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Old 06-05-2018, 03:03 AM   #21
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That article from 2013 is full of errors and implies that Mercedes has been building Sprinters in USA since 2007. WTF?

Generally the "Chicken Tax" applies to trucks/vans intended for commercial cargo. Vans built with multiple passenger seats are exempt from the tax. That is how Winnebago, Airstream, likely Roadtrek and maybe Pleasure-Way get around the tax. I was told by Mercedes USA executive many years ago that Sprinters for Airstream come into USA fully assembled via Baltimore harbor and are then trucked directly to Airstream in Ohio. Mercedes has a large vehicle preparation/receiving facility in Baltimore Harbor. If you look at a Google Earth image of the Baltimore Harbor auto storage yards you can actually see fully assembled Sprinters without windows and white window opening wrap ready for onward shipping.

Avoiding the Chicken Tax on vans is all about passenger seating beyond the front cab.

- - Mike
2012 Sprinter 3500 Extended converted B-Van by Airstream
In any case, do you agree that the Canadian Class B manufacturers have to purchase US Sprinters and bring them into Canada and do the upfit and then return them to the US if they are selling the finished Class B into the US?

For the Canadian market they simply use Sprinters purchased in Canada.
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:36 AM   #22
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Default If you're planning on buying a new RV from a Canadian company..do it quickly... WHY?

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In any case, do you agree that the Canadian Class B manufacturers have to purchase US Sprinters and bring them into Canada and do the upfit and then return them to the US if they are selling the finished Class B into the US?



For the Canadian market they simply use Sprinters purchased in Canada.

Not sure. Every Sprinter made is built for a specific market as designated by VIN. USA and Canadian Sprinters are similar in emissions and safety, but slightly different. Things like Speedometer in KM/h vs. MPH. Canadian Sprinters could be trans shipped through US port like Baltimore and then trucked to Canadian builder like Roadtrek. Conversely US Sprinters could be trans shipped through a Canadian port and then on to Canadian builder to eventually sold in USA. It's all controlled by the VIN.

I mispoke earlier about seeing completed RV bound Sprinters in Baltimore port via Google Earth. The resolution of GE is not quite good enough. Put you can clearly see them using Google map with browser. Attached photos are screen grabs from my iPad.

The address of the Mercedes-Benz VPC Baltimore is:
829 Childs St, Baltimore, MD 21226





- - Mike
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:46 AM   #23
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Listen, if you think it's efficient for Roadtrek, a Canadian company and upfittter for their products to have a tiny percentage of them sold in the USA..to be disassembled and reassembled in South Carolina and then shipped back to Canada for a conversion... it doesn't make sense to me...

I completely understand if you are talking about an American upfittter... different story...

Again, I'm going to call and speak with them directly... I'll let you know....

It makes more sense that the cargo van goes directly from Germany to Canada, without any additional charges from Europe... and is converted for the Canadian and North America market... The Erwin Hymer Group sells vans all over North America and Europe... Big company...

They are not a small company like Midwest Auto RV or Advanced RV... those are fine companies... but more like a boutique upfittter...

Winnebago and Airstream are American companies..
McDonald's in not a small company either and sells more hamburger's than anyone else but no where near the best hamburger. When your Roadtrek van was built, Roadtrek was owned by a venture capital holding company that many think was cutting quality of Roadtreks created by the original ownership. Erwin Hymer was not involved then and by all accounts have not shed that interim ownership group's quality issues. Since Hymer took over Winnebago has been eating their lunch in surpassing them in sales despite Hymer dumping the ill-received Sunlights on Camping World. There is nothing to brag about here.

The Class B market is less than 3% of the total RV market. All the Class B van upfitters are small potato boutique operations. That's one of the reasons they are all relatively expensive vs. other RV types. Making sense does not enter into the equation of what's going on.
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:07 AM   #24
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Not sure. Every Sprinter made is built for a specific market as designated by VIN. USA and Canadian Sprinters are similar in emissions and safety, but slightly different. Things like Speedometer in KM/h vs. MPH. Canadian Sprinters could be trans shipped through US port like Baltimore and then trucked to Canadian builder like Roadtrek. Conversely US Sprinters could be trans shipped through a Canadian port and then on to Canadian builder to eventually sold in USA. It's all controlled by the VIN.

I mispoke earlier about seeing completed RV bound Sprinters in Baltimore port via Google Earth. The resolution of GE is not quite good enough. Put you can clearly see them using Google map with browser. Attached photos are screen grabs from my iPad.

The address of the Mercedes-Benz VPC Baltimore is:
829 Childs St, Baltimore, MD 21226





- - Mike
2012 Sprinter 3500 Extended converted B-Van by Airstream
I guess the shipping route to the Canadian Class B manufacturer may be flexible but I have always understood that a Sprinter van destined for the US market but being up fit by a Canadian Class B manufacturer must be purchased from a Mercedes or Freightliner dealer/corporate entity in the USA (it will have a US VIN and meet US standards) and after it is up fit then it will be sent to the RV dealer in the US for sale. A Sprinter to be sold in Canada is purchased from a dealer/ corporate entity in Canada (it will have a Canadian VIN and meet Canadian standards) and stays in Canada during the whole process.
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:25 AM   #25
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I guess the shipping route to the Canadian Class B manufacturer may be flexible but I have always understood that a Sprinter van destined for the US market but being up fit by a Canadian Class B manufacturer must be purchased from a Mercedes or Freightliner dealer/corporate entity in the USA (it will have a US VIN and meet US standards) and after it is up fit then it will be sent to the RV dealer in the US for sale. A Sprinter to be sold in Canada is purchased from a dealer/ corporate entity in Canada (it will have a Canadian VIN and meet Canadian standards) and stays in Canada during the whole process.

Agree 100%. Purchasing deal is one thing and shipping details could be flexible. I would imagine Mercedes USA and Mercedes Canada want credit for Sprinters sold for their respective markets. After all Sales Numbers = Bonuses for executives.


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Old 06-05-2018, 04:26 AM   #26
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.

Wow

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Old 06-05-2018, 04:46 AM   #27
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Not sure. Every Sprinter made is built for a specific market as designated by VIN. USA and Canadian Sprinters are similar in emissions and safety, but slightly different. Things like Speedometer in KM/h vs. MPH. Canadian Sprinters could be trans shipped through US port like Baltimore and then trucked to Canadian builder like Roadtrek. Conversely US Sprinters could be trans shipped through a Canadian port and then on to Canadian builder to eventually sold in USA. It's all controlled by the VIN.

I mispoke earlier about seeing completed RV bound Sprinters in Baltimore port via Google Earth. The resolution of GE is not quite good enough. Put you can clearly see them using Google map with browser. Attached photos are screen grabs from my iPad.

The address of the Mercedes-Benz VPC Baltimore is:
829 Childs St, Baltimore, MD 21226





- - Mike
2012 Sprinter 3500 Extended converted B-Van by Airstream
I wonder if these are Sprinter passenger models not cargo vans. If they enter as passenger vehicles they are not subject to the chicken tax as long as they have windows and rear seats. The windows and seats could then be removed when they are converted into RVs.

Also, cargo vans headed to the Free Trade Zone at Winnebago could come in directly through Baltimore without going through disassembly and reassembly at the South Carolina facility.

Ford uses this method with the Transit Connect but they turn around and convert them into cargo vans by replacing the windows with metal panels and removing the rear seats. Windows and seats are sent to recycling so they are disposable items.
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:25 AM   #28
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Default Hmm... Roadtrek has been in business since 1974.. that's 44 years...

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McDonald's in not a small company either and sells more hamburger's than anyone else but no where near the best hamburger. When your Roadtrek van was built, Roadtrek was owned by a venture capital holding company that many think was cutting quality of Roadtreks created by the original ownership. Erwin Hymer was not involved then and by all accounts have not shed that interim ownership group's quality issues. Since Hymer took over Winnebago has been eating their lunch in surpassing them in sales despite Hymer dumping the ill-received Sunlights on Camping World. There is nothing to brag about here.

The Class B market is less than 3% of the total RV market. All the Class B van upfitters are small potato boutique operations. That's one of the reasons they are all relatively expensive vs. other RV types. Making sense does not enter into the equation of what's going on.
Sure, they've changed their name from Home and Park .. to Roadtrek and they got purchased by a larger company.. EHGNA... but, they still make Class Bs .

Excuse me, but, how are you an authority on their quality control? You really think Winnebago is higher in quality than Roadtrek... I'm not sure I would agree with you... plus.. Roadtrek offers a 6 year warranty... Winnebago certainly does not do that.

There's a price point for everything.. and I would agree that I have not been impressed with the lower line Roadtrek...Carrado, etc. BUT, the E-Trek, CS and RS Adventurous models are as fine as ever... I went recently to an RV show and looked at all of them.

Finally, you know.. years ago... someone told Ray Kroc.. "You sure managed to make a lot of money in the hamburger business." Ray's reply was priceless.... he said...

"I'm NOT in the hamburger business I'm in the real estate business. "

My point is this... He was VERY SUCCESSFUL.

I hope for your sake that Advanced RV survives for another 20 to 30 years..?.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:16 PM   #29
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.

Some people buy an RV because of the warranty.

Some points to consider:

1. The warranty is not free; it is built into the higher purchase price. You can pay now, or pay as needed.
2. if the product is good, you will never have to make a warranty claim
3. bad products usually fail within the first 12 months (or on the 13th-month )
4. most of the people buy far away from their home, making warranty service inconvenient.
5. most of the dealers give priority to their customers. If you did not buy from them, your warranty is worthless
6. for most of the small repairs, it is cheaper to DIY than to drive that 2 hrs to the dealer
7. some of the appliances have a longer warranty than 12 months. You can call the manufacturer directly for service
8. you will need a longer warranty for proprietary technologies. eg. Roadtrek's ecotrek system or the CoachConnect. Because nobody can repair them except Roadtrek themselves.

Just some food for thought. As usual, YMMV.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:30 PM   #30
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Sure, they've changed their name from Home and Park .. to Roadtrek and they got purchased by a larger company.. EHGNA... but, they still make Class Bs .

Excuse me, but, how are you an authority on their quality control? You really think Winnebago is higher in quality than Roadtrek... I'm not sure I would agree with you... plus.. Roadtrek offers a 6 year warranty... Winnebago certainly does not do that.

There's a price point for everything.. and I would agree that I have not been impressed with the lower line Roadtrek...Carrado, etc. BUT, the E-Trek, CS and RS Adventurous models are as fine as ever... I went recently to an RV show and looked at all of them.

Finally, you know.. years ago... someone told Ray Kroc.. "You sure managed to make a lot of money in the hamburger business." Ray's reply was priceless.... he said...

"I'm NOT in the hamburger business I'm in the real estate business. "

My point is this... He was VERY SUCCESSFUL.

I hope for your sake that Advanced RV survives for another 20 to 30 years..?.
Is Roadtrek successful? Of course they are with a long history of making Class B vans and a large satisfied customer base and more units on the road than anyone else.

Are they high quality? Sometimes they are and sometimes they arenít, today it is hit or miss. I donít think there is any argument that Winnebago, Pleasure Way, and Leisure Travel have more consistent quality on a day to day basis than Erwin Hymer North America does. And, of course, you need to decide how you want to define quality in order to have a discussion of quality. Most people would agree that build quality is important regardless of the ďqualityĒ of the materials used in the build. Other people look at the materials used and assign quality based on appearance vs functionality.

When Erwin Hymer purchased Roadtrek the hope from many was that they would bring the quality of the vans up to the standards they have in Europe and while there have been improvements they are still not there yet.

If you are happy with your Roadtrek, that is great, but there are still too many reports from new owners who have issues that donít get resolved quickly to give them a gold star on quality.

If you avoid the new technology items you have a pretty good chance of getting one of the trouble free units. If you want the high technology then you have a chance of getting a van that will have issues that sometimes donít get resolved very quickly even with a 6 year warranty...
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:46 PM   #31
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I hope for your sake that Advanced RV survives for another 20 to 30 years..?.
For my sake? I don't worry about Advanced RV's survival other than through the warranty period and that is just for economic reasons. There is no mystery or "proprietary" hocus pocus in repairing them. But I do hope they survive 20 to 30 years as they have pushed the envelope in quality and innovation like no other Class B upfitter company.

A better quality and more innovative Canadian company than Roadtrek made my previous Class B (Great West Vans) but the original owner and founder got old and sold the company and it went kaput in just a couple of years. Nothing is forever.
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:48 PM   #32
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This morning I tried to find info on how Mercedes vehicles get to Canada. Could find no mention of a Canadian based VPC. But I did find an article that says the Baltimore Mercedes VPC is a major entry point for all vehicles going to NAFTA counties of Canada and Mexico.
http://www.scw-mag.com/sections/manu...cedes-benz-usa

It would then appear that all those Canadian configured Sprinters might go though Baltimore. No wonder than the facility is so large.


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Old 06-05-2018, 06:20 PM   #33
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It's entirely possible that the price of Canadian products will dramatically rise if they start imposing tarriffs from Canada in response to what's going on in the United States right now....



What do you think....?



Roadtrek, Leisure Travel and Pleasure Way are all Canadian companies....and Justin Trudeau recently said that tarriffs might be imposed on finished products from Canada sold in the United States...

I just realized your supposition is backwards. Canada does not impose tariffs on their products coming to USA. The USA does that. But Canada could impose tariffs on USA made recreational products coming to Canada. Found this interesting report that says Canada is the #1 market for USA recreational transportation products. Link below and this interesting first paragraph from Exectutive Summary.

"The recreational transportation sector is perhaps the only labor-intensive sector of the U.S. economy that supports a positive trade balance. With growth projected into the future and burgeoning international demand for U.S. products, exports are expected to reach $7 billion in 2018, supporting 180,000 American manufacturing jobs. Since overseas buyers often seek out U.S.-made recreational transportation products, the U.S. government can best deploy its resources to facilitate the alignment of regulatory requirements across markets and encouraging a flexible approach that allows for multiple standards to meet regulatory requirements, allowing consumers in key potential markets to easily purchase U.S.-made equipment."


https://www.trade.gov/topmarkets/pdf...ets_Report.pdf


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Old 06-06-2018, 12:26 PM   #34
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Is Roadtrek successful? Of course they are with a long history of making Class B vans and a large satisfied customer base and more units on the road than anyone else.

Are they high quality? Sometimes they are and sometimes they arenít, today it is hit or miss. I donít think there is any argument that Winnebago, Pleasure Way, and Leisure Travel have more consistent quality on a day to day basis than Erwin Hymer North America does. And, of course, you need to decide how you want to define quality in order to have a discussion of quality. Most people would agree that build quality is important regardless of the ďqualityĒ of the materials used in the build. Other people look at the materials used and assign quality based on appearance vs functionality.

When Erwin Hymer purchased Roadtrek the hope from many was that they would bring the quality of the vans up to the standards they have in Europe and while there have been improvements they are still not there yet.

If you are happy with your Roadtrek, that is great, but there are still too many reports from new owners who have issues that donít get resolved quickly to give them a gold star on quality.

If you avoid the new technology items you have a pretty good chance of getting one of the trouble free units. If you want the high technology then you have a chance of getting a van that will have issues that sometimes donít get resolved very quickly even with a 6 year warranty...
Greg,

I like your points regarding quality. During our search, without a doubt we thought LTV used the best materials and displayed the best workmanship. I like folks that use quality products but if they do not function as well as others I absolutely agree with your statement.

For whatever reason we never saw perceived upscale quality in PW. Probably due mostly to the selection of materials used in the build. We thought the materials used looked very outdated and not super nice. To us, we disliked the carpet used near the rear sofa, choice of tile, Corian counters as well as the upholstery/foam feel (very soft). Felt very dated as in late 70's-early 80's and not impressed with the materials. But if many folks swear by the build quality there must be something to their beliefs.

We are perhaps in the minority where we have had just a handful of minor issues with our RT in 18-mos and I am not sure we are super tech? We are propane free with 400 lithium/300 solar. Time will tell as it ages a bit more. We do feel they use better materials than PW and definitely better that Winni however Winni appears to be significantly improved over the past few years.
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:10 PM   #35
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A difference between Roadtrek and LTV/PW cabinetry stands out to me. Roadtrek uses wood doors, but the cabinetry bases are a very very thin veneer of... something sort of wood-like... too reminiscent of contact paper to me... which can tend to peel or knick easily. Invariably it doesn't quite match the stained doors... some options worse than others.

You don't find this issue on the cabinetry used by LTV or PW. LTV is definitely low tech though, for those who want the latest (though not necessarily the greatest-IMHO-LOL). Their innovations tend to be to make the rig more comfortable and livable, because their market base tends to not be boondockers. PW has more rapidly moved into more modern tech stuff, but the style is still pretty traditional as is RT.
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:37 PM   #36
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Yes, Canadian built Class Bs for the U.S. market are purchased from a U.S. dealer and shipped to Canada for conversion. I am not sure how it is handled the other way around though. Do U.S. RV companies need to buy Canadian chassis for units to be sold in Canada??
Sameting for Canada they have to be bought in Canada
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