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  • Jenna Beall

Meet Our Shasta Airflyte!

A few years ago, I became totally obsessed with tiny houses.


And a year after that, I was infatuated with the prospect of buying property in Upstate New York and eventually placing a tiny house there.


Of course, then our kitchen fiasco happened, and those dreams went to the wayside.


But a few months back, as it was becoming increasingly apparent the coronavirus pandemic was not stopping anytime soon, I came across a fifth wheel listing on the website Tiny House Listings. The fifth wheel was way too big for us, but it really got me thinking.


Hmm, I thought. I never considered a camper before.


The more listings I perused, the more a camper sounded like a terrific option for Adam and me. Adam drives a truck, so we already had a vehicle suited for towing it. If we purchased a camper with a restroom, we could truly do self-contained travel during the pandemic. A camper also meant we could bring our three dogs along on trips.


Why hadn't I thought of this before?! It was like a vacation home on wheels!


Enter the Shasta Airflyte Reissue.


In 2015, Shasta recreated their 1961 Airflyte. Using the original blueprints, they created a perfect replica, updated with modern safety standards and conveniences (like AC!). Basically, our Airflyte has all the modern amenities with vintage flair!


We found our Airflyte just an hour north, in Dayton, Ohio, and purchased her from a fantastically kind couple who took the time to show us the ropes. We are calling her Chanice the Shasta, loving named after John Candy's girlfriend (Chanice Kobolowski) from Uncle Buck, one of our most favorite movies.


Driving Chanice home was a breeze.


Well, that's what Adam said anyways. Anyone who knows me is well aware of the fact that I am a terrible driver. I can barely handle a Corolla on the road.


We pulled onto our street. It was the moment of truth.


Would Adam be able to back the 19-foot camper into our slim, 1920s driveway???


I WAS NOT SURE.


I hopped out of the car to help direct, and Adam began the backing-up process.


Suddenly, a man wearing a red sleeveless shirt appeared. "First time?" he asked Adam, to which he nodded. "We've all been there before. I drive a 40-foot motorhome, and I used to drive semis. I can help."


I honestly thought this man was a legit guardian angel. He could have walked away and evaporated into an ethereal sort of cloud, and I wouldn't have been at all surprised.


Our guardian angel, Scott, coached Adam into the driveway.


"YOU'RE GOING INTO THE GRASS!" I shouted, lovingly, at one point.


"You're fine. Keep going," Scott said to Adam.


With Scott's help, Adam was able to back the Shasta into the driveway. He was even able to park the camper much farther back than we expected, tucking our Shasta neatly beside the house.


We thanked Scott profusely. As it turned out, he'd lived on our street since he was a child. We couldn't believe we'd never met him in the three years we'd been in our home.


We celebrated Chanice's homecoming with a socially distanced open house for the neighborhood. It was so nice sitting outside and visiting with everyone.


At ten o'clock, Adam and I finally sat down to dinner. We brought a frozen Private Selection pizza out to the camper and ate in our retro booth, with the dogs flanked around us. We turned on 1960s music and felt so darn lucky.


Our first trip is Punderson State Park, which is outside of Cuyahoga National Park.


For now though, we'll be enjoying Chanice from the comforts of our driveway.


CHANICE THE SHASTA TOUR

Let's start off with a quick video of Adam backing her up—what a feat! Please note he also had to maneuver around a telephone pole.


Here is the view when you first walk in. I just love the details here, like the Shasta magazine holder and the incandescent-style light. The dinette turns into a full-sized bed. The owl curtains are a little loud for our tastes... We're hoping to swap them out for yellow gingham. Now wouldn't that be lovely?

Here is the kitchenette. I think it's huge for a camper! I bet it's as big as the kitchen at our old apartment! :p


The fridge is also a great size. Beside that is the closet (again, lots of space) and the wet bath. When we sailed around Greece last summer, we used a similar bathroom, so I'm glad we have a little experience.




Here is the L-shaped sofa in the back. The cabinets above turn into a child-sized cot, while the couch pulls out to create roomier sleeping conditions. You can comfortably sleep two adults back here. It also makes a perfect reading nook, of course.


This is my favorite piece of wall art in the camper. Doesn't that otter remind you of Dewey? I found it on Society 6.


These were our first celebratory drinks in the Shasta. Cheers to Chanice!

And here she is, all aglow.


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