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Old 05-28-2014, 07:35 PM   #15
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2005 22' Interstate
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Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
Sounds like you made some great modifications to your Interstate. Could you share some photos of your off-set table and bed support arrangement?
You bet, I will take some pictures this weekend and post them.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by bugsbunny View Post
Hi Air Head

Just wondering if you would comment on differences (pros and cons) between the 190 and the Sprinter. We are looking at both platforms between the Chevy and Sprinter. Congrats on your purchase and great trip!

Bugs
I will do my best. We have owned a class B since 1996 and have traveled to every corner of the country. My wife and 2 (now grown) girls spent many weekend and have taken loads of trips. I do most of the repairs and service myself on the rv’s. My first thought was, and probably no surprise to most that I liked the roadtrek where my wife would say the airstream. I am 6’6” and the roadtrek never felt cramped to me. Both vertically and horizontally. As a matter of fact the wife and I could easily pass in the isle on the roadtrek. I could take a shower standing up! I cannot in the airstream. The bathroom is somewhat unconventional in the roadtrek with minimal privacy. The roadtrek we had was a 2002 and it used a thin curtain to make up the lower part of the privacy door. If you are alone it worked great but for many it is not the greatest. On the other hand you never felt closed in or constricted in the roadtreks bathroom. The bed in the roadtrek was longer on one side than the other so I always slept on that side even when it was made as a “king” bed. The cushions were fine to sleep on and the couches were comfortable in the roadtrek. The roadtrek would, how do I say it, get tired on trips longer than 5 hours of continuous driving. You could feel the engine struggling as well as the transmission on most trips. We took many breaks to let her rest. The Chevy had just enough power out west but no more and it was not very comfortable for a taller person to drive. The Chevy was generally easy to work on and I spent very little to keep her going. I did replace the alternator and a battery cable but everything else work great even at 100,000 miles. She still had many more miles in her. The appliances on both rigs work well, although the fridge is bigger and much colder in the airstream. I visited the roadtrek factory in Canada and the people were super friendly and clearly proud of the product they build. After the tour the president came out and took us for an extra tour to show us a new prototype they were working on, even asked for our input. Now for the airstream, although we have only had it for 2 months and have traveled just at 10,000 miles in her, I can give my first impressions. First a note on the sprinter chassis engine and transmission….Top notch… It is hands down the best driving rv of its class I have ever driven. Handeling is a 9 out of 10 the roadtrek is a 7. Engine responsiveness the airstream a 8 the roadtrek a 6. Both units are nearly 10 years old so rust above and below deck has the airstream with a 9 and the roadtrek a 9. No surface rust what so ever, just a small under paint bubbling with both (very minor) around the window cut outs in a few spots. Appliance usability, serviceability, longevity and fit and finish is dead even, heater, air conditioners, water heaters work great and no real advantage. Both had generators and both are hanging below the vehicle by the rear axle. Both are equally hard to service but not impossible. The roadtrek was gas powered from the engine fuel tank and the airstream is lp. We boondock 90% of the time and we do use the generators. Both worked well but I prefer the exhaust from an lp generator over a gas generator. So the advantage goes to airstream. Now the important stuff, sleeping I would give the airstream a 9 and the roadtrek a 6 in comfort and convenience. Wife always hated making the bed in the roadtrek (newer ones have an electric bench sofa and I can’t comment on that one but the rear twins take some work to set up and tear down. The Airstream is a minute to set up, even with the added center support I added. Eating/watching tv and spending rainy days in the rv I would give the airstream a 6 and the roadtrek a 9. The roadtrek has way more isle room, the seats swivel where mine don’t (newer airstreams do). I will add a swivel adapter to my airstream but the only usable living area is the sofas (in the back of our model). The roadtrek has 3 windows above the driver/passenger area and they let in extra light but more importantly they make the interior feel bigger. The kitchen are is more functional in the airstream with a much bigger work area with the front bathroom than the roadtrek had. The refrigerator and microwave were a wash both were functional and both well placed. Lastly the total experience of traveling with both. I will say the fit and finish on the roadtrek is unsurpassed for longevity. They use solid hardwood on the visible bits and pieces and after 11 years it looked as good as the day it was new. I wont talk styling as that is a personal preference. The airstream is just about 100% laminate and on every surface you can see delamination taking place. The edges of the particle board was laminated with an adhesive tape that simply does not last. That being said, I still like the look and feel of the airstream. I will have to put some $$ in maintaining the look of the laminate where you really have to spend nothing on the roadtrek, but I like the overall look and the overhead compartments more in the airstream. We can carry the same amount of stuff inside but the roadtrek has outside compartments as well so it has an edge in storage we feel. Last comments, I would not put down either vehicle; we both prefer driving the sprinter if driving over 4 hours at a time. The roadtrek fit everywhere better; it was shorter in length and height. We worry about low bridges now more then with the roadtrek and some roads in national parks limit the length of the vehicle to 20’ on certain roads we like to take. Now the airstream is too big where the roadtrek was perfect (BTW same with ferries). The roadtreak was perfect for short trips and longer stays in my opinion where the airstream is unmatched for long hauls and short stays. Both had winter kits (tank heaters and such) for cold weather camping. We have given already more tours of the airstream so it gets more attention than the roadtrek did. We were very happy with both but the fact that Federal Express is getting 300,000 miles out of their sprinters with nearly no maintenance costs really does give an advantage to the sprinter for me. We have talked to many roadtrek owners and the general feeling is if you get 180K you are about done with the Chevy. As with everything there is no guarantee. I hope this helps a little. Please let me know if there are any more specific questions I could help you with. Did I mention the airstreams bathroom was small??
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:30 PM   #17
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Thank you for taking the time to write this very detailed response - a lot to ponder.

Kate
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:58 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by bugsbunny View Post
Thank you for taking the time to write this very detailed response - a lot to ponder.

Kate
Even more so because the comparison also depends on the model years involved. Over time, features and floor plans change. For example, Air_Head's detailed comparison mentioned particle board in the Airstream, but my 2012 doesn't have any particle board that I can find; it's all solid wood. There's still a plastic laminate surface, but to me that just makes it easier to keep clean.
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:23 AM   #19
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Was the original poster referring to the B190 Airstream van or the Roadtrek? Jim
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:06 PM   #20
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We had a 2002 Chevy popular and our current B is a 2005 Airstream Interstate. To Protagonist's point I can only give my impressions on the vehicles I have owned. This is a review of my experience and in no way an attempt to sway or promote any particular B.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:15 PM   #21
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Culver , Indiana
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Even more so because the comparison also depends on the model years involved. Over time, features and floor plans change. For example, Air_Head's detailed comparison mentioned particle board in the Airstream, but my 2012 doesn't have any particle board that I can find; it's all solid wood. There's still a plastic laminate surface, but to me that just makes it easier to keep clean.

This is from page 8 of the current 2014 downloadable brochure on the Airstream web page. Yours certainly could be different but I believe they are still using Laminate Cabinetry. This has been a selling point for Airstream for some time. It was this European styling that sold us on the Interstate.



"Talk about soft touch ...
... luxuriously appointed with a variety of stunning colors,
finishes, and fabrics. Your options abound - choose the
seating, socializing and sleeping arrangements that best
fit your individual preference.
Premium features include:
• UltraLeather® Seating
• Plank Style Synthetic Flooring
• Magic Suede Walls and Window Boxes
• Corian Countertop
High Gloss Laminate Cabinetry
• Aluminum Ceiling, Accents, and Trim
• Adjustable LED Lighting
• LED Widescreen HDTV(s)
• Blu-Ray Player
• Entertainment System
…for complete list see page 15.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:40 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
Was the original poster referring to the B190 Airstream van or the Roadtrek? Jim
If you read the post Jim you will see I'm writing about an Airstream, infact thats the reason I came to this forum because it's for The Airstream Interstate
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:19 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Air_Head View Post
This is from page 8 of the current 2014 downloadable brochure on the Airstream web page. Yours certainly could be different but I believe they are still using Laminate Cabinetry. This has been a selling point for Airstream for some time. It was this European styling that sold us on the Interstate.



"Talk about soft touch ...
... luxuriously appointed with a variety of stunning colors,
finishes, and fabrics. Your options abound - choose the
seating, socializing and sleeping arrangements that best
fit your individual preference.
Premium features include:
• UltraLeather® Seating
• Plank Style Synthetic Flooring
• Magic Suede Walls and Window Boxes
• Corian Countertop
High Gloss Laminate Cabinetry
• Aluminum Ceiling, Accents, and Trim
• Adjustable LED Lighting
• LED Widescreen HDTV(s)
• Blu-Ray Player
• Entertainment System
…for complete list see page 15.
I believe Protag said they don't use particle board but do still use laminate.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:18 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
I believe Protag said they don't use particle board but do still use laminate.
Sorry you are 100% correct. I saw this was this on the airstream website for cabinetry construction..This is for new interstates, I am not sure when you stopped using particle board and went to plywood/hardwood but I know my 2005 is most all particleboard and the lamination is delaminating in several places. Nothing a little automotive adhesive cant fix or paint can touch up.

Construction
Cabinets are made of quality plywood or hardwood depending on the model.

NO particle board is used in any trailer.

Airstream cabinetry is constructed only of ±1/2” & 3/4” solid wood assemblies with pocket screws, dowels and glue for superior strength and durability. Our competitors use only 1/8” fiberboard paneling and staples.

Each Airstream is custom fit with handcrafted furniture from our woodshop. All furniture is designed to fit in and out of the trailer’s door. This technique is a bit more labor-intensive, however the increased serviceability for our customers and dealers is well worth the effort
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:48 AM   #25
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Culver , Indiana
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Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
Sounds like you made some great modifications to your Interstate. Could you share some photos of your off-set table and bed support arrangement?
Sorry it took so long - been crazy busy. Here are the photos so far...

This is the side and read door screen - the set cost about $100 on amazon and magnets were $4.00 takes about 10 min to put in place. The magnets were strong so the wife used a pill box to keep them apart (she is so smart). The screen came in the correct size - no cutting was required. You can walk through them. They were called bugoff.

Next is the Privacy curtain for the front of the cab, it is 2 shower curtains from Walmart and a spring loaded curtain rod. We actually ended up laving it up full time on our trips and it has never moved but it is certainly safer to take it it down when traveling or permanently mount the rod. Cost was $11 each for 2 curtains it looks the same looking in the windshield as it does inside as we have put the shower curtains back to back. The rod was around $8.00. Takes seconds for privacy in the back for a quick nap parking anywhere...

I built and offset a tale for the rear. This gives one side more space for napping while the other side is great for dinning. This a bamboo butcher block top from a old microwave cart re-purposed to a table. I haven't stained it yet...
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:58 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Air_Head View Post
Sorry it took so long - been crazy busy. Here are the photos so far...



This is the side and read door screen - the set cost about $100 on amazon and magnets were $4.00 takes about 10 min to put in place. The magnets were strong so the wife used a pill box to keep them apart (she is so smart). The screen came in the correct size - no cutting was required. You can walk through them. They were called bugoff.



Next is the Privacy curtain for the front of the cab, it is 2 shower curtains from Walmart and a spring loaded curtain rod. We actually ended up laving it up full time on our trips and it has never moved but it is certainly safer to take it it down when traveling or permanently mount the rod. Cost was $11 each for 2 curtains it looks the same looking in the windshield as it does inside as we have put the shower curtains back to back. The rod was around $8.00. Takes seconds for privacy in the back for a quick nap parking anywhere...



I built and offset a tale for the rear. This gives one side more space for napping while the other side is great for dinning. This a bamboo butcher block top from a old microwave cart re-purposed to a table. I haven't stained it yet...

Your modifications are fabulous - awesome - and marvelous -- I love the screens. You must really like the cross breeze.
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:02 PM   #27
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Sounds like you made some great modifications to your Interstate. Could you share some photos of your off-set table and bed support arrangement?
I found the bed to be pretty flimsy when the couches were folded down as they had no support in the middle. So I took a couple posts and mounts purchased on ebay for $40 a 2x6 and a 2x4 with an old towel to protect the leather. I just screwed the boards down and folded the towel letting the screws for the pole receives hold it on. It is now super firm and I offset it so if you were getting off the bed to the isle it could completely support your weight without the couch frame holding all of the weight. It fits under the couch. My next attempt will be to make a smaller folding one. But it works perfectly right now.

I also rebadged the original dodge to a Mercedes. I was repainting the hood because of the many rock chips and it got me thinking about switching it to a merc. I didn't care for the dodge grill. I will repaint the hood next week. The rear door Mercedes came in as silver not black. Thar would not show on a silver van and I got the vision to lay a black pieces of vinyl with the silver Mercedes decal. It came out pretty nice...Never seen anything like it and it offsets the Airstream decal nicely. So I ended up replacing read door decal, front grill and hood ordainment, steering wheel decal, front windshield decal and the hub caps.
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:19 PM   #28
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Great looking Interstate -- thanks for sharing photos. I know what kind of pain it can be to get properly sized photos uploaded.
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