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Old 03-29-2017, 09:41 PM   #1
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Default Any newer Roadtrek Simplicity owners out there?

What little I've been able to find seems to indicate initial impressions of poor quality in the new Roadtrek Simplicity models. I'm new and hope to buy an RV sometime in the future and I really like the layout of the Simplicity.
Are there some other Simplicity owners out there that can add to this discussion?

Thanks so much!
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Old 03-29-2017, 10:51 PM   #2
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the most concern i would have with the simplicity is that it only has 100 amp hour battery.

because the zion has the tppl agm 187 amp hour battery which is actually equivalent to 210 amp hours of standard agm the simplicity has 1/2 the battery. it also has no solar panels.

this is strictly a plug in every night vehicle. if thats what your looking for then it's aok

but it's underpinings aare far less than a zion.
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Old 03-29-2017, 11:22 PM   #3
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Thank you for that. Maybe the Zion is a much better choice. What do you mean by "underpinnings"? The chassis and drive train, etc. are all the same right?
Forgive me please, if that's a stupid question. IM not a mechanic!!
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Old 03-30-2017, 12:50 AM   #4
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Thank you for that. Maybe the Zion is a much better choice. What do you mean by "underpinnings"? The chassis and drive train, etc. are all the same right?
Forgive me please, if that's a stupid question. IM not a mechanic!!
i'm sorry i used the word underpinnings. i used it in the sense that it's battery power and solar is either small or non-existent.

People do make the mistake of thinking its a zion knockoff with a few doodads removed.

However the battery size and solar loss make it a plug in every night type vehicle.

you cannot compare it to zion in that respect
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Old 03-30-2017, 01:42 AM   #5
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.

What Gerry said +1
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Old 03-30-2017, 03:05 AM   #6
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I bought a 2016 Simplicity (not SRT) in December. First RV. I wanted a new RV at the cheapest entry point that could carry 4-5 and sleep 3. I was also looking for fridge capacity. Out the door price was around $70K. It does not have the bells and whistles of a Zion (ie. solar, leather, colored body molding, generator), but is meeting our needs. As is stated on many of these blogs, it all depends on your needs. Ours were simple and I expect we will either plug in most of the time or run the engine when needing power and battery cannot support. On the Simplicity, you could add another battery or upgrade the current battery. Regarding build Quality; I have had several minor issues that I have addressed myself such as too small of screws holding panels on (I bought larger screws to solve problem). Some loose screws holding cabinetry in (tightened). For our first RV, I could not justify $90K for the upgrades, whether Roadtrek or other vendor. I use ours for camping as well as a Daily driver (nice for lunch time to get away from work, but not leave work). As I find an issue or opportunity to upgrade, I am doing so with minor expense and learning along the way. An example is the Zion comes with a screen door. For about $40, I installed a bug screen per others' recommendations that does the same thing, albeit, not as finished. I imagine that upgrade alone is $1000+ on new models. Keep also in ind the cost of the footsteps that automatically come out or a motorized awning. It all adds up, so again, depends on your needs. I looked at it from the standpoint of less to go wrong and fix later.
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Old 03-30-2017, 06:14 AM   #7
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Keep also in mind the cost of the footsteps that automatically come out or a motorized awning. It all adds up, so again, depends on your needs. I looked at it from the standpoint of less to go wrong and fix later.
I think you make a good point that the lack of automated retractable steps and motorized awning that might be seen as a shortcoming to more luxurious buyers could also be considered a benefit for users seeking a simpler, lower maintenance recreational vehicle.

The Simplicity's single coach battery seems like the most significant functional limitation. But if a second battery can be added that limitation would not be too severe. According to Roadtrek they did spec the larger 220 amp Promaster alternator, so brief daytime driving or high idling may restore much of the battery charge.

aturner, when you run the engine when needing off-grid power does it seem to adequately recharge the battery? And have you added a high-idle control or other method for increasing the alternator output or is it adequate at standard idle?
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Old 03-30-2017, 02:27 PM   #8
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We get by fine on a single group 24 battery for a few days unless the furnace gets involved heavily and/or the Fantastic Fan. Different folks have different electrical budgets. Old mechanical Dometic fridge helps in this regard along with LED lighting. Probably the biggest draw would be the water pump, and not a whole lotta that. A 100 watt portable solar panel extends our time boondocking indefinitely, assuming some decent sun.
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Old 03-30-2017, 03:39 PM   #9
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.

How soon do we forget that
we have been RVing with a single wet cell battery for years.

additions and subtractions of modern day power use:


Use more power than previous years:
recharge cell phone
recharge computer
Wifi router
Cell signal booster
DVD player
Watch TV instead of listening to radio

Use less power than previous years:
LED light


...
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Old 03-30-2017, 08:11 PM   #10
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I'd like to see more about the RT Simplicity. It, the Hymer Sonne, and the Winnebago Travato are in a similar price range, although the Travato has two batteries and an Onan generator, while RT's engine generator can add another 10k to the price tag.

I'm happy to see competition in this sector of the market, as it brings more people into the class "B" fold.
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Old 03-30-2017, 09:09 PM   #11
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We get by fine on a single group 24 battery for a few days unless the furnace gets involved heavily and/or the Fantastic Fan. Different folks have different electrical budgets. Old mechanical Dometic fridge helps in this regard along with LED lighting. Probably the biggest draw would be the water pump, and not a whole lotta that. A 100 watt portable solar panel extends our time boondocking indefinitely, assuming some decent sun.
your fridge is 3 way propane. it has litttle amp draw.

i have a zion with the same fridge as the simplicity. it is 5.5 cubic foot compressor fridge. It is one the modern low amp draw 12 volt fridges. It uses 3.5 to 4 amps per hour
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Old 03-30-2017, 10:05 PM   #12
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Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I still prefer the layout of the Simplicity. Overall, your experience does not sound too bad. It seems clear that being willing and able to be handy is important, and I think we could do that to some degree.
It looks like some of the new Simplicity's come with a more powerful generator as an option. Maybe we could find one of those. In any case, I don't expect to be camping without electricity very often.
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Old 03-30-2017, 11:19 PM   #13
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I have not added anything beyond factory specs regarding charging/battery capacity. Where I meant to go is if I run the battery down, but needed power; I would run the engine (i.e. for microwave use or other minor uses). We are still in experimental phase regarding outings with all having power available. If I had to go without shore power, I should be good for overnight with refrigerator running only and maybe furnace briefly. Regarding furnace, I prefer to ramp up temp to 70-75 and then let it drop from there (winter testing with outside temp in 30s got to interior temp of 55 overnight. cold, but not horrible with right sleeping situation. The battery does seem to recharge pretty quick with the regular alternator. Can't run roof AC on battery alone but for few minutes. So, will experiment with fan use in summer if needed. Also, with solar, I assume most are camping where sun is available and appear to be out West. I prefer camping in wooded areas so solar might not be best option. Time will tell if our needs change. You definitely need to be handy and not afraid to learn. I am 4 hours away from dealer so I really have to have something bad to go back. I have called them and RT on a few occasions for "how to's" and what's behind the wall items, but when I got into it, was told incorrectly. Dealers have too many models and RT can't seem to keep up on differences between models - even the manual is incorrect in many cases.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:21 AM   #14
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I'd like to see more about the RT Simplicity. It, the Hymer Sonne, and the Winnebago Travato are in a similar price range, although the Travato has two batteries and an Onan generator, while RT's engine generator can add another 10k to the price tag.

I'm happy to see competition in this sector of the market, as it brings more people into the class "B" fold.
YOu can add the "Engine Generator" yourself.

It is a Nations alternator use by emergency vehicles. $1,800.


Be prepared to add $1,500 for installation and wiring to your house battery.


https://www.nationsstarteralternator...0070-280xp.htm


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Old 03-31-2017, 09:14 AM   #15
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If you "build your own" Simplicity on the Roadtrek website, you can add the under hood generator for $3593. It says 280 amp, 12 v. Sounds like that might be a good option. I don't expect to go to Alaska, but I want the heater to keep me warm wherever I am, and the fridge to run all night as well. I hope you will post more, aturner1973, about what you find as you go forward.
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Old 03-31-2017, 03:11 PM   #16
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If you "build your own" Simplicity on the Roadtrek website, you can add the under hood generator for $3593. It says 280 amp, 12 v. Sounds like that might be a good option. I don't expect to go to Alaska, but I want the heater to keep me warm wherever I am, and the fridge to run all night as well. I hope you will post more, aturner1973, about what you find as you go forward.
the underhood generator on a roadtrek requires the engine to me turned on.

it is a system-extra alternator-heavier wiring-to go with your 2000 watt inverter.

however i/m not sure how usefull it would be with only 100 amp battery.

I think you would be better off getting solar panels
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Old 03-31-2017, 03:25 PM   #17
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the underhood generator on a roadtrek requires the engine to me turned on.

it is a system-extra alternator-heavier wiring-to go with your 2000 watt inverter.

however i/m not sure how usefull it would be with only 100 amp battery.

I think you would be better off getting solar panels
OK, Thanks. These are the types of things I don't (yet) understand!
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Old 03-31-2017, 04:14 PM   #18
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I would think buying another battery and upgrading the current 100 amp would be better money spent assuming 2-3 days of camping. All depends on intended use. If plugged in, the battery becomes a non issue. A quick search appears that a larger AGM battery (250 AH) was $500 ish. Keep in mind extra weight which would reduce payload. Others will mention Lithium due to weight and power but cost is huge consideration. As a newbie, I am not ready to commit the cash for Lithium but you may be. As stated by others, the underwood generator is only good for recharging when motor is running. I would look at small portable generator as potential solution. Just have to figure out your power needs and where to store. Small one could go under van like a battery. All sorts of options.
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Old 03-31-2017, 04:56 PM   #19
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As others have mentioned the underhood generator option is primarily for powering the rooftop AC unit when hookups aren't available, and requires the engine to be running.

For simply recharging AGM batteries the underhood generator is probably pointless because the AGM's charge acceptance rate is far lower than lithium. The standard vehicle alternator can probably produce as much charging current as the AGM can accept.

But if you do get the secondary underhood generator be aware it's susceptible to road damage. Fit RV website has a good description of the damage problem and attempts to protect it with an add-on skid plate:

https://www.thefitrv.com/rv-tips/pro...the-promaster/

Fit RV has a series of articles with different attempts at skid plate protection.
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:25 AM   #20
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As others have mentioned the underhood generator option is primarily for powering the rooftop AC unit when hookups aren't available, and requires the engine to be running.

For simply recharging AGM batteries the underhood generator is probably pointless because the AGM's charge acceptance rate is far lower than lithium. The standard vehicle alternator can probably produce as much charging current as the AGM can accept.

But if you do get the secondary underhood generator be aware it's susceptible to road damage. Fit RV website has a good description of the damage problem and attempts to protect it with an add-on skid plate:

https://www.thefitrv.com/rv-tips/pro...the-promaster/

Fit RV has a series of articles with different attempts at skid plate protection.
All true, and I will add a couple of things that we have observed over the years with our setup(s).

The AGM batteries, if they are low, will accept a lot of amps, usually up to about 1C or 100 amps into a 100 amp hour battery. Coming from 20% SOC, though they will start to get hot at that rate, so would definitely need a temp compensated charge system, or limit the amps to the battery to about .4C, which will prevent overheating at normal charge voltages (limiting current is what we do, and it is not an easy thing to do). They will start to taper their acceptance from the .4C at about 65-70% state of charge and take hours to fill the last bit of charge.

Factory alternators are not made to run wide open continuously and will fail early if they are. Even at 30-40% of rated output they will be running hot if they are run there for long periods. If you see more than 220 degrees F on the case with an infrared gun, you are into too hot area, from most stuff I have seen.

The engine generators are just very high output alternators and follow the same basic reactions as the stockers, but are more heavily built so more durable, and can be run as a standalone so you can temp comp or output reduce it. The typical 270/280 amp engine generator used will actually average more like 180 amps when controlled by a Balmar temp compensated and output reducing regulator.

Depending on the class b brand, the wiring from the engine to the coach may not be large enough for fast charging anyway.

IMO, those that plan on running the AC off of an engine generator setup are right on the edge of the true capacity of the generator, and in hot weather the generator will be in low output a big percent of the time. I would just use the dash air conditioning of the van as it is likely much larger and more efficient.
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