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Old 03-04-2009, 04:34 PM   #1
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Shasta vs. Airstream, the ultimate showdown

Howdy all,

So my wife and I have been considering getting an Airstream for awhile and now it looks like it's actually going to happen...

Ahem, perhaps I should rephrase...

I have been wanting an Airstream for some time and finally my wife seems to be into the idea. We already have an RV, so I guess it's only now that it's really starting to clunk out on us is she ready to consider alternatives.

Yesterday we were all go on getting a little Bambi, probably an older one, but we're still very much in the early stages of looking around when she drops the bomb on me that she might prefer to have one of these old Shasta trailers.

So I try and tell her things like "but an Airstream will last us the rest of our lives, they're aerodynamic and therefore will save us cash on gas and towing power requirements, and their is a huge community out there just waiting to help us figure out the ins and outs."

But she's still not convinced and is somehow deadset on one of these things, which I consider to be about the ugliest thing that exists.

She is not, however, irrational, and given that we will be using a small tow vehicle and that we do want the thing to last us a lifetime, there is room for convincing.

So my task put forth to you fine people is simple: can you give me any more reasons, some solid evidence that I can use to argue this case?

And please no "if you don't know, you never will" stuff.

Danke!
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:42 PM   #2
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:43 PM   #3
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You could argue that since you "do not need the thing to last us a lifetime", when it comes to resale the Airstream will hold it's value better and offer a wider buyer's market.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:09 PM   #4
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Our family's first TT was a brand new 1959 16' Shasta. My dad always commented how nice it towed. They were very light weight too. Less than a ton I believe.

Anyway we have an Airstream now, not a Shasta and we tow it with a smallish, fuel efficient vehicle that is ideal for the times.

Good luck with your venture.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:22 PM   #5
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I too, want on old shasta, THEN my husband had me take a really, really good look at them. Tell her they have no "real" bathroom, If they have a potty inside, you have to take it out, the potty, and dump it. Tell her that will be her job! no shower either. So my husband got his airstream with a "real" bathroom in it!

Annette
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:23 PM   #6
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My only comment is that you'll have more elbow room in the Airstream. I've been in both and the Shastas are a bit cramped. Very cute though. I think you really can't go wrong with either. You'll spend a whole lot more money on a Bambi than any Shasta!
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:28 PM   #7
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

Airstream vs. Shasta, that's an interesting question.

You say that your were considering an older Bambi or an older Shasta. If it is vintage that you are considering, an Airstream would be easier to find, there are not a lot of vintage Shasta out. You Shasta selection would be somewhat limited. I would also think that parts availability would be better with an Airstream.

Also with an Airstream, you would have a bigger community to help with the information needed to maintain a vintage travel trailer. I don't believe that there is anything like these Forums in the Shasta world.

Brian
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:34 PM   #8
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If you want to spend more money there is a new Shasta available. We checked them out at the Toronto RV show. Not Bad.

Coachmen RV - Travel Trailers - Shasta

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Old 03-04-2009, 05:39 PM   #9
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I think Shasta's are a very cool trailer. So on that note, It's some times better to ask forgiveness than for permission. At least thats what I told my better half when I brought mine home. Good luck with your search
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:54 PM   #10
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Vintage Shastas are pretty cool! Gotta love those wings!!!

However I prefer Airstreams for several reasons:
  • More variety in size, layout & options
  • More windows - brighter inside
  • "Real" bathroom with some privacy
  • Toilet vs Porta-Potty
  • Has a shower
  • More storage
  • Shasta's wood interior (while very pretty) is easily damaged if it leaks
  • Smooth shiny aluminum rather than painted ribbed
  • Easier to find replacement parts
  • Better re-sale
  • Lots of camaraderie for restoration help
  • "Airstream" legacy
  • AirForums
If you are okay with these then you're looking at a Shasta because it's most likely going to be cheaper than a vintage Bambi.

Shari
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:11 PM   #11
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Respectfully..............

I would have to say that my normally helpful and wise Airstream forum brothers and sisters have given you questionable advice.
You absolutely need both an Airstream and a Shasta. It's a no brainer. It's a must have.
You may want one trailer to be original, and one to remodel the way you want for the way you use it. You may want a back up while the other is having work done. You may want one for wild friends to spend the night in. Am I making any sense here? Yes I have an Airstream...No I don't have a Shasta....but I'm looking. I want a trailer that is easy to work on that I won't be afraid of screwing up. Ooops I forgot, I spent all my cash on my Airstream.
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:56 PM   #12
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Airstream vs. Shasta (or Scotty)

Simple! Get 'em both!

Seriously, though ...I own Airstreams and a vintage Scotty. Both trailers are "cool" old trailers that attract attention. Shasta, Scotty and Airstream all share that retro cool look. They all will provide hours of fun and enjoyment. I've enjoyed campouts with Airstreamers and Scotty people and had a great time with both groups. As far as the trailer goes, the Airstream is miles and miles ahead of the Scotty in terms of construction and quality, A Scotty, or a Shasta was a cheap light weight trailer. They were constructed fairly well, but the wooden construction and leaking aluminum skin inevitably causes significant rot. An Airstream is an expensive high quality light weight trailer and if well cared for will hold up far better than other vintage trailers. When we were originally looking for a used trailer in 1988, we looked at used Scotty, Shasta, and other brands. Every one of them smelled of rotten wood. The first trailer I looked at that didn't have any obvious water stains and rotten wood was a 17 year old Airstream Globe Trotter. It was the oldest trailer we looked at but was in the best condition of all. I bought the Airstream and it has held up very well through 21 years and 5 children. It cost me twice as much as any other trailer I was looking at. It was one of the best buys I ever made. After all these years, I could sell it for twice as much as I paid for it.

A few years ago a bought a 1963 Airstream to restore and use as a "camp" on my property. It's been to several Airstream rallies too. It suffered from years of neglect with windows and doors open to the rain. It has some rot, but it's still useable. I did not do a floor replacement or a major disassembly. The trailer is so well built that it works OK even though it is somewhat compromised by some rotten floor (which I fixed in a half -baked manner).

Last year I bought a 1969 Scotty Sportsman 13 foot Gaucho....just for the fun of having a trailer smaller than Airstream ever made. I've had fun restoring it, and it was fun camping in it. It's no match for my Airstream, though. I like the bathroom in my Airstream and I like the way the Airstream tows. In reality, I don't get significantly better gas mile towing the 1000 pound Scotty than I do towing a 3200 pound Airstream ....or a 4000 pound Airstream. I can tow a Scotty with a 4 cylinder car, however, and I can't do that with an Airstream. I expect my Airstream will be around long after I am dead. I'm not sure the Scotty will make it as long as I do! My Dad's Shasta needed roofing tar every year it seemed. My Airstream doesn't leak anywhere where I can see it.

Hope this helps!

MARC
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:46 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
If you want to spend more money there is a new Shasta available. We checked them out at the Toronto RV show. Not Bad.

Coachmen RV - Travel Trailers - Shasta


Those new Shastas ARE kind of nice. The only problem is they are all electric which means no hot water, stove or refrigeration unless plugged in. A big mistake IMHO. Especially bad if you boondock at all.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:58 PM   #14
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Those new Shastas ARE kind of nice. The only problem is they are all electric which means no hot water, stove or refrigeration unless plugged in. A big mistake IMHO. Especially bad if you boondock at all.
Yeah - and the construction is pure crap! Look under the burners (no oven).

Paula
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