50 Shades of Gray; Robert Gray that is….

Shasta Logo

History of the Company:

The Shasta Trailer Company started out in 1941 by building mobile home trailers for the US Armed Forces in a Los Angeles, California plant. After WWII, they sold mobile homes under the Cozy Cruiser brand. 1952 was the first year for the Shasta brand to roll off the assembly line in Van Nuys. Models from 14′ to 35′ were offered. The boom in mobile homes and travel trailers was in full swing and the public couldn’t get enough of the Shasta brand. In April of 1958, Shasta opened the Goshen, Indiana plant to keep up with demand.

The distinctive wings were added to the Shasta line in the late 50’s and continued on the trailers and even some motorhomes until the early 80’s. During this time, the Shasta brand was the best selling trailer brand in the US. That is why, after all this time, “Vintage” Shastas are still so popular and available everywhere.

By early 1963, Shasta had added another production plant in Leola, Pennsylvania and was up to 5 different models of trailer. Later in that same year, the all-new model 1500 was offered to 5-star reviews. Again proving to the public, that the value that was built into the Shasta brand was well worth the low price!

In 1964 came the first of the “square-ish” Shastas with the introduction of the redesigned Compat model. It’s leaner, cleaner lines were a sign of things to come and was very well received by the general public. By late 1966, all of the Shasta trailers would be designed with the more modern look. Production plants were also added in Grapevine, Texas and Battle Ground, Washington.

During 1969, the brand new Loflyte was being offered and was a big hit with the RVing public. A sixth plant was added in Columbia, South Carolina as the Shastas were in great demand. And by 1973 there were nearly 500 Shasta dealers throughout the U.S. offering all new models with stylish interiors and all-new exterior styling with bold striping along the sides. The wings were smaller than before, but they were still there!

At some point in time, Shasta trailers were produced by Shasta Industries, a division of the W.R. Grace Company (this information obtained from a 1975 model year owners manual).

Coachman Industries bought the Shasta brand in 1976. They continued making Shasta trailers and motorhomes until as recently as 2004. At one time during the early 1980’s, the Shasta name was on nearly every conceivable type of RV…Motorhomes, 5th-wheels, travel trailers, and even some pop-up campers.

The Shasta brand seems to have disappeared with no goodbye and no fanfare. Not really a fitting end to such an amazing part of American history. Until it’s disappearance, Shasta had been the longest continuous producer of trailers in the United States.

In the summer of 2000, Shasta cut their model lines down significantly. When I asked why, the staff at the plant in Middlebury, IN said Coachman was looking to reduce the number of models/lines offered. Coachman was bought out by River Forest. In 2009 Forest River made the Shasta Airflyte 12′ with a great retro look for one year but discontnued it because it would compete with their small lightweight trailer called the R Pod.

Click here for the Shasta Story

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4 thoughts on “50 Shades of Gray; Robert Gray that is….

  1. William N. Gray says:

    Thanks for the Robert Gray reminder. I have not seen my Uncle Bob’s name online in a very long time. May I ask what lead you to this story?
    Thanks,
    Bill

    • jimandtami says:

      Sure Bill, I’m a proud owner of a ’87 Class C Shasta (47k mile) and I thought I’d write a little snapshot of the person and the company. The company made a great product that I still enjoy today. There’s a few of us 80’s Shasta Class C owners that communicate together looking for parts to fun camping journeys in our Shasta’s.

    • Amy says:

      William N Gray
      Please let me know who you are and how you were related to Robert Gray

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