RIP Airstream Nest, “We’re No Longer Manufacturing This Model”
It seems like Airstream should stick to aluminum trailers. Their foray into molded fiberglass campers bit the dust this year with the Airstream Nest.
Even though the RV industry is booming, Airstream (owned by Thor Industries) slimmed down its consumer offerings in 2020 by bidding farewell to the Nest.
Right on their website, Airstream says, “We’re no longer manufacturing this model for purchase.”
But, we’re trying to find out why!
What Is The Airstream Nest?
Airstream acquired the Nest brand in 2016.
It broke outside of the typical Airstream material usage, as it is primarily made of molded fiberglass. This concept is similar to a boat shell, also similar to Casita and Scamp Travel Trailers.
The beauty of this material is that you need very few pieces. In fact, Airstream uses only three molded pieces to complete the Nest exterior shell. One downside to the material is that fiberglass weighs more and has less flex than aluminum.
Pro Tip: The Airstream Nest was among the Top 5 Molded Fiberglass Campers in early 2020.
Airstream Nest Specs
The Nest measures in at 16.6 feet from tongue to bumper. The exterior height is 9.5 feet, and the width is 7 feet. Overall, the measurements make for easy parking.
The Nest weighs 3,500lbs dry – this means with no belongings on board and no water in the tank. The GVWR (how much your trailer can safely weigh, including payload) is 4,000lbs.
That means you can carry 500lbs worth of stuff, be it the essentials (like water) or the trivial (like plants).
Airstream says, “The Nest is nimble and light on its feet, which makes it easy to tow with a variety of mid-size SUVs.”
Why Has Airstream Stopped Manufacturing the Nest?
The simple answer is, “only Airstream knows why.”
However, we reached out to a source inside of Airstream for more details. Even though they played their cards close to the chest, it seems like sales were down.
I’d also be willing to guess there could be a supply chain issue.
If Airstream relied heavily on overseas parts, accessing those parts could be almost impossible right now. All major manufacturers have been held up with overseas parts, so it’s a likely possibility.
According to the language on the Airstream website (and with our Airstream insiders input), the Nest could get back into production in the future.
However, for now, the Nest will become another Airstream relic and collector’s item.
Last year we reached out to Justin Humphreys, VP of Sales at Airstream, to better understand what type of RVers use the Nest. Here’s what he said:
“Nest appeals to those consumers who like understated and clean design lines. The Nest is more automotive and modern in look and feel which really hits home for this consumer.
Although the product is great for boondocking as well, we find this customer to utilize campgrounds more.”
How Much Are Used Airstream Nests Selling For?
Airstream has been very discrete about halting the production of the Nest. Many current owners might not know they now own a piece of discontinued Airstream history.
On RV Trader, the lowest priced Nest is $35,995. On RV Universe, the lowest priced unit is $36,995. And, on AutoTrader, the most economical Nest is listed at $35,999.
Needless to say, they aren’t cheap.
These Are Other Canceled Airstream Models Over The Years
All RV manufacturers try new things out on the reg. So it’s not surprising that Airstream has canceled other models over the years.
Here are a few failed efforts in Airstream history:
- Argosy Trailer by Airstream (1970s)
- Argosy Motorhome by Airstream (1970s)
- Airstream Trailers with Slide-outs (2000s)
- Silver Cloud (1930s)
- The Funeral Coach (1980s)
- Land Yacht (1980s)
- Airstream Nest (2020)
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The Airstream Nest fiberglass body shell was not made “in house” in the Airstream factory. It was made by a contractor in a nearby Ohio town and then brought to the Jackson Center, OH factory for finishing. This may or may not have been a factor in Airstream’s decision to end Nest production.
Airstream manufactured approximately 1000 trailers with slide-outs between 2001 and model year 2009. Production ended on slide out trailers in 2009 along with the 34 ft. triple axle model.
Sad, it’s the only really good trailer they make. The rest are overpriced crap.
Really? Perhaps you can share with us your preferred brand that is of higher quality and market acceptance than Airstream?
I never really understood why Thor took on Nest brand. While a nice product, it didn’t have any particular cachet or uniqueness in the market. Maybe an argument for the the cost of assembly being less involved? Certainly it would have been profitable if sales had taken off. Airstream really, REALLY needs to find a unique, entry level product that can be scaled for production and made in America. No small task.