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Friday, July 1, 2011

A Bit of Shasta History

I thought I would throw in a little information about this camper. The "Astrodome" and the "Astroflyte" were made by Shasta over just a few years 1961-1964. One of the cool things about the Shasta names is that they break down to tell you what the camper included. Astro means it has the extra cab-over bunk in the front of the camper. Dome.... well that tells you it has a toilet (aptly named). The "Flyte" had no toilet but still has the bunk.

Of course like all Shasta's of this time it had the iconic wings. This model had the 42"X9" wings. Unfortunately mine are missing and I will be forced to make a new set. If you are in the same position as me, check out its a good source for wing info. You can still see the holes on the side of my camper where the wings once were. If you want to buy an original set be prepared to shell out 200-450 bucks, If you can find them. That is a big IF.

The beauty and the drawback of the Astrodome is the cab-over bunk. It makes the camper a bit tongue heavy (wont be an issue in mine given my design changes), it also takes away from the "canned ham" shape a bit. However the bunk is very big (full size bed) and will be great for the kids. For a kid, is there really anything more fun that having what amounts to your own private fort up above all the adults? I think not.

The original camper had  a cold water sink, full stove/oven, and an LP/Electric Fridge. The bed was opposite the toilet in the rear and folded into a sofa. Water was provided by an aluminum water tank under the front right dinette seat. This was pressurized with an air pump to deliver the water. Cool idea but not really practical today. I have a copy of the original brochure that I will attach at the bottom of this post. it shows the layout and has some interesting comments about the features of the camper and even the factory itself.

Colors... it appears that the factory offered all sorts of color combinations. The most popular being White/Teal, White/White, White/Yellow, White/Red. I have seen all sorts of variations that people have done, unfortunately I have not found a source for any original color codes that the factory offered. It seems that information is lost.... at least it is to me. I have also seen some Shasta's that were raw aluminum like an airstream. They look original but its hard to tell of that was actually offered or if someone stripped the paint. I am still not sure what colors I will end up with.


  1. I just came across your blog and wanted to say how much I enjoyed the history page you put together! How nice of you to share the info you've acquired. I am just starting my quest for a Shasta, but not sure I can take on a redo to the extent you did (are you available for hire?!) Have a great summer of camping in your "new" baby or should I say babies!!

  2. I have a 62 astrodome also, Just spent a year working on it. almost done.
    I have a few questions and maybe some answers.
    Bob E

  3. I am amazed that you could find the years of production on the Astrodome and Flyte. WHERE DID YOU FIND THAT INFO?? I have been trying to figure out the year on the one i bought. It's gutted inside, but I can see that it had the potty closet.. I couldn't even find yrs of production on OR TCT... You're obviously more internet savvy than me!! Anyway... would greatly appreciate your Source LOL :)

    1. I don't fully remember where I found the info on the years. Years of looking I think. I had not seen a true pre 1961 Astrodome. Often people think their camper is earlier but there are a few tells to look for. A big one is the front skin is notched for the frame rails, and you can see in the brochure picture when they introduced the Astrodome that the front has always been notched. Shasta started doing this around 1961. Prior campers hand a long angled cut on the front skin that tapered toward the corners.

      I have also never seen an Astrodome that had direct mounted wings. Always the style with the Standoffs. I had a customer once who had direct mounted wings. I suspected this was an owner modification to get a set of earlier wings to fit. I asked him to removed the wings to see if the original 5 position mounting holes were still there. Sure enough, as I suspected the camper originally had the standoff mounting. I could be wrong on my years but I have not seen anything that has shown me otherwise.