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Old 08-28-2018, 11:38 PM   #1
S C
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Default Older Roadtrek v Pleasure-Way

I'm looking at buying a Class B vehicle (dream machine). I've looked at ads for both Roadtrek 170 and 190 and Pleasure Way. I'm in the $14K-20K range. Does anyone have a comparison of these two brands or words of wisdom? It's for two fairly short people and a 40 lb. dog. Reliability is more important than looks, but comfort is definitely a concern. We may live in it for a couple of weeks (or 3) at a time...
Any advice or voices of experience welcome. Thanks,
S.
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:53 PM   #2
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It helps if you list any preferences or "must have" features. A couple of examples could be:

1) Do you mind the aisle bath/shower, or do you prefer a more private wet bath?

2) How many belted seats do you require (2, 3, 4, 7)?

I know you said it's just the two of you and a dog, but would you ever need it as a people-mover? Or perhaps the extra seats would work as an eating area so you didn't have to take up the rear bed each morning or swivel the front seats (which can be a bit of a pain in some models.) If you don't need the extra seats, you can get one that instead has more storage area.

Since you've already said you do not need a long bed, you could probably get by with a cross-bed model which means you only need to determine if you prefer the permanent rear bed or the power up/down rear bench.

As far a older models go, I wouldn't worry about brand so much as finding a good condition model in your price range.

Good luck with the search. It took me about a year to find our "perfect" class b.
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:10 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. I'm not sure about the wet bath v aisle bath feature. Does any have any feedback about the convenience of hassles for either on? It looks like the Roadtrek has the aisle shower. Is that a complete inconvenience.

We only need 2 seatbelts, but we do have a dog who will need some sort of elevated space. She won't like lying on the floor .

We would prefer a double or queen instead of twin beds. Would like some sort of independent heat source (rather than the heat of the vehicle).

The size of the Roadtrek 170 is appealing, but we haven't had a chance to try one out. But smaller is better generally.

I hope that helps. Thanks again.
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by S C View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. I'm not sure about the wet bath v aisle bath feature. Does any have any feedback about the convenience of hassles for either on? It looks like the Roadtrek has the aisle shower. Is that a complete inconvenience.

I can only speak to the wet bath in our model (one of my "must haves"). It takes up more interior space when not in use, but leaves the aisle clear for your other passengers when in use. Plus, when you're in such a confined space together, I figure it is kinder to my other half for keeping smells confined in the rare case you need to do #2. They usually have a vent fan as well. Finally, when you bathe, the aisle is not wet. A separate vent fan helps dry out humidity.

We only need 2 seatbelts, but we do have a dog who will need some sort of elevated space. She won't like lying on the floor .

You'll have to figure out a perch for your dog even with a 3rd passenger seat. Without one, however, you're probably looking at the dog using the rear bed which is an area that can get warm while driving since the dash air has to work hard to make it back that far. We just put a pad on the floor between the front seats for our 70lb. dog and he likes being up by us. Of course, his size makes it easy for him to see out by just sitting up or standing.

We would prefer a double or queen instead of twin beds. Would like some sort of independent heat source (rather than the heat of the vehicle).

You don't need to worry too much about the full bed. Nearly all have that option by filling in the middle with a support and included cushions. Likewise, the Roadtreks and most every class b has a propane furnace with a wall thermostat for heat.

The size of the Roadtrek 170 is appealing, but we haven't had a chance to try one out. But smaller is better generally.

The 170 has the aisle bath/shower, but otherwise I should work well for you. It will have a propane fridge, stove, and furnace. Also a rear a/c with heatpump (unless the previous owner has replaced the original) that runs off 120v plug in or on-board Onan generator, and it will come with a fresh water tank, water pump, gray water tank, and black tank. Pretty complete from the factory.

I hope that helps. Thanks again.
From your questions, you sound quite new to RV's. You can look up old brochures with features on Google and Youtube is your friend when it comes to seeing reviews on-line.

The biggest thing to consider is that your price range limits you to class "b's" that are going to be about 20 yrs old. Add to that, the Dodge, Ford, or Chevy chassis it like a car that will need to checked out as thoroughly as the coach (living) area.

Not trying to deter you, but go check out any for sale in your area. Not to buy so much as to just see what it's like. A class b is very small. We don't mind and as you say "smaller is better". But every time I go in it, I think to myself "Wow, this is small." But that small size means I can park it in my driveway and even use it as a second car rather than paying storage fees.

Remember that saying "You don't live in a class b, you out of a class b." And welcome to the forum!
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rowiebowie View Post
From your questions, you sound quite new to RV's. You can look up old brochures with features on Google and Youtube is your friend when it comes to seeing reviews on-line.

The biggest thing to consider is that your price range limits you to class "b's" that are going to be about 20 yrs old. Add to that, the Dodge, Ford, or Chevy chassis it like a car that will need to checked out as thoroughly as the coach (living) area.

Not trying to deter you, but go check out any for sale in your area. Not to buy so much as to just see what it's like. A class b is very small. We don't mind and as you say "smaller is better". But every time I go in it, I think to myself "Wow, this is small." But that small size means I can park it in my driveway and even use it as a second car rather than paying storage fees.

Remember that saying "You don't live in a class b, you out of a class b." And welcome to the forum!
I've referred to my rig as a "rolling submarine"...we have a side bathroom... but have never used the shower.....

We have the model with the shower contained in the closet.... here's a link to the actual model we purchased back in May 2017... it's pretty nice.....I have seen the models with the aisle drain... have heard various stories ... like never again.. also a few pictures here...
More at the link below......

https://www.conejowholesaleauto.com/...beffb59e9eb708

Good luck... It's all a trade off ... price, convenience and features.....
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:23 PM   #6
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We have a 2000 Roadtrek 200 Versatile, cross bed(full size) without the rear lounge option. Aisle shower. I prefer it, personally. I/we take a 3-4 month trip yearly along with shorter jaunts. Unless we are driveway camping we generally use the on board shower. My recent four month solo trip I probably used the shower more than fifty times.

Aisle shower disadvantages:

The motorhome is pretty much tied up when using the potty and especially the shower.

HVAC when deployed is quite compromised. The A/C and furnace both get blocked from circulating throughout the van.

I sometimes get a weird feeling about doing a number 2 while basically sitting in the kitchen. Smell is an issue, Fabreeze and Fantastic Fan are your friends.

The shower curtain needs a good wipe down before stowage.

We have to be persnickety about the level of the van for drainage. We need a to have the back of the van slightly lower to contain the water to the shower area although if there is outflow away from the shower it is contained in the dropped floor area.

A bit of a hassle deploying the curtain versus just closing a door, really not a big deal.


Advantages:

More storage area, important in a class B.

Larger area available inside the shower and you don't have to dance with the toilet.

The directly overhead Fantastic fan works well for ventilation.


Living with an aisle shower:

We have a temp probe on the water tank so we can heat the water to an ideal temp for showering so one does not have to fiddle around to get the right temp, saving water and also helping out with water creep when the faucets are on and the shower head is off. That can be quite cold or hot for the initial turn on.

I added a reversing switch to the Fantastic Fan. This "airs up" the shower causing the curtain to bulge out a bit, giving more room to avoid curtain contact. It also helps to dry out the curtain in less humid areas after the shower by re-deploying the curtain after the shower. One can still move about the coach then as the bathroom door would be closed.


All in all, both systems are a compromise. The more room factor has me leaning to the aisle shower. I really don't like dealing with a too small shower.


One advantage to our particular model is the larger fridge and it is not located on the floor.

I would like it if the kitchen were in the passenger side, but not a big deal for us.


Bottom line, buy on the condition of the unit. Ours was neglected and needed quite a bit of work to get it squared away. But the price was quite right.

Stuff will need repairing and/or replacing, you are looking at getting a twenty year old coach. The capacity to do a lot of that work yourself will save a bunch of $$$, time, and hassle.

You'll want to be aware of tank sizes, especially if you want to mostly boondock. IIRC, the 170 has smallish tanks.

Though not critical, a '96 or newer will have OBD II. Nice to have for monitoring trans temp and fuel usage along with the diagnostic capability, through a cheap phone app and Bluetooth plugin thingy.

Hope this helps.

Happy hunting.
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Old 08-29-2018, 02:41 PM   #7
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SteveJ, good report on the aisle bath/shower. Your point on the "smallish" tanks on the Roadtrek 170 reminded me that it also has only one battery, as opposed to two on many longer class "b's" like the 190. To me, that is significant.

I chuckled when you mentioned reversing the powerful fantastic fan to "billow out" the shower curtain for more room. Cleaver idea. Someone posted a youtube video showing how that worked.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:51 PM   #8
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SteveJ, good report on the aisle bath/shower. Your point on the "smallish" tanks on the Roadtrek 170 reminded me that it also has only one battery, as opposed to two on many longer class "b's" like the 190. To me, that is significant.

I chuckled when you mentioned reversing the powerful fantastic fan to "billow out" the shower curtain for more room. Cleaver idea. Someone posted a youtube video showing how that worked.
Thanks. There does seem to be a utube video for just about anything. I think I read about doing that either on this forum or the Yahoo mailing list.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:40 AM   #9
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They can be had. I saw this today. Roadtrek for $7000

https://columbus.craigslist.org/rvs/...683154675.html
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:26 AM   #10
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Though not critical, a '96 or newer will have OBD II. Nice to have for monitoring trans temp and fuel usage along with the diagnostic capability, through a cheap phone app and Bluetooth plugin thingy.
How do you extract transmission temperature data from your OBD II port?
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