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Gulf Stream changes Visa travel trailer name

Between 1964 and 1977, there weren’t many station wagons on the market that exceeded the memorable styling of the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser. It had a look that just screamed family vacations.

While there may not be a lot of these classic Oldsmobiles taking a car load of kids on summer vacations these days, Gulf Stream has made a change to one of their lines of travel trailers that will let you get into your own Vista Cruiser. Starting in 2013, Gulf Stream has revamped the Visa travel trailer and along with it gave it a new name: The Vista Cruiser.

According to Tim Dennig, national sales manager of Gulf Stream’s ultra lite division, the name change from Visa to Vista Cruiser came about due to several changes made to the Visa. “The primary reason we have changed the name is that we have made so many changes to the product in the last ten months that we felt the product deserved to have a brand new start and that a new name was warranted.”

Included among  the more than 25 changes are  new graphics, increased exterior storage space, a radial tire option, an electric tongue jack option, a rear bumper-mounted grill option, larger axles on the 17′ and 19′ floor plans, and a larger exterior storage door.

Says Dennig, “We have really designed a brand new product that is worthy of a new introduction to the RV community.”

I’ve been a fan of the styling of the Visa since its debut a few years ago. As someone fond of all things classic & retro, it’s refreshing to see a manufacturer utilizing an iconic name from the old days of leisure travel. You can check out more on the Vista Cruiser, including floor plans and specs, at the Gulf Stream web site at: http://gulfstreamrvtrailers.com/visa/overview

 

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A Day at the RVIA Show — Part 1

Tuesday morning saw an early departure from home for the 130 mile drive south on I-65 to the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY for the 49th Annual RV Trade Show. Despite a 30 minute delay north of the Ohio River due to the I-64 bridge west of Louisville being closed for the past 3 months, I managed to arrive just before 10am.

Since it was my first time at the event, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. After several attempts to register, I finally found the press room where us “media types” had to check in. After signing in, I was told that I had some info to get in my mailbox. “My what?” Apparently all the media types had their own mail slot filled with press releases, company info, and even a 1GB flash drive from the fine folks at Go RVing.

I grabbed my mail and off I went. I soon found an area where I could look at the map they provided so I could coordinate a plan of attack for the day. After looking at the map, I wondered if 7 hours there would be long enough. My first part of the plan would be to just walk the entire show to get a feel for where everyone was. Just when I thought I had seen everything on my first walk through, a new wing popped up with either a whole big section of RVs or a wing of suppliers hawking their goods.

After awhile, the stack of stuff from my mailbox was starting to become a hassle to carry along with my trusty Nikon D-40.  My mission soon turned from figuring out the layout of the show to finding a booth that was giving away free bags. I stopped by the booth of Denso Heavy Duty and they were kind enough to let me have not only one, but two of their bags for my growing stack of stuff. Now it was time to get serious!

Since I knew this would be my only day at the show and because I was there to find material for the blog, I focused on, obviously, small travel trailers. What I found from all the manufacturers in attendance is that there are a wide array of options across just about all income levels, whether it was the Airstream Sport 16′, which retails for nearly $40,000

to the lower end Jayco Swift SLX, which can be had for just over $9,000.

The majority of the trailers I went through had some nice, usable floor plans, along with various interior features that caught my eye. Then there were some trailers that I just liked because of their eye appeal. Here are some observations on trailers I liked for one reason or another:

–As mentioned a few weeks ago, the Gulf Stream Visa 17RWD didn’t disappoint when I saw it first hand. Good floor plan and that sleek exterior design:

The new Springdale Fireside: Not the most attractive trailer out there…

but the interior had this very nice looking rustic/log cabin look on the walls and cabinetry.

It was good to see Forest River has finally got a decent exterior package for the r-pod. What used to look like a circus trailer…

has now been upgraded to a nice cream base and a much more toned-down exterior scheme:

And since this post will likely be a little longer than usual and since it’s nearing 1:30am, I’m going to cut this post into two and continue over the weekend. I’ll return with some more that I liked, one that disappointed, and even my own personal “best of show”. Stay tuned!

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Gulf Stream Adds Smaller Floorplan to 2012 Visa Line-Up

One of my favorite mass produced trailers on the market the past couple of years has been the Gulf Stream Visa. In the first two years of production, their floorplans have measured 22’11 and 25’11 from hitch to tail. For 2012, a shorter model, the 17RWD,  measuring an even 20′ is available.

The Visa offers a lightweight, aluminum framed trailer with some very sleek exterior design, with hints of a European caravan. The 17RWD, like all the Visa models, comes standard with a seamless, one peice fiberglass roof as well as sidewalls. That, coupled with the welded aluminum framed walls, helps hold the dry weight in the 2600 lbs (tongue weight 230 lbs) range, opening up many doors for tow vehicle options.

Inside the 17RWD, you’ll find a rear dinette that converts to a bed,  bathroom with tub/shower, microwave, Dometic refrigerator, 16K BTU furnace, dual basin kitchen sink, two burner stove, plenty of overhead cabinet space, and a front corner queen bed, with storage underneath.  Another key feature is that the Visa is a Certified Green trailer, so it’s rather earth friendly as well as one of the best looking travel trailers on the market today. The MSRP for the Visa 17RWD is in the mid-upper teens.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NZOrmr_4Go]

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