Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Towing with RoadTrek's
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 > Towing with RoadTrek's

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MaryVMc

Nevada

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Posted: 05/31/11 08:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We just started looking and are impressed with the RoadTrek 190 (Chevy) and the Roadtrek SS Agile (Mercedes). There is a new option with the RoadTrek 190 which has a private bathroom or I'm not sure i would be considering it because of the Mercedes mileage.

Anyway, we were wondering if anyone had experience towing with either of these two vehicles. We have a sailboat that, with trailer, is about 2500lbs.

I'm also wondering if any of you are familiar with other brands in the 19ft range(we haven't seen any of the others).

Are there ones with more storage?
Better bathrooms?
Better Seats? Any which have motorized or heated captain's chairs? The SS Agile has better seats than the RoadTrek 190's, but they just aren't as comfortable as our old Dodge caravans! Or our current Honda Accord. I have a bad back and the two things I care about are the passenger seat and the private bathroom!

Many thanks for any input. Its a major decision and I don't want to shortchange myself by getting a 20ft when we should have gone a little bigger. (but we do like the parking/driving size). There is also a Roadtrek SS Ideal with a popout back reclining bed, which seems awesome but I wonder if it would be a problem sleeping in "stealth" mode? You couldn't easily park just anywhere and pop out the back to sleep, could you?

1775

NY

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Posted: 05/31/11 09:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Roadtrek 190 Popular can tow over 8000 pounds - taking into consideration how much extra weight you are carrying inside the van. The private bathroom is not new - and you can order it - and it is an option that you often find on dealer's inventories. Bathrooms between the brands are pretty much the same - the private bathrooms are configured pretty much the same and the open bathrooms are also pretty much the same. Be aware that the rear "privacy" door on the open bathroom shown on the RT videos no longer exists. In our 2011 190P there is only a front privacy door for the bathroom and they now recommend using the shower curtain for privacy toward the back.

The best thing that you can do to decide what Class B will meet your needs is to go to dealers (or an RV Show) and look at each model and compare for yourself. You and your spouse need to sit in them, spend a little time in one and see how you like it. Be sure to see Pleasure Way and Roadtrek - as those are the easiest to see at dealers. There are others - including Sportsmobile which will build to order - but there are no dealers, it is factory direct to you.

No motorized or heated seats in the Roadtreks - Roadtrek puts their own seats into the cabin which swivel to become lounge seats for relaxing inside. The Roadtrek seats do have motorized lumbar supports.

I have been in the Roadtrek with the popout back - not very comfortable - you need to pop it out to sleep and there are some questions that have been raised about how weatherproof the whole thing is when opened. You don't really gain much in this design.


Roadtrek 190 Popular 2011

Meryl and Me Hit the Road

retraite

Wanderin' about

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Posted: 06/01/11 02:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, I do believe you can tow your boat successfully with a RT.

But, ...

There are, IMHO, a number of things to consider.

First, you will NEED the 6.0l engine in the 190. I think that is now an option, with the 4.8l engine being "standard". IMHO, the 4.8l won't get the job done.

Second, do think about just how far you need to back into the water to launch your boat. The genset is low and behind the rear axle. Submerge it and you won't be a happy camper for long. As a rule of thumb, if your rear bumper needs to "touch" the water for you to launch, then you're likely in trouble with the genset. It depends on the angle of the launch ramp.

Third, most boat trailers have surge brakes, not electric brakes. That puts much more of the braking "responsibility" on the tow vehicle than does a properly equipped electric brake trailer. And, you're already VERY heavy. Just sayin'.

Fourth, we tow with a PW which has a "higher" rear axle ratio than the RT. We're 3.73, the RT is 4.11. The "lower" number of the RT will make towing a bit easier.

Fifth, we almost always tow in "tow haul" mode. The drivetrain seems to like it much better. Slightly higher RPMs and shift points, but easier on the PW.

Sixth, as others have said, one of your key limits is the tongue weight of your trailer. Be SURE to weigh all four corners of your tow vehicle - both with, and without, you trailer hooked up. And, do your weighing loaded and ready to go - all fuel, water, gear, people, etc. You do NOT want any tire, nor the rear axle in particular, overloaded.

And, seventh, pay very close attention to your tire pressures. They do tend to drop over time and that reduces their load carrying capacity. I check mine at least daily when towing.

I regularly tow a single axle enclosed trailer that, loaded, runs around 3,200 lbs. To our PW we've added Airlift 5000 air bags with independent (side to side) "in cab" controls, a trailer brake controller of course, an auxiliary transmission cooler, a larger transmission "pan" (adds about 3 additional quarts of ATF), and a transmission temp gauge on the "A" pillar. So far, we just purr along.

When the road ain't flat, we move up and down the hills with care and forethought - and we slow down a tad. As one's GCW goes up towards the limit, the "emergency" options get slimmer.

I can't speak (write) to the Sprinter based models, but when we were looking, we settled on the Chevy based unit based on capacity, price, layout, and a few other factors. We're still quite happy with our choice.

Cheers.

booster

Minnesota

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Posted: 05/31/11 10:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In the real world, a 190 can pull about 3500#. The limiting factor is usually the gvwr when you add the tongue weight (10% of tow weight). 350# is usually what will be available for most folks. Be sure to have good trailer brakes, as that could be a dangerous weak point if you don't.

1775

NY

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Posted: 06/01/11 12:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

retraite wrote:



First, you will NEED the 6.0l engine in the 190. I think that is now an option, with the 4.8l engine being "standard". IMHO, the 4.8l won't get the job done.



The 6.0L engine is now standard on the 190 Popular and is no longer an option. It is an option on the 190 Simplicity which is the new stripped down version of the 190 and comes standard with the 4.8l engine. If looking at Roadtreks older than 2011 then check the engine size as the 6L engine was an option and many dealers did not order the larger engine for inventory sales.

The Roadtrek really does need the larger engine. It strains a bit when starting to roll even with the 6.

MaryVMc

Nevada

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Posted: 06/01/11 07:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks everyone... I would love to know if anyone with the Mercedes engine tows a boat?

We're experienced at towing but never really considered this: "Second, do think about just how far you need to back into the water to launch your boat. The genset is low and behind the rear axle. Submerge it and you won't be a happy camper for long. As a rule of thumb, if your rear bumper needs to "touch" the water for you to launch, then you're likely in trouble with the genset. It depends on the angle of the launch ramp."

Since Roadtreks are altered to be lower to the ground, i would think this is an especially big problem. Does anyone know if the genset on the Mercedes is in the back as well? Are the Mercedes vehicles also lowered?

I'm surprised that the wheel ratios are different between PW and Roadtrek... do you think that's because of the lowering of the floor in a roadtrek 190?

Now, with the thoughts about this launch ramp angle being so important, we're getting nervous about towing any boat with ANY Class B. Maybe we're going to have to go to Class C? What do you think?

Thanks
Mary

McK

Arkansas

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Posted: 06/01/11 07:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On my Coachman Class C the generator was behind the driver's door. Don't know about other models.

Many Class C's are right at their weight limits so you would have to be careful about that.

And the increased length of a C would also have to be considered.

You might want to also post your questions on the Class C forum.

Ref Sprinter ground clearance, our 2006 is not lowered. Don't know the exact ground clearance but it is high enough that I can easily slide under the Sprinter (without a creeper)when removing the oil drain plug.


Robert
2006 Sportsmobile Sprinter


loggenrock

New Hampshire

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Posted: 06/02/11 02:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2 other options... 1. install a FRONT receiver hitch - use THAT to launch - keeps the rear end away from the water. 2. - tow with the RT, but have someone ELSE launch at marinas... I believe the Sprinter-based chassis have a LOWER tow limit than the Chevy platform... ST


Two and a hound in a 2003 Roadtrek 190P and a pair of Limmers...
First 50 done, working on the second pass!


1775

NY

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Posted: 06/01/11 10:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Pleasureway Excel (Ford chassis) has the generator accessed through a side panel and this MAY be higher than the generator in a Roadtrek 190. I can't speak for the Sprinter models but the manual for the new 190 Popular clearly warns about launching a boat in regard to making sure that the generator is not submerged when backing the boat down the launch ramp.

And yes, there is a NADAR (not sure if that is spelled right) listing for used RVs. You may be able to find this at a bookstore or your local library. Even with cars these listings are not always accurate - everyone wants what they think they can get including dealers.

Go out and look at RVs - if you can find an RV show that is perfect - we went to one in the Northeast that was a combination RV show and boat show. This way you can see all of the different classes of RV and compare the ones that will meet your needs. It was a great help to us. Even if you are buying used - a lot of questions will be answered right there and then.

MaryVMc

Nevada

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Posted: 06/01/11 08:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just want to say you all are really helping with our decision process. We're trying to decide on both the RV and a small boat to purchase (we sold our big boat). Actually, what we need is a tow vehicle and a small boat, but I'm voting for an RV if it will work, because I'll miss boat camping in the big boat.

So, the thoughts about the launching angle helped my husband to eliminate 2 of the 4 small sailboats he was considering (because of the angle of the boat on the trailer... some have small keels which make them higher on the trailer and would possibly require moving farther down the ramp. To me, these two boats look the same as the others and weigh about the same and probably would work fine... but, just in case, we've eliminated them. We wouldn't have thought of that issue. We are really leaning toward the Mercedes Sprinter Class B's and found some 2007's for around 55K with around 25K miles on them. I'm not sure how to research the "blue book" on a used RV; I of course can find asking prices... it there a resource on used RV sales prices?

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