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SailorJackson 02-17-2008 08:51 PM

Roadtrek Agile Review (2007 Sprinter model)
We purchased this new about 9 months ago. We had zero RV experience and shopped very little before making the purchase. We now have 15,000 miles on it and a few comments that might help others shopping around. We selected Roadtrek Agile SS very quickly based on criteria that may not be important to others, but was to us:
  • The body was intact. The extended top Ford and Chevy frames are structurally weak and top heavy. The glasswork is done with the chopper gun which is heavy and weak. One class B mfg claims to add a roll bar. I seen it, it's wimpy and useless.[/*:m:24xudl8n]
  • Sprinter has a much bigger windshield. It's not sightseeing if you can't see it. The view of the road and the sky is much better in the Sprinter frame.[/*:m:24xudl8n]
  • 21 MPG is a big deal. We'll probably keep the van until gas is $5.00 a gallon. Could be sooner than you think.[/*:m:24xudl8n]
  • Roadtrek was the only one building on a short Sprinter frame. We do urban touring and I like the agility. I can do a U turn in a city street and park in a standard parking space. The standard Sprinter cannot do that.[/*:m:24xudl8n]
  • My wife liked the interior design better, with solid surface counters and better visability.[/*:m:24xudl8n]

Things have changed in the past year as a couple other companies will build on the short Sprinter frame. I think we made the best decision. It's not as bad in the wind as I had expected. I will drive in 25 mph winds but it does require your attention. 15 mph winds are nothing. We have done a couple 10 day - 3000 mile trips and lots of 3 day weekend trips. The diesel engine worked fine in the mountains, at least up to the 9500 foot altitude we reached. When you first start it the engine seems to need to idle about a minute before it figures out it's in high altitude, then it pulls fine.

Roadtrek seems to have the best reputation for quality, but the others are not much different. For the last 15 years my idea of a recreational vehicle has been a sailboat. From that perspective I have to say that the most cheaply built sailboat is infinitely better than the best built RV. The hardware is cheap, as are the appliances, lights, and cabinets.

Some of the details that bother me include: The TV swings around when the van is on the road and bashes into the thermostat, knocking it off the wall. The LP gas shutoff valve is an extension handle that was pop-rivited onto a conventional valve. A steel plate was fastened onto a zinc valve handle using aluminum pop rivits. It colapsed due to corrosion after 6 months. The remote generator panel has an exposed plug-socket connection under the vehicle carriage. It was put together without any dielectric grease and corroded to total failure in 7 months. The furnace fan is not only very noisy, it also takes considerable electrical current. In 20 degree weather the furnace runs frequently enough that it will kill the single 97 AmpHour battery before a single night is over. We woke up in the cold at about 4:00 AM. I have since switched to the 225 AmpHour dual 6 volt setup. Buy that option if you have a choice.

Our dealer was friendly and tried to be helpful, but their technicians are not very bright. The technical support out of Roadtrek seemed pretty weak on most technical questions. Here's a couple examples where both Roadtrek and our dealer seemed totally clueless:
  • Would it be typical that the standard house battery does not have the amp hours required to run the furnace through one night even if fully charged, or does that indicate that something is wrong with the battery? [/*:m:24xudl8n]
  • If I have to keep the van cool (small dog) while parked for several hours on a hot summer day, should I run the generator and 115 VAC AC or should I idle the engine and run the chassis AC through the dash?[/*:m:24xudl8n]
These seemed like some pretty standard user questions, but nobody could answer them. I did have a problem with the LP gas system and a Roadtrek technician provided some good technical details. Overall, I would have preferred to pay an extra $5000 and get the vehicle assembled correctly, perhaps using some marine grade accessories, but that option was not available to me. The custom coach builders wanted more than $100,000 and 6 months to build for the sort of thing that Roadtrek builds. The best choice appears to be what we did: buy from the best of the standard manufacturers (Roadtrek) and then repair or replace components as the original equipment fails or the design proves inadequate.

G. Jackson

Whiskyecho 03-19-2008 01:02 PM

thanks for this morning's chuckle..
I'm not too familiar with the Agile - other than this pic:


but perhaps you could post a pic of the interior of one of your 19' sailboats for all to see - then we could do a comparison.

I believe you're comparing the proverbial oranges and apples (since I'm so Aviation orientated perhaps I should put my Roadtrek 190V up against something like a P51. Just kidding, of course).

By the way - equal parts of Vodka and Club Soda go great with that Cranberry Juice.....bill :roll:

Cornbread Red 03-19-2008 07:24 PM

I've become a big customer of marine supply stores over the years. Stainless steel, high quality fasteners, very well-built appliances, and even better reflective tape (SOLAS -Safety Of Life At Sea) that adorns my RV's, truck, trailer, and motorcycles.

I agree that from what I've seen, the fixtures and furnishings in many RV's are lower-quality, even junk in some cases. For what they charge for a new motorhome, it should all be top flight, but no. :roll:

..At least I'm having fun modifying the Horizon here 'n there.. It's a project this year, and ripping out cheap and/or unnecesary stuff and adding vents, solar panels, and other gee-gaw is like working on a really big model kit ..Another one of my favorite hobbies.

Buying a new vehicle of any kind doesn't fit in my budget, but if I'm still around in twenty years or so, I'd like to have a used Sprinter-based class B. :D


SailorJackson 03-20-2008 02:14 AM

My boat is not 19', but 25'. The interior is a mixture of solid teak and teak veneer. There is not a bit of chipboard in it and nothing is stapled.

RoadTrek is a mixture of maple and fake plastic maple on chipboard or plywood.

I just got my RoadTrek back from the repair shop. Multiple things have failed even though it's 8 months old. The generator needed all grounds replaced, the solinoid, and the fuel regulator. I asked the repair shop about it because I thought Onan was a good brand and mine had about 10 hours on it. He said that, if he had to guess, it was probably parked for 6 months at an RV dealer lot in Florida that was near enough to the ocean to get some salt mist. I'd say he was pretty close to the mark.

Any decent boat can float in the ocean for years without corrosion failures.

I think there is actually a valid rationalization of the difference in construction between boats and RVs. There's nothing wrong with most 20 year old boats. There's lots of boats that are perfectly good hulls after 30 years or more. It makes sense to invest heavily in all the hardware and accessories when you know the hull is going to last that long.

In an RV, the hull is going to suffer corrosion and mechanical degradation after 10 or 15 years, or 100,000+ miles. If your basic framework is going to be obsolete in 20 years then it is not sensible to get yourself stuck with a worn out frame and a lot of high priced hardware. No need to make the fittings and furnishings any better than the automotive foundation.


Whiskyecho 03-20-2008 01:00 PM

post it
you forgot to post a picture of the interior of your 25' boat - perhaps it's so crowded that you can't get a camera inside - oranges and apples, just like I posted.

by the way - I too have a boat - a 24' Regal but I wouldn't like to take it on a 3 week trip from Texas up the west coast and back, like I did with my Roadtrek 190V - then again water skiing behind the Roadtrek would probably be really uncomfortable - oranges and apples.....bill :roll:

markopolo 03-20-2008 07:06 PM


Originally Posted by SailorJackson
................In an RV, the hull is going to suffer corrosion and mechanical degradation after 10 or 15 years, or 100,000+ miles. If your basic framework is going to be obsolete in 20 years then it is not sensible to get yourself stuck with a worn out frame and a lot of high priced hardware. No need to make the fittings and furnishings any better than the automotive foundation........................


Good point.

Actually, this discussion could make for an interesting topic in the general forum.

Whiskyecho 03-20-2008 11:10 PM


Originally Posted by markopolo
..Actually, this discussion could make for an interesting topic in the general forum.

nice try but I don't think anything could make this an interesting topic.....bill

FLSTFI 03-20-2008 11:58 PM

Now, now Bill. Remember what happened last time :wink:

If I felt I had made as big a mistake and felt as bad as the OP seems to feel I would have to sell it and go back to the sea.

Fortunately my wife and I are just common people and we are able to enjoy our Roadtrek, and for that matter every other RV we have had.

At least we don't have to pay to berth it or pull it out every year to clean the barnacles off.

Whiskyecho 03-21-2008 12:24 PM


photochefs88 04-22-2019 07:12 PM

Roadtrek Sprinter Agile 2007, Dometic Refrigerator removal
We have a Roadtrek Sprinter Agile 2007, with Dometic Refrigerator, beside the 4 Phillip head screw that holds it in place on both side, are their anything else I need to removed in order to take out this refrigerator. I'm replacing it with A/C, D/C compressor type!

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