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Old 09-12-2016, 12:04 PM   #1
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2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Southampton , New York
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 1
Interstate Upgrading

We are not very handy and prefer driving very dependable vehicles. Does anyone out there trade-in their Interstate every few years to take advantage of a super-dependable vehicle covered by warranty? If so, we would love to hear about your experience. When is the optimal age and mileage to consider an up-grade? Have you found an optimal age and mileage to take advantage of the most cost effective trade-in price? Any experience selling the older vehicle privately vs. dealer assistance?

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Old 09-12-2016, 02:07 PM   #2
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2011 Interstate Coach
Overland Park , Kansas
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,453
Welcome to the AirForums.

The Sprinter is very reliable if maintained according to factory specs. The Airstream warranty only covers what they actually do like wiring, plumbing, installation, etc. If the microwave, generator, radio, etc dies, you have to go to the manufacture's warranty.

Having just sold mine, I can say from my experience that depreciation is about the same as a car or truck, maybe a little worse. So I suspect trade-in values run about the same. Others here probably have different experiences.

Glass half full or half empty to an engineer is simply a glass that was over designed.

PM me for sale info on my 2011. SOLD!
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Old 09-12-2016, 05:25 PM   #3
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2006 22' Interstate
League City , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 256
I seem to remember several folks on the forum upgrading new-ish Interstates recently. Given the DIY improvements InterBlog and I have made, we'll probably drive the wheels off our Interstate but I could see why others might seek out the inflection point in the cost of ownership curve.

Some things to consider:

1) How much do you value new safety and automation features of new Sprinter Chassis?

Adaptive cruise control is nice but I wouldn't upgrade just for that. An air suspension is a bit more appealing to me, however. Now offer me a fully autonomous Sprinter based RV that could continue on to its destination while the cargo (me) sleeps in the back and I might start robbing banks to pay for it.

2) How much do you value your leisure time and are there trustworthy Mercedes and/or RV service centers in your area?

If being down for service is a problem, then infant mortality in a new van could be as much of a problem as parts wearing out on an older van.

3) How important is Cost of Ownership?

Depreciation and taxes are a significant short term cost but less so on a vehicle held for a longer period of time. I'm relatively frugal/cheap by nature so pushing the "Buy it now" button on E-Bay for our Interstate was well outside my comfort zone, but for others, the value of the transaction may be more important than the magnitude. In that case, I would start tracking cost of ownership and record internet sale prices of used Interstates to try to find out where the sweet spot is.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:33 AM   #4
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2006 22' Interstate
League City , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,288
That's a tough risk assessment, especially without comprehensive data (which a forum can't provide). Some people with brand new units seem to have more trouble than people with 4-year-old units. The trade-up approach works very well with passenger cars and trucks which are now produced with very few errors of replication (because they are largely built by automated processing). Not so much with Interstates.

If I were intensely fixated on reliability (well, actually I AM), I'd take one of two courses of action:

(1) I'd hire someone to custom-build a Class B, or
(2) I'd replace (upgrade) an existing Interstate piece by piece.

Hubster and I chose door number two.
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Old 09-13-2016, 01:06 PM   #5
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Overland Park , Kansas
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Door #3 - Buy a 2 year old unit that's had the problems fixed on and avoid a couple of years of depreciation.
Glass half full or half empty to an engineer is simply a glass that was over designed.

PM me for sale info on my 2011. SOLD!
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Old 09-13-2016, 05:09 PM   #6
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Boca Raton , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 279
Interstate Upgrading

We went first with a used one, a 2010 and kept it for 2 years. Even though we liked it, we didn't like having a used one so bought a NEW 2014 and so far love it and plan on keeping it for a few years until major changes seem worth it for another upgrade.
Also I think if maintenance is kept up and ours is also stored indoors and plugged in, they will last and hold value rather well. Right now the 2014 looks very similar to new ones and we were happy with things like the LED upgrades and like many here did our own customizations.

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Old 09-19-2016, 09:00 PM   #7
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2016 Interstate Lounge Ext
Pinehurst , North Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 321
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Had a new 2013 EXT put 30,000 miles on it. Bought a 2016 mainly for the lane departure warning and other safety features. $40k depreciation was tough pill, but I wanted the piece of mind.

I'm now driving 750 miles each way to illinois each month and don't have the wife with me to remind me when to pull in get some sleep.

The 12 HR drive (NC to IL) isn't bad as a day drive, but after a 12 HR day it can be a bitch. (Getting old is such a treat).

Even new vehicles have little issues & getting parts in timely manner or getting the dealer to fix it is a pain no matter what. I doubt repair cost will ever exceed depreciation.

Maggie is proof these vans will run a long time. I expect to put 200,000+ on this van now that I have all the bells & whistles.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
If you work until you have everything you 'WANT' - it will probably be too late to enjoy it.
Live in the Moment and enjoy today.
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