Yes, the Shasta brand is back and it’s making waves. The 3-berth Airflyte 12 may be a new model, but the exterior is as authentic as they come. The distinctive wings on the flanks are still there, the Z-stripes on the sides are still there, and the wheels still sport cute little chrome moon hubcaps.
The new Shasta is all-electric, which has prompted an outbreak of tut-tutting amongst some traditionalists. There are no propane appliances, and because you need to hook up to an electrical supply, you won’t want to head off the beaten track. Then again, you can solve that problem by slinging a super-quiet generator into the back of the El Camino.
Shasta is one of the oldest names in the RV business, dating back to the early 1940s, but the interior spec of its new travel trailer is bang up to date. The look is sleek and modern, with space-efficient design and a choice of three colorways. You also get a 19-inch LCD (HD ready) TV—with a bracket for inside or outside viewing—and a DVD player. The options list even includes an iPod docking station.
The 17’4″ Shasta is nice ‘n’ light: the base weight of this trailer comes in at just 2,385 lbs. You won’t need something with a Hemi at the front and two axles at the back to tow this puppy. Extra attention has been paid to saving weight, and conventional air-conditioning has been ditched—the Shasta uses a thoroughly modern Duo-Therm ‘Cool Cat’ heat pump that cools and heats much more efficiently.
Coachmen is reportedly planning to release another two Shasta travel trailers over the next few months, and we’ll report on those as soon as they roll out of the factory. In the meantime, get the full Airflyte specs from the cute Coachmen website, or find out more about the glorious originals from the 1940s and 50s at Chris Strohm’s definitive and most excellent Vintage Shastas site.
The VW Microbus Type 2 is another reincarnated classic: VW Brasil is shipping ‘new’ old Kombis to the UK to be kitted out as campervans. A more modern take on the retro travel trailer is the T@B XL, with its leather-and-wood ‘American Way of Life’ interior.