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Old 12-09-2014, 12:24 PM   #15
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Well, it's not really a change, but just something to help us out at a later date. When we picked up our ASGT the dealer spent a couple of hours with us going through everything, like I said before " head like a sieve". We should have thought about video, we could film the whole thing and go back over things we aren't sure about. Since we aren't full timing I could use a film to remind me how things work in the AS. I should have though about it early on.
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:56 PM   #16
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I'd like to see Airstream revert to offering at least one floor plan that is optimized for use by two people doing extended travel in true RV fashion (including boondocking). IMHO, they've enhanced the vehicle's soccer Mom potential at the expense of its camper van ethic. That's fine for soccer Moms and I'm sure there's market demand for it, but one would think that, with about ten different floor plans between the AI and the AI-EXT, at least one of them could remain true to something closer to its original design.

My husband and I find frustrating the fact that this isn't offered. Our original plan was to buy an older pre-owned Interstate, use it for a few years, and then once we know exactly what we want, upgrade to a new model. Except Airstream no longer makes what we want, which happens to be exactly what we have, at least from a lay-out perspective (the Sprinter itself leaves plenty of room for refinement).

Seriously - how do you owners of newer models live with absolutely NO counter space in the galley?! It would drive me bonkers. I wonder if you know what you are missing. So much void space in the newer Interstates. Plenty of bling but the ergonomics suck.
A couple of things we did on our ext model, that made a huge difference for us:

1. Removed second row seats. Now there's room for shoe storage containers, dog food container that fits inside a storage cube that we can also sit on, dog beds, etc.. You could use the space for another cooler, or any other kind of storage that you need.

2. Added more solar (thank you, Lew). We now ave 200w solar. Plenty for us to keep our batteries charged up.

3. Removed television in front. Now we can actually use the large storage bins properly. The TV partially blocked access, and we don't use the TV anyways. Still have the one in the back.

4. Flipped door hinges on rear half wardrobe so that we can access that from the front. We leave bed made as a bed all the time, and it was a pain to access it before.

The one thing we need to figure out, is how to extend the galley counter towards the front end. Agreed, not enough counter space. Drives me crazy. We wanted to add a drop down/fold up extension, like the one towards the rear, but that would interfere with the table top storage spot. So, haven't quite figured this one out yet.
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Old 12-09-2014, 02:22 PM   #17
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I would change bathroom design. One that drains and one that is more like Roadtrek and without the poorly designed expandable door. I would add more mirrors, again like the Roadtrek. Another towel rack in the bath (actually, I already did that). Bigger solar panels (mine has the anemic 40w panel). Better bed design. A macerator that doesn't hold water when stored so it won't be damaged when it freezes. And MUCH better quality in fit and finish instead of having the customer fix all the things the factory did wrong in the first place.

You asked.
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:14 PM   #18
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And MUCH better quality in fit and finish instead of having the customer fix all the things the factory did wrong in the first place.
It is that last item, and it alone, that caused me to leave the fold. Interstate designs are generally great, the execution is just sad. The good news is that most of the issues can be fixed. I was very proud of my Interstate by the time I sold it.
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:31 PM   #19
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Bradenton , Florida
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I would like:

1. Air conditioned seats
2. More comfortable seats ( my pickup truck seats are more comfortable)
3. Air vents in the rear of the coach that are from the van AC. It gets hot back there and having to run the gen and AC is a waist of propane..
4. A screen for the slider..
5. Lights that look more like incandescent bulbs rather than fluorescent looking bulbs ( feel like I'm at work with those)
6. Self drive since my wife makes me do most of the driving. And damn it I want to watch a movie..



Other than that it's a great van that we absolutely love having..
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:27 PM   #20
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Springfield , Missouri
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I've been up to the Cleveland area and visited with the guys at Advanced RV. I am contemplating having them build my next coach. Here are a few items or options that interested me.
Second alternator added to engine. No propane generator necessary.
Upgraded battery system/solar panel that can run the rear AC for a few hours on the batteries.
The ability to run the rear AC while driving with no generator
Air ride suspension.
Diesel burning instant heat system for hot water and to heat the coach, also heats the fresh water and holding tanks.
Heated floor.
Better designed bath/shower.
These are just a few, not to mention the ability to totally customize the floor plan, lights, cabinetry etc..
I haven't pulled the trigger yet but I really like the concept of a customized coach.
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:47 AM   #21
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Atlanta , Georgia
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I wonder if it i feasible to add the under hood generator after the fact - and if you would have a choice to keep or completely remove the Onan microlite?

Ideally one could sell the Onan to cover the cost of the retrofit. I'm always leery of to much customization due to impact to resale, but I think that is one major modification I would do in a heartbeat.

Regarding the second camera add to the Kenwood, $100 for the camera and $50 labor to add it at Best Buy. They do alot of those Kenwood installations so were very familiar with the unit and looked like they could have done the job blindfolded. I was going to do it myself over the weekend but for $50 it was a no brainer to outsource that project.

I'm not sure how useful it is to have the camera in the front though. I never have any issues parking forward, and a birds-eye view of the highway at bumper level isn't very useful. In hindsight, I wish I mounted it back on the Onan facing to the rear so I could see when a curb was about to take out the bleeping propane box by the rear wheel instead of having my wife be the spotter.

The Number One Modification Airstream should do that literally would not cost them a nickel is to throw that Pyle mirror screen in the trash and just run the camera inputs to the Kenwood. The Kenwood is designed for this, and allows you to split the navigation screen with the rear view at the same time. When you put it in reverse, the rear view camera fills the whole screen. It just works! If you touch the screen when showing rear camera angle it auto toggles to the 2nd camera and back when you touch it again. Boggles the mind why this isn't the default choice for the camera system. It was literally built to support 2 different camera angles and to integrate this with the nav system.

Brian
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:40 AM   #22
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I doubt the beds on any of the B-vans with folding lounge beds are any better. Going to a twin layout probably gives the best basic bed. ....

- - Mike
2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
There's a separate bed thread specifically for the numerous lounge bed complaints and workarounds, but FWIW, both my husband and I find that the jack-knife couches that we have in our 2007 are quite good (and my husband has had two surgeries on his back, so bed quality is non-negotiable). No topper augmentation required.

Why did Airstream apparently discontinue jack-knife couches? No idea. Why would one want twin beds when instead one could have twin-ish-sized couches that pop down into a full queen?
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:56 AM   #23
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You need to look closer at the Grand Tour floor plan. It is optimized for two people doing extended RV travel. There are no seats behind cab area up front.
Floor Plan & Specifications - Airstream

Enjoy,


- - Mike
2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
I agree that the Grand Tour is the best of the available plans for what we need, but I wouldn't want to have to live with its rear end. Call me crazy, but pedestrian access (not to mention uninterrupted floor-to-ceiling vista) through the rear doors is so important to me that I prefer to give up that rear storage space. And the almost universal complaints about the lounge bed have convinced me that I never want to go there.

The Grand Tour is also not co-optimized for use as a potential work vehicle, which is one of my issues. We have a four-foot table to go with our longitudinal couches. We don't always use it, but it's there if I need to haul out my computer and other gear. I don't know of any Class B that currently retains that kind of feature.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:51 AM   #24
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There only thing I would definitely change about my AI if I could afford it and would be a full air rear suspension to prevent launching lounge passengers into low earth orbit while underway.
...
If I win the lottery the airbag suspension would definitely be the first order of business.
You're lucky if low earth orbit has been your worst case scenario. A couple of times, I have been launched into geosynchronous, which I shared with my computer and bottle of Perrier.

FWIW, this is on our long-term to-do list. My husband is convinced that he can DIY it for far less money than it would cost to have it done commercially. I'll post more about that if / when (I suspect it will be when) we get ready to move forward.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:15 AM   #25
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And the almost universal complaints about the lounge bed have convinced me that I never want to go there.
Shouldn't take all the complaints as gospel and then ignore all the solutions.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:35 AM   #26
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I doubt the beds on any of the B-vans with folding lounge beds are any better. Going to a twin layout probably gives the best basic bed. I added a 3" memory foam topper with another 2" pillow topper on that to give a nice comfy bed. I roll up the toppers during the day so I have more floor space to move around.


- - Mike
2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
I can attest to the comfort of the beds in the twin. Although they are a bit narrow, they are memory foam quilt top and very comfortable. My last rv had opposing dinette benches that when lowered, met in the middle so you wound up sleeping across 4 cushions. I also did the memory foam topper fix which helps but not like a bed.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:41 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
I'd like to see Airstream revert to offering at least one floor plan that is optimized for use by two people doing extended travel in true RV fashion (including boondocking). IMHO, they've enhanced the vehicle's soccer Mom potential at the expense of its camper van ethic. That's fine for soccer Moms and I'm sure there's market demand for it, but one would think that, with about ten different floor plans between the AI and the AI-EXT, at least one of them could remain true to something closer to its original design.

My husband and I find frustrating the fact that this isn't offered. Our original plan was to buy an older pre-owned Interstate, use it for a few years, and then once we know exactly what we want, upgrade to a new model. Except Airstream no longer makes what we want, which happens to be exactly what we have, at least from a lay-out perspective (the Sprinter itself leaves plenty of room for refinement).

Seriously - how do you owners of newer models live with absolutely NO counter space in the galley?! It would drive me bonkers. I wonder if you know what you are missing. So much void space in the newer Interstates. Plenty of bling but the ergonomics suck.

Anyway, long term, this leaves us with two choices if we want to keep using this kind of vehicle: Either invest heavily in the 2007 that we have, or embark on our own custom Sprinter conversion. Right now we're leaning toward the first option, and there are 34 items on our long-term to-do list. Many of those are very small projects (several are storage improvements) but some are fairly major (e.g., add a back-up camera and a solar system).
Consider the twin. It comes with memory foam quilt top mattresses, a full height wardrobe and longer galley counter. My wife and I recently did a month long trip and the only thing we found inconvenient was one of us would have to step aside so the other could get past. We installed a 2nd folding mirror (like the one in the bath) on the sidewall of the wardrobe next to the sink and we use that area for a vanity. We found that opening the wardrobe door 90 degrees seperated the beds from the rest of the coach so we installed a magnetic door stop to hold it in that position. Helps when one person wants to sleep and it prevents tv remote control signals from changing both tv's.
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Old 12-10-2014, 11:26 AM   #28
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[QUOTE=c21bill;1552153]We installed a 2nd folding mirror (like the one in the bath) on the sidewall of the wardrobe next to the sink and we use that area for a vanity. /QUOTE]

You all must look good when you travel. After about a week on the road, I took it as a blessing that there wasn't a mirror. Ignorance is bliss.
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