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Old 11-09-2013, 05:29 PM   #71
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Sedona , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Talking of MSRP's, I see Colonial Airstream has an Interstate EXT based on the updated Sprinter - and the MSRP is a whopping $152,125.00!

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Old 11-14-2013, 09:53 PM   #72
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2005 22' Interstate
Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 177
I sincerely hesitate to bring this up, but...

I have owned an '05 Interstate since new. When I first acquired the vehicle, I immediately fell in love with the B-van format and with the Sprinter platform, and I was in a swoon over owning an Airstream. Over the years, my enthusiasm for B-vans and Sprinters has held up very well. I cannot same the same thing about my opinion of the Airstream brand. In my early enthusiasm, I now realize, I overlooked an inexcusable amount of uninspired design, poor workmanship, and mediocre customer service.

Climbing onto the roof, one discovers amateurish, sloppily-applied sealant slopped around every penetration; Cheap, plastic sliding cabinet doors fall off as the liquid-nails-style adhesive used to install them start to dry out; Euro-style door hinges constantly need readjustment and reattachment; Plywood sub-panels rot as a result of invisible leakage from the refrigerator vent; Plastic "wood" veneer peels off everywhere; carpet and privacy curtains are attached using snaps secured using improperly-installed pop-rivits and need to be reattached using nuts and bolts that should have been there in the first place; wood door panels that never did line up very well get worse as they warp over time; poorly-installed PEX plumbing begins to leak at the slightest disturbance; penetrations of the Sprinter body for the water heater and other accessories rust everywhere due to missing paint treatment of the cut edges; cheesy AV components are connected to sub-woofer components that hum annoyingly due to improper shielding and cabling; Ironically, the chrome "AIRSTREAM" letters applied above the windshield slowly peel off in the wind; etc, etc.

Those of you who follow our friends over at the Airstream Westfalia site know how poorly the Airstream NAFTA mods contrast with the Westfalia-factory components, and also how those folks were dropped like a hot-potato after Airstream lost interest in the Westy product.

I don't mean this to be a rant, and I certainly don't mean to spoil the enjoyment of those who are still in the honeymoon phase of Interstate ownership. And, I do realize that 2005 was early days in Interstate production. But, I have looked carefully at current-production Interstates, and I am not at all convinced that things have materially improved in the intervening years. Airstream is an iconic brand, and one pays a significant premium for the privilege of owning one. But, I have come to believe that it is not at all obvious that one is getting the best-in-class quality that the brand should bring with it. As I get close to choosing a replacement vehicle, I will certainly choose another Sprinter-based B-van. I do not rule out that van being another Interstate. But it is by no means the only (or even the leading) alternative at this point in my search.

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Old 11-15-2013, 01:43 PM   #73
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1989 29' Excella
Cumming , Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2010
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We as consumers of these types of products need to always keep in mind that manufactures are always sensitive to the, ‘Sweet Spot’, that they have to strike between design and quality and how much we’ll pay. I’m disheartened that Earthworks fell victim to the bad economy because I think they would have driven Airstream and the SOB’s to up their game.
For the foreseeable future we’re gonna get what we’re willing to pay for. Which aint much.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:40 PM   #74
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2013 Interstate Coach
Fulton , Maryland
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,561
You Get What You Pay For

I recently looked at the Becker Automotive Design web site. They make the "top end" Sprinter JetVan. Not an RV, but a luxury Sprinter executive van. Here is what the web sites FAQ says about cost.

2. How much does a Becker Vehicle Conversion cost?
Costs vary with the options you select, as well as with the make and model of vehicle selected. When we receive your completed options selection, we will prepare a detailed price breakdown for your examination. Becker JetVan™ price ranges from $200k to $450k.

Source: Becker Automotive Design // Luxury Transport Coaches // Sprinter Van and Cadillac ESV Conversions

Considering the Roadtrek, Winnebago ERA, Leisure Van and other competing Sprinter based B-van RVs on the market the Interstate is near the top if not the best. When compared to something like the Becker Jetvan you can see why so many are being sold as a cheaper executive van alternative.

Many of the issues identified by Avanti in his 2005 Interstate have been improved to exceed other RV B-van manufactures offerings.

My 2 cents,
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:43 AM   #75
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1995 30' Excella
Bowie , Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,343
Boxster, Avanti isn't talking about upgrades to double the cost, but about doing the job they're already doing correctly. Airstream could apply the sealant correctly and make it look professional and correctly install Pex fittings. (These are just examples of the kinds of things avanti mentioned.) Plenty of non-pros can do both of those things; neither takes a ton of practice. Airstream employees should be able to do it well after just a few hours of practice on some scrap material or something.

1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab with Cummins 6.7L Diesel

Sold but not forgotten: 1991 Airstream B190
Sold: 2006 F-250 6.0L Powerstroke Supercab
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