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Old 05-11-2021, 03:14 PM   #1
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What to look for

I was pretty active in the Argosy section years past but now that they are gone my wife and are interested in stepping up.

I'm sure this topic has been beaten to death, and I will read all the relevant threads I can find, but....

For those who have been there and done that what should I be looking out for in a used Interstate.

Thanks,

John
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:58 PM   #2
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I'd look for something before the Airstream 2016 model year, when they added those terrible electric window shades, or something much more recent, built in the newer Sprinter that MB started putting out in their 2019 model year. You'll still get the terrible electric shades in a newer model, but at least they will be AMS V2.0 instead of the truly unreliable AMS V1.0 shades we have.

We found, bought, and then repaired & upgraded a gently-used 2016, and so far those dumb electric window shades are our only regret. We've replaced one so far, but we expect them all to die, one by one, over time. Only good news there is that AMS no longer makes the V1.0 shades, so all replacements are V2.0 - although the V2.0 shades use a different remote. Yes, that means that until all the V1.0 shades are gone, we have to use two different remotes to get all our window shades up or down. (sigh)
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:15 PM   #3
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What to avoid

Okay, what should I avoid.
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Old 05-14-2021, 04:07 AM   #4
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Avoid people who tell you that you can hire someone to independently inspect an Interstate for you. We did that, paid hundreds of dollars for the service, and the inspector didn't identify a single issue of concern. We ended up doing thousands of dollars in repairs ourselves, after the sale.

But we were newbies. Given that you were a trailer owner previously, this learning curve might be easier for you as you already know the principles, even if the lay-out of the systems is different. My advice is to learn in advance what the Interstate's water and electrical systems should look like, and function like, so that you can do your own inspection.

It's also worth reviewing the well-known article titled The Fatal Flaw of Mercedes Benz Sprinters. That will provide an introduction to some of the engine-related factors that you should be aware of.

You never mentioned anything about model year, budget, or layout preferences, which would also influence what you should be looking for.
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Old 05-14-2021, 10:05 AM   #5
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I'll just drop in here to say that I disagree with the above advice regarding independent inspections. We did not have our van inspected, but I wish we had. We found several things after the fact that were not apparent when we carefully looked at the van and tried out everything we could think of in the moment. We know exactly how everything should work, but we still missed things, perhaps because it looked so nice overall. We're happy with our purchase despite the necessary repairs (mostly because we know there's not an RV on the planet that doesn't have something busted in it), but if we had gotten an inspection from an objective third party, they would probably have spotted enough issues to help us negotiate the price down by multiples of what we would have paid for the inspection. Skill levels of inspectors will obviously vary, so if you go this route pick the one who seems the most competent and then be there for the inspection so you can see whether they know what they're doing.

I will also note that even brand new RV's typically have a handful of things wrong with them, and that if you or your inspector don't find any busted items in your PDI on a new unit, you're probably not looking hard enough.

https://nrvia.org/locate/
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Old 05-16-2021, 05:49 AM   #6
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OK, how about a compromise on the inspector topic.

IF you hire an inspector, get them to document systems integrity WITH PICTURES. Not just in writing, but with actual proof of what (s)he is claiming.

That right there would solve a lot of issues.

Case in point - every connection to our gray tank was broken at the point when we bought our Interstate, and the inspector missed all of them. The tank had not been secured properly during the initial build by Airstream, and the pipes had all sheared off, leaving the tank basically floating free in its harness.

In order to detect that build flaw, it would have been necessary to either drop the rock shield, or use a special camera. Ask the inspector which method they will use. And if they tell you “I don’t do pictures” or “I don’t do cameras”, find another inspector. Or, duh, inspect the damned thing yourself, because a plumbing repair of that scope either entails a lot of DIY hours, or more than two thousand dollars in repair costs. Husband and I opted for the former.
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