Saturday, July 24, 2021
Saturday, July 24, 2021

RV Review: 2022 Airstream Interstate 24X Class B Adventure Van

The folks at Airstream have been watching the changes in tastes on Class B vans. They have recognized the outdoor/adventure lifestyle with their new Airstream Interstate 24X. Based on a four-wheel-drive heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz Sprinter platform, the Interstate 24X is much more adept at an adventurous posture than Airstream’s Interstate 19, which I reviewed previously. 

As such, the Interstate 24X is really well-suited to the off-grid lifestyle in a large Class B. The company has specifically stated that they’ve taken a good deal of the unnecessary tech out of the Interstate line. At the same time they added more flexibility and functionality to it to optimize it for adventure. 

Outside first

The first thing you might notice is the style on the Airstream Interstate 24X, which uses a spray-on Berliner type material to cover the lower portion of the van. This both accentuates the lines of the vehicle but also adds a degree of rugged style. They’ve done a good job of accentuating the natural lines of the Sprinter. If you like silver and black, and I do, this is a very tastefully aggressive-looking van. 

The company has also done a really good job with the access doors for the water and other services to the body of the coach.

Looking up, there is a beefy-looking roof rack on this vehicle which incorporates some really bright work lights at the corners. Hidden up there is 400 watts of solar, which is interestingly divided. There are 300 watts dedicated to the two 100-amp-hour lithium house batteries and 100 watts directed at the vehicle’s engine battery. 

This particular version of the Sprinter features dual rear wheels. There is an air suspension for the rear whose dual benefits include the ability to compensate for loads while also enabling the driver to raise and lower the rear of the van. That could improve the departure angle if you find yourself taking advantage of the four-wheel-drive system. 

At the rear of the vehicle is a receiver hitch rated for 5,000 pounds. 

What’s inside the Airstream Interstate 24X

The interior is where the company has really deviated from other models. You might not think of Airstream as a company that does adventure vehicles. However, they’ve really done a super job with their Basecamp models, so they do have experience in this area. 

While the Sprinter is, by nature, a delivery vehicle, you can outfit it with all those safety babysitters that are becoming ever more popular, and Airstream has done so. Those include lane departure features, cameras galore and more. 

One of the things I really liked was that the company utilizes the camera system incorporated in the Sprinter platform. But then they put a second camera in the back which is viewable by a screen that takes the place of the rear-view mirror. This is a natural place to look and this makes a lot of sense. 

The seats are both power adjustable, and each rotates 180 degrees. Behind the driver’s seat is the first of four mounts for a highly adjustable small table. This little alcove is also equipped with plugs so it could serve as a small office or eating space. 

There’s a good central location for the controls and monitors

Above this space is a cabinet that contains all the controls and readings behind a door. It’s a good central location for almost all the various things you’ll need to stay on top of. There are readings for the charge controller, tank levels and more. The tank level monitors are SeeLeveL™ monitors. They don’t have probes in the tank itself and tend to be more reliable. 

There’s also a Cummins Onan generator which feeds from the propane system rather than the diesel tank. 

However, the heater and water heater system do utilize diesel fuel. Their control is the only one not in this centralized place, which seems odd. Instead, that’s at the back by the bedroom. 

Along the road side of the Airstream Interstate 24X is a really spacious closet/pantry with adjustable shelves. Next to that is a 12-volt refrigerator with a separate freezer. 

Further down the way is the bathroom – which is a wet bath. The entire enclosure is a single molded piece, so no worrying about seams or joints. There are also three containers with buttons for things like soap or shampoo. 

The toilet in this rig is of the macerator style. That means there’s a pump that grinds all of yesterday’s meals and other black tank contents. One of the pluses of this type of system is that the contents are pumped out when it’s dump time. That way you don’t have to be concerned if things have to flow uphill. 

The galley in the Airstream Interstate 24X

On the camp side behind the sliding door is the galley, which features a two-burner propane stove and the sink. Below the counter are cubbies with netting in front which allows you to use them as you see fit. Under that are three drawers, as well. 

Interestingly, the edge of the counter has a series of LEDs that can glow red. My first thought was making this a dark room. But I guess few adventurers need to develop film nowadays. I believe the red light affects you less than white light for nighttime stargazing and such. Of course, red lights have other designations too, but that was probably not Airstream’s intention. 

Outside the door is the second of the four table mounts, so you can stand outside and have a little table if you’d like. This is a nice place to set things that were passed out by the cook inside. There’s also a screen door that slides across the opening of the van. 

The rear of the coach has two long benches, one on either side of the space. These can serve as two twin beds or seating for up to six individuals. Or, by putting a platform in place between them, is makes a very large bed. In fact, Airstream claims that this would be the largest bed in a Class B van. 

The curtains are interesting in that they’re not the power blinds of other Interstate vans, thankfully. But they are completely on the opposite end of the fancy schedule, being blackout panels that Velcro in place. 

Storage in the Airstream Interstate 24X

One of the strong suits of this van is storage flexibility. Over the two seats in the back are storage bays which are held onto a series of installed racks. You can use these as is or completely remove them. 

There are rack tracks on the floor and ceiling of this rig so you can tie down your adventure gear using those. Between the two benches is an open space that goes all the way to the front of this van. It could easily be used for bikes, kayaks, skis or whatever. The racks are there to keep things in place, as well. 

There is also storage beneath each of the benches. I kind of wish the benches could flip up and leave the whole of the back of this rig open for really sizable gear. It would be nifty if the space below the benches was open and you could use storage totes instead of the wood assemblies. But I’m sure there are also operational components in this rig hidden in those wooden boxes. 

Airstream has provided seat belts in the back on the two benches and, in theory, this can seat up to eight people for driving. It would be good to double check your local laws as some states do restrict riders going sideways depending on their ages.

In summary

I really like the flexibility and utility and rugged style of the Airstream Interstate 24X van. I also think it’s both stylish and tasteful, which is an Airstream hallmark. 

But Airstream is coming into a field that is getting crowded and some companies are really coming on strong in this field. For example, my current favorite model is the Pleasure Way RECON. That also features four-wheel-drive but is a smaller footprint and has 40 gallons of fresh water storage. But I can also see some prospects turned off by the lack of a gray tank on that model. 

For about the same money you could also get a Dynamax Isata 5 Series and just have a beast of a vehicle – if that’s important to you. 

Or, for $50,000 less, you could get what probably has made the biggest splash in this field, that being the Winnebago EKKO. That uses a Ford chassis with a gasoline-fired V6. That could arguably be much more affordable to maintain.

Still, I think Airstream has done a really good job with this model. The organization of the back of the van along with the built-in flexibility of the racks and storage and the included features are going to find a lot of fans. 

The only fly in the ointment might be the small tanks which are a consequence of the driveline’s taking up so much space under this vehicle. I’m sure that won’t stop Airstream from building every one they can of the new Interstate 24X. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Protective cladding design/implementation
Tastefully rugged
Rack/storage system
Small tanks

SUMMARY

The new Airstream Interstate 24X is a new adventure-focused van that incorporates a solid rack system, four-wheel drive and a very tastefully rugged design.

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Roger Spalding
1 month ago

Andre Agassi once said, “Image is everything.” This bromide applies to this Airstream model. The Mercedes chassis does not guarantee superior build quality or reliability. Airstream has always charged an unconscionable amount for the cache of its name. The 24X is no different from any other Airstream product. There are a half-dozen competing RVs which cost less than one-half the msrp here, and offer the same, or more, equipment. The off road features are window dressing considering a couple will not be able to boondock more than a couple of days without making compromises. Like all other Airstream products, the 24X is essentially a park queen. The miniscule tanks will always send the campers to full hookups.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago

While Airstream seems to be getting away from their traditional style and look for these vans, they are certainly NOT getting away from their traditional high prices . . .

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