Two years ago, Airstream welcomed the summer season in with the Interstate 24X, a large adaptable camper van aimed straight at outdoor adventurers and dispersed camp explorers. Now it’s closing summer out with a shorter, more capable version it calls the Interstate 19X, a playful camper van that joins the all-new Trade Wind off-grid trailer in defining the future of outdoor adventure travel and living at Airstream. Like its older, bigger brother, the 19X has a highly versatile layout, complete with rear dinette/bed/gear garage, multifunctional work bench, off-grid-grade power system and loads of tie-down track for securing down toys and gear.
Based on a shorter 19.5-ft/233-in (592-cm) Mercedes Sprinter 144, the Airstream 19X is better-positioned to compete with other Sprinter 144 camper vans out there, such as the Winnebago Revel and Storyteller Mode 4×4. The standard model comes with the older 188-hp 3.0-liter V6 turbo-diesel and selectable 4×4 system, but buyers can opt for the 211-hp 2.0-liter diesel four and newer all-wheel-drive system with 50:50 torque split. Either way, the van gets ruggedized with a protective coating on the hood and lower body, a brush guard centering auxiliary lights over the front bumper, and all-terrain tires on black wheels.
The 19X gets filled out with a single floor plan that uses a dual-bench dinette at the rear to keep a long center aisle clear during transit. While the smaller van size is certain to be beneficial out on tight trails, it does cut the length of the center aisle down to around 11 feet (3.4 m), compared 16 feet (4.9 m) on the 24X. Airstream says the 19X will fit shorter kayaks comfortably, but long, wide vessels will eventually outsize the available space. Whatever’s being transported along, the Interstate 19X secures it down with the L-track that runs along the floor, walls and shiny aluminum ceiling.
At camp, the dinette relies on an adjustable swivel table for dining, laptop work, card games, etc. The table can be removed at nighttime, allowing the dual benches to cushion-connect into a transverse double bed. One design flaw that looks clear from the photos is the edges of both left- and right-side worktops extending over top the bed slightly. This seems likely to cause the frontmost sleeper to bash shins and elbows with regularity, while putting their head close enough to bonk into the edge. At the very least, they should round off the lower corners and edges to take some of the sting out of any such impacts.
As far as those worktops go, Airstream keeps the longer passenger-side counter completely clear for versatility, allowing owners to use it for everything from basic food prep to tweaking a ski binding. The shorter driver-side worktop houses the sink, which includes a flush fold-down lid for added counter space. There’s also a microwave and an 88-L indoor/outdoor-access fridge.
Between the cab and the kitchen sink, the wet bathroom houses a separate sink, shower and toilet. The van also includes a standard hot/cold outdoor shower.
Dual 100-Ah Battle Born lithium batteries, a 2,000-W inverter, 250 watts of roof-mounted solar and a 13,500-BTU air conditioner come as standard. The E1 Package added for select Airstream vans last year is available optionally on the 19X, beefing up the electrical system and fueling the hot water/interior heating via the same chassis diesel tank that runs the engine.
The all-new Airstream Interstate 19X launched last week at a base price of US$199,940.
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