I have a few thoughts right off the bat. My initial thought is that the new Airstream Interstate 24X Touring Coach looks pretty sweet. I love the idea of a full-size van-turned camper with a nod toward adventure. And that’s exactly what this thing is. Airstream has been paying attention to the Overland/Van-Life demo and has created a product to appeal to that sect. That sect better have some dollars, because my second thought is about just how insanely expensive this thing is… and it’s not just an Airstream thing. All factory-built touring coach-style RVs/Vans are crazy costly. We will get to the price in a moment but first, let’s talk about what this thing is.
What is it?
The 2022 Interstate 24X is a touring coach built on the back of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. This is a Class-B Motorhome, officially, and it’s a really nice one to boot. Airstream always does one hell of a job making the interior spaces of its vehicles feel luxurious. Judging by the pictures of the 24X, it’s more of the same here.
It’s called the 24X because it features a 24-foot floorplan inside. You have the two captain’s chairs up front with the living and storage areas behind. There’s a platform bed at the rear which can be folded up to serve as bench seats on both sides of the vehicle. There’s a full wet bath, a usable table space if you spin the captain’s chairs around, a food prep and cooking area, and lots of smart storage options throughout. You’ll also find USB ports and customizable lighting.
Lots of power
Since this is a Sprinter, the Interstate 24X makes use of the available diesel engine and four-wheel-drive setup. In fact, this appears to be the 3500XD model, which means it’s a dually. That’s six tires eager to get dirty, and we have to assume Airstream opts to fit the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 under the hood. So you have 190 horsepower and 324 lb-ft of torque on tap. Doesn’t sound like a ton but that torque comes on nice and low and gets these Sprinters rolling right. It’s not going to be a Wrangler on the trail, but it can also head down fire roads in total comfort.
As for the other type of power onboard, Airstream fit the Interstate 24X with a pair of 100 Ah Deep Cycle batteries, a 30 amp energy management system, 2000-watt power inverter, 300-w of flexible solar panels for the house batteries, another 100-w of solar power for the chassis battery, and portable solar panels you can set out when you’re parked. And you’ll need that power to keep the 42″ front LED light bar, LED side pod lights, and LED rear pod lights keeping your campsite aglow.
There’s a 2.5-kW generator, a 5G-ready cellular antenna in case you need to get work done on the road, and tanks to keep you out there for a little bit. You’ll find a 23-gallon fresh tank, 11-gallon gray tank, and 11-gallon black tank.
About that price
The starting price of the 2022 Airstream Interstate 24X Touring Coach is… $213,850. That sounds like an absolutely bonkers number, I agree. Then I looked at the competition out there. Winnebago makes a Touring Coach with the same aesthetic and it starts at $175,000. If you scan the Expedition Portal classifieds, you’ll see all sorts of builds asking for this much dough and more. And getting it.
The price of a well-built Overland or Van-Life rig is, quite frankly, insane. Unless of course, you take on the task yourself. I’d wager a competent person could take their time and build an equally cool thing for half the cost of this Interstate, perhaps even less.
But the buyer here wants their cool camping rig and they want it now. With a warranty and a place to have it serviced should the need arise. And the Airstream 24X certainly delivers on that. There’s also the argument that could be made about a person with means buying something like this or a high-end sports car or supercar, and this being a better use of that money (relative to the this vs that aspect of the conversation, not in regards to in life in general). I know I’d get far more use out of this Airstream than I would any fast two-seater.
Regardless, the Interstate 24X is an expensive luxury item.
It’s also pretty sweet. I’d love to have something like this in my driveway, ready to rock out on a weekend adventure at a moment’s notice. Sure, I’d build mine on the bones of a Ford Transit, but the end product goal is essentially similar. Looks like I need my Dogecoin or Gamestop stock to finally hit the moon, and then maybe I’ll think about it.
For now, the adventure remains as real as the one portrayed in many an Instagram influencer’s follower’s mind…