The brand is now the Shasta division of Forest River Incorporated (www.shastarving.com, 574-825-7178) and the products are designed to compete head-to-head with a ream of similar-sized RVs on the market.
Today’s Shasta bears little resemblance, beyond the name, to the original “canned ham”-style Shastas of yore. The iconic wings are gone, along with the cast-metal Shasta name found on so many of the early models.
The first Shasta was built in 1941 as temporary military housing. After the war, the manufacturer started building recreational trailers, and by 1958 factory production in Goshen, Ind., was in full swing.
The Coachmen RV Group purchased the Shasta brand in 1975 and produced Shasta travel trailers, fifth wheels and Class C motorhomes. Production stopped in 2004, and a new retro-style Shasta called the Airflyte was released in 2008, but the timing was bad relative to the RV industry recession and it went away after a couple of years.
Today’s Shasta travel trailers are available in two model ranges, Revere LE and Revere, in sizes from about 21 feet through 32 feet with a variety of floorplans. The Revere LE is the lower of the two trim levels.
The model shown here is the Revere 30CKBH, roughly a 30-footer, a family-style trailer equipped to keep everyone happy. It includes a forward master bedroom, a large streetside slideout with sofa/bed and a U-shaped dinette and a curbside kitchen. The enclosed bath is aft of the kitchen and abuts the rear bunkbed suite that includes dual stacked bunkbeds curbside, a small two-person facing dinette streetside and central storage unit on the back wall.
The lower bed is positioned somewhat higher than usual to accommodate a second kitchen unit that’s housed in an outdoor compartment. When a large hatch in the trailer’s rear curbside corner is raised it reveals a kitchen with stove, sink, refrigerator and storage cabinets. This is a handy feature for tailgating, campsite meal preparation when the weather is good or just keeping cooking odors out of the trailer. A privacy door closes off the aft bunk area and that’s fun when the kids just want to hang out, or the adults don’t want to hear the video games or TV.
The Shasta is built with time-proven construction materials. Wood framing, including the walls, floor and roof structures, plus fiberglass batt insulation, aluminum exterior skin and an EPDM rubber roof are standard features. While some may view these materials as a bit of a throwback in today’s high-tech world, many RVs are still built this way, and when properly assembled at the factory, such an RV can be a good value for the investment.
Front diamond-plate rock guard material covers the lower wall to avoid road hazard damage, and the heated and enclosed underbelly helps expand the trailer’s seasonal use into the colder times of year.
Inside, the trailer fabric is definitely a semi-vintage look with subdued floral print upholstery and complementary accents. Arched cathedral-style cabinet doors are mortise-and-tenon framed with hardwood. Some cabinet doors include etched glass inserts and all drawer fronts are solid wood. Beauflor tile flooring is standard in addition to carpet.
Galley equipment includes the standard array of a microwave oven, residential-style deep-well sink, a three-burner stove with oven, double-door refrigerator and ball bearing drawer guides.
Those desiring contemporary high-tech entertainment will find a standard AM/FM/CD/DVD player, up to a 42-inch flat-screen TV, a cable TV hookup and satellite-receiver prep.
Full self-containment features include a 30-amp AC power cord, a 6-gallon water heater, 13,500 Btu ducted air conditioner, 30- to 35,000-Btu (depending on model) ducted furnace, and a 45-amp converter. Fluid capacities include 50-gallon freshwater, 37 gallons each black and grey tanks, and 14 gallons of propane.
The spare tire and carrier is “optional” on all models — something we’ve never quite been able to figure out. I’ve never known an RVer to be foolish enough to hit the road without a spare tire for a trailer.
The return of the Shasta RV line will be seen by many as a welcome touch of recreational nostalgia. It looks like the trailer’s sensible, family-friendly components should help make it a winner in the functional and fun departments. — Jeff Johnston, Motor Matters
Photos courtesy Jeff Johnston: The Shasta Revere 30 CKBH floorplan includes a forward master bedroom and aft-end bunkbed room for the kids. Classic vintage-style upholstery and cabinetry are combined in a floorplan that’s family-friendly and extra-functional.
You usually get a good-sized galley in a 30-foot trailer and the Shasta Revere is no exception. Full appliance hardware plus huge storage cabinets and a pantry ensure you have lots of room for family-size meals.
Copyright, AutoWriters Associates Inc., 2011