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Old 02-15-2016, 07:56 AM   #15
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I'm interested to know more about the "quality control concerns" and "low technical advancement" of which you guys speak. Last summer I looked long and hard at a 2011 Interstate because the price was so good and it appeared to be in terrific shape. However, when I compared it to the 2016 model and all of the (in my opinion) improvements that had been made I made the plunge and got the 2016.

During the walkthrough with an Arbogast service tech at time of purchase we saw two fairly insignificant items that needed to be addressed - some bath caulking and a scratch on the bath towel bar. Arbogast fixed both immediately. We then experienced a "grinding" while braking. With help from this forum we learned to have the unit aligned which fixed the problem. Six months later we were at Jackson Center getting two recall issues fixed (which included the solenoid install) but I've had at least one recall notice on every vehicle I've ever owned. Other than that we're thrilled with our purchase. I've modified a few things to suit my taste (such as taking out the soap dispenser) but the van itself has been great. I didn't go into this purchase expecting everything to be in perfect order. (I guess you can blame my career as an attorney and reading about one lemon case after another.)

But, if there are serious control issues and design flaws such that my life would be in jeopardy I'd like to hear about them.
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:23 AM   #16
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Some of this is dependent on the user's perspective and what they intend to do with their Interstate. If someone wants to travel from one commercial campground to the next, i.e., from hook-up to hook-up, they may not perceive many technological limitations. But I am intensely interested in boondocking both because I prefer the freedom but also because I live in Texas which has added 10 million people since 1990, with little corresponding increase in park-related RV travel facilities. In many instances, the choice is exquisitely simple here - "boondock" or "don't go", because there are no reasonably reservable options, the accommodation system is so severely undersized at this point.

And I think it was Protag who noted a few months back that the Grand Tour - ostensibly the Interstate that was most closely aligned with a camping intention - is actually the least technologically suited to it, because of its energy budget. That is an example of what people mean when they say "low technical advancement". Airstream produced a camper which can't reasonably camp in its OEM configuration because it can't keep up with its own energy demands in many scenarios. Someone correct me if I'm mis-quoting.
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:38 AM   #17
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And I think it was Protag who noted a few months back that the Grand Tour - ostensibly the Interstate that was most closely aligned with a camping intention - is actually the least technologically suited to it, because of its energy budget. That is an example of what people mean when they say "low technical advancement". Airstream produced a camper which can't reasonably camp in its OEM configuration because it can't keep up with its own energy demands in many scenarios. Someone correct me if I'm mis-quoting.
I'm certainly one of the people who noted this, though I don't recall being the only one.

And no mis-quote. More energy-using appliances than any other Interstate model, but still the same 160 amp-hours of house battery and the same woefully inadequate solar panel. You'd think that with the house batteries now under the floor in a tray, they could have gone with a tray to hold three Group 24s instead of two. But even with only two, it would be possible to boondock adequately in an Interstate if only the wattage of the solar panel(s) exceeded the amp-hours of the batteries.

Of course, you've still got the under-floor generator to take up the slack, but boondockers don't want to run the generator every eight hours, and rightly so. The only REAL reason for the generator is so that you can run the A/C or microwave while off-grid— which is something the trailer owners can't do and that wouldn't really be missed. For boondocking, it would be better to remove the generator entirely and replace it with the same weight of additional house batteries. Then you'd have a better off-grid capability than any Airstream trailer, even without increasing the solar— especially since you also still have the engine alternator to charge the house batteries through the BIM.
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:57 AM   #18
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Actually I would say the current market leader in Class B RVs - which is what I'm concerned about here - is RoadTrek: you see them everywhere. An in addition they have a comprehensive list of tailoring options, which includes all the high-tech stuff I'm interested in: solar panels and lithium, no propane, and no generator, etc.
But, nothing is perfect, and I cannot attest to RoadTrek's quality; and they don't have the Grand Tour layout!



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Old 02-15-2016, 02:03 PM   #19
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One example (there are many) of poor design is putting a GFIC outlet that controls most of the other outlets under a seat. Since there is already a GFIC breaker, I didn't think to look for a GFIC outlet when the TVs wouldn't come on. The grandkids were not happy.
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:45 PM   #20
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I have a 2013 Unity TB that does not have all the M-B bells and whistles. I was able to compare the Unity along side an International. I bought the Unity. However, I have become a Luddite when it comes to RV electronics. I still bbq outside and never bothered to set up the tv. My 25 Safari is a guest house. Probably the most fun CAMPING RV Thor ever made was the t@b and I regret selling mine.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:44 AM   #21
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low tech Interstate

Quote:
Originally Posted by UKDUDE View Post
I also received the Farms and Wineries email from Justin Humphreys. I also noticed he included the following verbiage:
"As always, if there's anything we can do for you, don't hesitate to ask."
So since he is Vice President of Airstream Sales, I duly responded with my two cents worth on QC and low technical advancement of the Interstate (which is my other pet peeve). He then replied with a somewhat typical corporate response, similar to one I had received from Bob Wheeler a couple of years ago. Just confirms to me that Airstream currently lacks the inertia and willpower to be the market leader.


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We are new to the AS world. Our 2016 Interstate GTX is promoted as "loaded" with no options (everything is standard). We made the "second home" investment while waiting for other options to cash us out. I would be interested to know what you were thinking about when you implied your 2014 coach had "low technical advancement."

The use of the term "luxury" when reading Interstate propaganda is vague in my mind also as to what it implies. The online literature for the Interstate under the heading "specifications" notes all the components/systems that they rate as "*Best in Class Features" such as SAFTEY *15 of 22, or COMPONENTS AND SYSTEMS *15 of 16, or MAIN CABIN *13 of 18, etc. Does this high percentage of *The Best Stuff constitute luxury?

We love our Interstate. Don't get us wrong. But we only have a 1000miles on it so far due to all kinds of distractions (non RV) keeping us from hitting the road for some long trips. So I am avoiding judgements having shelled out the $150K to drive around in one of these coaches.

I am still waiting for a replacement of our ESP Control Unit. That is a Mercedes thing, not AS. It started decomposing after 191 miles on the odometer according to the tech. Now that is low tech when the high tech goes on the fritz.

jp3

PS I did not get the survey either.
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:59 AM   #22
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More afFORDable Interstate?

Hi, why not make a second Interstate out of a Ford Transit? To me it would be very similar, lower cost, and many more places to service them.

Luxury; Well to me it used to mean leather seats, air conditioner, power seats, power door locks, power windows, Etc. Etc. Etc. That used to be the difference between a Ford and a Lincoln, but now days all cars/trucks are luxury vehicles.

Mercedes Interstate / Ford Transit Interstate II ?????
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:49 AM   #23
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ROBERTSUNRUS said, "Mercedes Interstate / Ford Transit Interstate II ?????"

There are lots of posts regarding the Ford Transit over on the Sprinter forums and two things that pop up are the fact that not all Ford dealers will service the diesel Transit and that there is a delicate balance of what the weight capacity of Transit is when it comes to upfitting.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:07 PM   #24
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Hi, why not make a second Interstate out of a Ford Transit? To me it would be very similar, lower cost, and many more places to service them.
Not so similar. The maximum cargo volume of a high-roof extended-body Ford Transit van is 487.3 cubic feet. The high-roof Sprinter 3500 EXT has 570 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Given how cramped an Interstate is now, what intrerior features would you give up in order to convert a van with 82.7 cubic feet less interior volume?
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:57 PM   #25
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Based on more than a year of reading Air Forums threads, I've been making a list of redesigns and workarounds for every quality problem that has been called out during all this user experience. Today that list is 15 paragraphs long.
Can you post that list, perhaps as an attachment?
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:17 AM   #26
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We are new to the AS world. Our 2016 Interstate GTX is promoted as "loaded" with no options (everything is standard).
....

The use of the term "luxury" when reading Interstate propaganda is vague in my mind also as to what it implies. ....

jp3
The word is going to mean different things to different people and across different periods of human history.

Perhaps because I'm middle-aged and shorter on the time remaining in my life, to me, my perception of luxury is converging toward simple reliability, which necessarily is underpinned by quality. Especially in a performance context. My idea of a "luxury" Class B would be one made out of components that are not going to rust out or otherwise break. A sensation of luxury could only be generated by setting out on a 6,000-mile trip and knowing in advance that the vehicle was not going to invent some new way to fail along the way. I would "luxuriate" in the knowledge that I could fully relax and enjoy the trip without distractions because of this.

That perception of luxury has nothing to do with solid surface counter tops or imitation mouse fur. It comes from hearing my husband grumble every time he has to fork out more money for yet another piece of hardware that we are replacing with a stainless steel because the OEM component was not designed for outdoor exposure and has rotted off the vehicle. I realize that it's one more little thing I'm never going to have to worry about again, and I'm glad that we have the luxury of making these upgrades.

Here's one of the OEM screws that we pulled out of our roof in April 2015, specifically from the Fantastic. Can anyone point out any sense of "luxury" associated with the likes of this?
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:27 AM   #27
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Can you post that list, perhaps as an attachment?
Maybe at some point, if I ever get it into an intelligible form that could be understood by others. Right now it's a bunch of short-hand chicken scratch on the back of our hand-written "to do" list.

I will say, though, that it all revolves around executional elegance and rock-solid reliability. True luxury has nothing to do with over-engineering for the sake of showing off, or non-value-added bling.
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:53 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
The word is going to mean different things to different people and across different periods of human history.

Perhaps because I'm middle-aged and shorter on the time remaining in my life, to me, my perception of luxury is converging toward simple reliability, which necessarily is underpinned by quality. Especially in a performance context. My idea of a "luxury" Class B would be one made out of components that are not going to rust out or otherwise break. A sensation of luxury could only be generated by setting out on a 6,000-mile trip and knowing in advance that the vehicle was not going to invent some new way to fail along the way. I would "luxuriate" in the knowledge that I could fully relax and enjoy the trip without distractions because of this.

That perception of luxury has nothing to do with solid surface counter tops or imitation mouse fur. It comes from hearing my husband grumble every time he has to fork out more money for yet another piece of hardware that we are replacing with a stainless steel because the OEM component was not designed for outdoor exposure and has rotted off the vehicle. I realize that it's one more little thing I'm never going to have to worry about again, and I'm glad that we have the luxury of making these upgrades.

Here's one of the OEM screws that we pulled out of our roof in April 2015, specifically from the Fantastic. Can anyone point out any sense of "luxury" associated with the likes of this?
I've been on the Airforums for 10 years and done my fair share of bitching about the perceived quality of Airstreams in relation to their pricing.

However, this post by InterBlog is the best example of why quality matters in the context of an RV, especially an Airstream.

Thanks for posting this.
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