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Old 05-24-2020, 12:28 PM   #1
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General Advice

Hello, everyone! Iím new to the site and to RVing in general. I looking for some input/advice from the community, and Iím hoping some of you wouldnít mind chiming in.

First the background. I have a wife and two daughters (15 and 8). My plan is to spend more time seeing the parks and natural wonders in this country with the family rather than tourist towns, and I thought an RV might help with that endeavor.

I rented a class A a few weeks ago, and found that it wasnít to my liking. My plan is to go out with the family for a few days at a time and be as quick and mobile as possible to get from place to place and fit on the backroads when needed. To this end, the class B seems a better fit. Iím considering an Airstream Interstate Lounge.

So here are some of the questions.

1. I know four people would be tight in an Interstate Lounge, but Iím thinking my teenager on an inflatable mattress or the like on the front captain's chairs, and my 8 year old in the fold down bed with us. Is that doable?

2. Iíve been looking at some used Interstate Lounges on RV Trader. Sounds like these things need ongoing maintenance regardless. Sound I start with an older one 2011-2013 to get my feet wet? My other options are 2015-2018. Should I save the money to get started?

3. Can most RV dealers work on the housing part? Iím outside of Cleveland, Ohio and donít see any Airstream dealers in the area.

4. I know the diesel engines run strong. Any issue getting one with 60-100 thousand miles on it, if itís been cared for properly?

5. Should I make sure to get an EXT model for the extra storage?

6. Iíve also been looking at the Coachmen Galleria. Any thoughts on comparison?

7. Any Airstream or class B tips in general for a newbie? What am I getting into? LOL

Thank you in advance!

Michael
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:44 PM   #2
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As the mother of 2 daughters, here is my advice.
Whatever you buy should fit 4 ADULTS
This is how much room you will need. In a year or two that is how much space your 2 daughters will need.

And they will have their own phone, laptop, duffle bag, etc. As much as your wife would have.

If you cannot imagine yourself and your wife and for example, your sister and sister's husband fitting along with all of their required equipment, food, and gear, then keep looking.

At the minimum, you will probably want the largest Interstate, along with a Hitch /Haul bumper mounted platform for a cooler and generator.

Having enough interior room to actually camp once you store all of your gear will be the biggest challenge.

My personal opinion is that this is too small for what you want to do.
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:48 PM   #3
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Imagine being stuck in the Interstate on rainy weekend with your wife, an 8 year old and the teenager.

I've got a 26' trailer with just a wife and one teenager and it's not easy,

Nuf Said,
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:01 PM   #4
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If you continue down the Interstate trail definitely consider getting a 4ft x 8ft box trailer to tow behind hold all your stuff in. In time your going to have lots of stuff for you & your wife and 2 kids (bikes, BBQ pit, spare parts, luggage etc).
On a recent caravan...that's what a couple of guys did. Marvelous idea.
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:32 PM   #5
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I think it would get quite old to try to sleep more than 2 in an interstate. I could see doing it for a day or two with one young grandchild. But no more/longer/older than that. The Interstate works great for the two of us and many use them to move multiple people (sleeping in hotels) but I don't think many use them as you intend. Having the kids sleep in tents would work, but I can't see teenagers (esp. girls) wanting to do that. Yes, I know that's sexist.
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:59 PM   #6
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Yep, an Interstate is too small by itself for your family.

Sleeping all of you in there, you would be literally on top of each other.

Get a hitch hauler for the stuff four of you will need, and a nice sized tent with sleeping bags for the kids.

They can pitch it as close as you want them to be, you’ve still got your kitchen and frig, and short trips over weekends should work out just fine.

We’ve done this with grandchildren.

Maggie
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Old 05-24-2020, 05:16 PM   #7
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Tents have their own issues such as safety etc. What about an interstate pulling a teardrop trailer for the girls to sleep in. They would probably love the privacy, time away from Mom and Dad and it would be safer than a tent. The teardrops are small and the interstate would not even know it is there.

And I would definitely recommend the ext.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:52 PM   #8
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I consider the Interstate Lounge too small for sleeping four. I've tried it once with my daughter and granddaughter joining us on a road trip to Minnesota. The plan was for the younger women to sleep in a tent. On first night stop it was in heavy down pour so we all crammed in to the van. It was not comfortable.

If you want a travel with a B-van best to tow a small teardrop trailer with sleeping for your daughters as "Passin Thru" recommended above.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:52 PM   #9
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It’s all what your family is willing to do to accommodate your overall goals. My family of 4 has traveled - and slept - in our AI Lounge Ext Approximately 15k miles in 4 trips over the last year. We’re a short family, so my 12 and 10 yr old kids have slept in cot bunks (find my post last year on the “Cabbunk”). It’s tight, but we’re a family that enjoys the adventure more than we dislike the confined space. Not sure how much longer the Cabbunk will work for us, but I’ll come up with something else when that time comes.
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:58 AM   #10
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One more real world thought based on our experience when we had a smaller trailer.

Your should anticipate that your wife and the 2 daughters will end up sleeping in the big bed together. If you can be satisfied with a different place for you yourself to sleep, then that would be a very likely real world scenario to explore.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
. . . anticipate that your wife and the 2 daughters will end up sleeping in the big bed together. If you can be satisfied with a different place for you yourself to sleep, then that would be a very likely real world scenario to explore.
That is what happened on the one occasion I had four in van overnight. My wife, daughter and granddaughter slept on the large lounge bed. I slept on the floor in cab between the front seats. Granddaughter complained the grandma snored.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:21 PM   #12
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You want to be mobile, but in a class B a trip to the grocery means everyone has to pack up and go.
I'd be looking to a travel trailer so you park, unhook, and have a separate vehicle to explore with and a camp to come "home" too.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
You want to be mobile, but in a class B a trip to the grocery means everyone has to pack up and go.
I'd be looking to a travel trailer so you park, unhook, and have a separate vehicle to explore with and a camp to come "home" too.
This was my thought as well. If it was just two of you it might be a different story.

All the best in making the decision that is best for you.
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Old 05-26-2020, 07:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpapatonis View Post

I rented a class A a few weeks ago, and found that it wasnít to my liking. My plan is to go out with the family for a few days at a time and be as quick and mobile as possible to get from place to place and fit on the backroads when needed. To this end, the class B seems a better fit. Iím considering an Airstream Interstate Lounge.

Michael
It does bear discussing that safe and recommended highway driving speeds with a unit like an Airstream Interstate are higher/standard MPH speed rates.

When traveling with a trailer towed behind a vehicle, safe and recommended highway driving speeds are basically 60-65 MPH.

For some users, this alone would be a reason to consider the Airstream Interstate over a trailer.
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Old 05-26-2020, 07:50 AM   #15
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Some people are quite comfortable in tight spaces and live in vans, cars, tiny houses, etc. I would say, go to a dealer and everyone get in one. maneuver around for 30 minutes or so and keep in mind that it would be hours. The idea of a baggage trailer is great too. I am crowded in my trailer when my family goes with me by all the shuffling of stuff let alone people. I traveled for 10 weeks with a group of six in an extended van years ago and would not do it again.
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:11 AM   #16
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I can understand carrying more people on a day trip, but I feel that the AI, either Lounge or GT (I have had both) is just comfortable for two co-operating adults for more than a day trip. Doing the "aisle dance" takes some practice.

Before I bought my first AI, I had three Airstream trailers, preceded by several SOBs. We had an 8 1/2' wide Classic 28 for 16 years. Before buying the AI, I took my wife to the dealer and we spent several hours in several used AIs, discussing whether we would be happy with the change. I made the mistake (for us) of buying a used Lounge and ended up, after 2 years, trading for a GT.

My one regret is now our three cats must stay home with a cat sitter coming by for a half-hour each day.

Just my personal take on class B's from any manufacturer.
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:21 AM   #17
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This is for type catastrophic Tire failure post on the Forum. Tires.


A very slow leak can cause Tire failure because heat builds up in the tire will blow. A big problem with many Tire failures is that when the air pressure is checked, sometimes the bellcore does not see properly and leaks. After about an hour or two the tire is way below safe pressure and would begin to heat and will it blow so make sure when you check your air pressure to put a little soap on the stamp to see if the valve core seated properly. I had that problem with a brand new tire on a brand new truck
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:07 AM   #18
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I appreciate the input. So far, it sounds like I am being overly optimistic to fit all four of us in a Class B.
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:18 AM   #19
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If you have your heart set on a motorhome with the airstream name, you might want to check what is available in the used classic motorhome marketplace.

Airstream manufactured motorhomes from the late 70s under the Argosy namebrand through the 90s.
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:53 AM   #20
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If you have your heart set on a motorhome with the airstream name, you might want to check what is available in the used classic motorhome marketplace.

Airstream manufactured motorhomes from the late 70s under the Argosy namebrand through the 90s.
Iím not necessarily set on an Airstream. They just seemed like one of the nicer Class B, along with Coachmen.
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