2014 Roadtrek E-Trek Review – A Quick Look


 

When we went to the California RV Show in Pomona recently, one of the motorhomes I really wanted to see was the new Roadtrek E-Trek.  It turns out, about a thousand other people really wanted to see this one too, so I couldn’t do a really detailed review, but we did get a little bit of footage of it, and so we’re sharing that here.

For those that don’t know, the E-Trek is a pure class B – it all fits inside the Sprinter van.  And what they fit in there is a surprising amount of batteries and other technology – but no propane.  Roadtrek markets the E-Trek as a motorhome where you don’t have to think much about energy management – it handles it for you.  Ideally, they would have let me use one for two weeks to verify that claim – but I’m not that lucky.

What I can tell you is that, even if I can’t verify the energy claims, it seems very well put-together.  I dug the Webasto and the giant inverter, and I’ve always wanted to try working with an induction cooktop.  I spent some time working for a cruise line, and one of the things I remember from that time is that all the cooking on the giant cruise liners is done with magnetic induction.  This is mainly for safety (no flame), but also for energy efficiency and to limit the number of fuels they have to carry.  The same advantages apply to a 23 foot van.

When we spoke to the Roadtrek representatives, they informed us that the second row of seats could be left out – that gives us options for bike storage!  Bonus.

But the one thing that would hold us back from this one would be the lack of four-season capability.  When I crawled under it, I noticed that water tanks and lines were running underneath.

The day after we left the show, Roadtrek unveiled the TS Adventurous, which has many of the same features and four season capability.  I think THAT is the Roadtrek unit I would most like to get in-depth with.  Now I just need to find one.



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling certified coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he's also an IT consultant.


    10 thoughts on “2014 Roadtrek E-Trek Review – A Quick Look

    1. Suzanne Wood

      I have a 2014 Roadtrek Adventurous RS that I bought almost a year ago. I am new to both RV’s and Full Timing! I’ve had quite a few problems with my Van and considered trying to Lemon Law it. One of my issues was a dangerous one, I had a propane leak that no one seemed to be able to fix. When it was finally fixed (I hope), I was told that it had been leaking constantly as the turn off valve did nothing. Since I’m a woman, in my 60’s, I’ve been treated…well, like a woman in her 60’s with an auto problem….including paying for a repair out of pocket to Coast RV in Agoura CA because they said Roadtrek does not pay for repairs in a timely manner and they attributed my CO detector beeping due to low house batteries. That does happen, which is one of my other problems, but in this case, they were wrong + put my life in Jepardy…and made me pay for it!

      I do enjoy full timing but I wonder if I chose the right Coach. I have solar panels but I’m not sure what to expect from them. I also think I might have shortened my battery life by letting them discharge. I just drove 400 miles and parked the Van while not staying in it for 3 days The hose batteries were completely discharged, not what I would expect. My refrigerator is odd because it runs solely on 12V or 120. automatically….I don’t entirely understand if this is the problem and a better question, was this Van made to be lived in full time? I frequently have to wake up in the middle of the night to move to where I can let the engine run for a while to recharge the batteries( so the CO detector stops beeping).
      Interstate Battery told me that I should remove the house batteries and charge them for 24 hours outside of my Van, then see if there’s still a problem. What would you do if you were in my shoes? Thank you!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Ouch! It certainly sounds like you’ve had your share of problems. I haven’t done an in-depth look at the RS Adventurous, but in principle, I don’t see why a single person could not successfully full-time out of one. But it sounds like you need to get everything in working order first. I’ll try to help, but first, remember, I haven’t examined an RS in person, so most of what I’m about to say is pretty general.

        First, leaving your rig for 3 days may or may not run down your battery. It depends on how much battery capacity you have (in Amp-Hours), and what you left running when you left the rig. If you left the refrigerator running on high, in Texas in the summer, and you only have the 200 Amp Hours that come standard with the RS, or maybe they weren’t charged up all the way to start with… then you may well have run them down. A solar setup could help, but how much this would help depends on how much sun they saw.

        It’s true that most batteries don’t like a complete discharge. I don’t know how the RS is wired, but you should be able to charge them fully by plugging your rig into shore power. You probably don’t have to remove them. Depending on what else is running inside your RV, it may take more than the 24 hours though. Give it a few days, at least. If you let your batteries charge for say, a week, and you still have problems getting through the night, then they may be damaged.

        For solar questions, I usually direct people to AM Solar. They are very knowledgeable about RV solar power, should be able to answer your questions, and maybe even upgrade your system if you need more capacity.

        Sorry you’re having troubles. I hope things get better for you and your rig. Don’t give up yet!

        Reply
    2. Gilbert

      I have been trying to get a detailed inside plan with measurements of the E Trek. If the E Trek is not all season, the TS is the one I would like.
      I plan to live in my RV full time for a number of years so storage is a priority. I do not live near any city that has RV shows and have not been able to find the latest models in the dealerships I have been able to visit.
      Can you please advise where I can write to get detailed plans with measurements?
      Thanks

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, for Roadtrek info, I would start with: Toll-free: 1-888-ROADTREK (762-3873) Or, [email protected].
        If they don’t help you out, then something’s wrong.
        We will be at an RV show this weekend. If I see any Roadtreks there, particularly an ETrek, I’ll ping you via email and see if there’s some way I can help out. The ETreks are pretty rare to find on the lot. You’d probably have to go to Hershey or Tampa or Pomona to see one.

        Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Our current RV is a custom job that I rebuilt myself last year. It started life as a 2003 Forest River MB Cruiser. You can catch a quick video tour here on our About Das Bus page(I was tired when I filmed that, I really need to redo it). You can also see all the in-depth details of the remodel here on The RV Remodel page.
        As to the four season capability: All of the water lines are above the floor in the living space, as is the fresh water tank. When I remodeled it, I ducted the heat along some of the water lines toward the back to keep them warm as well. I’ve put heaters on the holding tanks and the plumbing underneath and insulated the trap under the shower. I do still need to add gate valve heaters to make it easier to dump, but we’ve been out well below freezing with no issues.

        Reply
    3. Sherri Albritton

      I recently discovered your blog and love it for the reviews you provide of class b rvs. My husband is also an avid cyclist and we are currently shopping for a small rv that we can use to travel and use for cycling events. We recently went to Dahlonega GA for their century ride…would have loved to have an rv. We also did the Crater Lake century ride…can’t wait to retire soon and travel around the country and cycle. Thanks for your perspective.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The Crater Lake Century! I so want to do that one. Crater Lake was on our list of destinations for our failed “Volcano Tour” this past summer (we complained about it loudly in our blog…). Stef and I were going to ride the rim. Some day…

        As far as biking, I can tell you this – there is nothing sweeter than heading into your own, clean, private bathroom while you watch thousands of people line up at the port-a-potties. And the class Bs and smaller RVs are the way to go for those kinds of events. A huge, Class A Diesel Pusher would be great to live in, but good luck parking it at your next century.

        Kindred spirits – I knew you had to be out there somewhere! James

        Reply
    4. Steve

      James and Stephanie,
      I like your in depth reviews because I’m looking at the some of the same types, especially the LTV Unity and Roadtrek. One model that particularly interests me is the Roadtrek CS Adventurous. It has a better galley, more storage and a bigger fridge than the RS Adventurous which is what the E-Trek is based on. Additionally, you can get a lot of the E-Trek features added to the CS. You might want to check it out.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Hey Steve –
        I’ll have to look a little more closely at the Roadtrek line. I didn’t talk too much with them about customization and adding options from different models because they were very busy at the Pomona show. We do have a dealer locally in Salt Lake City, so I may swing down there and chat with them about it. My main issue with the Roadtrek models is the lack of 4-season capability. (I have that now, so it’s something I really don’t want to give up.)
        The TS I mentioned in the write up was announced the day after we left the show, and they specifically call out that the TS has four season capability.
        I also did get pretty in-depth with Great West Vans while we were there, and I do have a review of that that I am putting together. They are a smaller shop, and seemed willing to customize things… for a price. You can also have a look at “Advanced RV”, who have a number of the cutting edge ETrek type features in them as well.

        Reply

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