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Old 05-13-2020, 06:53 AM   #1
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2019 ​Interstate Nineteen
Newtown , Pennsylvania
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Smile Pros & cons of Interstate 19 4x4

hello! My husband and I have ZERO experience and just bought an Interstate 19 so we can travel across country. We have the option of waiting another couple of months for delivery and getting the 4x4 instead. Our daughter and son-in-law do like to camp, so obviously the 4x4 would make it easier to do together, but nothing is ever as simple as that. We need your HELP!
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:04 PM   #2
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Hi
As you see from my profile I am from Idaho. We love our 4x4 pickups. However when it comes to camping are you really going to take your multi thousand camper somewhere where you need to put it into 4 wheel drive.

We have a 24 foot Interstate Mercedes 3500 with duallys. There are very few camping places I would not take it. I am not going to climb mountains with it but would you really want to go on roads that require 4 wheels drive with your coach? I have driven in blizzards with it and didnít need 4 wheel drive.

I think you would find you would be putting it in 4 wheel drive very seldom regardless of where you go. And I am sure you will pay $$$$$ for the 4 wheel drive option.

Just my humble opinion.
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Old 05-14-2020, 07:05 PM   #3
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1992 29' Excella
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It's ultimately a personal decision but maybe some insight from others will help you make the right choice for your situation.

We have a 2010 Interstate, 22', dual rear wheels. We previously had an Airstream B-190 (19') Both have relatively low ground clearance but that never posed a problem for us. We don't hesitate to take our 2010 down dirt/gravel roads. We avoid 4X4 forest roads due to ground clearance issues. We've seen non 4X4 Interstates travel gravel/rock/moderately rutted roads in Wyoming without problem.

I do like the idea of the added ground clearance of the 4X4. I don't know how much higher the 4X4 sits but it's noticeably higher than the normal Interstate. Your 19' rig will already have an advantage over the 22' and 24' model. Even with the same ground clearance, the 19' will be able to navigate rutted roads, avoid high-centering over hills, etc. compared to the 22 and 24.

So, which situations do you anticipate might necessitate 4X4? Steep roads, slick roads, wet roads, rutted roads, ice/snow??? Even with some amount of boondocking the non 4X4 will probably be fine. If you really need the extra ground clearance and truly have a need for 4 wheel drive then you know the answer.
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Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic / 2010 Interstate
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:37 AM   #4
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Camping out of a 1 ton Ford Econoline for the last 7 years or so. (exact same chassis as a B190) and I've had that thing stuck in wet grass to the point I needed a tow on 5 separate occassions. This is with fresh Cooper AT3 all terrains on the back and posi. 4x4 is one of those things you will very seldom use. but when you do you'll go "dang I'm glad we had 4 wheel drive."

you can get by 99.9999% of the time without it, but it would have saved me a lot of hassle multiple times. You can't go wrong either way, you'll just have to plan differently. I keep a tow strap in the van at all times.
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Old 05-15-2020, 12:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamby190 View Post
Camping out of a 1 ton Ford Econoline for the last 7 years or so. (exact same chassis as a B190) and I've had that thing stuck in wet grass to the point I needed a tow on 5 separate occassions. This is with fresh Cooper AT3 all terrains on the back and posi. 4x4 is one of those things you will very seldom use. but when you do you'll go "dang I'm glad we had 4 wheel drive."

you can get by 99.9999% of the time without it, but it would have saved me a lot of hassle multiple times. You can't go wrong either way, you'll just have to plan differently. I keep a tow strap in the van at all times.
-RC
That's a very good point. While we've not had the "wet grass" problem with either of our vans, we have experienced that issue several times with our 3/4 ton, 2WD, locked differential Suburban. It happened enough times and was aggravating enough that we made sure the next Suburban had 4WD - not for off-road capability but to get us out of the once-in-a-blue-moon bind.
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Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic / 2010 Interstate
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 05-15-2020, 03:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamby190 View Post
Camping out of a 1 ton Ford Econoline for the last 7 years or so. (exact same chassis as a B190) and I've had that thing stuck in wet grass to the point I needed a tow on 5 separate occassions. This is with fresh Cooper AT3 all terrains on the back and posi. 4x4 is one of those things you will very seldom use. but when you do you'll go "dang I'm glad we had 4 wheel drive."

you can get by 99.9999% of the time without it, but it would have saved me a lot of hassle multiple times. You can't go wrong either way, you'll just have to plan differently. I keep a tow strap in the van at all times.
-RC
There's an old saw about 4WD:

"The ONLY thing 4WD does for you is makes the places you need to get towed out of a LOT more expensive."

Like those above, I think 4WD in a motorhome is additional expense and complexity that you really just don't need. I have accomplished the 4WD part by towing a Jeep when I really want to play off-road somewhere. Establish a base camp in a reasonably good location, and then go explore in the Jeep.

Airstream Interstate and Jeep JKU by Roger H, on Flickr
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:36 PM   #7
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2019 27' Globetrotter
2019 Interstate Lounge Ext
Rye , New Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BABBY C. View Post
hello! My husband and I have ZERO experience and just bought an Interstate 19 so we can travel across country. We have the option of waiting another couple of months for delivery and getting the 4x4 instead. Our daughter and son-in-law do like to camp, so obviously the 4x4 would make it easier to do together, but nothing is ever as simple as that. We need your HELP!



Hi

Welcome aboard.

At the time of resale, your 4x4 will hold its value significantly better than a 2wd. Shorter supply of the 4x4 chassis is just part of the supply demand equation. The drivability of the 4x4 is also improved over the 2wd, and additional height is of value.

Weíve personally had experience with both, and itís no contest. All interstates offer great utility, but when comparing 2wd vs 4wd itís no question which one would be my choice.
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:56 AM   #8
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Hello Again Babby C.,

ScottP certainly has quite a bit of experience with Interstates. I've lost track of how many they've owned but it's more than just a few. (on edit, I see ScottP has owned 6 Interstates) I would definitely have been interested in a 4WD Interstate if it had been available on the used market when we were looking.

A comment about towing a vehicle behind your Interstate. I'm sure that is a good alternative for some people but we have found it's not necessary for us and in fact would hamper our travel style when we're in the Interstate.

We like the Interstate because it's relatively small, yours will be smaller (shorter), and is easy to go from place to place. When we're in our Interstate we very seldom stay in one place more than a few days. It's so easy to move down the road, over the hill, around the next corner - all the while having everything with you in the van - your clothes, food, shower, toilet. Why go anywhere without the Interstate, particularly if it's only 19 feet long and in your case might have 4WD.

We find the freedom of waking up in the morning, knowing we can do some sightseeing, hiking, etc. and end up in a new location that evening to be very liberating. We don't hook up to water when we're in a campground opting to just keep the fresh water tank replenished periodically. We are very frugal with water use and therefore only need to dump the waste tanks every few days (we can go as many as 5 or 6 days). Hooking up to electric can be minimized if you have solar panels and use the generator wisely. If you need to go to the store, hop in the van and go. Bicycles or your own two feet are generally sufficient for getting around the camping area. And if you're boondocking you're not hooked up to anything so just turn the key and go when needed.

On the other hand, when we travel in our trailer we always have to go back to the campground for one thing or another. We forgot this, we need that. At a minimum the trailer is at the campground so sleeping and showering require going back to the campground. Imagine not having to do that. Everything is with you - no need to go "back" to anything.

Food for thought. YMMV.
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Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic / 2010 Interstate
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:57 PM   #9
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Rye , New Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
Hello Again Babby C.,

ScottP certainly has quite a bit of experience with Interstates. I've lost track of how many they've owned but it's more than just a few. (on edit, I see ScottP has owned 6 Interstates) I would definitely have been interested in a 4WD Interstate if it had been available on the used market when we were looking.

A comment about towing a vehicle behind your Interstate. I'm sure that is a good alternative for some people but we have found it's not necessary for us and in fact would hamper our travel style when we're in the Interstate.

We like the Interstate because it's relatively small, yours will be smaller (shorter), and is easy to go from place to place. When we're in our Interstate we very seldom stay in one place more than a few days. It's so easy to move down the road, over the hill, around the next corner - all the while having everything with you in the van - your clothes, food, shower, toilet. Why go anywhere without the Interstate, particularly if it's only 19 feet long and in your case might have 4WD.

We find the freedom of waking up in the morning, knowing we can do some sightseeing, hiking, etc. and end up in a new location that evening to be very liberating. We don't hook up to water when we're in a campground opting to just keep the fresh water tank replenished periodically. We are very frugal with water use and therefore only need to dump the waste tanks every few days (we can go as many as 5 or 6 days). Hooking up to electric can be minimized if you have solar panels and use the generator wisely. If you need to go to the store, hop in the van and go. Bicycles or your own two feet are generally sufficient for getting around the camping area. And if you're boondocking you're not hooked up to anything so just turn the key and go when needed.

On the other hand, when we travel in our trailer we always have to go back to the campground for one thing or another. We forgot this, we need that. At a minimum the trailer is at the campground so sleeping and showering require going back to the campground. Imagine not having to do that. Everything is with you - no need to go "back" to anything.

Food for thought. YMMV.


Agree completely...we use our van the same way.

This is our 8th now since 2014.

Active daily use, on the move, dynamic use for the van.

Just remembered, I have a photo of the 2wd vs 4wd 2018 model year next to each other

Click image for larger version

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Old 05-24-2020, 06:29 PM   #10
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4x4

Thank you very much to everyone who took the time to reply in such detail!
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:31 AM   #11
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4 x 4

Hi,

I am an outdoor writer and climber, hiker, etc. I've taken my old 2011 22' AI and my current 2016 24' AI EXT on some horrible roads. My rule of thumb has been to stay on paved roads unless it's dry (when possible). I have had good luck so far, even after a harrowing drive up a forest service road with terrible washboarding and over 20 water bars that were severely eroded. 9 miles in 45 minutes... going very slow.

I sometimes dream of a 4x4 AI but figure if it's that bad I'll take my Subaru and tent camp.

Good luck.
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