Coast begins deliveries of its Model 1 solar electric trailer and its quality is undeniable


Coast begins deliveries of its Model 1 solar electric trailer and its quality is undeniable

Coast, the future-focused sub-brand of trailer manufacturer Aero Build, has begun deliveries of the Model 1 – a solar electric travel trailer that Founder and CEO Brian Fuente put his heart and soul into to not only modernize a stale recreation segment but do so in a manner that is optimized and affordable without any compromise on quality. Fuente walked us through the Coast Model 1 and shared his insight on the trailer, the company’s design approach, and its future in electric campers.

Aero Build is a young trailer manufacturer that has been developing and crafting a variety of ground-up business-centric vessels in Nashville, Tennessee, for the last eight years. Pride in the work and commitment to the utmost quality in every build has helped the young company find early success, providing the financial runway to explore new ventures like electric travel trailers for recreational use.

The result is Coast – a passenger-focused sub-brand that not only looks to modernize the travel trailer industry further but also gives owners the freedom of travel and exploration, complimented by comfort, space utilization, and some of the best technology available today.

Those ideas culminated in Coast’s first trailer – the Model 1. Initially unveiled in early 2023, the Model 1 has since become open for pre-orders and begun production in Nashville. This past weekend, the first customer builds of the solar electric travel trailer were delivered to customers, kicking off a new chapter for Coast, which it hopes will help propel it from a niche bespoke builder to a renowned name in recreational vehicles.

Before deliveries began, Electrek got the chance to do a virtual walkthrough in the Model 1 with Coast Founder and CEO Brian Fuente, who offered some excellent insight on what sets these trailers apart.

Coast’s Model 1 trailer is a winner at first glance

Earlier this month, I hopped on a video call with Coast CEO Brian Fuente, who walked me through a near-production version of the Model 1. This slightly dated model has seen several improvements before the first travel trailers went out to customers.

My first impression of Fuente was that he knows his stuff. Not only from the perspective of recreational trailers, e.g., comfort, space utilization, etc., but from a tech standpoint, ensuring Coast’s first entry into the segment delivers quality materials and design as well as all the electronic components required to live comfortably off the grid for days or even weeks at a time.

The quality and sustainability of the materials chosen are apparent. Albeit a compact travel trailer, it’s clear that every square inch was optimized, and the Coast team reworked the layout repeatedly until it was perfect in their minds. I complimented Fuente on this achievement, and he shared some valuable insight:

We’ve been a trailer manufacturer for what, seven years now? So I think what sets us apart is we have a commercial division where we’ve built hundreds and hundreds of trailers and sent them all over the world, so we know a thing or two about trailer manufacturing. With all that knowledge we’ve been able to soak all that into this unit.

So, we can proudly say that this is one of the best built trailers you’ll ever find. It’s the price point too. We don’t have the drivetrain system… yet, we’re working on that, but from a quality standpoint, this thing is just built to last.

Fuente then pointed out that the Model 1 trailer we were viewing looked brand new (I’d agree), but it had already had several people staying in it and had traveled all over the country. More evidence of the quality of the fit and finishes chosen to ensure this trailer can handle a lifetime of travel exploring the world.

It was interesting that Fuente brought up the electric powertrain before I could even ask (I was going to, don’t worry), considering Coast’s main competitors in the space, who are already providing additional electrification to maximize towing efficiency.

I asked the CEO how he feels about the company’s trailer competitors like Pebble and Lightship, for instance, and how he thinks Coast compares:

Well, I think from a design perspective, I think it’s more palatable. It’s kind of a blend that feels like a smart home on wheels, like a home. I think from an interior design perspective, it’s just comfortable. I think this is a very comfortable unit with a lot of space and room to move around in this unit too. We are not those companies. We don’t have the big VC money. We’re the bootstrap operation and we have been trailer manufacturing for a long time.

I think that’s what sets us apart too because we’re in production and we have an incredibly talent team. This is a comfort focused electric vehicle that’s built to last a long time and I think there’s a buyer for everyone and I’m just so excited to see innovation in the space.

When we first started designing this (Model 1), the reason I was so motivated to do it was because I was just so tired of seeing junk, and I experienced the manufacturing plants in Indiana and said, ‘Guys, we gotta do better.’ From a culture standpoint, our company has really built a lifestyle brand and people have really bought into it because we provide a really great customer experience.

Bootstraps, for sure. Fuente told me he goes out to customers and shows them firsthand how to use the Coast electric trailers and even gives his personal cell number in case they have any questions or issues, saying, “That’s just who we are. We build one hell of a trailer, and we rarely have a warranty issue, and when we do, it’s usually minor. When we do, we usually take care of it within 24-48 hours.”

As sales of Coast’s electric travel trailers grow, it will be impossible for its CEO to stay on speed dial for everyone, but right now, that customer service method exemplifies how vital the buyer is to this operation. From there, Fuente spoke about Coast’s potential and the future.

All our trailers are hand-built, so we’re just focused on quality right now. Yes, we have people knocking on our door to invest, but we want to protect what we have and we want to be close to our customers. We’ve got some new partnerships that I can’t tell you about yet, but we’ve got some really big news coming soon.

Fuente told me a second trailer model is already in the works. As confirmed above, Coast is also working to add an electric drivetrain option to help drivers maximize range and efficiency while towing.

I highly recommend booking a live tour and exploring the Coast 1 trailer yourself to truly understand its design and opportunity for those who want to travel while still living comfortably with the freedom to work. Each trailer comes with Starlink’s highest level of WiFi – expensive for Coast to install, but worth every penny according to Fuente to ensure its customers get the best.

The exterior roof features eight monocrystalline solar panels that deliver 1,600 total watts of green energy to owners when out on the road or wherever their journeys take them.

The Coast Model 1 trailer is available to order now and starts at $129,900. I plan to visit Coast in Nashville soon, spend the night in a Model 1, and see if the real-life experience in the trailer matches the quality I saw from my virtual tour. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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