Monday, September 26, 2022

MENU

RV Review: WORLD DEBUT of Airstream Rangeline Class B

Today I get to share a brand-new Class B RV from Airstream dubbed the Rangeline. This is, indeed, a big departure for the brand best known for its aluminum trailers. In so many ways, this is quite different from what you’d expect from the Airstream name—including being very, very price competitive. 

Airstream Rangeline

Based on the Ram Promaster platform, the Airstream Rangeline is a single floor plan offering in the Class B space. I was fortunate enough to meet with several Airstream executives including the company president to go over this new model. 

What was clear in the discussion is that they have listened carefully to the market but also looked at designs available in Europe through Hymer. I might also wonder if they’ve been reading these reviews, as well, as so many things I find fault with in many Class B designs were addressed here. 

This isn’t the first collaboration across the pond, as the eStream trailer utilizes German components and technology to make its magic happen. Ausgezeichnet! [For those of us who don’t speak German, that’s “Excellent!”]

Start outside

One of the universal things about Class B motorhomes is the presence of doors and hatches on the outside of the van that clearly look like they’ve been added on by an aftermarket company. 

That’s because they have. 

Airstream applied a large plastic molding to the side of the Promaster that absolutely looks like it was designed in by Ram. Then they hid the connections for things like water and power behind these doors. 

When you’re not connected to services, the design is as clean as if it were put there by the factory. But this also provides easy access to the connections you’d need when at a campground. I’ve only seen this in two other Class B RVs, and I absolutely love it. 

The grill of the van was also changed to match the black molding on the side, giving it a more cohesive look. There are fixed running boards along the side. But this could easily stealth camp in a lot of places—it almost just looks like another Promaster. 

In fact, it’s not even silver! OK, that is one of the two exterior color choices—the other being black. 

No propane

One of the interesting things about this rig is that there is no propane aboard, although that’s not horribly unusual. 

But Airstream does have a gasoline-fired generator aboard. Further, there are 270 amp-hours of lithium battery along with a 2,000-watt inverter. 

As with some higher-end RVs, this one has a control system such that you could set it so the generator automatically kicks in when it senses that the battery is low, but doesn’t kick in when it’s within certain times. 

For example, if the campground has “generator hours,” you could set the generator such that it wouldn’t automatically kick in outside of that window. 

Airstream also has essentially a single control panel for all the functions in this rig. Those include the generator, battery/charge system, lighting. They all mirror on a smartphone. This is definitely a step above many Class B RVs where there is a collection of different panels, each with their own user interface to decipher. 

The heater and water heater are Timberline units that also use the gasoline aboard. So you no longer have to seek out propane and store propane to make things work here. It’s all one fuel. Simple. Effective. 



Attention to detail in the Airstream Rangeline

It is absolutely clear that Airstream has been paying attention. The handle at the entryway also incorporates a towel bar and just looks nice. 

There are child safety seat tethers on the second-row seats. Cubbies for shoes are right at the entryway. The front of the refrigerator is a dry erase board. All the drawers and cabinets feature a positive mechanical latch. 

Instead of a lousy RV sound system, this comes with a rechargeable JBL speaker. 

All the insulation on this is a product called Lizard Skin, which I’ve seen a few custom builders use. Further, the fresh water storage is above the floor inside the coach so that if you’re comfortable, the water’s not freezing. Smart. 

The two front seats swivel around to face the two rear seats, forming a legitimate lounge area. There is a table that has sort of a swing-around section that can easily accommodate the four people here for dining, and is also a great desk. 

Storage

The back of the van features two beds, one on either side. The beds are a bit raised so that there’s storage beneath them both when they’re folded down and, even more so, when folded up against the walls. 

There are tracks along the floor to secure cargo. I could easily see two bicycles back here when you’re driving along. Then, when you get to camp, take out the bikes and now you have a 74” X 52” (full size) bed in the back. 

Airstreameyness

I have looked at Airstream’s offerings in the past and not been overly impressed, quite frankly. This is just the opposite of that. Not only is the attention to detail outstanding in this offering, but it is price competitive with other Class B RVs. 

Further, Airstream dealers have absolutely established a good reputation for customer service—which is almost the opposite of many other RV dealers. At a starting price of $131,882, I think this thing is going to be a monster hit for Airstream. But it’s also going to bring customers into the Airstream fold who have not been there before. 

If the dealers maintain their level of service and attention to detail, this could be the start of long-term customers for the brand. That’s a good way to run a business. 

More than a camper

One of the things that makes Class B RVs very appealing is that they are about the same footprint as a full-sized pickup truck. They are also often easier to drive, thanks to the cab-forward driving position. 

This could easily be a family’s daily driver and it would make a lot of sense as one. There is seating for four including a child safety seat restraint for the rear seats. So you could certainly use this as a daily driver. 

But then when you go to the kids’ sporting events, now you have your own clean bathroom, a way to prepare healthy meals and even a shelter. 

Further, if one parent has to get an RV review or some other work done, you can utilize that dining table as a mobile office. Perhaps just a place to sit and post photos of how your kid’s sports team trounced the other kids’ sports team. Whatever. 



Airstream has done an outstanding job with the Rangeline

Within the confines of the Class B space limitations dictated by the van body, I think Airstream has done an outstanding job with this rig. The attention to detail is particularly impressive. 

But that’s not a bunch of ladled-on faux luxury touches you might expect. This is just a lot of real-world usability that will make this a great choice for buyers who need a practical daily driver that actually can be used as a camper on getaways, too. 

Hey, Airstream. You nailed it. 

*****

More from Tony

I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.

If you’re RV shopping here are some tips on RV shopping from a former RV salesperson—me!

Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. He also works closely with a number of RV manufacturers to get an inside look at how things are done and is a brand ambassador for Rockwood Mini Lite with his wife, Peggy.

You can also check out his RV podcast with Peggy. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. They are based on information from a single unit and may not reflect your actual experience. Shop your RV and dealership carefully before making a buying decision. 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.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!

##RVDT1947

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

11 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jeffery H.
6 days ago

The Internet is a peculiar thing, it provides a place for naysayers to share their negative opinions absent critical thinking skills.

As for us, the Range line maintains the excellence upon which Airstream has built nine decades of a stellar reputation.

Steve H
7 days ago

This Airstream has a lot of features lifted directly from Winnebago’s Promaster-platform Travatos and Transit-platform ECCO. But I would take a Leisure Travel Class B+ over any of those three if I were in the Class B/B+ market right now.

captain gort
8 days ago

I see these types of vans all over the place. I don’t get it. They are tight inside, no wider than my big SUV. Imagine being cooped up inside that thing during a protracted spell of bad weather. Methinks these are a fad, a “thing” right now…a sign of our very weird times. With the usual options, tax and license, this thing is gonna cost a minimum of $150,000…and probably much more. All financed over many years with rising interest rates and inevitable precipitous depreciation when the fad subsides. I’d bet this craze will end badly.

RenMan
13 days ago

Nope. Once again aiming a family market and forgetting about couples and solos, especially senior citizens.

So do not need nor want that bench seat with car seat latch points. Total waste of space for a couple or solo.

And especially for seniors, when will all RV people finally starting accommodating CPAP and other similar medical devices by incorporating a shelf with power outlet next to to the bed?

RV people building Class B & C and most trailers are far to focused on the “family” wrongly believing that Seniors will all go Class A. Nope! Lots of seniors want small vehicles that allow for a lot of galavanting and far-flung experiences; they don’t want to park and stay in a resort.

Bill T
13 days ago

Still too much money for a van. Has anyone of average height or taller ever slept in a side-to-side bed layout? I’m 5’10” and lying straight out either my head or my feet end up on the wall.

Dennis Johnson
12 days ago
Reply to  Bill T

At 6’5″ this is a one person bed. There’s a place (worse than airplane seats) for two, as long as they don’t need a place to sleep.

Bob p
13 days ago

The only fault I see offhandedly is in the chassis makers, I hope Fiat only has to do with non movable parts like frame rails. They’re not known for great reliability. Lol

Donald N Wright
13 days ago

Tony, I like the RV, but I have one problem and two questions. When I am in the driving position, my head is behind the roof pillar. My questions are ceiling height and name problems with Honda Ridgeline.

Paul
3 days ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

Honda Ridgeline / Airstream Rangeline. Different name.

Sign up for the RVtravel Newsletter

Your information will *never* be shared or sold to a 3rd party.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Every Saturday and Sunday morning. Serving RVers for more than 20 years.