Monthly Archives: April 2015

White Water Retro Going More Retro

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.

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Screen-Shot-2015-04-24-at-1.52.14-PMWhite Water Retro 177SE – courtesy RV Business

 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.

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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!

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A Look at the Shasta Oasis 18FQ

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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:

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A Pilgrimage to Shasta RV

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.

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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….

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

For a few more photos from my visit to Shasta RV, click here to view them on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/11019355@N03/sets/72157651788441545/

Until next time, happy camping!

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