We’ve known that Airstream has had a sleek, lightweight, and compact new camper in the works for some time, but earlier in the week we finally got our first real glimpse of what it will look like in its final form. The company posted an update to its blog sharing photos of a prototype version of the Nest, and judging from those images it appears that it will be a radical — but welcomed — departure from the iconic Airstream trailers we’ve all come to know and love.
With a shell made almost entirely from fiberglass, the Nest does away with the traditional aluminum body that has been a hallmark of Airstream campers for decades. This allows it to be both lighter and more aerodynamic. And since it is just 16 feet in length and weighs about 2,500 pounds, the company says that it can be easily towed behind most midsized SUV’s, which is something that can’t be said for most of its other products.
The Nest began its life at a startup called Nest Caravans, where fiberglass expert Robert Johans came up with the idea of making a small, easy-to-transport camper built from lightweight materials. Johans started working on the project back in 2013 and had the recreational vehicle in development for three years before Airstream came knocking.
“Nest is a product that conveys sophistication, simplicity, and upscale modernity,” says Airstream President Bob Wheeler. “It made sense for us to partner and help bring this design to market.”
In 2016, the RV manufacturer bought the Nest lock, stock, and barrel, acquiring Johans plans, CAD files, trademarks, and all other associated materials. The company than announced that it would turn the little camper into a reality, with production set to begin this year. Airstream now promises to start shipping the new model in early 2018 at a price that has yet to be revealed.
Not much is known about the interior of the Nest just yet, but if Johans’ prototype designs are any indication it will take a minimalist approach to furnishings and use the existing space in creative ways. The exterior of the trailer will feature large, panoramic windows, a smooth, rounded shape, and a rear exit. In a lot of ways, it has been designed from the ground up to appeal to the camper who wants a comfortable living space, but doesn’t want or need a massive trailer for use in their travels.
We should know more in the weeks ahead as we get closer to the launch of the Nest. Those interested in following the development and production process more closely can get updates via email as well.