The Airstream Interstate
Mercedes, maker of the Sprinter, and Airstream, maker of all
those shiny aluminum trailers for the last 80-something years,
have collaborated on this, the Airstream Interstate. Take a
Sprinter and an Airstream, put them in a quiet dimly lit room
with some wine and Barry White music, and this is what you get.
As you might guess, the Airstream Interstate is truly a wondrous
wheeled conveyance. It's easy to drive, and only about 22 feet
long. It has space, amenities, beautiful upholstery, and as-tested,
it even has a TV set. You will be the envy of every Good Sam
you meet at the camping parks and coin-op washer-dryer facilities.
What Is It Like To Drive? The Interstate
is a wonderful rolling home even in today's world of wonderful
rolling homes. It's a lot smaller than those city bus-sized
units you see with the lion and lioness mural on the back panel.
Yet a tall (6-foot plus) person can easily walk around in it
without banging a noggin on anything. And the Interstate is
about 100 times easier to maneuver in city driving and in parking
lots than a trailer...it even fits in parking spaces. Despite
being, as we said, about 22 feet long and over 9 feet high with
the air conditioner and TV antenna on the roof, it's still not
at all hard to drive around town. Try finding a Camper you can
take to the grocery store, then run 7 middle-school kids to
a birthday party. Getting the picture? Sleeping
And Camping When it's time to turn in, the sleeping
area is surprising and quite comfortable. There's an exhaust
fan in the roof, and when you click it on and crank open some
vent windows in back, things stays relatively cool, so there's
no need for the AC until the outside air temp really heats up.
When parked, you can plug the Camper into a regular 120-volt
wall outlet or into a camping park's power jack and not drain
your auxiliary battery. If you're way out in the desert with
no wall jacks nearby, there's an onboard generator that fires
up with the push of a button from inside the Camper, and --
voila! -- you can run the rooftop air conditioner or watch TV
no matter where you are. Power 0-60
in about 20 seconds is more than sufficient. Yes, it's not a
rocket, but this is a motor home, remember? How fast could your
house go? It doesn't feel that slow from behind the wheel and
in passing on the freeway it's not dangerously lollygagging.
The 2.7-liter turbo-diesel 5-cylinder also has enough torque
to tow up to 6,400 pounds.
Layout Airstream offers 11 different interior layouts for
the Interstate, so it's kind of like a box of chocolates (as
Forrest Gump and his mom say), except all the chocolate is delicious
so you don't care which one you get. None come equipped with
Jenny. Do I Want It? A big drawback
for most buyers is the price: New Interstates run about $153,000.
My (Chris...one of the owners of Pop Top Heaven) first house
cost $3000 less than that. In contrast, our Interstates run
less than 1/2 that amount on average, so you can get all the
perks of Interstate ownership, with the same amenities for less
than 1/2 the price. What's not to want? General
Specifications For Most Models