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Old 03-15-2013, 03:28 PM   #1
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Default Roadtrek 190 Versatile vs Popular, 2002

Hi all,

My wife and I are shopping for a used Class B, and would like a Roadtrek due to the availability of a local dealer. I'm a little confused about the difference between the 190 Versatile and the Popular. Looks like the V has 2 passenger seats up front vs the one on the Popular...but I have seen different year Ps with 4-up seating as well. Are there other differences? Is the rear sleeping area smaller of the V as well? If so, is it still big enough to be comfortable for 2 good sized adults? I'm about 6'1 and, 250 or so, so a really tiny area could be an issue.

Of the machines I've looked at (only on-line, I have yet to find either machine near me to examine in person) this one looks about the nicest, and best equipped, within a somewhat reasonable distance. http://www.rv-warehouse.com/en_us/unitD ... e-or=22883 What do you think, does anything jump out as an issue with it, and what would be a fair price?

Can someone talk to me a bit about the floor in these rigs? The one I have linked to above looks to have a plastic or laminate floor with carpet on it. That's something I would like for ease of cleaning. Is this true on all Roadtreks, or am I mis-understanding how these work? Also...how does the shower work on these? I saw something about the center aisle has a drain and becomes the shower when you wrap a shower curatain around it? I'm not real clear on this.

Also, lets talk...Chevy vs Dodge. I much prefer the looks of the Chevy and I've owned several SBC-powered vehicles, parts are available and cheap, and the 350 is bulletproof. How is the Dodge (which I see much more commonly in the '90s-early 2000 rigs) for reliablity? I know some (very) old vans had very narrow, cramped footwells due to the engine placement. In the old days (we're talking 70s-80s), my memory is that the Fords were best here due to a bit more hood and more forward engine position. Is this even an issue any more? And are any manufacturers better than others?

Our main use will be weekend camping and hauling a trailer with 4 wheelers on it, generally less than 2000 lbs. Are there any issues towing with these rigs that I should know about? Also...I'm a bit concerned about ground clearance. Many of the places I want to camp here in North Idaho are on gravel forest service roads, and we will definately be "dispersed" camping. Many of these roads are a bit rough and rocky. My preference would be a taller, 4x4 van, but I don't see that happening on any kind of tight budget, which I definately am on. Do you see any major problems with this kind of use? Can you run a lift kit of any kind on these rigs?

Thanks all, and sorry for all the newbie questions. Figured I'd try to explain our wants as well as possible. Any input is appreciated.
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Roadtrek 190 Versatile vs Popular, 2002

Re: pricing - the unit for sale in the link you provided is priced on the high side
Look here: http://www.roadtrekchapter.org/roadtreks-for-sale
2002 asking $22,500
2003 asking $23,000
2004 asking $27,500 - a 2004 chassis will have a bit more passenger foot room and it will have a Tripp-Lite inverter / charger built in. That is a 3 stage smart charger

The Popular model sleeping is front to rear and the bed is longer. The Versatile model sleeping is sideways so it is limited to about 6 feet in length (wall to wall). You are limited to the one bed layout in a Versatile whereas you can have two twin beds or one king bed in a Popular in the model year you referenced. If one of you gets up frequently during the night then the two twin beds in the Popular is easier. In a Versatile, the rear most sleeper has to climb over the other to get out of the bed.

The standard floor in those years would be gel coated fiberglass with removable carpets in the galley / bath area. Fixed carpet in the rear.

Very popular topic on lifting (more ground clearance) here: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...hp?f=12&t=1616

That only answers a few of your questions but it is a start.

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Roadtrek 190 Versatile vs Popular, 2002

MP, thank you for the information. I've been doing quite a bit more research and have decided to keep my eyes open for a 190 Popular. At my height, I think the "sideways" bed will be something I'd regret with the Versatile. Your link gave me some insight on pricing as well. Is there a good source of info on pricing on used Bs? Being new to this, I'm not real sure what constitutes a fair deal, and what is gouging.

I'm still struggling with what era to get. New or nearly new is out of the question for us. I'd really like to keep the price ~$15k or so, but it looks like that would put me in a mid-late 90s rig with high mileage. We could really stretch things into the low-mid $20s, which looks like it would get you into maybe a 2000-2001, which doesn't seem to get you a vehicle with many improvements from the mid 90s. From what I'm seeing (and your comments), I'd really like an '04 based on the Chevy chassis. In the pre-04s, are there changes that should really swing the choice?

Let me throw another question out there, concerning generators. I see that the factory Onan came with quite a price penalty. Is it worth it, or do you prefer to go with an external (probably Honda) generator? The external is less convenient to operate...but sure seems like it's a lot easier to repair/replace in the event of a failure.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: Roadtrek 190 Versatile vs Popular, 2002

Nada Guides help a bit with pricing but the prices they show seem to be low for Class B's. http://www.nadaguides.com/RVs/Motorhomes

For older but slightly more modern look my preference would be a 1997 or newer Chevy or GMC. 1998 or newer Dodge, and a 1997 or newer Ford. Those are the years where cab interiors got a bit more rounded and thicker steering wheels etc. My 1997 GMC is very much like a 2002 model parts wise.

The next Chevy update was 2003.

An '04 Roadtrek 190P would get you the newer Chevy platform with slightly more passenger foot room and the 3 stage inverter/charger.

Older vans can be fun. You won't be too worried about a dent or scratch or spilled drink etc.

I'd say get the built in generator as first choice.
Your points about a portable are valid but think of starting or stopping it in the rain or late at night. And you have to carry extra gas. The built in generator helps on resale too. Someone might pass on your unit preferring one with a built in generator.

A generator is needed to run your air conditioner when you are not plugged into grid power. You can do everything else without a generator provided you have a good sized battery bank and a sufficiently sized inverter.

The RT I had did not have a generator but I lived in the Pacific Northwest (Pacific Southwest for Canada) then. It rarely got unbearable hot.

Late 1990 Class B's will include Roadtrek, Pleasure-Way, Leisure Travel, Great West and others.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Roadtrek 190 Versatile vs Popular, 2002

You can sometimes get towing related info from the the Roadtrek Owner's Manuals and Brochures which are downloadable from their website. However, not all the brochures are as helpful as my model year.

http://www.roadtrek.com/brochure_list.aspx

IMO, unless you get the 2002 200 P model with the optional 8.1L Chev engine, towing is probably not an option.
My 2002 is loaded to the "specs" with the added RV systems, and with fuel and fresh water there's not much engine left for towing. We struggle up hills in the mountains (> 5%-6% grade) sometimes pulling just our own weight.
We've never used our shower. We just figured it wasn't worth the hassle, and potential for creating an environment in which mold could flourish. The Roadtrek aisle shower does have to make use of the aisle area, a wrap around shower curtain, and there is a drain located under a panel that is removable in the floor above it, when you want to use it. Check the Roadtrek site for the aisle shower demo video, if they still have it on there. I couldn't find it. It's an oldie but a goodie, I think the founder's son demonstrates it.
You can do basic maintenance on the built in Onan, but more complex stuff needs it dropped out to access. It will add convenience and value I believe over time.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Roadtrek 190 Versatile vs Popular, 2002

Thanks to everyone that has replied. I'm thinking a lot about this one: http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/rvs/3687438818.html No gen set unfortunately, but the price is reasonable (especially compared to what I see in my area) and overall condition seems pretty nice. 1400 miles from my place so it would be a "fly and drve". See any obvious issues? I have contacted the owners and they are sending pics.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Roadtrek 190 Versatile vs Popular, 2002

Looks OK at that price. They honestly don't go much lower in price than that, and still run well and look good, from what I've seen online. Pretty standard interior. Mileage not too bad, mine has 135,000 and still chuggin' along.
Most Roadtreks are generator ready, so you might find a used Onan on CL/E-Bay, and could get an RV place to install it for you, if you decide you'll need one down the road.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Roadtrek 190 Versatile vs Popular, 2002

Price is OK and I like the fact that it is a one owner vehicle.

There is a '97 P no generator unit here: http://www.roadtrekchapter.org/roadtreks-for-sale listed just below $10,000 so you might have a bit of negotiating room but not much I suspect.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Roadtrek 190 Versatile vs Popular, 2002

Both '97s and the '99 there look very reasonable MP. Unfortunately, all are a LONG way from Idaho. I'm actually thinking that '98 in Virginia might be worth a trip, make a vacation out of the drive back. Wish my vacation time wasn't so darned limited.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Roadtrek 190 Versatile vs Popular, 2002

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
Price is OK and I like the fact that it is a one owner vehicle.

There is a '97 P no generator unit here: http://www.roadtrekchapter.org/roadtreks-for-sale listed just below $10,000 so you might have a bit of negotiating room but not much I suspect.
Wow, did you see the price on the '04 190V in Florida from the dealer? Must have been parked in someone's back yard for a decade, with that mileage.
I think you might be right about NADA versus reality, when it comes to pricing, if you're patient. I had forgotten about the Roadtreks for Sale website.
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