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Old 01-16-2020, 07:47 AM   #1
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Default Advice needed

Thinking of buying a 2014 roadtrek popular 190. I sure would like to here some pros and con from folks who own or at one time owned. Thanks keep smiling
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:24 AM   #2
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Bought my 2016 P190 in August of 2018. Since then I've put 18,969 miles on it. I mostly drive to my son's home and to a vacation home. FRIGGIN' LOVE IT. Perfect for my use.

I do need to do more camping but work has been a ball on that chain.

Steve
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:21 PM   #3
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We have a 2012 190P that we bought a couple of years ago. We use it as our snowbird travel van (but don't snowbird in it). At our northern or southern homes, we will go on a few days to a few weeks camping excursions. We love it's convenience for sightseeing.

There's a Facebook "Roadtrek Chevy Owners" forum that you can join to get more information. A 2014 RT (2013 chassis) may need new tires if they are original equipment, regardless of wear. You should factor $1,500 for replacement into the price.

Your location shows Alaska. The Chevy-based Roadtreks have little undercarriage clearance. I don't know how rough the roads are in your area, but should be considered before purchase. There are several very good posts on how to lift the van 3 or 4 inches, that should mitigate this issue.
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Old 01-16-2020, 02:03 PM   #4
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You can't go wrong with the simple and tried-and-true systems on that model Roadtrek IF (and there's always an if) your inspections shows it to be in good condition and you get it for a fair price.

During your inspection, remember, your buying both a Chevy Express and a house on wheels. More complex that just checking out a trailer or a van individually.

Good luck and let us know what you finally get.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:09 PM   #5
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I have had two RT's ('05 190P & '15 210P). They are truly unique and great machines. We like them because they have the things we needed and enjoyed, not a bunch of techie things that would have us going to a Dealer for repairs. You will really love owning one, highly dependable. Ron
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:19 PM   #6
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I have a 2014 190P. It was a family hand-me-down. Here's my take.

GOOD
  • Plenty of power from the 6.0L V8
  • Towing capacity for a small trailer, boat, or even a small toad if desired.
  • Readily serviced at most Chevy dealerships.
  • 6-speed HD automatic transmission works well and has tow/haul and manual shift modes for maximum control
  • Decent fuel economy at 17-18 mph highway cruising at 65 mph
  • Roomy longways bed orientation
  • Center aisle is an expended shower area with drain for easy clean-ups
  • Flush-mount sink and stove maximizes counter space
  • Notched A/C box makes for lower overall height.

BAD
  • Low ground clearance
  • Wide turning radius
  • Steering is somewhat vague, dead-on-center, and requires attention in crosswinds
  • Awning is nice but adjustment is fussy and it blocks the front passenger door
  • Limited headroom, upper cabinets and A/C box intrude
  • Small wet bath with limited headroom
  • Tight battery compartment with no pull-out tray
  • Cumbersome radio/nav system, comes with a 400 page manual, nightmare to use

UGLY
There were a number of factory defects my Mom never addressed. The motorhome upfit shorted out the front chassis light console (dome light and map lights). Fixing would require tearing into the headliner, so I disconnected it. The aftermarket high mount brake light/rear view camera shorted out and melted the plastic. It was not weather sealed, cheap. I replaced it with an OEM sealed brake light, so no rear view camera for now. Overhead galley cabinets are sagging and doors do not align correctly. I'm working to reinforce them and restore correct alignment. Meanwhile, the microwave is out.

SUMMARY
It's a solid chassis and a workable layout with some poor worksmanship. Check cabinet fit and finish carefully and make sure all the electrical stuff works. You might find it a bit confining if you're taller than average.

OPTIONS
Though small I think the optional wet bath is worth giving up the jump seat. I like the optional folding rear sofa because it yields two extra belted positions. We don't have the generator, but you might want it. The rear screen is great, allowing you to open the rear doors wide, but the side screen just got in the way.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:36 AM   #7
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Thank you for your input. Excellent suggestions. Clearance could be a issue
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:48 AM   #8
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Wow thank you VERY MUCH!!! Just about scares me away from that year. Gotta spend more money and move to another model or make. Thank you again
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Bean View Post
Wow thank you VERY MUCH!!! Just about scares me away from that year. Gotta spend more money and move to another model or make. Thank you again
Hope that isn't on my account! It's a great camper, and if Mom had been able to follow up on the build issues- her health was declining- I'm sure the initial bugs could have been worked out. Just do a careful pre-purchase inspection.

Pleasure Way has a somewhat better build reputation, and I think the reversed layout (curbside galley and streetside bath) works a little better. But they built on Ford Econolines, and I prefer the longer wheelbase Chevy Express.

As to driving dynamics, I've driven various 15-passenger church vans for years, Fords and Dodges. None handle very well compared to a modern unibody passenger vehicle, but the Express is better than most of the old-school designs. I've not driven any of the newer Euro-style vans for comparison.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:10 AM   #10
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We have a 2012 190-Ranger. It is similar in design to the Poplar, including ground clearance. We did a 86 day trip from Ottawa to Alaska in 2015. We took damage to both fibreglass sides while negotiating pavement replacement on the Denali Highway. They stripped the entire width of asphalt, so we were unable to drive around the obstruction. It is a known fact that low clearance on these vehicles combined with fibreglass sides was a serious design error.

We have 100,000 kilometres on the odometer. Our two AGM batteries are going into their 8th season and have performed flawlessly, providing trouble free power to both electrical systems. When they were new, we would dry camp for close to three days before recharging with the Onan generator, now we get about two days between charges. I am hoping to get 10 years out of them. Our fridge is a marine two way; i.e. no propane. Our electric water heater is a 2.5 gallon electric (no propane). Our onboard propane tank is committed to the gas cabin heater and the the hotplate, so refills are few and far between. The twin forward facing bed setup is great for small bladders. We don't use the cabin shower, rather the external setup or park facilities. Our floor is made of quality vinyl and is the same level throughout, very easy to clean (no carpet).

We absolutely love our Chevy 3500 V8 gas motor and 6 speed transmission. We considered having the ground clearance increased. both before and after our Alaska accident. We decided not to do so after receiving expert opinion from reputable mechanics, who described the potential modification risks. Maybe if I was a mechanic ... but I'm not ...
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:01 PM   #11
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We tow a 7,000 pound enclosed toy hauler trailer all over the US coast to coast every year which puts a lot more stress on the engine and suspension than most driving. Our (still owned) 2004 now has 215,000 miles with no oil burning between oil changes and the oil looks clean. Point is the 6.0 liter Chevy gas engine and drive train are very good. The tow rating for the RT 190s is quite a bit better than the newer Class B camper vans, routine service is available "everywhere" for the Chevy and generally costs less than factory specified service on the small Mercedes diesel vans.
With those and other considerations in mind we bought our third Roadtrek 190 two years ago rather than choosing what most would consider a better looking Sprinter style van.
BJ Florida Keys
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:27 PM   #12
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We have a 2000 190P. Purchased new. 285k miles. Perfect for us. Not for everyone I’m sure. We travel with 2 dogs and have covered the US and Canada. We like the flexibility of driving anywhere. We spend maybe 60-90 nights a year in it. Use it often in town. It’s close quarters but we don’t spend too much time in it other than sleeping, some cooking and reading on a rainy day. We mostly use bathrooms at campgrounds or where visiting. We’ve spent money over years on maintenance and replaced engine once. ( didn’t have to, but needed valve job and instead got a good price on a Jasper rebuilt installed). The 360 engine and the generator are definitely a must for us. Bottom line: we wouldn’t give it up and will keep it going as long as we can.
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