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Old 09-15-2014, 02:23 AM   #1
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Default Black88mx6 Report from Hearshey RV Show

First off, best show I have been at to see class B's. About 18 to 20 units total to be seen. Let me get down some of my thoughts.

I was mostly interested in Sprinter models that seat 4 upfront, and came away from the show with some interesting observations on this. To me there were only three of the MFG that had 2nd row captain chairs that passed my test of having a forward facing seat with head rests tall enough for an adult. These were RoadTrek, AirStream and the ERA 70X on the Sprinter chassis. The LTV units forward facing seats were too short in an otherwise nice looking coach.

On 4cyl engines. Discussed this with RoadTrek and LTV. RoadTrek said that they may be possible in the future and seems like something they would be testing. LTV on the other had done some extensive testing with the new 2014 4cyl and found that it could not sustain 70mph on hills with their Sprinter chassis configurations. They also said that towing would be a problem, and that the 4cyl had additional idle vibration. I will need to look up more details on the differences in the 4/6 for towing.

Some personal observations on the LTV units and 4cyl engines. The quality and craftsmanship of these units are outstanding; but add a lot of weight to the coach. I would guess that they are 1500lbs more than similar coaches from say RoadTrek or ERA. This extra weight may account for poorer overall performance of the 4cyl as they tested it.

I did get to see and go over the RoadTrek prototype of the TS series coach, and a new RS with the XL option. Some notes from the mfg on the TS; but didn't add up for me.

The full E-Trek option is included with the TS; The order sheet options don't support this, as it is listed as a separate item. I do believe that "parts" of the E-Trek options are included with the TS, like the induction stove and such. I will need to get more info on this.

Coach-Connect is included with the TS; again the order sheet does not support this. It is an option I would not want.

The TS was a prototype, and it was easy to tell with the fit/finish of the door entry and headliner. On the other hand, what was shown; including the direction in materials that RoadTrek is taking the TS was outstanding.

Headroom has increased from the RS series due to the way RT is doing the TS LED lighting. It may only be an inch or so, but it is noticeable for me being 6'2 6'3 w/hat.

The cabinets both inside and out are sleek, strong and light. Metal trimmed, with molded interior plastic liners that remind me of over-head aircraft luggage storage areas. Items that might be damp or leak would not harm this surface in any way. The bathroom doors are also metal trimmed and mulch-hinged. While these doors still needing some finish work (like the bottom racks on the RS units) so that buyers don't poke their ankles with the sharp metal points, I can really see how these new materials are used effectively throughout the coach. Oh, best part; these new materials give a savings of about 800lbs. Nice!

The sink/stove locations have been swapped on the TS. The counter looks to be granite, along with the fold down portions. These are VERY heavy and should be changed (in my opinion) to something lighter like Corian or some other lightweight but high quality material. Why are we carrying "stone" in an RV.

Outside trim of the new TS looks better in person. This new outside trim should be standard on their entire line with the 2015 sprinter chassis. The painted front really looks good, along with all the other body colored items.

Black / Grey leather seats of the TS are good, and seem to be a higher quality feel than those of the new dark grey interior of the RS series that they had and I also like.

My final coach config would be the TS with E-Trek option; no coach connect. The E-Trek option really seems to have matured, and is a real differentiators for RoadTrek. I am sold on this and will also be eliminating propane/generator in whatever unit I purchase.

Pictures to follow.
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Black88mx6 Report from Hearshey RV Show

Good report.

I'd agree with you on the Leisure Travel units. They are beautifully finished and probably heavier because of it.

I don't quite understand why quartz/silestone is not used in RV's. It can be cut to 1/4" thick and is pretty much impervious to stains, scratches, etc. It's used in yachts and even airplanes. Corian can be pretty, but it's easily scratched, and you can't put a hot pot on it.

I'm surprised nobody has talked much about Airstream Interstate. I found them quite disappointing when you can see them side by side with other makes. Considering the price premium, they are just not as nicely finished or contain the equipment you find on Roadtrek or Leisure Travel. If I was that Airstream dealer, I'd have been a little ticked if they put me right next to those guys at the show.
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Black88mx6 Report from Hearshey RV Show

I tried to like the AirStreams, but the technology in them was, well old. Limited, same for LTV. The other major issue with the Interstate, while the bathroom was bigger; it make the isle smaller, and only one moveable door to get into the bathroom made movement inside difficult.

Quartz product could work; we have it in our home now and love it. Not sure how thin it could be; and it is a high end material. If it is used in airplanes, then it would be perfect for these coaches.
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: Black88mx6 Report from Hearshey RV Show

If old technoligies wrapped up in pretty packages is acceptable to you than several B manufacturers are ok choices. i like the way mony of them look and they have quality with old style systems.

However-if you want modern and Onan eliminating technology you really have only one way to go.

Roadtrek and it's e-trek systems and partial e-trek systems right now has the advantage.

and of course the smaller boutique outfits that use similiar like advance rv
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Black88mx6 Report from Hearshey RV Show

RoadTrek TS Pictures #1



















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Old 09-15-2014, 03:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Black88mx6 Report from Hearshey RV Show

Another good report.

Interesting about sustaining speed on grades with the 4 cylinder. We are getting different opinions about that now. I've probably gone through most of the major mountain passes in Colorado in both a 5 cylinder and 6 cylinder Sprinter. The 5 struggled more but not direly. I thought the 4 would be a tad better. There is a lot of enthusiasm more for the 7 speed transmission on the 4. Moot for me now since I am getting the V6.

I noticed too on the breakdown list price sheets of the Roadtreks I looked at this weekend there was no mention of the batteries or the E-trek features in any detail. It is kind of a proprietary trust me deal. I don't know how a customer, at least one seriously into it, would want to accept that.

Do you mean leather or Ultra-leather? Ultra-leather is the most common upholstery finish in Class Bs.

I have Silestone in my kitchen and I love it. There are some new products out there no one has used. I have quartz ordered on my next B. Silestone is a quartz component too. I am not too keen on granite or Corian. I do love the looks of some granites. Never cared for the Corian look.

If you eliminate the generator and the attendant propane tank, propane and accessories I estimate you eliminate at least 500 lbs. That is what I am doing.
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: Black88mx6 Report from Hearshey RV Show

RoadTrek TS Pictures #2







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Old 09-15-2014, 03:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: Black88mx6 Report from Hearshey RV Show

RoadTrek XL Trim







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Old 09-15-2014, 03:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: Black88mx6 Report from Hearshey RV Show

They were selling those flagpoles inside the Giant Center.

I overheard one guy buying one - $596 with the hitch mounted thing. Ouch!

Well Roadtrek is obviously spending a lot of money developing a generator free coach. I guess some people want all that technology.

But how about some more practical things that don't cost a lot to develop? How about silent, ducted air conditioning? I've yet to see a van with it.
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: Black88mx6 Report from Hearshey RV Show

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
Another good report.

Interesting about sustaining speed on grades with the 4 cylinder. We are getting different opinions about that now. I've probably gone through most of the major mountain passes in Colorado in both a 5 cylinder and 6 cylinder Sprinter. The 5 struggled more but not direly. I thought the 4 would be a tad better. There is a lot of enthusiasm more for the 7 speed transmission on the 4. Moot for me now since I am getting the V6.

I noticed too on the breakdown list price sheets of the Roadtreks I looked at this weekend there was no mention of the batteries or the E-trek features in any detail. It is kind of a proprietary trust me deal. I don't know how a customer, at least one seriously into it, would want to accept that.

Do you mean leather or Ultra-leather? Ultra-leather is the most common upholstery finish in Class Bs.

I have Silestone in my kitchen and I love it. There are some new products out there no one has used. I have quartz ordered on my next B. Silestone is a quartz component too. I am not too keen on granite or Corian. I do love the looks of some granites. Never cared for the Corian look.

If you eliminate the generator and the attendant propane tank, propane and accessories I estimate you eliminate at least 500 lbs. That is what I am doing.
I talked to Don at LTV that told me about his experiences with the 4cyl. Millage of 16-18mpg was seen using the 4cyl. These number sound like they were towing something. Don said the mpg numbers were the same as with the 6cyl, which didn't have any problem going 70 up hills. Ability to tow would be important to me, even if I never do it as it would hurt resale on an item like this if I didn't have it.

I am sure I am describing ultra-leather; I was more concerned with colors and feel.

I have a separate brochure for the E-Trek, will need to review it; and determine if it is the same as what is online.

Granite was described to me on the TS, and that laptop shelf was VERY heavy. So much so I was checking out the hinges under it to see how well they would hold up. I was kinda doubtful they would if I put any additional weight on it. I don't think the shelf could be made any thinner, so having quartz would not help the weight any there. There was a drop down shelf on each side; the laptop work space was too high to be useful, it would need to come down several inches.
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