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Old 07-27-2017, 08:50 PM   #1
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Cool Hondo's 2006 Roadtrek 210 Popular Build

Build & modification thread, 2006 Roadtrek 210 Popular

Roadtrek makes a fine Class B motorhome and I was in the market for one after selling The ADV Jamboree to a local inmate here in Colorado. While the Jamboree is a great machine I was looking for a more compact Class B and started looking at the Roadtrek 210 Popular models.

I wasn't interested in buying a new 210 Popular as they are $110K+ and wanted to keep my budget well below that. Ideally I was looking for a lightly used, low mileage example that had been babied. So on a Friday night I see a 2006 210 Popular listed in the Sacramento Craigslist with about 33,000 miles, 27 hours on the Onan genset and stored in a hanger.

A pic from the listing-



I called the seller and got the details-
  • Sold by a widow
  • Sitting for a few years
  • Original owner
  • 33K miles
  • stored in an aircraft hanger
  • great condition inside & out
We made a tentative deal over the phone after looking at my schedule - I knew that I could make the deal happen if I flew out Sunday, made the deal Monday and was home by Tuesday.

On Sunday morning I jumped on a jet to Sacramento & picked up a rental car. Then I drove about 30 minutes East to check into a hotel and from there I drove over to do the inspection.

It was in like new condition and I didn't see anything to cause alarm other than the tires were dated 2005 and they'd need to be replaced. We shook on the deal and then I was off to grab some dinner & to the hotel for the night.

I met the seller in the morning and we went to her bank to do the money transfer and the paperwork. From there we dropped off my rental and then back to pick the Roadtrek up and start driving east.

I stopped a few times-

Bridal Veil Falls on hwy 50-



Echo Pass/Summit California - yep it was snowing!



When I stopped in Carson City, Nevada I picked up (and installed) a Scanguage 2 - I like monitoring transmission temps as well as other parameters not on the instrument panel. Had to stop in Fallon, NV to get a pic of the A-7 on a stick-

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Old 07-27-2017, 08:51 PM   #2
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Somewhere along the way I stopped to fire up the genset and while it ran well it stopped transferring power- CBs, check, Onan CB- check. The deep cell batts were needing to be replaced so it looked like I was in for a cold night. Regardless I was still jazzed up driving East.

I stopped in Salina Utah and spent the night there. In the morning I stopped at a rest area off of I-70- it was a beautiful day-



My Welcome Home sign-



it was snowy in Colorado too-



Besides the genset transfer relay quitting it was an uneventful drive home, averaged about 14 mpg-



On to the build & mods!
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:52 PM   #3
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I knew before I bought the Roadtrek that I was going to need to do a few things to it-
  1. Lift the suspension in order to access off pavement areas safely
  2. replace the stereo
  3. replace the smoke, CO2 and LP gas detectors (all exceeded life limits)
  4. replace the tires
  5. replace the deep cycle coach batteries
  6. install a roof vent cover
I accepted that there would be other things that would crop up or I'd decide to modify- stay tuned for those!
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:52 PM   #4
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The 1st thing that I addressed was the celing fan vent and it's lack of a cover. Installed was a good working Fantastic Vent Fan but it needed a cover so that it could be left open while driving or while raining. After looking at what was available I decided to install a MaxxFan Deluxe fan as it was very low profile, integrated power/manual vent cover, a remote control and many other features-



Here's the Fantastic fan that was installed-



Cut around the base with a razor knife, disconnect the wires and it pops right out-



After installing the base I sealed it up using white Eternabond tape- never gonna leak here-

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Old 07-27-2017, 08:53 PM   #5
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After installing the fan assy, up or open position-



Installed the trim ring and mounted the remote control holder on the wall in the rear sleeping area-



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Old 07-27-2017, 08:53 PM   #6
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Vent closed-



Vent open-



I did a walk around video of the rig - (19:36)

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Old 07-27-2017, 08:55 PM   #7
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The next issue to address was the Onan 2800 genset and the power transfer switch.

The generator ran fine but the transfer relay wouln't latch when the generator was supplying power. I manually closed the contacts of the relay and power would transfer fine. So either the coil that closes the relay was defective or the small circuit board in the PTR case was. I picked up a replacement unit and decided it was best to swap out the circuit board 1st as it was the easiest part to swap. That was the culprit!



After swapping it out the power transferred just fine. :clap

BUT when I added a load the generator would die/stumble....

Researching this problem I saw a few owners who solved the problem by removing the carb fuel bowl (supposedly impossible by Onan, they just sell replacement carburetors) and cleaning both the bowl and the main jet that is in the bottom of that bowl-



After doing that it ran like a champ and took whatever load I threw at it.

When that was done I replaced the coach batteries with a pair of new wet cell deep cycle batteries.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:56 PM   #8
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Lighting upgrades-

Swapped out the G4 base bulbs with LED replacements -



The 2 over sink 12 inch florescent bulbs I swapped out with these LED tubes, had to rewire the fixture after removing the ballast- (HUGE improvement!)



Swapped out the cooking exhaust fan bulb with this-



and the cab's 3 dome light bulbs with these-



I bought all of the LEDs on ebay.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:57 PM   #9
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An update-

These 12v G4 base LED bulbs (for small ceiling fixtures) that I bought on ebay started burning up-



As you can see in the pic the LEDs are covered in a clear urethane plastic and and some of them overheated/burned up, made quite a stink. So I ordered these today- they are not covered and hopefully they will operate cooler & last longer-

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Old 07-27-2017, 08:58 PM   #10
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Last week I also swapped out the 600 watt Tripp Lite inverter with a 1250 watt upgrade. It was a simple swap though I did need to add an additional ground for the new unit.



While I was at it I installed a Remote Inverter/Charger Switch into the wall of the cabinet by the entrance door. This allows selection of full inverter operation or battery charge only (preserves battery life) -



I also installed a new smoke detector (not pictured) and the Propane Detector-



and swapped out the CO detector with a dual CO/Propane detector -



All of the detectors had exceeded their lifetime limits so replacement was necessary.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:58 PM   #11
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.

It's a beauty.

Lucky you.

Have fun.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:59 PM   #12
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Added to the list of things to do-
  • replace the Airlift air bag control system with a new Wireless Remote system
  • install a transmission cooler and thermostat
  • replace the engine clutch cooling fan with an electric cooling fan system
  • install 2 LED driving lights in the front air dam, considering ADVMonster Model 60s
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:00 PM   #13
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The Lift

Here's how I got the Roadtrek, completely stock with all the goodies bolted onto, into and under a Chevrolet 3500 series Express van-



You can see that with the cladding and storage/tanks underneath the body that clearance its limited. This would be no issue for an owner who never planned to leave even pavement and good dirt roads. Well, that's not me- I like to have more capability ie: go down those less refined roads out west.

So a lift was planned from the moment that I saw it. Luckily for me Boulder Offroad Vans is located about an hour north of me and they make lift kits for Chevrolet vans including my 8 lug 3500 Express. I paid them a visit and set a date for them to install a 4 inch lift kit and new rear HD leaf springs (made for the added weight of the rig and for the lift). The kit includes custom steering knuckles that adds the 4 inches of front lift, upper control arms and ball joints, rear hardware and lift blocks and I also had them install new Bilstien shocks.

I ordered 16X8 American Racing ATX Ledge Wheels with less offset (0 vs the -6 of the original AR rims from Roadtrek) from my local Discount Tire. They price matched the lowest price I could find online (Amazon). These wheels have a load limit of 3,600 lbs each so they can easily carry the loaded weight of the rear axle (5,000 total lbs/2,500 lbs per side empty) & the loaded 210. I chose to go with the chrome finish-



The stock tire size is a 245-75R-16 and I picked BF Goodrich T/A Radials in the larger 285-75R-16 size as they would also add to the lift IF they fit....

When the Roadtrek was ready I went to pick it up and was pleased with the additional clearance. Driving it home it felt a bit off, like the alignment wasn't correct. I decided to see how it drove after the new tires and wheels were installed.

One result of the lift is the front wheels are pushed outward -

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Old 07-27-2017, 09:01 PM   #14
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I had planned on this and ordered a set of steel 2 inch wheel spacers from Wheel Adapter.com for the rear axle of the Roadtrek.



This would increase stability and move the rear wheels/tires out 2 inches per side, something needed due to the widebody side walls of the coach and the wider front track.

Here's a spacer installed -

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Old 07-27-2017, 09:02 PM   #15
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After I installed the wheel spacers I drove up to Discount Tire and got the process rolling. The plan was to mount one 285 tire to a rim and see if it would fit or what needed trimming. I brought with me a Ryobi cordless reciprocating saw as I knew there might be a bit to do.

The 285 was too big.

When the wheels were turned the tire would have rubbed one of the tanks who's front wall is at the rear of the wheel well and there's no trimming a holding tank. So off came the 285 and on went a 265 75R-16 - thanks Cruise!



It cleared the tanks on each side but I did have to do some trimming- front of front wheel well -



Rear of front wheel well - (I'll be make a flap to seal up the open area)



A look at the new steering knuckle and upper control arm & ball joint-

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Old 07-27-2017, 09:03 PM   #16
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Now that everything fit they unboxed the rims...



and got everything mounted and balanced. A huge thank you to the guys at Discount Tire for working with me on this oversize fitting!

Here's a good pic after I brought it home-

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Old 07-27-2017, 09:03 PM   #17
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Parked next to my 2007 4X4 Avalanche the Roadtrek really looks beastly, and the Avalanche has a 1.5 inch front leveling lift on it-







Front & rear wheel wells-



After it was done I took it out for a road test. Locally it still felt out of alignment and on the interstate it felt really unstable. So in a few days I'm taking it to a local alignment shop to get it zeroed in as I don't want to drive it back to Boulder as it is now. Such is the way of custom mods....
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:04 PM   #18
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Before & after pic of the lifted Roadtrek 210 Popular-



Next up - Airlift WirelessAir!

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Old 07-27-2017, 09:06 PM   #19
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Yesterday the transmission temps seemed too high so today I installed a transmission cooler, pumped out the 12 year old fluid and added fresh.

That grill & headlights gotta come off - there ya go, super easy, maybe 5 minutes -



I bought a Hayden 679 heavy duty cooler and a 390 fitting kit (for Chevrolet). The 679 cooler has the most cooling capability and mounting flanges. I wanted one with flanges so that I could mount it on brackets away from the AC condenser.

I picked up a 1/2 inch wide stick of steel bar at Home depot and made a bracket to mount the left side of the cooler to. The right side I mounted to the existing brace-



After installing the cooler lines and a coat of black paint-



The cooler cools the output of the main radiator cooler so that maximum cooling takes place before the fluid returns to the transmission.

I also dropped the trans pan, cleaned it well and installed a new filter. The I added about 8 quarts of fluid, disconnected the transmission cooler output line at the main radiator, put a piece of clear tubing over the line and pumped the remaining old fluid out. My son helped me by starting the engine, putting it in drive and then shutting engine down when I called for it. I watched for the trans fluid to change to new & clear and then had him shut the engine (and trans pump) off. I read that putting it in gear will help replace the fluid in the torque converter...it's all good now!

I took it out for a test run and was amazed at the difference. Yesterday I was seeing temps at 225 F in city traffic and today it was 175 F

I also ordered a Derale 180F thermostat and will install that when it arrives.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:07 PM   #20
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A relatively easy job. The wireless controller is great, easy to adjust an air spring separately or as a pair, even on the fly.

I removed the old system as it's regulator (not replaceable) had failed so the wireless was my choice. The air springs were already installed so I removed the old compressor, regulator valve assy and miles of wiring and installed the new kit.

The new compressor mounted where the old one was (keeping it as a spare) and I was able to use the old air lines. The included wiring harness is great- plug in the wireless module, the compressor and run a power and ground cable to the fuse box.

The finished install -



I was out driving today and was able to see how the Roadtrek handled with different settings.

Ready for a bike on the bumper rack or a trailer full of motorcycles!

Prepping for an off road riding rally I loaded my riding gear into the large driver's side compartment-



Bonus- just sold the original American Racing wheels for $200
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