Airstream entry-level (ish) camper van swerves towards off-grid freedom

The all-new Rangeline camper van opens a brand new chapter in an Airstream camper van story that is lengthy been set in extortionately costly territory. The Ram Promaster camper is not fairly the dirt-cheap journey van many free-spirited Individuals pine for, however it does carry Airstream van pricing tumbling down. With a flexible camp/carry flooring plan and an off-grid electrical/gasoline energy platform that eliminates the necessity for propane, the Rangeline additionally encourages RVers to increase their adventures effectively above and past the organized campground to solitary wild campsites that depend solely feathered and furred creatures as neighbors.

Airstream revealed the Rangeline this week on the annual “America’s Largest RV Present” in Hershey, Pennsylvania. An entry degree Promaster camper feels a bit shocking for Airstream, which beforehand constructed solely Mercedes Sprinter camper vans. The sunken-faced Ram form of clashes with the marque’s fastidiously cultivated luxurious aesthetic, and one thing like an Airstream-badged variant of the brand new Hymer Enterprise S appears extra on-brand. However we suppose the temptation of placing the long-lasting Airstream title on an interesting, semi-affordable camper van was just too huge to go up in the course of the RV-crazed early 2020’s.

The Rangeline’s well-established European camper van flooring plan, undoubtedly borrowed on this case from Airstream’s cousin Hymer, shines brightest in again the place the two-panel fold-away mattress clears out a big load space in the course of the experience. House owners can inventory tenting gear excessive, safe gear like bicycles or surfboards to the ground tie-down tracks, and even carry dwelling lumber from Dwelling Depot on weekends that knock tenting enjoyable apart for urgent dwelling enchancment. At night time, the mattress folds down and cuts throughout the width of the van to sleep two adults. Airstream additionally presents an non-obligatory pop-top with two extra berths.

The Rangeline offers a versatile, rustic platform for solo digital nomads, van life couples, small families and more
The Rangeline presents a flexible, rustic platform for solo digital nomads, van life {couples}, small households and extra


The Rangeline’s center is crammed out by the standard pairing of passenger-side galley and driver-side moist bathtub, however with a twist — as a substitute of carrying any LPG-plumbed home equipment, all of the gear runs on a mixture of electrical energy and automobile gasoline. The 102-L fridge/freezer combo, transportable induction cooktop and microwave draw energy from the van’s sturdy electrical bundle with 270-Ah lithium battery, 2,000-W inverter and 200-W photo voltaic panel. In the meantime, sizzling water on the taps and warmth across the residing space are equipped by a hydronic heating and on-demand sizzling water system that faucets into the Promaster’s fuel tank for energy.

The two.8-kW generator additionally depends on gasoline immediately from the automobile, serving as a backup energy supply and a way for powering the air conditioner when boondocked away from hookups. Utilizing the dual-touchscreen management system, campers can set the generator to auto-start, both when the battery runs low or to kick on the A/C when the out of doors temperature hits a sure excessive (helpful in the event you depart a pet chilling within the van).

Airstream leaves the LPG tank at the hardware store, running appliances like the stowable induction cooktop off the 270-Ah lithium battery
Airstream leaves the LPG tank on the ironmongery shop, operating home equipment just like the stowable induction cooktop off the 270-Ah lithium battery


The Rangeline’s entrance dinette features a two-seat bench and two swivel cab seats positioned round an expandable and detachable flex desk optimized for each mealtime and distant work. A drawer with pull-out meals/water bowl combo offers the canine(s) their very own devoted eating area, and an exterior leash tie-off makes it simpler to free (however not too free) Max or Muffy after an extended, cramped drive to camp. For many who haven’t got pets, the canine bowl insert removes to release a storage drawer, and the leash tie-off is simply an out-of-the-way embellishment on the operating board.

Different cool, handy options embrace the JBL Bluetooth speaker that mounts like a paper towel roll over the kitchen block and simply removes for out of doors listening, the rear-door MOLLE panels delivering fast-access grab-and-go storage, the shoe cubby simply contained in the facet door entry, the wi-fi dual-phone charging mount on the wall subsequent to the mattress, and the pull-out step that helps campers climb into mattress.

MOLLE panels on the rear doors add flexible storage
MOLLE panels on the rear doorways add versatile storage


“We’re in a brand new journey actuality, the place freedom and adaptability are high of thoughts for increasingly more individuals,” Airstream president and CEO Bob Wheeler defined when asserting the Rangeline this week. “Rangeline is the results of intensive analysis and dedication to understanding the van life motion and what clients need from their expertise. It’s a thoughtfully designed, extremely succesful multipurpose van that handles like a every day driver, and it’ll open a brand new world of Airstream adventures to one of many quickest rising segments within the RV business. “

We would wager that what these potential entry degree clients actually need is a van that is versatile just like the Rangeline however specced a la carte like a European camper van and priced at about half the Rangeline’s base. Many such European camper van merchandise might be simply upgraded with key choices like 4×4 whereas nonetheless pricing comfortably underneath $100K. And consumers can all the time personalize over time with their very own Bluetooth audio system and MOLLE panels.

However that low-priced van is not coming from a high-end American model like Airstream, anyway, and a minimum of the Rangeline’s US$131,882 base value descends the staircase markedly from the $200K+ pricing throughout the rest of the Airstream Class B and B+ van lineup. The truth is, the Rangeline is available in roughly $11K increased than 1/2 the common value of Airstream’s different camper vans.

The Hymer-derived foldaway bed makes it easy to carry bikes, even without a separate rack or trailer
The Hymer-derived foldaway mattress makes it simple to hold bikes, even with out a separate rack or trailer


Airstream is clearly looking for probably the most profitable center floor between true entry degree American-market full-size van campers just like the Pleasure-Approach Tofino and Winnebago Solis Pocket and dearer journey vans just like the Winnebago Revel and Storyteller Mode LT. We’re undecided if the $132K Rangeline is it, however it’s undoubtedly a effectively thought-out try.

Airstream sellers are taking orders now and can start receiving stock within the coming weeks. The 251-in (638-cm)-long Rangeline comes customary with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and nine-speed automated that crew for as much as 280-hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Packaged vehicular options embrace a ten.1-in Uconnect 5 infotainment show, 7-in colour digital instrument panel, and driver help like lively blind spot help, lively brake help and rear-camera help.

Sadly, not like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ford Transit, the Ram Promaster doesn’t have an AWD/4WD possibility so the Rangeline will stay front-wheel-drive solely, despite the fact that it has the texture of an off-road/off-grid specialist. That lack of 4×4 does have the benefit of stopping the van from leaping up into the next pricing tier.

A new direction for Airstream, the Rangeline camper van launched at the Hershey motorhome show
A brand new course for Airstream, the Rangeline camper van launched on the Hershey motorhome present


We included the fast launch promo under, and people taken with actually diving deep down into the Rangeline’s function set can watch Airstream’s 40-minute full walkthrough. The latter gave us a brand new appreciation for simply how a lot thought Airstream put into each cubic inch of the construct, together with little particulars like the outside hookups hid behind facet trim strips and the facet entry seize deal with that doubles as a kitchen towel holder.

Welcome the Airstream Rangeline

Supply: Airstream


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