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Old 04-13-2005, 12:38 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Airstream Interstate Owners

We have an Airstream Interstate on order. We would like to hear from owners about the pros & cons of this vehicle. Also any quirks or helpful hints they have about the Interstate. Thanks! John & Ann
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Old 04-26-2005, 11:54 PM   #2
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Interstate Owners

Hello fellow Interstate Owners:

My wife and I purchased our 2005 Interstate two weeks ago and are looking forward to our first weekend camping. Took it out for a short trip and quickly realized that there is more to this RV than I thought.

Had a few problems with minor issues such as the toilet not flushing. My wife said that no water was coming in I asked her "did you turn on the pump" ? "Yes it's on" . Turned out she actually flipped the heater switch. Had a laugh there. I tried to flush the same toilet after making sure the pump was on and kept stepping on the shower drain and wondered - "Gee, what's up with this toilet".

Now I am wondering about the refrigerator and why its not getting cold when on propane only. Confident I can figure this one out without calling my Airstream Dealer, I will try again and will be patient as I heard it takes a long time for it to cool down to safe food storing temperatures.

More serious problems have arisen. Had the Interstate in for warranty service regarding a leak in the power steering system. The Sprinter Dealer replaced the pump and the rack and pinion- glad that was under warranty. Also, the EGR value was defective which caused the transmission not to downshift as programed. The dealer fixed that also. Had to have the house battery replaced as it was completely dead and it would not hold a charge. The sub-woofer was replaced as it too was defective. OTHER THAN THAT, no other problems and we hope that is the end of them.

Anyway, the Interstate is a dream to drive, beautiful to look at and I will let you know if we get the 22 mpg advertised.

Here's to problem free (?) camping this weekend and I hope to hear from other Airsteam owners.

William
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Old 04-17-2006, 03:20 PM   #3
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Cool Experience with Interstate

It has now been a year since you bought the Interstate. Could you please give us an update on your experience with the vehicle and house during the past year? Also, how have you mainly used it? For touring the country? Weekend or weeklong nearby trips? Daily use? Thanks, KLK
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Old 04-17-2006, 04:14 PM   #4
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WD,

I run a Dodge Sprinter for my service van, so I can give you a little input on the mechanical side. I am approaching 50K miles in 20 months of use and have had NO PROBLEMS. I did hear that they had a bad batch of EGR valves, so that one might have been expected. I've only changed the oil 3 times so far...according to the maintenance computer that came in the van. Fully loaded with tools (probably 1500lbs), I am getting 22-23mpg. When I towed a 3500lb. motorcycle trailer to Oregon and back to FL last summer, I got around 16 mpg at the speed limits.

The Sprinter should be relatively maintenance free. Be sure to break it in according to the manual. They don't start to really smooth out for 50K miles.

Good luck with your other problems....and welcome to the forums!
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Old 04-17-2006, 06:01 PM   #5
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We have owned an Interstate since September 2005, made one long trip in it, and several short ones. Fuel economy hovers around 22 mpg, and this is driving at the speed limits or keeping up with the truckers. We've had a couple of things fixed under warranty, one being the toilet leaked water, and the dinette seat back by the entry hadn't been properly glued. No problems with the van to date. Highly satisfied with it.
regards
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Old 04-17-2006, 10:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herrgirdner
We have owned an Interstate since September 2005, made one long trip in it, and several short ones. Fuel economy hovers around 22 mpg, and this is driving at the speed limits or keeping up with the truckers. We've had a couple of things fixed under warranty, one being the toilet leaked water, and the dinette seat back by the entry hadn't been properly glued. No problems with the van to date. Highly satisfied with it.
regards
Can you please elaborate more on your experience? How many times have you used it in the past year? How many week long, or longer, trips? How many weekend or long weekend trips? How long can you go without need for hookups? How quiet is the generator? How quiet is the unit? Does it rattle? Do pots and pans and dishes rattle? How convenient and workable is the shower? Does the refer have to be level in order to work? KLK Hoping to buy, but wanting to know how well it really works, what it works for, and what it doesn't work for.
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Old 04-17-2006, 10:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwwhidbey
We have an Airstream Interstate on order. We would like to hear from owners about the pros & cons of this vehicle. Also any quirks or helpful hints they have about the Interstate. Thanks! John & Ann
Did you get the Airstream? Could you please share your experiences with the vehicle and the "house." Planning to buy. Thanks, KLK
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Old 04-17-2006, 10:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by lewster
WD,

I run a Dodge Sprinter for my service van, so I can give you a little input on the mechanical side. I am approaching 50K miles in 20 months of use and have had NO PROBLEMS. I did hear that they had a bad batch of EGR valves, so that one might have been expected. I've only changed the oil 3 times so far...according to the maintenance computer that came in the van. Fully loaded with tools (probably 1500lbs), I am getting 22-23mpg. When I towed a 3500lb. motorcycle trailer to Oregon and back to FL last summer, I got around 16 mpg at the speed limits.

The Sprinter should be relatively maintenance free. Be sure to break it in according to the manual. They don't start to really smooth out for 50K miles.

Good luck with your other problems....and welcome to the forums!
WD, Do you really mean that they do not smooth out for 50K miles or 5K miles? Where can you get the Sprinter serviced? I went to my Mercedes dealer and they never heard of it even though the engine and supposedly the body are made by Mercedes in Germany. So, do you go to Dodge dealers for the engine and mechanical. Where do you go for problems or issues with the "house", e.g., toilet, shower, stove, refer, awning, etc. Does it have to be an Airstream dealer? Are there other options?
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Old 04-18-2006, 12:19 PM   #9
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We bought our 05 Interstate in July 04. We've just reached the 20 K mile mark. It is the two couches in the front model.

There were initially some minor fit and finish issues that were quickly resolved by the dealer. We had a sudden deflation of the right rear tire due an undercapacity valve stem failure. DC issued a recall on that item. The Mercedes van part has been trouble free. I added Koni shocks and struts. The Konis improved driving performance, especially in the wind. It tracks better under normal conditions.

We use it two or three times a month both as a touring coach and a camper, both wet and dry. We tow a 2000 pound, 16 foot T@B trailer.Interstate and T@B 600.jpg

We use the Interstate primarily as a support vehicle for my son's racing. The T@B, a recent addition, is a perfect match for the Interstate. Mileage drops from 22 to 18.5 which is stil incredible for this sort of package. You hardly know the trailer is there when driving and it actually improves performance in the wind.

Both have AC hookups for RV parks. Much of our race track overnites are from 3 to 5 days and are without hookups. Normally tracks have showers. We've never used the inside shower and most likely won't. It would introduce much unwanted moisture to the interior. The outside shower is pretty nice, especially in the summer.

There is a 100 watt solar panel on the roof and it keeps the RV battery charged. The 5 gallon propane tank is adequate for the fridge and for occasional generator use for the microwave and heater. The 12 volt Fantastic fan keeps things cool in hot weather and operates on solar power.

Things that I would change:
Increase the propane capacity to 10 gallons or more.
Add an on-off switch for the floor lights-they stay on when the door is
open.
Allow the TV to operate on 12 volts.
Make the pasenger seat swivel. DC has an optional swivel available.
Ship the unit with two RV batteries and the optional 2nd vehicle battery
under the passenger seat.
The table is worthless, in our opinion.
The awning is scary in the wind, very wimpy.

The Interstate is classy vehicle. It is perfect for traveling, whether you camp or not.

John
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Old 04-18-2006, 12:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkraemer
WD, Do you really mean that they do not smooth out for 50K miles or 5K miles? Where can you get the Sprinter serviced? I went to my Mercedes dealer and they never heard of it even though the engine and supposedly the body are made by Mercedes in Germany. So, do you go to Dodge dealers for the engine and mechanical. Where do you go for problems or issues with the "house", e.g., toilet, shower, stove, refer, awning, etc. Does it have to be an Airstream dealer? Are there other options?
Many Dodge dealers sell and service Sprinters, more pop up every day. UPS and Fedex is converting their fleet to Sprinters. Airstream dealers service the RV part.
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Old 04-26-2006, 07:37 PM   #11
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I bought the Pleasure-Way Sprinter mainly because the plan I wanted was not available at the time with the Interstate (the rear electric sofa model). Well, that and the deal I got. The Interstate is one of the nicest looking Sprinter campers inside and out.

But other than the interior layouts and "stuff" you get with it, it is still a Mercedes diesel van. We bought ours in January and took a 3,500 mile trip. I can vouch that the 22 mpg is a true statement. In fact with winter driving in February I thought it would drop some but it didn't. Can't wait to see if summer driving beats that mileage. When we bought the Sprinter diesel cost about the same as 92 octane premium gasoline. Now it is cheaper than 87 octane regular around our town. That's a plus. It wasn't a factor in the buying equation but it is nice that it is so.

The diesel is noisy on acceleration but once you get up to cruising speed it quiets down. Still, it is considerably noisier than my Nissan Titan pickup truck and I thought the Titan was noisy with the throat growler of an exhaust to pump up one's testoterone compared to the Chevy Silverado I once owned. You get used to it but I think it still plays havoc with radio listening.

It rides smooth and it is easy to handle. You can park it just about anywhere but preferably in a lot where you can park against a curb and overhang grass rather than in the middle of a parking lot bumper to bumper with another vehicle. That doesn't bother me. We long ago decided to take advantage of exercise and park on the perimeter of Target stores and similar places.

The clinching reason we sold our vintage Airstream trailer and bought a B campervan is that I realized I was never going to find the time to fix up the vintage Airstream and the places we have always gone such as national forests often could not accomodate anything greater than 22 ft. In other words we kind of wanted to go to the wilderness places only the tent campers had access to. I like the tenting areas but I no longer care for tent camping. That's all I have ever done. We also travel more than camp and seldom stay in one spot more than two days. Also, I think I would rather spend a night in a good motel or hotel than a Flying J or Wal-Mart parking lot if it came down to that.

You have as much if not more than a Bambi Airstream trailer in amenities. My first impression after using it overnight is it was small but there are only two of us and it is still eons better than a tent.
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:04 PM   #12
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kkraemer

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkraemer
WD, Do you really mean that they do not smooth out for 50K miles or 5K miles? Where can you get the Sprinter serviced? I went to my Mercedes dealer and they never heard of it even though the engine and supposedly the body are made by Mercedes in Germany. So, do you go to Dodge dealers for the engine and mechanical. Where do you go for problems or issues with the "house", e.g., toilet, shower, stove, refer, awning, etc. Does it have to be an Airstream dealer? Are there other options?
That is 50,000 miles. The engine purrs even when new, but they really come into their own at around 50K. I've noticed mine getting smoother as the miles pile on. Most diesels just seem to come into their own at about that mileage. After all, they usually will run 250,000-500,000 before needing any major service. One of the great benefits of diesel ownership.
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Old 07-13-2006, 02:30 PM   #13
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We did get the Interstate w/rear bed. We've taken numerous trips (the Cascades, British Columbia, Mt. Ranier, the Washington & Oregon coasts) and are very satisfied with the vehicle. We had the monitor panel (water, grey water black water levels) fail, but Airstream replaced the unit. We also upgraded the suspension. We had Upscale Auto in Oregon put on Koni shocks, a larger sway bar & a rear springs kit. It is probably the best upgrade I've ever had done on any vehicle. Makes cornering & ride much better. I'd recommend the upgrades to any Sprinter owner, especially conversion vans with the added weight. Good luck & happy traveling!
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Old 08-19-2006, 07:01 AM   #14
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Those following this thread may be interested in a little webpage I put together showng how I modified our (front bed) Airstream Interstate to incorporate a permanently-installed macerator pump. This has been a very successful mod and vastly simplifies everybody's favorite task.

Here you go:

http://www.maya.com/local/lucas/mace...macerator.html

Enjoy,
--Pete
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