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.”
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.
Recently Greenlight has introduced the players in the Series 5 lineup, and a Shasta Airflyte is once again featured. This one is a butternut yellow Airflyte towed by a color matching 1967 Ford Custom. According to the Greenlight Collectibles website, the release date for Series 5 is sometime this month, so start looking for these online or at a retailer that carries Greenlight products.
This doesn’t appear to be the end of Greenlight’s use of the Airflyte. There is a drawing of a 1963 Dodge D-100 pickup hauling a light blue Airflyte, scheduled to be released in Series 6 sometime in early 2016.
And with that, it appears Hitch & Tow Series 6 will also see the reemergence of an Airstream, which was the retro trailer of choice in Series 1 through 3. The new Airstream will have a new finish on it. The first Airstreams in the series were a polished aluminum and the gold anodized aluminum. Photos released on the Greenlight Collectibles Flickr page show a prototype of an unpolished aluminum Airstream, and a drawing of one hauled by a i968 Chevrolet C-10.
So there’s the latest on Greenlight Collectibles’ continued honoring of vintage travel trailers. I’ve got three of these myself and for about $10 each, it’s an excellent value, as the quality of these are fantastic. I’ll continue to provide future updates as new releases come out.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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. 😉
As the 19′ Shasta Airflytes are in the process of being fine tuned for production, Shasta president Mark Lucas is featured in a new video from Mount Comfort RV showing the interior details of the 19′ Airflyte.
He makes a point to demonstrate how the bathroom door opens while the gaucho bed is extended. There has been some internet chatter with the 16′ Airflyte and bathroom accessibility while the gaucho is extended in that model, but that appears not to be an issue with the 19′.
Like the 16′ Airflyte, the 19 footer can be had in Matador Red, Butternut Yellow, or Seafoam Green. Overall length is 20′ and dry weight is less than 3,000 lbs. Mount Comfort RV has additional specs on the 19′ Airflyte on their website by clicking here. As has been the case since the Shasta reissue was announced earlier this summer, a big tip of the cap to Rusty and Toney at Mount Comfort RV for all the pics and videos!
As posted on the Mount Comfort RVFacebook page, Shasta RV president Mark Lucas released additional photos of the 2015 Shasta Airflyte reissue. The new photos show the Butternut Yellow and Seafoam Green color schemes. With the Matador Red scheme that initially debuted in July, this completes the three colors available of the 1,941 Airflytes to be produced.
According to Mount Comfort RV, most of the 1,941 units have been spoken for and it’s anticipated the last couple hundred will be reserved within the next week. Production of the 16′ and 19′ models will start September 22.
As discussed a couple of weeks ago, Mount Comfort RV has made a trip up to northern Indiana to get a first hand look at the new 2015 Shasta Airflyte. Shasta president Mark Lucas gave Mount Comfort RV an exclusive walk through video tour to go over the ins and outs of the Airflyte. Instead of me rehashing in a post what he talks about, I’ll just leave all the talking to Mark. More detailed photos are up on the Mount Comfort RV website and can be seen by clicking here.
Mount Comfort RV vice president Rusty Eckstein tells me they’ve been taking pre-orders for the Airflyte from all over the country. And starting at $14,999, I think it’s safe to say the 1,941 that will be produced will be spoken for rather quickly. Feel free to leave comments with Mount Comfort RV on their YouTube page below the video so they can pass along your likes & dislikes to Shasta…they are listening.
Consider this post the first of several over the coming weeks and months to introduce you to the new Shasta Airflyte, produced by Shasta’s manufacturer, Forest River. Even though I use the word “new”, the new Airflyte will look anything but new. In fact, it will use a nearly exact blueprint from the 1961, although it will comply with RVIA specs. The Airflyte will have a limited production run of just under 2,000 units and should be available later in 2014. And this Airflyte will be a far cry from the Airflyte that Coachmen RV brought back in 2009, which happened to be featured in the very first post of this blog back in 2011: http://smalltrailerenthusiast.com/2011/09/07/a-tale-of-two-shastas/
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be privvy to some inside info on the Airflyte, courtesy of Rusty Eckstein, vice president of Mount Comfort RV, a dealer that will be carrying the Airflyte. We’ll have more info including a lot of photos, specs and even some video from the factory in Elkhart. But for now, here are two photos from the factory on the assembly line to whet your appetite. More to come!
Having lived in the shadows of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the past 10 years, it’s not been too difficult to get absorbed into the world of IndyCar racing. After all, the famed 2 1/2 mile oval has been around for over 100 years and is arguably the most iconic race track in the world.
I follow a few of the drivers (past & present) on Twitter, one of them being the legendary Mario Andretti. Retired from active racing since 1994, Mario still finds time to get behind the wheel of an IndyCar. A two-seat IndyCar, that is. A few days ago I was intrigued by one of his Tweets that showed him in front of a campground sign:
Then on Saturday, Mario quipped about arriving in St. Petersburg, FL in this, for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg:
Unfortunately I’ve not been able to find anything regarding the story behind the picture. However, the sign in the background is the same as the one Mario was standing next to in the picture above. The trailer “in tow” appears to be that of a 1950’s era Shasta.
If anyone reading this happens to know the story behind it, please leave a comment. We’d love to hear about 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?