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Old 10-27-2019, 02:48 AM   #1
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Default The indecision is anguishing, please help!

Hi there,
I am, for the first time in my life, strongly considering the purchase of a Class B van for the mountainous adventures my family goes on routinely in the spring, summer and winter. The one on which I've zeroed in is a 2002 Roadtrek Versatile 190 with 44,000 miles on it.
I haggled a bit with the dealer and got him to reduce his asking price from $28,900 to $26,000. It appears—by pictures and a FaceTime conversation—to be in very good condition.
It has the four-season package, which is especially important for our winter skiing. And it would be just big enough to accommodate our family of five and just small enough to use as a second vehicle when our primary vehicle is in use. (I bike-commute to work and, thus, don't require a driving vehicle in the way most people do).

My questions are: Should I go for it? Is this a high price for its age and use? I have read that age is a more reliable indicator of a vehicle's condition than is mileage. Does that make this a bad idea? Are there certain ages of Roadtrek's to avoid--or to seize? Is this one of them?

Your answers will soothe our souls. We've been plagued with this decision for a while now and could use some good advice.
Thank you so much.
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:21 AM   #2
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I have not heard of a 4 season package on a Roadtrek. What did they tell you it included?


Very few OEM class b vans are truly four season campers and require alteration of camping style to do it if below freezing. They are also normally not very thoroughly insulated.
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Old 10-27-2019, 12:26 PM   #3
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We only have a year's experience with our "B", but many years experience with other RV's mostly trailers.

It is now just my wife and I using a 22'-9" Pleasure-Way Plateau and though we are finding space a bit of a challenge despite both of us being small of stature, we enjoy it and find it much more flexible than our previous trailers so the trade-off is worth it.

I do find it a bit hard to imagine five people in a RT 190 though. Unless you already know it will work for you, I would really suggest renting to try it out before buying.

Hope it will work out!
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Old 10-27-2019, 12:58 PM   #4
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How will you sleep five? I can envision three in the large rear bed and one more small person in the optional front folding cot. Kids grow fast!

I’m also questioning the “four season” capability. Mine has a small inside fresh water tank, usable as long as you maintain heat in the coach, but the waste tanks are unprotected underneath. I’m thinking you’d be better off using it dry with bottled water. Insulation is thin and windows are single pane, so heating it will not be very efficient. Unless you’re hooked up to power, heating with the furnace will deplete your batteries fairly quickly, as well as run through propane.

Then there’s the drivability issue in winter conditions. I believe most Roadtreks have an open rear axle and very little ground clearance.

For true four-season use I personally like the Bigfoot all-molded fiberglass products- truck campers and travel trailers. The 2500-series units have dual pane windows, 1” rigid foam insulation, and enclosed, heated holding tanks. They can be hauled or towed with a proper 4x4 vehicle.
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Old 10-27-2019, 01:24 PM   #5
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The best money I ever spent on an RV was renting one for 2 days. I learned more in those 2 days than i could ever learn on the internet. I completely changed the type of RV that we eventually purchased based on that experience and saved thousands of wasted dollars.
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Old 10-27-2019, 04:06 PM   #6
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Default Skip it, too small for 5 people and it's not a four seasons RV

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristianKnight View Post
Hi there,
I am, for the first time in my life, strongly considering the purchase of a Class B van for the mountainous adventures my family goes on routinely in the spring, summer and winter. The one on which I've zeroed in is a 2002 Roadtrek Versatile 190 with 44,000 miles on it.
I haggled a bit with the dealer and got him to reduce his asking price from $28,900 to $26,000. It appears—by pictures and a FaceTime conversation—to be in very good condition.
It has the four-season package, which is especially important for our winter skiing. And it would be just big enough to accommodate our family of five and just small enough to use as a second vehicle when our primary vehicle is in use. (I bike-commute to work and, thus, don't require a driving vehicle in the way most people do).

My questions are: Should I go for it? Is this a high price for its age and use? I have read that age is a more reliable indicator of a vehicle's condition than is mileage. Does that make this a bad idea? Are there certain ages of Roadtrek's to avoid--or to seize? Is this one of them?

Your answers will soothe our souls. We've been plagued with this decision for a while now and could use some good advice.
Thank you so much.
.
This is the value, dealership wants too much money....

https://www.nadaguides.com/RVs/2002/Roadtrek/Versatile-190-Dodge/3027039/Values


It's way too small to be comfortable... get a hotel room..

Mileage on a 17 years old vehicle is basically meaningless.... don't do it...

It's more about age than mileage anyway....

Even if there were only two of you, I would still recommend that you skip it....
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Old 10-27-2019, 05:57 PM   #7
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Christian Knight, Knowing that: - you don't really camp 'in" a campervan, you camp outside; - you've had your 5-member family in the campervan to determine you all fit for sleeping, cold weather, etc; - Roadtrek Versatile is likely not a true winter rig, but you can camp in it with limitations on use of the plumbing system in below freezing temps; - your family is excited about this new adventure. Are you considering camping in it while parked at a ski area? That could be a rather extreme test/tight fit for a family of 5 in a small campervan. But a campervan could be rather ideal for spring/summer/fall family camping trips, especially if older kids sleep outside. I'm inclined to say "go for it," especially if the price is negotiated down a bit more. Other commenters have shared good advice to consider. Let us know and good luck.
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:27 PM   #8
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Default With all due respect....how can you recommend that...

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Christian Knight, Knowing that: - you don't really camp 'in" a campervan, you camp outside; - you've had your 5-member family in the campervan to determine you all fit for sleeping, cold weather, etc; - Roadtrek Versatile is likely not a true winter rig, but you can camp in it with limitations on use of the plumbing system in below freezing temps; - your family is excited about this new adventure. Are you considering camping in it while parked at a ski area? That could be a rather extreme test/tight fit for a family of 5 in a small campervan. But a campervan could be rather ideal for spring/summer/fall family camping trips, especially if older kids sleep outside. I'm inclined to say "go for it," especially if the price is negotiated down a bit more. Other commenters have shared good advice to consider. Let us know and good luck.
Part of choosing an RV is getting a right "fit".... where do you think five people are going to sleep....
and the bathroom will be a huge challenge.

Even with the kids sleeping outside...

IF... they were ONLY using this as a day excursion vehicle, maybe...? Also, price is way off...

Class B's are really designed for 2 people....
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:32 PM   #9
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RoadtrekAdven: Perhaps this is a skiing/camping family who may be more adventurous than most Class B owners. The Roadtrek Versatile sleeps 4. From a skiing/camping mom.
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Old 10-28-2019, 01:05 PM   #10
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I cannot comment directly on price/condition, but if you’ve been considering this vehicle for a while, then the dealer has been sitting on it at least as long…

I agree with NAZCampervan that this van could work well for you, but I also think you should try before you buy.
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Old 10-28-2019, 04:19 PM   #11
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Thank you all so much for the perspective and advice. I think this will cool our heels, a bit, on the purchase. I think JRobe especially had good advice: Rent one for a few days and then go from there. The trouble we are having is that we have a set of extremely restrictive—and probably unrealistic—criteria into which we would like the RV to fit. It’s gotta be small enough that we could park it where we live and use as a second vehicle, on occasion. It’s gotta be big enough for the five of us to sleep—the Roadtrek does achieve that with the full bed in the back and the two ‘twins’ up front and the aisle, where we would put down a mat. We don’t envision hanging out inside it often—just to sleep, wait out the occasional rainstorm, and to eat. But then again, we have no idea of what to expect. We might find, after throwing down $26,000 that we care a whole lot more about having space inside the RV than the ability to drive it on local streets and park it near our house. I just don’t know. Either way, it sounds like the four season package is a bit of a marketing gimmick and the price is quite high. I just haven’t found a better deal yet.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:31 PM   #12
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Default No 4 Season class B's as far as I know..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristianKnight View Post
Thank you all so much for the perspective and advice. I think this will cool our heels, a bit, on the purchase. I think JRobe especially had good advice: Rent one for a few days and then go from there. The trouble we are having is that we have a set of extremely restrictive—and probably unrealistic—criteria into which we would like the RV to fit. It’s gotta be small enough that we could park it where we live and use as a second vehicle, on occasion. It’s gotta be big enough for the five of us to sleep—the Roadtrek does achieve that with the full bed in the back and the two ‘twins’ up front and the aisle, where we would put down a mat. We don’t envision hanging out inside it often—just to sleep, wait out the occasional rainstorm, and to eat. But then again, we have no idea of what to expect. We might find, after throwing down $26,000 that we care a whole lot more about having space inside the RV than the ability to drive it on local streets and park it near our house. I just don’t know. Either way, it sounds like the four season package is a bit of a marketing gimmick and the price is quite high. I just haven’t found a better deal yet.
Look, maybe others will correct me, but, I've never heard of a "FOUR SEASON" Class B... On a couple of Roadtrek models, the 210, they had an extra tank inside the coach... still, all of the other tanks and water lines are exposed.,.

Whomever told you that it was a 4 Season model... was that the sales team??? Don't believe them.....

Now, the price and the sleeping arrangements.... sounds horribly cramped....The price is RIDICULOUS..... again, I think it is a great idea to rent one or stay in a hotel...

Look, $26,000 plus repairs, maintenance, insurance, sales tax and the like will pay for a lot of hotel rooms.....

Just think about what I just said... you will be thanking me later......

By the way, I forgot to mention DEPRECIATION... Yeah, those sales guys are trying to rip you off.....how do I know this....

Well, let me tell you something..... I was going through a tough time last year with my 2012 RS Adventurous,, and it has under 50,000 miles.... you know how much they wanted to just buy my 2012 RV for?????

Drum roll.....$30,000.... I told them where to go... I still have my RV and decided to keep it.... my point is that the sales team will sell you anything they can get their hands on, but, when you are interested in selling yours or trading it in, you're going to get a very unsettling surprise....

It's absolutely essential to make sure you purchase the "perfect vehicle" if you can..... none are perfect...

They did say I could get a lot more selling it privately, but they vultures.... and so are a lot of people who shop on RV trader.... again, as soon as someone knows you want to sell, they they want to offer you the lowest price... like people who shop at an estate sale once someone dies... Yeah, it's that bad. .

Good luck.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristianKnight View Post
Thank you all so much for the perspective and advice. I think this will cool our heels, a bit, on the purchase. I think JRobe especially had good advice: Rent one for a few days and then go from there. The trouble we are having is that we have a set of extremely restrictive—and probably unrealistic—criteria into which we would like the RV to fit. It’s gotta be small enough that we could park it where we live and use as a second vehicle, on occasion. It’s gotta be big enough for the five of us to sleep—the Roadtrek does achieve that with the full bed in the back and the two ‘twins’ up front and the aisle, where we would put down a mat. We don’t envision hanging out inside it often—just to sleep, wait out the occasional rainstorm, and to eat. But then again, we have no idea of what to expect. We might find, after throwing down $26,000 that we care a whole lot more about having space inside the RV than the ability to drive it on local streets and park it near our house. I just don’t know. Either way, it sounds like the four season package is a bit of a marketing gimmick and the price is quite high. I just haven’t found a better deal yet.
It appears that your #1 thing is a second vehicle in the driveway.

You mention 4 season (that one basically does not have insulation) but don't say if it is important. Please let us know if that is important, how low a temp?

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Old 10-28-2019, 08:02 PM   #14
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Five people sleeping in a class B in under freezing temps is going to have some big time issues with moisture running off all the cold surfaces, especially the windows. The skin of the van will also be wet running water, I think, pretty bad.


Keeping a window or two cracked open would be necessary, I assume, but will really increase the need for heat. The person on the floor in the aisle better have a very warm sleeping bag as it will be much colder there than at bed height.
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Old 10-28-2019, 08:33 PM   #15
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Default Class A's are usually FOUR SEASON coaches

If you have a need for five people... then, this is what you really need...
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Old 10-28-2019, 09:35 PM   #16
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ChristianKnight, Best wishes as you pursue outdoor adventures with your family, whatever forms or in whatever vehicles they take. From Outdoorsy, Skiing mom.
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Old 10-29-2019, 04:15 PM   #17
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Hi Chris,
Are you buying this from Eric (Rick)? If so, we looked it over and seems to be an excellent vehicle. We passed because being older we need the twin beds for those wake up calls in the nights. This vehicle has maintenance records which are gold, and only two owners who knew each other. Tell Eric hi from Karen and David if you buy it.
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:13 PM   #18
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There are no 4 season Roadtreks that I know of in existence and certainly nothing in that era unless the owner had modified it. That's doubtful. Saying that, Mike Wendland of RV Lifestyle, formerly Roadtreking, has gathered people with all makes and years of Roadtreks including the one similar to what you are looking at and other Class Bs for about a half-dozen years now to go to a Winter Freezeout in January in sub-zero, two feet of snow on the ground at Tahquamenon Falls State Park on Michigan's UP in January. 30+ vans partake and survive. The Michigan DNR plows out the roads and campsites that are reserved. There are vault toilets but no water (bring your own). Bottom line is you can camp in the winter but I think you do need shorepower, which is provided. It got down to -15F in the morning when we departed last year.

If you are going to buy a Class B, very few provide beds for 4+ people. That Roadtrek is one of the few. Advanced RV has designed one with a fold out bunk bed for two above a king size sofa/bed that could sleep three inside a Sprinter van with no need of a poptop. It could be termed 3-season but I know it could survive winter overnight without hookups. That was custom and I think anything custom is probably out of your price range unless you do it yourself. You may need to do more research and learning for that.
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:51 PM   #19
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Default Yeah, but is it worth it?

I know the value of something hinges directly on what the buyer is willing to pay, but could I expect to find something comparable for a better price if I keep looking?

I really, really appreciate hearing the wisdom from your guys' and gals' experience. It has been so useful. I don't know anyone who has owned one of these.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:21 PM   #20
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CK, If you're looking for a less expensive rig that fits most of your requirements, that maybe difficult to find. There is seldom a "perfect vehicle." There are tradeoffs to consider in size, price, amenities, etc. Are you willing to travel to look at and perhaps purchase that rig? Are you willing to size up to stay within your budget? A larger "Class C" RV would accommodate your family and are LESS expensive than "Class B" campervans.
Have you perused websites such as RVTrader.com and RVT.com and
Road Trek International- Roadtrek International - Roadtreks for Sale to get an idea what's on the market, floorplans, prices, locations, etc? Have you looked at/compared RVs at other dealerships? It's as important to know what you DON'T want as it is to know what you do want.
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