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Old 03-07-2018, 06:39 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by sthrngary View Post
Roadtech:

I did take a look at the Arriva. Very few YouTube Video's and the longest one was a couple of years old. The bathroom is the selling point for sure. A new client has to make a decision, where they want their space. Bathroom, Bedroom, front cabin or Kitchen. This is a personal preference for sure.

A few things I liked for instance the locking cabinets and the outdoor viewing TV. Other things I did not like, examples could be many of the safety / accident avoidance features were 3 rd party. Also, the lack of storage in the house/ back of the coach.

I have to assume this companies has a dealer network to service the unit but can't really tell from what I watched. Also, the investment of this rig is much less then an airstream.

Either way I enjoyed learning about them so thank you for telling me about the brand.

Gary T, The "RV Advocate"
One thing I do like about the Arriva is their "In-Door" plumbing brings all the tanks/water-lines inside the coach, doing away with the need of winterization.

This may not sound important, but last month in central Florida, the temps went down to 25 degrees and several near-by RV's waterlines froze up. Even with AI's heat pads, they only increase the temps by 7 degrees, so any temps that dip below 25 degrees would be a gamble for freezing tanks/lines.

I believe CH is the only Class B manufacturer to be a true four-season coach. I wish AI would consider this option in the future.
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:46 AM   #42
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Gary,

I am just thinking of changes that I will make down the line... still waiting for mine to arrive (end of Nov can't get here soon enough).

If I can add one more solar panel (if there is space on the roof for that) I will... 400 watts of solar is better than 300, right? Specially in situations where you do not get full sun coverage... plus I do want to increase battery capacity. So hopefully there is space and adding it will not be a major task.

I did not get a chance to stop by the local dealer this weekend like I was planning... I bought mine from TampaRV and they have another office close by in Winter Park... wanted to stop by Winter Park and look at one that they have and see if there was space. Very difficult to find 2018 photos of the roof layout.

I did look again at the video and saw the part where he shows the diesel generator... doubt we will be able to accommodate a diesel unit where the LP is currently... so the LP generator stays...

Diesel generator dimensions
30.2 x 17.3 x 18 in

LP generator dimensions
22 x 16.3 x 12.8 in

On the battery front - going to reach out to Lew (lewster here in the forum) for guidance (since he also spends time in Naples, FL it will be easy to drive over and get an estimate and budget in place)... have also been looking at a local company for sourcing the batteries and system (http://lithionicsbattery.com/portable-power/) but they do not sell to individuals... All this is planning on future modifications to improve and have less dependency on a generator... For battery placement I want to leverage the current battery trays, add the passenger side trays, and use the space under the floor (reinforcing that storage compartment to deal with the battery weight).

Once the battery/solar upgrade is done, I would still like to keep the LP tank and use that for cooking outside (since it is hidden nicely except for the filler setup...wished that was located higher) and for the water heater.

Have a induction stove replacing the gas one inside... an ARB cooler to expand food storage, and then we would be set...
So even if you remove the LP tank, and go to diesel fire heat/WH, you couldn't put the diesel generator in? I would think removing the LP tank would furnish sufficient room, although no doubt the AI folks need to do re-engineering on the coach.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:41 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by sthrngary View Post

The Sprinter can be ordered to be a passenger van or a commercial van. When purchased as a passenger van, it can have the Premium Suspension system in it. When ordered as a commercial van, it has a non-premium suspension in it I am not sure if it is an option.
Revisiting this thread since it bubbled to the top: Gary, are you saying that Winnebago, et al are ordering the "commercial van", and as such the suspension is different from what Airstream orders? It's not clear from the variety of posts on this thread and I wanted to get to the bottom of this point if possible.

Thanks. All great info, and I learned a lot from this thread. Appreciate the time to post the info. Same for Mike. I had no idea each upfitter had their own unique VIN code, but it makes the recent service bulletin re. "oops, we forgot to download the CrossWind Assist function into some chassis" make sense. I can imagine a scenario where someone at the MB factory forgot to include the special VIN codes for the upfitters (well, at least for Airstream, but this likely impacts all upfitters on MB chassis) when programming their assembly line computers, so the ECU's destined for their builds never got the CWA code. Our company had a similar setup for big enterprise-class servers and what got loaded onto the HDD was all dependent on what the digital overlord scanned off the barcode on the back of the system as it rumbled down the assembly line. An error or omission in the bar code and who knows what went onto the HDD.....
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:50 AM   #44
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Standard and Premium Suspension

YES, it is my understanding that Mercedes-Benz uses a different suspension system on Cargo Sprinters and Passenger Sprinters. This is also confirmed by the Airstream presentations by some of the regional sales staff. He says Standard Suspension vs. Premium Suspension. I personally drove a Winnebago Era at the Tampa Auto Show in 2017. I also talked to one of the designers from Winnebago from the factory. Let's just say he did not like the question and said he was no sure.

The key is to get the Factory Safety features on a Sprinter, you have to start buy ordering the passenger version. Then things like lane change, blind spot, heated wind shield safety glass, ECT can by ordered.

As I did, I simply drove them both. The difference became apparent quickly.

Hope that helps.

Gary T.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFishinRVr View Post
Revisiting this thread since it bubbled to the top: Gary, are you saying that Winnebago, et al are ordering the "commercial van", and as such the suspension is different from what Airstream orders? It's not clear from the variety of posts on this thread and I wanted to get to the bottom of this point if possible.

Thanks. All great info, and I learned a lot from this thread. Appreciate the time to post the info. Same for Mike. I had no idea each upfitter had their own unique VIN code, but it makes the recent service bulletin re. "oops, we forgot to download the CrossWind Assist function into some chassis" make sense. I can imagine a scenario where someone at the MB factory forgot to include the special VIN codes for the upfitters (well, at least for Airstream, but this likely impacts all upfitters on MB chassis) when programming their assembly line computers, so the ECU's destined for their builds never got the CWA code. Our company had a similar setup for big enterprise-class servers and what got loaded onto the HDD was all dependent on what the digital overlord scanned off the barcode on the back of the system as it rumbled down the assembly line. An error or omission in the bar code and who knows what went onto the HDD.....
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:44 PM   #45
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The Sprinter cargo vans can be ordered with various suspension options. Airstream does not order a passenger van to make the Interstates. They order cargo vans just like Winnebago, LTV, Roadtrek and other B-van converters do. Airstream just orders theirs with more options than their competition.
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:42 AM   #46
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This link to MB shows that the "passenger van" is only on the 2500 chassis, with the 144" or 170", has no dually's.

https://www.mbvans.com/sprinter/comm.../passenger-van

Thanks for pointing out this clarification once and for all ...
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:36 PM   #47
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Just as a point of interest. Airstream is an importer of the Mercedes Sprint directly from Germany, they are the only one to do so all others come from SC. They are also the only ones that order their coaches in factory paint on the Interstates and they do in fact order with almost every factory option that is available. All the factory options are included in the base price.
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Old 03-11-2018, 06:54 PM   #48
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Thank you for providing your information below. This entire thread is about suspension and other features. It is about who provided them a third party or Mercedes-Benz.

The major question is, can Sprinter Vans be purchased with more then on suspension option. The answer you confirmed is Yes. Does a upgraded suspension work better, the answer is Yes. So all the major brands that use Sprinter chassis us the Premium Suspension, the answer is NO. It makes a different.

I used to order all of the Mercedes-Benz line for inventories. Some things that are available in a Cargo van are not available in a passenger van. Not on the option list. These include some but not all safety features. What makes Airstream impressive is they have a very unusual relationship with Mercedes-Benz. They are partnering with Mercedes-Benz which is why you get a free one year subscription to the Mercedes-Benz club. After that year you if you continue, you get a $500.00 Mercedes-Benz rebate when you buy your next Airstream Interstate.

Yes, Airstream checks all the safety options when the van is delivered to get customized. No you can order a 3500 dully with out help from Mercedes-Benz factory representative. Yes, Airstream orders the van's directly from Mercedes-Benz produced in Germany.

Everything about the van is unique to the partnering relationship of Mercedes-Benz and Airstream.

I hope that helps.

Gary T.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
The Sprinter cargo vans can be ordered with various suspension options. Airstream does not order a passenger van to make the Interstates. They order cargo vans just like Winnebago, LTV, Roadtrek and other B-van converters do. Airstream just orders theirs with more options than their competition.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:27 PM   #49
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Gary, I am brand new to this forum. I am looking at the Era vs the Airstream Grand Tour. Any new updates or reasons to buy one vs the other?
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Old 08-09-2019, 06:30 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by dickrjc View Post
Gary, I am brand new to this forum. I am looking at the Era vs the Airstream Grand Tour. Any new updates or reasons to buy one vs the other?
Dick
Gary reportedly sold his Interstate, so I'm not sure how often he checks in here.

Have you also looked at the Travato? Depending on your usage goals, that might be another option. A lot of people like them, and the Travato was recently chosen by the internet / Class B "influencers" known as Technomadia.

This is an old thread; I cannot recall if I mentioned it here, but I did a Class B review in 2017 based on the Houston RV show. My personal pick was the Pleasure Way Plateau.
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:00 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by dickrjc View Post
Gary, I am brand new to this forum. I am looking at the Era vs the Airstream Grand Tour. Any new updates or reasons to buy one vs the other?
Dick
If you are looking at new units on the newer Mercedes chassis... safety features no longer differentiate them... seems all vendors are including those now as standard for their units.

So it seems to come down to floor plan of your choice and physically looking at them and deciding which one you prefer in terms of fit and finish and interior colors and options.

Agree with InterBlog, you should also consider looking at the Pleasure Way...
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:12 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by dickrjc View Post
Gary, I am brand new to this forum. I am looking at the Era vs the Airstream Grand Tour. Any new updates or reasons to buy one vs the other?
Dick
Thank you for asking. There is no comparision between Era and Airstream. It all has to do with factory installed Safety features, Passanger van suspension vs. Cargo van, Warranty service and Fit and finish. The resale on an Airstream is also much better which compensates for the higher selling price. Hope that helps.
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Old 02-29-2020, 10:18 PM   #53
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one question please

TE=sthrngary;2024850]If you are looking at all the competitors to the Airstream Interstate, wouldn't it be nice if SOMEONE out there did some realtime research for themselves. More important, those folks would be open to share that data with ANYONE doing the same comparison. Well, I did it and I am happy to share it. Below are just something's I found.

Before I begins, a little background, I have over 40 years’ experience with working with most automobile and now RV manufacturers. This gave me information that most other folks did not have nor would have gotten easily.

My research began with Class "B" motor homes. I looked at Class "A", "B", "B+", "C", "C+", and "Trailers". Every class gave positives and negatives. It was clearly personal taste and preferences. Once Class "B" was selected, for all my reasons, it was time to look at Brands, Models, and Options. Brand first with all the comers in the race. Airstream, Road Trac, Pleasure Time, Winnebago, EXT. My research lead me to my finalists of Winnabago and Airstream to the final lap.

At first glance all the field looked almost exactly the same. Then it was time to learn about the companies, the current/past clients opinions. This went on to the Manufactures being considered after sales "Ownership Experience". Notice the notion of really drilling down on a Retail Dealer is not really an emphasis. I have found regardless of Class, Size, Manufacturer, Models and options. Most of MY experiences with RV dealers has been AWFUL!!!!!!! That is why I use my learned knowledge to teach, "Clients taking care of Clients" and my nick name given to me is The "RV Advocate".

The finalist as mentioned above were Winnebago Era and the Airstream Interstate Grand Tour EXT. The Winnebago was $25,000.00 less so I had to find out what made the different. There is "No Free Lunch" in this RV business. I called both the manufacturers for resources of very specific technical information. I wanted brands and models of almost every third party manufacture used. This included the specific order sheet they used to purchase the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis and shell. This lead to a Excel sheet for comparison of both models on every line item I could find. I color coded in green which line item was best.

I will give you one example that not even the Winnebago National Sales Trainer nor an Airstream Retail Sales Consultant knew at last years Tampa RV Show. Although both brands look identical, they are NOT. The way they order their Sprinters from Mercedes-Benz are completely different. Airstream orders the unit in a consumer order giving a laundry list of safety options available starting with the STANDARD suspension. Winnebago orders the commercial version. Drive both one after the other and you will feel the difference immediately. Airstream literally checks every single safety option box. What this means is the safety items are Mercedes and if the break, Mercedes fixes it and has the parts. It also gives you things like: Heated Windshield, built in blind spot indicators, accident/brake avoidance systems, ATC, ECT. All Mercedes options and install by Mercedes. Winnebago added on many of these safety options using MobileEye™, this is a third party vender and many items are not standard, they are options.

The fit and finish on an Airstream is MUCH better than the Winnebago. So why even consider the Era? They had a way to put in a third bed so it could sleep three. In my life, I don't want to take either of my kids on vacation with my wife and myself. I want them to leave my home not go on vacation.

I saved all of my data and speak about what I found on blogs, video's, and pod casts across the United States. If I can help you or if I upset any of the Airstream Gods, feel free to ask me any question you might have. It is time for "Clients taking care of other clients". I am The "RV Advocate". Be well and stay healthy.[/QUOTE]
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Old 02-29-2020, 10:21 PM   #54
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pleasure time.

I very much enjoyed your research article. For us Airstream is hands down to any other brand when it comes to resale. For us that’s the biggest point.

However I too love to research and I have never come across Pleasure Time. I do know Pleasure Way. Can you tell me who Pleasure Time is, I can’t seem to find it anywhere.
Thanks
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Old 02-29-2020, 11:08 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CherGen View Post
TE=sthrngary;2024850]If you are looking at all the competitors to the Airstream Interstate, wouldn't it be nice if SOMEONE out there did some realtime research for themselves. More important, those folks would be open to share that data with ANYONE doing the same comparison. Well, I did it and I am happy to share it. Below are just something's I found.



Before I begins, a little background, I have over 40 years’ experience with working with most automobile and now RV manufacturers. This gave me information that most other folks did not have nor would have gotten easily.



My research began with Class "B" motor homes. I looked at Class "A", "B", "B+", "C", "C+", and "Trailers". Every class gave positives and negatives. It was clearly personal taste and preferences. Once Class "B" was selected, for all my reasons, it was time to look at Brands, Models, and Options. Brand first with all the comers in the race. Airstream, Road Trac, Pleasure Time, Winnebago, EXT. My research lead me to my finalists of Winnabago and Airstream to the final lap.



At first glance all the field looked almost exactly the same. Then it was time to learn about the companies, the current/past clients opinions. This went on to the Manufactures being considered after sales "Ownership Experience". Notice the notion of really drilling down on a Retail Dealer is not really an emphasis. I have found regardless of Class, Size, Manufacturer, Models and options. Most of MY experiences with RV dealers has been AWFUL!!!!!!! That is why I use my learned knowledge to teach, "Clients taking care of Clients" and my nick name given to me is The "RV Advocate".



The finalist as mentioned above were Winnebago Era and the Airstream Interstate Grand Tour EXT. The Winnebago was $25,000.00 less so I had to find out what made the different. There is "No Free Lunch" in this RV business. I called both the manufacturers for resources of very specific technical information. I wanted brands and models of almost every third party manufacture used. This included the specific order sheet they used to purchase the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis and shell. This lead to a Excel sheet for comparison of both models on every line item I could find. I color coded in green which line item was best.



I will give you one example that not even the Winnebago National Sales Trainer nor an Airstream Retail Sales Consultant knew at last years Tampa RV Show. Although both brands look identical, they are NOT. The way they order their Sprinters from Mercedes-Benz are completely different. Airstream orders the unit in a consumer order giving a laundry list of safety options available starting with the STANDARD suspension. Winnebago orders the commercial version. Drive both one after the other and you will feel the difference immediately. Airstream literally checks every single safety option box. What this means is the safety items are Mercedes and if the break, Mercedes fixes it and has the parts. It also gives you things like: Heated Windshield, built in blind spot indicators, accident/brake avoidance systems, ATC, ECT. All Mercedes options and install by Mercedes. Winnebago added on many of these safety options using MobileEye, this is a third party vender and many items are not standard, they are options.



The fit and finish on an Airstream is MUCH better than the Winnebago. So why even consider the Era? They had a way to put in a third bed so it could sleep three. In my life, I don't want to take either of my kids on vacation with my wife and myself. I want them to leave my home not go on vacation.



I saved all of my data and speak about what I found on blogs, video's, and pod casts across the United States. If I can help you or if I upset any of the Airstream Gods, feel free to ask me any question you might have. It is time for "Clients taking care of other clients". I am The "RV Advocate". Be well and stay healthy.
[/QUOTE]





Great info, thanks for sharing.

As mentioned, “acquisition price” is always a consideration along with the dealer support network.

But my personal weighted buying criteria is retained value at resale. We’ve enjoyed multiple ASI Lounge units since 2014 and have realized impressive resale in our region (Jackson WY and Bend Oregon).
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