Buying a Roadtrek

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reisner
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Buying a Roadtrek

Post by reisner » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:36 pm

We are new to the whole RV business, but desperate to jump in. We--man and wife and two 45 pound, older dogs--plan weeks-long National Parks trips from the CA Central Coast. We fell in love with a nearly new Roadtrek 190 Popular. but then wondered about the Zion. Storage is a big issue with all our dietary issues and sports interests. And if you go test one 200 miles away, what is the financial protocol? A cashier's check in n your pocket?

Aloso, how does the msrp compare to an asking price? E.G., Msrp 108 K; asking price with 3000 miles on it 83K; is this any less than the actual new price paid?
Last edited by reisner on Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:37 pm

reisner wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:36 pm
We are new to the whole RV business, but desperate to jump in. We--man and wife and two 45 pound, older dogs--plan weeks-long National Parks trips from the CA Central Coast. We fell in love with a nearly new Roadtrek 190 Popular. but then wondered about the Zion. Storage is a big issue with all our dietary issues and sports interests. And if you go test one 200 miles away, what is the financial protocol? A cashier's check in n your pocket?
Search the forum archives for "roadtrek", etc."travato". Forum members have them.
I have posted a number of threads on this while shopping :D
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quantAndHold
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:04 am

Keep in mind that Roadtrek just went bankrupt and ceased operations last month. If you’re getting a new one, it’s questionable whether or not you’ll get warranty service. Whether or it’s new or used, you might not be able to get parts. On an older one, this probably doesn’t matter as much, since most RV components are made by 3rd parties. Either way, if you have questions, you won be able to call the manufacturer. There’s a large and active Roadtrek owners’ community, so you can tap into that. But especially if you’re getting a newer one, I would want a sizeable discount.

Anyway, if storage is an issue and you’re going for several weeks at a time, a van might be too small. It was for us. Rent once or twice before you buy to make sure you’re getting the right thing.

cpumechanic
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by cpumechanic » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:06 pm

I have a Winnebago View. I highly recommend looking at something larger than the Roadtrek, for two people, and two large dogs.
My unit is 13 years old, and I have owned it for 3 years, purchased with 23K mileage, now have 50K miles, it has been flawless.
The winnebago view/navion line is based on the MB sprinter chassis, and as long as you avoid the early blue tec DEF units you should be fine. The slide in the side/back adds a lot of space when parked, but it is small enough to park in a normal parking lot at a park or the mall.

There is a version 24d that came out in 2018 that has a full long slide with a murphy bed that folds up and out of the way.
Very nice.

Good luck

CPU
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TimDex
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by TimDex » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:12 pm

Road trek went bankrupt? Amazing the stuff you learn on bogleheads. I have a 170 which is perfect for a single guy. I don’t think a 190 would contain two people plus two dogs very well.
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retiredjg
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by retiredjg » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:16 pm

Two humans in a Roadtrek is friendly. Two humans and two 45 lb dogs would be a nightmare in my opinion.

TravelGeek
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by TravelGeek » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:05 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:37 pm
Search the forum archives for "roadtrek", etc."travato". Forum members have them.
I have posted a number of threads on this while shopping :D
I subscribed to this thread last year about Class B RVs

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=240126

Haven’t bought anything, but am always tempted as I see more and more of them pop up in our neighborhood.

quantAndHold
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:44 pm

TimDex wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:12 pm
Road trek went bankrupt? Amazing the stuff you learn on bogleheads. I have a 170 which is perfect for a single guy. I don’t think a 190 would contain two people plus two dogs very well.
Yup. Roadtrek got bought out by Hymer, a German company, 3 years ago. Over this past winter, Thor announced it was buying Hymer. Then his past February, when they were doing a financial audit for the sale, they found out that Hymer North America was cooking the books. Thor decided to exclude Hymer N.A. from the deal. About a week later, Hymer shut down all of their North American operations, locked the gates, and let everyone go. It looks like it’s headed to liquidation.

We have a Leisure Travel Vans Unity. Vans are about right for two people for about a week in good weather. The insulation is poor and there’s basically no storage. The motorhomes built on the Sprinter cutaway chassis have better insulation and a lot more space, without being all that much bigger.

michaelingp
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by michaelingp » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:01 pm

reisner wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:36 pm
Aloso, how does the msrp compare to an asking price? E.G., Msrp 108 K; asking price with 3000 miles on it 83K; is this any less than the actual new price paid?
RV MSRP's are greatly inflated, and you could probably get a $108K MSRP van brand new for less than $83K, and a Roadtrek, if you can find one on a dealer lot, for much less given the current state of the company. We owned a Roadtrek 190 a long time ago. We bought it from a dealer. It was a couple of years old, but only had 3,000 miles on it, and we paid a little more than 1/2 of what a new one would cost.

Unless you really like cozy (we do), I would recommend going for a 20 or 22 foot van built on Sprinter or Promaster chassis. You give up a LOT of storage on an 18' vehicle.

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WoodSpinner
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by WoodSpinner » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:33 am

OP,

I was in your shoes about a year ago and have a couple of suggestions.

1. Roadtrek did indeed go bankrupt and there is lots of FUD with a purchase at this moment. One camp says, this is the time to get a great deal BUT consider you are buying without warranty. One note, the chassis still has its warranty, what is missing is the buildout, and all of the electrical, plumbing and solar systems.

2. If the dealer did not disclose this, I would run....

3. Not sure how much research you have done, here are some goods sources:
- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHhAzH ... Hd1JuuofWw
- rvlifestyle.com
- Facebook Class B group.


4. Many of the worst used car salesman have gone into the RV sales business and the Class-Bs are really selling.

5. I would look at several manufacturers before deciding:
- Pleasureway (full disclosure, we bought a Pleasureway Plateau FL)
- LeisureTravel
- Winnebego
- Airstream

6. From a technology point of view, I really like having Lithium batteries. More expensive, but they perform much better than the AGM style.

7. Lot’s of trade-offs that depend on what you want to do ( this is probably the place to start!)
- Price
- Quality
- Space
- Layout
- Boondocking ? Campgrounds?
- Short trips, long trips? Full-Time?

We went to an RV show and toured lots of different options and talked to lots of different people. This was our first RV but my wife had done a lot of family RV trips while growing up and I had done a lot of car camping. We found it really difficult to rent different units and finally decided to take a chance and go for it (after lots of research).

Ended up negotiating a price over the phone (we got the best discount by ordering a new one, built to our specs that we had to wait for). Deposit was 10%, Put $3M on a credit card and the rest as a cashiers check. Waited 3.5 months for build and delivery.

One note, we paid cash—as a Boglehead I save up for my toys. This is really important since many people become trapped in 20 year financing deals where they are upside down as soon as they drive it off the lot. Note: be especially wary of CampingWorld Financing—they don’t let you prepay to reduce interest costs.

Lastly, this has been a great decision for us —it’s really enhanced our first year in retirement and we are very happy with our purchase and our decision.

If you want to chat privately, please feel free to PM me. Happy to provide whatever insight and advice I can.

WoodSpinner

bloom2708
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:17 am

Check out Leisure Travel as an alternative.

The Wonder and Unity are beautiful vehicles. Lots of used options too.
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Topic Author
reisner
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by reisner » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:29 pm

OP here.

Thanks to all for very helpful replies. We are once again considering a trailer. (No need to add a third vehicle to the household or else drive a big van as our second car. Additional space: even the smallest trailer has as much room as most Roadtrek-like vehicles, and then you still have all the storage of your towing vehicle.) We visited a big RV dealer toady. Liked the pricey Pleasureway Flexor, but loved the Airstream Basecamp 16' trailer--very airy and expandable with tents. (Reminder--we have two fifty pound older dogs.) Problem: With such a new model trailer one is forced to buy new; and then one has to deal with RV salesmen.

Still researching it all . . .

tibbitts
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by tibbitts » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:58 pm

reisner wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:29 pm
OP here.

Thanks to all for very helpful replies. We are once again considering a trailer. (No need to add a third vehicle to the household or else drive a big van as our second car. Additional space: even the smallest trailer has as much room as most Roadtrek-like vehicles, and then you still have all the storage of your towing vehicle.) We visited a big RV dealer toady. Liked the pricey Pleasureway Flexor, but loved the Airstream Basecamp 16' trailer--very airy and expandable with tents. (Reminder--we have two fifty pound older dogs.) Problem: With such a new model trailer one is forced to buy new; and then one has to deal with RV salesmen.

Still researching it all . . .
Yes, but there were reasons you were leaning toward the Roadtrek-type vehicle in the first place. They haven't changed.

Topic Author
reisner
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by reisner » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:01 am

Tibbetts:

No, the reasons haven't changed--compactness, ease of backing up. But there were also counter reasons, not stated in the original post--lack of storage, bed space for two fifty-pound dogs, dislike of owning a third evhicle or changing to such a large second vehicle. Waffling is part of the decision-making process.

OP

retiredjg
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by retiredjg » Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:48 am

I spoke to your dogs. They prefer the basecamp. :happy

Topic Author
reisner
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by reisner » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:10 am

I intuited the same.

michaelingp
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by michaelingp » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:40 pm

The decision between a Class B and a trailer are mostly how you like to camp. Class B campers like to keep moving, staying maybe just one or two days at a campsite. When driving between campsites, they like to stop in cities and sight see and be able to find a place to park. Trailer campers tow their trailer to a campsite and stay maybe a week or more. They then have their tow vehicle to easily drive around and park.

quantAndHold
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:10 pm

michaelingp wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:40 pm
The decision between a Class B and a trailer are mostly how you like to camp. Class B campers like to keep moving, staying maybe just one or two days at a campsite. When driving between campsites, they like to stop in cities and sight see and be able to find a place to park. Trailer campers tow their trailer to a campsite and stay maybe a week or more. They then have their tow vehicle to easily drive around and park.
This. The way we travel in the Leisure Travel Van is very different than how we would travel with a trailer. The people we meet in the road who go on long “road trips” tend to have small motor homes or vans.

If you already have a truck, a trailer will be much cheaper. There are lots of little trailers worth looking at, most much cheaper than an Airstream. If you’re not sure what you want and already have a truck, I would consider starting with something like an R-pod. They’re cheap, and there’s a large and active user community around to help you get your sea legs. Which is surprisingly important when you’re first starting out.

tibbitts
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by tibbitts » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:53 pm

reisner wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:01 am
Tibbetts:

No, the reasons haven't changed--compactness, ease of backing up. But there were also counter reasons, not stated in the original post--lack of storage, bed space for two fifty-pound dogs, dislike of owning a third evhicle or changing to such a large second vehicle. Waffling is part of the decision-making process.

OP
I'm facing the same dilemma so I do understand.

Another choice is a truck camper and years ago I think I might have been more tempted to go that route, but newer trucks are just outrageously tall, really too tall for campers. You can lower some trucks' rear ends pretty trivially but as far as I know lowering the front end involves practically re-engineering the truck, and then you have a too-tall body to deal with. I just don't know what manufacturers are thinking with these trucks.

Topic Author
reisner
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by reisner » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:57 pm

I am beginning to think that the advice to get an R-Pod is wise. Half the price of an Airstream Basecamp, loads of them around, a big support community. A few feet longer, but no heavier. Not as solid, but what the hell. Especially for a first-timer, bound to make mistakes, it is a cheaper mistake than any other. Good ones can be had for 15-16K.

Confession: I have never towed anything in my life and am terrified.

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peterinjapan
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by peterinjapan » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:24 pm

Wow, this is a very dangerous thread.

tibbitts
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by tibbitts » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:17 pm

reisner wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:57 pm
I am beginning to think that the advice to get an R-Pod is wise. Half the price of an Airstream Basecamp, loads of them around, a big support community. A few feet longer, but no heavier. Not as solid, but what the hell. Especially for a first-timer, bound to make mistakes, it is a cheaper mistake than any other. Good ones can be had for 15-16K.

Confession: I have never towed anything in my life and am terrified.
I did tow a "lite" trailer, but larger than the smallest R-pods. You would do well to try something less expensive first, because towing does change how you travel. Even a long-wheelbase vehicle does, without towing. Those little dirt roads you drive down don't always have a place to turn around, or you hit some impassable part before you get to the turnaround at the end. Also if you travel on toll roads or (especially) ferries, be aware of the cost of the trailer vs. say a sub-20ft one-piece vehicle.

Some people will say towing is no big deal and for them it isn't. For me the overall vehicle length did affect my travel, but I might do it again (with a shorter trailer and shorter wheelbase tow vehicle.) Just don't believe people who say towing is easy until you've done it. I wouldn't be "terrified" but being concerned would be reasonable.

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reisner
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by reisner » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:18 pm

Well, the mention of an R-Pod sent us back to where we started, almost two years ago. Found a great, slightly used but much improved, one and are in the process of making the transfer. Complicated because, while the seller simply wants to pay off his loan, it's with the RV dealer's bank, and there will be a lag time between our payment and the paperwork.

retiredjg
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by retiredjg » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:45 am

Glad you found something.

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WoodSpinner
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by WoodSpinner » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:06 pm

All,

Looks like there is now a Buyer for Roadtrek, they plan to resume production (scaled back) and honor existing warranties.

https://www.therecord.com/news-story/92 ... rek-brand/

WoodSpinner

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fortfun
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by fortfun » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:14 pm

reisner wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:36 pm
We are new to the whole RV business, but desperate to jump in. We--man and wife and two 45 pound, older dogs--plan weeks-long National Parks trips from the CA Central Coast. We fell in love with a nearly new Roadtrek 190 Popular. but then wondered about the Zion. Storage is a big issue with all our dietary issues and sports interests. And if you go test one 200 miles away, what is the financial protocol? A cashier's check in n your pocket?

Aloso, how does the msrp compare to an asking price? E.G., Msrp 108 K; asking price with 3000 miles on it 83K; is this any less than the actual new price paid?
One thing you might look into is getting a cheap plane ticket into Iowa and picking up the RV there. When I bought a camper a few years back, it was at least 30% cheaper in Iowa at a place called Cheyenne RV. Google them, it's at least worth looking into. I bought mine there with a cashier's check and saved A LOT of money.

CJC000
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by CJC000 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:54 pm

The dogs will be a big issue. They aren't allowed just about anywhere in National Parks. You can't leave them unattended in your RV while you go on a hike or grab a bite to eat, etc. You won't be able to hike with them. Lots of state parks will allow dogs, but check the National Parks as we did. We have two dogs and it kind of killed our National Park Adventures.
Get an Airstream... :beer

quantAndHold
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Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:15 am

reisner wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:18 pm
Well, the mention of an R-Pod sent us back to where we started, almost two years ago. Found a great, slightly used but much improved, one and are in the process of making the transfer. Complicated because, while the seller simply wants to pay off his loan, it's with the RV dealer's bank, and there will be a lag time between our payment and the paperwork.
Congrats! Enjoy yourselves.

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