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Old 01-02-2016, 08:07 PM   #1
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Our 2015 Interstate - One Year Later....

It has actually been 14 months since we picked up our Interstate Grand Tour at Fairfield, CA, and having just returned from our 28th trip, I thought it might be a good time to share the good (and a few not-so-good) things about our first year of ownership. First of all, this is our first RV, so we cannot compare to other experiences except vicariously through friends, fellow campers and posters on this site. Now for my observations: So far, all systems have worked as designed and demonstrated by our service tech when we went through orientation. The glitches have been few: found the 12v connector to the refrigerator unplugged (fixed as an Airstream warranty repair at our local non-Airstream RV repair shop); the wire harness for the lounge motor (that reclines it) had been cabled too tight, so came disconnected from the motor (same warranty arrangement). Otherwise, the problems have been limited to a couple of blown fuses (macerator motor once, step/awning circuit two times). Recommendation: study carefully the location and identification of all fuses and have a good stock of all amperages in one of those kits).

We LOVE all the storage space. Through the course of many trips we have learned what "fully stocked" means in terms of having the right tools, gadgets, supplemental clothing, bedding, kitchen gear, electronics, first aid, toiletries, etc. And everything has a place! We just add food in the refer and freezer, bring an overnight case of clothes, and we're off!

The big topic on this board has been electrical power, and based on our storage circumstances we are resigned to very limited boondocking options. We have to store off-site, and our excellent storage facility allows us to keep it indoors...but they do not have shore power capacity for the 100+ units in the building. So our unit sits with the main power switch off and no recharge source for an average two weeks between trips. When I pick it up from the outside lot on a Thursday afternoon, for example, the battery is at 60-65%...but that is after being in the sun for a few hours. So I can imagine that the voltage is waaay down while parked indoors. I have read every thread about ways to limit the drain or increase power input, but the reality is that our use is primarily in parks with shore power and short periods of parking in transit. So we will live with this for at least the time being and maybe another solution will develop.

Some pleasant surprises: 1) the LPG system is very efficient! We have only refilled the tank once in a year. Granted, we use it mostly for cooking, but our just completed trip was four days in 35 degree Northern California, and the furnace kept us very comfortable...on only 1/4 tank. 2) Plumbing and waste disposal has worked flawlessly. 3) The bed is (for us, anyway) incredibly comfortable, and I sleep much better and longer than at home. 4) The vehicle is a pleasure to drive, even many hours at a time. 5) The entertainment system has worked well, despite the tinny audio of the front speakers (which we intend to upgrade). 6) Cleaning Gizmo (our name) is easy and fast, and it looks spectacular when it is all spiffed up and ready to roll. Summary: did we make the right move for a first RV experience? In our unqualified opinion, YES!
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Old 01-02-2016, 08:34 PM   #2
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Well done tlundell, it's always very heartwarming and encouraging to read about happy experiences with Interstates. Keep sending in your experiences!
Peter


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Old 01-02-2016, 08:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlundell View Post
We LOVE all the storage space. Through the course of many trips we have learned what "fully stocked" means in terms of having the right tools, gadgets, supplemental clothing, bedding, kitchen gear, electronics, first aid, toiletries, etc. And everything has a place! We just add food in the refer and freezer, bring an overnight case of clothes, and we're off!
You obviously had lower initial expectations than the run-of-the-mill Interstate owner. Most us us bemoan the LACK of storage space in our Interstates! Mind you, the EXT models do have more space than my non-EXT, but still…
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Old 01-02-2016, 08:45 PM   #4
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I, too, am glad to hear positive things.

Just a little over a year ago we bought our 2013 used with only 4200 miles. It still had all the packing inside the refrigerator, microwave, and bathroom so it was as close as you could get to getting a new one. It now has over 20,000 miles and has been very reliable. I have completed a number of modifications which enhance the experience for us but it would have also been fine as it came from the factory. Being retired and a tinkerer means working on the AI and my cars keeps me out of the bars!

We did some preparation work today as we are leaving next week for points south. Can't wait!!
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:49 AM   #5
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Thanks for the report. I agree that the Extended models have great storage, that's probably why Airstream has switched the entire Interstate line to Extended Sprinters in 2016.


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Old 01-03-2016, 09:59 AM   #6
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I have only one thing to say. You need a new bed at home.

j/k glad you are getting out there and enjoying your van. How many miles have you put on it?
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Old 01-03-2016, 11:03 AM   #7
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I have only one thing to say. You need a new bed at home.
Removing the upholstered wooden side panels from the side-facing seats helps improve the comfort of the Interstate's bed immensely. When in seat mode, you do have to be a little more careful of the metal seat frame without those boards to protect against pinch points, but that metal doesn't stick up to form a pressure point when the lounge is made into a bed, unlike the upholstered wooden boards.
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Old 01-03-2016, 12:14 PM   #8
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Airstream interstate

I have exactly the same model as you
But have owned a total of 8 RV's...all
None trailerable.
Please advise how many miles you have accumulated and have you tried
To have the tires rotated?
Many Thanks
Jeff
Cape Coral, Fl
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Old 01-03-2016, 12:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Removing the upholstered wooden side panels from the side-facing seats helps improve the comfort of the Interstate's bed immensely. When in seat mode, you do have to be a little more careful of the metal seat frame without those boards to protect against pinch points, but that metal doesn't stick up to form a pressure point when the lounge is made into a bed, unlike the upholstered wooden boards.
Very interesting. When my wife and I use our bed, we use 'eggshell foam' and don't open the side facing seats. I am 5'9" and wife is shorter. Do you
Think your arrangement is much better? Are u tall?
Our arrangement allows us to use the 'head' individually...don't have to climb over each other but
Still your idea intrigues me.
Any photos? Thanks! Jeff
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Old 01-03-2016, 12:30 PM   #10
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Please advise how many miles you have accumulated and have you tried
To have the tires rotated?
Rotating the tires requires dismounting from the rims, because you have three different noninterchangeable rims— front, outside rear, inside rear.

Rotating the tires on any vehicle is meant to distribute wear equally between front and rear to maximize tire life. But in the case of an RV, you generally won't get anywhere near to wearing out the tread before you have to replace the tires due to age. That makes distributing the wear a moot point.

It's normally not worth the effort or expense to rotate the tires on an Interstate— until and unless you see excessive and/or uneven wear on the front tires. In that case only, you should get a front-end alignment and either (a) rotate the front tires to the outside rear if the wear isn't too extreme, or (b) replace the front tires with new ones.
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:44 PM   #11
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A couple of points in response to the replies:
*Most of our trips have been 3-day-weekenders within 150 miles of home (many with the local WBCCI Unit), so our mileage (about 9,000) is probably low for the number of trips we have taken.
*Tires have not been rotated and no particular plans to do so. I check air pressure frequently and wear seems to be very uniform so far.
*Good point about my bed at home :-)...but it may be that the wonderful sleeping experience in the Interstate is more about the relaxing trip than the bed being super-comfortable. At least I can say that the bed is not UNcomfortable such that it disturbs sleep.
*My comment on the abundant storage is probably one of exceeded expectations. After seeing the mega-undercarriage storage of the behemoth motorhomes, I expected a real struggle finding a space for everything we would need in such a compact vehicle. No such problem!
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:24 PM   #12
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Congratulations! Ours is a 2013 Twin. We upgraded the mattresses and now have a king size ... Better than home. We've been to 41 National Parks and 48 States. The Interstate is a great vehicle/rv. We've replaced fuses, a macerator pump, thermostat and now the a/c circuit board. I added a 100w solar panel and will add another soon. Towed a Jeep Rubicon to Moab from Maryland's Eastern Shore. Most of our touring is w/o a tow vehicle and the Interstate can go any place a FedX truck can go. We've lived in it for seven months and never felt like we needed a hotel. Headed to New Orleans then Calif now. Summer will be back to Maryland then up to Nova Scotia.

If you get a chance stop by the Factory. They are really nice and love what they do.
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:34 PM   #13
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Awesome to hear! You obviously chose very well for your needs. Fabulous.

Thanks for the great report!
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:49 PM   #14
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*Tires have not been rotated and no particular plans to do so. I check air pressure frequently and wear seems to be very uniform so far.
Watch the outside rib on the fronts for excessive wear that show up around 10K-15K miles.

If you get that, get the camber set as close to zero as the spec allows which may require the special camber bolts from MB for about $8/ea.
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