During a recent tour of Central America, we dragged ourselves away from Antigua, Guatemala, to visit blissful Lake Atitlán. The access road to the lake is a steep suicide pass with 17 hairpin turns, the acrid smell of burnt brakes, and clutches lingering in the green jungle air. Relieved, hot, and bothered, we reached the campsite Pasaj-Cap to find a gaggle of vans occupying the level ground, the common areas, and the conversation. Three near identical Dodge Ram ProMaster 3500s regarded us with their big, beady eyes. The ProMaster is, it appears, the new King of Vans! It was only later that we learned that the three vehicles were not, in fact, part of a group but rather three individuals traveling with their once favorite individuals, individually.
Airstream is on to a good thing with their new Rangeline Touring Coach. Based on the ProMaster chassis, the Rangeline is a European-inspired “Class B” designed with comfort and ease of use in mind; in fact, you will find the word “European” liberally littered across the website. The Rangeline is a marriage of European style and American muscle, and a buyer can tailor-make the camper with dynamic living spaces, flexible storage, and high-performance onboard systems. At 21 feet long, the Rangeline sleeps two but can carry four; rock, paper scissors—who gets to sleep outside in the ground tent (or, maybe, a lightweight C6 roof tent could be bolted to the long sleek roof, just an idea). An optional pop-top roof can expand the living space and includes three screened windows, a fan (yes!), LED lighting, and a large bed with a 3-inch mattress which expands the sleeping capacity to four people. Now you have no excuse not to take the kids along for the adventure.
What is the Rangeline like for day-to-day living? A two-piece full-size folding bed with integrated suspension and slide-out step provides a comfortable platform with space below and is said to easily convert when hauling bikes or other tall items. The driver and passenger captain chairs are covered with high-quality Nassimi vinyl and conveniently swivel while featuring a 6-way position and 2-way lumbar support adjustment.
The captain of the good ship can monitor and manage the camper systems with an easy-to-read touchscreen display located right above the entry door, which displays tank levels, battery state of charge and power usage, comfort settings, and even the lighting and Cummins generator. Did we mention the gasoline-fired hydronic furnace and hot water system? Now they are just showing off.
Storage is not a problem, it seems. Overhead cabinets with self-locking hardware and open cubby storage in the entrance and kitchen keep your daily essentials close to hand. There is an L-track system on the floor of the “garage” that allows you to attach and tie down your gear, and MOLLE panels on the rear doors are just begging for some cool gear.
The Rangeline kitchen features a large 3.2 cubic foot refrigerator and freezer and an utterly unnecessary microwave unless, of course, you are a popcorn addict. A single 270-amp-hour deep cycle lithium Battle Born battery (LiFePO4), 100 amp charger, a 2,000-watt power inverter, and a 200-watt solar panel come standard and beg you not to use the microwave or the induction stove and instead cook outside on the campfire, save the power for the fridge, fan, laptops, and lights. A storable 1,000-watt induction cooktop will keep the batteries working over time, and there are soft close drawers and open cubbies for the storage of cooking and cleaning supplies.
A clever table flips, folds, and slides about, giving you the flexibility to adapt the seating area to your needs.
As expected, there are various color schemes to bring your European American to life. These include London Fog, Admiral Navy, Urban Oak, Moonstone Grey, Frosted Mink, and, a total let down, Rangeline Grey (at least it is spelled British; we would have opted for Dutch Sunset).
The Dodge base is no slouch and features a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 24V VVT engine, which delivers 280 horsepower @ 6400 RPM/260 pound-feet of torque @ 4,400 RPM via a nine-speed Automatic. Yes, please. A range of 18-20 mpg may be possible running on the finest US fuel, but not if you are taking advantage of the 3,500 pounds of towing capacity. The Rangeline Specs page is as long as Shaq’s leg, and every gadget or gizmo you could ever want or need comes standard.
Overall, the Rangeline Touring Coach is a bit of a looker, well thought out and designed, and destined to become vanlife royalty. Yes, you can tour gently in this vehicle, but I would not think twice about taking it for a very long drive across many borders; it looks capable enough. The name is all wrong, though. It should be called the Airstream Alp!
Starting at $132,000, this vehicle is going to make some waves.
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