Cody Schade is drawing a lot of attention on the road lately. Well, maybe not Cody so much as what’s behind his truck. He’s pulling Forest River’s brand-new Aviator — a high-end travel trailer that is sure to change opinions on the cool factor of towable RVs.
“People can’t believe we can create something that looks so sleek. Somebody told me it looks like it’s moving even when it’s standing still,” says Cody, a Forest River factory representative. “If I could charge a dollar for everyone who asks to come in and look, I could probably retire,” he says with a laugh.
The Aviator, available at Lazydays, is designed to draw attention. While many travel trailers have more of an angular silhouette, the Aviator has graceful rounded edges, giving it an aerodynamic look. It boasts full-body paint, an all-fiberglass front cap with an integrated, automotive windshield, a one-piece fiberglass roof and LED lighting throughout.
“We wanted something that looked unique,” Cody explains. “We were throwing names around, and we decided on Aviator — it perfectly reflects and complements the look and feel of the RV.”
Matt Maday, a sales and marketing manager at Forest River, notes that the Aviator was designed to be a four-season camper: “We have a lot of industry firsts. Our sidewalls are 5 inches thick. The roof is a little over 5 and 3/8 inches. That offers a lot of insulation. We didn’t want owners to have to worry about waking up in the freezing cold, or working up a sweat while just relaxing in their trailer.”
The Aviator also is lighter than most travel trailers, meaning greater fuel efficiency for the vehicle towing it. “There are a lot of people who own a nice Class A motor home or a luxury fifth wheel, but have decided to step down from that because of the bulk and expense,” Matt says, explaining the Aviator’s appeal. “It’s easier to maneuver, a little more modern and different — and very fuel-efficient.”
What’s inside is equally impressive. “Everything inside is meant to have a radius edge, with rounded corners and countertops. It’s more organic, more appealing to the eye,” says Cody. “We’ve also got really cool mood lighting — blue, because it’s the color of sky. You feel like you’re up in the clouds at 30,000 feet.”
A 1,000-watt Sony® Blu-Ray® home entertainment system will keep campers occupied if inclement weather puts the kibosh on outdoor recreation. Options include a 32-inch Sony LCD HDTV in the bedroom and another as part of the outside entertainment center, all controlled by a Sony tablet. The whole setup is dubbed MOST, for Mobile Onboard Smart Technology.
Both Cody and Matt tout MOST as one of the most impressive features of the Aviator. Besides offering standard tablet features such as Internet access, the Aviator’s tablet allows the user to control all the entertainment functions. “Instead of five or six remotes, the tablet controls all three systems. Even the fireplace,” says Cody. The tablet also stores all serial numbers for the Aviator’s equipment, and contains how-to and troubleshooting videos. “Need to replace the water heater? Need the serial number for the refrigerator? It’s on there,” he adds.
If the enthusiasm of the people behind the Aviator is any indication of its potential success, Forest River should have a major hit on its hands. “It’s exciting. It’s a start up. It’s brand new,” Matt enthuses. He spent many of his off hours overseeing and observing the construction of the RV as the new model came to life. “I spent a lot of time when it was just a prototype. It was a big, secret project at the time, so I would come to our factory late at night and on weekends. I worked with the vendors and suppliers and the gentlemen who built it.”
Matt’s passion for the Aviator is shared by the craftsmen and technicians on the factory floor. “We have workers who care deeply about our product,” he says. “There are 30 people who work in our plant. They were hand-picked to work on a product unlike anything else on the market.”
The team’s efforts have resulted in a series of stylish, comfortable and futuristic-looking RVs. Lazydays carries all three Aviator lines: the Electra, the Spirit of St. Louis and the Wright Flyer. These names invoke flying, which seems to be about the only thing the Aviator doesn’t do. “We’re working on that!” says Cody with a grin.