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Old 08-06-2016, 07:59 PM   #1
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Struggling With Purchase Decision

I'm new to this forum and would greatly appreciate your input. Specifically, my wife and I are tying to decide between a 2013 Airstream Interstate 3500 EXT or a 23' Airstream Trailer.

The bottom line is, I really like the 3500 EXT however, I'm concerned about the room. We are contemplating 3 to 4 day trips, mostly in California and Nevada. I will assume that this topic has been discussed previously. As such, I appreciate in advance your advice.

Thanks...

Dave
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:16 PM   #2
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I know a couple that full-times in an Interstate Grand Tour. But I can't say whether an Interstate has enough room— or enough storage— for you. Some people get claustrophobic in less than a day, others never feel cramped in one. Only you know how much space you need in order to be comfortable.

But I will say this much… the mere fact that you have concerns about the amount of room in an Interstate tells me that you'll probably be happier with a trailer, since every Airstream trailer larger than a 16' Bambi has more interior living space than an Interstate.

Personally I don't need as much empty space in my RV as some people, so the narrow aisle and 6'0" headroom in an Interstate don't bother me. It's not like I need room to dance or do calisthenics in one. But for some people, the more empty space inside the RV, the better— otherwise RVs with slide-outs wouldn't be so popular. After all, slide-outs slid out only give you additional empty space in the middle compared to slide-outs slid in. Not that there have been any Airstreams with slide-outs since 2004; I'm just saying that by way of illustration over the importance of empty space with regard to comfort.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:22 PM   #3
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If you are concerned about space, I recommend you consider a travel trailer. I was looking at coaches 36' to 40'. I have a very nice F250 diesel I use to tow my boat, so I really thought I should seriously consider TT. I looked at them all and ended up purchasing a 2017 28' International Serenity with all the options. I'm very pleased with the decision. This thing is built to last several lifetimes and will never lose its iconic value.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
I know a couple that full-times in an Interstate Grand Tour. But I can't say whether an Interstate has enough room— or enough storage— for you. Some people get claustrophobic in less than a day, others never feel cramped in one. Only you know how much space you need in order to be comfortable.

But I will say this much… the mere fact that you have concerns about the amount of room in an Interstate tells me that you'll probably be happier with a trailer, since every Airstream trailer larger than a 16' Bambi has more interior living space than an Interstate.

Personally I don't need as much empty space in my RV as some people, so the narrow aisle and 6'0" headroom in an Interstate don't bother me. It's not like I need room to dance or do calisthenics in one. But for some people, the more empty space inside the RV, the better— otherwise RVs with slide-outs wouldn't be so popular. After all, slide-outs slid out only give you additional empty space in the middle compared to slide-outs slid in. Not that there have been any Airstreams with slide-outs since 2004; I'm just saying that by way of illustration over the importance of empty space with regard to comfort.
Therein lies the problem. I really like the 3500 from the looks to the convenience of jumping in turning the key and taking off. The one under consideration is a 2013 that has been meticulously cared for. I have a tendency to "over think" issues that may or may not happen. My underlying concern is buyers remorse as it relate to selling it if it doesn't fit the bill. The price is very fair and frankly below market. However, there seems to be quite a bit of inventory out there.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tahoe Dave View Post
My underlying concern is buyers remorse as it relate to selling it if it doesn't fit the bill. The price is very fair and frankly below market. However, there seems to be quite a bit of inventory out there.
If resale value is an issue, definitely consider a trailer. Resale value isn't an issue for me, because I intend to keep my Interstate until either it or I give up the ghost, whichever comes first.

Given how much even a used Interstate costs and how much it depreciates, you'll never get as much out of it as you put into it. With a trailer— and its associated tow vehicle, don't forget— you're more likely to recoup your investment if you have to sell the trailer later. And if you do sell the trailer, the tow vehicle that you bought to go with it is still a usable vehicle even without a trailer to pull behind it.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:42 PM   #6
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Might depend upon how you camp and what you like to do. I have been on caravans with people in Interstates. After you get it level, the water and sewer and electric hooked up, and the awnings out you can not just jump in it and go to dinner or leave you wife in it and drive to a fishing place. But if you take a long day trip it is nice to have the kitchen and bathroom along with you. I have only looked through a couple of Interstates. Have not spent a night in one. We really like our 25' trailer though. We keep it in the driveway beside the garage and it is mostly loaded. Going consists of turning the refrigerator on. putting in the perishables, and 30 min to hook up and check everything out.
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:27 PM   #7
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Have you considered the Interstate and s 22FB Sport? That is what I did after having an F350 and 31' classic limited. I love the new setup. For tailgating, boom docking, or weekend trips we plan to use the Interstate Grand Tour EXT. if we bring the kids or go for longer than the weekend we will tow the Sport. The sport gives us +4 sleepers, full bathroom, extra room, classic Airstream look.

I just got back from a week long trip. The Interstate's built in generator was very convenient. Plus the extra water of both tanks and extra fridge space.

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Old 08-06-2016, 09:32 PM   #8
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I forgot to add I bought the 2015 Interstate used so no worries about the depreciation as much. The other reason I did this was I can keep the Interstate in front of my house, but my trailer is kept in a storage facility. I get about 17 mpg towing the Sport.


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Old 08-07-2016, 12:47 PM   #9
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Wow! Cool set up.
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Old 08-07-2016, 01:43 PM   #10
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If you are married make sure your wife agrees with the Interstate if you get serious about going that route!


We currently have a 31 ft Classic trailer but for the last couple of years I have tried to talk my wife into a B conversion van of some make.

I know there would be be serious space changes but of course there are many advantages.

We could keep it in our drive saving $1000 a year storage fees plus I could maintain it better with it being at home.

We would be more likely to use it on quick weekend getways - I refuse to bring the trailer home for a trip of less that a week or so, too much hassle.

As we get older, I think it would be easier to handle than the truck and trailer.

If I were to get sick while away, my wife could drive it. She drives our 3/4T diesel truck daily and the van would not be much bigger if at all - she refuses to try pulling the trailer!

But every time I have taken her to RV shows to look at B vans, her reaction is so strong about the space limitations that I now I would never here the end of all the "I told you so's"
if I tried to force the issue - so I don't!

It is true that we do go away typically for about two months each winter and I can agree that the B van just would not be well suited for that.


I suggested that for a longer trip like that we would use the van to travel down and back and rent a condo at destination - but she didn't buy that either!

I still think I would like one - heck when the kids were young the four of us managed well enough with a VW Westphalia camping van (with add on tent!)

Brian.
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Old 08-07-2016, 02:46 PM   #11
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I have a trailer.
We camp with a lady who has an Interstate.
That thing is tight!
When 4 people are in there you step on each others' feet to move about.
The trailer has so much more room and storage and does not have a wet bath.


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Old 08-07-2016, 03:26 PM   #12
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All due respect to Tadashi, but most can't afford an AS trailer and Interstate TV. I'm with Bill M. Once you get settled in the Interstate, it's just not easy to pick up and go to town, or dinner, or some little side trip. Most of our friends that we routinely travel with have class C's, and they tow another vehicle. Seems like a real hassle to me, but it's whatever works for you!
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Old 08-07-2016, 03:34 PM   #13
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Really is a decision that comes from your lifestyle and travel preferences. We looked at both. The Interstate was too small or us, but it works to have the MoHo is when it best fits all of your travel requirements. If you are organized and ready to roll at a moment's notice it helps to have the rig there to take. We find the trailer works better. It's stored away under cover until we need it. The Tow vehicle fits in a standard garage until we need it. Folks that like the MoHo can best pitch the advantages for you.

The 23 is the best of the batch. Some will pitch the 25, but the 23 has all you need in a compact package. A combined toilet and shower space is effective for those activities as you can dress and undress in the same area. It does not work as well for folks who do not find this capability valuable. A full size queen will fit, there is a double sink, it has both a microwave and an oven, and the new 23s have a ducted air conditioner. If you are short and don't need a queen bed, the D model has more frig capacity.

The down side to the 23 is the 14 in tires, but it's an easy upgrade to 15s. Some folks don't like the 8' body because of the reduction in aisle space. We are convinced it has saved us some scratches and dents.

Best suggestion - go sit in both and imagine how you would use them. The trailer, if set up correctly, just follows along behind. But it does take different skills to travel with a trailer than to hit the road in a MoHo.

Good luck with your investigation. Pat


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Old 08-07-2016, 05:35 PM   #14
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My thanks to all who have "weighed-in" on my conundrum. I really like the motor home's get in and go feature. That said, I'm still concerned about the limited space.

Our trips will be no more than 2 to 3 nights and there will be hiking, exploring etc. I'm through buying homes, boats etc that might accommodate the kids. They are grown and if they want to join us, I'll rent them a trailer.

I am going to make an offer on the one I described earlier in this thread. If it doesn't work out, look for my next post in the classifieds.

Wish me luck...

Dave
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