She was black, onyx, and only 15k miles. Will miss the community here, and in that spirit wanted to share why I traded and experiences thus far. There will always be a compromise as none of us will have the same usage pattern or requirements. But the points which drove my decision others may value as well, and since it cost me $20k to trade, I want to pay it forward so others may evaluate it as a feedback for their decision.
I traded for a 2016 ERA 170A. There were two reasons, and only two, that made me consider giving up our Interstate which we loved:
1) The unbelievably loud air conditioner
2) Inability to sleep more than two
I'm not being paid to sell Winnebago's so interested readers need to do their own research. But if you have similar issues with teen sleeping needs, this alone, was worth the trade-in hit.
What I miss:
- Loved the black color, but being in Georgia it stayed hot inside much of the year. It also showed dirt much more, and I had to wash it quite often.
- the drivers seat is a masterpiece of art for its comfort. I never got fatigued. I was hoping that part stayed the same but there was some loss in this area.
- elegant interior, but there are some things that I was happy to lose here, like the annoying blinds. They fixed this in the newer models, but that didn't help me with the ones I was afraid to operate for fear of breaking threads.
- this community. Haven't found anything similar for ERA. Sprinter forums have spotty threads, but nothing like this group
What I ended up loving, quite expectedly:
- the ride. OMG, I don't know if Sprinter gets the credit or if the ERA is lighter which is why, but the ride of the coach is unbelievably superior. You know the wig wag that happens any time you turn - gone.
- I didn't realize how bad I hated the bath bump out till it was gone
- AC sounded quiet when I bought. We have spent nights out now, and I can confirm Airstream needs to copy the competition here. Even with the genny on it is quieter than before! Our family can actually carry on a conversation in temps above 78 again.
- twins in back with ability to make full, and the couch that converts to a twin - though this was a major decision point for change I have to add it again here given it exceeded expectations how well it worked. Sleeping 4 comfortably, and that is with two older teens.
- as I get older I learn the more simple the better I like it. Fancy auto steps are something to break and more fuses to check. In candor, the fit and finish in the ERA all around is cheaper than our 2013, so certainly this is true of the Grand Tour. You know what? That has become a selling point. Good old simple shades for the windows, easy access to wires for tv connections, no worries about wind making my awning auto retract and collide with an open side door, and no macerator. Some of you may love the macerator, but gravity and manual valves haven't failed me yet!
- With the above theme of simplicity, no inverter to parasitically kill my batteries, or 50watt solar panels to trick you into thinking they are useful. I park always plugged in so I have a luxury here many don't. But Everything inside is 12 volt
. If the kids want to use the PlayStation then plug it into the portable inverter powered from a lighter jack. And the coach batteries are outside and easily accessible. I'm a gadget person by nature, but losing all this complication has made things much simpler and is why the ERA costs less. No more explaining to my kids if the inverter is on and to check the GFI outlet when they don't have power.
- Got a few niceties that Airstream has added as well, like the screen doors for side and back. I certainly would not have traded just for this, but the little upgrades and having a fresh warranty from Mercedes is nice.I'm dreaming here I know, but just to throw it out maybe consider letting your customers loyal to the brand have some catch up options as new things happen? Not always feasible I know, and the large fridge could not be retrofitted. But better shades and screen doors can. Maybe I would have stuck with Airstream if it felt like that better preserves my investment as things change.
- 20k mile oil change intervals! Wow. I didn't put that many miles on our 2013 in 3 years, but had done 3 service A's in that time. This comes with the newer Interstates as well of course.
- Large fridge is wonderful, so much better than I would have thought, but Airstream does that now too. I didn't care, but my wife did. Now I'm sold too, this is so much nicer. And no need to stand on my head to get something out or use the microwave!
That's probably enough for now. I'm not sure how this loyal group will take this so don't want to go overboard. It was not easy for me to throw more money into this RV thing, but having done it I wanted to pass on the things that made a difference for my specific usage.