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Old 08-05-2013, 10:09 AM   #1
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Smile just a bit over 24 hours

tomorrow moring I go to pick up my 2012 interstate we made the deal for it a week ago sunday. when I say "made the deal " it was more like I opened my wallett and said " please dont hurt me too much " it was a purchase that was done with the heart and not the head, and in complete ignorance. the forum has helped a lot, thank you all now I have a question or two.

1; what should my expectaions be when picking this up? the last car I bought they spent like 2 hours with me going through the oeration of every feature. I am hoping for at least that much time or more.

2; other that the comdition of the house batteries ( howlong did it sit not plugged in ) what should I look for I do have a 3 year 36 month warenty on both the house and the auto part of it . It is not new but only has like 8700 miles on it but having saiid that is it reasonable for me to expect they did the 10k mile service ?

thanks foks and keepup the good work
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:49 AM   #2
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If you are not already RV knowledgable (I wasn't) it could easily take half a day to understand everything. Heck, the stereo/gps unit alone would take me that long but it is the RV specific systems I would focus on. You can figure out all the "car" stuff on your own, but understanding the house systems is a steeper learning curve (you've probably bought a new car or two, but this may be the first time you've heard the word macerator). Your will get plenty of support here though for anything you have questions on. Unlike all the other forums I've been on, I've never seen someone here tell a newby to use the search function instead of just kindly answering a question. This is a great group and I learn something new from them most every day ... and I've had mine two years this month.

I would be shocked if they had already done the 10k mile service, but I think it would be reasonable if you request that they do. However if you have already inked a deal, they may not be willing to just throw it in.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:08 AM   #3
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1; what should my expectaions be when picking this up? the last car I bought they spent like 2 hours with me going through the oeration of every feature. I am hoping for at least that much time or more.
I got about a two-hour walk-through on mine, which was plenty given the number of systems to go through. The best walk-through would be, (1) they tell you about the system in question and hand you the owner's manual for that system, (2) demonstrate how to operate it, then (3) let you operate it while they watch, to make sure you're doing it right. However long that takes.

Take a camera— preferably a video camera— to document everything from the walk-through, and a notepad to jot down anything you can't remember.

Quote:
2; other that the comdition of the house batteries (how long did it sit not plugged in ) what should I look for
Since you're buying used… Full fuel tank. Full propane tank. Adequate tread left on tires, and tires fully inflated— including the spare. Shore power cord, fresh water hose both supplied (you'll need them during the walk-through). No blown fuses. All interior and exterior lights working. Wiper blades in good condition. Awning fabric in good condition, no mold, no rips. Awning center support bar present and in good working order. Any pre-existing dents or scrapes on the body, since your insurance won't cover repairing existing damage— photograph them for future reference, using a camera that includes a date stamp on the photo. Check the hours on the generator, and if the hours are high enough (at least 25), make sure they changed the oil and filters.

All of the above is in addition to the usual checks of house systems, plumbing, electric, etc.

Make sure they tell you how to winterize. It's summer now, but winter isn't that far away.

On the 2012s, the various switches aren't labeled. When you learn what any given switch does, label it. Masking tape and a ballpoint pen will do in the beginning, until you can make better labels. Side note, on my 2012, the step lock switch is backwards from all the others, up=off, down=on; yours may be the same, or not.

When you start the engine, use the controls on the steering wheel to cycle through all of the in-dash message screens to see if anything is flagged, and check all of the idiot lights to make sure none are lit.

Quote:
I do have a 3 year 36 month warenty on both the house and the auto part of it . It is not new but only has like 8700 miles on it but having saiid that is it reasonable for me to expect they did the 10k mile service?
Probably not reasonable to expect that, unless you're buying from a Mercedes dealer. You'll probably need to add DEF somewhere between 9500 and 10,000 miles, so buy a 2½ gallon container of Peak DEF at your local auto parts store; Mercedes charges by the quart if you buy from them— theirs is imported from Germany and priced way too high.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:08 PM   #4
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All of the above and, if you are able, spend an overnight in it at the dealer, or at least a few hours in it by yourself.

When you do the walk-thru with the dealer, take pen and pencil with you and make notes.

Turn everything on and off, put everything up and down, etc. Flush some water down the tanks and dump them. All that stuff.

Especially if you are not RV knowledgeable, it is so helpful to have someone there to answer questions. Might put your dealer on speed dial for awhile.

FWIW, there are occasions on this Forum where one is referred to a Search to get a question answered. The problem with the Search function is that you need specific words to access specific threads which might answer your question.

That said, ask away. . In all likelihood, someone will provide you with the information you need. If not, get it resolved on your own and post the information to help someone else.

Travel safe,

Maggie
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:44 PM   #5
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Portland , Oregon
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Thanks for the advice

Thank you all for the great advice.I have been haunting here for the last week and already have learned lots. While I am new to RVing and have a lot to learn I have a passing aquaintence with many of the systems as I have been keeping a 1965 36foot Chriscraft Consellation running for the past 10 years.
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Near as I can figure this Intersate, in a lot of ways , is a boat with wheels. But what a joy it is going to be not to have to deal with something that is almost 50 years old and has been modified but countless people with various skills over that time. Dont get me wrong I love the old girl but she can be moody.
Any way I don plane to take ots of pictures and many videos and I am sure this is not the last you have heard from me. Thanks again and I will let you know how I make out.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:38 AM   #6
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Speaking of wiper blades, note that they are two different lengths.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:11 PM   #7
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And now the fun begins

ok so picked it up some small hiups but nothing major except there is an alarm solinoid under the second row passender seat that seems to be consently on. removing the little "magzine rack" that is in the side of the floor abd accessable with the sliding door open revealed 3 relays one of the thi alarm. service guy said he had no idea what it was.Pulling it out did not seem to keep any thing fron operating, well nothing I noticed on the way home. any body know whta it is ?
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:18 PM   #8
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ok so picked it up some small hiups but nothing major except there is an alarm solinoid under the second row passender seat that seems to be consently on. removing the little "magzine rack" that is in the side of the floor abd accessable with the sliding door open revealed 3 relays one of the thi alarm. service guy said he had no idea what it was.Pulling it out did not seem to keep any thing fron operating, well nothing I noticed on the way home. any body know whta it is ?
Sliding step alarm. The step didn't quite retract fully.

I had that alarm go off once, for about fifteen minutes. I shut off the engine, opened and closed the sliding side door so the step would extend and retract again, and then the alarm reset and I haven't had a problem since. Might have just been a dead leaf of a twig caught in the mechanism.

Side note, the awning alarm is more annoying, but will sound like it's coming from under the front row passenger seat, not the second row seat.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:18 PM   #9
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IIRC, it's the awning "Not Fully Retracted" buzzer. If it is, make sure the awning is fully retracted. If it still goes off and the microswitch is at the aft end of the awning, the switch can be adjusted by bending the leaf so it contacts the awning sooner.

Wow, simultaneous posts. You may be right about the step, never heard that one. But my awning alarm sounded like it was somewhere near the slider door.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:44 AM   #10
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Great advices guys thanks. Seems simple enough to test, as the service guy has the beeper now. I can extend the awning a bit and start the engine to see if something beeps. but it is good to know that it is a " dumb guy" alarm rather that "the coach is about to explode" alarm.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:24 PM   #11
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If you are not already RV knowledgable (I wasn't) it could easily take half a day to understand everything. Heck, the stereo/gps unit alone would take me that long but it is the RV specific systems I would focus on. You can figure out all the "car" stuff on your own, but understanding the house systems is a steeper learning curve (you've probably bought a new car or two, but this may be the first time you've heard the word macerator). Your will get plenty of support here though for anything you have questions on. Unlike all the other forums I've been on, I've never seen someone here tell a newby to use the search function instead of just kindly answering a question. This is a great group and I learn something new from them most every day ... and I've had mine two years this month.
After carefully eliminating all but the essential manuals we still have a 3" binder full of manuals and after two months we still refer to them almost daily to remind us of some settings and "how the #$%^ does that work again?" There are a number of relatively complex systems in the Interstate and often you have to read manuals from two or even three related systems to figure out exactly what is going on and/or exactly what the settings mean.

Thanks to my scanner, Google, and posts on this forum I have managed to obtain many of the most critical systems manuals in PDF format and assembled them into a searchable database of electronic documents on my iPad. (I did have to run many of them through an OCR — optical character recognition — program to make them searchable). This has proven to be useful and to me worth the time spent in collating and assembling the data. Being able to zoom on some of the diagrams has also proven quite handy. A final advantage is the ability to annotate instances where the manual(s) and facts do not always agree.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:52 PM   #12
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Some dealers can accommodate an overnight. Mine has a number of full hookup sites and his normal mode is to have your vehicle set up on site for you. He goes through all the systems with you and you then spend the rest of the day at your discretion. Morning comes and you meet with him to deal with any issues. While those if any are being addressed you finish the paper work and then head for home.

We really liked that although we didn't sleep a lot that night at the dealership since at the time, was located at the end of the main runway at the St. Louis airport and also had a railroad track nearby. Between the planes and trains vibrating the trailer, sleep was minimal. We did cook and shower in the trailer. Our only flaw was a leaking shower door which they corrected as we paid for the trailer.

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Old 08-07-2013, 05:25 PM   #13
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wow I dont suppose you would be willing to share that data base with the rest of us. if not and I can understand why what app do you use on your iPad for the data base?
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:46 PM   #14
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wow I dont suppose you would be willing to share that data base with the rest of us. if not and I can understand why what app do you use on your iPad for the data base?
In the first place, my database is specific to a particular year model of the Interstate and due to the frequent changes Airstream makes in equipment — they can't even keep their own version of the Owner's Manual completely current — it could too easily mislead the owner of another Interstate year model. In the second place it is based on a commercial database product, Yojimbo, that runs only on Macs and iPads. Finally any attempt on my part to productize the database would not only result in an expensive to build, maintain, and market full time project and I have too many other projects I want to work on. I won't even go into the copyright issues with the various companies that produce the original manuals.
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