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Old 05-13-2016, 02:07 AM   #1
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Default Used E-Trek?

Hi all,
I have a line on a good deal on a used 2014.5 Roadtrek E-Trek that I'm considering. My mind's far from made up, but I thought I'd seek the wisdom of the forum.

I've prowled the various forums, Facebook Groups, blogs, etc and have a pretty good idea of what the E-Trek is all about. It seems like most people have been happy with theirs but there have been problems. One concern is that not every rig has had the same problem and there are several different problems that have only impacted some E-Treks. Roadtrek seems to be constantly evolving the components in the E-Trek so it's hard to know exactly what you're getting.

I do like the idea of the tech onboard and going totally electric. We're not bothered by the small fridge or microwave on the floor. I don't LIKE that floorplan but it seems to be the main game in town. Everybody seems to go with that if you want 4 captains chairs, which is something we want.

So, my main question is, would you consider buying a USED E-Trek? The dealer has all the maintenance records and warranty work done and it's a pretty minor list of issues. This is just a complex motorhome and I'm hesitant to jump in. The pluses are that the Roadtrek warranty transfers and the blogs, Facebook, forums really make it easy to get help when something comes up. Plus this RV has already taken a big depreciation hit. The cons are that there is a lot that can break, I have little idea which issues may have cropped up or how the previous owner handled it, and everything is older and possibly abused (i.e. the AGM batteries).

Any thoughts would be most appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:07 AM   #2
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I'd want to speak to the prior owner. Especially if it wasn;t sold off for reasons of health, etc.

That said, if I were to sell you my rig, it has had zero issues.
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:03 AM   #3
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I'd consider a used Etrek.

#1 - I'd look for one that hasn't been idled all the time. Some folks may not have understood the limited idle time then highway drive recommendations. I wouldn't want is an "old" engine with 1,000's of hours of idling on a nearly new coach. I think the computer records the amount of idling time so it would be worth it to me to get a printout of that.

#2 - I'd be prepared to solve any problems encountered.

I think (correct me if wrong) that air conditioner run time ended up being around 5 hours with fairly new batteries etc.

Just a note: Lifepo4 (lithium) battery chemistry would seem to be the way powering these mostly electric coaches is going. AGM's (lead acid) need to be fully charged at least periodically. Lifepo4 batteries reported suffer no ill effects from being partially charged and then used.

Several owners have reported being happy with their E-trek's.
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obgraham View Post
I'd want to speak to the prior owner. Especially if it wasn;t sold off for reasons of health, etc.
Good point. This is via a dealer so the only thing I was able to get about the previous owners is that they put 25K miles on it in two years, used it a lot (with apparently minimal problems) and decided to trade it in (at the same dealer) for a new CS w/ E-Trek because the wife wanted a different exterior color and the larger fridge.

25K is pretty high mileage for 2 years, but I think it demonstrates that the RV likely didn't spend half its life in the shop. On the other hand, all the systems have been used a bunch which is opportunity for wear (and potential abuse).

Any ideas on the lifespan of Sprinter tires?
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:47 PM   #5
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If the OEM tires are the Continental Vanco Four Season many owners find those to be a poor choice compared to Michelin and switch even before they need replacing. I switched because the originals were 6 years old and we were heading out on a 14,000 trip to Alaska, I could have gone longer since they only had 25,000 miles on them and they were in good shape but the Alaska trip would have been pushing it. I do notice improved ride with the Michelins especially less harshness on expansion joints. We have a 2500 chassis 08 RS with single rear wheels so not easy to compare to the 3500 chassis.
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:47 PM   #6
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Personally, I'd be scared to death to touch one. I am not into trying to fix someone else's errors, and be a pioneer, not only with newer technology, but worse, fixing another "pioneers" attempts at it. These units have been riddled with troubles, just read facebook for a day or two.
But even MORE IMMENSELY important than that, you said "I don't LIKE that floorplan", in bold no less.... Why would you spend that sort of money if you are not completely happy with the floorplan? The floorplan you want can be had, even if you have to build it or have it built. It's no bargain if you "don't like it", or have to rebuild it, or fix it..
In my opinion, the floorplan and the Chassis you like is the FIRST place to start; in the confined quarters of a B, it better be laid out the way you like. Power use can be dealt with in many ways, if you just don't like the floorplan, what good is it?
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:59 PM   #7
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No opinion on the merits of this particular vehicle. But, my take is that when it comes to RVs, you are less likely to be "fixing someone else's errors" than you are to be inheriting someone else's fixes of the manufacturer's errors. Sadly, almost all RVs come with screw-ups that the first owner ends up getting fixed. Not a bash on RT in particular.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:02 PM   #8
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Default Used E-Trek?

I have a 2013 E-Trek with just under 50k miles. Still has the original Continental tires that will be replaced in the Fall. I recently had a battery equalizer installed on warranty and recommend that you check on whether that upgrade was performed on the unit you are considering. Also, make sure the Webasto DualTop is working properly. That's a component that would likely have to be removed and shipped to a Webasto repair facility rather than fixed locally. So a PIA if it does need repairs. Overall, like obgraham, my E-Trek experience has been very positive. I really like being mostly-electric and the openness of the cabin.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:07 PM   #9
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OEM Continental tires are good for about 40,000 miles max on an RV. I have replaced two Sprinters after 36,000 and 37,000 miles with Michelins. My current RV has 38,000 miles after 15 months.
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottbaldassari View Post
Why would you spend that sort of money if you are not completely happy with the floorplan?
I don't want to hijack my own thread and turn this into yet another floorplan debate, but I figured I should respond to this...

You make a fair point, but name one true B van with four captains chairs and a passenger side kitchen or a microwave & fridge not on the floor. As Davydd has pointed out, Roadtrek pioneered this floorplan and pretty much everyone else has copied it (Winnie, Airstream, Coachmen, etc). Since I do absolutely want the four Captains chairs, there are very few alternatives short of going the custom route. Custom will either cost more money or time and I'd rather spend my time using an RV than building it. As I said, I can absolutely live with the floorplan. Would I prefer a bigger fridge, passenger side galley, and face height microwave? Yes; but I'm simply not going to find it in stock. Life is all about trade offs and that is extra true in B floorplans. If I do end up buying a B, no matter the manufacturer, there is a 90% chance I'll end up with this floorplan. It's what is available and meets my other criteria quite well. But your point is well taken.

Now back to the E-trek:
Can anyone tell me a quick check to see if a battery balancer has been installed? From the boards it seems like some E-Treks needed it and some simply worked just fine without it. Other than maintenance records (which I hope to get), is there a quick visual check?

Also, is there a recommended test cycle to try out the Webasto? Obviously if it starts blinking error codes, something is wrong. Anything else special I should do?

Thanks for all the comments. Great stuff!
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