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Old 01-18-2018, 10:51 PM   #1
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Default Aktiv vs. custom

First time buyer here, trying to decide between buying an Aktiv vs. a custom build that would be essentially the same except with diesel engine and heat, induction stove, no propane system. Thoughts?
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Old 01-19-2018, 02:58 AM   #2
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I have asked a few conversion shops about doing the same also. The reason I like the Aktiv is because of the two seats behind the driver with the raised floor. What I've been told is that they cannot offer the seating arrangement that Hymer does because they don't have the resources to certify the seating in that configuration. I became sidetracked with business stuff so I haven't researched further.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:37 AM   #3
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You can come close to your desired configuration with Safari Condo. They offer their Flex on the Sprinter model.
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Old 01-19-2018, 01:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rothskeller View Post
First time buyer here, trying to decide between buying an Aktiv vs. a custom build that would be essentially the same except with diesel engine and heat, induction stove, no propane system. Thoughts?

What do you like in the Aktiv that you want to duplicate in a custom?


What do you NOT like in the Aktiv that you DO NOT want to duplicate in a custom?
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Old 01-19-2018, 03:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ View Post
What do you like in the Aktiv that you want to duplicate in a custom?


What do you NOT like in the Aktiv that you DO NOT want to duplicate in a custom?
Good questions.
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Old 01-20-2018, 01:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ View Post
What do you like in the Aktiv that you want to duplicate in a custom?


What do you NOT like in the Aktiv that you DO NOT want to duplicate in a custom?
BBQ,

Just wondering - have you seen an Aktiv first hand yet?

I am compiling a short list of "B"s to consider and I had the Aktiv quite high on my list based on brochures - and especially from watching the "Russo's" youtube videos.

On Thursday however we had the chance at the Toronto RV show to go into an Aktiv 2.0 as well as a couple of other makes on the same Promaster
chassis (RT Zion and PW Lexor)

Of the three, the Aktiv seemed really claustrophobic inside, especially with its extremely narrow aisle that requires even small folk like us to walk sideways!

My "Better half" was dead set against it - and I more or less reluctantly had to agree - as much as I liked the concept of front dinette, I think that we will have to drop the Aktiv from our short list.

We were both really taken by the Lexor, and so far that is our preferred choice.

However I still want to look at a Travato 59k as well as a couple of the Roadtreks, Adventurous, 190, and 210. and also the Pleasureway Plateau FL.

With our driveway limitations we cannot go above about 23 ft - but anyway my feeling is that the more you go above that length, although the extra space may be nice, you are starting to reduce parking and manoeuvering convenience.

Brian
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Old 01-20-2018, 02:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
BBQ,

Just wondering - have you seen an Aktiv first hand yet?

...

Yes I saw the Aktiv at an RV show last year,
and spent about half an hour scrutinizing every inch inside.

Your observations are spot on.



ps. unless you like to deal with the shxt every other day,
I would stay away from the cassette toilets. The tank is only 5 gallon. Not sure about the net useable volume. All I know is, 2 people can fill it up real quick. Then you have to find a way to get rid of the stuff or ...
Some people like it. Each to their own. YMMV.
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Old 01-20-2018, 02:20 PM   #8
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.

I would stay away from the Sprinters.

This is the last model year for the current Sprinter.
The new one is already announced,
and big changes are promised (ie better this better that)
If you buy the Sprinter, it will become obsolete immediately.



ps. Personal opinion: I don't like the diesel. The repair is expensive. Plus, it is difficult to find someone to service it when you are outside of the major centers. (note: not all the MB dealers are qualified to service the Sprinter.) When they work, they work great. When they don't work... big headache. Google "limp mode" for detail.

YMMV
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Old 01-20-2018, 02:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ View Post
Yes I saw it at an RV show last year,
and spent about half an hour scrutinizing every inch inside.

Your observations are spot on.



ps. unless you like to deal with the shxt every other day,
I would stay away from the cassette toilets. The tank is only 5 gallon. Not sure about the net useable volume. All I know is, 2 people can fill it up real quick. Then you have to find a way to get rid of the stuff or ...
Some people like it. Each to their own. YMMV.
The cassette toilet is a tough decision for me - I can't decide if it is a pro or a con on our situation!

In 20 years of trailer travel I have always established a house rule that we only "pee" in the trailer toilet - I don't want (EVER) to deal with black tank problems!

So I think that especially since it is just the two of us, the cassette would last us at least a few days without problem. I don't think we ever are likely t be doing a lot of boondocking.

The cassete wold have the advantage that if we used the trailer just on day trips we could dump the cassette when we got home.

On balance though i think I would prefer the standard black tank - and also I would rather not have the added complication and possible failure of a macerator if i could - I'd be ok as long as it also had an alternate 3" gravity dump connection as I think might be an option.

Brian
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Old 01-20-2018, 02:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ View Post
.

I would stay away from the Sprinters.

This is the last model year for the current Sprinter.
The new one is already announced,
and big changes are promised (ie better this better that)
If you buy the Sprinter, it will become obsolete immediately.



ps. Personal opinion: I don't like the diesel. The repair is expensive. Plus, it is difficult to find someone to service it when you are outside of the major centers. (note: not all the MB dealers are qualified to service the Sprinter.) When they work, they work great. When they don't work... big headache. Google "limp mode" for detail.

YMMV
I don't entirely rule out the diesel models but tend to agree. As well, I'm sure MB dealer network is no where near that of the big three in case of repairs - maybe more costly too?

Our 3/4 ton truck we use with the trailer is V8 diesel. We bought it new and it is now ten years old - had been very reliable, but it did go into "limp mode" once when towing our trailer at 70+ MPH on the interstate in the fast lane in heavy traffic - scary!

Pretty sure we had picked up a load of stale fuel at a small gas station in the mountains - didn't have much choice as we were low of fuel. Poor planning on my part.

As well, getting diesel fuel can still be a bt of a challenge at times finding a station that has it - and that I can get our truck and trailer to the right pump!


On the plus side - it sure drags that trailer up the mountains in the Western US
like a champ! (I sort of like the diesel sound too - maybe it is the 34 years I spent working for the railway!)

Brian.
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