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Old 02-28-2018, 11:42 PM   #1
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New purchase 2018 AI Lounge EXT w/ E&P Hydraulic Leveling & VB Air Suspension

Just copying my reply to BRIAN from my 'Newbie Introduction 1st post'. I think many would be interested with this latest major option that it's worth re-posting specifically in this sub-group:

BRIAN,
Thank you. In fact, even though I am in Las Vegas, I was already willing to go all the way to Colonial to get the best price. But with me, once I make the decision, things happen very fast. Was not really expecting much from the brand new spanking Airstream-only exclusive dealer (the only 1 in NV). But gave them a chance today. I believe in giving local businesses a chance to earn my business.

Well. long sorry short, we made a deal on a brand new dealer inventory 2018 Airstream Interstate Lounge EXT (virtually no miles, just the obligatory test drive, under 60miles). Exactly the color combo I wanted w/ VB air suspension. I don't want to go too much on details of the deal coz I do not want to 'rain on' someone else's good deal or someone raining on mine. But, suffice it to say, it was hard to pass up, after a fair amount of negotiating. I was buying today, they knew it, so we cut most of the 'dance' in between. Double-digit % off of MSRP. If I could've saved more money going to Colonial or FL, my time and driving back to LV would've eaten up all that. Not to mention I now have a working relationship w/ the local dealer.

I could've saved more on a new 2107, but what sealed this 2018 deal was not so much the price (though obviosuly huge factor) but this unit came with the E&P Hydraulic Leveling system option. Was such a big surprise and bonus to me, it was hard to contain my poker face. Well, obviously it's not free (almost $8,000 msrp factory option), but I never thought it was out already. The rep said I may be one of 1st batch to get them. Hopefully, I am not the bug tester.

I think I will post this to the AI subgroup coz this would be welcome news for lots who want it.
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:28 AM   #2
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Congratulations!

Do share more on the leveling system!
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:51 AM   #3
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You’re a classy person with how you chose to handle your pricing info.
You are going to have a blast with that beautiful rig! Keep us posted!
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:49 PM   #4
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Thanks, WACHUKO.
Thanks MEEKS.

The unit is being prepped for delivery next week. I forgot to take pics of undercarriage. I took pic of remote but being new here, not yet figured how to post it. Will do so later and post. But there is a good video in YouTube from FITRV. The guy has a Winnebago Pro Master. He had Advanced RV install the E&P Hydraulic Leveling system as an aftermarket. Per him & factory rep Ron who is demonstrating the system, his unit was the 1st class B in North America to get one.

https://youtu.be/uxZBAk1suEM

I saw this video last year, way before I bought mine yesterday. I remember daydreaming & wishing that if/when I was ready to buy mine that the AI would have it available. But I never thought it would be on some 2018 units. I certainly could not find one on-line on any dealr listings, including my dealer. As far as I know, AI brochures do not even have this option listed yet. But I believe I saw it on one of their latest on-line specs. I paid no mind to it, thinking they were either preliminary info or just plain typo.

So, you won't believe my shock (& elation - trying to hide it so as not to jeopardize the final price negotiation) when sales rep showed me the build sheet. Basically, it bumped up the msrp almost exactly as the Tommy Bahamas model.

I am an Electronic Engineer & Computer Science Engineer by profession. So I can appreciate how the E&P Hydraulic Leveling System integrates with the VB Air Suspension (watch entire video to see how). And then of course the VB seamlessly works with all the MB systems. Having everything working together and all the separate individual "brains" of each system "talking & working" together is mostly a great thing. There could be drawbacks to Total Integration, but this is always the goal for anything computerized. So that may be a long discussion for a different time.

I have no other data yet to provide because it 's not even in the Airstream published documentaion yet. But the video gives enough info, at least for a consumer considering it. More to come. Thanks.
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:25 AM   #5
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Eventually figured out how to insert pics.

1. Copied from most recent Airstream on-line specs

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2. The surprise I discovered inside dash whilst waiting for sales rep to get the build sheet.

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Old 03-02-2018, 04:52 AM   #6
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Does the Leveling system work in tandem with the Air Bags/Air suspension or is it independent of this system?
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Old 03-02-2018, 07:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex AVI View Post
Eventually figured out how to insert pics.

1. Copied from most recent Airstream on-line specs

Attachment 305216

2. The surprise I discovered inside dash whilst waiting for sales rep to get the build sheet.

Attachment 305217
Yeah... I have a 2018 as well... these options were not available (or not able to select them together) when I got mine... I would have gone with the whole shebang... 4x4, Air ride, and leveling system... Now that they are available, I am trying really hard not to do a stupid financial mistake in trading mine for one with everything in it... I only have the air ride.

Do share photos of the undercarriage where the lift jacks are installed... retracted and deployed.

Enjoy it in good health!
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wachuko View Post
I would have gone with the whole shebang... 4x4, Air ride, and leveling system... Now that they are available, I am trying really hard not to do a stupid financial mistake in trading mine for one with everything in it... I only have the air ride.
First, congrats to Alex on the new Airstream!

You're going to be very popular around here since you've got the newest toys (VB Air + leveling system), so expect lots of questions from the envious throng.

@wachuko, is that combo even possible from Airstream? Specifically I'm wondering about the 4x4 + Air Ride. Unless they've changed something, according to the 2018 brochure, 4x4 is "N/A with Air Ride"....
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:33 AM   #9
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WACHUKO - Will post pics of undercarriage w/ jacks in all positions asap when I take delivery next Fri or hoping sooner if prep gets done early. Yes, VB-Air + E&P + 4x4 would be just awesome. Although, I am skeptical about whether they really can put all 3 together in one unit or it was a typo in their website. If they could not put VB-Air + 4x4 together in one unit before, not sure what changed now, especially since there's even less room with E&P in there. But if it's true, would be awesome for those wanting 4x4.

JAKE62 - a big YES on your question. To give you a short preview of how it works. Put in park. Turn off engine. Leave ignition key in On. Pull handbrake. Press Auto button on E&P remote control. As soon as that happens, E&P signals VB to lower to it's lowest point. The logic behind this is E&P wants to start leveling from the lowest point. It then levels in less than 2mins. Once level, E&P informs VB so that VB can charge the bags again just short of optimum ride height. The logic behind this is so that when E&P retracts, VB is almost at optimum and does not have to start from lowest point. Using E&P remote or releasing handbrake retracts all jacks, followed by VB adjusting last stage to optimum ride height. Very cool (at least for a tech nerd like me)
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Old 03-02-2018, 11:00 AM   #10
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FlyFishinRVr - Thank you. Yeah, Airstream's brochure has not caught up with what you can pull up on-line. In fact, my thinking is exactly in-line with yours, i.e. what changed to be able to have room for it now, when they said they did not before. The skeptic-me says maybe it was a typo and you can only have 2 out of 3. The greedy-me is thinking they really had room for all 3 from the get-go, but just like in the computer industry & consumer electronic world, they do not want to release everything in one shot. Trickling the release of the goodies guarantees them extra model years worth of upgrade-potential consumers. The evil-me says greedy-me is spot on AND on top of that, I am now their Beta tester (i.e. bug tester & guinea pig). But the techie-me still gobbles this up like a kid in a candy store.
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
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The skeptic-me says maybe it was a typo and you can only have 2 out of 3.
I think the fly in their soup is the generator. If it wasn't in the way, I think they'd be able to fit all of it: 4x4, VBAir, and levelers. I say this because I believe the good folks at Advanced RV already offer this combo, and they DO NOT have a generator......
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Old 03-02-2018, 01:02 PM   #12
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@wachuko, is that combo even possible from Airstream? Specifically I'm wondering about the 4x4 + Air Ride. Unless they've changed something, according to the 2018 brochure, 4x4 is "N/A with Air Ride"....
I confirmed with Airstream... now everything can be added... their documentation is not consistent in the pdf vs. their website...

Unless the person I reached out to was confused on what I asked, lol.
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Old 03-02-2018, 01:08 PM   #13
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I think the fly in their soup is the generator. If it wasn't in the way, I think they'd be able to fit all of it: 4x4, VBAir, and levelers. I say this because I believe the good folks at Advanced RV already offer this combo, and they DO NOT have a generator......
I think you hit the nail on the head. When I was checking out some of their units, I know (from what their listed specs) that it had at least both VB + 4X4 installed. Not sure if it had E&P at that time. But seeing where the E&P would mount, it's easy to extrapolate that it would not be a problem having it too.

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Old 03-02-2018, 01:32 PM   #14
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I confirmed with Airstream... now everything can be added...
That is great news! I don't need 4x4, so it won't affect me. But if I was still living in Chicago or up near Lake Tahoe, or was still fully active into winter-sports, I would definitely want to also have 4x4. With all those options, this would msrp a 2018 at $190,000. While that's even steeper than the Tommy Bahamas model, it is still well below the Advanced RV units similarly equipped. Coz the only 'plus' side I saw with Advanced RV is ability to fully customize. I was glad everything in the AI fit my needs (and more) that I did not have to go the custom route just to get those 3 options bundled-up from factory.

FYI - Advanced RV should be able to install the VB & E&P on existing units without compromising the Total Integration afforded the units that had them from the factory.
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:37 PM   #15
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While that's even steeper than the Tommy Bahamas model, it is still well below the Advanced RV units similarly equipped. Coz the only 'plus' side I saw with Advanced RV is ability to fully customize.

Something to consider is ARV includes a large bank of lithium batteries and underhood auxiliary alternator to charge them. That would add about $20k to the price of the van, which starts closing the gap.....
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:00 PM   #16
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Something to consider is ARV includes a large bank of lithium batteries and underhood auxiliary alternator to charge them. That would add about $20k to the price of the van, which starts closing the gap.....
Yeah...but I do not think you can negotiate a 20% discount from them like you can with Airstream The gap widens again, lol.
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:29 PM   #17
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Yeah...but I do not think you can negotiate a 20% discount from them like you can with Airstream The gap widens again, lol.
Yes, so true. Coz that ARV unit pic I posted earlier had VB + 4x4 but likely no E&P (not in their printed spec) and their msrp was $277k. So even if -20% still $221k . Ouch!
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:11 PM   #18
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Yeah...but I do not think you can negotiate a 20% discount from them like you can with Airstream The gap widens again, lol.
In-floor heating
Diesel heater (no propane required)
Silverleaf (arguably a better system than FireFly)
420W of solar
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Compustar w/ Drone (security system)
.
.

It's a pretty long list of differences. Whether they're worth the extra $$ is up to the buyer.
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:47 PM   #19
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It's a pretty long list of differences. Whether they're worth the extra $$ is up to the buyer.
Hehe! Ahhh, the ARV list. Actually, it's not a long list, it's a never-ending list. I did not think I could afford the ARV list. But during my search, it was considered at one point. Not so much for what's on the list and/or price point. But it was under consideration because I thought an ARV build was as good or even better with the list. But when the wife drew the line at under $200k msrp and she said I could choose 1-ARV list or 1-wifey but not both. So I decided 3/4-ARV list + 1-wifey = 1.75 out of 2.0 was the better deal for me.

Now, if I was still 25 & single, my answer may have been different (married 35 years and happy)
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Old 03-02-2018, 07:22 PM   #20
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Now, if I was still 25 & single, my answer may have been different (married 35 years and happy)


Yeah, I wish Mike wouldn't charge so much, but each unit is hand built to the specifications of the buyer. If you want custom, he's the guy.

I see American Coach has entered the "luxury B van" market for 2018 with their new Patriot, so maybe that's 3/4 of an ARV for 1/2 the price. Is that better than 3/4 of an ARV + 1 wife???
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