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Old 06-27-2012, 11:35 AM   #15
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I am in a similar position. We have a 2007 Classic 30' rear queen that we do not use very much due to the work to wash it before and after each trip, the wife packing it, and finding a campsite in So CA. It is sold and we are looking at an Airstream Interstate.

The unit we found that looks pretty good is a 2006 with all options there were when new, rear twin benches. It looks pretty small, but maybe it could work. We thought about how to deal with the lack of screeens on the sliding door and rear doors. Aftermarket seems fine, but not much privacy. Hope we made the right decision.

We are hoping that this will work out for our short weekend dog trials and trips to the beach. If not we'll sell it and look for a small trailer.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:53 AM   #16
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I went from a 17' Fiesta B van to the 25' Airstream. I'm now moving from Airstream to a 24' Class C Lazy Daze.

I'm a single traveler. I found the 17' B too small. I had to sit in the bath tub to shower. There was no permanent desk or table to work or eat at. The water tanks were small. Cooking facilities limited to two burner stove and tiny fridge. The furnace was right under the bed and especially noisy. My particular B van had narrow wheelbase and swayed on curves.

As I have posted elsewhere due to circumstances I am unable to take the Airstream on frequent longer trips. I found it a bit large for some CA forest service campgrounds, especially since I'm parking it alone, and have to get out occasionally to check for branches and obstacles. For spontaneous overnight trips it took a bit more to hook it all up and pack the truck.

I hope I got it right with the 24 foot class C. It has a full size refrigerator, full size shower and full size water tanks. It has decent kitchen with conventional range/oven, microwave, and nice size sink. It has a nice lounge desk and chairs. It has built in generator (with big built in fuel supply), no longer worry about carrying one in pickup. It has pretty good storage inside with two reasonable wardrobe closets. The compromise is sleeping over the cab or on a convertible sofa (If I don't like either I can change the sofa into a permanent larger than twin bed). It will tow a car or motorcycle trailer if I ever need that. It should easily fit in state parks, even at the end of the day when I'm a bit tired.

Ask me in a few years if I got this one right..
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:19 PM   #17
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If you're transitioning from a trailer, you might do better with a small Class-C rather an a B-van.

I have a Spirnter-based Airstream Interstate. As B-vans go, it's on the large side at 22'9" long. Also on the expensive side. Never mind its performance (which except for lower-than-advertised mileage isn't all that bad in my opinion), the "almost broke" phrase from the original post should put Sprinters out of your consideration.

I can't speak for all B-vans, but when asked by fellow campers, I describe the accommodations in my Interstate as "comfortable for one, cozy for two, crowded for three." I don't expect smaller B-vans to be any different.

Storage space is at a premium in any B-van, and if you're not pulling a trailer with it, you would do well to get a hitch-mounted cargo tray or cargo box to hold stuff you need at the campsite but don't need in transit.

The longest trip I've made so far in my Interstate is nine days, since I had to get back to my job and couldn't go longer, and it was fine for that amount of time. Longer-duration trips are not out of the question, though, once I retire.

In my opinion, the main points to look for in a B-van are (1) is it comfortable to drive, and (2) is it comfortable to sleep in? Just about anything else you do, other than driving or sleeping, can be done using campground facilities (bathroom/showers) or outdoors in general (cooking), at least some of the time.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist
The longest trip I've made so far in my Interstate is nine days, since I had to get back to my job and couldn't go longer, and it was fine for that amount of time. Longer-duration trips are not out of the question, though, once I retire.
Today I am wrapping up an 8 week 6400 mile trip in my 2010 Interstate twin. This is our second extended trip. This van works great for us and I just love driving it down the road. It is small and there isn't much storage space. We've learned to make it work well for the two of us. Others will find it too small. That's why there are so many 40 ft. monsters on the road.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:34 PM   #19
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We have located an Airstream Interstate 2006 that works for our price structure. Two concerns (besides the size issue) is the lack of screens of the rear, side door and does the van tend to wobble while driving.

I saw an artical on screens are the required and does the van lean while driving? I think the new vans have duel rear wheels now, so is this an issue on a 2006 van?
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:06 PM   #20
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My wife and i did an extended transcontinental trip lasting over three months in a 19.5' "B" Van. It was a very nice, top of the line Sprinter by Roadtrek.

About two months into the trip we decided we liked the lifestyle and would continue these types of trips for the foreseeable future. At that point we decided to go bigger. The Sprinter was wonderful, the short Sprinter we had got about 22MPG and could park at a meter in downtown NYC if wanted.

The rub had to with room. Each night put the sofa down, get the cushions, make it into a bed, find the sheets and make the bed. In the meantime move all the "stuff" from the back of the van to the front. Each morning do it in reverse. Making the bed and folding the sheets every day got old. The other thing was the combination bathroom and shower the size of a telephone booth. We got tired of adventures in RV park showers the good, the bad and the ugly.

Three quarters of the way around the country we traded the Roadtrek for the 27FB International. Later this year we're headed off for 7 months on the road, this past year we've spent about 30 nights in the Airstream.

The Sprinter was wonderful for a week, not so much for a month.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:31 PM   #21
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Prior to getting our 23' Flying Cloud, we owned a Pleasure-Way Excel-TD B-Van. It was a 2000 on a Dodge 3500 chassis with the small V-8 gasser. Our experience was similar to xo1rider. It was easy to drive and park, got reasonable gas mileage and the Pleasure-Way build quality was very good. Inconveniences were setting up the bed each night, no real lounge area, wet bath, etc. Also, those spontaneous trips to town for dinner or sightseeing meant unhooking from water,sewer, cable, etc. and then re-connecting upon return, sometimes in the dark. We traveled the East coast from Maine to North Carolina and did enjoy it. We eventually sold it and when we decided to get another camper, we decided on TV/trailer. The 23' FC for the 2 of us is great, lots more room than the B-van, much more usable bath/shower, more storage, front lounge area and you just park the AS and go where you want in the TV. Perhaps, when time comes and we don't want to tow any more we would go back to a B-van. But for now, we'll stick with the trailer.

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Old 06-27-2012, 09:40 PM   #22
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I have never owned a Class B, but I have had several tailers, some quite small, with all of the inconveniences cited by Lucky Dog & xo1rider above. At that time, we used sleeping bags for the bed/dinette, and what do you do with the bedding during the daytime? We ended up putting it in the car during the day, trailer by night. Then during day-trips, back in the trailer. It didn't take long for that to get old. The wet toilet was also limiting. Essentially, it was like living on a small boat: in order to get something out, you had to put something away (if you could find a spot). At least, that was our experience, and the advantages of the small size didn't make up for the deficiences of the small size.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:07 PM   #23
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I'd hang onto the Airstream 25' you have, excellent size for two, and look for a simple poptop camper such as VW or similar. We sold ours when we got the Airstream and really regret it for those weekend or short getaways, with the Airstream for longer stays.

Everything in between is either too small or too big, depending on the trip.

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Old 06-28-2012, 06:24 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by boxer View Post
We have located an Airstream Interstate 2006 that works for our price structure. Two concerns (besides the size issue) is the lack of screens of the rear, side door and does the van tend to wobble while driving.

I saw an artical on screens are the required and does the van lean while driving? I think the new vans have duel rear wheels now, so is this an issue on a 2006 van?
Can't answer about the sway issue on the Interstate 2500; my Interstate 3500 has the duals and is stable as a rock on turns. But no one will ever mistake it for a sports car based on its handling! Tracks very well on the straights, too. The high and long side walls do tend to catch crosswinds, but that only requires you to pay closer attention to keeping it in your lane; it doesn't require you to wrestle with the wheel or anything.

As for the screens, depends on where you go; for my camping trips so far, flying insects haven't been much of an issue so I haven't missed having screens.

If you want to get screens for the rear doors, though, one possible source is Order Skreenz.

Somewhere on the Forums is a discussion of Sprinter screen doors for the sliding side door, too. Can't remember exactly which thread, though. Maybe "Fans of Airstream Interstate."
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:30 AM   #25
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To all thanks for the replies and advice. We are looking at the interstate today and will make a decision.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:49 AM   #26
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Do test drive st speed. My 06? was all over the road at anything above sixty mph. Some are okay but mine was terrible, that is the main reason I sold it. Jim
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:10 AM   #27
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so i am trying to decide

after fultiming in a 25ft safari for three years...now trailer less trying to decide what mode of travel i want for travel of six or eight weeks several times a year...

considering a B van...an Interstate??? or an Avenue????

additionally i want to have and pull a 23 foot airstream TT...

i am shopping...new 2013 interstates, fully loaded seem to be in the 120k range plus ttl of course.... a 2012 avenue can be had for around 70K.....

a 3500 sprinter MB built out by sports mobile custom camper vans...loaded comparable to the airstream interstate is around 97k.....

so one plan is to get the b van....( really want to stay in the airstream community....) so then i have to buy a new trailer or shop for a used as i travel around the country.....

so it seems that the budget has to be....around 150k.....but that is not realistic if i go with the new interstate...

what are the com parables between the avenue and interstate....discounting the obvious
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:48 PM   #28
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I am not in that market. But when I stopped at RV dealer in Minn last summer to get a thermostat in my 25 year old trailer I looked at a Winnebago mid sized unit with a Mercedes diesel. About 150,000. That unit would tempt me to leave the Airstream community. Do not know how it compares to the Interstate except that it has a lot more room.
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