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Old 01-27-2015, 04:10 PM   #29
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Do you leave the MaxxFan roof vent open while running the A/C? If not, you should. The standard "cold air sinks, hot air rises" really does work, and having the roof vent extracting hot air at the ceiling allows the A/C to work a bit more efficiently.
You live in the deep south. Have you been able to keep your AI cool?
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:21 PM   #30
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You live in the deep south. Have you been able to keep your AI cool?
With careful selection of a shady site, plus keeping the roof vent running to get rid of hot air, I've managed to at least keep it bearable. Not necessarily cool, but low enough that I don't sweat inside the Interstate in the hottest part of the day. That's about all I expect from a rooftop A/C.

The biggest challenge is keeping the doors closed as much as possible. When you open that big sliding side door, you lose a lot of your conditioned air and let in a lot of heated air. So if you're going to be inside during the hottest part of the day, stay inside, and if you're going to be outside, stay outside.

Cook outdoors as much as possible, too, so you don't add heat from cooking.
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:45 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Do you leave the MaxxFan roof vent open while running the A/C? If not, you should. The standard "cold air sinks, hot air rises" really does work, and having the roof vent extracting hot air at the ceiling allows the A/C to work a bit more efficiently.
I can see how in theory that that would work but doesn't it just tend to draw in more hot air from the outside to replenish the warm air that you're sucking out through the roof?
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:56 AM   #32
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When we replaced our 2005 Interstate we shopped thoroughly. Agree that Airstream uses quality materials good systems and jazzy design. But we ruled it out due to the shoddy workmanship. ARV is the best of class but we would have ended up paying for stuff we didn't value. Ended up with a customized Great West Vans Legend. LTV was the runner up.
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Old 01-28-2015, 05:08 AM   #33
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You are comparing a 2005 Interstate to a 2014 GWV. Of course the 14 is better. My 2007 Yukon Denali was a lot better than my old 1999 Yukon even in workmanship.

The Leisure Travel Vans I looked at weren't even close to an Airstream Interstate in quality, materials or workmanship. Everything that LTV added was super cheap IMO. The only thing they had going for them was sticker price when in reality a well negotiated Interstate is the same price.

For me a GWV was not a consideration after considering their dealer network. Maybe taking one to the nearest RV repair is OK for some, just not Me.

At the end of the day you choose what you like and feel comfortable with. I am with Jerhofer, I must have got a good one and am happy with my decision.
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:39 AM   #34
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The roof air conditioner will NOT cool the Interstate, which is pretty disappointing.

I've had our 2014 Interstate in temperatures up to 100F. The roof AC by itself will drop the interior temperature only about 5 degrees below the outside temperature. If it's 95F outside, the interior won't get much cooler than 90F, even with a bit of shade. To keep the Interstate livable inside, you'll have to run the Diesel engine and the chassis AC in addition to the roof AC, if it's warmer than about 80F.

This sucks. The roof AC in my (previous) Airstream trailer kept the trailer at a comfy 70F in full sun when it was 105F out. In the Interstate, not even close. There's nothing wrong with my roof AC unit; I get a 30F drop in temperature of the air from the AC. It's just woefully underpowered. I wish someone from Arizona or Texas had clued me in ahead of time. I wouldn't plan on leaving a dog inside on a hot day with just the generator and roof AC.

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There must have been a change in AC units.

Ours freezes us out at the lowest setting, sleeping under a down comforter at night.

I want to say something about workmanship.....there were issues with ours with the roof add-ons (black tank vent and Fantastic Fan, specifically). It was frustrating and disturbing, and caused serious leaks, but those were the only major issues.

Having owned mine nearly 8 years, it is still beautiful, I still love it and wouldn't trade it.

I would like to see the factory consistenly pay more attention to QC, but still don't think a more beautiful Class B is out there.


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Old 01-28-2015, 08:41 AM   #35
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You are comparing a 2005 Interstate to a 2014 GWV. Of course the 14 is better. My 2007 Yukon Denali was a lot better than my old 1999 Yukon even in workmanship.
No, I'm not. As I said, we shopped vary carefully before making our upgrade choice. The workmanship of the 2014 AI was every bit as dodgy as our 2005. I LOVE the idea of owning an Airstream. They are just not delivering on quality. Having said that, I have consistently agreed that the materials and design of the AI are very good. That is not where the problem is.
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The Leisure Travel Vans I looked at weren't even close to an Airstream Interstate in quality, materials or workmanship. Everything that LTV added was super cheap IMO. The only thing they had going for them was sticker price when in reality a well negotiated Interstate is the same price.
We didn't buy one either. I just said that they were the runner up. They were a good step behind GWV. I agree that their material quality is lower. The workmanship was about the same as AI. Price is indeed better. There is no sense in comparing a sticker price with a negotiated price. LTV can be had for much less money than an Interstate.
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For me a GWV was not a consideration after considering their dealer network. Maybe taking one to the nearest RV repair is OK for some, just not Me.
Well, if that is I concern for you, then you made the right decision. I am a DIY guy, so it was not a big deal for me. I find it easier to fix most things myself than to was time on warranty claims. I realize that not everyone is in this category.
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At the end of the day you choose what you like and feel comfortable with. I am with Jerhofer, I must have got a good one and am happy with my decision.
I agree, and I am glad you are satisfied.
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Old 01-28-2015, 09:13 AM   #36
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Dodgy, shoddy, these are both words that don't even come close to describing my 2015 Airstream Interstate Ext. I have 13,xxx miles since May 2014 and it has been nothing short of excellent.

Maybe I am a better negotiater than most and because I never gave much effort in finding out where the bottom was on an LTV but I don't think I paid more or at least not much than you could buy a less equipped LTV for.

When I gave Great West Vans a look it was under new ownership. Not sure if it was within the last year or longer. Two things I didn't like was their website IMO was very lacking in content and well, sort of cheesy looking. The other thing was a video I found of the owner (new), describing his new company. He got multiple things wrong during his presentation on his own van. I would have thought he would have paid much closer attention to detail. Along with no dealer network, I was out. I am glad you are a DIY guy but since yours is built to a much higher standard you shouldn't have any worries anyway.
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:27 PM   #37
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And even in the e-trek, solar won't keep up with the demand of a rooftop air conditioner; you have to run a 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder diesel engine to provide your electricity, instead of a dinky little one-cylinder propane generator on an Interstate.
I have read concerns on the Sprinter forums about extensively idling the Sprinter diesel motor, resulting in possible issues with the Exhaust Gas Recirculator valve and the Diesel Particulate Filter. In my Mercedes diesels, I have avoided long engine idling obsessively, and have never had some of the issues with the EGR and DPF that I've seen described.

This would concern me on the Etrek...
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:51 PM   #38
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I like having a generator.. It's nice to have a back up, if your engine breaks down.. At least you can run the AC for longer than an hour while waiting for a tow..
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:08 PM   #39
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According to Roadtrek, the MB Sprinter has a high idle mode that supposedly avoids the aforementioned problems.

Maybe bikerbill can weigh in as he recently got an Etrek.
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:39 PM   #40
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Dodgy, shoddy, these are both words that don't even come close to describing my 2015 Airstream Interstate Ext. I have 13,xxx miles since May 2014 and it has been nothing short of excellent.
First of all, it is absolutely not my intention to spoil the pleasure of Interstate Ownership for anyone who has one. We owned ours for 8 years and loved every minute of it. Plus, if yours has the build quality that you describe, then you have a very special vehicle of which you should be very proud.

But, this is a thread about BUYING an Interstate, not owning one. A lot of people make the decision to buy an Airstream before they make the decision to buy a B-Van. This is a mistake. No manufacturer is perfect, and there will be large differences from unit to unit. If it were just your experience vs mine, I could write it off to the luck of the draw. But there is ample evidence on this forum and elsewhere that Thor-built vehicles (whether branded "Airstream" or not) generally exhibit build quality that are simply not reasonable given the price point at which they are positioned. This is NOT about quality of fittings and appliances, or (generally) about choice of materials. It is about workmanship. It is about sealant slathered on the roof in places that are hard to see. It is about hose clamps that are not tightened so that water leaks into insulation and seeps on the the floor. It is about leaky refrigerator vents that flood during heavy rain. It is about Video coax connectors that are not crimped properly and produce lousy reception. It is about trailer controller plugs dangling down unprotected until they contact the chassis and cause a Sprinter fault. It is about untreated metal edges on penetrations that rust badly after a few years. There is no question that these are common experiences for AI owners. If yours has none of them, I am sincerely glad for you.

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Maybe I am a better negotiater than most and because I never gave much effort in finding out where the bottom was on an LTV but I don't think I paid more or at least not much than you could buy a less equipped LTV for.
I can only repeat: It makes no sense to compare a list price with a negotiated price. If you think a good negotiator can purchase an AI for the same price as an LTV, then you must believe that Airstream has significantly higher margins (so that dealers have more room to negotiate) than LTV. I doubt that this is true, but perhaps you are right.
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When I gave Great West Vans a look it was under new ownership. Not sure if it was within the last year or longer. Two things I didn't like was their website IMO was very lacking in content and well, sort of cheesy looking.
There is no question that dealing with one of the boutique upfitters will be a different and less slick experience than dealing with Thor or Roadtrek. If this is important to you then, again, you made the right choice.
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The other thing was a video I found of the owner (new), describing his new company. He got multiple things wrong during his presentation on his own van.
You have said this before. I'm sure you are right, but I guess I missed them all. Out of curiosity, can you give some examples.
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I would have thought he would have paid much closer attention to detail. Along with no dealer network, I was out. I am glad you are a DIY guy but since yours is built to a much higher standard you shouldn't have any worries anyway.
You are putting words in my mouth. With the possible exception of ARV, I think the whole industry is pretty ghetto. Our GWV was far from perfect, by my standards. But we spent a long day at Hershey last year, and Roadtrek, LTV, and Airstream were all non-starters. It is true that these were necessarily shallow impressions. But, after 8 years of discovering and repairing the kinds of problems I listen above, I know how to look past the champaign glasses and cut flowers. None of the vehicles there were good enough for us when it comes to build quality. If you want the best and cost-effectiveness is not your goal, then take a close look at ARV. Otherwise, look very carefully at the particular unit you are considering, and use a screwdriver to do it.

My advice: If you own an AI (or any other van), then love it, enjoy it, and improve it (if necessary) until you are proud of it. (I was certainly proud of our AI by the time we sold it). But, if you DON'T own one yet, look at them all with a jaundiced eye, and don't be seduced by brand names or glitzy brochures.
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:03 AM   #41
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First of all, it is absolutely not my intention to spoil the pleasure of Interstate Ownership for anyone who has one.
And yet you seem determined to do so.
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But, if you DON'T own one yet, look at them all with a jaundiced eye, and don't be seduced by brand names or glitzy brochures.
Your jaundiced eye has cast a pall over this entire thread for me.

I'm going to bail out of this thread and go try to regain the pride of Airstream ownership that I had before reading your post. Say what you will about not being seduced by brand names, but this is the AIR Forums, and we all have been seduced by the Airstream brand or we wouldn't (or shouldn't) be here.
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:43 AM   #42
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And yet you seem determined to do so.Your jaundiced eye has cast a pall over this entire thread for me.
OK, then. I'm out.
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