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Old 10-14-2013, 11:51 PM   #1
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Default Looking for other Roadtrek Ranger RT owners

I am a new member and am looking for other owners of the Roadtrek Ranger RT, 2013-2014. I tried to message the two owners who posted previously, but only once each, without success. I hope it is okay if I put his message in more than one place, attempting to insure that it will be seen. I can't be the only person who has one!
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Looking for other Roadtrek Ranger RT owners

You are definitely not the only owner of one.
Do you own a Ranger?
Do you have a question about one?

Welcome to the forum
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Looking for other Roadtrek Ranger RT owners

One of the questions that might come up about the Roadtrek Ranger RT at this time of year will be how to handle winterizing the Eemax electric water heater.

At the top of the 2.5 gallon Eemax electric water heater where the cold water inlet and hot water outlet are there should be two bypass valves (some RV's have three valves for the bypass). You'd need to turn those two valves (or three valves) to their bypass positions. I haven't seen a Ranger RT so I don't know if it has 2 or 3 valves.

Then you'd need to disconnect (unscrew) the cold water inlet and hot water outlet pipes from the water heater and remove the water heater then take it outside the RV and empty it by turning it upside down or on its side - whatever works.

Once the water heater is empty it can be reinstalled but leave it unplugged and bypassed and attached a note to the cord indicating that the water heater has been bypassed and there is no water in it. If you accidently supply power to the empty water heater you will burn out the heating element.

Link to Eemax owner manual: http://products.eemax.com/assets/files/ ... _V2011.pdf

Here are some sample images of 3 valve and 2 valve water heater bypass systems:

3 valve


3 valve


2 valve


2 valve
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2 valve water heater bypass _.jpg (58.4 KB, 2221 views)
File Type: jpg 2 valve water heater bypass.jpg (14.2 KB, 2221 views)
File Type: jpg 3 valve water heater bypass_.jpg (7.4 KB, 2283 views)
File Type: jpg 3 valve water heater bypass.jpg (23.1 KB, 2220 views)
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Looking for other Roadtrek Ranger RT owners

Hi There, I have a Ranger RT. I just winterized the hot water heater. Very easy to do.

1. Turn the 3 bypass levers. They are under the driver's side "ottoman" under the table storage. The compartment is hinged. You will see the two lines going into the closet. There is a lever on each hose and one a third that is a line running between the two lines. Turn the lines into and out of the closet to the "off" position (lever not in line with the line) and the line connecting the two, to the "on" position. You have just bypassed the water heater and cut the flow into and out of the heater.

2. Turn on your hot water faucet for a second or two to relieve any pressure. Then unplug the heater. Now simply unscrew the two fittings at the water heater in the closet. Have a towel handy should you have any spillage, which I did not.

3. This is the only part that had me slightly confused but couldn't be any easier! Simply lift the water heater straight up along with the pressure relief pipe which only goes a short ways into the hole. Then empty the heater by tilting it over - mine had quite a bit of mineral deposits which means I may do a mid-season dumping next year. There is a little hook on the wall that the lines that come into the closet the simply holds the water heater upright and a strip of wood on the floor to also keep it in place. Very simple. The water heater with the 2.5 gallons of water in it weighed maybe 25 pounds. You will be lifting it straight up and out of the closet, so if you have a really bad back maybe recruit someone for that step. It isn't heavy, but a funny angle when you first lift.

Instead of putting it back in the van I just set it in my basement for the winter and plugged the hole in the floor with some steel wool to keep critters out.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Looking for other Roadtrek Ranger RT owners

I've had a Ranger for about a year. I've been pretty disappointed with the quality of the conversion. The water heater was one issue. It seems like a poor decision for R/T to make you actually remove the unit to winterize the vehicle.

Another issue are the location of the inverter/charger, it's impossible to see it. You have to do everything by feel and mirrors.

I've had issues with the cabinets. And with the locks on the cabinets. And the shelf over windshield had some sharp screws sticking up through the wood which cut my hand.

The radio/CD player is pathetic (and was installed poorly). We can't see the screen day or night. Plus the UI is weird.

The sewer pipe is so low that you have to lay on your back to work on it. If there is any sort of curb at the dump station it doesn't drain properly. And the pin holding in the storage tube broke off.

On the other hand the mileage has been terrific. I get almost 20 mpg at times when it's all highway miles. It's pretty quiet for a van.

Thanks for the water heater removal directions. I'll try it this year. I just filled everything up with pink stuff last year. That worked but it takes a long time before you get rid of any trace when you are using hot water.

One question. Has anyone received a Ranger owners manual?
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Looking for other Roadtrek Ranger RT owners

I don't believe there is a specific Ranger owners manual. Major oversight by Roadtrek in my book - 70+k and no accurate instructions?

The sewer pipe is pretty low, but I added Timbren's up front and an extra leaf in the rear - brought me up around an inch - huge difference! Also am hoping to get some springs up front and level it out with some blocks in the rear - should bring me up about 2-2.5 inches total which would eliminate most issues.

The water heater instructions were verbal from Roadtrek and literally took a few minutes at most, much easier than the water heater draining on my travel trailer.

I may be naive, but what are doing to the inverter ( and more importantly should I be doing ?

Can you elaborate on the cabinets, as I would like to be on the lookout.

Mileage has been incredible in ours as well,I am beyond pleased. I really like the van!

The radio is hard to see, but haven't had any other issues with it.
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Looking for other Roadtrek Ranger RT owners

The Trip-Lite has quite a few indicators that I could see would be very helpful in monitoring the electrical system. In the event of a problem even more helpfull! Plus the users manual for the Trip-Lite indicates that you should switch it to CHARGE MODE if you are not using the R/T.

I've had problems with the cabinet door latches being either too tight, so the doors don't latch, or too loose, so the doors rattle. In addition the water heater closet door latch has been a continual problem. I could not open the door for a while. After the last fix the door rubs on the frame slightly when you open/close it. Not a big deal but it will eventually wear a spot in the molding.

Maybe I'm just picky but you would think that after all the RVs they would have this stuff down pat.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: Looking for other Roadtrek Ranger RT owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by lenlewandowski
The Trip-Lite has quite a few indicators that I could see would be very helpful in monitoring the electrical system. In the event of a problem even more helpfull! Plus the users manual for the Trip-Lite indicates that you should switch it to CHARGE MODE if you are not using the R/T.

I've had problems with the cabinet door latches being either too tight, so the doors don't latch, or too loose, so the doors rattle. In addition the water heater closet door latch has been a continual problem. I could not open the door for a while. After the last fix the door rubs on the frame slightly when you open/close it. Not a big deal but it will eventually wear a spot in the molding.

Maybe I'm just picky but you would think that after all the RVs they would have this stuff down pat.
That's a bummer. I haven't experienced those issues. I have had two propane regulators go bad, one driving home from the dealer and one while on a trip.

I have become convinced that things break, and for me it seems to be somewhat frequent regardless of price paid.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Looking for other Roadtrek Ranger RT owners

Re: the Tripp-Lite inverter:

The 2004 190P I owned had the Tripp-Lite inverter/charger under the rear bunk and it didn't have a remote switch. I used to turn the switch on the inverter to "charge only" when we were done using the inverter after watching TV etc. One of the first mods I made to that RT was adding a switch to make that easier.

Tripp Lite sells a remote switch for their inverters. It is part # APSRM4. If your model inverter lists the APSRM4 remote switch as an option then you can either install one or should be able make a basic switch for maybe $5 to $10.

See: Tripp Lite Inverter/Charger - How to make a remote switch: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi....php?f=12&t=20

The homemade switch should work for all these Tripp-Lite inverters:
RV612UL
RV612ULH
RV750ULHW
RV1012UL
RV1012ULHW
RV1250ULHW
RV1512UL
RV1512OEM
RV2012UL
RV2012OEM
RV2512OEM
RV3012OEM

The switch simply toggles between 1. auto (on) or 2. charge only. I wouldn't like a bunch of flashing LED's at night in the RV so the simple switch was my preference.

1. auto (on): inverter is on
2. charge only: inverter is off but the charger part of the inverter will work when your van is plugged in.

When the inverter is "on" it draws more than 1 amp when not being used. So, to save your batteries for other uses, it is good to switch it to "charge only".
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Looking for other Roadtrek Ranger RT owners

A lot of great information! Glad to see some other owners for some help. I notice, when reading forums, that people have added airbags, suspensions, new tires, etc. to their Roadtreks and wondered has anyone improved their Roadtrek Ranger with any of these ideas. I have had problems keeping the Ranger on the road, unless I am on a straight, flat highway. With a full tank of gas, it leans to the left and, I often have the sensation of its turning over. I have read that some of the Rangers were put on a 3500 chassis and wondered if my 2500 chassis is the problem. Has anyone else had steering problems or feeling unbalanced on the 2500 chassis?
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:55 PM   #11
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Re-read all postings and see that 2wiresdave has added Timbren's and an extra leaf. I guess everyone noticed that you can't push the sewer hose back in place with the cap on? Also, the 190 manual states that you must set the temperature on low before setting the temp by degrees, which cuts my system off. A local RV service mechanic convinced me that it must be set to auto, not low, and It has not cut off since. I kept saying, "but, the service manual says... " He finally said, "Look, you don't have a service manual, so do what works".
Something about this calls for slapstick. We have a 7-8000 lb vehicle with multiple integrated systems, electrical, plumbing, propane, that is to be used to drive far away from home/security, with no users manual. Talk about adventure!
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:20 PM   #12
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Dan,

I have the 2500 and have had no problems at all. I've been delighted with the way it drives. Before I bought the Ranger I drove the Pleasureway Excel. That was built on a Ford chassis. It actually scared me. I had a lot of problems on the highway. Just a vague feeling that it was getting away from me. It felt like I was herding it! I don't have any of those feelings with the Chevy.

I took the water heater out. It was a pain getting it out but worse getting it back in. The overflow pipe goes thru a fitting under the floor that is very tight. It's tough to get it on the hooks and snaking it thru the fitting at the same time, all without bending something. It wasn't as bad as I imagined but still a poor design. It's also hard to get a wrench on the hot and cold fittings.

By the way for any of you folks that live in the Milwaukee area I go to Holz for service. So far they have been very good.
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:14 AM   #13
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Default Re: Looking for other Roadtrek Ranger RT owners

Len - What pressure do you have in your front and rear tires ? Maybe Dan could start there.

Do the 2500 vans have a front sway bar? I know there is one on my older 3500 van.
My understanding is that front and rear sway bars should help correct sway or leaning. If the van leans left then the sway bar has the effect of pulling the right side down to minimize the lean.
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:37 AM   #14
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Default Re: Looking for other Roadtrek Ranger RT owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
Len - What pressure do you have in your front and rear tires ? Maybe Dan could start there.

Do the 2500 vans have a front sway bar? I know there is one on my older 3500 van.
My understanding is that front and rear sway bars should help correct sway or leaning. If the van leans left then the sway bar has the effect of pulling the right side down to minimize the lean.
From the parts lists I have seen, the 2500 does have a front sway bar, no rear, like the 3500 does. It might be a smaller diameter, which would be good. Sway bars, as you say, reduce the rocking of the van you feel, but they also affect the steering response. They also affect the steering opposite of what you expect. Front sway bars move the vehicle toward understeer, rear sway bars move it toward oversteer. With only a front bar, and lots of weight in the back, the vans are heavily into the understeer area. That means you have to turn the steering more to correct for wind, ridges, etc. The bigger the corrections the harder it is to keep up with changes and you feel wander and insecurity. A big rear sway bar will improve the steering stability and reduce understeer, as will stiffer rear springs or airbags, more front tire pressure, and lower rear tire pressure which might be an possibility on a 2500 if you aren't rear maxed out on the tires.

One thing we have learned from the threads here on handling and lifting for clearance is that handling and ride harshness are extremely individual evaluations. Stuff that is good for one, may not be as good for someone else.
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:59 AM   #15
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I follow the tire pressure recomendations. The dealer checks the tire pressure when I have the van serviced. I have to admit I don't pay too much attention to it. The van comes with a tire monitor system. I'll check the tire pressure before a trip but that's about it.

We have made no modifications at all. Again I have to say that I'm really happy with the way the Chevy van handles. I'm satisfied and I'm not a truck person! On a smooth highway I've been over 75 mph and have had no problems.

Len
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: Looking for other Roadtrek Ranger RT owners

I have a 2013 Ranger. It was the best thing I have done in years.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:17 PM   #17
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I am glad I found this site. I have been arguing with Roadtrek about the lack of a Manual and the water heater for some time. They assured me they were updating all the manuals. They did that all right. Only problem is they forgot about the Ranger.
The Factory Support told me the Eemax 2.5 heater did not have an anode rod in it, so it did not need service. He also said it was mounted on a removable floor. Noe they do not respond to my emails.
I have also had issues with door latches. The wardrobe cabinet catch has broken off twice. Roadtrek replacement is $40. Ace Hardware has a simple twist latch for $8. Other than that I have had no problems with my vehicle.
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:06 AM   #18
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My psi on the front tires are set at 50 and rear are 80, as recommended on the door sticker. But hey, where is the tire monitor? I am supposed to have one, but where? I have a great RV mechanic nearby who is working with me on some issues and he suggested that it was supposed to show up on the odometer.
My Ranger is fine on a straight and level road. When looking, I test drove the 170 Versatile, also, and the Ranger was easier to handle. But still, I had no problems until the 4 hour drive home, after purchase. I was determined to get used to it, so drove it everywhere. Finally, I asked a neighbor, who is a pilot and owns a Holiday Rambler, to take it for a drive so I could get his opinion. A half hour later, he pulled into my driveway, got out and tossed me the keys and said "No way I could drive that for more than a few hours". He said it was too hard to keep on the road, which has been my problem. I have run onto the shoulder twice and cannot recall that ever happening before, when driving (Saabs & Volvos for 20 yrs).
I will ask Tom (RV mechanic) about the sway bar. Was that put on by Roadtrek or Chevy? I did drive it over to the main Chevy dealership, and one of the guys that up-fits these cargo vans for construction crews came out and said there was a rear end sag and, after looking around inside, said it needed to be on a heavier chassis.
If Chevy installs the sway bar, I can take it back over and have them check it. The problem is, that without a manual, there is no way to know what is on the van. I only know what Roadtrek published as specs. But the specs for the Ranger say that the OCC is 1700 lbs and I don't agree with that, seeing that all storage is over the rear axle and only 2 X 156 lbs allowed for 2 occupants. I just tried to copy and paste Roadtrek's OCC specs for all models. I will review the forum instructions and post them later, because I am interested in how much weight could be added, because my door sticker says only 1396 lbs. Maybe I got one of the first ones off the assembly line and improvements were made later.
I actually do have one of the first iMacs. The screen outline and keyboard were changed before they went on the market. But those were design/color issues, nothing to do with the way it worked. I am keeping it around, just in case.
Sorry for the long post. I am just glad to have found some other Ranger owners. I didn't like all the carpeting and wall suede on the fancy 170s, and would have paid more for the linoleum/hardwood floor and rubber mats on the Ranger. I think they have it backwards. Now, I am learning that the larger Sprinter models have better drive performance. My neighbor says driving his 40 foot Rambler is a breeze. Who knew?
But I am learning...
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:55 AM   #19
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Default Re: Looking for other Roadtrek Ranger RT owners

You should be able to improve the handling of the van. If it was mine I'd up the pressure in the front a bit as a first step. I like 65 psi front (both in the nearly new '04 RT 190P and my current '97 van). That might be too firm for you but it works for me.

Also, why not weigh your van? When I first got my current van it weighed 7880 lbs. Two years later, fully loaded with gear and water and bikes on back it weighed 8820 lbs! Try to get the weights at the four corners and or right side left side in addition to the front and rear and total. Compare that to your vans GVWR to see if your van's weight is maxed out or loaded more on one side.

A wheel alignment doesn't cost too much and then you'd know it is set correctly. It is on my to-do list.

A rear sway bar would be aftermarket. You'd need to confirm it would fit and that nothing added by Roadtrek is in the way. I have this one (Hellwig 7635): http://static.summitracing.com/global/i ... l-7635.pdf in my shopping cart and have checked under my van and there is nothing in the way. For me it will be a DIY job. The rear mounted Onan generator is in the way on (some / all?) Roadtreks and would have to be moved. I don't know if your van has a generator or propane tank etc. You could print the pdf file (linked above) and ask your mechanic if the sway bar will fit.

I'm considering getting new shocks for my van (in the shopping cart too!) I might complete that order today. Just looking at less costly options than Bilstein shocks right now. My wife wants Bilsteins though (not kidding). She doesn't want "any cheap shocks".
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:39 PM   #20
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Default Re: Looking for other Roadtrek Ranger RT owners

I don't have a generator or a propane tank on my Ranger. I wonder if the weight and/or the positions of those items would change the handling?

Also my spare tire is mounted under the van. It makes sense that a lower and centered weight might be better for handling then a higher off-centered weight? Don't know.

Finally I have a hitch installed that I use for bike carrier. Again, low centered weight. Again don't know if that could make much of a difference.

I find it weird that the handling of the exact same model could be so different. Must be some reason
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