The new Airstream Interstate 24X is not cheap, but that’s because it’s built off their premium Mercedes Sprinter-based Interstate van lineup. So, it keeps the amenities, but adds more offroad capability, tougher features, and mounting equipment for bikes and gear inside.
From powdercoated, non-slip, full-length running boards on the outside to T-track interior mounting slides on every surface, it’s definitely made with outdoorsy folks in mind. Especially if you still like a standup shower with hot water, full cooking surface kitchenette, and a cozy bed.
Compared to a standard Interstate model, they reduced the number of electric accessories to reduce power draw. So, fixed exterior steps rather than electronically extending ones,
It’s built on the 3.0L diesel 4WD Sprinter chassis, and packs almost every safety and driver-assist technology Mercedes offers, including LED headlights and fog lights. From there, they added a lot of elements to make it more useful to adventurers. Lot of pics below, but first, here’s the exterior glam video…
…and here’s the detailed 37-minute video with all the details:
Is this the adventure rig you want? Compared to adventure rigs built specifically for mountain bikers, there’s a compromise in that you’ll have to leave the bikes, boards, or whatever outside when sleeping…there’s no way to setup the bed with them sitting between the bench seats.
But compared to trying to build out something similar, we’d be hard pressed to make it all fit as tightly (and come any any sort of warranty) and come in much under this one’s $214K price (especially if you factor in the time to research everything and build it). Either way, these types of premium builds are great for inspiration when designing your own camper van, and it’s worthwhile paying attention to the details they chose and why they chose them.
The design has a purposely wide open center channel from back to front, so you could slide a kayak or a couple of SUP boards inside. Multi-purpose T-track systems let you connect all types of universal mounts to attach and hang other gear from the floor, ceiling, and walls.
The rear has a hose connection so you can rinse off your gear (or you, a dog, etc.) behind the van. Power ports are there, too, along with a screen door system to cover the back while the doors are wide open for fresh air. The same screen door system covers the sliding side door, too.
The kitchen galley has a covered stove area and covered sink, a nearly full-size refrigerator with separate freezer, a microwave, and plenty of storage cabinetry. The fridge is electric, not LP, so it runs cooler and more efficiently, too. The water and space heater, though, are fed off the main diesel tank, so they won’t run through your LP and leave you without power.
In the back, the two bench seats have six seatbelts, so up to eight people can ride along. Under them is more storage, and table platforms, and those benches turn into a pretty big, full-width bed.
The wet bath uses a fully enclosed one-piece shower shell, so there’s nothing that needs caulking or sealing, so really nothing to leak. It even has built in shower gel/soap/shampoo canisters mounted on the wall.
What makes it “Off Grid”?
Four wheel drive will get you out there, but things like external solar panel ports at the shore power plug let you add ground solar and move it around to where ever you’re getting the best sun.
But there’s also extensive integrated roof solar, with one panel dedicated to keeping the main car battery charged. The others charge the separate 100Ah lithium ion house batteries. But as we all know, solar can be slow, so there’s also an LP Onan generator on board…which means you can run the roof-top AC, microwave, etc.
The rear air suspension can be manually adjusted, helping you get out of high departure angle situations, and it comes with all-terrain tires.
Why is it so expensive?
The starting price is $213,850, and there aren’t a lot of options to add. But still, that’s a lot of money. Why?
Well, for starters, it’s an Airstream. Second, it’s a brand new long-body, mid-roof Mercedes 4×4 Sprinter with a Winter package. That means heated windshield, heated leather steering wheel, and heated Ultra-leather front seats. There’s adaptive cruise control and voice-activated radio and navigation, and a power sliding rear door…in fact, pretty much every safety and convenience feature Mercedes offers comes standard on this one.
In addition to all of the above amenities, it gets a toilet with macerator tank and pump rather than cartridges. Dual rear cameras offer both reverse video and a screen to replace the rear view mirror. Exterior LED flood lights put off 180º of light, from back to passenger side, to front. It has battery heaters and tank heaters.
There are high-end speakers on the rear doors that you can link with Bluetooth to play music from your phone, and a separate rear radio so you can play music easily when you’re parked without having to have the key in the ignition. There are more outlets and solar inputs on the passenger side, too, along with LP tank hookups that you can hook your grill up to.
There’s an integrated, motorized awning with LED lighting underneath AND a wind sensor that will automatically retract it if it gets too windy. Under-carriage lighting adds more ambience, too.
If your idea of off grid car camping doesn’t include “roughing it” or money is no object, these are available for pre-order now.