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Old 06-02-2016, 08:22 PM   #21
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Default Re: Advanced RV - General price premium over other brands?

Now they are selling some refurbished used units. Wondering about the price premium over other brands and whether anyone has had any experience with purchasing them?
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:26 PM   #22
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Default Re: Advanced RV - General price premium over other brands?

ARV has always sold refurbished used units be they retired rental units or buy backs. With rentals it is mainly a desire to present the newest thinking. With the buy backs it has been some who could no longer RV, some who have upgraded to a new ARV and some who simply did not follow through with commitment. The refurbishment is a serious attempt to bring older units up to current technology as possible and to recustomize to the new owner's desires. Those have mainly been going to people with more limited means and a shortened wait time desire. Since there are only a little over 50 in existence, those few that have bought that way in some ways have "won the lottery" or were just there at the right time. Just recently a botched order from MB was a godsend for another customer. Buyers have total control of what options and van color they desire. Currently the wait time for Sprinters has grown especially for the 4x4s. A dealer in Shreveport told me today they were na logged a year in getting 4x4s.
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:51 PM   #23
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Default Re: Advanced RV - General price premium over other brands?

I've read through this thread and don't see any comparisons to Airstream Interstate (I have a 2015). We are really happy with our AI, but hearing about ARV piqued my interest and led me to consider our next purchase to be from them, to enable more customization. But the price premium ($220-250?) for a Sprinter Van is startling. AI's list in the mid $150's, but of course discount off of that . Let's say $130. VB air suspension (now available on 2016's) would add $6K, and with ours ... I spent $2000 with an outside contractor to upgrade solar panels, wiring, and controller. We get really great power mgt. It think the fit and finish are excellent and stylish looking (opinion only of course) compared to others I've seen, including the ARV's on their website videos.

Most RV's have their problems, including AI, as you can read on the forums. Ours have been pretty negligible. Truly ... an extra $80-$100K for a Sprinter B from ARV?
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:04 PM   #24
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Default Re: Advanced RV - General price premium over other brands?

Marks71 -

As someone who has looked at Roadtrek, Airstream and ARV fairly extensively, driven two of the three and spent some time in each, I'll give you my general thoughts, for what they are worth. I'm still dithering on what direction I'm going to go and don't yet own any of them, so I have no owner-allegiance. I think all three are very nice vehicles.

I've discussed my thoughts on ARV vs. Roadtrek in a previous post on this thread, so I won't repeat them here.

I initially looked at the Airstream Grand Tour. The biggest shortcoming of the AI, for my intended use, is the more traditional systems found in the AI. AI isn't available with an all electric/diesel set-up. It uses propane for the generator, heat and cooktop. It doesn't have the underhood engine generator or a diesel heater, nor does it have the option of large lithium battery banks. Those are expensive components, which would drive the price of an ARV significantly higher than the AI. I would guess that the systems and some of the other ARV special features probably account for about half of the price differential between ARV and AI. If those features aren't important for your use, then an AI may be a better value.

The price differential between a Roadtrek with the features described above and an AI is much less than the ARV, of course, but the Roadtrek interior finishes, while nice, are not equivalent (in my opinion) to either the AI or the ARV. And Roadtrek does not offer air suspension and a few other upgrades.

AI and ARV both have very nice interior finishes. As to which is more appealing, that's a matter of personal preference, as you noted.

I'd say that ARV combines the higher finish levels of AI with the more advanced systems available (as options) from Roadtrek. If you want both, ARV is the only manufacturer I've identified that can provide both.

As far as I can divine, the balance of the price differential can be attributed to ARV's customization of each vehicle. ARV allows a buyer to pick and choose chassis options and color, and all of the interior finish materials. ARV also allows extensive customization of the layout, cabinetry, accessories, lighting and just about everything else. All those custom design features are nice, but they come at a substantial cost, because building one-off vehicles takes a lot of design and administrative time and effort. ARV does not benefit from the economies of mass (relatively speaking, of course) production and assembly line manufacturing that AI and Roadtrek can achieve.

If the ability to engage in a custom design process isn't important for your use and desires, and you don't want both a higher finish level and the more advanced systems, then an AI or Roadtrek may be the better value. In that case, the choice between AI and Roadtrek would depend on whether AI's finishes or Roadtrek's systems are most important to you.

As I said before, I think they are all very nice products that would hold different appeal to different buyers based on their intended use, as evidenced by the loyal following each brand enjoys with its owners.

I have no dog in this fight, but perhaps you'll find my observations useful.
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:31 PM   #25
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Default Re: Advanced RV - General price premium over other brands?

As a former owner of an Airstream Interstate, here are my two cents:
I feel that Airstream offers very good designs, finishes and conservative but high-quality systems. However, in my experience, the initial build quality was horrible. I documented all of this long ago over at the Airstream Forums, so I will not repeat them here unless somebody explicitly asks. I will say that I am not talking about the occasional lapse. I am talking about inexcusable "I don't give a s**t" sloppiness. As of when I tuned out of the Airstream community a year or so ago, feedback from others led me to believe that things haven't improved much. This was also confirmed in 2013 when we were shopping for our current rig and inspected several brand new Interstates personally. Since then, I have no data.

Now, I will say that few or none of the issues were unfixable. (Perhaps the most serious one was improper paint treatment on the body penetrations, which led to blistering rust around all the outside fixtures, such as the water fill port and the shore power plug.) That said, unless things have gotten much better in recent years, anticipate a fair amount of tinkering or else a lot of time and money at your dealer's service center.

I am not anti-Airstream. Quite the opposite. I have a romantic attachment to the Airstream name, and I like the good parts of the Interstate a lot. We loved the idea of owning an Airstream. If I ever find myself shopping for a third B-van, I will definitely take another look. By the time we sold our 2005 Interstate, it was in first-class condition, but it took a LOT of work to get it there--work that shouldn't have been necessary. I would not cross the AI off of your list, but I strongly suggest that you close your eyes to Airstream's slick marketing and glitzy finishes and take a cold, hard look at the build details. Take a screwdriver to your inspection.
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:12 PM   #26
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Default Re: Advanced RV - General price premium over other brands?

Yep, systems, build quality, and customization are probably good ways to look at the differential. The more advanced systems aren't that important to me. I did spend $2K aftermarket to add 200w of rigid panel solar, with upgraded wiring and controller, but the way we use our van, most of the other I can live without.

Build quality is harder for me to speak to. I read the Airstream forum a lot, and see all kinds of complaints. Hard to know what % of ownership it represents, because forums attract complaints. As I said, ours has been pretty good, with next to no problems. I haven't taken things apart and looked behind the panels, so maybe there's a lot of sloppiness etc that's going on that someone more engineering-inclined would care about.

THANKS for the thoughtful responses

p.s. also looking at Leisure Travel Vans as an entry in the category with a good reputation
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:59 PM   #27
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Default Re: Advanced RV - General price premium over other brands?

Liesure Travel Vans is currently out of the business of converting Class B Sprinter vans. Class C only. That is an apples to oranges comparison.
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:43 PM   #28
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Default Re: Advanced RV - General price premium over other brands?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd View Post
Liesure Travel Vans is currently out of the business of converting Class B Sprinter vans. Class C only. That is an apples to oranges comparison.
Yes good point. I don't think it's completely apples to oranges. They're C, but a small C on the same MB chassis, and just a little larger than the van. Their price point is about at AI and their systems are pretty similar

But you're right, wouldn't make too much sense to compare price points

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Old 09-09-2016, 05:12 AM   #29
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Default Re: Advanced RV - General price premium over other brands?

The Sprinter buying guide list Advanced at 153k
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Old 09-16-2016, 02:48 PM   #30
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Default Re: Advanced RV - General price premium over other brands?

That guide would not be accurate then. ARV would be more than 153.
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