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Old 02-10-2022, 09:04 PM   #1
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Default 2022 Thor Rize 18M (same as Scope) Review with Pitchers!

After several years talking about owning a RV, researching, watching videos, visiting dealers, reading and posting in forums, and weighing all options and prices I finally purchased one... here is a review with some snaps for those who may find themselves in a similar situation.



We went through a lot of decisions which narrowed down our choice a lot.

Rather than renting a space at a storage, we wanted to park it in the driveway in front of the house, which limited the length to <19ft, and brought down our choice of vehicles to pretty much nothing.



We also did not have the time nor knowledge to DIY, and prefer a mass-produced unit rather than something custom built which may need a lot of fine-tuning and micro-managing.

We wanted something fairly recent to keep the maintenance and repairs to a minimum, at least initially. Yet also looking for a "good deal" to reduce the amount of money one loses when purchasing a new vehicle.



We wanted a bathroom/toilet, an air conditioner, and enough space to stand up. At the same time, it should be compact to make it easy to drive, yet provide sleeping space for at least 3 peeps.

Wife also wanted it to look nice, warm and welcoming, not "industrial" like the Solis with it's garage-looking flooring. I like efficient space use so turning a lounging area into a bed for example is a plus.



After all these wishes and desires there were no options left in North America until mid 2021, when Thor started bringing in the 18ft Rize/Scope. Two floor plans, only one of them has a bathroom so that left us with the 18M model.

With Covid and inflation hitting, demand for RVs went up, while the supply crashed, leading to ever increasing prices. This delayed our purchase by a few months until we accepted a "slightly used" one for 75k + the usual.



After owning it for a few weeks, and spending some time with it during a number of short trips there are quiet a number of things we like, we don't like, and we wish for. Of course, we will know more once we experience a (few) longer trip(s).
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Old 02-10-2022, 09:05 PM   #2
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Default Things we like

The Size - around 18ft - fits into regular parking spaces and is fairly easy to maneuver. A smaller/lighter car will be better for fuel economy than its larger/heavier brethren.



The Floor Plan. Those are always full of compromises, and after a few months or years one may know better what works and what does not. So far, I like how they fit things into the 18M, while keeping it looking open and airy (for its small size).



I don't like floor plans which put the bathroom right behind the driver, across from where you're entering the coach. Enter the 18M and you see windows and a sofa there which makes it look larger and less crowded. I wasn't sure about having the bathroom in the back, but it seems to work well to have it separated from the living quarters.



The electrical system. Nothing really special, two AGM group 31 batteries rated about 100Ah each, sufficient to keep the refrigerator running for a while. The 190W Solar Panel seems to keep up well with the 45W compressor fridge without the need to run the generator or car to recharge. We'll see how fans and water-pump deplete batteries. The Truma Combo heating is very nice too for cold nights. Not sure yet about hot water delivery. Oh the luxury.



The Vitrifrigo refrigerator - amazing how fast it cools down. Fits quite a bit of stuff, and the freezer is freezing well. I put sensors https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07B9QF64N in the fridge and freezer to show me the temps at one glance and that works really well too. I can set alarms and stuff but keeping it simple for now. I did modify the freezer door a bit to prevent it from staying open (via magnet) as that isn't very visible and would lead to someone trying to close the door with the flap open, destroying it in the process.



Whether one needs a generator or not is up for discussion, but to be able to run the air condition while unplugged is pretty much required when in Arizona in Summer. Alternative would be a huge bank of Li batteries which complicates things and increases the level of complexity. I don't know how often/long we'll need to run the AC under these circumstances, so not sure how long the Propane will last. I don't think it will be an issue.



Also wanted to mention the AGS system, which I thought of as a higher end option. I have not tried the automated generator start yet, but it should work great if ever needed. Can be controlled via min/max battery voltage, min/max duration plus "quiet times", pretty nifty.



Not sure yet if the cassette toilet is a plus or minus... however, when arriving home, emptying it in the bathroom and giving it a good spritz-down on the lawn has been easy so far. Haven't tried with #2 yet so that may make things a bit more... up & personal. I think overall I like the options to empty the cassette compared to finding a manhole and dealing with stuck stuff in the bw hose. I always seem to manage to spray myself with nasties.



Storage space - of course there is less than say in a 24ft-er, but considering the compact size they crammed quite a few cabinets in there. The overhead cabinets are pretty too, with their glossy surface and curvature. The others are the usual veneer/presswood stapled cheapos.



Cabin lighting is awesome. Bright, with a good color (neither too blue nor too yellow), and most of them adjustable via the BMPro. Efficient LEDs that don't tax the batteries and should last a long time. And... lots of them distributed throughout the coach.



The central BMPro/RV Master screen is pretty cool too, works well, just the "booting" of the Android system when turning on the switch taxes ones patience if you just want to quickly check something.



Not specific to this camper/model, but we greatly enjoy arriving somewhere, pulling out the camping seats, and enjoying the views. Rather than having to pitch the tent, blow up mattresses, make beds, pull out coolbox and food, assemble the cooker, etc and then the reverse maybe the next morning. Having a kitchen with two burners is pretty awesome too.
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Old 02-10-2022, 09:05 PM   #3
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Default Things we don't like...

Biggest issue with this particular model is how Thor placed the generator and one of the batteries really close to the road. The ground clearance is 3-4in which is ridiculous. There seems to be a recall which repositions the genny a bit further up front and hopefully a few inches higher, hope to get that done soon.



General workmanship is pretty mediocre. There is some veneer/paper peeling insided the cabinets, screws driven into thin air, some of the presswood covers already have water damage, and the bathroom hanging doors are very much not staying in their track at the bottom. While trying to adjust the door, the shower surround just popped out of its channel. Not even sure if it was glued or otherwise attached.

First thing I removed was the bike rack. To avoid me closing the rear door and taking off my head while doing so.



The table and its metal connection hardware are heavy, and the attachment at the bottom was screwed into a hilariously thin panel and just ripped out by itself. I took it apart and backed it with a good piece of plywood, but it seems like a gamble to put something on the table. They should anchor it well at the floor or something. Took out the table completely for now.



The dashboard radio is connected to the chassis battery, so while camping there is no audio entertainment unless the ignition is on which is not a good option. Also, the AUX port doesn't seem to be hooked up to anything, and the Android Auto USB connection drops frequently (might be a phone issue).



I am rather tall, and the seat position in the ProMaster is pretty high up there and can't be lowered. I have to lean forward or to the sides to take in mountains, traffic signals etc. Sitting in the passenger seat is even worse, unless I tilt the back quite a bit backwards, I am able to see the contents of the overhead storage really well. (Exaggerating just a little)
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Old 02-10-2022, 09:07 PM   #4
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Default Things we wish it had...

No biggie, but I wish the Truma control was integrated into the BMPro multiplex system... from a users point, that would make a lot of sense, I think.



I wish for a good SOC battery monitor, but that may just be me geeking out, perhaps the average RVer doesn't really care that much. I do want to know what my appliances draw, and how much the solar panel puts back in. Just looking at overall voltage is a bit too coarse. Aftermarket things galore.



I am not sure about the propane tank. With the van running on gasoline, one assumes that the generator as well as the heater could use that too, but perhaps I am wrong and gas gennies require a lot of maintenance compared to propane ones, and after all, one needs propane for cooking anyway (induction requires more battery, so no, thanks).



I wish there was a pop-up roof with a bed, but then again, there is a lot of stuff on the roof that we want too, well mostly the A/C unit. I think flexible solar panels could be integrated into a pop-up, and a vent perhaps too. Not sure. Right now, our teenager is sleeping across the front seats which works ok, but does crowd the place a bit. For two peeps that don't mind being close it's all good though.



As for outlets, so far I have only found one 12V outlet in the back, in addition to the one in the dashboard. Looks like they are being phased out or something, but there are still things that run on 12V, like mattress inflators. Plenty of USB ports though, and 110V outlets, most of them only work when plugged in. Also I wish there was a port for an external solar panel. The controller handles 30A so it shouldn't be an issue to add one for those cases where you park in a cave and want to keep the batteries charged.

Any questions or comments are welcome!
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Old 02-11-2022, 02:45 PM   #5
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Finding a small RV is pretty impossible. I gave up on commercial rigs and bought the smallest Promaster that I can stand in... the 1500 that is 16 feet long... and had Colorado Campers convert it for me. It actually went very well. But I wanted to keep it simple... no plumbing or propane.

Your Rize is, of course, a clone of the Hymer/Carado Axion, that EGHNA produced with the addition of Thor "quality" (or lack thereof). Basically the cabinetry looks better inside, but avoid looking too closely. lol I pondered purchasing an Axion and pulling out the galley side stuff and expanding it more into the door space. My first rig, the GWV, was a side sofa and rear bath and it was probably my favorite for the single traveler.

With my Simplicity SRT, I had 2 Group 31s and 270w of solar, I could go indefinitely running the fan, fridge, lights, and charge electronics. Even with less solar, I would think you could do the same... with the much smaller fridge. Of course, this excludes using the AC and running a microwave.

It sounds like you are making it all work for you. Enjoy!!
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Old 02-11-2022, 03:47 PM   #6
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Thank you for replying!

We were not in a big rush so waiting for the right one to appear was an option. There are a lot of shorter RVs in Europe. I looked at some of the Carado Axions, especially the Loft version was tempting, but only used ones available, very few, far away, and very expensive (often more than what they cost new).

And you are right, as long as we're parked in the sun, the solar panel provides enough juice to keep fridge/fans/lights running. Since we are usually driving around every/other day I don't see us running out of battery often, and as long as we don't need A/C the generator will also see little use.
Just for the infrequent microwave ramyeon or
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Old 02-17-2022, 05:39 PM   #7
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I love this layout. I detest speaking negatively about different company’s build quality, but Thor scares me a bit. Mostly from just reading reviews, watching owners videos, etc.. However, there’s something to be said about getting a good price point, and accepting doing some of this fixes and maintenance yourself.

The couch on one side on the driver side wall is one of my favorite layouts in the industry. If the Travato would dump that jump seat, and convert to a small love seat, I’d be all over it. The odd times I spend inside a van (inclement weather usually) I like the idea of the open feel of the couch and placement, as opposed to the jump seat… which places me in a tight seat, staring at the drivers cab. Anyway, thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-18-2022, 10:28 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the pics and details. Love it.
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Old 02-18-2022, 08:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeyLee View Post
I love this layout. I detest speaking negatively about different company’s build quality, but Thor scares me a bit. Mostly from just reading reviews, watching owners videos, etc.. However, there’s something to be said about getting a good price point, and accepting doing some of this fixes and maintenance yourself.
Thanks for your comment! Yeah there is always a bit of a compromise, but I rather know I am not getting top quality and adjust accordingly, than paying $$$ and being disappointed. Maybe.
You can find reviews and videos for most manufacturers that will point out quality issues. Even Winnebago. And PW, while famous for its upfitting, is very slow in adopting new technology.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeyLee View Post
The couch on one side on the driver side wall is one of my favorite layouts in the industry. If the Travato would dump that jump seat, and convert to a small love seat, I’d be all over it. The odd times I spend inside a van (inclement weather usually) I like the idea of the open feel of the couch and placement, as opposed to the jump seat… which places me in a tight seat, staring at the drivers cab. Anyway, thanks for sharing.
Couldn't agree more!
Since you bring up the Travato, we sorta like the layout, but that water tank/bench seat blocking most of the entrance?
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Old 02-18-2022, 08:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pasusan View Post
Thanks for all the pics and details. Love it.
Thank you for your feedback!

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Old 02-18-2022, 10:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
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...
You can find reviews and videos for most manufacturers that will point out quality issues. Even Winnebago. And PW, while famous for its upfitting, is very slow in adopting new technology.
Winnebago has always been known as a low end quality Class B. Lots of staples. LOL And yes, PW has been slow to adopt new technology. But they were one of the first to put in lithum batteries. I suspect that Roadtrek rushed out their not ready for Prime Time lithium system in 2015 because they knew that PW had it in their plans.

LTV has also been slow adopters in the small high quality Class C market, but both are finally getting brave. Perhaps smart to let others prove things work.
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Old 03-24-2022, 10:36 PM   #12
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Very nice review. Do you have any pictures with the interior converted to the sleep layout? Also,you mentioned that your teenager sleeps on the front seats. Is their a way to covert those seats to a bed or did you engineer your own solution? How tall is your teenager? This might be a good solution for our granddaughter—if she decides she wants to tag along.
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Old 03-24-2022, 11:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Very nice review. Do you have any pictures with the interior converted to the sleep layout? Also,you mentioned that your teenager sleeps on the front seats. Is their a way to covert those seats to a bed or did you engineer your own solution? How tall is your teenager? This might be a good solution for our granddaughter—if she decides she wants to tag along.
Thank you! And welcome to the ClassB gathering.

Here you go:



I am 6'2 and it is very snug if I sleep next to the window (and don't move up the driver's seat). Not an issue on the extended space which is open on both ends.

For the third sleeper I found my own solution - a mattress from Amazon, which works well. Teenager is about 5'3, but if I would use the space all the way to the window glass, even I could fit there, thanks to the ample width of the ProMasters.

There is also a thread out there where I asked about that and got some good feedback and ideas/options.
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Old 04-24-2022, 10:25 PM   #14
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Couple of things I fixed over the last 3.5 months that I had it:
  • Table connector ripped out on the bottom - I put some plywood in the compartment behind it to give the screws something to hold. Still very wobbly, not sure what they were thinking. Removed the table as we don't use it much and it was just in the way.
  • Bathroom sliding doors adjustments to keep them in their tracks, also added some stops on the bottom of the smaller one to keep it from flopping around.
  • Shower liner popped out of its track on the driver side - fixed with some duct tape. Dealer did not want to touch it.
  • Shower curtain track screws lose - fixed with some Super Glue.
  • Using the shower leads to water getting underneath the bottom (where the Thetford is), wetting the OSB board underneath which can't be good. Added a bunch of siliconed plastic parts to channel the runoff away from the wood.
  • Faucet in bathroom was very stiff, so much that I feared someone would just rip it out. Took it apart and put it back together and now it moves very smoooothly.
  • Stuff in the bathroom mirror cabinet keeps falling out. So I've pulled some rubber bands across which help to hold the bottles in place.
  • One of the Promaster rear clearance lights fell off... epoxied it back on. Also glued peeling wallpaper in the storage cabinets.
  • Zip-tied some of the cables and hoses that were hanging down underneath the van.
  • One of the coach battery wires was pointing downwards and got snagged on stuff due to the insufficient clearance - loosened and pointed upwards.
  • Some of the screws securing the awning to the roof were lose. Tightened. Also added some silicone to gaps around the roof appliances. Not sure if necessary but I like silicone, so...
  • To automate cooling, I added a thermo controller to the fan, so now it turns on automatically when the temps go over a certain threshold.
  • Refrigerator: Freezer door is supposed to stay up via a magnet. I feared that someone (like me) would try to close the fridge door while the freezer was still open, ruining the gaskets and breaking the door in the process. Glued in a little sponge cube that keeps the door from sticking on top.
  • There is a drain valve on the bottom of the freshwater tank. To facilitate draining the water between trips, I used a length of plastic pipe with two notches that just-so fit over the valve handle. That pipe goes up to the plywood cover of the compartment, and has a screw across on top. Cut a hole into the wood cover, and with some more plastic pipe, fabricated a key that fits into the pipe through the hole, and allows me to open/close the drain valve without having to unscrew the cover. Whew. Picture would be worth ~1000 words.
  • They did some welding/cutting on top leading to metal chips embedded in the paint, which started to rust. Cleaned, painted, and clear covered those.
  • There are some places which squeak, added foam and stuff between those surfaces to quiet them down.
  • There is a whole in the bottom through which rodents and dust can come in. It's in the compartment underneath the sink. Removed drawers, covered it with some chicken wire to discourage critters, and some coarse textile to keep most of the dust out, while still allowing air to enter when the fan is running on top.
  • Behind the inside cover of the wardrobe, where the water filter is, some of the wires were not insulated. Fixed those to prevent sparking and stuff.
  • Added a lock to the drain-hose compartment since I read that it tends to open up while on the road and lose the hose.
  • Added a locking gas cap to reduce the chance that some clown fills my tank with water.
  • One of the first and best things I did was to add carpets/runners/rugs to the isle and the area in front of the fridge. Especially in the cold season, if you take off your shoes inside, the vinyl flooring is very cold, hard, and unpleasant. This also makes it really easy to clean, just pull out the carpets and smack them around a bit.
  • Added an electronic rear-view mirror. Just did this and haven't really tested it yet, but it should provide a better view. The built-in backup camera is just really bad, works to back up, but it is pointed down, and very low-res and just not good to use as a regular mirror.
  • There are a lot of things I bought, from tire and seat covers to electrical adapters and storage optimizers and temp sensors for the fridge/freezer and pressure reducing valves and anti-stink liquids for the toilet etc etc too much to list here.

So... even a fairly new camper can turn into a hobby. Complex systems and all... I love actually going camping too! Next week we will be in Yosemite.
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Old 04-28-2022, 10:49 PM   #15
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Congrats on your new rig. We are 30,000 + miles and almost 2 years into our 2020 Thor Tellaro 20AT.

We’ve had a few minor issues which I fixed myself. I expected a few things to go wrong with the first model year of a new product.

Very satisfied with the van. Happy trails!
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