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Old 11-13-2016, 11:41 PM   #1
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Default Aktiv or Travato59G | Decision Time

The time has finally come to invest in my dream ClassB, and I have negotiated deals for both rigs that the dealers will honor through early December.

Over the last six months I have done intense research, including crawling all through, over and under BOTH rigs. I've read through threads on this forum, read blogs and watched video reviews. And, I've never passed up an opportunity to learn from a ClassB owner while I'm out-n-about! I'm not on Facebook, which I understand has a few good groups to ask questions.

Even as a newbie to this type of purchase, I feel like I've done my due diligence BUT it never hurts to ask experienced owners what have I missed? What would you look at?

My work schedule allows me to be out camping, hiking, snowshoeing and generally adventuring. I work two days on, then have 2-3 off days. At least once a week I have a 3-day off stretch. I plan to use this rig year-round. It will be about ten years before I retire, and I hope this rig turns into a full-time travel rig for at least 5yrs at that point.

I'm a solo traveler along back-country paved and gravel roads in the Northwest, lately beyond cell service more than half the time. I travel with an older, active hunting dog. Every once in a while my significant other will join us for a few days.

Here are the reasons the Aktiv is appealing: storage, higher/larger bed, flexible table setup, solar w/lithium batteries, internal fresh water lines, compressor refrigerator, cassette toilet, grey water tank easily wrapped, and it has a spare tire.

While Hymer is well known, it is a new player in North America and has only ONE local service dealer option. I know I can get service from any RoadTrek dealer as well, but those dealers are 60-100 miles outside of Portland metro. The six year/unlimited warranty on the ClassB components is only as good as the dealer that services it. I have no concern about Dodge options for oil changes and chassis service.

Until I saw the Hymer yesterday, I was actually going to move forward with the Travato59G, wait for the 2017-5 Travato59G with internal waterlines, or order a ProMaster and have it locally up-fitted to my specs.

The current Travato59G remains appealing because: it would be about $13k less and is available in the next week, the layout is good, and the dealership service network is larger. The cost savings would be reduced by the aftermarket line and tank wrapping I would need to have done, and the expense of buying and mounting a spare tire on the roof.

Am I thinking of everything? Thank you in advance for your input. Chris
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Old 11-14-2016, 04:08 AM   #2
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in case you are not aware:

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Old 11-14-2016, 04:32 AM   #3
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Thanks BBQ! I believe that is on the 2017.5, but I'll ask the Winnebago product rep in our next email exchange. I'm waiting to hear back on a compressor fridge option in the Travato 59G; they offer a compressor refrigerator in the 59K.
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Old 11-14-2016, 06:03 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 4DMTNS View Post
Over the last six months I have done intense research, including crawling all through, over and under BOTH rigs. I've read through threads on this forum, read blogs and watched video reviews. And, I've never passed up an opportunity to learn from a ClassB owner while I'm out-n-about! I'm not on Facebook, which I understand has a few good groups to ask questions.
Chris
Keep in mind your greatest expense you will encounter will be finding out after you have taken delivery the RV will not meet your needs / does not work as advertised.

There are so many people out there buying these RVs on impulse and realizing later the vehicle does not meet their needs. The depreciation hit on trade-in can be substantial.

Before entering into a formal agreement / contract, make the purchase contingent on a successful extended test drive / use (1-2) days. In writing... Define what that represents for you.

Most RV purchase contracts are skewed to the benefit of the dealership. Spend $300 - 500 to work with a local attorney to add SPECIFIC contingency language into the contract before you sign.

$500 on a $90K vehicle is a small expense if it reduces the chance of a purchase going sour. Plus, it sends a clear message that you have access to legal representation should any game playing be attempted.

PERFORM A FULL TEST DRIVE
  • Provide a deposit if necessary
  • Pay our of pocket (if needed) for fuel, propane, etc.
  • Day One - Test all equipment at the dealership
  • Maintain a punch list (like pre-closing a home)
  • Bring what you need to simulate how you will use it (soft bags, storage items, etc.)

Day Two with the fuel, propane, etc. you purchased drive for 20-50 miles with all systems running under load (with toad if you plan on towing).

When I bought my 2nd Class B, I decided to treat the purchase as similar to purchasing a new house. I have determined you stand a better chance getting things fixed if you spend the money upfront to check / test everything.

Some dealerships may not see this as 'earning your business' BUT those may be the dealerships that will provide poor post sales support for your RV.

Sounds like you have a great plan. Best of luck....
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Old 11-14-2016, 10:55 AM   #5
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Are the main differences still:

- Promaster 2500 vs 3500
- Optional lithium batteries vs AGM batteries
- Cassette toilet tank vs holding tank
- Compressor fridge vs 3-way fridge
- 2nd Alternator vs Onan generator for power
- Cost

I can't help you with your decision but wish you the best of luck choosing. You'll have fun in either unit.
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Old 11-14-2016, 12:24 PM   #6
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in case you are not aware:

That's a lot of electric stuff. Have they increased the battery and charging capacity to go along with it?
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Old 11-14-2016, 01:09 PM   #7
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I plan to use this rig year-round. It will be about ten years before I retire, and I hope this rig turns into a full-time travel rig for at least 5yrs at that point.
Forget thinking long term. Think about now and how you will use your Class B. If it is your first you will have a learning experience no amount of advanced research can anticipate and answer.
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Old 11-14-2016, 01:59 PM   #8
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Thank you to all who have commented so far. It is so true that many rigs have been bought on impulse, so there will most likely be a good variety of used rigs coming up for sale in the near future. There are already several Travato rigs that were used as rentals coming on the market 'listed' at $67k. Listed price never means anything to me. If I can get a used Travato59G in reasonable shape, that would be a great compromise.

And, I bet doing a conditional offer based on use will work well on a used vs new rig. There is a very large used specialty dealer near us in Sandy Oregon that has a lot filled with ClassB rigs.

Is there a better source than nadaguides.com for researching used ClassB pricing? It seemed a decent reference for determining my starting point on another used ClassB.
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Old 11-14-2016, 02:04 PM   #9
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No increase that I'm aware of since 2015. The 2017.5 has a number of improvements, but they actually would draw more power. Thankfully the A/C and a microwave are not high on my list. I can easily do without a microwave if I can make stovetop popcorn! The A/C would be nice during the day, but I prefer fresh air at night.
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Old 11-14-2016, 04:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Forget thinking long term. Think about now and how you will use your Class B. If it is your first you will have a learning experience no amount of advanced research can anticipate and answer.

What Davydd says first and foremost. No amount of research can prepare you for a first RV, especially a class B.
Also, you shouldn't use the word "invest" in a class B. You don't invest in a depreciating asset
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