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Old 08-06-2012, 06:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by r carl View Post
Go to a car wash and while one is spraying water the other can be inside looking for leaks.
Careful with pressure washers and RV's... they are not designed for the pressure, or the angles that a pressure washer can push water...
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:05 PM   #16
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Glenn,

Assuming the Interstate has similar issues as a trailer—

Run everything once you have camped for the night. The furnace may not be comfortable in August, but open the door and turn on the fans, and let her rip. Check all the registers for hot air.

I don't know if the heat pump on the A/C will work at high temps, but try it.

Look underneath for leaks, and then everywhere else—in cabinets, anywhere there are water lines. Make sure the drain under the sink is tight and doesn't leak. Some newer trailers have problems draining the kitchen sink—water comes up in the shower even if the grey tank is empty; I haven't seen anything on that for Interstates though. That can be fixed.

There have been some problems with the sound system—does the TV play through the system, do DVD's work, etc. Some models have noise from the subwoofer if it isn't adjusted right.

Make sure all the windows open easily—they can stick on the rubber seals. Use a putty knife carefully to loosen them and then spray silicone on the rubber. Make sure the window locks are all properly tightened—we lost a window on the way home because one lock was loose.

Some trailers sit on the lot for a long time and the batteries may not have been maintained well at a dealer—check the cells with a hydrometer.

Make sure the fridge works on electric and propane. There are plenty of things to check, so this is just a few.

The dealers give you 2 hours for the inspection, but if that isn't enough time, ask for more. No matter how well you prepare, you will forget something and feel confused. That is normal.

We came to the dealer and got 4 hours. Then we went to a nearby campground and found about 5 things that needed fixing. We went back to the dealer and got them fixed.

You will probably need sewer hoses, water hoses, and a bunch of other stuff too.

Gene
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:48 PM   #17
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In response to 73Shark, buying from a dealership in Florida. So happy to see a fellow Interstate here in OP! I'm open for any & all advice you toss my way.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:37 PM   #18
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I would follow all of the above. Additionally bring a note pad and take notes, and as lots of questions. The dealer should allow enough time to cover the entire vehicle. Ours lasted 2-3 hours. On your first night, especially if at the dealer, fill all of your tanks. Yes i know that is a lot of water, but if there is any construction debris in the tanks, or the valves do not open or close properly, now is the time to identify and fix the problems. You can also ensure that the level sensors work properly.

Good Luck and Congratulations
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:14 AM   #19
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In response to 73Shark, buying from a dealership in Florida. So happy to see a fellow Interstate here in OP! I'm open for any & all advice you toss my way.
My salesman at MB-KC gave me a steno pad and pen and said to write down all my questions that came up. It turned out to be very handy.

When new, Airstream puts all the manuals and instructions for installed equipment in a softside briefcase. Try to make sure that's still w/ your unit when you get it.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:38 AM   #20
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My salesman at MB-KC gave me a steno pad and pen and said to write down all my questions that came up. It turned out to be very handy.

When new, Airstream puts all the manuals and instructions for installed equipment in a softside briefcase. Try to make sure that's still w/ your unit when you get it.
Try to make sure ALL the manuals are included, too. My Interstate was missing the manuals for the LPG detector and water heater (interestingly, both are Atwood products). I was able to download copies of the manuals from the Atwood web page, but shouldn't have needed to.

There was also no manual for the retractable step by the sliding side door, and I can't find one online. The best I was able to do is a catalog from the company that makes the step. In Italian.

If anyone from Jackson Center is reading this, a high-quality scanned copy of all the manuals, on DVD, would be nice, too.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:32 AM   #21
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Manuals can change frequently and make sure you have the right ones. Scanned ones on DVD may be wrong ones for the model in the trailer and keeping up to date may be beyond the capabilities of Airstream. The owner's manuals don't keep with Airstream's product changes after all.

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Old 08-09-2012, 11:31 AM   #22
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Greetings from Peculiar, and I hope we get to meet soon

Don't forget to ask about how to winterize, and have them show you where the valves and pump are. If you are lucky, they will give you a winterization kit and show you how to use it. I am not familiar with an Interstate, but I am sure your systems have or will have similar issues we all have in our trailers.

Good luck and Happy Motoring

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Old 08-09-2012, 11:48 AM   #23
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Greetings from Peculiar, and I hope we get to meet soon

Don't forget to ask about how to winterize, and have them show you where the valves and pump are. If you are lucky, they will give you a winterization kit and show you how to use it. I am not familiar with an Interstate, but I am sure your systems have or will have similar issues we all have in our trailers.

Good luck and Happy Motoring

Drew
Also get them to show you how to prime the freshwater pump. You only have to do it after you de-winterize (summerize?), but you have to remove the bottom galley drawer to do it, and it's really awkward. The owner's manual will tell you nothing on how to prime the pump.

Also, all of the switches are unlabeled, and the owner's manual doesn't tell you which is which, either. Get them to explain which switch is does what(and for the one that controls the retractable step lock, which way is "off"— mine is upside down, with off being up rather than down like all the others). The only switch that's obvious is the lighted red switch that controls the tank heater.

Before I forget, you may also want to know that the sliding side door has to be closed before you extend or retract the awning. Otherwise the awning hangs up on the top edge of the door. Once the awning is extended and propped up on its legs, you can open and close the door normally.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:50 AM   #24
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We get the winterizing and de-winterizing done at the shop. It's expensive, we know, but we have RVing do-it-yourself friends who didn't do it correctly and ran up far more costly repairs.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:00 AM   #25
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We get the winterizing and de-winterizing done at the shop. It's expensive, we know, but we have RVing do-it-yourself friends who didn't do it correctly and ran up far more costly repairs.
That's one approach, but I'd still want to know how, even if I have someone else actually do the work. After all, after you hire work done, you should inspect it to make sure it was done, and not just take their word for it. But then, I'm an engineer, and professionally anal about things like that.

Plus, by making the dealer show you how to do it, you are simultaneously making sure the dealer knows how to do it! Handy hint, get the walk-through from a service tech, not a salesman, if you have a choice.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:29 AM   #26
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I've found Jim Parrett @ Airstream to be very helpful on getting missing manuals and questions in general. 937-596-6111
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:32 AM   #27
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Thanks again for all the replies.

My delivery experience:

Because I read through the Airstream Interstate manual twice before delivery, the walk though was mostly getting re-familurized. I only needed to video tape the electrical systems panel explanation.

Walk through took almost 2 hours - lucky that it was raining heavy off and on at the time. No leaks noticed.

The issues I found after delivery:
1. water pump needed to be primed when I arrive home.
2. water pump causing "buzz" noise due to loose screws on front panel wall of bathroom.
2. water condensation inside the rear back-up camera.
3. solar panel does not charge house batteries.
4. car alternator does not charge the house batteries
5. Needed to lube sweaky bathroom door
6. LED interior lighting color is hideous during the night. (placed lighting filters over interior lights as decribed in another post to give a more natural warm look)
7. several srews loose around bathroom "port hole" causing rattling while on the road
8. bathroom door latch loose causing rattling while on the road.

Some other observations:

Very efficient - I got 20.6 mpg (mostly highway).

Coach handles great on the road.

No sound or video system issues (some had problems with rear speakers not working with the radio).

Garmin nav works great (although it routed me though a narrow road that had a low overpass - had to carefully back out of that tight situation and get re-routed!)

Rear lounge bed is not comfy. I Recommend at least a 2" memory foam pad for rear bed.

Bathroom swing out rattles while on the road - can't think of a anyway to reduce noise.

Very happy with the coach so-far. Just need to address a few minor issues.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:12 PM   #28
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2. water condensation inside the rear back-up camera.
You did say it was raining heavily off-and-on. The water visible on your camera's screen could just be rainwater on the camera lens. I get the same thing when it rains. It goes away after it dries out.

Quote:
3. solar panel does not charge house batteries.
If you start with topped-off batteries, the solar panel will keep them topped off. However, if the house batteries are drained, the solar panel will never put out enough juice to revive them. Use the generator or shore power first to charge the batteries, then leave it to the solar panel to keep them charged.

NOTE: When you're getting ready for a trip, you can start the refrigerator a day before to let it cool down, and the solar panel WILL keep up with the current demanded by the refrigator, if that's all that's running. Assuming the inverter/charger is turned off or to "charge only" and the refrigerator is running in 12v mode.

Learned the hard way… Make sure the propane solenoid (behind the curb-side rear wheelwell) is OFF when you're not using propane. That little switch, all by itself, draws 2 amps. That's a 48-amp draw per day, and it will drain your house batteries in no time.

Also learned the hard way… Headlights do not automatically turn off when you shut off the engine. They'll drain your starting battery dead in no time if you leave them on. You do get a "ding, ding, ding" reminder if you exit by the driver's door, but if you exit by the sliding side door, you won't. You may be able to change the setting so the headlights do shut off automatically if you leave them on, but I haven't figured out how yet.

Quote:
4. car alternator does not charge the house batteries
No, it won't. That's normal, and not a problem. Car alternator has a voltage regulator optimized for the wet-cell starting battery. It would fry your house batteries in short order if hooked up to charge them.

Quote:
6. LED interior lighting color is hideous during the night. (placed lighting filters over interior lights as decribed in another post to give a more natural warm look)
To each his own. Never bothered me. Once I'm done fixing dinner, if I plan to read I use the little spotlights over the lounge. If I plan to watch TV I use the rope lights and floor-level coutresy lights only, so it's dim but not dark.

Quote:
Very efficient - I got 20.6 mpg (mostly highway).
Expect that to drop slightly as you add stuff to all of the cabinets, and if you travel with a full freshwater tank, and as you get out of the break-in period (first 500~1000 miles).

Quote:
Garmin nav works great (although it routed me though a narrow road that had a low overpass - had to carefully back out of that tight situation and get re-routed!)
Garmin nav systems for the Kenwood head unit are not optimized for RVs. Always pays to have a good-quality road atlas with you. After the Garmin plots a route, touch the top green bar where it tells you your next turn, and it will bring up a list of ALL your turns. Follow the route on the road atlas, and if you see it's sending you somewhere you're not comfortable, you can use the "detour" function to get routed around.

Quote:
Rear lounge bed is not comfy. I Recommend at least a 2" memory foam pad for rear bed.
Personal taste again. I find that a double-bed-sized sleeping bag provides all the padding I need, as long as I tuck the seat belts out of the way first.

Quote:
Bathroom swing out rattles while on the road - can't think of a anyway to reduce noise.
Don't travel with the swing-out extended. Put it in, and lock it with the pin in the top corner. That should tame the rattle. Note, also, that the extension does have a friction latch to hold it open, at the bottom; the first couple of times you open it, you may have to thump it hard, from inside the bathroom, near the bottom edge, to get it to seat in the latch.
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