Base Camp Trailer – Nest Caravan


Hauling the Nest Caravan

A great way to explore is day hiking.  An even better way is to set up a base camp and day hike in all directions over several days.  Camping trailers make outstanding base camps, as opposed to those big RV’s, because you can park the trailer and get deeper into the woods with your vehicle before you start your hike.  A tent can serve the purpose as well, but not nearly as elegantly and comfortably.

Designing the Nest Caravan

Interior of the Nest CaravanThe latest in classy and well built camping trailers is the Nest Caravan.  The Nest Caravan was developed and prototyped by Robert Johans in Tumalo, Oregon (just north of Bend, Oregon).  He began restoring old fiberglass trailers in 2007 under the company name “Egg Plant.”  He was, after all, restoring those egg-shaped trailers.

Johann got to thinking that if people are paying a lot of money to rehabilitate old trailers,  perhaps they’d like a brand new one for not much more money.  That led to the launch of a new company, Nest Caravans, in late 2013.  The plan was to design, manufacture and sell high quality, molded fiberglass travel trailers.  These trailers were to be a middle level between the least expensive trailers ($10,000 to $25,000) and the least expensive Airstream ($45,000).

Johan said that his design parameters included:Sleeping Area in the Nest Caravan

  • light weight, so it can be towed with a 6 cylinder car
  • fit a queen-sized bed, to satisfy the number one consumer request
  • no steel frame, to save weight
  • integrated solar power system
  • stylish, to set it apart from other trailers (exterior design by Bryan Thompson)

The trailer ended up being 2,400 pounds and 16 feet 8 inches from tail to hitch.  Pricing started at $30,000 with several options to up the cost.  One nice option included painting the trailer to match your vehicle.

Producing the Nest Caravan

The prototype came together in early 2015 with plans to begin production in the winter of 2015 for delivery in the spring of 2016 and orders were being taken.  Then, on April 1,  Airstream announced that it had acquired Nest Caravan – it was not a joke.  Airstream President Bob Wheeler said, “We’ve been imagining a small, well-thought-out fiberglass travel trailer for quite some time and are very confident about its potential. Nest is a product that conveys sophistication, simplicity, and upscale modernity, so it made sense for us to partner and help bring this design to market.”

The trailer was being manufactured by a Bend, Oregon company, Composite Approach, but Airstream will be moving production to Ohio.  Johann will be an adviser to Airstream.  More than likely, Airstream will do some further market research and make some modifications to the design based upon that and their expertise in trailer construction.


Current Marketing

Currently Airstream is offering very little information about their new acquisition on their website, beyond the above photos and the following description:

“It’s built for those looking for an outdoor camping experience, but who still want access to amenities like a cooktop, wet bath, and bed. Nest’s sleek, aerodynamic exterior adds fresh modern flair, while the comfortable and welcoming interior showcases inventive features, each carefully selected for form and function. Lightweight and immensely towable, the Nest Caravan offers tremendous travel flexibility and ease of use, perfect for your next camping trip.”

The company has not yet announced a date for availability or a final price.

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