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Old 09-04-2014, 06:50 PM   #1
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New Interstate Grand Tour

Just returned from having my Interstate serviced down in Phoenix and had the opportunity to look around a new (2015) Interstate Grand Tour. Particularly interesting since Airstream donít appear to have published anything on it yet.
Had to brave the 107 degree heat so I didnít hang around too long, but here are some things I noted:

1) All the tall furniture is on one side behind the driver, and includes a big fridge with separate freezer door - great.
2) The bathroom is larger because the toilet end is now squared off. Makes it look more useable. However, the sink end is still tapered to the half-size wardrobe behind it, so the sink is still the silly corner one. Pity they didnít square off this end too, so they could have used a more useable centralized sink with overhead bathroom cabinet instead of the shaving mirror.
3) Forward of the fridge is another wardrobe with a couple of removable shelves at the top, and three (I think) sliding drawer below. So it's a flexible layout. But the sliding drawers felt very rough to the touch. A poor impression.
4) On the other side is a long low-level unit. There is no third passenger seat. The microwave is installed at the rear. However, the microwave is very fancy - it slides out, and the controls are in a row at the top, so no bending down to use it!
4) Sitting on the sofa at the rear felt much more spacious than my EXT/Wardrobe. Not boxed in at the rear on both sides; thereís a view out the windows on the passenger side and to the front. It felt good!
5) The biggest surprise for me was the space under the sofa: all the electrics (including inverter and batteries) appear to have been stuffed under the extreme left side of the sofa, so the rest is completely empty. Amazing! The electrics were covered with a carpet, so I couldnít see how easy it was to get to the inverter or batteries. But lots of room under there.
6) On the outside, the only thing new I spotted was the twin hot air vents forward of the water fillers. Iím guessing this means the fridge is now gas/electric - boo!
7) The salesman told me the factory is working on a sliding screen for the sliding door, and it should be available for after-sales fitting by the dealer.
8) It all looks very nice, but to my dismay the same old technology is still there relying on limited battery capacity, 100W solar panel and generator. Iím waiting for a major advance with lots of solar panels and batteries, and no propane!
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:23 PM   #2
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Nice write up. Haven't seen one in person yet but Airstream has had the info out since the middle of May.

Word on the street for the last few months (since Early April)[ is that they are working on a sliding screen door but all I keep getting is to check back in a month.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:33 PM   #3
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Interesting. One by one, it seems that all of the manufacturers are inching toward this layout, with the "high stuff" on the driver's side so as not to block the view of the campsite. Makes sense. It is remarkably similar to our new GWV Legend. Still no tri-fold bed or screen door (yet), though. Great West pioneered this layout years ago, and it was cloned by Advanced RV. I bet in a few years all of the manufacturers will offer this layout. It really does make sense for a lot of people.

As usual, the Airstream-designed interior is very stylish.

You are right about the systems. In this day and age, I would have expected a compressor fridge and diesel heat/water, especially at this price point.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:58 PM   #4
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The Interstate has always come with a small Nova Kool compressor fridge. Then Airstream uses a non-compressor fridge instead of a larger Nova Kool like avanti has in his Great West Vans Legend.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:26 PM   #5
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Haven't seen one in person yet but Airstream has had the info out since the middle of May.
Do you have a link/url to the info?
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:02 PM   #6
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Look in the Recent Discussions part of the main Motorhomes page. I just popped it to the top for you. 2015 Airstream model year updates.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:17 AM   #7
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I've been watching the Colonial Airstream site for the new Grand Tour (seems like they post info before Airstream does!). In their inventory they list some "Grand Tour 7" models incoming. Does anybody have any info on the Grand Tour 7? I'm guessing it's a configuration with 7 seat belts?
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:20 AM   #8
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The Grand Tour 7 will be the same thing except that both sideways facing rear seats will be usable and will have belts. So the rear half wardrobe will be deleted.
It also makes for a very cosy U-shaped seating arrangement.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:36 AM   #9
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Google it and you will see one in New Jersey


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Old 09-05-2014, 04:17 PM   #10
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I guess the CS Roadtrek and others may be taking a toll on sales as this is an attempt to make a similar design. It's a shame it is so poorly done. They didn't utilize the extra space the extended van gives them to increase the galley and bath living space. Instead, they just stick a couple of pillows in the back of the extended van. Even the very cheaply made ERA added a larger bath and pushed the bed to the rear. Airstream just builds them like the other models and the extra space is not really much use (yes, it adds a bit of storage, but not much. In addition, there is no way to keep things from falling when the bed reclines as far as I can tell).

As someone who actually uses the thing, the bath design is the same and is very poorly designed in my opinion. Why they haven't changed it since 2008 is beyond me because it would take very little to improve it. Water will get trapped behind the toilet and not drain unless you park extremely nose high. Then the shower pan won't drain. They fixed my shower drain issue with brute force, jamming a 1/4" piece of plywood under the pan on the curbside. It works better, but still not as it should. And water pools even more now around the rear of the toilet, making cleanup a real chore.

I looked at several shower/baths in various Class B's and Airstream's design is the absolute worst. All the others I saw clearly were designed to drain from around the toilet and shower pan. Roadtrek has probably the best design of all, utilizing the space in a way that only intrudes into the area outside the shower when it is actually being used, making the living area seem much larger and less cramped. And it actually drains completely.

It's not that hard to design a Class B. I guess, though, it's a bit harder to do it right. It's a shame it appears they didn't even really try to improve it other than swap the sides where the bath and galley go, and add a larger fridge and a couple of pillows in the back. Other than that, there's really very little difference in the other models that are configured in a similar way.

Sorry, but I am not impressed.
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Old 09-05-2014, 04:57 PM   #11
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I couldn't really tell what they did w/ the space vacated by the second row seats. Is it also an extended model or did they just move everything forward to get that space behind the bed?
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:36 PM   #12
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I couldn't really tell what they did w/ the space vacated by the second row seats. Is it also an extended model or did they just move everything forward to get that space behind the bed?
It is an extended model. The low furniture unit on the passenger side extends from the side-facing seat at the rear up to the beginning of the step well; so it does cover a part of the sliding doorway.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:47 PM   #13
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Personally I like the fact that Airstream leaves the back space on their extended models for storage. We use every inch of that space to carry lots of stuff including a folding tandem bicycle. Each to their own likes and dislikes.


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Old 09-05-2014, 07:32 PM   #14
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What happens when you put the seat flat to make the bed? Just curious how that works if that space is filled up with things.

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Personally I like the fact that Airstream leaves the back space on their extended models for storage. We use every inch of that space to carry lots of stuff including a folding tandem bicycle. Each to their own likes and dislikes.


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