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Old 07-26-2017, 06:12 PM   #1
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Default 2018 Coachmen Crossfit

Well, we flew to Phoenix last week, picked up our new Crossfit and drove it home. We are VERY happy with it so far! I'll add to my review later, but here are the highlights:

Ford Transit chassis. Coachmen used the T350, high roof, extended length, dual rear wheels, gas 3.7L engine. They included the factory options for the towing package, side airbags, but removed the Ford Sync3 system and replaced it with Kenwood, which we are still learning (and will be learning, for the foreseeable future - it's complicated). It has a rearview camera and heated side mirrors. The coach is 22'2" long.

It handled incredibly well! I was concerned the engine would be under-powered, but it took on steep hills with a couple of automatic downshifts, used engine braking going down steep grades and stayed on track with some crosswinds. We got 14 mpg with an elevation increase of 3,000 ft, 108 temps and a headwind; then 16 mpg on level terrain at 102 degrees (increase AND decrease of 2,500 feet). I had a 1986 Mercury with an engine this size and it wasn't nearly as powerful (but I did get nearly 20 mpg.)

In comparison, Winnebago Paseo uses the 3.2L turbo charged engine, which goes like a bat out of...

With the tow package, it will tow 7,000 pounds, although that must be adjusted for the GCVW. At the moment, there is noting we would tow, but it's nice that was included from the factory. There is a tow/haul setting for the transmission.

Layout. Very early Crossfits had cross-coach sleeping like the Paseo, but there are only an handful of those. New versions are like ours, with two twin beds sleeping fore-and-aft, that can be converted into a single bed that is about 4" wider than a queen and about 4 inches shorter. In twin configuration, these beds are only 23" wide. Both DH and I found that to be wide enough, surprisingly, so we didn't have to set up the big bed every night. However, the floorplan of the Crossfit says those beds are 76" long and I don't believe it. Will measure them later, but they sure seemed shorter than that.

The main area is quite high inside, but the AC comes down from the ceiling and there is a 5" step-up in the dining/bed area so my 5'9" spouse barely clears the AC when he steps up to the dining area. You've been warned.

The bathroom is behind the driver's seat, but unlike some coaches, there is several inches of space between them so you can move the driver's seat back or recline it some without running into the bathroom wall. The bathroom is VERY small. In the FitRV video, there is a hinged strip between the doors so they can be held open slightly, but that was not available on my coach because they said it allowed the shower curtain to exceed the floor layout and pour water on the floor outside the shower. I have a better fix in mind than removing that panel, which makes it very difficult to maneuver in there. Will let you all know later if it works...

Next to the bathroom, there is a large AC/DC refrigerator with a freezer on the bottom and a microwave (no convection) above it. I like that I don't have to get down on the floor to access the appliances. Sink and two-burner propane cooktop are on the passenger side.

Storage is very limited because the fresh water tank is under one dinette seat and the Truma heater/water heater is under the other. That leaves the shallow under-floor of the dinette area, overhead cabinets and a short wardrobe, plus the drawers under the sink/stove.

The passenger seat swivels, but is difficult to use. Also, the distance between the front seats, along with the parking brake, built-in cupholder/trinket tray and overhead storage compartment, make it REALLY, REALLY difficult to transfer from the front to the back from inside the coach.

REALLY difficult.

Functionality/Comfort. Comes with 100w flexible solar panel and one more could be added. I think they chose flexible to reduce wind resistance, but these coaches only come in dark colors (unless you special order) so having rigid panels on a rack would have shaded the roof in addition to producing power. perhaps I am biased since we picked it up in July in Phoenix.

Comes with Fantastic rain-sensor fan. But since windows on the side aren't awning-like (as on the Sprinter) and the fan closes if it rains, you can't get much ventilation under those circumstances.

Generator is an Onan QG 2800. Ironically, QG stand for Quiet Gas. The gas part is true - it runs on the chassis tank. The AC is a Dometic, lowest setting is "Hurricane" and it goes up from there. Between the AC and the generator, I slept comfortably but had to wear earplugs.

Gravity dump with separate black and grey water tanks and a fitting on the side of the van for a tank flush.

Truma Combi worked very well. We used it with shore power, but it can also run off propane.

Cool extras. The Crossfit comes with retractable screens on the side and back doors, which we used and enjoyed. Also, it has dimmable LED lights in various zones (overhead, galley, dinette, under-cabinet, etc. And, in case you haven't seen this, the cabinets have frosted fronts and there are colored LED lights in there that you can set to blue, pink or yellow/green. I confess that when I first saw this feature on the FitRV video, I thought they were useless and, well, a bit juvenile. But they are way cool! It's nice to sit in the van in the evening with low-colored ambient light. Turns out it's really soothing and I like it way more than I thought I would. Sadly, they aren't dimmable, because that would be even better.

The fit and finish of the Crossfit is overall very good. The cabinets are mostly solid maple, with nice, heavy hinges and a simple pinch-lock mechanism that was used on my first kitchen cabinets. I think they will be far more durable than the type I have seen in Roadtrek and Winnebago coaches, but only time will tell.

Unfortunately, when looking behind the drawers of the galley, we could see that the walls of the chassis were insulated, but there was no insulation over the ribs, meaning there was significant heat transfer. We will be working on the areas that are accessible. The wheel wells did have sound-dampening.

The countertop is Corian, flooring is vinyl. The Ford seats are left untouched; the dinette seats are a cloth-textured vinyl. Easy to clean, but I'm going to want more padding for something I sleep on so will be adding more foam and a cloth cover.

Conclusion. It is always scary being an early-adopter of a new product, but I think we will be happy with this van for quite a while. It's not as big or as fancy as some that are out there, but it has all the basics and uses mostly tried-and-true components.

Let me know if you have any questions of if I left anything out.
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Old 07-26-2017, 06:44 PM   #2
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.

+1

Sounds good.

Congratulations !


ps. somehow I also thought you were buying a diesel.
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Old 07-26-2017, 06:56 PM   #3
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Well, we flew to Phoenix last week, picked up our new Crossfit and drove it home. We are VERY happy with it so far! I'll add to my review later, but here are the highlights:
Did Ford rework the hand brake to permit the driver seat to swivel?
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Old 07-26-2017, 07:07 PM   #4
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I understand that is coming in the 2018 Transits. Our chassis is a 2017.
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Old 07-26-2017, 07:13 PM   #5
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.


ps. somehow I also thought you were buying a diesel.
DH wanted a diesel because we have had such a great experience with our 1996 F350, but right now, unless you special order a Transit, diesels are only available in Sprinters and I argued successfully against another Mercedes. I once got bad fuel in my MB SLK and we had to rent a trailer, winch it up and drive 200 miles to the nearest dealer, then rent a car to get home and then take another car to go pick it up.

Since we want to travel the West, where MD dealers are very uncommon outside larger cities, it seemed prudent to get an American vehicle. He found the Promaster too uncomfortable (and, arguably, it isn't really a US product...)
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Old 07-26-2017, 08:56 PM   #6
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Checked out some videos. I like it!
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:43 AM   #7
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.... He found the Promaster too uncomfortable (and, arguably, it isn't really a US product...)

Well... the Transit is European as well.


Or should I say... they are all "International" now.
Both the Transit and the ProMaster have an European designed shell,
and North American engines.
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:31 AM   #8
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Congrats on your new home! That was an excellent road test - comments will be beneficial to others checking out the newer B's...especially with a gas engine - service anywhere.
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:08 AM   #9
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Well... the Transit is European as well.

Or should I say... they are all "International" now.

Both the Transit and the ProMaster have an European designed shell,

and North American engines.

A few years ago it was rumored that Chevy/GM would join the others and bring one of their European vans to the US market. But on March 6, 2017, General Motors (GM) and PSA Peugeot-CitroŽn announced their agreement that PSA would buy GM's Vauxhall and Opel subsidiaries in a deal worth £2.2 Billion. So now that GM has sold off the Vauxhall/Opel brand probably not going to happen. Maybe the will bring out a new American designed van?



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Old 07-27-2017, 12:44 PM   #10
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A few years ago it was rumored that Chevy/GM would join the others and bring one of their European vans to the US market. But on March 6, 2017, General Motors (GM) and PSA Peugeot-CitroŽn announced their agreement that PSA would buy GM's Vauxhall and Opel subsidiaries in a deal worth £2.2 Billion. So now that GM has sold off the Vauxhall/Opel brand probably not going to happen. Maybe the will bring out a new American designed van?

- - Mike
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GM has the Nissan small van.

If they partner with Toyota or any one of the Japanese manufacturers, that would be a better move than going European.


Oops I better stop here... we are hijacking OP's thread.
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