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Old 01-06-2015, 06:47 AM   #43
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Remember it took awhile before AS motorhomes and Argosys were admitted to the WBCCI. Some people are dinosaurs in their thinking. There were really old AS without rivets, kits? Peace, Jim.
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:52 AM   #44
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Acknowledging the problems that the Interstate has (and we have had more than our share), and acknowledging that other RVs of every class also have problems, I didn't see a better market solution for what we wanted. My husband and I were inside more for-sale Class B's than I could count. Which exact Class B's do folks believe are superior and why? Name, rank, serial number. And model year. Thanks.
Well, of course, the hard part is "for what we wanted". There can be no single rank-ordering of "best" vehicles, since people's needs, values, and tastes vary. That is why I have always been careful to limit my negative comments to issues that everybody would agree are negatives, like leaks, nonfunctional video cables, rotting wood, etc, etc. Replacing our 2004 Interstate with a new AI was ruled out based on our past experience with inexcusable sloppiness and evidence that it has not got materially better.

But, since you asked, I would lay out the B-van territory like this:

If money is no object and you value the same things as Mike Neundorfer, you want an Advanced RV. Probably the best in absolute quality available. For our needs, it wasn't cost-effective--we would have been paying a lot for things we didn't particularly value. Tempting, though.

For more mainstream B-vans, my judgement for best balance of good design, quality materials, and reputation for decent workmanship would go to (a) Great West Vans Legend, and (b) Leisure Travel Vans, in that order.

For technical innovation, the prize goes to RoadTrek. Pretty mediocre floorpans and workmanship, though.

The category in which the Interstate excels is "luxury family touring" -- good, ample seating; glitz and comfort; and prestige -- gets attention. But, given the severe workmanship problems and high relative price, it is way down the list on cost-effectiveness grounds.

If price is a major issue, Winnebago is a contender for "most for the money".

I'm sure that other brands have their advantages, but none make it onto our radar (and we shopped thoroughly as well).

In the end, we ended up with A 2014 GWV Legend, partly because they are one of the few quality upfitters that will consider moderate customization from the factory.

Cheers,
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:50 PM   #45
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Thanks for all that detail, Avanti.

Now, I hope some of you get a good belly laugh out of this next bit, and I hope that others of you don't take it the wrong way. Because this is, of course, a matter of personal taste.

My Interstate may be a pain in the a$$, and I may complain about it periodically, but whatever else can be said about it, it does *NOT* look like a casket!! I will fix gray water defects and then turn right around again and fix black water defects before I will drive around in anything that reminds me of a casket!!!

LOOK at this photo comparison - that's a casket on the top and a 2014 Great West Vans product on the bottom, or is it the other way around?! Do you not see the resemblance?! THEY ARE EVEN USING THE SAME SHADE OF WOOD STAIN! Particularly when B vans have those white ceiling covers and the shiny cherry stained wood surrounding cabinets below the ceiling covers... eewwww... and every time I would step into one of those types at the showroom, I would think to myself, "Oh, dear God, help me - I'm only fifty years old!! I'm too young for the casket!!"



In sooth, pick your poison. It is, indeed a matter of taste.
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:35 PM   #46
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Heh. I can't say that I disagree. Here is the equivalent view in OUR Legend:
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:47 PM   #47
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Heh. I can't say that I disagree. Here is the equivalent view in OUR Legend:
Attachment 229906
Attachment 229905
Very nice Avanti - you can see where Advanced RV took their original plans.
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Old 01-06-2015, 03:32 PM   #48
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Just because We can...that's why.
And because......they're beautiful.



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Old 01-06-2015, 03:42 PM   #49
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Honestly I don't know why any one would buy an Airstream Interstate... First it really is not an Airstream... no rivets means not an Airstream...I really dare any one to argue this fact! Second there are way better Sprinter platform RV's on the market at a way better price and dare I say way better quality. I really feel sorry for those who bought an Airstream Interstate Sprinter with all the problems mentioned on this forum and others... No I am not a "hater" of the Airstream Interstate, I just expect way more from something that cost over $100,000 with the Airstream name. Thor has hijacked the Airstream name when it comes to the Interstate and I for one would wish they never gone down this road and would stop! I guess $$$$ has made Airstream forget about their core roots.
I think the response to the post is very simple: If you think it is not an authentic Airstream, or if you think it is overpriced, or if you think it is poorly built....then don't buy one!
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Old 01-06-2015, 05:44 PM   #50
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Slightly off topic - but as someone who is interested in possibly switching from a trailer to a class B (If I can win my "Mrs" over to the idea!) I have a question.

In our case, the nearest AS dealer is maybe an hour and a half drive - but we have a Mercedes dealer within just a couple of miles.

I understand that the Mercedes dealer would have nothing to do with the RV aspects of the unit, but does the fact that the van has been converted to an RV mean that the Mercedes dealer would be reluctant to work on mechanical/electrical issues relating to what would normally be part of the vehicle systems as opposed to the added RV systems?

Just wondering if the fact that it is not a straight unmodified Sprinter would give them cause not to want to deal with it at all.

If ever I decided to make the switch I would go and speak with our Mercedes dealer in advance of the purchase, but just wondering what owner's experience has been.

I guess the same might equally relate to any make of class B RV van conversion, Roadtrek, Pleasureway, etc.

Brian.
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:29 PM   #51
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Brian,
A couple of things:
1) Make sure that your Mercedes dealer services Sprinters. By no means do all of them do so.
2) There is such a thing as a "Mercedes certified upfitter" (or some such). Airstream is one of them. Theoretically, this should grease the skids at a dealer.
3) Regardless of the above, the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act forbids manufacturers from voiding warranties due to aftermarket equipment, unless that equipment actually CAUSES the fault. Now, that is no guarantee that there won't be disputes about the cause of a problem, but legally speaking, MB is on the hook to maintain your vehicle during the warranty period, and all dealers are expected to honor warranty claims.
4) If something that the upfitter installed (say, a graywater tank) makes it difficult to perform a warranty repair, expect to be charged for the R&R of that equipment.
5) Regardless of all of the above, it is quite possible that a dealer will be uncooperative, but this is no different with Mercedes than any other dealer.
6) All of this said, I would say that most of the time, things go fine.
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:57 PM   #52
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In our case, the nearest AS dealer is maybe an hour and a half drive - but we have a Mercedes dealer within just a couple of miles.
Mercedes Benz of New Orleans can't service my Interstate, which is a pity because they're only two miles away from where I live. I have to go to Mercedes Benz of Baton Rouge, which is 66 miles away. The reason— MB of BR has a service bay big enough to handle Sprinters. MB of NO doesn't.
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does the fact that the van has been converted to an RV mean that the Mercedes dealer would be reluctant to work on mechanical/electrical issues relating to what would normally be part of the vehicle systems as opposed to the added RV systems?
I've had no problem at all with Mercedes Benz of Baton Rouge working on my Interstate. In fact, they installed my Koni shocks for me, even though I didn't purchase them there. They add my Walmart DEF instead of making me buy Mercedes DEF at eight times the price. The even removed my ECU chip and mailed it off to RennTech for an aftermarket ECU tune, and reinstalled it when RennTech was done with it. If they notice a problem with a non-Mercedes system in the course of Mercedes service, they tell me about it, but don't fix it.

No matter that you bought your Mercedes from an Airstream dealer, the fact is, you bought a Mercedes, and it's in their best interest to make sure you're happy with it.
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:57 PM   #53
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Avanti - thanks for that insight!

I have never stopped in at our local Mercedes dealer, but i see sprinters on their lot so I imagine they must sell & service them. As mentioned, if I do get serious about buying a class B based on the Mercedes, I think I should stop in and discuss with them first!

Never having owned a class B (only a VW Westphalia about 40 years ago!!) I was just a bit apprehensive that this class of vehicle might be problematic from a mtce/repair aspect due to the split responsibilities of the vehicle manufacturer and the RV company and wondering what the real world experience was like in this area.

I'm sure that, as you say, if there are problems, it could be just these same with Ford/GM as with Mercedes. Just that if I buy one, it is more likely to be the Mercedes based type!

I gather you are saying it could well be a problem but in your own experience at east, it has not been a major issue.

Many thanks for the response! Better to explore these things before rather than after!

Brian.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:20 PM   #54
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Protag,

Thanks for the input - the service bay height issue never occurred to me, and if I do get serious about making the switch I will check out our MB dealer in that respect. They do sell Sprinters though and just opened the dealership a year or two back (pretty impressive looking place) so I would think they should be ok.

We live on the outskirts of a fairly major city (Toronto) and I'm sure there are a number of other dealers - but it would be nice if I could deal with the one almost on our doorstep!


I don't know if this switch will ever happen or not. So far, the only reaction I get from my wife when I take her to RV shows to look at class B's is how confining they are compared to our Classic 30!

Off curse I understand what she is saying and don't disagree that it would be a big change, but I have been trying to convince her to look at larger picture and consider all of the pros and cons and also to realize that we would use it differently when RV'ing.

For example, Instead of staying in it for 7-8 weeks in the winter as we do with the trailer, we would use it to drive south and then, once there, rent a park model trailer or condo for our winter getaway.

I see the class B as offering a number of advantages in our situation .....

- we are not getting younger and it would be a lot easier to deal with than a 31 foot trailer and 3/4 ton truck.

- we would buy a small toad such as your Honda Fit, which could serve as an every day driver and so my wife wouldn't have to complain about trying to park our 3/4 ton crew cab diesel truck when she goes grocery shopping!

- we could park the B in our driveway (I checked with the city) rather than paying $1000 a year to park our trailer 15 miles from our house!

- we would be more likely to use the B for short summer getaways since it would be sitting in our drive ready to go. (I won't think about bringing the trailer home and getting it ready for less than a trip of at least a week's duration - too much of a hassle!)

- might be fun for taking day trips or overnighters to nearby destinations for hiking, antique shopping, etc.

- she could drive it in the event I got sick while on a trip (she drives our truck but will not pull the trailer!).

- I could look after it and maintain it a lot better with it being at home. Our trailer tends to get ignored a bit in this respect and that bothers me!


Seems to me to be a lot of pros in our case, but so far all I hear from "SWMBO" is that it is way too confining - even though we are both pretty small people both in height and width!

I haven't given up yet, but no point in switching unless I can get her onside, or all I will ever hear is "See, I told you so!" if her mind is made up in advance! (I know her to well after 45years!)


Thanks ......... Brian.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:41 PM   #55
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They aren't the most comfortable to sleep in but they sure are wonderful to road trip in.. That's usually what we do, get a nice vacation rental and if need be we could always rent a car ( although I never have I just use the rv)

It is great for day trips we just used it to head down to the beach and watch the sunset on Sunday.. That's what we love about it.. Easy to drive easy to park and has so many uses.

If my wife wants to go to the mall we usually take the RV so I have a place to retreat and watch tv or take a nap.. It's also great when you're stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.. The kids can get up and go to the bathroom or my wife or me if she's driving can get up and make a snack..

They are just awesome machines!! Good luck and hopefully you will become one of the converted..
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:03 PM   #56
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Brian - you should not worry about the vehicle issues on any B-van. No motorhome RV manufacturer makes the vehicle chassis. Be that a B-van a Class C or A motorhome - they all have a vehicle chassis made by a truck company that is converted to a motorhome by an RV manufacturer. I have a friend with a big Class A made by Tiffin on a Freightliner chassis. He takes it to a Freightliner truck dealer for service of the vehicle systems.


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