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Old 12-28-2021, 02:31 PM   #1
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Default Getting Underway

Newby here.

Never had an RV but with retirement coming up the wife and I are looking for a used one.

Have been taking note of different manufacturers, options and chassis. Seems for Class B the options are pretty standard but quality and reliability varies.

Is there somewhere I can get a sense for a manufacturers quality over time? A user review kind of thing? For instance I stumbled on a review that said Roadtrek was a better buy prior to 2014.

thanks
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Old 12-28-2021, 02:49 PM   #2
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Roadtrek is the first make everyone starting out runs into. I think it's brand name recognition - they have that in spades. But I'd suggest you take your time, keep looking, and do your homework - you may find other makes, not as well known, that you like a lot better. That's what happened to us. But whatever you do, have fun!
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Old 12-28-2021, 03:52 PM   #3
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Roadtrek has had changes in ownership, bankruptcies and challenges in the past decade- recalls for falsified safety certs.
false promises regarding battery and electrical system capabilities

partly assembled units from bankruptcy completed by dealers

so tread carefully there

there are many threads for those interested in a class B

the advantages are ease of driving, parking & mpg

the downside is space, storage and high cost per cubic foot

If you are at all handy you may want to get a domestic gas van you can save by doing work yourself.
A chev can be fixed anywhere, by anyone with parts from NAPA
but may be long in the tooth

a Benz/dodge/freightliner Sprinter may have dealer specific needs, same with the Fiat/dodge


for service you must always let them know that your van is X high and weighs Y much to confirm that their shop can handle the height or the weight.




we rented a unit in Ireland which informed many choices
no sideways sleepers
don't need a full bath/shower- space better used for larger bed
and also the layout and type of finishes - the euro-van was spartan and industrial
cassette toilet was a bummer compared to using a hose to dump the tanks- especially as the grey water used a tank which needed to be dumped

our "camping style" is time spent mostly outdoors, in a climate comfy for us where neither heat or cold is much of a bother,
the van is used for some cooking ( we carry a small butane for outdoor cooking) toilet unless at campground, a little tv at night and sleeping

living in Phoenix, the first day of a summer trip is usually trading drivers to get away from the heat, that's where ease of driving comes in, we will get into Idaho 1st day.
Both of us have done solo trips, the van is easy to handle.

and we've done month long trips without killing each other

you will be in each others space- sometimes the best is to sit and wait your turn to grab a pair of socks or your book -- patience !

the more units you can see the better
we did RV shows, dealers, we looked at as many private sales as we could and this helped us determine what seemed to suit us best.
the factors which were prime
gas, domestic chassis ( older dodge, ford, chev)
chev the winner as I have a chev pickup which shares much of the architecture and I have the manuals and tools. I know from experience what is needed to replace the serpentine belt ( 15mm)

fore/aft sleeper for large bed
time tested energy- which means we have propane for heat, cooker, hot water

energy management becomes a new hobby unless you are in a full service campground each night using their energy

our van using propane & DC power can give us about 6 days which is about our water and waste tank capacity. so we plan on a trip to supply every 5 to 7 days. we carry clothing and stores of food to meet that interval.
We do have a gas generator, but have never used it camping- the only things which require that are the AC and microwave, both of which we can do without.
We are self contained in case of disaster, unlikely but ready

youtube was great to see how people moved around inside various makes and to see what features were offered

you will find your own fit


Mike
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Old 12-28-2021, 10:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kraquin View Post
Newby here.

Never had an RV but with retirement coming up the wife and I are looking for a used one.

Have been taking note of different manufacturers, options and chassis. Seems for Class B the options are pretty standard but quality and reliability varies.

Is there somewhere I can get a sense for a manufacturers quality over time? A user review kind of thing? For instance I stumbled on a review that said Roadtrek was a better buy prior to 2014.

thanks
Generally true. Better manufacturers are willingly to provide longer warranties. Back in the day, Roadtrek had the longest warranty of all Class B brands. I believe PW is now the leader with their 5 yr warranty.

Best of Luck
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Old 12-28-2021, 10:58 PM   #5
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Well, it is less obvious to me that there is much correlation between quality and warranty. It is much more of an economic/marketing matter. Manufacturers know with great precision how much a year of warranty will cost on average. They also have a pretty good idea how much it will increase sales. If the latter is worth the cost, they will offer a longer warranty. This logic applies at all price/quality points.

I once consulted for a company that made some kind of automotive accessory (air compressor, maybe?). They had three models at three price points. The ONLY difference among them was the length of the warranty!
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Old 12-29-2021, 01:52 PM   #6
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It is how they handle warranties which is more important to me especially when on the road. Do they send out a technician to trouble shoot while boondocking on the Las Vegas strip for instance.
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Old 12-29-2021, 02:50 PM   #7
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Well, it is less obvious to me that there is much correlation between quality and warranty. It is much more of an economic/marketing matter. Manufacturers know with great precision how much a year of warranty will cost on average. They also have a pretty good idea how much it will increase sales. If the latter is worth the cost, they will offer a longer warranty. This logic applies at all price/quality points.

I once consulted for a company that made some kind of automotive accessory (air compressor, maybe?). They had three models at three price points. The ONLY difference among them was the length of the warranty!

I have seen the a same thing, some of the very best products have relatively short warranties, and their customers are buying known reliability and not a "fix" for when it fails early.


I too have worked in manufacturing of products, and can say that not all of the manufacturers do a good job of attributing warranty costs into the pricing mix. Good companies do, and it is easy for them to integrate it into the cost because they have all the data. Good companies don't necessarily collect that information to make sure they recoup it all in pricing, though. They collect to track their quality to see if it slips and where improvements can be made. Taking a product with good quality and reputation and making the quality stellar improves the reputation even more and also reduces warranty costs.



I think the Roadtrek Ecotrek fiasco was the poster child for all the wrong things done in many ways, from design faults, low quality private label parts sourcing, etc. They probably had no real idea of how much their warranty costs were going to be and the sales group wanted a long warranty to buy market share. When it all went south on them, they actually increased the warranty without improving the quality or the warranty service much at all which is exactly the opposite of what actually works. As it spiraled out of control they started declining coverage for many of the problems, also, and even suing customers for publicly criticizing the products.


Bottom line, for me, is to look at the product and try to find some impartial reviews of them if I am not familiar with them personally. If most manufacturers of a product are at a warranty length that is about the same and one or two have much longer, it is time to find out why, for instance.
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Old 01-02-2022, 04:31 PM   #8
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My wife and I did the same thing a few years ago. I did the research and started looking for what I feel was the best option for us and with much prayer the Lord provided us with a really low mileage, 19,000, 2006 Roadtrek 210 Popular. Since then we couldn't be more pleased with it.
I did find that after Roadtrek sold and later filed for bankruptcy that things went down hill so anything prior to 2011 might be worth a look.
Happy hunting and let us know how it goes.
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Old 01-02-2022, 04:37 PM   #9
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Default Satisfied with Older RoadTrek

We also were considering a class b for our retirement. 4 years ago, and 6 months before retirement we found a 2006 RT on Craigslist. We made a deal and have not regretted it. Some of the thoughts we had then included renting it out on Outdoorsy when not using it, as a way to help subsidize the higher cost of a B. But as we learned the intricacies of the diesel sprinter, and read what seemed like way too many negative reviews and feedback from owner renters we changed our mind. I think renting is probably ok if you have multiple units and regard the RV as a commodity, but we got pretty attached to ours and did not want to take the risk of strangers breaking anything. I am also pretty handy and can generally manage challenges when they arise. Some of our "problems" occuring in the custody of a renter could have resulted in thousands of dollars being spent.

We are still very happy with our B. My advice is stay simple on your first. Adjust to the small space. Look at the various system capacities and pick a model that gives you the amount of boondocking capability you want. Recognize that being able to run 4 weeks on your delux solar and lithium set up is not the advantage you might think it is when you have to find a place to dump your 10 gallon black tank every 3 days.

Also stay tuned on this forum. There are some smart folks here (like Booster) who helped me a lot with upgrades and problems. Good luck.
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Old 01-02-2022, 05:01 PM   #10
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I would suggest that you rent a Class B for at least a week or so before investing $100,000 or more. You will be a lot more knowledgeable and know what to look for.
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Old 01-02-2022, 05:09 PM   #11
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mkguitar has hit a lot of good points. I'll add that if you want to use the van in freezing conditions you either need a 4-season water system or you have to make do with carrying a small quantity of fresh water inside while adding antifreeze to the waste tanks.

I don't think a cassette in place of a black tank is a bad thing. Our endurance in our current Roadtrek is limited by black tank capacity. The new van we've ordered has a cassette. That will let us dump in any pit toilet when boondocking.
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Old 01-02-2022, 07:46 PM   #12
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Default Roadtrek Ranger RT

Good day Kraquin, Lots of excellent information above. As part of our retirement "plan" in 2016 we found a 2014 Roadtrek Ranger RT (Chevy 2500) with only 31000Kms (20000Miles). After almost 400 Nights of camping since 2016 and approaching 110000Kms (65000 Miles) we do not regret our purchase. The Ranger RT is still solid and requires minimal TLC. If you are handy then big bonus, because things will break regardless of the brand/model of RV...! I like to refer, that taking your RV to a trip is like having your home going thru a earthquake everytime (more or less...!).
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Old 01-03-2022, 12:10 AM   #13
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I have a 2004 RoadTrek 200 Popular Chevy chassis, I love it yes I am very handy and do much of the work myself. We got it for $25,000 and put $10,000 in it most of which was a good solar elite from GoPower. It had 106,000 miles so we did all fluid changes and service. We have replaced AC compressor and clutch fan/water pump.
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Old 01-03-2022, 01:15 AM   #14
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It is how they handle warranties which is more important to me especially when on the road. Do they send out a technician to trouble shoot while boondocking on the Las Vegas strip for instance.
Please tell me more about how you boondock on the Vegas strip.
Thanks
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Old 01-03-2022, 01:02 PM   #15
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Please tell me more about how you boondock on the Vegas strip.
Thanks
At the time, 2015 in the photo, the Excalibur had an RV parking lot. They were in the process of putting up gates and I think charging for parking. At the time parking was not gated on most of the strip and the Excalibur had ample parking for RVs which made it our preference.

There was a real RV pay lot at Circus Circus I think which I never used.
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Old 01-03-2022, 01:17 PM   #16
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Thanks for the info.
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Old 04-18-2022, 11:26 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the responses.

After a lot of research, visits to RV dealers and Boat/Sport/Travel shows we've settled on a 2016 or newer Pleasure Way Lexor TS.
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Old 04-18-2022, 11:49 AM   #18
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Thanks for all the responses.

After a lot of research, visits to RV dealers and Boat/Sport/Travel shows we've settled on a 2016 or newer Pleasure Way Lexor TS.
I would look at a 2017 or newer PW lexor. The 2016 has older technology. I purchased a 2016. 2017 came out with 2000watt inverter so you can run microwave on battery. 2000 watt inverter allows you to make coffee without turning on genny. I believe they have the Truma water heater which is much better than Girrard.
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