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Old 05-11-2021, 08:50 AM   #1
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The ultimate Interstate off-topic thread II

Continuing from The ultimate Interstate off-topic thread, this thread presents tidbits of information relevant to Airstream Interstate ownership (van, not trailer - this is not a trailer thread), things that might be useful to know, but which are simple enough such that they do not warrant their own separate thread being generated.

I'll inaugurate with a quirk of the Interstate's locking mechanism that was unknown to me for my first 6.5 years of ownership, because this is a game-changer.

BLUF: The T1N Interstate can be locked with the back door propped open, but only the back door, and only if you turn the key in the locking mechanism twice in rapid succession. This locking workaround will not work if any other door is obstructed.

I discovered this through two unrelated events, the first being a failure of the Interstate to lock when I was in a state park in January 2021. This was aggravating because I was traveling solo and I needed to leave the van unattended in order to walk my dog. At the time, I assumed that the failure was due to a mechanical break somewhere in the locking mechanisms. It was only a day later that I discovered that the USB cord for my pillar-mounted phone had become entrapped under the door handle, preventing it from retracting upon lock attempt, and causing the vehicle to reject the locking sequence for all four doors.

OK, fast forward to last week. Mid-May in Texas means rising temperatures, which means that cracking the back door open using our home-made "security worm" is a desirable thing. Previously I had assumed that this type of door interference, too, would prevent the other 3 doors from being locked, but it actually doesn't. Having discovered no workaround for the driver's door lock interference in January, I decided to see if the same logic holds true for the back doors, and it turns out that it does not.

The sequence works like this:

1. Prop open the back door using a latch insert (commercial or home-made).
2. Turn the key in a lock, hear the attempt to lock, followed by rejection.
3. Turn the key a second time, hear the attempted lock, rejection, and then the other 3 doors will lock.

This means I can lock it with the red security "worm" in place on the rear barn door, and have the vehicle as secured as it ever can be via door locks (someone could still break in a window, if so inclined). THAT is extremely helpful during times when I need the added ventilation that the rear door worm provides.

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Old 05-11-2021, 01:01 PM   #2
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What is this worm, and how does it prevent opening of the rear door?
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Old 05-11-2021, 02:24 PM   #3
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What is this worm, and how does it prevent opening of the rear door?
Good question. Ours is home-made out of oak (because it was easy to shape), but for a time, they were commercially available and made out of steel. I think the steel ones were water-jetted. They were for sale previously but nobody has them now, TMK (see this Sprinter Source thread).

You can add it to the rear barn door to leave it propped open with that handle manually locked (push lever forward). But that still left the issue of how to lock the remaining doors with that rear door propped like that and therefore interfering with the electronic lock detection system.

Yes, I realize that our design is deficient here in this 7-second video - we'd need to better secure that nut to prevent tampering. Mostly we use this for ventilation while we are INSIDE the van (especially when overnighting off-grid with no a/c), but occasionally I would like to leave the van sitting unattended with it in place.

This is a first-tier security measure. It would help deter smash-and-grab mostly, but it isn't a real van-hardening measure.

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Old 05-13-2021, 07:39 AM   #4
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The Colonial pipeline hacking and resulting fuel shortages in the northeast are generating the most route-related forum interest right now, but of greater potential consequence is the broken bridge in Memphis, which has shut down IH-40, one of America's primary east-west interstates.

I don't know why engineers are permitted to call that failure a "crack". That's not cracked - the bridge truss has totally separated. It's a break.

Anyway, when I saw this news article, my first thought was, "Oh, crap, that's what happens when we operate at GVWR" because we drove across that broken bridge in August 2020. In my imagination, I saw our heavy Interstate being the straw that broke that particular camel's back.

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Old 05-14-2021, 05:44 AM   #5
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Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus, and it IS possible to fit a 10 cubic foot refrigerator inside an Airstream Interstate. Although it is helpful to unbox it first, and add back the bump protectors after it is situated.

And no, it's not too heavy, weighing in at 117 pounds, which is considerably less than the husband who will not be riding with me today.

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Old 05-17-2021, 02:37 PM   #6
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I'm having an eventful week. Someone's bullet and my windshield decided to get acquainted on Friday, and 3 days later, I got caught in a tornadic thunderstorm, which I thought deserved a little learning moment.

Specifically on the topic of mesoscale convective systems: If you see them on radar, drive around them. If you get caught in one, well, remember the line that has been used in at least two different famous songs: "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here." Drive on, drive out, stop driving and take cover, or do whatever you can safely do to put distance and/or protection between that thing and yourself, because they are nasty.

I saw many tornado precursors today and for safety reasons could not take photos of any of them. Today marked the first time in 6.5 years of Interstate ownership that I actually felt rotational winds, because tornadoes really wanted to form in the mess I was driving through. Rotational winds don't feel at all like crosswinds - they feel exactly like what you'd expect if you were in a Matchbox miniature and a kid was trying to spin you in circles on the floor.

As soon as I got to a safer place, I pulled over and looked at the radar and then I began cursing out loud. General rainfall warnings have been posted today but no severe wind warnings were issued that I could find, and yet we had bow echo converging upon bow echo converging on a bunch of other mess. Does the National Weather Service have today off or something?!

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Old 05-24-2021, 12:53 PM   #7
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An interesting take on Harvest Hosts, hat tip to Class B Forum:

"My misperception [as a Harvest Host] was that I thought my campers, if they came to stay at a winery, would be interested in hearing about the operation and would love wine. The reality is that most just saw the program as a cheap place to stay."

MY SHORT UNHAPPY STINT AS A HARVEST HOST
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Old 06-03-2021, 07:49 AM   #8
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A reminder of why we own Interstates, in the unlikely event that you need a reminder.

I pulled a 21-hour day yesterday on account of weather-related flight disruptions. Getting from Amarillo to DFW was reasonably sane, but then we could not land in Houston due to microbursts being detected at the airfield, so after circling repeatedly and watching them not dissipate, we had to return to DFW, sit there for many hours, and then set out for Houston a second time. And even at that point, the turbulence was so bad that I had to tie my purse to my left leg because it would not remain under the seat in front of me.

Ten take-offs and landings in 36 hours (= searing headache), pulling an almost-all-nighter, and I could have driven from Amarillo much faster than I flew yesterday. Often for Texas work, I negotiate a drive provision, but this contract didn't allow it.

Incidentally, Tayara is / was in Palo Duro within the past few days. What an amazing score! Normally it would be too hot this time of year, but the Texas High Plains are under the same deluge of rain as the rest of the state. The playas are full, the area is lush, and the temp is about 10 or 15 degrees below normal. It's a stunning time to be there.

Anyway, our crazy failed flight path below. This is no way to live. Life is infinitely better in a van.

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Old 06-03-2021, 08:18 AM   #9
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We joined Harvest Hosts for a while, but it did not fit our needs. We "saw the program as a cheap place to stay", or not cheap so much as expanding our opportunity set. But it seemed more trouble than worth (to us).

We are also members of Boondockers Welcome. Haven't used them yet but plan to in future. Any comments or thoughts on that outfit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
An interesting take on Harvest Hosts, hat tip to Class B Forum:

"My misperception [as a Harvest Host] was that I thought my campers, if they came to stay at a winery, would be interested in hearing about the operation and would love wine. The reality is that most just saw the program as a cheap place to stay."

MY SHORT UNHAPPY STINT AS A HARVEST HOST
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Old 06-03-2021, 08:24 AM   #10
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... Incidentally, Tayara is / was in Palo Duro within the past few days. What an amazing score! Normally it would be too hot this time of year, but the Texas High Plains are under the same deluge of rain as the rest of the state. The playas are full, the area is lush, and the temp is about 10 or 15 degrees below normal. It's a stunning time to be there. ...
It certainly was. In fact, much of New Mexico and west Texas was green and watered. We had a great trip. I want to return to Palo Duro. I had no idea it is so spectacular.
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Old 06-03-2021, 09:10 AM   #11
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It certainly was. In fact, much of New Mexico and west Texas was green and watered. We had a great trip. I want to return to Palo Duro. I had no idea it is so spectacular.
If you go back, hike to the Lighthouse formation. Long hike, but well worth it. You can easily climb up to the bench between the two towers. The view from the bench is awesome.
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Old 06-03-2021, 11:26 AM   #12
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We joined Harvest Hosts for a while, but it did not fit our needs. We "saw the program as a cheap place to stay", or not cheap so much as expanding our opportunity set. But it seemed more trouble than worth (to us).

We are also members of Boondockers Welcome. Haven't used them yet but plan to in future. Any comments or thoughts on that outfit?
Coincidentally, I just received this communication from Boondockers Welcom:


Boondockers Welcome is Joining
the Harvest Hosts Family

A Message from Marianne & Anna

Nine years ago, after almost two years of planning and development, Boondockers Welcome was born. Since then, we’ve built a dedicated contingent of hosts and guests who have one thing in common: a love of RVing and the community it provides. We're so incredibly proud of what we've created, and we've loved every second of growing this community with all of you.

But as time goes by, all things age, grow, and change. That goes for us personally, as well as for Boondockers Welcome.

So today, we're excited to announce that Boondockers Welcome is joining forces with Harvest Hosts. Joel Holland, their CEO, has grown the Harvest Hosts network by leaps and bounds over the past few years, and we know that he and his very capable team will help to continue to grow Boondockers Welcome as a community made by RVers, for RVers.
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:11 PM   #13
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Hmmm, that’s interesting.

I have never used Boondockers Welcome, but did belong to Harvest Hosts for a few years.

It will be interesting to see what changes are made.

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Old 06-19-2021, 08:56 AM   #14
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Does anyone recognize the origin of this badging system shown below? I did a reverse image search but it did not identify any similar array.

I parked next to this mysterious Class B at our local dog park this morning, a Transit shortie. It wasn't clear to me whether it was a DIY build or a commercial model that had been de-branded. The only distinctive marking on it was this row of emblems which obviously symbolize recreational and lifestyle interests. There were too many people at the park for me to track down and chat with its owner.

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Old 06-19-2021, 09:07 AM   #15
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Interested

Never seen one like that, but I'd be curious to know where they got them...
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Old 06-19-2021, 09:14 AM   #16
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Ohhhh kayyyyy... I found it.

It's a Subaru badge of ownership array. On a Ford Transit Class B conversion of unknown origin.

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Old 06-19-2021, 09:19 AM   #17
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That's nifty. Subaru has quite the following.

Airstream could incorporate a cute idea like that. We found several little badges that we would like.

Good research as usual IB.
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Old 06-20-2021, 08:17 AM   #18
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Thumbs up Great Job IB

Thanks for the help IB!

JB
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