brown uggs Nest Caravans Lighter Weight Travel Trailer on the Market from Bend
(Photo above: bed inside Nest Caravan Travel Trailer courtesy of Nest Caravans)
A new travel trailer from an innovative Oregon manufacturer is redefining the popular RV market segment with styling, construction and features that have more in common with luxury yachts and corporate jets than current trailer offerings. The first and only travel trailer architecture based on monocoque (unibody) construction, the Nest is engineered to eliminate the need for a frame under carriage, reducing the amount of steel by about 75 percent compared to conventional designs. The result is a lighter weight 17 foot trailer that can be towed easily by most mid size SUVs, crossovers or light trucks.
According to Nest Caravans CEO Robert Johans, a carefully calculated lay up schedule of specific composite materials and the vacuum infusion construction methodology produces a shell body so strong that it eliminates the need for a typical steel chassis. “Vacuum infusion allows us to use about 65% composite materials to 35% resin, which provides tremendous strength and structural integrity,” he explained. “Old school ‘chopper gun’ construction inverts those numbers, using 35% fiberglass to 65% resin, producing a heavier, weaker and more brittle final product.”
The Nest’s construction process allows a level of automotive styling that cannot be found in ubiquitous “tin and stick” travel trailers. With exterior design by transportation specialist Bryan Thompson, originator of the Airstream “BaseCamp,” the design sophistication of the Nest is not only visually appealing, but also highly aerodynamic, reducing drag, improving towability and enhancing fuel economy.
“With this type of construction, we were free of the normal design constraints on typical trailer manufacturers,” Thompson said. “The Nest incorporates graceful lines and sleek, muscular forms that are impossible to achieve with standard travel trailers.”
Nest Caravans’ Director of Operations Tim Koester commented that one of the company’s objectives was to introduce a level of true luxury to compact travel trailers. “Every design and building consideration was made with quality as top priority,” he observed. “We literally reconsidered the compact trailer from the ground up, with every feature scrutinized and deliberately engineered throughout the entire build process. Wherever possible, sources outside of the RV industry such as aviation, boating and fine home building were tapped for their most modern, innovative and functional products and components,” he added.
The physical layout and integrated components within the interior have been directed in large part by customer research. Details preferred by a majority of compact travel trailer owners have been incorporated into the design including a full time, queen sized bed; a wet bath shower/toilet enclosure with an integrated grey water tank; and a bright, roomy and sophisticated interior. Energy efficient components were used throughout, including all LED lighting. A tankless hydronic heater delivers both hot water to the sink and shower, as well as space heating throughout the cabin, while a remote controlled rooftop fan provides additional fresh air ventilation. Integrated solar power charging for extended off grid camping is available as an option.
Johans summarized the company’s philosophy by returning to direct feedback from current travel trailer owners. “Our research indicated that travel trailer owners were very disappointed by the inferior quality and limitations of existing technology, which haven’t changed much in 50 years,” he said. “Customers have indicated a desire to move away from clearly inexpensive features and finishes toward a level that better reflects their tastes and lifestyles. By responding to that customer demand, we consider the Nest to be an industry game changer, representing a significant leap forward in design, sophistication and quality.”
The new design will also offer clients a range of customization options and upgrades, including tow vehicle color matching. The exact cost of the Nest will depend on the customer’s choices, but base model pricing starts at $29,995 significantly lower than that of the current industry leader’s $42K price tag.
Nest Caravans is an innovator in the popular compact travel trailer market, incorporating design elements and features normally associated with high end yachts, corporate jets and luxury automobiles. The concept was developed by CEO Robert Johans, a professional designer and trailer restoration expert with more than 20 years of industry experience. The Central Oregon company’s mission is to fill the unmet need for modern, highly efficient, aesthetically appealing products that deliver true pride of ownership to a discriminating clientele.