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Old 08-12-2016, 09:01 PM   #1
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Default Newbie .. Choosing - Roadtrek, PleasureWay, Winnebago

Re: Class B Purchase Decision - Roadtrek, Pleasureway, Winnebago

I'm a newbie, a displaced New Yorker losing my NYC rent stabilized apartment to the 12th biggest slumlord in NYC who's made living conditions unihabitable (mice, mold, no repairs, constant demolition of other apartments leaving holes in my walls for more vermin).

I've looked around at other places on the east coast where I might consider living and nothing intrigues me, especially moving into another apartment.

As a kid, i dreamed of living in different places in the United States .. (different every week) .. meeting new people. I rented a car for three months in California and drove all around the West, stopping in an occasional motel, sleeping in the car when it wasn't 95 degrees at night. I had a VW Vanagon for a year that I bought while on vacation in Whitefish Montana that I loved. Unfortunately the economy the next year ran down the toilet and I was jobless.

I've been watching the videos on youtube about living in an RV. I've narrowed it down to a class B. Here's the dilemma .... I've found three (this year's model) that are suitable. I also love the old explorer design with the wide rear.

Maybe some of you can lend me your thoughts are these three vans I'm comparing (all American platforms as I've owned VW's all my life and know what a nightmare it is to get parts .. even if you are near a major city .. and I know the costs ... )

Here's What I'm looking at: (three season living)

- Pleasureway Lexor TS - what I like about it is the air-i-ness. I like the unobstructed views on the passenger's side. Well made (might be a little short on storage as compared to the others). I like being able to sit in the back and it's like an enclosed bubble sitting in nature (with all the shades up) ... Very open.

- Roadtrek Zion - nice looking. Seems Roadtrek and Pleasureway get good reviews. Don't like not being able to turn around and seeing cars coming up on the passenger side. Like the color schemes. Don't know if it's comparable to the Pleasureway. All three have features I'd love if were combined.

-Winnebago Trivato - Loaded with features. More affordable. Not as elegant. I've recently read reviews of people who praise their Winnebago and HATE their Winnebago. A lot of reviews about all the problems even buying new (I'm a far ways away from any dealerships) ... Again, it's a though choice. The three are all built on the Dodge Ram Chassis which has an open view of the road (like my big boxy VW Vanagon did) .. no long engine nose sticking out.

It's an expensive decision, I don't want to make the wrong one at these prices. I would like to get additional Solar as I would prefer to boondock as much as I can and show up at an RV campground as a last resort, or if I find a town I'd like to spend some time in. Would appreciate your opinions.
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:40 PM   #2
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I'd recommend you join Facebook and several of the Groups to chat with current owners.

The Travato Owners & Wannabees group is very active for the Winnebago's. There are Pleasureway & Roadtrek groups too. I don't recommend Roadtrekking group, as it's a shill site run by the company. There is also my ClassBCamperVans group which is about all the brands, including all the old ones.

As for the Travato, I can highly recommend it. Check out my blog and you can see all the mods and projects I've done to tinker with mine. My quality experience has been excellent so far - no warranty issues at all. As a value proposition, if you are shopping for new, none of the others can beat it on price, regardless of features.

Good luck in what you decide!
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:54 PM   #3
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Thank you ... I'm going to check them out now ... including your blog.

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Old 08-12-2016, 10:04 PM   #4
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> unobstructed views on the passenger's side.


Have you tried sitting in the driver's seat and look?

Other than big trucks and buses,
you don't see much.


The airy view is a nice feeling though.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:19 PM   #5
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.

> unobstructed views on the passenger's side.


Have you tried sitting in the driver's seat and look?

Other than big trucks and buses,
you don't see much.


The airy view is a nice feeling though.
I gotta agree. The turn around and look leaves some pretty big blind spots for motorcycles, small cars, lane straddlers, etc. A properly set, and used passenger side mirror gives a much better view of everything, and you still have the forward look in you peripheral vision, so much less time of no forward look.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:26 PM   #6
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That is one thing I really like about my K. You can see down both sides of the van thru the interior windows.

On all the Promasters, you can see thru the back windows in your interior rear view mirror. It's just a sliver of view on most of them though. But generally, you can see if there is a small car directly behind you that you can't see in your side view mirrors.

You'd have to move up to a Sprinter based product to get the side view cameras, but that's not what you are shopping for.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:40 PM   #7
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I think any of your 3 choices are reasonable but you need to actually get in them to see how the layouts will work for you. The best source for info, both good and bad experiences, from actual Zion owners is the Roadtrek Owners Group on Facebook, it is independent of the company and run by owners.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:46 PM   #8
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It is very easy to monitor blind spot traffic coming up on your left with convex mirrors that are practically in your field of view. On the right with the mirror farther away and a need for turning your head to view it, it is more critical to me. Having a row of windows on the right side I often pick up through my peripheral vision a car coming up on my right side before I focus on the mirror. It's faster and more comfortably safer to me.

Motorcycles are definitely vexing. I think it is a combination of things. One, we are not tuned to recognize them as readily as a car. Two, they seem to move and accelerate at a different speed or pace than a car making them a little more difficult to pick up. Third, some just don't obey lane rules you come to expect with cars.

Also I like being able to use a windshield rear view mirror and having back windows so I can see distant approaching traffic and anticipate accordingly.
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:51 PM   #9
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The lower blind spot mirror on the 08 Sprinter we have does a good job of covering the big blind spot and adjusting the top mirror to the right spot gives a good indication when you are past a car you are passing and can pull back over...

When we are carrying bikes the rear windows are partially blocked but there is some visibility of traffic to the rear...
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Old 08-13-2016, 02:14 AM   #10
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Driven big trucks, busses and vans for years- I use the side mirrors and try to keep an awareness of what is behind, in which lane and closing rate.
So I wouldn;t give that alot of weight- as a matter of fact on most recent trip I have reflectix covers over the rear windows on my Lexor TD to control heat.


I DO prefer the cabinetry and more "open" feel of most PW's vs most RT's- that is due to most RT's have 3rd or 4th seat. so the cabinets gotta go floor to ceiling.
I also find that I trip on the floor transitions on drop floor models

as you kick tires, you'll figure out what works for you and which compromises you are willing to make.

a big one for me was getting a chev chassis- i already have the manuals, oil filters and other stuff needed for my pick up and and am generally familiar with teh layout of the GM if I have to do some fixin'.
I also like the chev power and mpg better than the ford V10.

but that's me- owners who use a dealer or shop for everything may not care as much.

Our PW is a 2006 and it is great, in 2 years almost of ownership we have done a dozen short trips as well a a 4 week last year and a 3 week this year.
We made a good choice- for us.

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Old 08-13-2016, 02:23 AM   #11
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I have a 2015 Travato 59G and am very satisfied. The Dodge Ram 3500 with the gas engine is very powerful and handles like a minivan. I get between 15 and 16 mpg which is important if you are going to be moving every day or so. It will also go 80 mph all day long.
The interior is pretty standard as far as the quality of materials etc. The big difference is service. Winnebago is very supportive if it's dealers and provides wiring, plumbing, etc. diagrams to facilitate repairs. One dealer told me that this is not the case with some dealers and repairs can be expensive and time consuming.
I just did about 8k miles and 10 states and am ready to head out again.
The only ad-on I am considering is a 2000W power inverter so I can have power without running the generator.
Good Luck.
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Old 08-13-2016, 07:42 PM   #12
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Another Travato G owner here.
Mine has been exceptional. The double mirror arrangement makes the entire sides of the van and lanes visible when properly adjusted. I have yet to fill up all the storage spaces.. Floorplans, of course are highly subjective, but I think you're definitely looking at the right chassis.
I don't have anything bad to say about the RT or PW, but I feel you get a LOT more bang for your buck with the Winnebago. Personally, I would still be concerned about the engineering if you were interested in RT's high tec versions. The forums are still littered with complaints of non functioning units. For the amount of money you are prepared to spend, it would definitely be worth your time to experience all of the candidates first hand..

I'd be curious to read the review you mentioned of someone who "HATE(s) their Winnebago" (IF it was a Travato).
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Old 10-23-2016, 11:56 AM   #13
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Two months since the last posting on this thread, so I'm hoping to "revive" it. Any further comparisons between the new Zion and the new Lexor TS? When comparably equipped (solar, lithium ion, etc) the PW seems to cost a bit more but also seems a bit more luxurious. I've seen reports that the RT technology hasn't gotten all the bugs out of it yet, but I haven't heard similar critiques of PW. Anxious to hear more news from those who have compared the two or (even better) who have bought one or the other after comparo tests. BTW, I sure wish there was the equivalent of a Car & Driver magazine to do such tests on Class B's. [I realize the market is too small for a print mag, but maybe an online version?]
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:54 PM   #14
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Two months since the last posting on this thread, so I'm hoping to "revive" it. Any further comparisons between the new Zion and the new Lexor TS? When comparably equipped (solar, lithium ion, etc) the PW seems to cost a bit more but also seems a bit more luxurious. I've seen reports that the RT technology hasn't gotten all the bugs out of it yet, but I haven't heard similar critiques of PW. Anxious to hear more news from those who have compared the two or (even better) who have bought one or the other after comparo tests. BTW, I sure wish there was the equivalent of a Car & Driver magazine to do such tests on Class B's. [I realize the market is too small for a print mag, but maybe an online version?]
The best place to get info from a lot of Zion owners is the Roadtrek & Hymer Owners Group on Facebook.
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Old 10-23-2016, 02:07 PM   #15
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The best place to get info from a lot of Zion owners is the Roadtrek & Hymer Owners Group on Facebook.
Yes, I've been there, and frankly got spooked by the number of quality complaints by Zion owners.

Then I wondered if this was just a sounding board and if the actual "failure" rate of the high-tech stuff on the Zions was perhaps much lower than I was imagining.

I can't get on the equivalent PW Facebook page, as one must be an owner to be accepted there. So maybe ignorance is why I currently imagine that PW has better quality than RT?
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Old 10-23-2016, 02:39 PM   #16
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Yes, I've been there, and frankly got spooked by the number of quality complaints by Zion owners.

Then I wondered if this was just a sounding board and if the actual "failure" rate of the high-tech stuff on the Zions was perhaps much lower than I was imagining.

I can't get on the equivalent PW Facebook page, as one must be an owner to be accepted there. So maybe ignorance is why I currently imagine that PW has better quality than RT?
Yes, as with any Internet forum or group that allows open discussion of issues you get a very strong bias towards problems and issues since people with problems looking for help or empathy post more often than people who have no major issues, just the way it is.

And while the owners group has a lot of Zion owners, it still represents a small percentage of actual owners.

There are still some issues with the new technology on new vans but not many any more. Roadtrek has also gotten a lot more focus and resources of customer support since the Hymer acquisition. There seem to be less vans delivered these days with problems found at delivery.

PW doesn't have the new technology to the level Roadtrek does and in any case their quality has been consistently better overall than Roadtrek in recent years. With the Hymer ownership the focus on improving quality is there and the fact that management admits that this is taking place is a major step forward. People who have recently taken factory tours have observed that things seem more organized and structured than in the past.

But, in the end, each customer is different in terms of how they decide what to buy. Get all the info you can so the decision is based on actual owner experience vs opinion from non owners.
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Old 10-24-2016, 03:17 AM   #17
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Hi guys,

I'm yet another pre-owner looking at the Promaster-based class Bs. My wife and I went to Hershey and sat in a lot of them, though we weren't sure if we wanted a B, B+, or a C, at the time.

We were most favorably impressed by Lexor with its super-comfortable sofa and open airy feel. The big bathroom with a window was a plus. All the fixtures seemed solid. I noticed that in addition to the changes mentioned in their video, for 2017, they replaced the Girard water heater with the Truma AquaGo. By bringing the battery inside, I'm guessing that the spare tire is no longer standard.

We liked Zion too, but all the build-quality horror stories have turned us off, and it feels more claustrophobic than Lexor. We like the price of the Travato, but have to rule out the G because of the rear bed (too small for us), and the K because it only has 2 seatbelts. If Hymer Aktiv had a longer model that allows N-S sleeping, it could be a contender, but transverse arrangement has disqualified it for now, which is too bad, because I kind of like the cassette toilet. I find Safaricondo XL Flex interesting, but I don't think I want to do a factory-direct purchase.

Hey NorthPotomac, I live in Gaithersburg, so we are neighbors

Cheers,

Manx
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Old 10-24-2016, 03:50 AM   #18
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Hi guys,

I'm yet another pre-owner looking at the Promaster-based class Bs. My wife and I went to Hershey and sat in a lot of them, though we weren't sure if we wanted a B, B+, or a C, at the time.

We were most favorably impressed by Lexor with its super-comfortable sofa and open airy feel. The big bathroom with a window was a plus. All the fixtures seemed solid. I noticed that in addition to the changes mentioned in their video, for 2017, they replaced the Girard water heater with the Truma AquaGo. By bringing the battery inside, I'm guessing that the spare tire is no longer standard.

We liked Zion too, but all the build-quality horror stories have turned us off, and it feels more claustrophobic than Lexor. We like the price of the Travato, but have to rule out the G because of the rear bed (too small for us), and the K because it only has 2 seatbelts. If Hymer Aktiv had a longer model that allows N-S sleeping, it could be a contender, but transverse arrangement has disqualified it for now, which is too bad, because I kind of like the cassette toilet. I find Safaricondo XL Flex interesting, but I don't think I want to do a factory-direct purchase.

Hey NorthPotomac, I live in Gaithersburg, so we are neighbors

Cheers,

Manx
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You may not want to wait for it but there is a Hymer Aktiv 2.0 coming on the longer Promaster that may well have N-S sleeping...
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:15 PM   #19
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You may not want to wait for it but there is a Hymer Aktiv 2.0 coming on the longer Promaster that may well have N-S sleeping...
I've been following that news/rumor with interest. I just hope they don't over-zionize it.
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