Nest By Airstream
Airstream, the Jackson Center, Ohio-based manufacturer of shiny aluminum-skinned RVs and coaches, has just launched a new line of fiberglass travel trailers called “Nest.” Starting at $45,900, two 16.7-foot models will be produced to launch Nest, 16FB and 16U. Nest joins an eight travel-trailer lineup that ranges from the 16.3-foot Basecamp (starting at $36,400) to the 31.3-foot Classic (starting at $139,900). Airstream, a subsidiary of Thor Industries, also builds motorized touring coaches on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van chassis (starting at $165,878). The Airstream brand is nearing its 90th anniversary and is one of the premium RV brands. The market for new and used Airstream travel trailers is hot, with the renovation and repurposing of classic models fueling the trend.
Nest Caravans originated as an independent brand conceived by Oregon designer Robert Johans. Airstream purchased the brand in March 2016, with Johans joining Airstream as Nest’s project manager. Automotive designer Bryan Thompson, a graduate of Detroit’s College of Creative Studies and a veteran of Nissan Design in Southern California, styled the Nest, having previously worked on the Basecamp and other Airstream projects.
Nest is a premium trailer, built on a semi-monocoque fiberglass structure, a big difference from Airstream’s aluminum-clad models. The smooth exterior is gel-coated and the chassis is hand-painted. Entry is achieved through a single door at the rear – as opposed to side- and rear-entry on the other Airstream trailers. Putting the door at the rear allows for a unique use of interior space, with continuous wall space from front to rear, and a rounded front. Nest puts the queen-sized bed at the front, kitchen/dining space in the middle and wet bath/storage toward the rear. Eight windows (with black-out curtains) allow for an airy cabin. The interior height of 9 feet 6 inches (6 feet 6 inches in the entry area with A/C) helps reinforce the feeling, as does the 6-foot 10-inch interior width. Material selection and color palettes offered have a Scandinavian design flair, and read as very modern and upscale, but not fussy. This is a casual, fun space with lots of storage.
As befits a premium trailer, Nest comes fully-equipped for travel and camping for two. Standard equipment includes a 20-lb LP tank, a two-burner LP stove, an 18,000-BTU ducted furnace, a 30-amp service single AC with a 13,500-BTU heat strip, a microwave, a 3.2-cubic foot AC/DC refrigerator, LED interior and exterior lighting, an exterior shower with hot and cold water, a city water inlet and pressure equalizer, a 24-gallon fresh water tank, 30-gallon combined gray and black water tank, two Deep Cycle Group 24 batteries with a multi-stage converter and more. Nest is also pre-wired for an accessory solar kit. Just add linens, blankets, pots, pans, plates, cups, cutlery, personal care items and food, and you’re ready for a camping trip.
At 3,400 lbs base weight with LP and batteries (4,000 GVWR) and 375-lb tongue weight, Nest can be towed easily by modern light-duty pickup trucks and many mid-sized to full-sized SUVs. Standard 16-inch aluminum wheels wrapped with Goodyear Endurance tires will help with stability.
Nest will begin arriving at Airstream dealerships across the nation later this month.