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Old 03-01-2011, 06:45 PM   #1
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Default Photog's 2009 RT 190V Build Thread

There is not a specific "Gallery" section for a continuing "Build Thread", for our rigs. Therefore, this will be our "Project" thread, as we modify and update our new 2009 Roadtrek 190 Versatile.

This thread will have everything in it, as we go. Suspension changes, new tires, interior mods, etc. I will do my best to provide good descriptions and photos along the way. I will also provide links to specific threads, where full discussions can continue, without cluttering up this thread. Links will show as different colors (e.g. - 4" Spindle Lift - below).

This first post will have a list of mods, and the date completed.

Mods:
1) 4" Spindle Lift - Summer 2010
2) Removed extra armoire, behind passenger seat, installed 3rd seat. Summer 2010
3) Filled bolt hole in bathroom wall with a coat hook (decorative drawer knob) - Fall 2010
4) Remove 4" spindles and install Tuff Truck front springs - Spring 2011
5) Install Tuff Truck front springs - Spring 2011
6) Install new-upgraded front wheel bearings - Spring 2012
6) Install 3" lift spindles from Boulder Offroad - Spring - 2012
7) Replace 16" wheels with 18" wheels/tires - Summer 2012
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2009 Roadtrek 190V, 5" lift - Build Thread
2004 Toyota 4Runner
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: Photog's 2009 RT 190V Build Thread

I installed a set of 4" lift knuckles in the front, and currently a set of 4" lift blocks for the rear axle. Here is a pic of the spindles.


There are some drawbacks to this setup, as the knuckles are designed for a 1Ton Silverado pickup truck. The suspension geometry is not the same as the Chevy vans. I will be removing these knuckles, and installing the factory knuckles, with a set of HD springs from Otto-Max and a 2" lift spacer. More on that later.

Edit: The 2" coil-lift spacer will not fit with the Tuftruck coils. The ride is fairly stiff with the Tuftruck springs, and the spacers would increase the harshness of the ride.

Of course, the black/gray gate valve is the lowest and most vulnerable part of the entire RV.
We do love the extra clearance and we have not scraped the gate valve once, since we lifted the van.

As you can see in the pic below, there is a fair amount of clearance now. The storage and black/grey tank skirts are lower than the clearance shown here, as they hang down the sides like saddle bags. You can see the clearance under the middle of the van is greater than the saddle bags on the sides.

There is plenty of room for larger diameter tires now. We will probably upsize tires, when we get new bumpers.

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2009 Roadtrek 190V, 5" lift - Build Thread
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Photog's 2009 RT 190V Build Thread

When we removed the armoire cabinet, there was a hole in the wall, above the seat-back, where the armoire is bolted to the bathroom wall. I wanted to cover this hole somehow.

As with anything in a class B, I actually wanted this hole to do double duty. So, when this hole is not being used to hold the armoire in place, it will be used to hold a coat hook. This hook can be used for coats (of course), hand towel, or what ever is needed at the time. I also wanted it to be decorative, when nothing is hung on it.

I decided on a decorative drawer pull (knob). If I don't like the point parts of this item, I can easily switch it out for a standard, round, drawer pull.

Here are the photos.


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Old 03-21-2011, 06:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Photog's 2009 RT 190V Build Thread

Over the weekend, I pulled out the 4" lift spindles and factory springs. I installed the factory knuckles and a set of stronger springs from Otto-Max part number TTC-1617: http://www.otto-max.com/super-heavy-duty-coils.html

These springs provide at least 2" of lift (over stock height), and get the front suspension off of the overload bumper. This spring is designed as a replacement for the stock coils in the Diesel powered van. The stock springs in those rigs tend to sag over time.

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Old 04-25-2011, 09:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Photog's 2009 RT 190V Build Thread

This is how it looks, with 4" blocks in the rear and the Tuff Truck springs up front.



It is hard to see, but the front is slightly lower than the rear. This actually has a small benefit. Everywhere we have parked, the ground is not level. Even parking lots are sloped for proper drainage. With this setup, we just park with the nose, up hill.

On our last week long trip, we only needed leveling blocks one night. And that was the only night we were in an actual campground. The rest of the time we were boondocking or a parking lot (one night at Wal Mart).

These springs and rear swaybar made driving a wonderful experience. Side winds and curvy roads were easy to handle, and we didn't worry about dragging bottom.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Photog's 2009 RT 190V Build Thread

This last weekend, I installed a new closet rod, in the optional closet (behind driver).

The factory setup has a metal strip, with holes punched in it. This is a pain to use, on a daily basis. I replaced it with a Towel Rail, from IKEA. It was the perfect length for the closet. It hangs down a little further, so the hangers are easier to hook up, and I can slide the clothes, to access items stored on the closet floor.

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Old 07-14-2011, 05:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Photog's 2009 RT 190V Build Thread

We just got our van back from the dealer. It went in for some warranty work.

When reading this next bit, know that Roadtrek made good on this issue, it just took some time.

For the other Roadtrek owners out there: If you have the granite-looking counter top, you may want to check it for cracks. In ours, the front edge of the counter cracked, in the area of the stove/sink. This part of the counter is very narrow, and unsupported. Ours was cracked when we bought the RT new (2009). The repair was covered under warranty.



Two different counter tops were sent out (FedEx). Both were cracked during shipping. One was repaired by a counter top specialist. This one cracked soon after being installed. I pulled the drawers out, to see what was going on. I found out there was nothing supporting the counter top except along the back and sides. Nothing up front. I took photographs, wrote a report with circles, arrows and descriptions of the problem.



I sent the report to Roadtrek customer service. They sent it over to their engineering group, and a new installation was designed. The new Roadtreks now come with the improved counter top design. Roadtrek sent the dealer a new-design counter top for our RT 190V. It is very well executed design.

The new design has a metal reinforcing strip attached behind the front edge of the counter top. There is also a new metal bracket that is installed between the counter top and the vertical post (the post is between the cabinet door and the refrigerator). Now the counter top is reinforced across the entire front lip, and supported through the post, directly to the floor. Very stout.



Great job Roadtrek.
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2009 Roadtrek 190V, 5" lift - Build Thread
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Photog's 2009 RT 190V Build Thread

I updated the previous two posts, with the missing photos (the ones with the black frames).
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Photog's 2009 RT 190V Build Thread

Back in May, I installed the Boulder Offroad 3" lift spindles. These have the proper geometry for the van.

At the same time, I installed new front wheel bearings. These wheel bearings are for the next GVW up (10,000 lbs).



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Old 10-23-2012, 11:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Photog's 2009 RT 190V Build Thread

In September 2012, we replaced the 16" wheels & tires with 18" wheels & tires. We did this to move the wheels back into the fender (better for the bearings) and to gain load capacity for the tires/wheels.





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