RV PRO

July '18

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rv-pro.com July 2018 • RV PRO • 171 neighbor first introduced him to the rather nascent material. Intrigued, Byam hired the man to investigate the prospects of a fiberglass trailer, given that he sought a lighter option, yet the difference between that and aluminum, in terms of weight, wasn't worth pursuing. Fiberglass, however, had only been around for a short while, and various obstacles prevented those early prototypes from coming to fruition. "Nest was conceived by Robert Johans, and his initial plan for Nest was to sell them the same way most molded fiberglass travel trailers are sold – on order, built one at a time," says Hansen. "He garnered a lot of hype for his design online, but no orders came in." Having customers visit the manufacturing site in Oregon to pick up a unit was Johans' original plan. But in 2016, Air- stream's acquisition opened the floodgates of potential wider than direct-to-consumer would allow. "It's much more complicated to make something wider pro- duction-ready, and to build them efficiently with the quality Airstream delivers," Cullis says. While the shell is very similar to the original prototype, Airstream's fingerprint is unmistakable. For one, the Nest has a chassis instead of an A-frame hitch that extends from the front, bolted into the shell. The axle also was bolted on. "Our design team was able to utilize the same kind of chassis system that all other Airstream travel trailers use," Cullis says. "It offers much more stability and safety and towability." The truly significant differences become apparent stepping inside. Beyond the shell, this is where Johans' design inge- nuity attracted Airstream. The Caravan Nest enabled plenty of personalization and the room to fit a list of amenities: air conditioner, water heater, furnace, etc. And when Airstream extended the width of the trailer by 3 inches, the design was able to pack even more into it without compensating too much elbow room. "For a 16-foot travel trailer, there's a tremendous amount of storage," Cullis says. Whereas other fiberglass travel trailers use the same mate- rial for the interior, Airstream remained consistent to many of its other brands with wood walls, cabinetry, and bed frames. "(The designers) also increased Nest's fresh water capacity and black tank capacity," Hansen says. "The original Nest had no A/C, and had plexiglass windows instead of the tempered glass incorporated today. "Ultimately, additions to our travel trailer line like Basecamp and Nest ensure that we have an Airstream for anyone who wants to pursue a way of life that aligns with our mission."

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