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Old 01-13-2013, 01:12 AM   #1
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Question Opinion question -- Interstate agility?

First, this is a purely opinion question. The non-EXT model Interstate has a length of 23' 1". However, and this is pure opinion, how agile is something this long? I'm not intending this to be a daily driver in the core of NYC or SF, but it would be nice to be able to travel to some semi-urban to urban areas without major issues.

Any real ups/downs or hints learned with a vehicle this length? I do recall that Airstream used to make a shorter Interstate which was about 19-20 feet (which is the same length as the Avenue), and the nice thing about that size is that it would fit pretty much completely in a single parking place at a mall or other very busy area.

I know this is a subjective question, so any information is appreciated. I definitely am looking to buy a class B, but just figuring out the right length. Thank you for any info in advance.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:45 AM   #2
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Hi, this is just my opinion, but I would never consider an RV size for the sake of being able to park in a Mall parking lot space. Buy something that you and your family would feel comfortable in while traveling or camping.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:33 AM   #3
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Our Interstate is 22'. We have 130,000 miles on it, and don't tow anything.

We go wherever we want to go and have no problems. Parking in larger cities can take a bit of looking, but its never not happened.

If we are in a large parking lot, we usually move to the rear areas so as to not extend into others' path so much that we invite scrapes.

An extra foot might make some difference.


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Old 01-13-2013, 06:14 AM   #4
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I've used mine as a daily driver when my other car is in the shop. You do have to choose your parking spaces carefully.

Overall, compared to a long-bed crew-cab dually pickup, the Interstate is only a couple of feet longer (but with shorter overhangs, except on the extended model), and not as wide. So, if people can park those enormous pickups in a parking space and get away with it, you can park your Interstate there and get away with it, too.

Despite what Robertsunrus said, one of the deciding factors in getting my Interstate was that I live in an apartment complex. Before I ever bought an RV, I checked with my landlord, who agreed to let me park mine in the apartment complex's parking lot, so I don't have to rent a separate space to store mine. Of course, that wasn't my sole criterion for getting an Interstate, but it was a factor. The most important criterion was, for a solo camper such as me, why buy a bigger motorhome than I need? My Interstate has all of the amenities in a package that I'm comfortable with driving.

And the ability to park it easily has come to my rescue on at least one occasion; I had some minor outpatient surgery, and was told I'd have to get someone to drive me home. But none of my friends could get off from work that day. Medical services here will not let patients call a cab; there have been occasions in the New Orleans area of the patient being robbed either by hte cab driver, or after being let out of the cab, while they were still groggy from anesthesia. So, I drove my Interstate to the clinic for the surgery, and afterwards, took a nap in the Interstate until the nurses felt I had sufficiently recovered from the anesthesia to drive myself home (they came out to the RV periodically to check on me, and to check out the Interstate while they were at it).

There have been a couple of times that I've been blocked into a parking space, without room to back out, but that seldom happens; people are actually kind of leery about parking so close to something that big.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:34 AM   #5
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As long as you are comfortable with driving it in urban areas no big deal.There are much larger trucks manuvering through city streets making deliveries every day
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:50 AM   #6
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Yes.

FedEx and UPS are on Sprinter chassis, and you see them everywhere,


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Old 01-13-2013, 11:49 AM   #7
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I don't have a class B but I do have some advice about parking in larger cities. We learned on our last trip to call ahead to the visitor center and explain about being in an rv and they can try and direct you to an rv friendly lot. St. Augustine had a free rv-only lot across a field from the $10 parking garage. We certainly didn't mind walking the extra 200 yards for the free parking.

As a side note, I believe I made my wife nervous driving through these urban areas. Our rig is around 50' long and you learn to drive just a little bit more defensively and most drivers will give you just a little more room for maneuvering.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug&maggie View Post
Yes.

FedEx and UPS are on Sprinter chassis, and you see them everywhere,


Maggie
Agility, to me, means more than handling small spaces. This chassis exhibits great roadholding capabilities from what I observe on the highways (I do 2k miles per week). The owners of such can make their reports, but the limited miles I have ridden in them (work and pax transport configuration) leaves me impressed, highly, in observation from within and without.

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Old 01-13-2013, 08:37 PM   #9
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I haven't driven a Sprinter, but our F-250 is 21' long, and I was just driving it in downtown DC the other day. Seriously! Parking is the biggest issue - something I didn't really do in DC (we were dropping off furniture and parked in an alley for a few minutes) - as a couple people said. We don't even have the longest one - the crew cab is another foot or so longer.

Not sure about the Sprinter, but we've found that backing into a spot in the F-250 is easier than pulling in.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:35 PM   #10
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I use our Interstate (standard length) around town all the time. We don't live in the "big city" but in a campus town/bedroom community with lots of traffic and busy parking lots. My wife says I drive and park it like was a Miata. I've taken a tape measure to it and it is less than 1' longer than a crew cab long bed F250. As others have said, if folks are parking pickups somewhere you can pretty much park a Sprinter there. I do back in to most parking spaces for two reasons. 1) if you can put some the rear overhang out over the grass or something you will completely fit into a standard parking lot space without hanging into the traffic lane and 2)I'd rather back up when I have just surveyed the situation and know what obstacles I have to deal with. The "handeling" is very confidence inspiring even when towing thanks to the dual rear wheels. I will say that if you live or travel somewhere windy you will want to have both hands on the wheel when a side gust hits you.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:09 AM   #11
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I will say that if you live or travel somewhere windy you will want to have both hands on the wheel when a side gust hits you.
Even in strong gusty winds, an Interstate is very well-behaved. You do have to pay attention to your driving, but anyone who drives with one hand and cruise control in gusty conditions deserves what they get.

The only complaint I have about handling is when you get too close to the rear end of a semi at highway speedsó which generally happens to me only when one passes me and cuts back into my lane too close ahead of me. I am required to take defensive driving classes every three years for work, and some of the lessons have finally sunk in, so I tend to maintain a good following distance whenever I can. Anyway, if you get caught in a semi's slipstream, there is an odd "shimmy" that goes away as soon as you back off a little.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:13 PM   #12
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While traveling over the holidays, we decided that our sprinter needed a good vacuuming....our little dog was shedding something awful. Researched the town we were in and found a self serve car wash. On our way there, we saw a sign that said FREE vacuuming. Ok? Why not? LOL. I'll tell you why, one way in, and the only way out though a car wash that was not sprinter height friendly. Oops. Space was tight, and cars were whipping in behind us, but with a little direction, we got the beast turned around, and quickly departed through the NO EXIT. I was ever so thankful for the sprinter's agility in getting turned around quickly. We laughed about it after (and found our way to the original car wash).
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:07 PM   #13
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Speaking to agility, the Mini Cooper has a very poor turning circle for a car it's size - 35 feet - and the Sprinter a very good one for a vehicle that big- 44 feet.

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The explanation is likely that the Mini's wheels are at the edge of the vehicle and the Sprinter has overhang, front and back.

I always notice the difference and would have sworn that the Sprinter was doing better than the Mini had I not actually then checked for the stats.

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Old 01-14-2013, 06:15 PM   #14
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Once I had driven ours for about 20 minutes, I didn't really notice the size difference. In fact, about the same as driving a Suburban. When parking in large, mall lots, I try to pull thru and park in the outer reaches. That way I can pull out and make a sharp turn to leave. Actually had to parallel park on the beach hwy in Destin and w/ the rear camera and side mirrors, made it on the first try and there wasn't really any extra room outside the parking space.

I do agree about the side wind gusts. You must be alert even if it's a steady wind, when you drive under an overpass that blocks the wind and then back out, you will need to stay on top of it.

BTW, the Sprinter does have electronic stability control. My sales man showed me a video of a Sprinter going thru a slalom course at a speed I wouldn't want to attempt and it never went out of control or had the ends swap positions.

Driving in urban areas just requires care and some planning.
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