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Old 04-27-2019, 05:07 PM   #1
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Ok, newbie here with sorta urgent question. Been watching Roadtrek 170 Populars for couple of years. Ready to get one. Just barely missed out last fall on 2004 for $24000. Now hard to find 2004 under $30k. (My upper limit, altho hoping for 2004+ due to Chevy base & age). So last night found
out-of-state a 2006 for $24k. Catch? : 185,000mi. But Vin looks ok, clear.
Says everything else ok. Looking for an inspector out there before I go
flying out. But these go so fast it may be gone before I post this.

So, questions: Is mileage a total dealbreaker? Is lower price a red flag beyond
the mileage?
Have not gotten beyond email yet with owner, but want any advice on what
you might know that I should ask or look for that I may be naive about.
Is it worth pursuing?

Am hoping to take aging husband on some last trip(s), eventually fulltime
in it. So major purchase for me. Thanks for any input!
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailtrotter View Post
Ok, newbie here with sorta urgent question. Been watching Roadtrek 170 Populars for couple of years. Ready to get one. Just barely missed out last fall on 2004 for $24000. Now hard to find 2004 under $30k. (My upper limit, altho hoping for 2004+ due to Chevy base & age). So last night found
out-of-state a 2006 for $24k. Catch? : 185,000mi. But Vin looks ok, clear.
Says everything else ok. Looking for an inspector out there before I go
flying out. But these go so fast it may be gone before I post this.

So, questions: Is mileage a total dealbreaker? Is lower price a red flag beyond
the mileage?
Have not gotten beyond email yet with owner, but want any advice on what
you might know that I should ask or look for that I may be naive about.
Is it worth pursuing?

Am hoping to take aging husband on some last trip(s), eventually fulltime
in it. So major purchase for me. Thanks for any input!

Trailtrotter, welcome to the forum!


I own a newer and different Chevy-based model RV so I can't speak to the durability of engine/transmission in the Roadtrek 170 you're shopping. However, that many miles would be more than I'd want to see, unless the price were much cheaper to account for the additional wear & tear. Just my personal opinion.

Hopefully, someone will be along who is familiar with this year and model to advise you further. Then, if they like the overall reliability chances, you could always offer the owner something substantially lower and see if they accept or counter with a lower price. At the point you come to a tentative agreement on price, you could then have an inspector/mechanic look it over, and check any service records to make sure there are no nasty surprises.

The higher mileage may be no more detrimental than a very low mileage unit that has sat unused for years at a time. However, unless the unit has been meticulously maintained, it will likely need suspension/steering parts, brakes, new tires. Even if all those potential issues have been addressed, the engine, transmission, and a/c all have experienced significant wear and are costly to fix or replace.

An inspection should include a full testing of all rv components, all appliances and the engine and coach batteries. I got in a hurry when purchasing and did not insist on a battery, furnace, water heater (on propane) or a dump test because everything else had checked out fine and we needed to begin a 4 hr. drive home. Well, 3 out of those 4 were problems. We had to replace the coach batteries, the macerator dump pump, and still have problems getting the water heater to light on propane. We also noticed a broken cover on the 30amp service, but didn't realize it was a symptom of a hidden wiring problem. Most likely, someone drove off while plugged in and did not properly re-connect the neutral wire in the rv receptacle. A low current problem killed our a/c ($1000 do-it-yourself replacement) and another $100 for a new 30amp receptacle, and a new 30amp cord (again, I did the repairs). And all this was on a 5-yr. old unit with only 25,000 miles. But we lucky not to have had an electrical fire.

So no one thing is a deal-breaker, but a cheaper price gives you some cushion for repairs (and there will always be something).

Good luck.
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:42 PM   #3
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We routinely hear of post 2004 Chevy 6.0 engine Roadtreks at 150-200K miles and with good care could go longer than that on the the original engine. Transmissions are more variable but 150K is probably a decent guess for life before rebuild. The good is that the engines and transmission are not horribly expensive to rebuild. Of course the entire rest of the van will have a lot of wear on it also.



Prices have gone a bit crazy, I think. We could have bought a not great, not horrible 2005 190 with 25K on it for $32K in 2008.


You might seriously want to consider going a few years newer and $10K higher in price if it is at all possible, as you might find a "seam" in the market where the vans are too new to be considered older and old to be considered newer. Sometimes older and new both get the prices bid up, leaving a better value area in the middle.


A lot of how many miles and/or wear and tear is acceptable would depend on how many miles a year you plan on driving it and how long you plan on keeping it. If you are going to do near home camping and not a lot of days per year, you might only put 5K or less miles a year on it, so 10 years would only be 50K miles put on. That doesn't look too bad on van with 150K on it, but if you are going to do 30K miles a year you won't get many years out of the remaining miles without a bunch of investment in upkeep and repair if you start at 150K, I think.


Age and mileage count, but I think most would agree that condition mostly trumps both to a large degree. A good indicator of condition IMO is if has been garage stored for all or most of it's life. Those vans are normally in much better condition than outdoor stored ones in nearly every way. It is a very good question to ask, especially if you are dealing a long distance away.
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Old 04-28-2019, 01:57 AM   #4
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You will need to inquire as to which engine/transmission was used on the 170P in '2006 since it is built on the 2500 Express chassis. I mention this because on more recent models at least, the 2500 chassis uses a smaller 4.8L v-8 rather than the 6.0L v-8 on my 3500 chassis. Not sure if those share the same transmission or reputation for reliability that seems to follow models with the 6.0L.
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Old 04-28-2019, 02:01 AM   #5
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I agree with Booster, but would add that rust is a big killer. By that I mean that a worn out engine, transmission, suspension can be replaced (at some cost), but rust damage is very difficult, especially with all the Roadtrek added skirts. And that applies to low mileage vehicles as well as older ones.
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Old 04-28-2019, 06:34 PM   #6
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Thanks to all in this thread! Helps to bounce it off some experienced people & hear
your take. So, this unit has been living in 2 dry climate states, so says no rust.
Owner has been forthright with details I asked about. Is 6.0 v8. But has not been
garaged & he is like 4th owner. Has couple of little signs of work needed. It's price is
well below what I've seen for this year model. And he's open to an inspection. So "real" person selling it. But mileage, lack of history w/multiple owners, not garaged, few little
quirks, makes me leery to go further. May get inspection done before final decision. Will ponder today as cannot line an inspection up out there before tomorrow.
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:05 PM   #7
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Trailtrotter - I'd suggest test driving a Roadtrek 190 or Pleasure-Way Lexor if you haven't already. They'd be about 20" or so longer I guess but if the long term plan is full-timing then things like an extra closet, extra house battery and almost double the fresh water capacity (170 vs 190) might all be beneficial.

There's probably more of the the longer units available for sale also.

It's just an idea that might be worth exploring to see if it fits in with your long term plans.
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:06 PM   #8
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Yes, there are more 190s out there. I was concerned with maneuverability & parking, more
than space. But maybe I should check those 2 out to see if less difference in handling
than I think.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailtrotter View Post
Yes, there are more 190s out there. I was concerned with maneuverability & parking, more than space. But maybe I should check those 2 out to see if less difference in handling than I think.
Yes, you are right to be concerned. I have a 190 and it's a beast in a parking lot. The turning radius is huge, and right hand turns require care if there's a curb. I usually try to find a double parking space if possible; otherwise it sticks out well beyond a regular single space. Some places I can back in and let the rear overhang a curb. Backing in is actually easier than backing out into traffic.

Still, like anything new, you get used to it, and over time it will shrink, both in driving and in living. Since you said you're thinking about full-timing, I suspect the added living space will be very welcome in the long run. I like the full wet bath in mine versus a "toilet-in-a-closet."

I did figure out you can put the spare tire under the rear seat (if it has the power folding seat option) and eliminate the spare tire mount. You give up some storage, but that's 12-15" of overall length eliminated.

I'll vote for the 190.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:43 PM   #10
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I was seriously considering an RT 170 a few years ago. It had the 4.8 engine with 6 speed trans. It was under powered in my opinion, even unloaded and didn't have a generator.
Also, when I tried the beds it was too short for me. (I'm just 6')
I bought an RT 210, with the 6 liter, and even though it has the 4 speed auto, I feel it has much better power, even loaded. And, the beds are the largest of all in the RTs made on the Chevy chassis.
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