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Old 04-13-2021, 06:51 AM   #1
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2017 23' Flying Cloud
2021 Interstate 24GL
Searsmont , Maine
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Going big and then going home

Closing with the bank tomorrow on purchasing a 2021 Interstate Lounge EXT, lightly used. Flying to Phoenix next week with my 17 year old daughter to look at a college and drive it back to Maine. Right now the plan is, bring a couple of sleeping bags, cell phone chargers, change of clothes, and fly by the seat of our pants. Can anyone tell me of some must haves for a journey like this? I plan on picking up a tea pot and freeze dried food for fast hot meals on the go, fruit for snacking, and just stopping for coffee. Hopefully I can get some potable water in the fresh tank from the dealer to run the toilet, and we will be off. Spending a day in Tucson and then heading west straight through. Only sleeping at Cracker Barrels, rest stops, and so forth.
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Old 04-13-2021, 09:39 AM   #2
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Get yourself a notebook and make notes as your dealer does a walk thru with you, maybe even use your phone to video instructions on things you are unfamiliar with.

Once you have picked up your rig, make a stop at a WalMart for things like paper towels, bottled water, toilet paper, etc.

You’ll find WalMarts all along your route, so keep a running list of things you find you need and then enjoy the trip.

Have fun!

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Old 04-13-2021, 10:00 AM   #3
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If you can get the dealer to sanitize your fresh tank and water lines (easily done), you'll be able to drink that fresh potable water as well as using it to flush the toilet. That's how we roll, and fewer plastic bottles is always a good thing.

If you have any kind of camping mattress pad, (maybe Thermarest pads) I recommend you also bring or buy one of those for each sleeper because the "puzzle bed" in the AI is usually not as comfortable as it appears to be. For example, the one in our 2016 AI, without any additional padding, is better described as a medieval torture device. Aside from this, we're very happy with our AI and with our Thermarest air mattress we sleep very comfortably, so I'm not trying to talk you out of anything - just adding a cautionary note.

Best wishes for a successful and uneventful journey!
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:21 AM   #4
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Thanks!
I'm a firm believer that bigger is always better.Boom in on the big bird, and git er done!!
American exceptionalism is a beautiful thing!
You'll find everything you'll need at truck stops and Wally World , like Maggie mentioned.
Maybe pick up 50 State trucker atlas, for picking your route around big city traffic.And a hand held CB radio.It doesn't get much better than trucker humor on the road
Then, life is as simple as "Fill er up"!!!
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Old 04-13-2021, 11:02 AM   #5
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I don't know if this would be of concern to you, but teenagers can be finicky about their privacy - mine was.

I got a sheet of coroplast (plastic cardboard) and folded it accordion-style for storage in the closet, then took it out when needed it and inserted it between the flip-down sides of the couch, thus providing an easy privacy screen:

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Old 04-13-2021, 11:26 AM   #6
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Not knowing the rig miles associated with your "lightly used" acquisition, with an impending Arizona ~ Maine journey it might give you some peace-of-mind to be prepared for that dashboard warning all of us AI owners have encountered.

Although this can be purchased about anywhere, I like keeping a box onboard especially prior to a long-haul.

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Wishing you a happy & safe journey!
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Old 04-13-2021, 12:20 PM   #7
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2021 Interstate 24GL
Searsmont , Maine
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. I had thought about asking the dealer to do some prep, and I think that is a great idea. Wally World is a must. We do have Therma rests we can bring, but not sure about the Privacy, she can sleep in the lounge seat if she wants to! As far as Def, lightly used is 4400 miles, so I shouldn't have to worry too much, and I hope the dealer would fill the DEF for me! It will be an adventure for sure! Looking forward to discovering the new rig.
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Old 04-13-2021, 01:49 PM   #8
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Great!

Here's another idea: for a bit more privacy at night make sure you have shades for the windshield and the two front side windows (passenger and driver). Given this is a Sprinter there should be plenty of good options available, and for now you just need something that will make the trip home a little easier. Hopefully, the dealer will have something does the job. I know there are Airstream-branded shades, as we have a set. I don't love them, but they work while I wait for something better to arrive via UPS this Friday. I'm assuming all the other windows will have working shades.

Oh, and per standard wally-docking recommendations, when you park at night do so in a way that allows you to easily drive out when you leave, without having to back up or turn around. I'm sure everything will be fine, but it's always good to have a quick exit strategy already prepared should you need one.
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Old 04-13-2021, 02:38 PM   #9
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That's a strong point on the parking situation. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 04-13-2021, 02:55 PM   #10
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I think a good idea on not bringing much stuff.
Always easy to get when you need it.
When I picked up mine, we flew down and just brought personal stuff- picked up some bedding at the first store and a couple things like teapot etc. but not much.
Then got anything else if we needed it.

I suggest making sure whatever sewage dumping stuff is there, fresh water hose and shore power line. Plus pick up a box of disposable gloves.

Oh yeah, credit card. Ha!
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Old 04-13-2021, 04:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
Great!

Here's another idea: for a bit more privacy at night make sure you have shades for the windshield and the two front side windows (passenger and driver). Given this is a Sprinter there should be plenty of good options available, ...

Oh, and per standard wally-docking recommendations, when you park at night do so in a way that allows you to easily drive out when you leave, [probably be OK but] ....
I use Heatshield window products, including suction-cup side window shades fitted to the Sprinter. They’ve lasted 6 years now - impressive.

Oh ye the eternal optimist. I’ve done more Wallyworlds than I can count, and getting run out is not uncommon. All it takes is one or more parkers to treat it like a shooting gallery (drugs) and police will clear everyone out so as to not appear discriminatory. That includes at yes-park Walmarts - everybody must leave when the men in blue say so.
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Old 04-14-2021, 01:50 AM   #12
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2019 Interstate Lounge Ext
Rye , New Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawmiller View Post
Closing with the bank tomorrow on purchasing a 2021 Interstate Lounge EXT, lightly used. Flying to Phoenix next week with my 17 year old daughter to look at a college and drive it back to Maine. Right now the plan is, bring a couple of sleeping bags, cell phone chargers, change of clothes, and fly by the seat of our pants. Can anyone tell me of some must haves for a journey like this? I plan on picking up a tea pot and freeze dried food for fast hot meals on the go, fruit for snacking, and just stopping for coffee. Hopefully I can get some potable water in the fresh tank from the dealer to run the toilet, and we will be off. Spending a day in Tucson and then heading west straight through. Only sleeping at Cracker Barrels, rest stops, and so forth.


Congratulations on your new Van.

We’ve made the trip from PHX to (Portsmouth) Rye, New Hampshire many times. I’ve sent a PM with my cell, if you have any questions along the way.

Am unsure if you’re picking up from Penske - if so the service manager Katie is a great resource.

When you arrive - I’d make sure someone does a thorough demo of all systems including emptying the gray and black tank.

Additionally, they should have it plugged in for you the night before to conserve your battery, and the fridge turned on for you. And “to heck” with freeze dried rations, there’s a Whole Foods walkable from the dealership iirc. Fill that van up with great fridge road food including lasagna etc which you can microwave in your van.

Finally - I personally am not drinking water from the van water tank. You have no idea what’s been placed in the water tank prior to your ownership... Why risk it?
We put our safe drinking water, behind the drivers side second row seat. Van should be full of: water, propane, fuel prior to your trip.

Personally - if it were me, I would hop on the phone with the sales rep via face time / zoom and ask him/her to operate every electrical blind to ensure perfect operation. Leaving plenty of time for the van to be serviced properly prior to your arrival.


There are plenty of sleeping choices out there depending upon your route and night time temps. If it’s warm, a hotel might be your best option to ensure you get a great nights rest - since running the AC is uncomfortable for most at night (noise, generator etc).
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Old 04-14-2021, 02:29 AM   #13
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Great suggestions and offer to help, Scott.

Well done.

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Old 04-14-2021, 03:43 AM   #14
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Wow! Thanks Scott, a lot of good tips there! I believe it is Penske, since the email signature for Tom Bartlett, who I have been dealing with, has that in his signature. He has assured they have gone over everything in the van top to bottom. I was planning on buying bottles to drink, but good to know about the Whole Foods, as we will definitely check them out.
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Old 04-14-2021, 05:10 AM   #15
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Flashlight, sense of humor, patience. Don't be afraid to read the owners manual. If it is approaching midnight and you still cannot get the ____ to work, do not be afraid of checking into a hotel. Make a point of at least staying overnight at Jackson Center and taking the tour. Look into a Harvest Host membership.
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Old 04-14-2021, 05:56 AM   #16
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Make a point of at least staying overnight at Jackson Center and taking the tour.
Unfortunately, factory tours at Jackson Center have been suspended since the beginning of the COVID era. While you may get a minor thrill driving past the old and new factories, the only good reason to pass through JC these days is to spend some money on Airstream bling at the company store, located in the Factory Service Center. Even that is greatly reduced compared to several years ago, as I discovered last week on a visit. They have much less inventory on display than they used to.

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Old 04-14-2021, 07:37 AM   #17
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Going big and then going home

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawmiller View Post
Wow! Thanks Scott, a lot of good tips there! I believe it is Penske, since the email signature for Tom Bartlett, who I have been dealing with, has that in his signature. He has assured they have gone over everything in the van top to bottom. I was planning on buying bottles to drink, but good to know about the Whole Foods, as we will definitely check them out.



Yes - Tom is terrific to work with. Well informed and honest. I would still have them go through the window blinds operation on a Face Time video call with you, and give Katie’s group a chance to repair if necessary. We’ve purchased two of our ASI units at this dealership (Schumacher, then Penske)

*They’ll give you a MB courtesy car btw, for shopping and errands. Just ask. Penske runs the nicest operation of any AS dealership. Repairing both the ASI and Mercedes Sprinter at the same shop - and treating you like royalty.


My kids have enjoyed so many of these cross country trips - they love the pre-trip Whole Foods visit and direction “ok, get whatever you’d like, let’s fill the fridges.” They liked it at 12 years old and last month at 19 yrs old.


Enjoy the trip with your teen!

This was our first long trip in 2014, in our first ASI van - both kids are in college now.

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Note:
There’s a nice route we traveled through the Grand Canyon and Telluride which I highly recommend. There is always a reason to “get home“ but a trip through the Grand Canyon, and Northeast through Colorado is worthwhile.

We did the Grand Canyon route Christmas of 2019, including the Durango - Silverton train ... worth the visit.
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:23 AM   #18
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Thought I recognized that rig!

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f24...rs-217461.html
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Old 04-14-2021, 10:35 AM   #19
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Go through Iowa and Ohio where there are LOTS of colleges and universities to look at. Check out Grinnell in Iowa (I didn't go there but it has a great reputation). Pennsylvania has a bunch too. Closer to home there's scads of colleges in Mass., Vermont and NY.
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Old 04-14-2021, 11:42 AM   #20
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As a thought, going from Phoenix to Maine you generally head East. Going West would be a lot longer trip.....
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