Saturday, January 29, 2011

Another Test Drive

Finally got to check out this Roadtrek 170 Popular. I've been trying to get over there for weeks. 

First impressions confirmed what I thought I already knew: 1) Roadtrek makes a great product and 2) the 170 is too small for me.  I’m 5’10” so sleeping width-wise is out.  I’ll have to sleep on the diagonal even in a 190.  But I need that 20 extra inches!  And I think the electric sofa is going to be important.  Making up the bed every day is probably not a good idea for me.  (I’m a nurse and have the bad back to prove it).  As a result, the power sofa will limit me to newer models.  A lot to think about.  But that’s why we do our homework, isn't it kids?   

As Glenn put it so well on one of my favorite blogs To Simplify: After all, you can speculate all you want about how well-suited a particular rig is to one's needs, but until you've actually lived in it for a while, day in and day out, you really don't know. 

The unit appears to be in very good condition.  It drove nicely.  I’m sure the owner, selling on consignment, would be willing to negotiate a really good deal for this 2006 model with 32,000 miles on it (if anyone is interested here's the link).

But there lurked a deal-breaker.  Don’t know if you can tell from this shot

Owner-Installed Head Injury Appliance 

but the owners added this overbed light enclosed-in-a-globe-thing complete with a pointy switch that sticks out a good 3-4 inches.  And in a space that has no headroom to start with!  I banged my head on it.  Twice.  It still hurts.         

There is a 2010 Versatile 210 on the lot as well (you can see it behind the 170) but I didn’t drive it.  It’s too expensive, the double-wide body would preclude its use as a second car and, I don’t care for the Versatile floor plan with the 4 seats.  Three seats is too many for me!  I’m the loner-type, not a carpooling soccer mom.      

Just for fun, I looked at a used Class C: a 26’ Winnebago Aspect .  Quite a shock going from a van to a motorhome.  The van is like a car, the Class C is like my first apartment.  Then we looked at a teardrop.  Cute, but not stealthy nor very practical; really just one step up from tent camping.

     But I liked the dealership and the salesman.  I liked the way he didn’t patronize me, the way he just handed me the keys and said “Here, drive around as long as you want.  Come back whenever you’re ready”.  Rarely have I been so tempted to go hold up a liquor store. 

It was awfully nice to get away from my office, my studies, and all the other indoor issues out into the sunny day with temps in the mid-50’s.  It felt so good to be on the road – even for just 2 hours.        


  1. I had the same feeling yesterday, going from a friend's Roadtrek 190 back to our Class C. It might work for me if I were single, but I think I'd personally stick with the larger RV.

    How is the headroom for you in the 190? I'm 6' 2" and was pretty far from standing straight up in it. A friend of ours has a massive Class A with an LCD TV right at the entrance. In our RV, I quickly learned to watch out from banging my head on a cabinet by the entrance, but in the Class A (which we aren't in nearly as frequently), I have a headache every time I leave. And not because of our friend!

  2. I did the same thing, looked at a darling 170 (the owner called her Cream Puff), and decided for the same money I really wanted that extra room that comes with a 190. That said, it's a sad week-end as my RT is in the shop, looks like a new starter will be necessary.

  3. The right one will be apparent when you see it.

    You may compromise on some things, but only if the big points are right for you.

  4. Is the 190 20" wider, or longer?

    Ha! to the owner-installed head injury appliance. I think pain is a deal-breaker.

  5. I've seen a few RoadTreks here all with tall gus living in them. I Don't know the model #s though.

    Sorry it didn't work out for you. The perfect vehicle is coming your way! I've been told that the end of the season here in Quartzsite is a buyers market, with plenty of deals to be had.

  6. ourtakeonfreedom: the height is no problem for me. DH is 6 feet and fits just fine. I imagine anyone taller would have issues with standing, not to mention sleeping.

    Ducky: longer.

    giantspeckledchihuahua: fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it), I'm not ready to buy yet - that won't happen till Fall when I'm through with school. But I agree with you and Merikay that the right one will come along!

  7. Glad you got to check it out finally :) I can understand the bed not being wide enough. I am 6' and fit just barely in our 170, but I believe the older Dodge is wider than the Chevy by a hair. Luckily, I am pretty used to it and Heidi doesn't take up much room. Glenn's perspective on it is right. Luckily, the bed area is fairly easy to modify if you do decide later that a change is needed.

    Can't wait to see what you end up with :)

    97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"


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