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Travel trailers

New Shasta: our friend’s electric

Shasta Airflyte 12Style mavens and rockabilly freaks rejoice! There’s a new alternative to the Airstream: the very retro and very cool $20,300 Shasta Airflyte 12 from Coachmen.

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.

See also:
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.

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Shasta Airflyte 12
Shasta Airflyte 12
Shasta Airflyte 12
Shasta Airflyte 12

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Discussion

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  1. That’s a really nice looking van, I’m glad they’ve kept the wings !

    Posted by Classic Caravans | August 28, 2008, 7:46 am
  2. Gentlemen, in our area, a trailer is a most practical vehicle for Hurricane evacuation. For our specific needs the all electric is far superior to the propane dependency … Electricity is available most everywhere. We just drive to where we’re out of harms way, plug in and relax.

    I ran into much opposition to the all electric trailer idea from the Die-hard RV folk … stubborn lot … yet I could not convince them that propane is in short supply during/after a storm. I ended up buying a smallish regular trailer, and am now stuck doing the electric conversion. Wish I had seen yours before.

    Thanks, GPW

    Posted by GPW | September 28, 2008, 10:04 am
  3. I like this little comeback caravan but have issues with the lack of front and back windows as well as I think that Coachman should have options for LPG as well as plenty O’ battery storage.
    It is a good step but needs much refining.

    Posted by Mr. Decent | September 29, 2008, 3:00 pm
  4. I think your new Shasta is great! I love the idea of all electric! However, what I would really like in a camping trailer is to have the kitchen fully accessible from outdoors, meaning the awning side of the trailer would have fold down counter space and access panels to all appliances and supplies. The only reason to go inside the trailer would be to use the bathroom, to store linens, clothes and hygiene items, get dressed and sleep. On the remaining sides of the trailer, I would like outside accessible storage compartments for chairs, small folding tables, tools, extention cords, decorative lights, a sissor-frame canopy and other supplies, and a bike rack. Do you have anything like this or do you know of anyone who does?

    Posted by Deborah A. Cheeseman | October 18, 2008, 1:04 pm
  5. So, how does this thing get electricity?

    Posted by Carlos | February 23, 2009, 10:02 pm
  6. We toured Rocky Mountains in 1962 with a 15′ Shasta and our 3 kids–no propane water heater, furnace, or frig. Then had 2 other Shastas in the 1970s (propane etc). Now have a vintage Avion with elect. water, 120 volt frig with inverter (use two deep cyle batteries). Can self-contain for about 2 days before recharging. All elect. is fine. But we have no trouble finding a campground with elect. hookups. Electricity is the future for the USA for “many” of our energy needs. B.J.

    Posted by Robert Muncy | April 7, 2009, 1:28 pm
  7. IM PICKING UP A 1968 12-13FT SHASTA
    ANYONE KNOW HOW MUCH IT WEIGHS? OR IS THERE A SITE I CAN GO TO?

    Posted by DOUG | June 3, 2009, 1:54 pm
  8. I was out shopping for a travel trailer last week and allmost purchased it until i found out where the propane tanks were,,under the floor of the master vedroom pointing strsaight up towards the bed when i seen this i couldnt go futher with the buy do you know of anyone in columbia s,c, or the surrounding area that has a all eletric travel trailer?

    Posted by Troy mayfield | August 8, 2009, 9:00 pm
  9. Just got an old 14′(?) Shasta, Airflyte given to us. How do you tell the year? We have no paper work or anything. We are thinking of restoring but would like more info on it. Can anyone help, we have looked all over it and can’t find a year on anything.(Long story) The 14″ is just the trailer not the yoke, not sure how to measure, it’s all new to us.

    Posted by Sandie and Bob Barrett | August 17, 2009, 6:06 am
  10. I can understand that it is less expensive to build a trailer without propane equipment and I believe this to be the sole reason it is not offered on this new Shasta. It would be good to offer it as an option. As far as hurricanes,we are familiar with them to say the least…Gasoline for a generator is also in short supply after a storm…. Two already full propane tanks on my 1975 17.5′ shasta will take care of my cooking and refridgeration needs for a week or more. We do not use campgrounds as most have become an oxymoron experience and costlier than a Holiday Inn.

    Not being 100% self-contained defeats the purpose. Why pay $20,000+ for a camper that isn’t self sufficient when you could just buy a cargo trailer and put a couch and a ice chest in it. My self, I don’t get it. All electric is just plain silly nonsense and makes me believe the builder has never experienced camping, but likes the experience of filling his bank account.

    Posted by Dave in SC | October 24, 2009, 7:40 am
  11. Looking for a Shasta dealer in Ohio. Anybody know one?

    Posted by mariann | April 30, 2010, 10:10 pm
  12. I’v gotta 1984 shasta camper trailor. The A/C just HUMMMSS! When i turn it on !!!!! Any advice would be much abliged!!

    Posted by John Hooks | July 21, 2010, 8:11 pm
  13. do’nt like all the plastic and really do,nt like the all electric idea. now you have to buy a portable electric generator or limit yourself to commercial campgrounds.

    Posted by t.w. hamill | September 23, 2010, 6:54 pm
  14. Its nice to know that when a hurricane hits that your portable propane tank is useless. However all the electric power you want is at the nearest plug. Do hurricanes also disable portable electric generators.

    Posted by theo | September 30, 2010, 4:03 pm
  15. I have a 50W BP solar panel I use with my camper van and it’s great for keeping a 6V deep cycle battery charged. I run a 40 qt. fridge, stereo, and small appliances with this system. 100% solar.

    A similar system could work for the Airflyte 12. You couldn’t run the heat pump with a such a small battery system, but lights, fridge, fans, electronics, no problem.

    Solar is a viable alternative power for this trailer. The ability to switch from AC to DC would give you a lot of versatility. The cost of a solar panel, battery, inverter and wiring would be around $1500 – $2000 uninstalled.

    Posted by Mike Fink | November 29, 2010, 10:45 am
  16. All electric big mistake. Honda generators are very expensive. Electric as a back up would have been a better idea. Even electric coffee makers wo’nt make hot coffee at home.

    Posted by Betsy | December 6, 2010, 7:22 pm

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