The Spring 2011 issue of Airstream Life magazine arrived just in time before we departed with our Airstream Safari for a trip to celebrate the festive season of Mardi Gras and see the beginning of the spring wildflowers in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Seen on the cover of this issue are Tim and Margaret Frazier with their dog Lucy and their Airstream Westfalia. Zach Woods writes in the cover story, “Big Fans of the Small (Airstream) Westfalia”, “By most estimates, there were 192 Airstream Sprinter Westfalias imported into the United States [for only two years, 2005-2006], all based on the Mercedes Sprinter diesel van… The number of owners is small, but their passion for these very efficient and effectively designed campers is huge.”
Passion also runs high for owners of the Airstream Interstate Sprinter, first produced in 2003, a Class B van based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis and inline-five cylinder diesel engine. While we were camping at Borrego Palm Canyon, we spotted an Airstream Interstate and had an opportunity to chat with its avid owners, David and Ann, from Oregon. They are very private people, but are passionate about their 2007 Airstream Interstate and graciously shared information about it, even though they had just got back from a long hike up Palm Canyon.
According to David and Ann, ever since they bought it in May 2008, it’s been a head-turner. Some have followed them down highways and into gas stations just to see it up close and to chat with them. Streams of people have visited them while in campgrounds. Indeed, while I was interviewing them, another couple in an RV stopped nearby and walked over to ask questions such as, “Is this really an Airstream?”
David laughs when he says, “It’s like a VW bus on steroids!” Their 2007 Airstream Interstate is similar to the one shown here on Airstream Forums with specs detailed by Colonial Airstream here. It features a Buff Ultraleather sofa bed that opens in the rear dinette area. “It’s more comfortable than the one we sleep on at home,” David says.
The galley area features a flush-mounted round stainless steel sink with folding faucet and a 2-burner recessed cook-top with covers.
David loves to cook and has brought the Wolfgang Puck Induction Burner into their galley. David says that induction cooking is a faster and more efficient method of cooking.
According to Wikipedia, “An induction cooker uses induction heating for cooking. Unlike other forms of cooking, heat is generated directly in the pot or pan (cooking vessel), as opposed to being generated in the stovetop by electrical coils or burning gas. To be used on an induction cooker, a cooking vessel must be made of a ferromagnetic metal.”
The galley area also features a 3-cubic foot refrigerator and microwave oven.
David says that fuel economy and affordability were two big selling points for them. He says that he averages 21.8 mpg, which is important to them in light of the rising fuel prices and the fact that they live in Oregon and have to travel long distances to get to warmer climes when doing winter camping. David says that they only had a few minor problems with their rig and says, “George M. Sutton RV provided excellent service, just as if we had purchased the Airstream Interstate from him.”
The 2011 Airstream Interstate 3500 is now available and is based on the Mercedes Sprinter Van Unibody Construction with a Mercedes 3.0 liter BlueEfficiency V-6 diesel engine. According to Airstreamer (Official News and Articles from Airstream), “The partnership between Airstream and Mercedes-Benz has yielded a Touring Coach that fuses the legendary quality and design of the Airstream brand with the comfort, control, and luxury of Mercedes-Benz.”