Airstream unveiled a new off-road Mercedes-Benz Sprinter camper van for nearly $200,000 as RV shipments continue to slump

Airstream’s newest almost $200,000 camper van is rugged and ready for off-roading.

Airstream

Airstream unveiled its newest camper van: the Interstate 19X starting at $199,940.
Camper van shipments have not dipped as dramatically as travel trailers.
See inside the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter-based camper van with a bathroom, kitchen, living room, and bed.

Airstream’s newest camper van wasn’t designed to be a cute little Instagram-perfect RV. Instead, it’s rugged, well-equipped, and a whopping $200,000 at a time when RV interest has dwindled fast.

Anybody in the RV industry will tell you sales have looked better. From 2020 up until recently, RV makers were seeing interest at record levels, leading to multi-billion-dollar backlogs, packed RV parks, and younger buyers.

But these days, this frenzy is harder to find. RV sales dropped dramatically over the last year, leading to a wholesale shipment decline by 47.7% from 2023 compared to the same time in 2022, according to July data from the RV Industry Association.

However, the dip in camper van shipments wasn’t as dramatic as the drop for travel trailers in July.

Airstream

While shipments for all towables plummeted 50.8% from July 2022 to 2023, camper vans only slipped 29.8%. 

These Class B RVs have become a trendy must-have for younger road trip fanatics.
A Cabana camper van.

Cabana

TikToks about camper vans have been viewed about 173.5 million times with several videos showing the inside of trendy conversions amassing millions of views individually.

It’s great news for legacy RV maker Airstream, which just unveiled its newest Interstate 19X camper.

Airstream

Airstream already has a handful of vans in its lineup including the $147,570 Rangeline on a Ram Promaster chassis and the $310,400 Atlas on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The latter has the most expensive MSRP of all of its “touring coaches.” 

With how sales have been looking for Airstream’s parent company Thor Industries, the RV maker could use a boost in sales with the help of this new model.

Airstream

In June, Thor Industries announced its consolidated net sales for the third quarter of 2023 was $2.93 billion, a steep drop from $4.66 billion at the same time in 2022 and $3.46 billion in 2021.

Besides Airstream, Thor also oversees brands like Jayco, Keystone, and Dutchmen.

Airstream

“Market conditions continue to be challenging as dealers and consumers face increasing pressures from the macro environment,” Bob Martin, president and CEO of Thor Industries, said in the earnings report. “While we are encouraged by our fiscal third-quarter results, we anticipate certain macroeconomic challenges to persist in the near term.”

Luckily, it seems the “Interstate” line has become a hit for Airstream.

Airstream

The RV maker has six models under the Interstate umbrella ranging from $178,640 to $246,35. However, the company declined to comment when asked how the new camper van could impact Thor’s decreasing RV sales.

With a price of $199,940, the newest Interstate 19X falls on the less expensive end of this range.

Airstream

The four-by-four van — built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 chassis — capitalizes on quickly two growing segments of RVing: boondocking and off-roading. To make the van more off-grid capable, buyers can also upgrade it to an all-wheel drive Sprinter chassis.

This van was not built to be frilly and cute.

Airstream

There’s no all-white aesthetic or marble countertops that have made some camper vans go viral. Instead, it’s tough and ready to run off-road.

The new 19-foot-long Interstate 19X has several exterior features to protect it from the rugged terrain.

Airstream

This includes a protective coat on the van’s hood and lower body and a brush guard with lights.

Inside, storage like drawers and cabinets line the van.

Airstream

The floor and aluminum walls and ceiling have an L-track system to keep big-ticket items like bikes and kayaks strapped in during a bumpy off-road ride.

A galley and a bathroom with a shower, sink, and toilet provide travelers with the comforts of a traditional home.

Airstream

The kitchen has a sink across from the counter with a refrigerator-freezer and movable induction cooktop. 

And like most space-efficient camper vans, the rear living area can convert into a queen or twin beds.

Airstream

The van can sleep two people but has the capacity to seat four. Sorry to the two other people who’ll just have to pitch a tent outside.

Energy systems like two 100-amp-hour lithium batteries, shore power connection, and 250-watts of solar help power amenities like the air conditioning unit.

Airstream

For water supplying and dumping, the van has a 20-gallon fresh, 16-gallon gray, and 9-gallon waste tanks.

The Interstate 19X can now be purchased at Airstream’s dealerships.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *