Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-25-2020, 07:14 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Virginia
Posts: 4
Default Roadtrek Chassis with Best Bones

I'm thinking of buying an older Roadtrek 170 for renovation. I'm curious as to what the opinions are out there concerning the Roadtrek model year and chassis which would win the award for 'best bones' for a reno project. Any insights on pros/cons, what to watch out for, etc. would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your insights.
__________________

carpeBLUEGRASS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 07:34 PM   #2
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: PHX, AZ
Posts: 1,569
Default

Hi and Welcome


some 170's ( i'm not an expert!) are built on the chev 2500 van, with a 4.8 L


I have that motor in my pick up and I regard it marginal- the tranny often "hunting" switching 3rd/overdrive on hills.
My Pal with same truck 5.7 much much more solid.


The chev 3500 used on the 190 models ( popular sleeps fore & aft, versatile sleeps sideways - are you tall?) has the 6.0 which is well sized to a 9000# rv


That's what i have in my 2006 pleasure way lexor TD
(most RV's a 1 model year newer than the chassis, mine is a 2005 chev)


the road treks often have a drop floor section which is good for overhead height- but I trip on the transitions.


some replace the extra pass seats with cabinets if not used for people, most models the front seats swivel- which is what we have in our van- just the 2 chevy seats



Go look at a whole bunch of smaller RV's and take notes on what you like and don't - watch youtube videos and watch sales guys ( often large) try to move around inside and explain features


mike
__________________

mkguitar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 07:44 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 9,115
Default

What is the buy in budget? That will mostly determine Chevy or Dodge and you can refine from there.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 08:41 PM   #4
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: NY
Posts: 31
Default

I have a 1999 Roadtrek 170, built on the Dodge 2500. As far as I know, the 170's were built on Dodges until around 2003 (when Dodge discontinued the line). I prefer the Dodge over the Chevy because I think that the conversion fits better on the Dodge, and because I get the sense that they easier to work on. My recommendation would be something in the 1999-2003 range with about 100,000 miles on it -- it used to be possible to find them (if you looked real hard on craigslist all around the country and were willing to travel) for around $20K. That has probably changed with the current surge in demand.

The biggest concern by far with Dodges in these model years is that the frame rails from the front wheels forward are very, very (very!) susceptible to rust. And, given that the steering box is bolted to the frame rail on the drivers' side, if that rusts out and pulls loose the entire vehicle might be a total loss. This is easy enough to inspect before buying along with a thorough inspection of undercarriage rust in general. Apart from that, another common problem is the paint chipping away, especially on the hood, and cracks in the step door that gives access to the sewer hoses. Its hard to get new fiberglass for these old Roadtrek's so keep that in mind. Also, I have heard that the transmission used in Dodge vans in these model years tends to run into problems around 150k miles, but I think that the Roadtreks have a transmission oil cooler standard (at least mine has one) so I do not think that is much of an issue.

In any case, I am very happy with the Dodge 170 and recommend it highly. Its is a unique class B and brilliantly laid out inside. Very roomy for a 17 foot van and easy to drive and park. Though, if you are over 6 foot tall you might not be comfortable with the height inside and the length of the bed.
RT-NY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 08:50 PM   #5
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: NY
Posts: 31
Default

. . . One other thing: one advantage of the 170 is that if you do not do your own repairs you can usually get a regular mechanic (rather than an RV place) to work on it, which is more convenient and less expensive. But, it cannot be raised on a typical mechanics' lift because the lift points are covered by the tanks. It requires either a drive-on lift or jack stands.
RT-NY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 09:04 PM   #6
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,353
Default

ONE quick question; why the small 170 versus a 190 or larger?

(I myself were never interested at the time in the larger Roadtrek 210 mode or its equivalent, the Pleasureway Excel).

have a highly modified Rig which is used as an Office for two completely different businesses, and when not at the Ranch, my Home.

Its a 2005 Roadtrek 190 Versatile - sone prefer the Populsr model because it offers a longer bed on 1/2 half of the platform.

I was dead set on a Popular or a Pleasureway Lexor which also offers a variation in models of sleeping sideways or lengthwise.

But the first rig that passed muster for me was a beautifully cared for 2005 Roadtrek Versatile, Chevrolet 6.0liter - phenomenal motor, good tranny.*

Bottom line; its a little more weight but for me, I cannot get past the elegant, forever beauty of wooden cabinetry & therefore I used Maple throughout on my build outs.

Versus the plastic/fiberboard/cheap & nasty construction of newer rigs.

Someone here knows the individual years when they went to newer & newer materials at Roadtrek. And most rigs all the way back to 94 or maybe even further used beautiful wood ply, etc.

*all heavy vehicles other than Backhoes, Tractors & such that I plan on keeping for a long time get a Jasper TraTransmission replacement if they fail - the very best product on the market 3-5 year or 100,000 mile Warranty.

Before I found out about this site I already had my plans in place after moving from a 99 Chevrolet 5.7 Explorer Campervan.

I have a huge amount of storage after I tossed the mickey mouse cabinet wardrobe** option that came with the Versatile & got rid of the two passenger seats.

**I would give it to anyone here but I think its being left in a barn somewhere & you are better to build your own.

Behind the Driver's Seat is a Full Wardrobe that measures 57 inches high, 26 inches deep & 33 inches wide.

It has two levels as per pictures, its cavernous. It also has two separate doors for access.

Then I have on the other side of my Aisle a Cabinet that measures 57 inches high, 26 inches deep & 36.5 inches wide.

This side of the rig behind the Passenger Seat is split into two sides/separate compartments with separate functions.

The sacrifice was choosing not to use the two side doors, access is only from the drivers side or passenger door - for me it was an ideal tradeoff.

The internal half of the Cabinet has 6 separate levels of adjustable storage.

When I am parked, for Privacy I open one large door & it dovetails into an edge of the cabinet on the other side of the aisle & locks into place.

One side is accessed from the two outside doors & it contains a Medical Treatment Table & Ancillary equipment.

Just as I was laboring away, chicken pecking these characters into my post, as I got up to take a photo of the outside side compartment of my rig, there was a 1997 Pleasureway that was trying to work out if the blinkers were working - I asked him if he enjoyed his rig & he said "Yes, working out the bugs, only had it 2 months ..." but it looked fine.

(Yes that is a Rainbow Elephant Bush/Portola Portulacaria Afra Varigata next to the Cactus Garden in my Chevrolet windscreen dash cubby & yes, last night I slept right next to the Beach in Santa Barbara when the nearby hotels had rules & $400 rooms)

Of course, between 94 & 2004, even 2007 there were very little substantial changes in our rig equipment ie; water pumps, lights, showers, etc but there were a lot of small improvement.

But not as much as from 2008 & oneards to today.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20200925_130653.jpg (224.8 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 20200925_130754.jpg (249.1 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg 20200925_000608.jpg (83.2 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg 20200923_165305.jpg (397.7 KB, 11 views)
__________________
05 Roadtrek Versatile 190/Super Modified & Lifted with Custom Battery Box, Two 225ah Lifeline 6 Volt AGMs in Series, 250 watts Solar, Victron BMV712 Meter & Victron MTTP 100V/30A Solar Controller, Magnum MMS1012 Inverter Charger, Onan Generator, Novakool R3800 Fridge & so very much more ...
themexicandoctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 09:07 PM   #7
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Virginia
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks for the awesome reply. Very helpful!
carpeBLUEGRASS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 09:10 PM   #8
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,353
Default

Yes there are three portholes in my RV, with mirrors inside - I was enamored with the Porthole Motif on the outside wall of the Airstreams.

And those vents are so all the cabinets can get fresh air inside of them & if ever needed, diffused organic oils only, from www.aromis.com NOT .com.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20200925_131434.jpg (120.6 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg 20200925_131606.jpg (126.5 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 20200925_133036.jpg (128.5 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg 20200925_132936.jpg (138.0 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 20200925_133134.jpg (152.3 KB, 9 views)
__________________
05 Roadtrek Versatile 190/Super Modified & Lifted with Custom Battery Box, Two 225ah Lifeline 6 Volt AGMs in Series, 250 watts Solar, Victron BMV712 Meter & Victron MTTP 100V/30A Solar Controller, Magnum MMS1012 Inverter Charger, Onan Generator, Novakool R3800 Fridge & so very much more ...
themexicandoctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 09:14 PM   #9
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,353
Default

Here is the Passenger side exterior & interior - I have, since Day O e of the build just after I got the rig, have far more storage internally than most Class B's & B+'s.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20200925_131730.jpg (196.0 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 20200925_131743.jpg (145.4 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg 20200925_132401.jpg (167.8 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 20200925_132416.jpg (144.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 20200925_132608.jpg (153.3 KB, 8 views)
__________________
05 Roadtrek Versatile 190/Super Modified & Lifted with Custom Battery Box, Two 225ah Lifeline 6 Volt AGMs in Series, 250 watts Solar, Victron BMV712 Meter & Victron MTTP 100V/30A Solar Controller, Magnum MMS1012 Inverter Charger, Onan Generator, Novakool R3800 Fridge & so very much more ...
themexicandoctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 09:19 PM   #10
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,353
Default

Now below both cabinets I have locked compartments in a different internal wall of my rig that stores all of my long rifles.

Access to these compartments is controlled by a key pad system which is actually an appliance control device that must be entered in the right sequence.

The first & second photos are some of my plants, The Rainbow Shrub & a Rainbow Burst Cactus/Echinobivida Hybrid.

The third & fourth photos are my concession to the Xmas Hysteria, for 24 minutes only on Xmas Day.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20200925_141456.jpg (282.2 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 20200925_141445.jpg (272.6 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 20200914_211503.jpg (203.5 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 20200914_211511.jpg (212.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 20200727_042853_resized_1.jpg (204.2 KB, 7 views)
__________________
05 Roadtrek Versatile 190/Super Modified & Lifted with Custom Battery Box, Two 225ah Lifeline 6 Volt AGMs in Series, 250 watts Solar, Victron BMV712 Meter & Victron MTTP 100V/30A Solar Controller, Magnum MMS1012 Inverter Charger, Onan Generator, Novakool R3800 Fridge & so very much more ...
themexicandoctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 09:21 PM   #11
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Virginia
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks! Your unit sounds/looks great.

I'm zeroing in on the 170 because of intended use: mainly overnite camping at bluegrass festivals (just me), touring to visit kids/grand kids, a second vehicle for running around (get rid of my car), football tailgates and occasional extended camping with just my wife and I. My thought process is buy something in the 1995-2005 vintage for say $15,000 with a $5000 reno budget (mostly exterior and interior spruce ups: remove stripes/badges, repaint rocker panels, new seats/upholstery, new carpet/floor coverings, etc). Might just be a pipedream but it will keep me busy in retirement and it's fun checking out everyone's reno/upgrade ideas.
carpeBLUEGRASS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 09:30 PM   #12
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 9,115
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by carpeBLUEGRASS View Post
Thanks! Your unit sounds/looks great.

I'm zeroing in on the 170 because of intended use: mainly overnite camping at bluegrass festivals (just me), touring to visit kids/grand kids, a second vehicle for running around (get rid of my car), football tailgates and occasional extended camping with just my wife and I. My thought process is buy something in the 1995-2005 vintage for say $15,000 with a $5000 reno budget (mostly exterior and interior spruce ups: remove stripes/badges, repaint rocker panels, new seats/upholstery, new carpet/floor coverings, etc). Might just be a pipedream but it will keep me busy in retirement and it's fun checking out everyone's reno/upgrade ideas.

The $15K is going to make finding a Chevy 170 pretty tough unless you can find on that needs lots of work and/or has very high miles. Dodges can be found down to $10K and below if in similar condition. Of course, occasionally a great deal pops up so never certain.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 09:35 PM   #13
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: NY
Posts: 31
Default

Sounds like a do-able plan to me -- though, as I mentioned, I have not looked at prices recently. I use my 170 as my only vehicle and it is fine, though I do not drive much and never drive when there is snow and salt on the roads (rust, as I said). Another advantage of the 170 is that is is very stealthy so you can camp anywhere.
RT-NY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 09:37 PM   #14
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,353
Default

Pipe Dreams are Reality.

$400 a night with rules & no kitchen or $0.00* per night with no rules & a full kitchen.

*yes if course I paid to get here but so did the Hotel Guest - oops I forgot to mention Taxes.

The only concession is that if they sleep heavily as I do (despite the Parasomnias & Sleep Walking), they have a 19 second later warning if there is a tidal wave.

From what I understand, you might find the 170 a more rare unit to get - I could have made the 170 work but the One Ton 3500 is just a much sturdier platform that needs a Back Up Camera.

I went to school in Santa Barbara for 6 years & I find it refreshing one can still park overnight on some sections of the beach. In fact, its a Miracle ...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20200923_163236.jpg (302.8 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 20200923_161638.jpg (320.5 KB, 6 views)
__________________
05 Roadtrek Versatile 190/Super Modified & Lifted with Custom Battery Box, Two 225ah Lifeline 6 Volt AGMs in Series, 250 watts Solar, Victron BMV712 Meter & Victron MTTP 100V/30A Solar Controller, Magnum MMS1012 Inverter Charger, Onan Generator, Novakool R3800 Fridge & so very much more ...
themexicandoctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 10:06 PM   #15
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,353
Default

I promise to start looking around for you here locally.
__________________
05 Roadtrek Versatile 190/Super Modified & Lifted with Custom Battery Box, Two 225ah Lifeline 6 Volt AGMs in Series, 250 watts Solar, Victron BMV712 Meter & Victron MTTP 100V/30A Solar Controller, Magnum MMS1012 Inverter Charger, Onan Generator, Novakool R3800 Fridge & so very much more ...
themexicandoctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 10:10 PM   #16
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,353
Default

A small miracle, in Los Angeles

https://losangeles.craigslist.org/ws...202437539.html
__________________
05 Roadtrek Versatile 190/Super Modified & Lifted with Custom Battery Box, Two 225ah Lifeline 6 Volt AGMs in Series, 250 watts Solar, Victron BMV712 Meter & Victron MTTP 100V/30A Solar Controller, Magnum MMS1012 Inverter Charger, Onan Generator, Novakool R3800 Fridge & so very much more ...
themexicandoctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 10:12 PM   #17
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,353
Default

Here is the original search BASED in Santa Barbara showing two other older rigs but not 170's

https://santabarbara.craigslist.org/...dtrek&sort=rel
__________________
05 Roadtrek Versatile 190/Super Modified & Lifted with Custom Battery Box, Two 225ah Lifeline 6 Volt AGMs in Series, 250 watts Solar, Victron BMV712 Meter & Victron MTTP 100V/30A Solar Controller, Magnum MMS1012 Inverter Charger, Onan Generator, Novakool R3800 Fridge & so very much more ...
themexicandoctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 10:24 PM   #18
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: NY
Posts: 31
Default

That Los Angeles listing looks suspicious to me -- pictures and description are too generic, no year, no miles, too cheap of a price, and what does this mean "It looks like a normal van except for the air conditioner on top"? One of the good things about the Roadtrek design is that the air conditioner is inside the cap!

Here's one in WA, the ideal model year in my opinion (the 1999 25th anniversary edition!): https://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/r...197336672.html
RT-NY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 10:32 PM   #19
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,353
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RT-NY View Post
That Los Angeles listing looks suspicious to me -- pictures and description are too generic, no year, no miles, too cheap of a price, and what does this mean "It looks like a normal van except for the air conditioner on top"? One of the good things about the Roadtrek design is that the air conditioner is inside the cap!

Here's one in WA, the ideal model year in my opinion (the 1999 25th anniversary edition!): https://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/r...197336672.html

I just transfered the link.

This is not my ad.

Let me play Detective for a moment.

Yes it doesn't list miles so I sent the poster a link to our site & said you might have some interested parties here - please explain more about your rig on our site in the thrrad provided.

The Litmus Test; an email thst arrives usually with words mispelt or out if context with an inability to physically meet, etc.

Or maybe its a real genuine offer.

Good Radar, I never looked at the details as I am busy with my kids needs but I wanted to start the ball rolling. Buyer Beware
__________________
05 Roadtrek Versatile 190/Super Modified & Lifted with Custom Battery Box, Two 225ah Lifeline 6 Volt AGMs in Series, 250 watts Solar, Victron BMV712 Meter & Victron MTTP 100V/30A Solar Controller, Magnum MMS1012 Inverter Charger, Onan Generator, Novakool R3800 Fridge & so very much more ...
themexicandoctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 10:45 PM   #20
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,353
Default

Here we go at a dealer in Vancouver ...

https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/199...170-5013837712
__________________

__________________
05 Roadtrek Versatile 190/Super Modified & Lifted with Custom Battery Box, Two 225ah Lifeline 6 Volt AGMs in Series, 250 watts Solar, Victron BMV712 Meter & Victron MTTP 100V/30A Solar Controller, Magnum MMS1012 Inverter Charger, Onan Generator, Novakool R3800 Fridge & so very much more ...
themexicandoctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×