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Old 06-14-2016, 09:40 PM   #1
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Interstate Coach 4x4 vs Air Suspension

Anyone test drive both the Interstate 4x4 and 2016 model with Air Suspension?
The air suspension was extremely smooth handling but we were wondering if its worth it to wait for a 4x4 given that we live in Oregon and will travel in mountain passes that get winter conditions.

Would love to hear what you give up and gain with the 4x4.
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:44 PM   #2
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With modern stability and traction control, 4 wheel drive is a bit over rated compared to 25 years ago.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:05 PM   #3
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I would say the 4x4 is worth it for the extra ground clearance alone, especially if you plan on driving along forestry roads and other unmade roads.


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Old 06-14-2016, 10:53 PM   #4
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We did high point on a culvert on a forestry road last year.
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jbrannack View Post
Anyone test drive both the Interstate 4x4 and 2016 model with Air Suspension?
The air suspension was extremely smooth handling but we were wondering if its worth it to wait for a 4x4 given that we live in Oregon and will travel in mountain passes that get winter conditions.

Would love to hear what you give up and gain with the 4x4.
Just read that the US allotment of 4 X 4 Sprinters is sold out for the remainder of the model year. Most are in the PNW too! Saw one at the coffee shop a few mornings ago. They certainly are higher off the ground. If you're into the back country experience, it would be a much better addition than the air suspension.....IMHO.
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Old 06-15-2016, 12:44 PM   #6
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I'm in Oregon too and I won't do winter travel around here without 4WD. It's not the light snowdusting around the Willamette Valley that's a problem, it's the big snow and ice on mountain passes and surrounding areas we have to worry about.

I think it's unwise to consider venturing out on any USFS road here without 4WD. Ruts, mud, boulders, holes, you name it, you'll find it. The Sprinter is designed as a highway vehicle and without all four wheels working for you, the chances of getting stuck are very high. Just pulling off the road into some of the typical USFS campgounds is risky. There's a reason most winter vehicles outside of cities here are multi-drive capable.

So, 4WD may be unnecessary if you only travel on freeways in good weather. But get off onto any local road in the Cascades or points East and you'll enjoy your experience a lot more knowing you've got the right tool for the job when you need it.
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:28 PM   #7
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... If you're into the back country experience, it would be a much better addition than the air suspension.....IMHO.
...and if you do not plan to have anyone riding in the back for any distance at all. Unless you are pulling a trailer that is -- a towed vehicle or trailer does wonders for taming the snap and jerk ride in the back.
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Old 06-15-2016, 05:20 PM   #8
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I have heard that the ride in the 4X4 is even worse than the ride in the standard model. Furthermore, this video review of the 4x4 was a bit disappointing: https://youtu.be/X0KcKssZnhQ. I considered the 4x4 for camping on the sand in the beach, but I would personally much prefer the smoother ride on all other surfaces. I've used the VB Air and it made a huge difference in how the van drove, felt, and even minimized internal squeaks/rattles. Can you test drive both?
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Old 06-15-2016, 06:11 PM   #9
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I have heard that the ride in the 4X4 is even worse than the ride in the standard model.
I'm amazed at the number of people (and not only here on the Forums) who expect a glorified cargo van to ride like a passenger car just because it is nicely furnished inside. Why would anyone think that adding 4wd would make it any better?

That is not a criticism of migriffin's observation. It's just that his post triggered my thought.
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Old 06-15-2016, 07:52 PM   #10
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I have heard that the ride in the 4X4 is even worse than the ride in the standard model. Furthermore, this video review of the 4x4 was a bit disappointing: https://youtu.be/X0KcKssZnhQ. I considered the 4x4 for camping on the sand in the beach, but I would personally much prefer the smoother ride on all other surfaces. I've used the VB Air and it made a huge difference in how the van drove, felt, and even minimized internal squeaks/rattles. Can you test drive both?

That video was from Advanced RV testing their first 4x4, and highlighted the limitation of the standard tires. If you want to use it on forestry roads, you do need all terrain tires too.
Incidentally, ADV adds VB Air on all their vehicles.



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Old 06-15-2016, 11:15 PM   #11
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If you go on any unpaved surfaces you need 4X4 to pull a trailer. Using all four wheels spreads the torque out and keeps the rear wheels (only) from throwing rocks up on the front end and on the stainless steel guards. I have used mine on every camp ground road that has any size rocks. Pea gravel on new road pavement out in the
country is the worst and it makes a mess of the front where the guards don't cover all the skin.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:21 AM   #12
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Good tires make a huge difference in the winter. Im an avid snowmobiler so im driving and towing a enclosed trailer in the worst of it. 4x4 helps a lot but it still wont make up for the wrong tires and carry chains.
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Old 06-16-2016, 04:59 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
I'm amazed at the number of people (and not only here on the Forums) who expect a glorified cargo van to ride like a passenger car just because it is nicely furnished inside. Why would anyone think that adding 4wd would make it any better?

That is not a criticism of migriffin's observation. It's just that his post triggered my thought.
+1, It is a 1 ton TRUCK!
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:52 AM   #14
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I'm amazed at the number of people (and not only here on the Forums) who expect a glorified cargo van to ride like a passenger car just because it is nicely furnished inside. Why would anyone think that adding 4wd would make it any better?
I am not expecting a limousine ride in the back of my AI, but it would be nice if the back seats were at least usable when underway. I once drove my wife and one of her friends to the airport and they chose to ride sitting on the bench in the back so they could "chat" without disturbing me. Both ended up with bruising from the seatbelt after a 40 mile ride on a good highway traveling at around 60 mph. Unless I am pulling a tow of some sort the back seat is for all purposes unusable for adults at any speed over 35 or 40 mph. Admittedly the ride in the back seems so bad is because the ride in the front two rows of seats is so good.
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