Airstream Nest Review: Is It Really Worth The Money?

Published on May 27th, 2018 by Ray & Tammy Roman
This post was updated on August 28th, 2023

Airstream’s first all-fiberglass travel trailer was discontinued in 2020, but it’s still a hot item in the pre-owned RV marketplace. In this Airstream Nest review, let’s see if it’s really worth the high price tag of about $39,000. 

Sure, the Airstream look and craftsmanship can be seen throughout the camper. But is there something better our there for the same price? 

Robert Johans Envisions The Nest

Before we dive into a detailed Airstream Nest review, let’s start with how it all came about.

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Robert Johans has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best around when it comes to renovating molded fiberglass travel trailers. He has over a decade of experience in modernizing travel trailers. As he worked on more and more trailers, he realized that there might just be a market for an exceptionally high-quality, well-designed molded fiberglass travel trailer that was also well laid out.

Realizing there wasn’t anything out there in the marketplace that met those criteria, he began to design concept drawings. After all molded-fiberglass design had not changed much in 40 years he knew he could probably design something much better.

His concept drawings were seen by Bryan Thompson, who just happened to be an automotive engineer who worked on the Airstream Basecamp. Bryan was intrigued by Robert’s design, and pretty soon both were working together (Robert hired Bryan) to bring the Nest to fruition.

That relationship, however, opened up an even bigger opportunity. Airstream was looking to expand its product line, and Nest’s design-focused innovation is what Airstream customers are looking for. Airstream purchased Nest and Robert is now the project manager on the Nest production team.

To begin with, the Airstream Nest is the company’s first all-fiberglass molded travel trailer. With an iconic line-up of all-aluminum travel trailers, the Nest is a huge change for Airstream. The Nest is small, lightweight, and available in two different floor plans. The Nest 16U Dinette and the Nest 16FB. Let’s take a detailed look at the Nest.

Airstream Nest Overview

Below is a photo of the exterior. This travel trailer is unlike anything Airstream has ever designed. Missing is the shiny exterior aluminum, as this travel trailer has a molded fiberglass body. 

Airstream Nest fiberglass trailer. (Image: Thor Motor Coach)
Airstream Nest fiberglass trailer. (Image: Thor Industries)

Airstream Nest Specifications

Length: 16’7″
Interior Height: 6’6″
GVWR: 4,000 pounds
Fresh Water Capacity: 24 gal.

Looking at these dimensions, you will see it is a nice-sized travel trailer and should provide sufficient space for one person or a couple.

The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the Nest is 4,000 lbs. The average weight of an Airstream trailer is 2,500-10,000 pounds. This lighterweight treailer can be towed with a medium to full-sized SUV or pickup. For example, a Hyundai Santa Fe towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. 

The net carrying capacity is 600 lbs which should be quite sufficient for clothes, groceries, accessories, etc. The freshwater capacity is 24 gallons which is for 1-2, which again is sufficient for a single person or a couple.

For interior comfort, you will find a 30-amp, 13,500 BTU A/C unit with a heat strip, and a 16,000 BTU ducted furnace. A 3.22 cubic-foot refrigerator is also standard on the Nest 16FB and 16U.

Windows are aplenty, with 8 of them allowing natural light and an excellent view of your surroundings. The queen-sized bed (58″ x 80″) comfortably sleeps up to two.

Airstream Nest Exterior Features 

So now that you’ve read about the specs of the Airstream Nest, we’ll take a look at some of the exterior features. There are over 25 exterior features built as standard on both models. Here is a list of some of the more prominent features.

Semi-Monocoque Fiberglass Superstructure
Tempered Tinted Windows
20-lbs Steel LP Tank
2 Deep Cycle Group 24 Batteries
Hand Painted Chassis
4 Manual Stabilizer Jacks
Aluminum Wheels
Nev-R-Adjust Brakes
Enclosed Galvanized Heated Underbelly
Enclosed Galvanized Heated Underbelly

Airstream Nest Interior Features

Just like the exterior, the interior of this Airstream travel trailer is full of features making the interior of the Nest a pleasure to use. Again we’ll list a few of the most prominent features as there are several dozens listed in the nest brochure.

Airstream Nest interior (Image: Thor Industries)
Airstream Nest interior (Image: Thor Industries)
  • Fingerprint and Stain Resistant Soft White Laminate
  • Panoramic Front Windows with Blackout Shades
  • Handcrafted Italian Lite-Ply Laminated Interior Cabinetry
  • LED Interior Lighting with Bluetooth Control
  • Continuous Hot Water Heater – LP

In the bedroom area, you will find:

  • LED Reading Lights
  • Tuft & Needle Adaptive Foam Mattress in the 16FB only
  • USB Ports
  • Blackout Curtains

In the galley, you have the following features:

  • 2 Burner Cooktop (LP Gas)
  • 3D Laminate Galley Top
  • Stainless Steel Sink with Integrated Cover
  • Flatware Organizer
  • Removable Laminate Table Tops with Aluminium Pedestals
  • Pop Up USB and 110 Outlets

Additional Airstream Nest features include:

  • Powered Patio Awning
  • Entrance Mat
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • LP, Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • 3-Year Airstream Limited Warranty which is transferable
  • 3 Year 24/7 Coach-Net Roadside Assistance

Airstream Nest Floor Plans

Unlike the bigger travel trailers, which have many floor plans, the Nest gives you a choice of just two.

Airstream Nest Floorplans (Image: Thor Industries)
Airstream Nest Floorplans (Image: Thor Industries)

Considering its size, it’s fair to say coming up with more than one or 2-floor plans would have been a monumental exercise in creativity.

The two available plans look comfortable, and since you have a rear entry door on the Nest, the floor plans are functional and spacious.

When you walk into a Nest, you do so from the rear of the travel trailer. Unlike most travel trailers there is no door on the side. We like the idea of a rear entry door as it allows for the more efficient use of the available interior space.

When you enter the Nest, you will find the bathroom to the right and the closet space and fridge to the left. Just past the bathroom, you will see the galley to the right, and the counter space and cabinet to the left on the 16U, and the seating area on the 16FB, The front area of the Nest is where the bed styles differ also exist. The 16FB has a queen-sized bed, whereas the 16U has U-shaped seating with a dinette table. The table can be removed, and the whole area is made into a bed.

Interior Styling

The Airstream Nest is available in two interior stylings. The first one is Wingspan White, and its a palette consisting of whites, grey, and tans. Lots of earth tones give this interior a stylish, modern look.

The second style is Clutch Blue which, as the name indicates, has a palette of almost greenish blues along with gray, and tan. This palette is our favorite as it gives this travel trailer an almost vintage look without being overbearing. Here is a photo of the Clutch Blue interior.

Airstream Nest Clutch Blue

Airstream Nest interior (Image: Thor Motor Coach)
Airstream Nest interior (Image: Thor Motor Coach)

Nest vs Basecamp

Though there are many similarities between the Nest and the Basecamp, there are also very distinguishable differences. Below we have our comparison chart.

Features/SpecificationsAirstream NestAirstream Basecamp
Heating SystemYesYes
MicrowaveYesOptional
Kitchen AreaYesYes
Bath/ShowerYes – Wet BathYes – Wet Bath
Sleeping Capacity22
Refrigerator2-way 3.2 cubic feet2-way 3.2 cubic feet
Fresh Water Tank24 gallons24 gallons
Maximum GVWR4,000 lbs.3,500 lbs.
Interior Height6’6″6′ 3.5′
Exterior Height9’6″8′ 8.75″
Exterior Width7’1″7″
Exterior Length17’7″16’3″
Exterior ConstructionFiberglass BodyAluminum Body
No. of floor plans11
Starting Price$45,900$36,900
Airstream versus Basecamp Chart

Regarding interior styling, we mentioned above that the Nest is available in two different design colors and fabric styles; the Basecamp is available in 3 different color schemes.

I believe the Basecamp is geared more towards those who are adventure seekers as it seems to offer features that make going off-road a lot easier. The Basecamp is also less expensive than the Nest.

Do Other RVers Think The Nest is Worth The Money?

The YouTube video below is a walk-through of this camper

We consider Airstream one of the better-made, albeit expensive Rv brands. The Nest fits with their brand image and is an exceptionally well-designed travel trailer.

We think it helps Airstream fill a travel trailer niche (all fiberglass body) that has not seen any innovation in many years. The exterior looks great, and the interior is functional, well thought out, and designed.

The Verdict: The Airstream Nest is NOT Worth the Money

Sadly, our Airstream Nest review concludes with this: we don’t think it’s worth the money.

It is no longer manufactured for a reason. The ones that are being sold used are, in my opinion, overpriced. It’s never going to be an iconic Airstream.

You can get much more features and amenities at a lower priced, affordable travel trailer.

Suppose you like the idea of a small travel trailer without the huge price tag. You might want to consider this Winnebago, or you might want to consider what we feel are some of the best travel trailers and brands. Also check out these best pop-up campers that offer some excellent features at a much lower price.

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