff & Karen use their experience with their businesses to create the products on Vintage Camping Gear. Some of those products include trailer shaped cutting boards & coasters, hot pads & oven mitts, drinkware, and more. Serro-Hilander-Ctg-Board

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Vintage Camping Gear will also do customized work as well. You can drop them an e-mail at jeff@creative-grp.com with your ideas and chances are they can get it done. If you’d like to find out more about Vintage Camping Gear, click on this ad on the right side of our website…

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or by clicking this link here: http://vintagecampinggear.com/home-2/ You can also visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vintagecampinggear

Thanks again to Jeff & Karen for supporting our site, and by all means, return the favor and give them your support!

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Update on the Lance 1475

Back in January, I introduced you to the Lance Camper 1475 travel trailer. It was introduced this past December at the RVIA trade show in Louisville, Kentucky.  The 1475 is a non-slide, single axle 2500 lbs trailer ideal for 1 or 2 people, and is built at the Lance manufacturing facility in Lancaster, California. The 1475 brings the Lance travel trailer lineup to nine, ranging in lengths from 14′ to 22′. Unique to the 1475 when compared to trailers similar in size and amenities is the absence of a traditional RV dinette.

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“Downsizing, simplification, micro-homes, it’s all the rage these days,” states Bob Rogers, Lance’s Director of Marketing. “The genesis for this model came directly from our customers and is a result of what they wanted to see in a sub 15′ floor plan. The 1475 is ultra-light weight with 100% Lance DNA and yes, it doesn’t have a fixed dinette. Customers tell us they like to eat outside or while sitting in their lounge chairs and would rather have two comfortable chairs and a nice size dry bath, so that’s what we designed!”

lance-1475 layoutIn a recent press release from Lance, the 1475 comes standard with laminated fiberglass/aluminum frame/block foam insulated construction, Azdel interior panel walls, bluetooth app enabled audio system, LED lighting, class leading pass through storage, radius full torque frameless dual pane tinted windows, aluminum wheels, exterior propane BBQ connection, exterior wash station, ducted heat as well as popular options including keyless entry, electric lateral arm awning with motion sensor, solar panel, LED TV, microwave & A.C. The 1475 is designed to be an adventure machine that is easily towed behind almost any midsize tow vehicle with a minimum of 3,500lb. GVWR.lance3

The Lance 1475 is now arriving at dealer lots just in time to start the 2016 camping season, with a base MSRP of $23,888. For more information on the 1475, visit the Lance website at http://www.lancecamper.com/travel-trailers/1475/.

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A Look at Homegrown Trailers…

Many mainstream trailer manufacturers tout their RVs as being “green certified” to gain favor with those concerned with an RV’s environmental impact. However, very little is actually required of a manufacturer in, for example, an RV’s internal air quality to gain green certification. None of those manufacturers truly embrace and produce a green RV like newly formed Homegrown Trailers, based in Woodinville, Washington. 1-Semiahmoo-100x500

Homegrown Trailers takes its commitment to a truly environmental trailer serious, as do those likely to own one.  According to co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Eric Gertsman, “Our target demographic is pretty broad, from young couples to small families to retirees, however, what they have in common is a desire for environmentally-conscious and healthy travel. They typically want to get out into nature to enjoy their favorite recreational activities and love to return to a comfortable home for great meals and a restful night’s sleep. They are also people who enjoy handcrafted, quality product and are proud to show off our trailers to their friends.”

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The story of Homegrown Trailers started when co-founder Corey Weathers sought a means to move from tent camping into a trailer. According to the Homegrown Trailers website,  “As a sustainability consultant, he had something very specific in mindㅡa trailer that he could pull with a small and efficient car or SUV, that was capable of being off-grid, that was comfortable with some key amenities, and most importantly, that was made with sustainable and healthy materials.”

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With the help of some friends with construction experience, they created a trailer that can comfortably sleep four, has a kitchen, fit in a standard residential garage, and most important, is one of the most environmentally friendly trailers you’re likely to find anywhere. As for construction, Eric tells me,  “The exterior sides are Western Red Cedar. The top, front, and rear in the production model will be EcoClad, which is a durable surface made from bamboo and recycled paper.” Other features include 100% solar power with 400 watts of solar panels standard (with an option for 800 total watts), a clean & composting toilet, sustainable materials made with non-toxic chemicals, and energy efficient lights and appliances.

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As for weights & measures, the Homegrow Trailer weighs a mere 2,000 lbs with a 3,000 cargo capacity. 18′ from hitch to tail and 6’9″ height, and 6’10” width allows one to be stored in most garages. Total box length of the trailer is 13’2″. A hard-sided pop top adds additional ventilation as well as 6’5″ of total headroom.

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With Homegrown Trailers officially being in business since just this January, it goes without saying they’re in the infant stages. However, they’ve put together a staff and are ready to hit the ground running. “Our VP of Production, Kimberly Briar, leads our manufacturing staff. She relies on two other key colleagues: Kirk Robinson, Innovation Specialist, and James Jenkins, Product Innovation and Sustainable Materials Specialist. The three of them are spearheading the planning and building of the next trailers and then we’ll soon be hiring a couple production assistants to help”, Eric tells me.

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But like most trailer manufacturers starting out, financial backing plays a big part in how well things will start out. To help smooth the road to success, Eric, Corey, and fellow co-founder Kimberly Briar have started a crowdfunding initiative through Indiegogo with the goal of raising $350,000 to aid in building the initial fleet of trailers, both to rent and those for sale, which will have a price tag of $28,995.

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If you’d like to give Homegrown Trailers the financial backing they need, you can through their Indiegogo crowdfunding page at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/homegrown-trailers#/, and learn more about the initiative in the video below. To find out more about Homegrown Trailers, you can visit their website at http://www.homegrowntrailers.com

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For Sale: 2009 Serro Scotty HiLander

Long time readers of The Small Trailer Enthusiast will know that for about 5 years I had a repr0duction 2010 Serro Scotty HiLander that we sold just about a year ago, due to a growing grandson base. When I posted it for sale about this time in 2015, we got inquiries from all over the country, since there were just a handful of them built (likely less than 100), and they had a reputation for being well built. I still get inquiries every so often from readers interested in where they can get one, as they’ve been out of production since 2012.

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Well, for those of you who’ve been one of those searching for one, your chance is now to get your hands on my friend Dave’s 2009 HiLander. Dave and his wife bought it when it was about a year old and have had it for about 5 years and are selling it due to some life changes.

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I’m adding some specs for any of you interested down below. Dave’s located in West Virginia and he can be contacted at catmandu12000@yahoo. com. Asking price is $8999. Once I hear from Dave that it sells, I’ll post an update up at the top of this page.

FROM THE SERRO SCOTTY WEBSITE:

Legendary style meets everyday life. Stand apart from the crowd with this timeless classic.

All the features of home are found in your HiLander. A shower/toilet combination saves those late night hikes. It is designed to comfortably sleep four with a single front and full sized rear bed with an overhead bunk.

Safety is always first with a full frame underneath, fire extinguisher, escape hatch and a deadbolt door lock.

Perfect for family adventures! Standards include; sink, stove, furnace, refrigerator, hot water heater and spare tire.

Add even more creature comforts with optional A/C, microwave, awning and TV/DVD.

HiLander Specs Interior Plan Choices Appliances
Total Length …………….15’9”
Width ………………………85”
Exterior Height ………….92”
Interior Height ………….73”
Hitch Weight …………….280lbs
Dry Weight ………………2490lbs
GVWR …………………….3500lbs
Option 1:
Standard (u-shaped dinette)
Option 2:
Rear Bed (inner spring mattress)
  • 3.0 cu ft refrigerator
  • 2 burner stove
  • 2.0 gpm water pump
  • *12,000 btu furnace
    *not standard in basic
Exterior Interior Options
  • Aluminum Exterior
  • Aluminum sidewall frame
  • Full steel frame
  • 4 stabilizer jacks
  • Baggage door
  • Rock Guard front
  • Electric Brakes w/breakaway switch
  • Exterior 110v receptacle
  • 7-way plug
  • Safety chains
  • 20’ 30amp detachable power cord
  • City water hook up
  • 20lb propane bottle
  • Spare tire
  • 22 gal fresh water
  • 12 gal grey water8 gal black water
  • 8 gal black water
  • Premium Vinyl Flooring
  • Shower & toilet combo
  • Power vent hood
  • 30 Amp fuse panel and converter
  • Window curtains
  • Cable TV connection
  • TV antenna
  • Oak Cabinetry
  • 14” x 14” Exhaust fan
  • Monitor panel
  • Bathroom mirror
  • Spice rack
  • Overhead bunk bed
  • 15” TV-DVD w/swivel mount
  • Window shades (standard w/curtains)
  • Awning 8’ retro type
  • Continental tire cover

Deluxe Pkg Standards (WE HAVE THIS OPTION)

  • 5,000 btu air conditioner
  • Microwave oven
  • Fantastic fan

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Tear Drop Shop Offers r-pod and Alto Awnings

We get a lot of web traffic here at The Small Trailer Enthusiast for people searching for information on r-pods. It should come as no surprise as the Forest River built r-pod was the top selling small trailer in 2014. And although not as mass produced as the r-pod, I also see a lot of traffic Safari Alto trailers, which are built in Canada, which I’ve talked about back in 2013.

The Tear Drop Shop is now offering awning accessories for both the r-pod and the Alto from PahaQue. You can get either a regular awning or the small awning visor for either unit.

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The r-pod accessories can be found on The Tear Drop Shop here, or by clicking one of the ad boxes on the right column of this site. And the Safari Alto accessories can be found here and also in the ad box on the right column.

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