If you catch a glimpse of a tiny Shasta or venerable silver Airstream parked between the trees at an RV campground, you might think someone turned the clock back. What you’re experiencing is not déjà vu but the retro RV movement!
Spurred by the nostalgic childhood memories of retiring boomers, fascination with retro RVs has sparked considerable interest in bringing back yesteryear’s most popular RV styles. Retro RVs were once the unchallenged turf of avid do-it-yourselfers and custom rehabbers. But some of RV manufacturers are joining iconic Airstream in embracing the lucrative retro RV market by bringing back classic RV models from decades ago.
Don’t let the retro look fool you though. Unlike restored RVs which strive for original authenticity, most of the retro RVs being introduced by manufacturers are retro in body shape and style only. Like the updated Shasta RV 1961 style Airflyte travel trailer — scheduled for a limited edition introduction at Forest River’s Elkhart Open House on September 16 in honor of Shasta’s 75th anniversary – most retro-style RVs keep key features that defined their original style but have been updated with modern building materials and amenities to meet current RVIA codes and consumer comfort expectations.
As appealing as the retro look may be, nostalgia can be a tight squeeze for folks used to the spaciousness of today’s 40-foot travel trailers with multiple slideouts. Back when your grandparents bought their first RV, travel trailers were a fraction of their current size and devoid of the luxury amenities found in modern recreational vehicles. The typical travel trailer was less than 15 feet long with just over 6 feet of head room which made for very cozy living. Riverside RV offers several sharp looking retro RV models that stay true to the less is more philosophy of old time RV living.
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