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Old 12-15-2008, 03:11 PM   #1
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Shasta is Back... sort of

I was at a local RV store yesterday looking for an inline water filter and and there right up front were three Shastas. I said to myself, self I said... I think they stopped making those years ago. I even noticed the Shasta Wing was on these.

So curious, I trotted over. Tapity Tapity go the fingernails on the side... close look... OK it's fiberglass not aluminum. The wing - mother of plastic. Checked the lock, it was open so I stepped inside. Overwhelmed with how CHEAP it looked - fake bamboo floor if you'll believe it. But you know if you look hard enough you'll find something to like. It had a wetbath - not bad size up front and a little bench? just inside the door. (Too small to be a sofa and the seat curved to allow access to the door. If that folds to a single bed, it will block the door and in a fire - BAD news - though you could probably just punch your way through the sides. No oven, no stove, just a small microwave, and a small round sink with a faucet that folds down and is then covered with a hinged glass cover. Cute yes, practical.. not really. I really wouldn't want to cook in anything that small so the lack of burners or stove doesn't bother me that much. The table was on two pedistals and could be slid backwards and forwards so that people could get in and out of the dinette. I didn't figure how to lower it, but that obviously happens somehow. The refrigerator was a dorm size dometic that would keep 2 cartons of milk and a head of lettuce cold. Cabinetry, was fiberboard held together with staples and chewing gum. Upholstery - bet it will fall apart in a year.

In short it looks like a canned ham Shasta, feels like dreck, and the off-gassing is still making me blink.

Paula
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Old 12-15-2008, 03:19 PM   #2
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It looks like Coachmen has revived the Shasta:

Coachmen RV - Travel Trailers - Shasta
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:38 PM   #3
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Shasta has a very devoted group of affectionados, similar to Airstream - or at least they used to. I would like to know how much Coachmen's "retro" Shasta costs. I'll bet it blows a hole in $20,000!
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:45 PM   #4
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I got started in one....an Airstream would never have happened without it, so they are kinda cute, but just not as good looking as an AS. Since we all like pictures:
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:27 PM   #5
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I dunno... I like the Tada (T@da), or have you checked the Euro Airstreams?

I wasn't aware of this trailer when I purchased my AS, and I probably would still have gone for the AS because... well... you know.

The other one that appeared to be very well-made was the Oliver travel trailer, but I really didn't like the molded fiber glass effect... it looked like a giant tub-surround.

But MAN-OH-MAN check out the beautiful European Airstreams, a bit smaller, a LOT lighter, and some very nice internal appointments. Why can't we buy those here!?
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:33 PM   #6
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Cute...but I think I'd go with a true retro old one ~

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
Shasta has a very devoted group of affectionados, similar to Airstream - or at least they used to.
I wonder what they think of it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
I would like to know how much Coachmen's "retro" Shasta costs. I'll bet it blows a hole in $20,000!
Yep...website says "MSRP Starting at $20,300"

Shari
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:34 PM   #7
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Shasta Interiors..

Even though the interior may have looked cheap to some, I can see in the pics 20 items that are out of the Airstream Safari parts bin, If the rig is less than 20k it would be a cool alternative to a Casita.

I wonder what the bodys frame is made of, aluminum or 2x wood?

Anyhow, cool to see retro make a comeback!!
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:39 PM   #8
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But MAN-OH-MAN check out the beautiful European Airstreams, a bit smaller, a LOT lighter, and some very nice internal appointments. Why can't we buy those here!?
I'm with you. Airstream built 20' Argosy Minuets back in the 70s that weighed under 2500 lbs. I'd happily give up the modern widebody and have arcylic windows. (Indeed, if I could find a nice Minuet in these parts....)

Since I recently bought an used T@B, I was kinda interested in the Shasta as an eventual step up. We finally looked at one last week. I'm not as negative as the original poster - the layout is pretty nice, with a big bed and roomy kitchen. It's a trailer for 2, but then again, that's how many we are. The front lounge doesn't fold out into anything; it's not exactly useful. I like the "cherry" cabinets and the bamboo-look laminate floor.

What bugged me was that quality control was lousy. The microwave was suspended in the cabinet by a piece of 3/8" plywood; the workers didn't bother to even yank off the shards left from the rough cutting. Lots of edging looked bad, with big gaps. The cushions were thin.

I'm also not keen on having no propane - the dealer said that 2010 will bring a bigger model with propane. MSRP was over $20k. That's a lot, but my T@B would have been $17k new (I bought used and saved a lot), and this is bigger. Manufacturers charge a premium for small stylish trailers, a mantra that sounds familiar....

That said, last week we also visited a giant AS dealer in Florida. I can't say that workmanship was perfect on them either, with poorly finished edges and messy sealing outside. Maybe there is something to buying vintage (starting cheap) and putting in the level of finish you want....
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:41 PM   #9
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If the rig is less than 20k it would be a cool alternative to a Casita.
The Casita I looked at was a brick poophouse (in a good way) compared to this Shasta, and you got a much more livable trailer for the same weight.

If only they didn't line the walls, ceiling, and cabinets with thick pile carpet, I'd own one.
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:49 PM   #10
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Casita...

The Casitas and Scamps are built well, built to last with minimal work. I definately agree with the shag carpet! I think if you kept one waxed it would last better than 20 yrs at least. The only negative on the exterior is the fiberglass wheel wells do not offer any protection from rocks.

My brother in law bought one, the Patriot 17 I belive and it is very comfortable, tows well behind a small SUV and only cost 17k loaded.
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Old 12-15-2008, 06:23 PM   #11
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Well let me tell you folks something about Casita you might not want to hear. No other RV on the market - including Airstream - holds its value as well as a Casita. The factory tells you to only depreciate a Casita 500 bucks a year - a Airstream depreciates 10 times that when you drive it off the lot and most other RVs even more. And not only that if you keep a Casita in good condition you will sell it almost immediately at that 500 per year depreciation. I had a Casita for 6 1/2 years and loved it. No it wasn't perfect but I had virtually no problems with it as compared to my Airstream. The Casita is a fine trailer and if I hadn't gone fulltime and wanted something a bit larger I'd still have one.
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Old 12-15-2008, 06:54 PM   #12
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My dad's first leap to a TT in the late 60's was to a 16' Shasta in cream and yellow which he towed with a 6cyl 1958 Ford Fairlane.
He got the bug and then had an RV dealership for 5 years. He always commented that the light weight Shasta was the best towing TT he ever towed. Wonder how well the new ones tow.

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Old 12-15-2008, 08:21 PM   #13
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The factory tells you to only depreciate a Casita 500 bucks a year - a Airstream depreciates 10 times that when you drive it off the lot and most other RVs even more. And not only that if you keep a Casita in good condition you will sell it almost immediately at that 500 per year depreciation.
My experience isn't far off. I found - which took some doing - an used 1998 17' Casita in Vermont. It looked almost new underneath and everywhere else, a marked difference from a rotting 2001 Bambi 16' I had looked at a few weeks earlier. It wasn't cheap - around $9000, IIRC - but looked well worth the money.

Again, if it wasn't for that "mouse fur" lining the insides, and my wife's immediate dislike for said carpet, I'd be thrilled with one. But from what I've seen, among fiberglass "egg" shaped trailers, only Oliver Trailers seem to be moving towards more stylish interiors. (Same complaint did in the Aliners and Chalets we considered.) Too bad....

One more Shasta gripe - the windows only opened for a tiny slot on the bottom, and there was no front window. I like having windows on at least 3 sides of a trailer....
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:21 PM   #14
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Well if Coachman is bringing back Shasta and Airstream is bringing back the Holiday, sort of, I wonder if many rv manufacturers will be going small to keep the market going. Pretty cool looks, retro but not vintage.
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