Automotive

Airstream 4x4 camper van fuses silver bullet style with pure adventure

Airstream 4x4 camper van fuses...
Airstream launches its own take on the 4x4 adventure van
Airstream launches its own take on the 4x4 adventure van
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Airstream launches its own take on the 4x4 adventure van
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Airstream launches its own take on the 4x4 adventure van
The all-new Interstate 24X brings together a multifunctional, outdoorsy design and Airstream style and luxury
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The all-new Interstate 24X brings together a multifunctional, outdoorsy design and Airstream style and luxury
The Airstream Interstate 24X is built to camp more primitively than other Airstream coaches
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The Airstream Interstate 24X is built to camp more primitively than other Airstream coaches
The Interstate 24X finds the trail head, put-in or approach so adventurers can continue on foot or sports equipment
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The Interstate 24X finds the trail head, put-in or approach so adventurers can continue on foot or sports equipment
Along with a front LED light bar, the Interstate 24X has camp light pods on the rear and sides
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Along with a front LED light bar, the Interstate 24X has camp light pods on the rear and sides
The versatile adjustable table can be mounted in four different positions inside and outside the van
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The versatile adjustable table can be mounted in four different positions inside and outside the van
The LED off-road light bar adds extra light for dark, distant destinations
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The LED off-road light bar adds extra light for dark, distant destinations
The Interstate 24X is a rolling backcountry hut to retire to after a day of climbing/fishing/hiking/biking ...
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The Interstate 24X is a rolling backcountry hut to retire to after a day of climbing/fishing/hiking/biking ...
We're not sure why a solo adventurer would opt for a huge 24-foot 4x4 van instead of something smaller, lighter and more maneuverable, but it certainly pays off at night
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We're not sure why a solo adventurer would opt for a huge 24-foot 4x4 van instead of something smaller, lighter and more maneuverable, but it certainly pays off at night
Protection around the front, sides and rear helps the van fend off flying stones and debris
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Protection around the front, sides and rear helps the van fend off flying stones and debris
It appears "X" now officially means off-road adventure at Airstream
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It appears "X" now officially means off-road adventure at Airstream
Mount the table up front and you have a driver-area office
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Mount the table up front and you have a driver-area office
The Interstate 24X starts life as a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 EXT 4x4
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The Interstate 24X starts life as a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 EXT 4x4
Speeding toward holiday adventure
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Speeding toward holiday adventure
Airstream Interstate 24X floor plan
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Airstream Interstate 24X floor plan
The rear lounge area includes a particularly long set of benches that convert into an oversized bed (or small bed + small lounge)
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The rear lounge area includes a particularly long set of benches that convert into an oversized bed (or small bed + small lounge)
Easily bring along kayaks, bikes, paddleboards, snowboards and more with the roomy 16-foot-long load aisle and tie-down track all over
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Easily bring along kayaks, bikes, paddleboards, snowboards and more with the roomy 16-foot-long load aisle and tie-down track all over
Store and secure gear however makes sense to you
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Store and secure gear however makes sense to you
Airstream Interstate 24X driver cockpit
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Airstream Interstate 24X driver cockpit
Airstream Interstate 24X swivel seats
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Airstream Interstate 24X swivel seats
The kitchen includes a long countertop and a microwave overhead
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The kitchen includes a long countertop and a microwave overhead
Airstream Interstate 24X bathroom
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Airstream Interstate 24X bathroom
One thing we're surprised not to see on this $200K camper is a more modern touchscreen control system to tie together the functions of the myriad small screens and control units
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One thing we're surprised not to see on this $200K camper is a more modern touchscreen control system to tie together the functions of the myriad small screens and control units
The table is too small to serve a dinner for six, but it's flexible design works well as a smaller dining table, desk, bed side table and more
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The table is too small to serve a dinner for six, but it's flexible design works well as a smaller dining table, desk, bed side table and more
Set up a smaller bed and you can keep benches intact
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Set up a smaller bed and you can keep benches intact
Table mounted across the aisle
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Table mounted across the aisle
View gallery - 26 images

Before today, Airstream's lineup of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter "touring coaches" seemed best-suited to the likes of well-heeled travelers looking to vineyard-hop across Napa Valley and maybe catch a weekend polo match. With the all-new Interstate 24X, Airstream moves in a new direction, offering a camper van for surf bums and climbing dirtbags, albeit bums and 'bags with a taste and budget for high-level design. The off-grid 4x4 van maintains a careful balance between adventure-driven multifunction and comfort-driven luxury. For US$214,000, buyers will have to appreciate both.

When we initially saw the Interstate 24X photo above, our first thought was that Airstream was going straight after other 4x4 camper vans like the Winnebago Revel and all-new Pleasure-Way Recon 4x4. But after looking over the spec sheet and $200K-topping price tag, it seems the Interstate 24X is more about pulling the adventure van lifestyle upmarket, meeting demand for a vehicle that has Airstream's established level of style and luxury but isn't afraid to get filthy seeking out deep-forest trailheads and powdery first descents. The 24X actually becomes the flagship of the Interstate line, price-wise, not an entry-level model to draw in new, young buyers.

The Interstate 24X finds the trail head, put-in or approach so adventurers can continue on foot or sports equipment
The Interstate 24X finds the trail head, put-in or approach so adventurers can continue on foot or sports equipment

The Interstate 24X may be Airstream's first entry in the red-hot 4x4 adventure van market, but the company isn't diving in without some related experience. In 2016, it revived the Basecamp trailer, an adventurous reshaped silver bullet that had proved ahead of its time a decade prior. The Basecamp was built to sate the growing appetite for rugged, stylish and comfortable campers versatile enough to support any type of multi-day road or off-road adventure. Despite a price several times higher than many other small adventure trailers, Airstream has had much success with the model, growing it into a family that includes a more rugged "X" off-road variant and a larger family trailer.

Airstream's choice of Sprinter 4x4 van reflects the mission to do off-road adventure a little differently. Instead of the shorter 144-wheelbase Sprinter that's become the standard for American 4x4 camper vans from industry players like Winnebago, Pleasure-Way and Storyteller Overland, Airstream upsizes to the 170 to create a camper that measures a full 24.5 feet (7.5 m) long and offers a huge cabin to work with.

Instead of the Ultraleather sofas and glossy furniture of other Interstate models, the 24X uses its vast van interior to house a highly flexible space that serves to support bikers, skiers, climbers, surfers and other outdoor go-getters, during the day and night. The space comes anchored by a rear flex lounge that seats up to six people around two side benches. A flexible multi-position table mounts on either side.

We're not sure why a solo adventurer would opt for a huge 24-foot 4x4 van instead of something smaller, lighter and more maneuverable, but it certainly pays off at night
We're not sure why a solo adventurer would opt for a huge 24-foot 4x4 van instead of something smaller, lighter and more maneuverable, but it certainly pays off at night

At night, the rear benches convert over to a stretched 80 x 68-in (203 x 173-cm) super-queen longitudinal bed. The lounge can also split into a combo of smaller transverse bed with shorter benches or stay in place as two individual twin beds.

People don't tend to buy a van like this and not load it with all forms of sports and camping gear. The Interstate 24X's 16-foot-long (4.9-m) center aisle makes that easy, accommodating paddleboards, kayaks, bikes, skis, loose camping gear, and all other forms of gear that eats up loads of space. Airstream bolts aircraft-style L-track to the floor to keep that gear in place and then adds it all over the walls and ceiling to ensure that travelers have plenty of options for mounting and hanging things, from fishing rods on the walls to bikes dangling from the ceiling.

Store and secure gear however makes sense to you
Store and secure gear however makes sense to you

The L-track also serves to support the soft-sided storage bins that stand in for the fancier overhead cabinets you'd usually find in a "touring coach." These bins should prove more versatile than hard cabinets and better positioned for quickly stashing bike helmets, sleeping bags, climbing rope and other kit. Down low, under-bench storage compartments offer yet more space for stashing and organizing gear.

The Interstate 24X houses its kitchen and bathroom amidships. The kitchen brings a dual-burner stove, long countertop, and deep sink on its main block, a microwave overhead, and a 142-L fridge/freezer across the aisle. The wet bathroom houses a toilet, shower and sink and also has a retractable clothesline that zips out for hanging wet gear and apparel.

I-24X dwellers will probably find themselves spending most of their time in the spacious rear lounge, but the Ultraleather-wrapped cab seats swivel around to provide an alternative place to relax at base camp. The rear table can detach and mount behind the driver's seat to create a mini workstation, and it can also secure to the outside of the kitchen block for outdoor work or cooking.

The versatile adjustable table can be mounted in four different positions inside and outside the van
The versatile adjustable table can be mounted in four different positions inside and outside the van

The most "Airstream" parts of the Interstate 24X build are the metallic wall and ceiling trim, which looks as effortlessly stylish on an adventure van as it does on a dual-axle luxury trailer. The robust standard features package doesn't disappoint, bringing a 13,500-BTU Quiet Series air conditioner, hydronic heat/hot water with touchscreen control, hi-fi speaker system with Bluetooth connectivity, onboard 2.5-kW Cummins Oman generator, and internet/Wi-Fi prewiring with 5G cellular antenna.

I-24X power comes from a dual 100-Ah lithium battery system wired up to 300 watts of solar and a 2,000-W inverter. A separate 100-W solar panel keeps the Sprinter battery firing.

Beyond Mercedes' all-wheel-drive system, the 24X tackles rough routes with the help of rear air-ride suspension, six all-terrain tires (four tires on the rear axle), and a 42-in (107-cm) off-road LED bar up front. Back on the highway, drivers will find help from various standard technologies, including adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic assist, lane-keeping assist and driver attention assist. Mercedes' 188-hp 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel runs the show.

Speeding toward holiday adventure
Speeding toward holiday adventure

Ordinarily, we'd wonder if Airstream might have some trouble finding buyers for the $213,850 Interstate 24X, given that it's a bit simplified and stripped down for an Airstream "touring coach" but a bit expensive, large and limited (sleeps only two) for an adventure van. But not three full days ago, Airstream parent company Thor Industries reported record Q3 sales as well as historic dealer inventory lows in spite of increased production levels. It basically can't build RVs fast enough to meet demand, so we'd say the Interstate 24X is rolling out at the best possible time. Airstream dealers are taking orders now and preparing to take delivery of vans in the coming weeks.

The minute-long video shows the Interstate 24X in action.

Airstream Interstate 24X | Introducing the All-New Fully Loaded Adventure Van

Source: Airstream

View gallery - 26 images
6 comments
6 comments
Chase
$100k maybe, but I find it tough to justify over $200k for that.
EcoLogical
If Airstream could get rid of that diesel engine and replace it with electric motors I'd be interested!
jayedwin98020
And here I though the 'Robber Barons' had been eliminated eons ago!

Guess I was wrong!
guzmanchinky
Obviously no one there has driven a 4x4 van down a dirt road. My 144 Sprinter 4x4 barely fits most places without dragging, the long wheelbase is completely hopeless on any road that you would need a 4x4 system anyway...
Jack Ryan
Need a short wheel base for driving down old logging and mining roads . Forget about electric , there is no charging station in the back country . This would be good to rent for a week music festival
Captain Danger
With the right companions I am sure that you can sleep more than two ...