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Old 05-06-2017, 05:19 PM   #1
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Default Airstream interstate - is it worth the hype?

Hi I'm new to the forum and thinking about buying a class B RV.

I went to my local dealer and was looking at the Roadtrek eTrek but then saw the Airstream interstate. I really liked that the etrek had all electrical and seemed more functional but the airstream seemed to have more safety and driving functions like parking assist, collision avoidance etc. But, is the Airstream really a better drive and is it really better to be without propane? Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:26 PM   #2
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"Better" is ALWAYS in the eye of the beholder.

Frankly for ME, "better" is a 6 gallon DSL water heater, 2800w Onan generator, and conventional LP furnace and appliances. They're simple, easy to operate, and relatively inexpensive to operate, maintain and replace when necessary. They're proven, reliable systems that have worked with few problems for fifty years.

The new stuff is complex, expensive, likely nigh-onto impossible to repair when it breaks, and hasn't been around long enough yet to have a service track record.

Buy the rig you like. I appreciate 'early adopters' and their trials 'cause you'll help me, in ten or fifteen years when I buy my next coach, to figure out which of the new systems worked, and which ones were evolutionary dead ends.
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:32 PM   #3
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Well said, I was just looking at the electrical forum and the worries with the fully electrical system on the eTrek. So many options, it's a little overwhelming.
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:44 PM   #4
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Sorry if I sounded a little like a technophobe... I'm really not, but I AM a member of the Tribe of KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid.) And the systems in the new coaches are anything BUT simple.

As long as you have a warranty that covers your van for as long as you intend to own it, I suppose you're ok. Hopefully someone with experience with each of those coaches will be able to give you some guidance; but remember, what's important to me may not be important to you at all.

AND free advice is always worth exactly what you pay for it!
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Old 05-06-2017, 06:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tympa View Post
Hi I'm new to the forum and thinking about buying a class B RV.

I went to my local dealer and was looking at the Roadtrek eTrek but then saw the Airstream interstate. I really liked that the etrek had all electrical and seemed more functional but the airstream seemed to have more safety and driving functions like parking assist, collision avoidance etc. But, is the Airstream really a better drive and is it really better to be without propane? Thanks!
If it's on the Mercedes Sprinter platform, whether it's Roadtrek or Airstream, it will have the enhanced safety features. The Roadtrek Chevys and Promasters don't.
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:38 PM   #6
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If it's on the Mercedes Sprinter platform, whether it's Roadtrek or Airstream, it will have the enhanced safety features.
Not necessarily. The MB "Active Safety Package" (lane keep, blind spot, collision detect, smart High Beam, etc) is an option. The upfitters can order it or not. I have it and would never buy a new vehicle without at least lane keep and blind spot detection.

As for Airstream: My previous rig was an early Interstate. Had a lot going for it but build quality was awful. As of last time I shopped (3 years ago), things had not improved much. You can search the list for my detailed report.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:49 PM   #7
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Not necessarily. The MB "Active Safety Package" (lane keep, blind spot, collision detect, smart High Beam, etc) is an option. The upfitters can order it or not. I have it and would never buy a new vehicle without at least lane keep and blind spot detection.
Yes, theoretically it is a Sprinter "option" but I think that other than a custom builder like ARV, you'll be hard pressed to find builders like Roadtrek, Pleasureway et al that will order a Sprinter platform without the Safety Package. Why the Express, Transit and Promaster OEMs have been unable or unwilling to incorporate these safety features puzzles the hell out of me.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:58 PM   #8
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Why the Express, Transit and Promaster OEMs have been unable or unwilling to incorporate these safety features puzzles the hell out of me.
Because they're expensive, complex and add significant cost to a base package. AND they actually do very little for 'safety;' especially in a Class B motorhome.

I wouldn't buy a van WITH that stuff in it. My wife's 2010 $36,000-when-new Prius package V with the Technology Package (as opposed to the Prius V model) has all that stuff, and when she hit a deer, NONE of it came into play. Not ONLY did it not come into play, but the repair job was OVER $12,000 for what would have been a $5,000 repair on any other car because of the sensors, recalibration issues... and all of the computer issues that go with it. And I'm still not convinced, five years later, that it was all reassembled and calibrated perfectly.

Frankly, I'm having issues with the axle sensor on the ABS brakes on my e250 chassis, and I'm about ready to just pull the fuse and be done with it.
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:14 PM   #9
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I wouldn't buy a van WITH that stuff in it. My wife's 2010 $36,000-when-new Prius package V with the Technology Package (as opposed to the Prius V model) has all that stuff, and when she hit a deer, NONE of it came into play.
These technologies have come a very long way since 2010. There isn't the slightest doubt in my mind that this stuff saves many lives. They will be standard equipment in a few years.
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Old 05-06-2017, 11:24 PM   #10
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These technologies have come a very long way since 2010. There isn't the slightest doubt in my mind that this stuff saves many lives. They will be standard equipment in a few years.
I'm sure that the technology is improving, although it works really well on the Prius... working isn't the issue. And I wish I could be as sure that it's saving lives as you are. I expect it's making someone a LOT of money, though.

I guess I'm a dinosaur, but I'd rather rely on the competence of the driver and defensive driving techniques to avoid problems than expensive technology to tell me when I've exceeded the limits of my equipment or that I'm not paying attention.
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