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Old 07-07-2016, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default Convert a Roadtrek Popular into a Versatile?

I have 2 small kids whom I'd like to travel with, sitting up front near my wife and me. The Roadtrek 170V and 190V models would be suitable as they offer 2 seats directly behind the 2 front captains' seats. However, I notice in the classified ads that the Popular models are for sale more frequently than the Versatile models.

If I were to purchase a 170P, for example, would it possible to take out the storage cabinet behind the driver's seat and install an additional seat in its place, in effect transforming a 170P into a 170V?

How much work would be involved in performing this type of surgery on a Roadtrek?
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:16 PM   #2
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I have 2 small kids whom I'd like to travel with, sitting up front near my wife and me. The Roadtrek 170V and 190V models would be suitable as they offer 2 seats directly behind the 2 front captains' seats. However, I notice in the classified ads that the Popular models are for sale more frequently than the Versatile models.

If I were to purchase a 170P, for example, would it possible to take out the storage cabinet behind the driver's seat and install an additional seat in its place, in effect transforming a 170P into a 170V?

How much work would be involved in performing this type of surgery on a Roadtrek?
At least on the 190, they change the bed to crosswise sleeping to get more space in the front, so the kitchen is in a different place and moved to the rear. Not sure on the 170 models. We see a lot of versatiles for sale, not as many as Populars, but should not be all that hard to find. Most of the folks we know wanted Populars, and found them to be more expensive to buy.
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:44 PM   #3
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At least on the 190, they change the bed to crosswise sleeping to get more space in the front, so the kitchen is in a different place and moved to the rear. Not sure on the 170 models.
I think it's the same on the 170. In the Popular vehicles, they have to move the galley to the fore in order to accommodate the lengthwise bed. This means that the cooktop is located more forward than where the Versatile cooktop would be, and that removing the wardrobe closet would not recover enough space; one would have to replace the cabinet that the cooktop rests upon with a smaller cabinet as well.

Assuming I'm willing to sacrifice so much cabinet space and that my carpentry skills are up to scratch (or that I can hire a good cabinetmaker), would this be feasible?

Alternatively, can I replace the rear passenger seat with a small bench seat to fit 2 kids, even if it blocks the aisle?


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We see a lot of versatiles for sale, not as many as Populars, but should not be all that hard to find. Most of the folks we know wanted Populars, and found them to be more expensive to buy.
It may be regional. I don't see as many Versatiles in my neck of the woods.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:23 PM   #4
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For the 190P,
I don't think you can hack away the kitchen to install a chair.
You have a sink in the way.


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Old 07-07-2016, 10:31 PM   #5
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Looks doable on 170p
It is only a closet.


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Old 07-07-2016, 10:39 PM   #6
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this comes up from time to time ( kids)- think about a small tent- We have also seen a "pallet" type arrangement across the front seats to provide a bed for 1 kid- another could go on a mat on the floor.

the sideways bed of the Versatile is no good if you are tall

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Old 07-07-2016, 11:16 PM   #7
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this comes up from time to time ( kids)- think about a small tent- We have also seen a "pallet" type arrangement across the front seats to provide a bed for 1 kid- another could go on a mat on the floor.
Sleeping in a Roadtrek is not really an issue, as we don't really plan to do much camping, and as you've suggested, in a pinch, one of us can sleep on the floor. I'm more interested in providing a seat for them in the front so that we can all share the experience of traveling together, rather than relegating them to the dinette seats in the back.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:18 PM   #8
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Looks doable on 170p
It is only a closet.
Yes, thanks. I just wonder if anyone's done it.

Also, the image you've posted appears to be from a fairly recent layout of the Roadtrek 170 built on the Chevy Express Van. Due to budget constraints , I'm actually looking at pre-2000 Roadtreks, so the position of the kitchen may be a little different in those vans.
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:53 AM   #9
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Sleeping in a Roadtrek is not really an issue, as we don't really plan to do much camping....
I you are day-tripping or moteling I wonder if another vehicle would be a better choice then- a conversion or mini van.

a 190 P or V is going to be 8000 pounds of stuff and if you don;t need the genny, head, galley and other features/systems something else might be a better use of your money- for old RV money you could get a newer mini van with tv's for the kids, lots of airbags and other safety features and no maintenance concerns. and double the mpg.

just a thought- you'll best determine what your use will be



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Old 07-08-2016, 02:09 AM   #10
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a 190 P or V is going to be 8000 pounds of stuff and if you don;t need the genny, head, galley and other features/systems something else might be a better use of your money- for old RV money you could get a newer mini van with tv's for the kids, lots of airbags and other safety features and no maintenance concerns.
Yes, a minivan might be a workable solution, but we were counting on using the head, galley and shower. We don't like using the loo at public restrooms and our kids are very active so we need the space to clean up and change. All in all, I think we can use the extra room and facilities of an RV or a camper van.
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:25 AM   #11
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Making enough room to install a seat is not likely the hard part. Installing a seat and safety belt that will protect your children and not tear loose in an accident is the hard part.

It may be cheaper to travel to buy a Versatile than to invest the time and money in modifications. You would even be able to take your first road trip on the way home.
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:52 AM   #12
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Making enough room to install a seat is not likely the hard part. Installing a seat and safety belt that will protect your children and not tear loose in an accident is the hard part.

It may be cheaper to travel to buy a Versatile than to invest the time and money in modifications. You would even be able to take your first road trip on the way home.
Yes, given the dearth of people who've actually done this conversion I'm coming to that conclusion as well: It may not be worth the effort.

As for safety belts, so far as I know, they just require anchoring and bolting down through the floor to the van chassis. Van conversions usually do this to install seats that come with seat belts.

Now to find a Versatile that's affordable enough and near enough to me...
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:06 PM   #13
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Default 3rd and 4th seat

Is there a pattern for the bench/storage part if closet is removed
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:05 AM   #14
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Since I own a 2007 170 Poplular, I think I can comment on this topic. I doubt there would be enough room for another seat just by removing the wardrobe behind the driver's seat. Since the fridge sits right behind the wardrobe, there would be no way to make more room without relocating the fridge. Seems like a lot of work just to gain an extra seat.
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