Meet the Interstate 19 Touring Coach, as Airstream likes to call it. Personally, I think touring coach is just a prissy name for a camper van, albeit a massive Mercedes-Benz van filled with a kitchen, bathroom, living space, multiple bedding areas, dining room, multiple safety systems… OK, touring coach it is.
However, before we get into the Interstate, let’s have a look at its creators, Airstream. Not many know that Airstream has been around since the late 1920s. That’s nearly 100 years of trials, errors, redesigns, more trials, more redesigns, more… you get the idea. Best of all, that history and knowledge shine through in every vehicle this team manufactures.
The Interstate 19 is no different. Every single inch of this vehicle is absolutely solid and is sure to meet or exceed any expectations you may have regarding these types of vehicles. To start, the entire space is set upon a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 chassis with a 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel engine that puts out 188 hp and 325 lb-ft (440 Nm) of torque. Think about it like this: overall, this Benz comes in with a GVWR of 9,050 lb (4,105 kg) but a GCWR of 13,930 lb (6,318 kg), meaning you can pack on 4,880 lb (2,213 kg) of goods and/or towable.
Now, the number of standard features and options we find available for this vehicle is mind-blowingly extensive. One of my favorite areas in vehicles such as these is the kitchen. Why? Well, because it’s absolutely essential, more so than shower facilities – for me anyway. So I was filled with joy to find that this 19-ft (5.8-meter) van includes all the necessary equipment I require to cook a full meal. A two-burner cooktop, sink, refrigerator, and even microwave are at the guests’ disposal.
The second feature I found absolutely attractive was the oversized bathroom. It comes equipped with a standing shower with toilet and sink all in the same space, but there’s enough room for two folks to bathe at the same time, and comfortably might I add.
As for the bedroom, here’s where things get a bit tricky. While you’re driving around the local sights, the rear of the Interstate, where we also find the bedroom, is set up to accommodate passengers in the form of a bench. Once, you’ve pulled over for the day, this bench is then lowered and connected to the dining room seating to create the largest bedding surface of any other vehicle in its class. There’s even a closet in this area and plenty of storage space.
Now, this next one I never really understood, as I like to keep my road trips as raw as possible. Still, this touring coach is ready with an entertainment center that covers everything from cable to satellite and anything in between, all viewed on a widescreen TV and supported by ample electrical systems.
Because this vehicle is designed as a home away from home, it needs to be safe. No need to worry as Airstream spared no expense regarding safety features for the Interstate. Cross-traffic, parking, braking, blind spot, lane keep, and even e-call assist are just a few of the features we’re offered.
However, the whole no expenses spared bit really show through. Why? Well, this behemoth of a mobile home starts off with a price tag of $165,143. I’m at a loss for words, what about you? Well, good thing our time has come to an end.
Hold on a minute. With the number of extras you can tack on to this already packed motorhome, it can easily break the $200,000 barrier. If that’s true, then this has to be one of the most expensive camper vans I’ve seen this far. Sorry, touring coach.