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Old 06-03-2013, 10:08 AM   #1
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Sanibel , Florida
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New Interstate owners and RVers

We pick up our black 2013 Interstate 3500 ext lounge today. We're excited and nervous. They are going to give us a couple hour walk thru to get us started.
We have been retired a couple years and decided this would be a great way to travel. We have three dogs and hope to take them with us most of the time. I've been reading the forums and the interstate owners have been helpful already. We'll certainly need lots of help with our new adventure and hopefully someday we can be of some assistance, to others. We live on Sanibel in FL and our first 3 week trip will be first part of July going North thru Georgia, TN, Kentucky, Indiana and maybe into Canada. Plan on taking one or two short trips after reading your advice before we head out. Looking forward to any help or thoughts any of you may have.
Brands of chairs, grill, bedding ideas, things to pack etc...we've never even gone camping so this adventure should be a hoot.
Jim and Libby
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:14 AM   #2
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Welcome to the AirForums! And welcome to the joys of Interstate ownership! We're glad to have you with us!

I think you'll find that storage space in an Interstate is sparse at best, especially if you need to carry pet supplies as well as people supplies. Two things that you might consider:
1 - A hitch-mounted cargo tray, that can be used to carry a few hundred pounds of weather-resistant outdoor furniture, patio mats, barbecue grills, etc. that you wouldn't use inside anyway and so don't need to carry inside.
2 - If you've got a towable vehicle (see Motorhome Magazine's annual Dinghy Towing Guide to see what's towable and what's not) and that vehicle is within your Interstate's towing capacity, set the vehicle up as a toad, and use it for overflow storage as well as for transportation while camped.

I've done it both ways (but not both at once); most recently I towed my Honda Fit hatchback (3,500# GVWR) to Lake Seminole, and used it to carry my inflatable kayak, my Cobb grill, and a Thetford portable waste tank so I wouldn't have to break camp to visit the dump station if my black or gray tanks filled before my stay was up. Turns out I didn't quite need the Thetford tank this trip; my gray tank was brim-full but not overflowing by the time I was ready to break camp at the end of my stay.

As for what to pack, you don't need more than a week's worth of clothes, and some change for the laundromat. I carry Tide Pods in a Ziplock bag, since that's an easy and space-saving way to carry laundry detergent.

You only have a two-burner cooktop with a hinged lid; there's not a lot of space for big pots and pans. If you keep everything down to two-quart size or less, you should be okay, with the added benefit that it will fit easily in your cabinets and in the sink.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:36 AM   #3
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Welcome!

We love our Interstate, and hope you do as well.

What you take with you depends on what kind of travel you intend to do, IMO.

If you are going to stay in one place for days at a time, you will want more comfort items than if you are going to roam and meander.....like we do. Being rather minimalist has worked best for us.

We have a hitch hauler, but use it only for travel/camping with the grandkids, hauling firewood to rallies and campouts close to home, etc. The extra length and weight greatly defeats the purpose and flexibility of traveling in an Interstate, IMO.

As Protag stated, storage is limited. Also, unpacking and repacking bulky comfort items takes time and quickly becomes a PIA if you a moving every day or two. You will find out what is most important to you, and what you can do without as you get out there.

You might check out the Sprinter/B-Van forum here for some good advice from others, and don't hesitate to ask here for any help you may need. You will find that under Motorhomes in the forums section.

Good luck, and will look for you on the road.


Maggie
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:54 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick response. Great input, and from the two (Doug&Maggie and Protagonist) both I enjoyed reading your responses earlier to others. Thanks for the
advice. We just got home with it after several hours of walk thru at the dealers. We are on information overload at the moment. We'll sleep on it and get up and start learning
again tomorrow. Thanks again. Jim and Libby
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpjs View Post
Thanks for the quick response. Great input, and from the two (Doug&Maggie and Protagonist) both I enjoyed reading your responses earlier to others. Thanks for the
advice. We just got home with it after several hours of walk thru at the dealers. We are on information overload at the moment. We'll sleep on it and get up and start learning
again tomorrow. Thanks again. Jim and Libby
Yep, morning is always a good time to stretch your brain a bit.

Maybe try a run-through parked in your drive, hooked up to water and electric.

There's nothing like hands-on experience.

Good luck, and keep us posted.


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Old 06-04-2013, 06:06 AM   #6
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Maggie's right about the run-through. But I would recommend a park with full hookups (including sewer) as close to home as you can find. Or poosibly still at home, if you've got a sewer cleanout plug in your yard within hose-reach of your driveway that you can use as a discharge point. A campground sewer hookup is really just a sewer cleanout plug that's designed to be easy to open.

That way, you can also get some hands-on experience with the wastewater system. Preferably by running the shower to fill the gray-water tank with clean water, and then draining the graywater tank, so that even if you do something wrong you don't make a mess. Once you've learned by discharging clean water, you'll be ready to do it for real discharging dirty water.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:11 AM   #7
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If you're just running fresh water thru and into new tanks...leaving no...ahem...waste deposits......water could run down the drive and into the sewer without a contamination issue.

Whatever, enjoy!


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Old 06-05-2013, 04:35 AM   #8
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That sounds like a good idea. We are planning a visit to the local RV park this weekend or next. We'll let you know how it goes.
Thanks,
Jim & Libby
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:54 PM   #9
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Airstream Interstate 3500 EXT

We are picking our new Airstream Interstate 3500 EXT this weekend. I have been reading the forums to get a sense of others experiences and ideas. We are planning to do a nearby run through soon and I am sure I will have more questions as we go along but right now I am curious as to what size bedding folks use or if there are brands that work best. Thanks for any input!
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:21 AM   #10
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Congratulations! If you love yours half as much as we love ours, you will be very happy.

Our rear benches make into a queen size bed. Conventional bedding just doesn't work, and we are not interested in individual sleeping bags.

We use a thick, comfy mattress pad, the kind that lays on top of the mattress and has elastic straps to hook around the corners. We cut the straps off and lay it crosswise on the bed at night.

We have an all-season down comforter, with an easily washable cover.

That's it. No sheets, way too much slipping and sliding in the night.

Wash the cover and mattress pad weekly, voila!

We put bed pillows into zippered pillow covers during the day, and leave them out. Take up too much storage space in the limited cupboards.

Have fun,


Maggie
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