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After a Year of Ownership: 2016 Shasta Oasis 18BH

At most jobs, we get that dreaded yearly review from our boss where we beg for mercy to keep our jobs another year. OK, maybe not that bad, but they can be a little on the stressful side. Today I turned the tables and I was the boss and my 2016 Shasta Oasis 18BH was the employee I was reviewing. It didn’t need to beg for mercy, as I was pretty sure I was happy enough with it to keep it for another year of camping.

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The 18BH is our second Shasta Oasis in as many years. We traded our Oasis 25BH for it on January 21, 2016. It was a trade down of some 7 feet of trailer due mainly to some tow vehicle issues hauling the 29′ 25BH. Had Shasta had the 18BH floorplan when we bought the 25BH in 2015, it never would’ve been an issue, as we would’ve bought the 18BH back then. But despite going through multiple tow vehicles and trailers over the past two years, we finally are set for hopefully several years to come with the 18BH and our GMC Yukon XL.

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Now for the meat of the post. Overall, I don’t have any complaints after our year of camping in the 18BH. I did take it in for some minor fixes, like an air conditioner adjustment and tank sensors, but nothing structural – and no leaks! As mentioned, we tow it with a Yukon XL and I’ve found no need for a weight distribution hitch and sway control. The 350 lbs tongue weight is light when compared to identical floorplans from other manufacturers, which generally are checking in at 450lbs and more in some cases. Our 18BH weighs in at 3329 lbs and offers an impressive 1420 lbs of cargo carrying capacity, which leads this floorplan among manufacturers by several hundred pounds.

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The tanks on the 18BH blow away the competition as well: 42 gallon fresh water, 36 gallon black, ad 36 gallon gray. Many…and I emphasize MANY…with this floorplan give you fresh water tanks half the size as the 18BH. The benefit is the extra tank capacities give you the luxury of camping off the grid for an extended period of time when compared to the competition.

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Shasta put a nicely sized 12 foot awning on the 18BH, which gives excellent coverage of most of its 21’9″ hitch to tail length. I’ve done a few upgrades to it and have more in store. One of the first things I did was swap out the tail light assemblies for LED. etrailer.com had the same LED assembly that the 18BH had with its incandescent. You can change out just the bulb and save some time and money, but I’ve never been a fan of the barrel style LED bulb. The flat board type LED distributes the light better, in my opinion. The license plate lights also give the added benefit of acting as almost a backup light, which comes in handy when backing into a campsite at night.

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Another upgrade I recently completed was replacing all the incandescent interior light fixtures with identical Optronics LED fixtures. There are 5 double lights and 4 single lights in the 18BH Oasis. This was a simple upgrade that cost less than $100 shipped. The result is more than 75% energy saved, a brighter and whiter light, and better ability to camp off the grid. This was by far the biggest upgrade I’ve done and the results far exceeded my expectations. The 2017 18BH models now come with LED lighting, so unless you have a 2016 or older, this wouldn’t be a necessary upgrade.

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The last thing I did wasn’t much, but a little “dressing” up the wheels by adding plastic chrome hub centers. Sure it’s not much, but when I add some stainless steel beauty rings this year, it’ll add some additional flair to it.

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As for the 2017 18BH models, Shasta has given them a makeover, as well as added a few extras. Gone is the combo white/gold paint scheme in favor of a tan/cream look. They’ve also made the entry door as well as baggage door the same color as well. It’s been out a few months now, but I’m still on the fence which I like better. I guess they both look nice…just different from each other. Aside from the exterior colors, they’ve also added a back-up camera prep as well as solar prep.

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If you’re looking for this bunkhouse floorplan, there are A LOT of manufacturers that carry it. I would venture to say that this is one of the most common floorplans among all RV manufacturers. I looked at a lot of them just over a year ago. I traveled a lot of miles to look at brands that dealers didn’t carry in central Indiana. While I liked some features of others, we kept coming back to the Shasta. The storage in it exceeds any floorplan by any other manufacturer without debate. I completed a nearly 30 minutes walk thru video of ours earlier today where I talk more in depth of how the Oasis blows away the competition in terms of interior storage.

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The price is right for what you get too. Sure another manufacturer may put in a stereo system and throw in a TV, but I’ve got my own radio and my own TV I can bring to the party. I look for bang for my buck when buying a trailer and the Shasta Oasis 18BH delivers. The dealer where we bought ours, Mount Comfort RV, currently has 2017 models for under $13,000. So if you’ve been searching for this floor plan and you were to ask my opinion, this blog post should give you my answer. You can feel confident in its structure and functionality, all while not needing a pot of gold to buy one.

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If all this writing wasn’t enough, here’s the video walk thru I did on it this afternoon. It’s almost 30 minutes long, so grab some popcorn and the kids and enjoy! For more info on the Shasta Oasis 18BH, visit the Shasta website at http://shastrving.com

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Shasta Flyte Debuts Smaller Floor Plan

Over the next few weeks as holiday schedules permit, I’ll be recapping a few of the new offerings I found at the RVIA trade show in Louisville last week.

Shasta RV debuted a new floor plan for their Flyte brand. The Flyte 185BH is the somewhat more upscale version of the Shasta Oasis 18BH. As with all Flyte floor plans, the 185BH will have a fiberglass exterior and a few extra amenities the Oasis does not offer. Last April I wrote about the Oasis version, both the 18BH (bunkhouse) and the 18FQ in a post here. The 2016 models on the Flyte will have a light brown exterior as opposed to the white sides the Flyte has had, giving it a more contemporary look. The addition of LED awning lights is something new for the Flyte as well.

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Although the entire length from hitch to tail is just over 21′, the 185BH is surprisingly roomy. Despite not having a slide, a small family should be able to camp in the 185BH quite comfortably. The beds include two 30″ x 74″ bunks as well as the standard Shasta 60″ x 74″ queen bed.

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Storage is of no concern. There is ample pass through storage in the front, but interior storage is quite ample for a smaller, weekend trailer like the 185BH. The overhead cabinets are plenty and the kitchen area also includes a pantry and a spacious counter for food prep. DSC_0470

If that weren’t enough, there’s a huge cabinet in the bathroom against the rear wall of the trailer. It seats right behind the foot flush toilet and includes two large cabinet doors that provides storage all the way to the sidewall on the door side of the trailer.

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Aside from the toilet and the storage cabinets, the bathroom also includes a 24″ x 36″ bathtub and an overhead exhaust vent. DSC_0467Overall, I was very pleased with what I saw with the Flyte 185BH. Being a 2016 Shasta Oasis owner, I’m able to use my own trailer as a benchmark, and I believe Shasta has stepped up their game  in regards to fit and finish just in the last 9 months. The Flyte at the Louisville show as well as a couple of Oasis 18BH that I walked through recently at Mount Comfort RV in Greenfield, Indiana have all appeared to have better workmanship than what I’ve seen in my own.

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As for a  few specs, the 185BH Flyte weighs in at 3580 lbs and measures 21’9″ long with a hitch weight of 381 lbs and a cargo carrying capacity of 1101 lbs. The tanks are more than ample for a trailer this size as well: Fresh water is 42 gallons, and the gray and black tanks each are 36 gallons. The LED lit awning measures 12′ long.

Overall, my impressions of the Shasta Flyte 185BH are very favorable. If you’re a storage junky, the Flyte 185BH offers the best storage for this particular floor plan, a floor plan several RV manufacturers use. And the cost is nothing to sneeze at either, as it should retail in the mid-$14,000’s when it hits dealer lots in early 2016. Shasta prides itself on being the RV industry’s value leader, and the Flyte 185BH certainly adds to that reputation.

Not interested in bunks? No worries, the Flyte 185FQ will be out as well, which will be the same floor plan as the Oasis 18FQ discussed in the previous article linked above from April of 2015. NOTE: As of today, December 10, 2015, neither the 185BH nor the 185FQ are listed on the Shasta website. Keep checking their website at http://shastarving.com for updates and floor plans.

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Forest River Recalls Shasta Airflyte Reissues

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. DSC_0291

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.

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