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Old 04-16-2018, 08:16 PM   #1
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Default Opinions on RT 210 Popular

I've been looking for some months now at different makes/models of Class B with a view to downsizing from our present travel trailer.

I'm sort of focussing in on the Pleasureway Plateau FL or Roadtrek Adventurous,

But recently started looking more into the Roadtrek 210 Popular which has been made for any years and now can be had with more recent features such as Lithium and underhood generator.

In many ways the 210 seems to meet a lot of our criteria - length is about what we want as we don't have a very long driveway, I like the idea of a GM chassis versus MB, (cost and dealer network - plus we have owned several GMC trucks and been happy with all of them.)

The 210 with its wide body seems to have the widest twin beds, widest aisle, and a usable front dining area setup. As well, I always think the Sprinters look disproportionally tall.

Slightly on the downside, I gather there is a headroom issue when entering via the side door to get used to, and also I'm not thrilled about the location of the A/C taking up storage space in the back of the van. I guess on the plus side it keeps overall height down and looks less like an RV.

I do like the extra outside storage compartments.

Not sure how long RT will continue making the 210 I don't think they make many now. Also, I hear that GM may discontinue the Express van. I'm not sure these would be good reasons not to buy at this time though.

Thinking of resale, perhaps it could be a selling point down the road if you cannot buy a new one any more!

I doubt we would want to be towing a car - but if it turned out that we did, then the 210 has a very good tow rating

Interior design looks a bit dated, especially compared to the snazzy PW models, so I'd have a bit of a selling job with my wife!

I like the Roadtrek 6 yr warranty (including all appliances), and also that we live within an hour of the factory.

I checked with RT and was advised that customers can bring their vans to the factory if desired for any repair work. Of course that would also apply to the Adventurous as well as the 210

I have found a couple of reviews of the 21on the internet and they seem quite positive, but I'm just wondering if anyone here can advise of any particular concerns I should have about the 210 versus the Sprinter-based models - or if you own one what your experience has been.

I wonder - for example - if ground clearance may be less than Sprinter
based B vans and if that could be a concern when camping?

Many thanks ............. Brian.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:48 PM   #2
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GM has been saying for a few years that they might discontinue the Express van. But I don't see anything on the horizon, how are they going to replace the void?
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:35 PM   #3
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Here's a walkaround I did on mine right after I bought it last year (before any modifications) -



My build thread HERE

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Old 04-16-2018, 11:02 PM   #4
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Hi Hondo,

Much appreciated the link to your video - great job. In terms of layout I don't imagine there is a whole lot of difference to a new one. That armoire looks to be a great idea for extra kitchen storage and I would go that route - no need for the third seat.

Not sure how long ago you bought it and how much you have used it, but have you found any aspect of the layout - or other features - not to your liking or are you pretty happy with it.

Any problems with what looks like fairly low ground clearance, and have you done anything with tires or suspension to raise it at all?

If I remember your video it looks like the 2006 didn't have a bathroom sink. I'd be ok with that, but not my wife, however I think the new ones do have sinks.

Cheers - and thanks again - Brian.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:15 AM   #5
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That armoire looks to be a great idea for extra kitchen storage and I would go that route - no need for the third seat.
For two folks, the third seat appears superfluous but it turns out otherwise if you want to use the forward slide out table for meals. When using the slide out table, the driver and passenger are essentially captives of the table and if, say, you are having lunch it becomes a PITA to get food, plates, cups to and from the table. However, if the "third" seat is the optional Captain's chair, it can be positioned up to the table and permits one of you to use that chair and conveniently access the fridge, sink, microwave etc. Trust me.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:50 AM   #6
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Excellent point - many thanks! That is the sort of thing I was hoping tofind out from this very helpful forum!

Perhaps an option might be to buy it with just the third seat rather than the armoire, then experiment with replacing the seat with a home made padded ox of some sort that could both serve as a seat for using teh table and also provide some added storage.

I really have no feel for how much storage is going to be an issue for us - i know we will have to minimalize considerably from a the stuff we take our
31 ft Airstream trailer, but maybe it won't be as tough as I think I know that even though I continually try to take less clothing on our trips, I still only wear maybe ten percent of what I take! The rest just takes up space!

Brian.
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:00 AM   #7
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I suppose at our age, even if they do discontinue the Express in the near future, parts and such will be available for as long as we are likely to need them -probany no more than five years or so!

The reason I am looking at Class B's is that I think a van camper might extend our RV'ing a few more years than would be the case if we stick with our trailer - it is getting to be a bit more of a challenge for many reasons, much as we still enjoy it!

Brian.
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:47 AM   #8
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Perhaps an option might be to buy it with just the third seat rather than the armoire, then experiment with replacing the seat with a home made padded ox of some sort that could both serve as a seat for using teh table and also provide some added storage.
The other approach would be to forget using the forward table for meals and using the rear table for this purpose. This requires more effort to set up but you could delete the third seat and get the armoir. However, considering the amount of exterior and interior storage on the 210, an armoir might be storage overkill.
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:01 AM   #9
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The other approach would be to forget using the forward table for meals and using the rear table for this purpose. This requires more effort to set up but you could delete the third seat and get the armoir. However, considering the amount of exterior and interior storage on the 210, an armoir might be storage overkill.
It is impossible to have too much storage in a B, I think

We have a 190P and had the same problems with the fold out table in it. If you were in the front seats with the table in place, you couldn't get around it to get anywhere else, like the kitchen. We solved it by making a smaller table that left enough room to walk around by the side door. Works very well.

We have added the armoir since, and it still works well.
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:28 AM   #10
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The future of the Express?
It is still kicking... in places you didn't know.

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Old 04-17-2018, 05:58 AM   #11
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Hi Hondo,

Much appreciated the link to your video - great job. In terms of layout I don't imagine there is a whole lot of difference to a new one. That armoire looks to be a great idea for extra kitchen storage and I would go that route - no need for the third seat.

Not sure how long ago you bought it and how much you have used it, but have you found any aspect of the layout - or other features - not to your liking or are you pretty happy with it.

Any problems with what looks like fairly low ground clearance, and have you done anything with tires or suspension to raise it at all?

If I remember your video it looks like the 2006 didn't have a bathroom sink. I'd be ok with that, but not my wife, however I think the new ones do have sinks.

Cheers - and thanks again - Brian.
Here is a link to my build thread where I lifted it and completed a lot of other mods & upgrades.

LINK

This summer I'm converting it to four wheel drive.
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Old 04-19-2018, 03:04 PM   #12
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In regards to parts availability, I really feel like there's nothing to worry about. If anything, I think parts for this vehicle are abundant in North America.

The Roadtrek 210 Popular is built on the same chassis as thousands of commercial vans. And they will still be available for a long time.

If ever you get stuck in the distant future, Rockauto.com will become your best friend. Before my current van, I had a '79 Ford and was able to find all the mechanical parts I needed and from multiple manufacturers. And this was only about 5 years ago.

My Express based Roadtrek is almost 20 years old and I bought just about every suspension part this year for a complete overhaul and it was as easy as can be.

As for the layout, we have an older 200 Versatile but in many ways similar to yours. We're 2 with a small dog and it's perfect.

- We like the standard size full time double bed (I think yours is bigger). Perfect for afternoon naps and easy to jump into bed without doing the bed making dance (#vanlifers know this dance!).

- A table in the front for meals. Which is really easy to set-up and a great place to eat. But I'm going to re-do the table as I don't like the way they made the table for 4 people, it's easy to bump into when going in and out of my seat (I picked the driver seat and my wife sits in the rear drivers seat to eat).


(Not mine but easy to visualize.)

- It has plenty of storage.

- The fiberglass body doesn't rust! Hallelujah!

- Easy and comfortable to drive.

- You can improve the suspension (for clearance or handling) if you have the funds as aftermarket parts are available... but it requires a bit of research and trial & error. But on it's own it's fine.

We just love it!
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Old 04-19-2018, 03:59 PM   #13
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Thanks Much Mat Mobile!

We don't have one yet but the 210 still ranks high on my short list! It is so difficult to decide, I keep jumping back and forth between a regular length Sprinter model such as teh Adventurous CS and the smaller Promaster based campers.

The 210 is in between these two length wise and seems a good compromise and as well, seems to have the advantage in terms of aisle width, twin bed sizes and lots of storage - including the outside storage. The GM platform is also appealing.

I haven't been able to see one yet, and I wouldn't order any van camper without actually seeing one because I suspect that no matter how great something looks on paper, it is easily possible to miss a feature that you don't care for if you have not actually spent some time in one! Your comments are encouraging, thanks!

Brian
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:11 PM   #14
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I haven't been able to see one yet, and I wouldn't order any van camper without actually seeing one because I suspect that no matter how great something looks on paper, it is easily possible to miss a feature that you don't care for if you have not actually spent some time in one! Your comments are encouraging, thanks!
Shopping for RVs is like buying a house. You go see a few and once you step into the right one, you know right away!
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:27 PM   #15
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There is no perfect RV.
Every one is a compromise of some sort.
You give up something here to gain something there.

For the 210, here are my thoughts:
1. The bathroom is small
2. The style is nice
3. Easy to find a mechanic who can service it
4. You won't have problem finding parts for years to come
5. The driving position is nice. You do not sit as high as the new vans.
6. Fiberglass body -- no rust. (But you do have to take care of the underside)
7. The newer ones (post-2009) have the 6-sp transmission, which is nice.
8. The ground clearance is tight

just my 2 cents
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:38 PM   #16
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Thanks BBQ!

I was thinking that the 210 does look pretty low to the ground - I suppose made worse because I believe the floor is lowered to provide headroom. Any idea of the actual ground clearance measurement in comparison to other make/models? Significantly lower?

As for bathroom size, when I first learned of the RT concept of showering in the aisle, it sounded pretty weird, but I imagine that unless boondocking - which I think we would rarely do - most folks only use the RV shower if the campground facilities are really bad (and we have seen some of those over the years!) so for almost "emergency use" it isn't maybe such a bad idea.

As you say, everything is a compromise and maybe a small bathroom is something we could live with to have better aisle width, more storage, etc.

We did look at a Hymer Aktiv 2 with something like a 17" aisle compared to the 30' aisle of the 210. They do fit a lot of stuff into the Aktiv, but we felt it was just too confining and claustrophobic for us so it was dropped from our list! No doubt it suits some other folk perfectly well!

Brian.
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:47 PM   #17
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can you still get a 210 with the lowered floor and the temporary shower?. In my opinion if i did this it would be fixed permanent dinette in back and the temp shower/lowered floor-which i think you have to ask for.
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Old 04-19-2018, 06:19 PM   #18
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The lowered floor has always been standard. I doubt it has changed.

It's actually how Roadtrek manages to build a van where you can stand up and still have a low roof line. IMO, it's one of it's best features!
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Old 04-19-2018, 06:56 PM   #19
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Hi Gerry,

Not 100% sure,the brochure I have does not specify, but I have seen a youtube video giving a walk through of a 217 model and it does show the shower that can bu used in the closed compartment or with the curtain into the aisle with floor pan and drain in the aisle

As for the dropped floor, I am just assuming they must still use that arrangement to provide headroom as the overall height is just something like 8'-4" I think.

Of course the AC is built into the rear rather than up on the roof. If I had my druthers I think I'd rather see it on the roof and have more storage inside.

They do offer some sort of under mounted AC unit but it is about a $4000 option and I'm not sure how problematic it might be down under the floor! For some reason they list it as 30,000 BTU compared to the normal 10,200 BTU unit. Also it is 12VDC. Don't think 'd be ordering that!

I do plan on taking a trip to tour the RT factory shortly as they are ony an hour from where we live - one of the reasons I am leaning towards RT rather than PW !

Brian.
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:56 PM   #20
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Hi Gerry,

Not 100% sure,the brochure I have does not specify, but I have seen a youtube video giving a walk through of a 217 model and it does show the shower that can bu used in the closed compartment or with the curtain into the aisle with floor pan and drain in the aisle

Brian.
I have never used the aisle shower option in my 2006 210. I have carpets on the aisle floor and it would be too much hassle to take up. So I cut the shower curtain into 2 pieces. I can pull the first piece out to make a privacy curtain. The second part I use when showering in the bathroom. I cut a piece of 1/8" fiberglass rod that I bend to push the shower curtain out a few inches to give me more room when showering. There has been a post on another Roadtrek forum, perhaps one of the facebook ones. This setup works great for me.

Here is the facebook forum. Find the post by Steven Raskin.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1676694222568818/
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