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.”
Often times I’ll search the internet to add manufacturers that build travel trailers, pop-ups, teardrops, and fiberglass trailers to our Manufacturers page. And sometimes, those manufacturers come to me. I’ll go ahead and add them with little fanfare, but when Craig Elliott of Sun-Fun Campers contacted me this week, I felt compelled to put them on the “big stage” with a post.
Sun-Fun Campers is a new…as of 2015 new…teardrop trailer manufacturer in Warman, Saskatchewan. Canada. Craig told me in an e-mail, “It appears that we are the only manufacturer of teardrop trailers in western Canada and we are hoping to grow the trend of teardrop trailers in Canada, as there are very few ever spotted here.”
Sun-Fun is so new that they don’t even have a website up…yet. “We do not have a website, but are currently developing one. We are on Facebook and wanted to make you aware that we are now in full production”, Craig tells me. Once Sun-Fun gets their website up & running, I’ll post a link on the Manufacturers page. Until then, for those of you on Facebook, be sure to give them a “like” and check them out for those of you in western Canada in the market for a teardrop. A link to their Facebook page with contact info can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/sunfuncampers
For the past couple of years, Riverside RVs has been pumping out its fair share of White Water Retro travel trailers from it’s LaGrange, Indiana factory. In that time, the end product has made great strides in quality from when they first showed up in 2011. When I talked to Riverside’s Bob Taulbee last year, he told me they were getting out about 1,000 Retros a year. When you do a search on RV Trader, there are (as of this posting) over 200 Retro travel trailers for sale in varying floor plans.
This week, RV Business posted a short story from RVtravel.com regarding the Whitewater Retro and how it was inspired by the classic Serro Scotty canned ham trailers from the 1960’s & 1970’s. A three minute video was included in the article and explains a little further the inspiration as well as highlights some of the features of the Retro that Riverside officials believe sets it apart from other retro trailers, as well as some history of Serro Scotty from RV historian Al Hesselbart.
Houston, Texas based Cricket Trailer has been featured in a video commercial from Dell Computers that was released today on the Dell YouTube page. The Cricket is a unique (understatement!) adventure camper designed by former NASA architect Garrett Finney.
While at NASA, Finney spent time designing living quarters in the International Space Station. It was this design background that fostered the inspiration for the Cricket.
The Dell video highlights Taxa’s (Cricket’s parent company) use of Dell Precision workstations and SOLIDWORKS, a computer-aided design program used in designing and creating Cricket trailers.
I’ll be working on a feature of Cricket Trailers in the weeks to come, but until then, above is the Dell video that gives you a brief snapshot of the technology used behind one of the most technologically advanced trailers on the market today.
As of February 14, 2015, the Scotty has been SOLD to a wonderful couple from Kentucky, where it’ll be cared for and enjoyed for years to come! Thanks for all of your interest!
And now for a little post I regret to have to make. No, it’s not that the site is shutting down or anything like that. It’s to notify you readers that my wife & I are selling our very own 2010 Serro Scotty HiLander that adorns the header of this page you’re reading.
Due to a growing family tree (one grandson now and his little brother is coming soon), we are selling our beloved Scotty and upgrading to a larger trailer with a bunkhouse, etc. Our future rig will be a 2015 Shasta Oasis 25BH that we are purchasing from the good folks at Mount Comfort RV in Greenfield, Indiana.
If I could keep and maintain two trailers, we’d keep it…but we’re working toward early retirement, so it makes more financial sense to sell. So, we are looking for a good home for our Scotty.
At the bottom of this post is the standard information from Serro Scotty’s website with regard to the HiLander. Even though this model is currently listed on their site, the Serro Scotty HiLander has not been manufactured since 2012.
When we ordered it, we requested a few changes to the interior materials to make it look as retro on the inside as the outside. We selected a neutral fabric for the seat cushions, because we swapped the standard beige curtains for ones we had custom made with a Route 66 theme (fabric called Historic Highway by Alexander Henry). We also had the curtains made with room darkening / blackout fabric to prevent fading from UVs, as well as to allow us to sleep in late if we want to!
We requested black & white checkered floor, as can be seen in the photo of the front dinette below.
Here is a closeup of the fabric, Historic Highway, used for the curtains and pillows.
We also requested aqua “boomerang” by Formica and aluminum trim for the sink and dinette countertops.
Our Serro Scotty is the floor plan on the right, which is the model that has a large U-shaped dinette in the back (rather than a bed). Of course, the dinette converts into a FULL bed, and we have actually primarily kept it in that configuration, rather than switching back and forth. for two of us, we have used the front dinette to eat. Depending upon your needs, you can switch it back and forth, however you want.
Here is the rear dinette configuration (which was taken with the original beige curtains).
And here in bed configuration.
The front dinette also converts into a single bed, and there is storage underneath the booth closest to the door (which is shown in the photo toward the beginning of this post).
There is also a shelf and storage behind the other side of the front dinette, as shown in the photo below, and behind the dinette cushion.
In addition to the custom interior materials, our HiLander differs from other new models, in that we had the factory add a 110 outlet underneath the front dinette – in the photo above, taken when ours was brand new, it’s not there, but we had it installed just to the right of the converter box. Much more convenient for charging devices, using a laptop, a fan, or small appliance – we have cooked using our Griddler (grill/griddle/panini) or a crock pot, or using our Keurig. Nice addition!!
The overhead cabinet (above the rear dinette) also coverts into a single bed, if that works for you. It wasn’t necessary for us, and I used the cabinet space instead. I currently keep my items in “Thirty-one” bags that fit very well inside the cabinets. We will have the mattresses back in the Scotty for its new owner.
Kitchen features a microwave, two burner cooktop and sink. There’s an overhead cabinet and one below the sink, as well as a bank of drawers, and a fold-up counter top on the side. There’s a GFCI outlet, spice rack, and range hood fan which vents to the outside. We also have a cover that fits over the stovetop to use that space better.
The thermostat, hot water heater switch, and tank / battery monitor panel is located here too.
There is also a drawer underneath the 3.0 cu ft fridge. Speaking of the fridge, I requested that the fridge be a 3-way model, so this one runs on battery, electric and propane. I have not used it in propane mode, only battery and electric. There is a freezer compartment inside. The air conditioner is located there, and below that is an access panel which has a small storage area (I put an RV broom and brush/dustpan there).
It is equipped with a boomerang antenna and cable TV hookup; however, we did not add a TV ourselves – but there is space for one, along with cable input on the inside and a 12 V outlet.
The HiLander features a wet bath (shower & toilet combo). See the specs below for the tank capacities. However, I see that the specs do not reference the hot water heater, which is a standard feature on the HiLander. It’s a standard 6 gallon, DSI gas water heater, and configured to be able to be bypassed during winterization (no antifreeze should ever go into the hot water heater!).
We ordered the deluxe package, which includes 5,000 BTU air conditioner (shown above), Fantastic Fan, and 12,000 BTU furnace. Other than testing it, we actually haven’t used the furnace. Instead, we use a small electric space heater when we winter camp.
In keeping with the aqua/turquoise color scheme, we coordinated our new Keurig Mini in turquoise to coordinate with the Scotty…someone even commented that we’re “glamping.” LOL I never thought of it that way, but if you think this retro cool Scotty is glamping, go for it!
Exterior features a diamond plate rock guard, front window cover, storage (accessible also from the rear dinette). Bumper storage for the sewer hoses.
We purchased the coordinating aqua striped 3-pole awning to go with the trailer as well.
Here is a video we made of the Serro Scotty HiLander:
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.
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?