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Old 12-24-2018, 03:01 PM   #1
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Default Roadtrek 210 Popular or converted cargo van?

Good morning all. Hopefully this is the best place to post this.

I decided some months back I need to pare down my financial obligations to pay off some debt, and to do that, I plan to live in a van full time. My biggest thing has been stealthiness and drivability.

I was pretty set on the 190 Popular and told myself I’d under no circumstances get a 210 because the length would be way more difficult to drive, mileage would not be as good, and also a little less stealth.

Since then I’ve started looking at converted Dodge or Mercedes Sprinters or Promasters, which seem to be the same length or slightly longer than 210s. My question is, for those who know, am I cutting out the 210 for a poor reason? If I’m considering cargo vans, the 210 isn’t a big stretch, I’d still have the same parking, driving and mileage issues, no?

Someone convince me the 210 isn’t a huge stretch from the 190. I only want to be convinced because there seem to be more 210s on the market right now, and I’m scared I won’t find something by March when my lease is up.

I’m in a major US city if that helps. I could do plenty of street parking, I just didn’t wanna stick out like a sore thumb.

You guys are a knowledgeable bunch, so please enlighten me.
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Old 12-24-2018, 06:25 PM   #2
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Good morning all. Hopefully this is the best place to post this.

I decided some months back I need to pare down my financial obligations to pay off some debt, and to do that, I plan to live in a van full time. My biggest thing has been stealthiness and drivability.

I was pretty set on the 190 Popular and told myself Iíd under no circumstances get a 210 because the length would be way more difficult to drive, mileage would not be as good, and also a little less stealth.

Since then Iíve started looking at converted Dodge or Mercedes Sprinters or Promasters, which seem to be the same length or slightly longer than 210s. My question is, for those who know, am I cutting out the 210 for a poor reason? If Iím considering cargo vans, the 210 isnít a big stretch, Iíd still have the same parking, driving and mileage issues, no?

Someone convince me the 210 isnít a huge stretch from the 190. I only want to be convinced because there seem to be more 210s on the market right now, and Iím scared I wonít find something by March when my lease is up.

Iím in a major US city if that helps. I could do plenty of street parking, I just didnít wanna stick out like a sore thumb.

You guys are a knowledgeable bunch, so please enlighten me.
What Roadtrek doesn't make clear is that the LOA specified the 190 and the 210 doesn't include the additional 12-14 inches added for the Continental spare if the option is included. There is no space under chassis to stow a spare. So, on our 210 we removed the Continental assembly and stow the tire underneath the power sofa which makes our LOA about the same as it is for a 190 with a Continental spare. I don't know whether the spare can be located under the power sofa of a 190.

The typical criticism for this is that doing this takes up some storage space but for our purposes there is more remaining storage space available in the 210 than we ever need.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:56 PM   #3
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Here's a few pictures I took in a parking lot comparing my 20.5ft. Airstream Avenue (same as Roadtrek 190 in dimensions, except a few inches taller) to a Roadtrek 210 without the continental spare tire.

Mainly, the 210's butt looks big (because it is). The 210 has it's appeal, however.

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Old 12-26-2018, 05:56 PM   #4
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Here is my 210 next to a 190 -





While a bit longer it can park in most of the places a 190 can. If you wanted to make it look less like an RV the graphics could be peeled of so that it looked more like a plain white van.


But to anyone that knows RVs the vents will be a dead giveaway....
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:43 PM   #5
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FWIW, we have not had a problem with overnight parking in our 210V in cities. Then again we do not stay in any one location more than a night or two.

Regarding mileage, we don't get great mileage, 13-14mpg at the speeds we drive. The newer van's like Transits and Promasters definitely get better mileage.

When street parking, we try to find end spaces, rarely do we find spaces in the middle of the block that would fit us, though I believe we'd have trouble with those spaces with anything longer than a Roadtrek 170 or short Promaster.

Yes, the vents on the rear of the RT's and the Airstream above are dead giveaways but in our experience on the east coast there don't seem to be too many people who know rv's. Most people we talk to call ours a van.
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:39 PM   #6
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The 210 is 2 feet longer and 8 inches wider (+/-) than the 190 and IMO much more liveable for full timing. We love ours and would not trade for any other models we have seen. Sprinters are so narrow, no aisle space. Dodges have 6cyl i believe. Everyone has their own opinions of what works for them, so don't ruke out a 210 til you check one out. Plus the 210 popular has a 5 cu ft fridge. Many have 3 or 4.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:42 PM   #7
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Superheroego,

RE: "Stealthiness" and "Urban Van/RV Living"

Check out the YouTube videos by Justin Credible that deal with the above subjects. He has been living in his RV's (mostly Class B's) for 17 years in the Vancouver area of Canada. As he states, a Class B Camper van is really not that stealthy; that most people (and Police) realize it is an RV. HOWEVER, the key is be be "LOW KEY" and and RESPECTFUL of your surroundings. And as another person stated - Only park/stay in a particular location for a day or two.

And a few other tips:
Don't draw attention to yourself and your RV
Leave the spot before the morning, if you can
Leave the area cleaner than when you parked
Don't put leveling blocks under any tires
Close your blinds/curtains at night
Keep noise/music/TV volumes low
Don't park near other RV's (unless in a Walmart or similar)
Keep visitors/friends to a minimum
If questioned by Police or neighbors, be respectful
If asked to leave, then leave and find a new spot

These are just a few tips that I can think of for now

David
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:31 PM   #8
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I remember watching a YouTube channel ( I can't remember which) and they made a good point. Stealthiness isn't so much about your van not looking like an RV. It's more about it not looking like anyone is currently in it and that it is just parked there like any other car. You can't hide A/C units or solar panels or other service panels and no commercial van has those. People will always know that your vehicle CAN be slept in. Your objective is that they don't think anyone IS sleeping in it. For that, your best bet for stealth is blackout blinds.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:16 PM   #9
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I remember watching a YouTube channel ( I can't remember which) and they made a good point. Stealthiness isn't so much about your van not looking like an RV. It's more about it not looking like anyone is currently in it and that it is just parked there like any other car. You can't hide A/C units or solar panels or other service panels and no commercial van has those. People will always know that your vehicle CAN be slept in. Your objective is that they don't think anyone IS sleeping in it. For that, your best bet for stealth is blackout blinds.
Good advice. Don't draw any undue attention to yourself and most will not care to check you out further.

On the other hand, there are those who make it tough for the rest of us by "making themselves at home" no matter where they are. Yesterday, at a local Walmart parking lot in the middle of the afternoon, we saw the following:

> A 5th wheel with slide-out deployed in the middle of the day.
> A newer class "a" with towed vehicle detached and parked along side.
> Older class "a" with an even older looking pallet generator beside it (generator was huge).
> Even older class "c" with gas cans beside it, slide out was deployed with heavy straps on the ground beneath it (to keep it retracted when not in use?), and the hood was up with two pairs of legs protruding from below the engine compartment making repairs.
> A minivan with people and a dog obviously living inside (they looked more homeless than campers).

Another 5th wheel and class "a" were simply parked and were the only two without obvious camping activity around them, but with the previous examples, how long before Walmart says "enough".
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:44 PM   #10
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I also believe stealthiness is better achieved with a visibly empty cab and a curtain separating the cab/coach. Putting up reflectix in your windshield and door windows screams sleepover. Maybe that's just the Canadian in me talking. It could be common practice on cars further south. We put cardboard on the outside of the windshield at night so that we don't have to scrape in the morning .
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:18 PM   #11
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Yep, the abusers are going to kill our ability to use walmart and other generous retailers for boondocking while getting from point a to b. I also see people "camping" in lots on every trip. Some are uneducated, and some plain ignorant and stupid . No easy fix for this situation til walmart says no more.
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Old 01-01-2019, 02:40 PM   #12
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We have owned both a 190P and a 210P. Personally (and everyone has their own and usually different opinions) I think the 190 is easier to park because it simply is not as wide and long. Go to the Roadtrek site and look at the exterior dimensions, the tank capacities and the storage in cubic feet. The older RT brochures on the site have all the models laid out side by side with about three pages of valid comparisons. The models on the Chevy haven't changed that much, really, in a dozen years so the stats are pretty moveable from one year to another.

We find the 210 is a little extra hassle and worth every bit of it because of the increased storage, inside room and larger frig.
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:21 PM   #13
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You would be better served to have a permanent place to park daily whether or not you are "hooked up." Beside a friend's house for a fee or on land with permission of the landowner.

Just an opinion but stealth camping long term in the same area without permission is a fool's errand.

I did see it done in a San Diego Marina. He arrived after the parking patrol had signed off for the day and would leave in the morning before they made their first round. During the day I would see the vehicle parked on a nearby business street. Visiting the same Marina a year later he was still doing it, unscathed. He had it figured out. Blackout curtains were a help.

Never did get to talk to him but would have liked to. The vehicle was old but very clean with fresh paint. Looked like a sixties era small RV.
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:53 PM   #14
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Thanks to everyone for their input!
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:10 PM   #15
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Thanks to everyone for their input!
Ok, now go out there and find the right rv for you, and let us know what you get.
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