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Protagonist 07-17-2013 08:55 AM

Interstate Owner's Manual Errors
Over the past year and a half of Airstream Interstate ownership, I've discovered several errors in the owner's manual. I don't always know what the correct text should be, though.

Here's an important one for me, since I pull a toad. On page B-7:

The towing vehicle’s braking system is rated for operation at GVWR (GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING), NOT at the GCWR (GROSS COMBINED WEIGHT RATING). A separate functioning brake system is required for any towed vehicles or trailers weighing more than 1000 lbs. (450 kg) when fully loaded.

This conflicts with the Sprinter Owner's Manual, which doesn't list any such 1000-pound limitiation. Not sure where this came from; maybe cut from a different Airstream motorhome manual altogether and pasted into the Interstate manual.

Protagonist 07-17-2013 09:00 AM

Another error, from Page B-1:

The Cargo Carrying capacity tag shown below is installed on every motorhome and can be found on the inside of the screen door on your vehicle.
What screen door? And I have yet to find a capacity plate made by Airstream on mine; all it's got are the standard DOT capacity plates on the driver's seap pedestal and the driver's door post.

xrvr 07-17-2013 09:07 AM

The Interstate in effect is a fully loaded truck. AS obviously feels the tow rating must be reduced. The Interstate is near its lad capacity with cargo added. The brakes are designed to stop the vehicle per a max load. AS obviously feels for safety the addition of a thousand pound more to the weight the Interstate must stop is the max. If I remember correctly most Sptinters are not used at nearly the weight of an Interstate, and if they are by commercial users, trailer brakes are installed. Just my thoughts, jim

Protagonist 07-17-2013 09:07 AM

And from page C-1 (the Forum doesn't handle column formatting well, so it may not come out quite right):

Sprinter Van Serviced by Sprinter or its suppliers.

In the United States: In Canada:
Chrysler Motors Company LLC Chrysler Canada, Inc.
Customer Center Customer Center
PO Box 21-8004 PO Box 1621
Auburn Hills, MI. 48321-8004 Windsor, Ontario N9A-4H6
Ph.: 800-992-1997 Ph.: 800 465-2001

This went out-of-date for the 2011 Sprinter model year (2012 Interstates) when Mercedes Benz took over the marque from Chrysler. Yet it still appears in the 2012 manual, at least. What does it say in later editions?

Protagonist 07-17-2013 09:13 AM

Page C-10:

Front Wheel Simulators
The wheel simulators are installed by Airstream.

Not on mine. Mine has the Alcoa aluminum wheels, not simulators over steel wheels. But I suppose it might be true for some.

wayneskid 07-17-2013 09:15 AM

It's fixed in the 2013 manual:
Customer Assistance Center
Three Mercedes Drive
Montvale, New Jersey 07645-0350

Protagonist 07-17-2013 09:17 AM

Page D-14:

Your LP gas detector is wired directly to your vehicle battery and incorporates a 1-amp in-line fuse. When the device is operating normally the green LED will be lit.
If there's an in-line fuse, I sure can't find it. Maybe it's tucked behind the wardrobe closet so I'd have to dismantle the interior to get to it?

Protagonist 07-17-2013 09:26 AM

Page E-8:

Awning Motor Pre-wire: Units equipped with the standard manual awning are prewired for the addition of a motor to convert to power operation. Four wires are located inside the removable rear panel of the rear roof locker. Those four wires run through the body to under the passenger cab seat where two other wires are run from the chassis fuse panel under the driver’s seat. The switch can be mounted inside the compartment on the side of the passenger seat.

Don't know about earlier model years, but for 2012, the awning comes standard as an electric model, not manual. The backup manual crank is so short that you can't use it without a ladder.

I seem to remember that the electric awning is wired to the chassis battery, not the house batteries, but my memory on that may be faulty. If so, it would have been nice of Airstream to say so.

Protagonist 07-17-2013 09:29 AM

Page F-2:

The table pedestal is stored in back of the rear center sofa on the rear lounge model accessed by opening the two rear cargo doors and inside the roadside wardrobe in the twin bed model.
This error is really minor, but on my 2012 sofa/lounge model, the pedestal is stored in the rear overhead locker, not behind the seat. Much easier to access.

Protagonist 07-17-2013 09:33 AM

Page F-3:

Galley Sink/Faucet:
Mine's a Dometic, but looks and works the same as described. Another minor error. But it sure would have been nice if the manual told people to make sure the faucet lever is in the "Cold" position before closing the sink lid. In the "hot" position the lid will open the faucet.

Protagonist 07-17-2013 09:40 AM

Page F-8:

All interior lights are sealed LED requiring fixture replacement if a light burns out or malfuctions. The exterior lights are the same except for the porch light which uses a B7038 bulb replacement.

There is only one exterior light, the porch light. There are no exterior lights that require fixture replacement if a bulb burns out. (Pity. A light over on the driver's side by the macerator pump controls would have been nice for those of us who like to be on the road early.)

All of the Sprinter-standard lights use replaceable incandescent bulbs, but you might be able to find LED replacements for the taillight bulbs.

Protagonist 07-17-2013 09:44 AM

Page G-1:

The switch rotates ¼ turn. This switch should be turned off during the filling of the LP tank. NOTE: The electric gas shut-off solenoid closes automatically when 12-volt power is disconnected. It will reopen when power is restored.

The switch on mine doesn't rotate; it's a toggle switch, up=open, down=closed.

Reports differ on whether the solenoid actually closes when the house battery disconnect is switched off, too. Verify for yourself whether that's true on your unit.

Protagonist 07-17-2013 09:50 AM

Page G-4 has a significant omission:


There is no mention that the water pump is not as self-priming as it's supposed to be. Information on how to prime the pump would have been useful.

Protagonist 07-17-2013 10:02 AM

Page H-12:

Battery Disconnect Switch
The diagrams are wrong. On mine, switch horizontal=on, vertical=off. The diagrams need to be rotated 90° counterclockwise in order to be accurate. Also, the knob is not removable.

Protagonist 07-17-2013 10:07 AM

Page H-13:

Assist in Engine Starting
The Battery Separator will recognize a weak engine battery and connect the house battery to the engine battery when the ignition switch is engaged for starting the engine.

This shows up in the 2012 manual, but this feature wasn't actually added until the 2013 model. In the 2012 model, if EITHER the house or chassis batteries are depleted, the BIM will disconnect the two systems to protect the other, and so house batteries cannot be used to provide a boost to the starter. At least, that's been my experience, on the few occasions when I had to jump-start my Interstate after the alarm system ran down the chassis battery.

Protagonist 07-17-2013 10:13 AM

Page H-16:

Under Galley Roof Locker:
3-Gang switch: Rope lights; Galley lights; Galley reading lights
1-gang switch: Water pump

Maybe the Lounge/Wardrobe model is unique in this respect, but the 3-gang switch is forward of the wardrobe closet, and has rope lights, water pump, and galley lights.

The 1-gang switch is aft of the wardrobe closet, and controls a single LED fixture over the side-facing seat.

Protagonist 07-17-2013 10:19 AM

Page H-20:


The radio system is supplied by the chassis manufacturer and is serviced and warranted by the chassis authorized service locations. Instructions for the radio system are supplied in the chassis owner’s packet.

Minor error, but beginning in the 2012 model year, Airstream removed the MB radio system in favor of a Kenwood system that integrates Garmin GPS and other features. But they didn't provide a manual for it; I had to go download a Kenwood manual.

Protagonist 07-17-2013 10:23 AM

Page I-7:

Coffee Maker (option)

Maybe on the 2011 and earlier, but not available from 2012 on due to the coffeemaker manufacturer going out of business, and no one else making one that would mount in an overhead locker.

For anyone that needs their daily dose of caffeine to get moving in the morning, this is a MAJOR error in the manual!

Protagonist 07-17-2013 10:27 AM

Those are all the errors/omissions I've marked up in my copy of the manual. I'm sure there are other errors and omissions for the 2012 model year manual that I haven't made a note of, or for other model years.

Boxster1971 07-18-2013 04:08 PM

It could be a full time job trying to correct all the errors in various years of Interstate manuals. Too bad Airstream can't provide a better owner's manual and some good technical data like the other major B-van manufactures do. I've said it before -- Airstream gives us some really poor owner info, especially considering the premium prices that ask for their units.

- - Mike

UKDUDE 08-01-2013 04:35 PM


Originally Posted by Protagonist (Post 1327991)
Page D-14:

If there's an in-line fuse, I sure can't find it. Maybe it's tucked behind the wardrobe closet so I'd have to dismantle the interior to get to it?

As a matter of fact my LP detector light goes off when the coach batteries are disabled. And looking in the distribution box under the rear sofa, there's a label against Circuit 6 which includes the LP detector.

Protagonist 08-01-2013 05:12 PM


Originally Posted by UKDUDE (Post 1334554)
As a matter of fact my LP detector light goes off when the coach batteries are disabled. And looking in the distribution box under the rear sofa, there's a label against Circuit 6 which includes the LP detector.

Yes. But that's not an in-line fuse; that's a blade-type fuse. Still an error.

bennu36 08-09-2013 05:55 PM

Once again you da man dude .... I was just reading my manual very carefully trying real hard to under stand the 12vdc systems and ran across that picture .... it confused the hell out of me. I supose I should explain that I live in a floating home and it is like 2 tenths of a mile up to the parking lot where Morrison lives. so I sit here and read the manual on my ipad with out having the systems in from of me.... at my age a lot can be forgotten in during the walk to the parking lot.

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