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Old 12-03-2015, 08:55 PM   #101
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I agree with Davydd. Roadtrek has made a significant investment in new battery technology and while there have been issues with the rollout I predict this is temporary and they will be in a good position to take advantage of this development effort to differentiate themselves in the market.
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:14 PM   #102
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Ofcourse none of us are experts as far as I know, but I have to agree that the roadtrek bashing seems a bit extreme sometimes. I've never owned a roadtrek, but I must say I have seen quite a few old ones that seem to hold up pretty well. The negativity towards the current management seems justified as some of the forum and facebook posts and actions are really unprofessional, but the units themselves don't seem all bad. They obviously have some sort of problem with the newer electronics, but surely they will iron it out.
On the other hand, I'm not so sure I agree with Davydd on some comments like a "North American market that will want air conditioning and tank/dump toilets,...". I (for one) don't really want a/c OR tank/dump toilets. Most RV'ers will admit to very infrequent use of A/C.. I have never had a van with anything more than dash A/C, and actually removed a working marine toilet from my sportsmobile.
Design finishes is mostly aesthetic and there is allot of opinion there.
I agree on the "swing away" sinks, but would LOVE an aisle shower that was spacious, without requiring allot of square footage for the bathroom.
I also like the idea of a pop top for a seldom used extra bed, rather than an awkward fold down dinette that takes away your "lounging/sitting" area and requires more space to store cushions and bedding.
I think Davydd is spot on with the last two paragraphs, but as you said, you "don't know" if that market exists for the "family, young, weekender, short vacation / tailgater / every day drivers"... That, is exactly MY "market", and I think, a pretty good part of roadtreks also. I'm thinking Hymer is wanting to see if that market exists.. I also think the Travato is definitely the best thing out there and fits that description well (hence its success), and I plan to purchase one soon - but I would consider an alternative, especially if it was competitive (I have my doubts there).
Anyway, forgive my ramble, I don't mean to argue. Just to point out that there is "some" market for that exact sort of rig (even if it is a market of one).
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Old 12-03-2015, 11:04 PM   #103
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I bought a used 08 RS Adventurous 3 years ago and I am a happy Roadtrek owner.

I think Roadtrek does a pretty good job overall. It is clear that they are continuing to target a customer base that is different from the enthusiasts on the internet groups that focus on detailed technical features. I think this strategy makes sense since that is where the majority of the sales will happen. They are leading the way in moving a large group of RV owners or new buyers into vans and away from a traditional larger RV plug in campground experience into a less crowded and in my mind more natural camping experience. Just my take on it...
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Old 12-03-2015, 11:07 PM   #104
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Sure is refreshing to see that I'm not alone in my view that some of the criticism of Roadtrek I read in this forum goes beyond what the company deserves. Now, back to lurking and learning.
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Old 12-03-2015, 11:57 PM   #105
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Scottbaldassari,

When I spoke of markets I am referring to percentages. Of course there are markets for most everyone. But just go on Facebook where there are much more complete profiles to judge from of Class B owners (over 6,000 on Roadtreking:The Group) and the vast majority are not you. That "family, young, weekender, short vacation / tailgater / every day drivers" market does not have the disposable income the empty nester near retiree and retired have but they can put up with more "fit" solutions the latter group would find annoying or difficult. Does anyone really know how the European market compares to the North American market? After all they might be very different based on the RVs they offer.

Right now we are enjoying a boon in low fuel prices. That is good and bad for Class Bs. The good is it makes travel in a B very economical comparatively and the ease of boondocking and more rustic camping trend is lowering the cost all the more. Bad, are short memories, are driving the market to bigger, more space comfort RVs. Leisure Travel Vans picked the right horse in this but Roadtrek has no horse in its stable. That could be another reason to cooperate with Hymer. The other cloud is recession is historically overdue on the natural cyclical economic ups and downs and Citi gives 65% odds we go back into recession in 2016. Converters should be eying that potential trend closely.
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:34 AM   #106
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If I was a betting woman, I would bet that Hymer will be stepping in to replace the investment group. That buzz is getting louder. While the investors kept RT alive through tough times, they don't care about RVs as such... they care about making money. And that push to produce their rigs as fast as possible is what I feel has led to the obvious decline in quality between old units and new units. I remember reading Jim H's post on facebook bragging about how many rigs they push out in a week... and I thought... that's not necessarily a good thing for us consumers. And I learned once I got my new rig that it was definitely NOT a good thing. It also was probably instrumental in their pushing the EcoTrek out into the marketplace before it was ready for primetime.

It will never be the family owned and run builder that it was, but I think Hymer wants into the North American market and RT gives them a door. And I think that quality control would move in front of the bottom line to increase sales. Not to mention that it would be great fun for those of us on the sidelines to watch how the merging of two quite different B's ends up. I'd guess that Hymer wants to use the new tech that RT has been developing. And RT could use the help of a larger company to hire enough people to get out from under the problems that they are having right now.

The people at the factory are great... they just need to double the warranty/service department to catch up.
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:41 AM   #107
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Well stated, Mumkin, I couldn't agree more. Less schmoozing and boasting, more training and attention to detail, and most of all--customers first!
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:56 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
I think it would be good for consumers and RT employees if Roadtrek ends up under the Hymer Group umbrella. What a Class B market place powerhouse that would be!

It's all the better that Winnebago has obtained a strong position in the space. (Actually leading market share for a while now)

The competition could be intense and we'll be the beneficiaries.
Good point. I too think the consumers will benefit regardless of where Hymer lands.
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:17 AM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmchugh View Post
I bought a used 08 RS Adventurous 3 years ago and I am a happy Roadtrek owner.

I think Roadtrek does a pretty good job overall. It is clear that they are continuing to target a customer base that is different from the enthusiasts on the internet groups that focus on detailed technical features. I think this strategy makes sense since that is where the majority of the sales will happen. They are leading the way in moving a large group of RV owners or new buyers into vans and away from a traditional larger RV plug in campground experience into a less crowded and in my mind more natural camping experience. Just my take on it...
Thing is, your '08 Adventurous is from a different company than the one we see today. Yours is from a proud family owned company, today's is a strictly money making operation that reminds me of the big 3 carmakers from the 70's thru early 90's.
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Old 12-04-2015, 03:37 AM   #110
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I think the Hymer co op should be good for the market, but they better be competitive (feature and cost wise) with Winnebago. Winnebago Travatos deliver on features, function and price. They also have 2 floorplans that no one in North America or Europe provide. If they were to add a couple more models and Transit vans there's no telling how much more maket share they could eat up.
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Old 12-04-2015, 04:21 AM   #111
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They are already competitive with Winnebago. Just because they are number 2 to the mega RV producer of North America is nothing to be ashamed of. It is rather a David and Goliath battle... and in real life Goliath will usually win.
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:55 AM   #112
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The fitrv are on the game! Interesting fact from the video - Hymer will develop their own dealer network.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:23 AM   #113
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Thanks Fit RV and eurovanman.

So my questions are answered..
Roadtrek is building in Canada, and they will be another "premium" priced (lower 100,000) RV.. (that looks awful close to Travato/Roadtrek quality)

.. lots of nice fish already in THAT pond..

Ok, shows over, back to oogling over the Travato.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:54 AM   #114
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Really!
Roadtrek Confirmed as builder of Hymer vans!

That's news!

https://m.facebook.com/kampervanfun/...9130081681073/

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Old 12-04-2015, 11:57 AM   #115
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So, Hymer has now confirmed that the earlier plan to have Spartan motors build their vans in North America is being replaced with Roadtrek buiding the vans on a contract basis in Kitchener ON to Hymer specifications with Hymer personnel onsite to insure Hymer quality in the construction process. As noted above, they will be sold and serviced through a Hymer dealer network and the price for the Grand Canyon model displayed at the trade show will be in the low $100,000s, above the prices of the Zion and Travato. Let the speculation continue on what this all means for the future...
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:29 PM   #116
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George B - You must have had an inside track on this info!

So RT and Hymer jumped from "let's start dating" to "I'm staying the night - what's for breakfast" real fast.

Well, 2016 will be interesting. Seems like the Class B Forum will have lots to discuss. Now I need to check out the RV show schedule for 2016
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:45 PM   #117
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Sounds like a good deal for Roadtrek if they can build them and get paid without having to do their own marketing, service, get them sold and what not.

For Hymer, with Spartan out, it clearly seems their first attempt last year didn't work out. So they needed someone like Roadtrek to advise on the North American market. That answer about the toilet was revealing.

The back bed is definitely a cross sleeper. There are slats in the middle where they are best needed for the hips.

Premium? No microwave? No advances in batteries? I just fail to see what they are offering to demand a premium price. Cabinetry alone doesn't do it and I am not impressed with the cabinetry they showed.

What Hymer could have done was bring their HymerVan to the North American market. It is a Class C by definition but is definitely something no one else has in size in that market segment. You can be more innovative building your own rear box than stuffing a van and it appears to have more versatile storage which is needed for the long haul touring we do.
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:11 PM   #118
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I agree with Davydd, only reason I see for doing the Class B first would be that it is easier to build over here but I agree that the market for premium prices just to get a more euro style in a Promaster Class B is not very large. The HymerVan does seem to hit a spot that is more likely to sell. It is interesting to look at the HymerVan on the web in Europe, the air conditioning options are all various roof vents. As noted in the video above they will need to add real AC for the market over here. The idea of the cassette toilet to me is not that big a deal but I guess the market may require a switch to a black tank.
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:28 PM   #119
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It will be interesting to see how it all prices out and if dealers will be able to discount. I did notice that she said the black tank was an option to the cassette. I wonder what else will be optional - an EcoTrek package, generator, solar maybe?

In the background of the video, they had lots of displays with info. Maybe Fit RV will follow up with another report on what else they learned, fit, finish, comfort, their first hand impressions, etc.
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:34 PM   #120
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Euro-style is one thing, you may like it or not. Fit and finish is another. It is not that the Europeans are better craftspeople. Rather, they approach the design and construction of their vehicles with a different mindset. American vans are built like tiny houses by carpenters and plumbers. Euro-vans tend to be assembled like machines out of far more thoughtfully designed and fabricated components. The difference is stark. When Airstream was importing and modifying Westies a decade ago, the difference between the Westy-built parts and the Thor-modified parts was beyond obvious.

As I said above, there are a lot of things to admire about RoadTrek. But fit and finish is not one of them. Same with Airstream. For vans selling above $100K, the initial build quality in both cases is IMO disgraceful. So, the question is: will the build quality of RT-built Hymers be more like RoadTreks or like Hymers?
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