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Old 09-30-2014, 04:58 PM   #1
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Default Comparison between Roadtrek & Airstream Interstate

OK so here is my first comparison between our Airstream Interstate and the Roadtrek CS we just had delivered. Keep in mind, we drove the RT home and have not been away with it. Please take time to read the comments at the bottom of the attachment.

We had considered last spring and into early summer to make mods to our Airstream: install much larger solar, add more batteries and a bigger inverter, improve the inverter control panel and add auto-start for the benny, improve the bathroom door into a double door and some other minor issues.

But we would still have a Suburban propane furnace which I quickly disliked. And the propane genny running underneath.

I estimated the costs of materials, time and labor vs the cost to trade in and we decided that this year was the year to do it. So we did. Traded off the AI and ordered the RT.
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File Type: pdf CURRENT_AREAS OF COMPARISON AI vs RT.pdf (80.7 KB, 444 views)
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Comparison between Roadtrek & Airstream Interstate

Nice objective comparison bikerbill.

Here's an html version for anyone who can't download and view the pdf version:
Biker Bill's Roadtrek CS Adventurous compaison to Airstream Interstate - html format

It looks like both battery bank ratings are at 6v in your comparison. RT E-trek package has 8 GC2 sized 6v batteries (typically 200ah each at 6 volts) and Airstream Interstate has 2 Group 24 sized AGM 12v batteries (typically 75ah each at 12 volts)

I'm looking forward to reading about your experiences and thoughts as you get to use your new Roadtrek CS.
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Comparison between Roadtrek & Airstream Interstate

Pretty good comprehensive review. Now that you have the E-trek package when are you going to test it out? I'm in total agreement about losing that propane and Onan generator. That's the direction I'm going.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Comparison between Roadtrek & Airstream Interstate

Our first outing is an overnight in early November. Doubt that we can find time before then to get away.
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Comparison between Roadtrek & Airstream Interstate

As a 2013 E-Trek owner, this is an interesting and very well done comparison. The two things that resonate with me are: 1) the 6-year warranty was a big factor in my choice of the E-Trek (my first RV, unlike Davydd I did not have the confidence to go with ARV), and 2) the Webasto Dualtop has been the most problematic component of the E-Trek for me (although the all-electric-without-propane concept was a key selling point). Well done, Biker Bill.

Happy trails,

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Old 10-01-2014, 12:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: Comparison between Roadtrek & Airstream Interstate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlo
As a 2013 E-Trek owner, this is an interesting and very well done comparison. The two things that resonate with me are: 1) the 6-year warranty was a big factor in my choice of the E-Trek (my first RV, unlike Davydd I did not have the confidence to go with ARV), and 2) the Webasto Dualtop has been the most problematic component of the E-Trek for me (although the all-electric-without-propane concept was a key selling point). Well done, Biker Bill.

Happy trails,

Arlo

Arlo-you have my interest. what's wrong or right with the webasto dualtop
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:06 AM   #7
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Default Comparison between Roadtrek & Airstream Interstate

I love the Dualtop when it works, but ... in my first outing after receiving my E-Trek (May 2013) the temp got down into the high 30s (F) in northern Michigan and the Dualtop drain valve opened and stuck open. This dumped the entire fresh-water tank when the water pump was turned on. It was a defective unit. Had to take the Trek to Webasto NA headquarters in Fenton, MI to be replaced. Last winter (2014) the heating function started blowing a 10a fuse when activated. Part of the internal assembly apparently collapsed and blocked the heater fan from engaging. This was repaired by the dealer (Grand Rapids, MI), but the fan is now much noisier than previously. I need to eventually get it back to the dealer to have this checked out, but the water-heating function is working well.

I must add that Roadtrek has been great about covering warranty repairs, except for my time of course. My experience with the Webasto may be a probabilistic outlier. I hope so. I have not seen similar experiences documented in relevant forums, so perhaps "bad luck" is the most appropriate explanation.

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Old 10-01-2014, 01:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: Comparison between Roadtrek & Airstream Interstate

I wondered if something like that could happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
.......... The Webasto will automatically empty its boiler when the temperature at its drainage valve is less than 43F or 6C when it is in frost protection mode. I'm curious to know that if you left 12v power on in your coach, and left the water pump on could most of your on-board fresh water be dumped? I don't know how that system works but I guess that the boiler gets filled by your water pump which draws water from your fresh water tank. ......................
Was it a faulty Webasto unit? Could it happen again? If so, how do you avoid it? (keep pump off, turn off frost protection)

It's like most new things, just takes a bit of time and actual use to really know how they work.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:24 AM   #9
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Default Re: Comparison between Roadtrek & Airstream Interstate

Yes, it was a faulty Webasto unit. The dump valve stuck open. Could not close it even when the temp warmed up during the day. When we turned on the pump it just drained the fresh water thru the dump valve.

The way to avoid having the unit auto-dump is to simply leave the unit turned on over night. That, of course, will not protect the whole plumbing system from freezing if temps drop low enough. Not sure exactly how to define "low enough"!
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: Comparison between Roadtrek & Airstream Interstate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlo
As a 2013 E-Trek owner, this is an interesting and very well done comparison. The two things that resonate with me are: 1) the 6-year warranty was a big factor in my choice of the E-Trek (my first RV, unlike Davydd I did not have the confidence to go with ARV), and 2) the Webasto Dualtop has been the most problematic component of the E-Trek for me (although the all-electric-without-propane concept was a key selling point). Well done, Biker Bill.

Happy trails,

Arlo
Arlo,

It is kind of a matter of trust. Warrantees mean nothing to me. Quality does. I have met with the owner of Advanced RV as I was their first visitor over two years ago but didn't pull the trigger until this year. I see how he runs his companies. I think I understand his goals and philosophies with what he is trying to do with his startup Class B company and I am in complete agreement with his approach. That's not to say I am not impressed with Jim Hammil at Roadtrek. I like his dedication as well. He is just got more baggage and history in making Roadtreks that I don't care for in design layout with what I want in a Class B and there is not a lot that can change that. With Advanced RV I am getting some things created I could not get done with any other converter.

Both companies are earnestly into creating independent self-sustaining RVs. I honestly couldn't tell you the differences in practical design and quality between Webasto, Aldi and Espar for example in heating systems. We could argue batteries, solar, and generator approaches. It is all beyond my expertise. I've worked hard to understand what Advanced RV is doing and I am satisfied and somewhat impressed.

We are all limited in what we can get in such a small market as Class Bs. Philosophically I feel lucky that the owner of Advanced RV progressed through a Pleasure-way Plateau and Great West Van Legend as I have so it is apparent we are in tune. So the leap to Advanced RV was rather a seamless transition. Still, we are creating something I don't think has ever been done before in a Class B. That is what is exciting for me.
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