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Old 05-13-2024, 08:23 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2024
Location: SF Bay Area
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Default Considering 2021 Zion Slumber - Some Questions

I'm strongly considering a 2021 Zion Slumber after seeing a used one at a local dealer. Compared to other Class-Bs, this model seems to offer a lot of features, all be it, with some compromises. Such as just enough lithium/inverter to run the AC for a short while, but nothing as robust as a 600-800 amp hours systems. Plenty of storage, but at the of cost visibility. Small front lounge while someone sleeps, offering lots of flexibility. Basically, it checks enough boxes that I can I'm okay with compromises or weaknesses.

I'm almost at the point if I should negotiate a lower price at this dealer, but I do have concerns and questions, some maybe only owners can answer (of this model or similar)



BASIC SPECS:
  • 2021 (Both Roadtrek and Chassis)
  • Current Price: $99,998 at a dealer (Recently reduced $5k after sitting a couple more weeks)
  • Miles: 2,600
  • Extra Options: Sumo Rear Spring System | Induction Stove
  • "Looks" brand new (inside out)
  • Sideways power sofa with lap belts



CONCERNS AND QUESTIONS:


FIREFLY CONCERN - GLITCHY SCREEN?
The screen kept glitching back to the home-screen while trying to use other pages. If I navigated to another page, like temperature control icon or the gear icon, and it would flash back to the home screen. Sometimes after a couple seconds or almost instant. When I did manage to shut the AC off, then it seemed to stabilize a bit at least. (I can share a video if requested)
  • Note: This unit is so new, despite being there for like a month or more, it doesn't have photos online and was currently in line for what I assume was an inspection (key was in the service area), plus it was waiting behind another new arrival, a 2018 Zion SRT with 10k miles for $73k, which we couldn't get the batteries to work. Rear sofa bed was a bit limiting for someone 6' 2"


AC FOR PASSENGERS DURING DRIVE?
Can you easily run the AC off the Lithium while driving? Will the still charge during the drive as well, so you are not too low later?

PASSENGER COMFORT / MOTION SICKNESS?
I hear the rear bench can be bouncy, cause motion sickness. For the sideways couch, is they even more of an issue?

LOW-MILEAGE = HIGH-RISK?
With only 2600 miles on a 2021 van, likely expired Roadtrek warranty, is that a risky situation? Did the owner have enough time to really get all the bugs out?

LITHIUM CARE / TEMPS?
It's hard to find info on this. Since the 2 lithium batteries under the coach, exposed to outside temps, did Roadtrek include heat pads? It's not a 4 Season Van, but if you winterize, you do want the batteries safe.

SLUMBER = NO EXHAUST FAN OR VENT BATHROOM
HAS THAT BEEN AN ISSUE?

While it has a large sky light that can open considerably, do you lose the ability to effectively change the air and cool the van without using AC? (I noticed the newer Zion Slumbers have a much smaller skylight too)
What about restroom venting?
  • If you have to go, is the smell going to last longer and be much worse for others in the van? Maybe this is always a problem, even with fans and vents?
  • What about time to dry after shower?

POP-TOP = FUTURE LEAKS AND DETERIORATION?
Class-B vans are great for their original chassis body, but a Pop-top adds a larger weak-point on top, which long-term could cause issues. Is that a valid concern to have? Both the lid and the fabric on sides?

INSPECTION:
I hope to lock for a 3rd Party Inspection in the SF Bay Area, no matter how much the sales person talks up their inspection process and that you don't take ownership until you are 100% satisfied (minus some cosmetic issues).

SAFETY FOR REAR PASSENGERS:
Anyone have concerns over the rear seat safety, especially the side bench with lap-belts? Not sure how great I feel putting someone in a spot like that, then again, it may just not be any better for any configuration.



What is a reasonable offer?
$100k is a bit over my initial target, even if it is a genuine good deal. Though, at this price range, there are many other models to consider, such as a used Travato 59GL or Pleasure-Way Lexor FL/TS 2020(+-), which are often in the 85-95k range - if you keep an eye out.

Is it realistic to attempt a low offer on a used vehicle at a large dealer? More like $85k, maybe in $80k, while possibly too low, leaves room for them to counter? Again, this is a dealer, which might attempt up-sales and fees. Or maybe I just offer what I'm willing to pay and hold my ground during negotiation, for better or worse? It's been on their lot for a month now, which seems really full at the moment, plus foot traffic seemed low. Then again, I don't know what is normal, but only a 1 or 2 other the last two Saturday's I've gone mid-day.



Condition:
It looked practically brand new through, minus a few tiny details. Zero odd smells, even after baking under 83 temps and about 101 inside (according to the Firefly panel). Didn't feel as hot as some of the other vehicles under the sun. Maybe the pop-top with mattress does help insulate a bit, and/or the light sandstone exterior. Salesman was able to turn on the lithium batteries and inverter and fire up the AC. AC wasn't too loud for being on high, I could talk fine. The AC had a few random noises here and there, but I assume that is normal.


Thank you for any answers, feedback, and suggestions.
Brian123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2024, 07:40 AM   #2
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I hope someone answers your questions because I am
considering the Zion Slumber as well. I also saw the Coachmen Nova 20D with the Pop-Top on YouTube and it looks very nice, too! I just don’t know a lot about the quality of either of them.
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Old 05-16-2024, 05:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian123 View Post
FIREFLY CONCERN - GLITCHY SCREEN?
The screen kept glitching back to the home-screen while trying to use other pages. [/I]
Yes, RT warranty is only for first owner. But, check on the Firefly warranty. Added item warranties usually carry on. The Firefly unit seems glitchy, but the company that makes them does help with replacement bits... and/or re-programming. They are often not set for the proper unit/floorplan

Is this selling dealer a RT dealer? If not, they will most likely muck it up because they won't understand any of the electrical system. That said, it says you are near SF, and one of the top RT techs in the country is Edge Van Works in Livermore. They know what they are doing, no BS. There is one other good tech in SoCal and the rest in CA are pretty much to be avoided.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian123 View Post
AC FOR PASSENGERS DURING DRIVE?
Can you easily run the AC off the Lithium while driving? Will the still charge during the drive as well, so you are not too low later?
Yes, many people do it. Turn on the inverter and the AC. Naturally you will not get as much charge from the Underhood Generator/2nd alternator. But with the lithiums, it shouldn't be too bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian123 View Post
I hear the rear bench can be bouncy, cause motion sickness. For the sideways couch, is they even more of an issue?
Yes... these Promaster vans are built as work vans, not passenger vans and the rear rides like a carnival ride... whichever way the couch is. Kids tend to enjoy it. lol Dramamine helps. The Sumo springs are added to help the driver... handling in wind and stopping the van roll on corners. But they make the ride a bit rougher in the rear. It can be improved, but not cheaply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian123 View Post
LOW-MILEAGE = HIGH-RISK?
With only 2600 miles on a 2021 van, likely expired Roadtrek warranty, is that a risky situation? Did the owner have enough time to really get all the bugs out?
Based on the Firefly, appears not. That isn't even long enough to figure out how to handle the electrical system, which has a long learning curve even for experienced RVers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian123 View Post
LITHIUM CARE / TEMPS?
It's hard to find info on this. Since the 2 lithium batteries under the coach, exposed to outside temps, did Roadtrek include heat pads? It's not a 4 Season Van, but if you winterize, you do want the batteries safe.
Yes, the batteries are heated internally... and do not even allow you to charge them until they are the proper temperature... which is what causes the damage. Winterizing is for the plumbing, not the batteries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian123 View Post
SLUMBER = NO EXHAUST FAN OR VENT BATHROOM
HAS THAT BEEN AN ISSUE?

While it has a large sky light that can open considerably, do you lose the ability to effectively change the air and cool the van without using AC? (I noticed the newer Zion Slumbers have a much smaller skylight too)
What about restroom venting?
  • If you have to go, is the smell going to last longer and be much worse for others in the van? Maybe this is always a problem, even with fans and vents?
  • What about time to dry after shower?
The lack of fan is a complaint, but you haven't a roof to put one on. lol There haven't been all that many comments over on our RT Zion owners Facebook page. I'm not sure if owners have figured out a way to add one... that is a question for a group like that on FB... or Edge Van Works about adding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian123 View Post
POP-TOP = FUTURE LEAKS AND DETERIORATION?
Class-B vans are great for their original chassis body, but a Pop-top adds a larger weak-point on top, which long-term could cause issues. Is that a valid concern to have? Both the lid and the fabric on sides?
It is for all pop-tops. I don't think it is avoidable. Only a couple on FB have had to fix leaks and many have added stuff that is supposed to help seal the canvas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian123 View Post
INSPECTION:
I hope to lock for a 3rd Party Inspection in the SF Bay Area, no matter how much the sales person talks up their inspection process and that you don't take ownership until you are 100% satisfied (minus some cosmetic issues).
Call Edge Van Works in Livermore. I don't know if he does inspections, but more likely he can recommend someone. It is very difficult to find anyone that knows the Roadtrek lithium system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian123 View Post
SAFETY FOR REAR PASSENGERS:
Anyone have concerns over the rear seat safety, especially the side bench with lap-belts? Not sure how great I feel putting someone in a spot like that, then again, it may just not be any better for any configuration.
The crossways sofa may be safer as it also had two shoulder belts. What it is safer than is most all Class C or Class A for rear passengers. The safest place is, of course, in the cab.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian123 View Post
What is a reasonable offer?
$100k is a bit over my initial target, even if it is a genuine good deal. Though, at this price range, there are many other models to consider, such as a used Travato 59GL or Pleasure-Way Lexor FL/TS 2020(+-), which are often in the 85-95k range - if you keep an eye out.
Never been impressed by Winnie quality, and been impressed by Pleasureway for many years. My beef with them is the 3 system fridge and Onan generator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian123 View Post
Is it realistic to attempt a low offer on a used vehicle at a large dealer? More like $85k, maybe in $80k, while possibly too low, leaves room for them to counter? Again, this is a dealer, which might attempt up-sales and fees. Or maybe I just offer what I'm willing to pay and hold my ground during negotiation, for better or worse? It's been on their lot for a month now, which seems really full at the moment, plus foot traffic seemed low. Then again, I don't know what is normal, but only a 1 or 2 other the last two Saturday's I've gone mid-day.
You can start anywhere on negotiations... at least now we are back to being able to do so. But be realistic. Look at the asking prices on RV trader. You don't know what they are getting, but check out the range. If you can't settle on a price you want to pay, there are quite a few coming on the market because of "covid purchases" these days. We have many that get listed on the Simplicity/Zion owners page on FB, where you can even search up the sellers' posts on what issues they have had... which is handy. In fact, the very first Slumber owner member just put his up for sale because of foreign travel... lots of upgrades. I sold my Simplicity on the board very quickly.

This 2021 van has been mostly sitting for 3 years. I would bet money that the Promaster battery stuffed under the driver's feet has been abused, and likely needs replacing. They die quickly if not used for a nice drive every 10-14 days, or kept on a trickle charger. Also I doubt the owner added the solar (they come set up for solar), which means that what we refer to as the "kicker battery" has also been allowed to die. It is an AGM which runs interference between the UHG, inverter, and lithiums. Don't ask me to explain it, but it protects the system from spikes. It also hangs under the rig. Make sure that the macerator system is working and the hose doesn't leak (ants often attack it). There is also a traditional gravity back-up. Also, the hot water heater.

Can't think of anything else at the moment...
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2015 Roadtrek 170
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mumkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2024, 04:00 PM   #4
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Re. sideways facing seatbelts - they are ineffective and not approved for highway use in some states.
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Old 05-19-2024, 06:43 PM   #5
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In our 2015 Roadtrek, the air conditioning from the Sprinter chassis is more than enough to keep the whole coach cool while driving.
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