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Old 01-11-2015, 09:04 AM   #71
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They now do have two ranges, starting this year. The Interstate Lounge model could be considered a day van. The new Grand Tour model is more a motorhome with better systems for those who want to use it primarily for camping, or as I tell my wife "Glamping" (glamor camping).



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It will be interesting to see if, with the Grand Tour filling the camping slot and the Autobahn filling the luxury mini-bus slot, Airstream actually turn the Lounge into a true day van.....i.e. everything a couple (regular length????), small family (EXT?????) need during the day. The Lounge is still a 'glamper' IMHO.

It's almost the Grand Tour is aimed at self-sufficient camping, the Lounge is for hook-up camping, and the Autobahn is just a luxury coach. So there is still the day van slot. Not saying you can't use the Lounge as a day van, plenty do, but Airstream could make a better day van.
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:20 AM   #72
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It also depends on how you're going to use the van... If it is only two then the Grand Tour would most likely suit your needs..

If you travel with more than two like we do it's nice having the two extra captains chairs.. The bed can be made comfortable with the use of mattress pads or a foam topper.. Everyone's desired level of comfort is different..
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:30 PM   #73
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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.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.



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Old 01-11-2015, 01:39 PM   #74
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Hi Protagonist, I see you're from Metarie! I went to grade school there. My name is Laura and you've helped us a lot in the past. I was reading your post regarding koni shocks and the ECU chip. Do the shocks help with bouncing in the back? Also, do they help with high winds?

What does the renn tech ECU chip do for the interstate? Does it help with the mileage?

Do you remember the cost of each of these upgrades?

Thanks!



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Old 01-11-2015, 02:33 PM   #75
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Do the shocks help with bouncing in the back?
I'm not the best person to ask on that; I never ride in the back. As a solo traveler I'm always the one in the driver's seat.
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Also, do they help with high winds?
Not so much.

Where they help the most is potholes and bumps. The ride is a bit harsher— you feel a bit more of a jolt at first— but the van settles down faster instead of bouncing for a long time.
Quote:
What does the renn tech ECU chip do for the interstate? Does it help with the mileage?
You get better torque, more horsepower, and better fuel economy. But not all at once. Better torque and horsepower when you're accelerating, which a real help when trying to merge onto the highway in heavy traffic. Better fuel economy if you maintain a steady speed around 55 to 60 mph— about 2 mpg better. Above 65, fuel economy is actually worse than before. But that's fine for me. Towing my Honda, the RennTech ECU does exactly what I need it to, since I never tow above 65 mph anyway. That's the speed limit for flat-towing my Honda, according to the Honda owner's manual.
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Do you remember the cost of each of these upgrades?
Not really. I did it all a couple of years ago, and my own personal Paperwork Reduction Act means that I don't keep financial records that don't help me at tax time.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:13 PM   #76
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As always thanks for your help.

FYI
So far this is what we've had done to our Interstate:
We've added a 12" subwoofer that was mounted in a custom made cabinet that fits under the side seat next to the stove and a power amp that was placed under the front passenger seat. Also upgraded all speakers except the center dashboard speaker. Also had a invisible bra kit put on to help out with the small rock chips.
Lastly, had a new chrome grille and chrome hood cowls installed.

Thanks again,

Laura

PS: I also inquired about the VB Air Suspension at Advanced RV. I asked about the product & installs. They told me they may have to rewire or move some plumbing depending on what's needed. They Quoted me $6,900 if no extra routing of wires or plumbing are required. Ouch! That seems a bit much but then again I don't know what all is entailed.


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Old 01-12-2015, 06:40 AM   #77
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...

PS: I also inquired about the VB Air Suspension at Advanced RV. I asked about the product & installs. They told me they may have to rewire or move some plumbing depending on what's needed. They Quoted me $6,900 if no extra routing of wires or plumbing are required. Ouch! That seems a bit much but then again I don't know what all is entailed.

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I mentioned on other threads that my husband and I may eventually attempt a DIY on this. We just bought our Interstate (a 2007) four months ago and we have many items on the to-do list ahead of the suspension. Based on my husband's initial research, DIY costs might (might) be closer to $3K.

However, it's not clear at this point that it is even achievable on our vehicle - we hadn't gotten that far with research. Moving wires or plumbing is one thing, but if the generator is in the way (which it might be), that would probably be a deal-breaker.

They are much farther along with this technology in Europe, where the Sprinter has been more firmly established in many different capacities. Obviously you can't have an ambulance that rides as roughly as an unmodified Sprinter. You'd kill a few patients en route to the hospital.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:03 AM   #78
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Obviously you can't have an ambulance that rides as roughly as an unmodified Sprinter. You'd kill a few patients en route to the hospital.
Acadiana Ambulances of Louisiana uses some Sprinter ambulances. But they use the Sprinter 2500 chassis. Less unsprung weight with single rear wheels, and a more forgiving ride.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:50 AM   #79
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That was my first thought, Protag......ambulances are simply not as big.

Having ridden in the back of a couple, for various reasons , they are smaller and just a much different ride.



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Old 01-12-2015, 01:33 PM   #80
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Sprinter has a 4x4 chassis available. I wonder if there will ever be a 4x4 Airstream Interstate.
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:11 PM   #81
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It also depends on how you're going to use the van... If it is only two then the Grand Tour would most likely suit your needs..

If you travel with more than two like we do it's nice having the two extra captains chairs.. The bed can be made comfortable with the use of mattress pads or a foam topper.. Everyone's desired level of comfort is different..
We are in Ft Myers, FL for our last day of a nine day trip, our longest yet in the AI. It is raining today so it is time to check my forums.

Yesterday I was looking at the floorplan and a Colonial video for the Grand Tour model. While we certainly would appreciate the larger refrigerator, we would hate to give up the two captain's chairs in our Lounge EXT model. The dog's traveling seat rests on one of them and her bag of goodies is secured by the seat belt on the other one. She would not like it if she were all the way in the rear plus the ride would be much worse. So, for us, our lounge model is working very well.

We find we are taking out items that Airstream built in. We have removed the drop down bed additions as we are short enough to not need them. This opened up additional storage for tall items. With those gone, we did not need the aluminum pull out support for the drop down sections.

We have removed the silverware divider after we discovered a Coleman set of silverware that is secured in its own case. The pillows are gone as they were always in the way. When we arrive back home, I am going to remove the counter top extension as we never use it and it is in the way when we fold out the side seat. And we have decided that we will not use the table in the front area so I am going to remove the table base and the resulting hump.

The cabinets I added in the rear (as posted on the "Small Space Living" thread) have been a wonderful addition. It has greatly reduced clutter in the rear and has virtually eliminated the need to dig for items. We are planning an at least three week trip to California in March and these cabinets have caused me to quit looking for a hitch mounted storage unit.

The area under the right side seat has been the perfect place to store shoes while that area under the left seat has been filled with beverages allowing easy access when we need to restock the refrigerator. The George Foreman grill also fits nicely there.

Overall, the Lounge model has worked well for us. And, as with all models, we have appreciated that the size of the AI allows us to take it wherever we want to go. We spent a day at Ft. Myers Beach and found parking right on the beach next to a pet friendly restaurant. We did have to pay double for the parking space but we understood that as we took up two spaces. Maneuvering it in a fairly tight area was not an issue.

Yesterday we took Piper to Dog Beach where she could run without a leash. There are many wonderful beaches in Fl but this was not one of them. It was more mud than sand so, while she had a great time frolicking in the water, she was a mess. We discovered later that they did have provisions there for spraying off your dog, but by that time I had hooked up the shower hose and cleaned her at the motorhome.

Time to quit this reply as I need another beer!!!
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:29 PM   #82
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One more reason:

So y'all can talk me back into knowing deep down in me guts that this, not another trailer is wha' Ethyl and I really want. That '74 VW Campmobile we bought new spoiled us. Nothing like being able to really use ye RV daily, and it's still an RV! Amen to what y'all said about having bathroom with you! With fibromyalgia I suffer from, which causes IBS (y'all boys know wha' tha is!), carrying your own truly porta potty with you is almost priceless! Yep. I want be happy until I'm in a good class b. I strayed a few days ago after old win said he is getting one of them nice Oliver trailers, but nope, not for me. It's class b. We'll use that all the time.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:15 AM   #83
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.... ....While we certainly would appreciate the larger refrigerator, we would hate to give up the two captain's chairs in our Lounge EXT model. ......We find we are taking out items that Airstream built in. We have removed the drop down bed additions as we are short enough to not need them. This opened up additional storage for tall items. With those gone, we did not need the aluminum pull out support for the drop down sections. .....

I agree with you on using the Lounge EXT model captain's chairs. They form our living area when traveling. I also removed the rear drop down bed extension hardware. Our Interstate is a true multi-purpose vehicle. We use is to haul groceries, neighbors and the family around when we are home. It is our home away from home when traveling. Right now I'm using it as my trash hauling truck for a remodeling project to get the old removed carpet to the landfill. I have a set of light weight foam cored plywood panels I made for my old Ford van. Just modified them to fit over the bed, protected by old blankets. Looks like this when in the truck hauling mode. Click image for larger version

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Old 02-16-2015, 12:45 PM   #84
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Never heard of foam-cored plywood. Where did you get it?

Looks like it's a marine product.
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