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Old 12-15-2014, 07:48 AM   #71
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TimCarr, while we DID own a 2014/13 Interstate and we did have the issue with the sink cover, we simply place a nice sticker on the inside bottom of the glass lid reminding us to TURN OFF THE SPIGOT properly before closing the lid. It was never a problem for us.

As for moving from tenting to motor homing and whether or not to buy a Class B or??? Why not buy used and try it and either modify the used unit to your needs or trade/sell off in a year or so and move up from there.

Class B is not only the Sprinter chassis used by Airstream. Class B is also the Chevy chassis used for many years before the Sprinter came out by m-homes like Roadtrek.

We had our Interstate for less than a year and I bit-the-bullelt and moved over to the Roadtrek. YUP. Expensive but I did not like the Suburban propane heater and I hated the half-door for the bathroom. Never made sense why they did the half-door on the AI. Other small things but the BIG difference I wanted was to get the E-trek Roadtrek. 5000 watt inverter, 8-6 volt batteries, no diesel-propane generator under the body but one attached to the Mercedes engine that charges when you drive or idle. And 2 doors to the bathroom. And we did our unit w/out ANY propane. Diesel heater with hot water and an electric induction stove. All 115 volt appliances are powered with either shore power cord OR the 5000 watt inverter. YES, roof air, fridge, microwave and the cooktop can all be on at the same time without having to be plugged into a campground. How long the batteries last depends on how much you are drawing. You quickly learn and will learn that you may have to start the engine and idle it to charge the batteries. Takes maybe 45 minutes.

As I said it was an expensive switch to move up one model year and to the E-trek. But there are other options without the E-trek itself.

Look around. Go to shows. Monitor the various Facebook pages for Sprinter RVs and the various message boards i.e.: this one. Much can be learned from others and this will make you a more informed buyer when shopping with RV dealers. Generally I knew more than the salesperson when shopping for these or my prior RV's over the last 25+ years.
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:19 AM   #72
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Gmiller and Mike
Wow - we didn't know that Flojet had a variable speed water pump. We've added it to our to-do list. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
DJ
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:21 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Bikerbill View Post
TimCarr, while we DID own a 2014/13 Interstate and we did have the issue with the sink cover, we simply place a nice sticker on the inside bottom of the glass lid reminding us to TURN OFF THE SPIGOT properly before closing the lid. It was never a problem for us.

As for moving from tenting to motor homing and whether or not to buy a Class B or??? Why not buy used and try it and either modify the used unit to your needs or trade/sell off in a year or so and move up from there.

Class B is not only the Sprinter chassis used by Airstream. Class B is also the Chevy chassis used for many years before the Sprinter came out by m-homes like Roadtrek....
Thanks for the feedback and opinion.
I have read with great interest your posts and thoughts about your Interstate and your road to Roadtrek, very good food for thought.

I started off looking at the Sprinter Diesel as a perception of longevity.
I mean Diesel Trucks are known for being able to reach much higher mileage than gas motors, although I am now learning that that perception is also misguided.

My boss was once quoted saying
"Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time.
Sometimes it will be ahead, other times it will be behind.
But brand is simply a collective impression some have about a product."


Airstream overall is a very good Brand name.
I'm just not sure if they are ahead or behind right now...


.
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Old 12-16-2014, 02:01 AM   #74
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The original AS class b was a ford chassis. The B190. Other mfg used dodge and Chevy as well. All based on the mfg vans. Jim
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:06 PM   #75
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Nobody has mentioned an upgrade to the stock speaker setup, which is pretty lacking. I'd be curious to know what people have done to enhance the audio in their Interstate.
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:07 AM   #76
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Nobody has mentioned an upgrade to the stock speaker setup, which is pretty lacking. I'd be curious to know what people have done to enhance the audio in their Interstate.

I agree, that's on my upgrade list for next year.


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Old 12-19-2014, 06:01 AM   #77
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Nobody has mentioned an upgrade to the stock speaker setup, which is pretty lacking. I'd be curious to know what people have done to enhance the audio in their Interstate.
With the amount of hearing loss I've experienced over the course of my life, it wouldn't make much difference to me. An average auto stereo system and a good auto stereo system both sound the same to me.

But if you're talking about upgrading from an auto stereo system to a small home stereo system…
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Old 12-19-2014, 06:53 AM   #78
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Nobody has mentioned an upgrade to the stock speaker setup, which is pretty lacking. I'd be curious to know what people have done to enhance the audio in their Interstate.
Correct. I'm driven batty by what I assume are the OEM Sprinter speakers in the very front of the dash. I had a four inch mini Radio Shack portable radio circa 1975 when I was a kid, and I swear the sound on that thing was better than what's in the front of our Interstate.

In my blog post describing the Interstate privacy screen that we fashioned out of coroplast, readers can see that the cardboard mock-up is stamped with the phrase "Genuine GM". That's because my husband purchased an extra dash insert for the Interstate so that he could have something to practice on for the purpose of making cuts so that the dash will accept new sound system equipment (that idea may appear wasteful but the dash insert was only about fifty bucks and we don't want to run the risk of ruining the only one we've got).

We have not yet decided what we're putting in, or what the Sprinter nose can even accommodate. I've asked the question, "Do we even bother to mess with this? Or do we simply buy a standalone baby Bose and plop it on the dash or floor between the two front seats?" Decisions pending.
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Old 12-31-2014, 07:01 AM   #79
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Here's a quasi-behind-the-scenes change that I would ask Airstream to make, and perhaps they've already made it on newer Interstates: Train the tradesmen and mechanics not to install components haphazardly.

I realize that time is money, but perception is also quality. It might take them ten or fifteen extra minutes to install lines and wires in an orderly fashion as opposed to making them look like a jumbled snake pit, but there would be several advantages to this. Number one, it would communicate a better sense of workman-like pride which would enhance consumer confidence. Number two, it would make it much easier for owners and mechanics to do line tracings associated with future repair and upgrades. And number three, it would allow for much easier refinement of the Interstate.

Attached is a case in point. This is the view of the lower left side of our galley cabinet. The sink is toward photo top, the white thing to the right is the fresh water tank and its metal shield / keeper structure, the blue label peeking out on the floor is the water pump, and the electrical runs mostly to the bottom front of the galley cabinet where the main electrical switch array is located.

This strikes me as the best available void space to develop into a dirty laundry storage area. It's too awkward a configuration to use for storage of heavier items. It's far away from my nose when I'm sleeping or sitting. And it's got sufficient cubic footage that I could build in structures to protect the water and electrical components from damage while accommodating what I need. With some simple modifications and safety improvements, I could store a week's worth of dirty laundry here for two to three people.

But look at the inefficiency of the install. There was no reason to elbow out that Pex as far as they did and now it constricts the opening unnecessarily. Much of the wiring is in conduit but the conduit is tacked randomly to the rear wall and the floor. If I wanted to develop this area, I would first need to re-do everything that rightfully should have been done neatly in the first place. My potential work has been tripled for no reason. Argh...

Anyway, there's that particular rant, FWIW.
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Old 12-31-2014, 07:09 AM   #80
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Number two, it would make it much easier for owners and mechanics to do line tracings associated with future repair and upgrades.
Whatever happened to the "best practice" of attaching adhesive labels to both ends of any given electical run, to identify what it is? Anybody who has seen the electrical spaghetti in the back of a home entertainment center knows that labeling your wires helps to ensure the right wire goes to the right place. It isn't difficult to apply the same concept to a vehicle where you've got a lot more wires going to a lot more places.

Not only would it help the owner, but it would help the mechanic that has to work on it later. The time saved on the back end more than justifies the extra time required on the front end.
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:19 AM   #81
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I keep dirty clothes in a laundry bag in the bathroom, anchoring it with a suction hook, and moving it to a front seat if we are parked for any length of time.

I use that oddly shaped space under the sink for a couple of soft plastic totes that hold cleaning products.....a bottle of pinesol, liquid soap refill, windex wipes, leather cleaner, etc. A soft canvas or mesh laundry bag would probably fit in there, as well.

Soft, lightweight items such as extra paper products sit on top of those, when needed, but there is still a lot of wasted vertical space in that area. I wonder if angles are so large to allow access to the various valves, the pump, etc., under there?


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Old 12-31-2014, 09:29 AM   #82
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The sorry level of workmanship of Thor-built RVs (whether branded Airstream or otherwise) has been discussed here many times. In fairness, it is probably no worse than average in the RV industry at large, but the Interstate is positioned as a premium product with a premium brand name, and a premium price. I couldn't agree more that they need to up their game so that the quality of execution matches that of the often-brilliant designs.

Frankly, it is this issue more than any other that drove me away from Airstream with we updated our van. When we were shopping last year, a quick glance at the Interstates shown at Hershey confirmed that things haven't gotten any better since 2005. You just need to know where to look to make this obvious. As I have said before, I am proud of the quality of the Interstate that we passed on to its next owner, but the credit for most of this quality came from the sweat of my brow, not from Airstream.
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:06 PM   #83
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I keep dirty clothes in a laundry bag in the bathroom, anchoring it with a suction hook, and moving it to a front seat if we are parked for any length of time. ...


Maggie
Even in a short period of ownership, I have driven my own self batty with the sheer amount of rummaging I do in our Interstate. To the extent reasonably achievable, it is my intention to set up systems whereby I put my hand on something and access it in one motion. No moving stuff from place to place for lack of an assigned position. No balancing stuff on top of other stuff as I reach for still more stuff. I rummage and rummage and it doesn't seem like a big deal at the time, but then I notice that an hour has been consumed by all this inefficient motion, and I should have gotten back on the road an hour ago. My Dad tells me that I often seem to be in a rush. I reply that I'm not retired. I'm not an empty-nester yet. Our whole lives are necessarily all about timing (she said, as she blitzed through a forum post on her lunch break).

Laundry is a big deal for us and needs a permanent home. We mostly travel in the summer and do a lot of intensive outdoor activities. We are talking about epic filth and stench associated with dirty laundry, which usually accumulates for a week at a time. In a small space in summer heat. While traveling by air, we sometimes resort to dedicating one suitcase to dirty laundry - keep that sucker zipped up tight. But the Interstate has no room for suitcases. I have to devise another method.
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:38 PM   #84
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Hmmmm.....sweaty summer or workout clothes are the worst. I hate the smell of dirty laundry.

When traveling/camping in hot weather, I try to do a couple of loads mid-week, which cuts down on that funky odor that wants to permeate everything

I'm still thinking that area you dislike under the sink might be a good place for a canvas bag for laundry. Put a little stick-on deodorizer in there if you need to.

Beneath a rear bench is also an option, as we have two largish areas back there.

Measure it out and find a lidded Rubbermaid that fits, to use for laundry you can seal up, if that's what you need to do. I would rather mine breathe a bit, lest I be overwhelmed by the fumes when opening up.

A nylon duffel bag might also work for laundry. Anythng that stuffs rather than has rigid sides often does better.

In a living space as small as the Interstate, you may need to curb your motion-space-efficiency drive, just to maintain your sanity. (Was it Cheaper by the Dozen where the Dad was an efficiency expert?)

Or, you may get it all worked out exactly to your satisfaction.

Just don't stress yourself out. It's supposed to be fun, and some allowances for less efficiency in the small space you are living in may be needed.


Maggie
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