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hello, coach!

I’ve kept the corner of my eye on the Airstream Interstate since the Tommy Bahama “Relax” model was announced. I jonesed for its beach-house decor and party vibe. Like a straying spouse, I tried to shoo the thoughts away, knowing I couldn’t keep both a travel trailer AND a touring coach. Wasn’t my first and only love the DWR?

A couple of years ago I casually mentioned the Sprinter van idea to Ralph, who at first thought I was kidding, and who later sensibly talked me off the Tammy Bahama ledge. I came to accept we couldn’t afford the Tommy no matter how many long-lost great aunts left us money, but I was now bitten by the van bug and couldn’t get the idea out of my head. (Google “obsessive rumination disorder”.)

Reluctant,—no, adamantly unwilling,—to leave The Tribe, my Airstreamer family, with whom I’ve shared so many life altering experiences with since 2007, I knew it would have to be Interstate or no van at all. I sniffed at them in the dealer areas at various Aluma-events, but didn’t pull the trigger until this year while I was trying to get a friend interested in buying one by showing her a unit I liked. It wasn’t a Tommy, far from it. It was preowned, three years old, with dark interior wood and the twin bed configuration both Ralph and I knew would be a necessity in our next Airstream. I shoved my friend aside and grabbed that van for myself—a 2016 Airstream Interstate Grand Tour EXT Touring Coach.

There are those (who “they” are I don’t know, probably Airstream dealers) who say “traveling in an Interstate is somewhere between traveling in an RV and a private jet.” It’s sleek and fancy inside. The lighting is sexy. The ultraleather seating is sumptuous. The Mercedes logo whispers “don’t act like you’re not impressed.” So of course my first instinct was to downscale our new-to-us Interstate and try to convert it into a rolling tiki bar, covering the surfaces with Moai heads and loud island-themed fabrics. If I can’t have the Tommy Bahama, I can at least approximate its ethos, right?

I drove our new Interstate across the country to Alumapalooza this year, and after learning about the two well-attended tiki parties held in (and outside of) the van, Airstream’s Customer Experience Manager enquired about our Interstate acquisition and wrote this article for the Airstream, Inc. blog: “From Towing to Driving – One Streamer’s Journey From Trailer to Coach” If you’re considering jumping from a silver trailer to a minimoho, give it a read.

We named our coach “Coach”. You CAN love again. See you down the road, as usual. Stop by for an umbrella drink, and bring your ukulele.

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