2015 Shasta Airflyte Reissue: Firsthand Report

Recently my wife & I got the opportunity to view firsthand one of the 2015 reissued 1961 Shasta Airflytes, courtesy of Mount Comfort RV in Greenfield, Indiana. To say the Matador Red Airflyte we toured was was a work of art is an understatement. Shasta RV hit a home run with it and the fact that there are very few left of the 1,941 16′ and 19′ trailers speaks volumes for how this venture by the Forest River subsidiary has taken the RV industry by storm.

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Ken Eckstein is owner and chief operating officer of Mount Comfort RV and started in the industry in the 1970’s washing RVs for a local RV dealer. He’s been everything from a technician to a salesman to an owner. He told me, “In my 40 years in the RV industry I’ve never seen anything like this”, referring to the reissued Shasta and its overwhelming popularity among the RV public.

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Overall my impressions of the finished product are positive. The novice will be fooled into thinking it’s original, and even the seasoned vintage trailer enthusiast will have to take a few looks to figure out if it’s new or classic. Many of the details were replicated to that extent. Many features were meticulously modeled after the 1961 Shasta it is based on, including the lamp over the dinette, the famous Shasta wings, the “S” magazine rack, and the chrome exterior Shasta emblems. 15764649645_d4afedf953_z

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One positive for vintage Shasta owners is that some of the components of the reissue are the same as the original 1961 Airflyte. For instance, the windows, wings, and door are the same dimensions as the originals. More photos can be found on my staff photographer’s (my lovely wife) Flickr page here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadtripmemories/sets/72157648832498390/

As the 1,941 16′ and 19′ Shasta Airflyte reissued 1961 models are now making their way into the hands of their new owners and the buzz starts to die down, we can look back on these last 4 months and how this phenomenon was fueled almost entirely by social media. I first heard of the news in mid July from Rusty Eckstein at Mount Comfort RV. It was our goal to work together on being the first to bring the news to the public through this site and the Mount Comfort RV site, but alas we were trumped by Greg Gerber when he broke the news in his excellent RV news source, the RV Daily Report. It was Greg’s report that first hit just about every RV related Facebook page you could find. Then it got shared, Tweeted and then I came out with posts of my own here that were shared and retweeted. The next thing you know, just about all 1,941 units were spoken for. And the real kicker? There was NO MENTION of the 1961 reissue on the Shasta web site! This should prove to RV dealers every where what a powerful tool social media is and how important it is for dealers to have an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as a YouTube channel with videos of current inventory. Oh, and an inhouse blog writer would help your cause too. 😉

Next up for me is the 2014 RVIA trade show in Louisville next week. I’ll be there seeing what 2015 has to offer for you fellow small trailerites. Be sure to follow along on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Small_Trailers, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Small-Trailer-Enthusiast/269125426471703, and right here on YOUR favorite source for all things trailer small. As always, thanks for taking time out of your day for visiting The Small Trailer Enthusiast.

54 Comments

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54 Responses to 2015 Shasta Airflyte Reissue: Firsthand Report

  1. Amy Green

    I was fortunate to take a tour with Rusty. He knows the industry and understands this new market segment. These are folks who would never have purchased a camper and purchased a “paper concept”. I am so glad that I pre-ordered with Mount Comfort. They provide outstanding customer service support via social media. A leader in the industry at digital! Digital genius. The initial YouTube video is at over 80k views. Well deserved social amplification for Mount Comfort. And small trailer has some great natural search results too. 😉

  2. Kimberly Luckett Curry

    Thank you The Small Trailer Enthusiast for this fun article. I agree with Amy Green’s comment of Mount Comfort RV’s outstanding customer service. My husband and I were among the first to place our Pre-order after the YouTube video debut from Mount Comfort RV. It was an easy decision even as we currently own a 1961 Shasta Compact and a 1964 Scotty Gaucho. The hardest choice was to decide on the perfect color for us. The Re-issued 2015 Shasta Airflyte to us is the best of both worlds. It’s not like a new RV because it has the charm of the original Vintage 1961, It’s not vintage because of the fantastic upgrades like a wet bath, Bluetooth, microwave, air conditioner, and cable hookup. You are correct social media has been a major contribution in the success of quickly selling all 1941 to the dealerships. The first Facebook group/club dedicated to the Reissue was also formed in early July as a result of the excitement: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1961ShastaAirflyteReissuedin2015 Mark Lucas president of Shasta, endorsed this club through a RetroRenovations article last September. The excitement continues!

  3. We were lucky enough to snag a 2015 Shasta Airflyte Reissue (#124 in Matador Red) …love it!

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  5. Diana lee

    My husband just purchased the buttercup yellow one for me for my Christmas gift. I’m very excited to get her!

  6. Tanya

    My husband and i just pre ordered the seafoam green will be here in a month.

    • Mike

      congratulations on your purchase
      I recently looked at a red one on a lot in Mesa AZ, and thought the craftsmanship on the inside was very in adequate for the price you are paying, Especially around the seating/storage areas. Being a cabinet/woodworking professional I feel the could have spent a little more time and money on the material and construction in these areas. Can only hope yours turns out better

  7. Molly Postnikoff

    I have great appreciation for Mark Lucas, Shasta and Forest River for the reissue! When I decided to purchase a camper trailer, I thought I wanted a vintage canned ham but I knew I didn’t have time ability or location to redo one. Then I found the reissue on website for a dealer in Texas and it had everything I could want, the look of vintage with modern upgrades including bathroom and in my favorite color red! I got #59 and I an thrilled! Love my Shasta Airflyte! Many thanks for this reissue! Will be on the road with my Sisters on the Fly in Ms. La-Tee-Da!

    • Karol Mayo

      Just curious… Where in Texas did you purchase the trailer
      And, have you had any problems with it?
      Thanks, Karol.

  8. Missy

    I really wanted one from the time I heard they were going to be re releasing the 1961. We had been looking and looking for a vintage to have restored without any luck. This fit the bill perfectly. I feel very lucky that my husband surprised me with a beautiful matador red for our 20th anniversary. We are calling her “Scarlett Jo”.

  9. Debi

    I love them all! The bed doesn’t look very comfy though, any comments?

    • We just bought our red Shasta Airflyte 10 days ago and took her out for a two day initiation! I usually like soft cushy mattresses for my old bones and wondered about the mattress myself, but with the addition of a sleeping bag layer under the sheets I slept like a rock! It was divine,even with my husband crawling over me to use the bathroom! :-)
      Kayla

      • The bed is our one beef about our new Shasta. The cushions are kind of a pain because they won’t stay up, but we’re looking for a mattress topper we can stow in the compartment below one of the seats. The bed is comfortable enough for me, but my husband needs something more like a memory foam pad. Like many folks here, we bought our red version after unsuccessful attempts to find a refurbished model like the one I grew up with. We took one long trip with it last winter and loved it. It sits in our back yard and has been used once as a guest house; I smile every time I go in!

  10. Kim Langerud

    We had no clue these existed until we went to our local RV show this weekend. Where have we been!!! Saw one in Matador Red and loved it. How fun to see the smiles on everybody’s faces when they first saw it and to hear their nostalgic stories. We kept coming back…and back…and back until we bought it! So excited about getting it and making our own memories!!!

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  12. Emily leonard

    where can you buy a Reissued airflyte ,shasta in teXas ??in the Fort Worth area preferably !

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  14. Larry Reynolds

    Could you answer some questions?
    1. How do they pull since they are light?
    2. What is the difference between 16 ft and 19ft other than 3ft?
    3. Where can we get one in Texas?

    • Larry Reynolds

      Also are there any problems with ac or heat

      • JS

        1. I have the 19′, only used it a couple times but towed it 5 hours to home the first time and it pulled very easily.
        2. They are the same up till the last 3′, the 19′ has an L shaped bed in the back, where the long part of the bed will pull out a bit. The 19′ also has a dropdown bunk in the back as well, that can either be used as storage (has 3 doors) or as a bunk bed. The sticker says up to 250lbs but I don’t know if I would trust that :)

  15. Jay

    I have a restored vintage ’62 Airflyte, and these reissued Shastas are very impressive. I think where they missed the mark on these reissues was not having a full size double bed gaucho separate from the dinette. So many people who do vintage trailer camping like being able to leave the bed set up with a functional kitchen and dinette. I understand the compromises that need to be made in the 16 foot Airflyte when adding a bathroom and A/C (to sell these trailers in today’s market, these are a necessity) but it’s still a disappointment. However, I am surprised that they were not able to retain the full double gaucho in the Shasta 19. The original 19 had a furnace, full kitchen, toilet w/ shower, fridge, wardrobe…and a full rear gaucho that could stay in bed configuration. Curious that the reissue couldn’t do as least as well as the original in this regard.

    • The gaucho isn’t really very useful anyway; we thought it would make a good dog bet, but if you open it up, you can’t get in the toilet! So it’s mainly just a little sofa.

      • JC

        We cut the corner off the bench (reframed so it was still sturdy) off then bench so when you pull it out the door opens.. worked perfect!!

  16. David Yager

    Anyone had problems with air conditioning? We have a 19′ Shasta Re-issue and the air conditioner does not cool as it should.

    • Heather

      Yes, our AC will not keep our camper cool at all. The dealer contacted Forest River and they aren’t wanting to do anything about it.

      • Jay

        Yes, when I saw the integrated AC units in the reissue Shastas I became concerned. First of all, the AC unit has to be able to dissipate heat to work properly, and I’ve never seen an AC unit that doesn’t have a large box that sits outside the space being cooled (window unit, or an RV style roof unit) to allow this heat dissipation. If the reissue AC is fully contained within a cabinet, and maybe only has louvered vents to allow heat dissipation, it’s going to do a poor job of cooling.

        Another key to good cooling is where the air draw is for the AC. If the unit is near the floor, and draws in cold air from the floor and then simply re-cools it, the air higher up in the space never gets cooled. The solution is to run the air inlet duct up to a high spot in the trailer, in order to draw warm air into the AC unit to be cooled.

        My dream for my restored original ’62 Airflyte is to find a portable freestanding AC unit that sits outside the trailer, that pumps cool air in through an insulated duct. This keeps the AC mechanism outside where it can dissipate heat properly, where it can be left at home when not needed (I live in the PNW where AC is only occasionally necessary), and keeps the noise of an AC unit outside. The downside is that the AC controls would be outside the trailer. Unfortunately, the only thing I’ve found so far are units that are designed to put *inside* the room, with a duct to vent the heat outside. This is not an option with the limited floor space within my Airflyte.

        This will continue to be a problem that needs to be solved in these old-style trailers – even in the 2015 reissue Shastas. Unfortunately for now, the only way to get good AC cooling in a vintage style trailer is to have a window unit sticking out the side, or place a roof unit on the top – but if you do that, be sure and beef up the roof spars for the weight!

        • Deb dopson

          Had to get an upgrade on my Shasta air conditioner. It would not cool otherwise. Shasta made a BIG mistake with that air! Shasta not willing to pay charges. Neither is Forest River. Cost is all on the consumer!

      • We bought a little Vornado fan to put on the floor next to the A/C to blow the air up. A friend staid in the trailer when the outside temp was 100 degrees plus and found it a little uncomfortable. But we live in an old house with no A/C except for window units (and don’t cool rooms we’re not using), so it seemed fine to us. Of course, we’ve only traveled in it once, in December/January, and had to hit the hotels when the temp went below freezing because we hadn’t winterized it. The insulation is good enough, though, to keep it cool well past noon even in the Texas summer heat.

  17. AC

    Has anyone had issues with the windows almost falling out? We picked ours up 4 weeks ago, have not driven it since we towed it home and one front window and now yesterday the back window also came unglued. Again, the trailer has not moved for 4 weeks while these windows seemed to come out

  18. Debbie

    yes I had window issues among other things. I took my Red 216′ back to my dealer for warranty repairs. They replaced the entire bathroom window with new because the glass pane fell out. The did a mod on the AC and added a lift kit to the axle to give more height above the tires in the wheel well. These are mods authorized by Forest River and will be reimbursed to the dealer. I did not pay a cent. I do however WANT TO SELL MY TRAILER. Anyone interested? please contact me here if so. I am in York, PA 17408

  19. Debbie

    sorry, I have a RED 16′ Reissue for SALE. Typo in last post.

  20. Connie

    I have my 16ft. seafoam Shasta Airflyte for sale near Atlanta, GA.

  21. Connie

    Deb Dobson, Shasta has made a lot of mistakes.

  22. Tracy Holley

    My wife and I are seriously considering the Shasta Reissue as our first RV purchase, but we have not had the opportunity to see one first hand. Is there anyone who has one in the Rochester, NY region who might let us swing by and check it out. Thanks!!

  23. Laurie Mello

    Anyone have any ideas for the pantry in 2016 Airflyte? It’s narrow. I would like some ideas how to better utilize it.

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