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Old 12-03-2021, 03:46 PM   #1
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Default New guy looking & researching

New member here. Weíve had 3 diesel coaches, 2 Newells and 1 Foretravel, and this summer sold the FT to buy a cabin in Colorado. Itís 1300 miles to the cabin so Iím thinking of buying a Class B for the drive back and forth and a few short trips. I donít want new and am thinking of an early 2000ís on either Ford, Dodge, or Chevy chassis. Not really interested in Mercedes since I would like a higher towing capacity but for the right price Iíd consider either MB, Ram, or Ford Transit. The somewhat better mileage with the MB would probably be offset by higher maintenance costs.
Also the beds are a particular concern. We donít want to crawl over each other or crawl out of bed so Iím thinking a twin bed setup would be ideal. NOT a jackknife sofa been there, done that, have the backache. I might be willing to remove a jackknife sofa and build a platform for a real mattress and buy cushions for the back. A dinette would probably be ok for my DW possibly with a memory foam topper. Since our trips will be multi day the shower will have to be large enough, no problem taking a navy shower but need room to reach everything. Cooking is not necessary, really just need a microwave and I can add an inverter.
Since itís 1300 miles each way I would like to drive 70mph.
Donít want a slide. 4x4 or FWD would be nice since the road up to our cabin is 5 miles of dirt road that is plowed in the winter. Or maybe just chains? We plan to spend February at the cabin each year.
Either way Iím starting my research now so if a good price pops up Iíll know whether itíll work or not.
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Old 12-03-2021, 05:28 PM   #2
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There are many designs where you sleep crosswise and climb over a partner in Ram and Transits because they are wider enabling to do so. Sprinters usually have to have window flairs to achieve that. But you donít want that solution and I agree with you.

Many Class B RVís have fold out sofa beds in the back that you can sleep long way but you would have to crawl into bed. I have had two Class Bís that way. I could manage climbing in but didnít like the scoot out.

The first option I liked was a fixed bed but a notch to get in and that was the Winnebago Era. I put that one in the back of my mind when I bought an Advanced RV which I custom designed the beds. It was a twin bed set-up with the notch aspect so the upper torsos could be together. The beds I conceived were electric articulating beds with individual foot, torso and neck adjustmentsóa Lazy-boy or zero gravity chair option for reading, lounging or watching TV.
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Old 12-03-2021, 06:52 PM   #3
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I think you determined your needs and you'll know the right unit when you see it


when you see a unit of interest, watch youtube sales videos and note how easily (or not), the usually large salesperson moves around as they demonstrate the features


we have a pleasure way lexor TD ( twins cum king) on a 2005 chev. we get about 15 mpg at 65~70. easy to drive and park, we team drive distances.



tow capacity is 5000/500 6.0 3spd w OD.


our shower is an aisle shower- we don't use it, we find we are usually in a campground and use theirs, or in the boonies and use the common outdoor shower wand.


our beds are 78" pass side, 84" driver side. the bolsters can fill in the aisle to make a king( ish)


our van has just the 2 swivel seats up front


the similar roadtrek 190 popular model has a drop center floor section if you are taller than about 6'1" and often has more seating- it may als have more cabinetry overhanging beds
(R/T versatile models are sideway sleepers)


with both of these clearance could be an issue in deep snow, you may need a lift kit


both of these would have propane 2 burner and a onan genny for microwave when needed


they come with tabletops on masts rather than a dinette- we don;t use and use trays on laps or campground picnic table

-space is tight the unused stuff is stored at home


Cheers, Mike
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Old 12-04-2021, 01:41 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips and suggestions. Davydd I like what you did.
MKguitar your PW TD sounds like what I'm looking for. My DW and I will definitely be using the shower on our trips to the cabin. We're lifetime members of Harvest Hosts and plan to use them as overnight stops rather than campgrounds where we can. The aisle shower may work out better than an enclosed wet bath. I'm impressed with your mpg's. That's better than I was expecting. My Lexus GX470 only gets 16 on the highway, but that's at 80mph. Driving on snow plowed roads is optional since we only go up for a month in the winter.
Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2021, 02:35 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips and suggestions. Davydd I like what you did.
MKguitar your PW TD sounds like what I'm looking for. My DW and I will definitely be using the shower on our trips to the cabin. We're lifetime members of Harvest Hosts and plan to use them as overnight stops rather than campgrounds where we can. The aisle shower may work out better than an enclosed wet bath. I'm impressed with your mpg's. That's better than I was expecting. My Lexus GX470 only gets 16 on the highway, but that's at 80mph. Driving on snow plowed roads is optional since we only go up for a month in the winter.
Thanks!

Since you are OK with an aisle shower, you could also get a Roadtrek 190 which is very similar to the TD and on the same chassis. A little harder to find an aisle shower in the post 2010 years, but worth looking for as it comes with a 6 speed transmission which is much superior to the 4 speed one in previous years. Tows way better, stays cooler, and gets better mileage.
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Old 12-04-2021, 05:24 PM   #6
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MKguitar your PW TD sounds like what I'm looking for.

here's a video of a unit very similar to our 2006
( most RV's are on a previous model year chassis- so our 2006 is on a 2005 chev- this 2005 model is likely on a 2004 chev


chevy: fixed anywhere, by anyone, with parts from napa






at the beginning a roadtrek model is parked to the left- r/t's have 3 windows up top, easy to spot.
Older R/T's have a very good standing- I found the drop floor a trip hazard- because I am stupid-

but my real bugaboo was I found the cabinetry overhanging to be claustrophobic.


I do believe my ground clearance stock is higher than an R/T



we looked at about 30 units before finding "the one" and we knew right away



I like the airy feeling of the PW, and the galley facing the open door at a campsite


we turned the cabinet behind the driver's seat into a pantry adding shelves and a sliding basket for pots and pans


shower you can see how a pan sits in the aisle and lines up with a drain fitting. the common dometic water heater is under the driver side bed and works really well, quick to heat.
electrics under the pass bed


he says propane genny, mine is fed from the gasoline tank.
have never actually used it camping the other AC dependent are the microwave ( we use to store plates and bowls) and air conditioning- we try to go where we don't need


we are very happy with ours



Mike
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Old 12-18-2021, 07:21 PM   #7
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So as I'm still in the research phase it looks like prices may be starting to stabilize. Or maybe it's just the winter drop?
We did look at a new Travato with twin beds. Mainly to see if my DW would approve of the size and floor layout. She did, just didn't like the $100k price....
Did see a 2001 Roadtrek 200 Versatile pop up on Facebook marketplace at $8700 and marked as pending a couple hours later. Too bad it didn't have the twin beds we want.
I'm thinking of a 2000+ model but wondering if the maintenance is good on a pre-2000 model how old should I consider? IOW what are the improvements on model years from mid-1990's to mid 2000's?
I'm still thinking of my budget being in the $20's.
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Old 12-19-2021, 03:29 PM   #8
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in general an R/T Versatile sleeps sideways, a Popular sleeps fore and aft


if you are tall. a sideways sleeper and a climb over to use the can can be a non-starter


a versatile may have 4 seats, which means either less cabinetry, or more crowded with cabinets overhanging



R/T had ownership challenges, changes and bankruptcy around 2014- I would be careful with anything more recent.

discovered sins included falsified safety certs, problematic battery systems and recalls.


some incomplete models may have been bought out of bankruptcy and finished by dealers



the 210 models may be marginal on gvwr reserve and more challenged on the suspension with weight high and wide.
examine for signs of leaks/rust at the steel to fiberglass joints & tops of rear doors.


these are things I noted when we were shopping



mike
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Old 12-19-2021, 04:16 PM   #9
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R/T had ownership challenges, changes and bankruptcy around 2014- I would be careful with anything more recent.

discovered sins included falsified safety certs, problematic battery systems and recalls.
The Roadtrek bankruptcy didn't occur until 2020. The current Roadtrek is a different company using some of the same designs for sprinter models, but the popular and versatile have been dropped entirely. Getting parts for those models may be a continuing challenge.

The problematic battery systems are mostly related to the lithium battery systems the old Roadtrek introduced to provide high battery capacity without the weight issues from large AGM battery banks. Those problems are entirely limited to the later sprinter models - post 2015. As far as I know, they were never offered on the popular and versatile models.

So if you are looking at those models no electrical problems. No recalls, false safety certs either. And there are plenty of other Roadtrek's that were not effected by any of those issues either. You need to evaluate the unit you are buying. We bought a used 2015 Roadtrek based on almost universal encouragement from Roadtrek owners we talked to in campgrounds. The biggest impact from the bankruptcy has been the loss of warranty and a reduced service network.
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Old 12-19-2021, 04:24 PM   #10
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The Roadtrek bankruptcy didn't occur until 2020. The current Roadtrek is a different company using some of the same designs for sprinter models, but the popular and versatile have been dropped entirely. Getting parts for those models may be a continuing challenge.

The problematic battery systems are mostly related to the lithium battery systems the old Roadtrek introduced to provide high battery capacity without the weight issues from large AGM battery banks. Those problems are entirely limited to the later sprinter models - post 2015. As far as I know, they were never offered on the popular and versatile models.

So if you are looking at those models no electrical problems. No recalls, false safety certs either. And there are plenty of other Roadtrek's that were not effected by any of those issues either. You need to evaluate the unit you are buying. We bought a used 2015 Roadtrek based on almost universal encouragement from Roadtrek owners we talked to in campgrounds. The biggest impact from the bankruptcy has been the loss of warranty and a reduced service network.
Actually they completely shut down in Feb. 2019. In 2020 Rapido relaunched the brand after purchasing the name and assets.
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Old 12-19-2021, 04:36 PM   #11
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Did the new Roadtrek continue that godawful lithium ion battery Etrek system?
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Old 12-19-2021, 05:55 PM   #12
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Actually they completely shut down in Feb. 2019. In 2020 Rapido relaunched the brand after purchasing the name and assets.
I knew I should look that up.
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Old 01-15-2022, 06:25 PM   #13
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After a month or so of searching and thinking we've narrowed it down to either a Roadtrek 210 Chevy or a PleasureWay Excel, not sure which ones will be on a Chevy. And rather twins but power sofa is ok if we can sleep front/rear. NOT sideways crawl over.
We've refined our budget to mid $30's for a 2004-2009 and mid $50's for a 2010+ Chevy with 6 speed tranny. Somewhat flexible for an exceptionally clean lower mileage unit.
We'll also consider a RT 190 or PW Lexor on Chevy chassis but we do want the enclosed bath. One thing is our HOA might allow one with the "hidden" AC but probably won't allow a Sprinter with the visible AC. I do have a family place to park it but it's 20 miles away so won't be able to use it as frequently.
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