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Old 09-13-2007, 05:09 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Default Newbie thinking about Roadtrek

Hi, I am thinking in terms of a used Roadtrek, mostly because there seem to come well equipped and there are a fair amount of use ones around. I know my way around the mechanical side fairly well, though I would like to hear what kind of mileage one can expect from the engine and transmission.

But I am more concerned in some ways about the "innards." How long do generators last, electric lines, pipes, propane fridges and stoves, etc, etc.

Can someone answer some or all of these and/or point me in the directin where I can get good info?

Many thanks.
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Old 09-13-2007, 05:44 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Posts: 8,828

Welcome to the forum diver110.

Re: engine and transmission life

Forum member chart has a '94 Roadtrek with 238,000km on it. More info here:

Check out the Yahoo Roadtrek Group here:

and, if you're looking at older RT's the Dodge Camper Vans group has lots of info:

Re: life expectancy of generators, electric lines, pipes, propane fridges and stoves, etc, etc.

Good question. I think that the electric lines, pipes & stove would last the life of the van. At least that is what I would expect.

Generators, with regular maintenance should last long time also. So much will depend on the care given to the unit.

Mark Nemeth from Escapees RV club provided this answer to a similar question:

Dear Mark,
I'm curious as to the average life expectancy of things like refrigerators, water pumps, Power converters, Water Heater controls etc.

I realize that the number of days you use something will shorten the lifespan and that I could have a unit that lasts longer than the norm…but I'm looking for you to help set that norm, by days camping. I expect to have my 2002 Tahoe DT 19 in the field about 35 days this year, with 40% of that time in dry camps (more use of the water pump etc). Could you do an article to give us a general idea of life spans of modern RV systems? I promise I won't hold you to these estimated times.

Tom Smith
Henderson, NV.

Mark says…
That's a tough question, Tom! My personal experience has been that RV refrigerators, if operated conscientiously, can last 10–12 years without problems. Most refrigerators die from clogged cooling systems or from corrosion eating holes in the cooling system. While there's not a lot you can do to prevent the corrosion from happening, you make a huge difference in the life span of your refrigerator by never operating it significantly off level. Even for a half hour! When a refrigerator is allowed to run when it is way off level, the bottom of the boiler can be left dry, and the heat from the flame will cause crystals and scale to form. These deposits can break loose and float around in the cooling system, eventually clogging it. When that happens, it's a goner!

Water pumps should last 10–15 years, no sweat, and you can buy a pump head rebuild kit for them if they wear out. Converters usually last the life of the rig barring electrical surges or other external problems. Both furnaces and water heaters should last 6–10 years. You can extend the life of your water heater by flushing it out annually and replacing the anode rod (if so equipped) when it becomes significantly eroded. In some cases, you may have to replace a circuit board if one fails, but the basic appliance should remain serviceable at least that long.

Remember, you promised not to hold me to this, but I believe that most RV appliances and equipment will last at least 10 years, under normal circumstances. Unfortunately, how many hours you operate these appliances per year doesn't seem to have a big effect on lifespan. I got 12 years out of my last Dometic Refrigerator, and I was living in the rig full time for 7+ years of that. A buddy of mine, who uses his rig about a month a year, had his refrigerator die at the 10 year mark. I've seen similar results with other appliances.

The Class B - Camping Van Conversions forum on has lots of info as well: ... rum/21.cfm
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