Contact Us

Contact Us

 

Regrettably, we aren’t able to respond in private email to RVing questions, fitness questions, requests for detailed technical information, or questions about which RV you should buy.  If you  have a question about something you’ve seen here, please submit it as a public comment on the related post and we’ll do our best to respond there.  That way, everyone can benefit from the question and answer!  If it doesn’t seem to fit with any post on our site, you can use the comment form below.

But if you want to shout out and say “Hi,” why not join the conversation on social media?

You can reach our Facebook page here:  https://www.facebook.com/thefitrv

And you can find us on Twitter, here:  https://www.twitter.com/thefitrv

Thanks!


For business inquiries, you can contact us at: [email protected]

To inquire about Online Personal Training and Wellness Coaching with Stef, contact us at: [email protected]

 

356 thoughts on “Contact Us

  1. Troy C

    Hi guys – I really enjoy your RV reviews! (Minus the BELL!) Thanks for all the hard work.

    One thing I wanted to point out is the “positive latch” system for drawers and cupboards you like. Pushing the latch in does not lock the drawer/cupboard – it only regresses the knob. The actual latch system is located behind the drawer and is a plastic latch system. After pulling a drawer out to inspect it due to weight causing a drawer to constantly open, I was disappointing to find the actual latch system was a non-adjustable plastic latch system. I just wanted to let you know that while the recessed knobs are ascetically pleasing, they are not functional, and I know you’d like to keep your fan base well informed.

    Again, thank you for all you guys do – you’re both so much fun!

    Reply
  2. michael soloway

    Hi James – watching your winterization video – since I trust and respect your presentations – how about a new winterization video using the Travato so a step-by stepper like me can follow it more easily than on the previous RV. Right time of year…..

    Just a thought when I went looking through the FitRV for help on my very first winterization attempt.

    Michael

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      I thought about it, but our Travato’s plumbing is different from most people’s, so I don’t think my procedure would help many people.
      I have shut off valves that others don’t, my water lines go where others don’t. I’ve even changed out the traps in my drains where most people probably have not.
      And I have a big ol’ compressor that most people don’t.
      I don’t think my procedure is good for anyone but me these days.

      Reply
      1. Michael Soloway

        At least from the compressor standpoint I bought a 6 gallon Porter Cable 140 hp pancake compressor and today it held an output of 34-40 lbs consistently way long enough to get all my
        lines blown out. In case anyone asks….

        Thx for responding.

      2. James - Post author

        I think you meant 140 psi.
        A 140 HP compressor would be a BEAST!!!
        Anyway, thanks for reporting back. Glad the compressor worked out for you!

    1. James - Post author

      Lol. No. That’s Fred!
      We’ve met him, and he was working on that test setup this past summer when we had levelers and suspension work done to Lance.

      Reply
  3. Mauricio Prado

    Hi James and Stef. I really enjoyed watching your videos on tips and reviews.

    In particular your “8-setp program for choosing an RV” was really informative.

    I have already rented a unit this summer. It was a Minnie Winnie and the trip to Arizona was wonderful. It helped a lot in deciding to buy one for ourselves.

    Taking features into consideration we would like a Era M. But I suspect that it will be a little over our budget and the next choice would be a Travato 59G.

    We plan on purchasing one some time in the first semester of 2018. Still have a couple of RV shows to attend and some more digging to do….

    I have seen the MSRP price on those units and also the prices advertised in sites such as rvt or rvtrader. The difference is huge !

    I understand, that like cars, it will depend on many factors such as the model market conditions, time of the year, good dealer, etc.

    I am seeing the Travato 59G at a 100K as MSRP. But on those sites they are listed at around 80K. Is this realistic ?

    Thanks
    mauricio

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Short answer, yes, I think that’s realistic.
      But if you want a better answer, why not join on the Travato Owners and Wannabes group on Facebook?
      There are literally thousands of owners on there who will share their purchase experiences with you.
      If you haven’t joined that yet, you really should!

      Reply
  4. Jerry Kauffman

    I watched this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzMldczZfMA about the 2017-1/2 Travato and noted the new bike rack and ladder and roof rack. (Not the same as the Fiamma. You said it was “Winnebage” but when I call them to inquire they seem only able to tell me about Fiamma. Do you have any more information. I am very interested in getting the three things: Removable Ladder, Lower Bike Rack and the roof rack.
    My Travato is a 2015 with only an Awning.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Well, in 2015, they only offered the Fiamma awning. So if Winnebago knows your rig is a 2015, they’re probably being very careful not to sell you an incompatible accessory.
      I would try calling a dealer, and explain to them what you need. There’s nothing on a 2015 ProMaster that would preclude the newer rack, ladder, and accessories from working.
      If you don’t have a local dealer, you could try calling Lichtsinn, in Iowa. They really know their stuff when it comes to the Travato.

      Reply
  5. Joe Hernandez

    Hola James

    Can please provide me with some details regarding the WiFi (hot spot) you installed in your van and are you happy with the providers network. We are seriously considering purchasing Travato K at the Tampa RV show in Jan 2018.
    Are you and your bride going to Show ?

    Thank you,

    Joe
    Pembroke Pines, Fl

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi Joe – We didn’t exactly install a wi-fi hot spot. We installed a cell phone signal booster. (The WeBoost Drive 4G-X)
      We just hot spot our phones for wi-fi connectivity. We’ve always had great luck with the WeBoost, and we recommend it.
      We usually get better service with Verizon than AT&T (we have both, in case one works and one doesn’t).
      Not decided yet about the Tampa show this year. If we go, we’ll be looking for you!

      Reply
      1. Joe Hernandez

        Noted, we currently have AT&T cell phone service, however I how do we connect this Weboost drive to the laptop etc. Sorry for my lack of knowledge on this matter,

        Kind regards,

        Joe

  6. Steve Conley

    Does anyone make an induction cooktop that slides into the same counter hole as the 2-burner Dometic propane cooktop?

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Not that I’m aware of. True Induction makes a 2 burner unit, but the dimensions for the cutout are different.

      Reply
  7. Robert Scott

    Dear Sales,

    We would like to inquire if you have in stock or you can make a special order
    for us with the price and lead time of the item

    1) 250 watt Solar panel

    2) Magnum Energy MS4024PAE Inverter

    3) Morningstar TriStar TS-MPPT-45 45A

    4) Morningstar TS-MPPT-60 Tristar Mppt 60 Amp

    Your quick respond will be appreciate.

    Best Regards
    Robert Scott
    -Address and Phone Number Removed for Privacy-

    Reply
  8. Jonathan Clemmer

    Any thoughts about the concept of purchasing extended warranties a.k.a. extended service contract? I have a 2009 low milage Fleetwood Pulse and will likely put some miles on it besides living in it full-time during the extended summer months of the year for work. I’ve been resourceful enough to already fix some relatively minor issues with electric and propane hot water but eventually, something major will happen. ?these plans are all different so I’m not so much looking for a recommendation of a plan, but just whether or not investing in one (the best I can afford) is really worth it. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      We don’t have any experience with purchasing extended warranties, so we’re probably not good ones to ask. We’ve never even looked into them!
      I may be wrong here, but I’ve always considered those dealer add-ons to be like “undercoating and fabric protector” from a car dealer. Basically, they’re extra charges that don’t do anything that you can easily opt out of and save yourself some money.
      But like I said, we’ve never looked into them, so I don’t really know and I’m speaking from an uninformed perspective.
      For us, I usually void the warranty within days of buying anything, and I tend to fix everything myself, so they wouldn’t make sense in our case.

      Reply
  9. Kate Stone

    Hi Guys,
    I know you’re working on a post about the new Winnie Revel and am looking forward to seeing it. I was a little disappointed to see it came out without the lithium ion battery system, among other things and with a much higher price tag than Winnie led us to expect. I’m in the market for a 19-20 footer that can go almost anywhere and be good in the snow and thought that the Revel would be my choice. But now I’m torn between it and the less expensive but seemingly better equipped 2018 Hymer Aktiv, even though it’s FWD instead of 4×4. I know Lance is on a Promaster too so I hope maybe if you go through the pros and cons of the Revel in your post you can also relate it to your experiences driving Lance. Also, your views of the Hymer Aktiv would be much appreciated any time! Thanks! Kate

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Personal opinion: The Revel and the Hymer are two completely different vehicles. Like comparing a dog and a cat.
      Depending on what you intend to do with your RV, you really shouldn’t be trying to split hairs between the two.
      Recommend you have a look at my 8 Step Program for Choosing Your First RV. Once you’ve worked through exactly what you want, the choice should be more clear.
      But to your question: I wouldn’t try to do the same things with a Revel that I would with Lance, and vice-versa. If you told me you wanted to go on whole-month-long road trips with some reasonable off-road travel – I’d tell you to get a more traditional RV like our Travato. If you told me you wanted to go out for an epic 3-day weekend of remote rock climbing or back country skiing, I’d tell you to get a Revel. Kinda different animals.

      Reply
      1. Kate Stone

        This will actually be my fifth RV but first B class. I guess I don’t see the two models as vastly dissimilar as you do, aside from the 4×4/Front Wheel drive distinction (which is a big one), since they have nearly identical layouts and are both equipped and geared toward those who want to spend more time off-grid. I was interested in that range of driving conditions between “reasonable off-road travel” and “remote rock climbing or back country skiing” and thought since you’ve had so much experience with your Promaster B and will have gotten your hands on the Revel, you’d be in a unique position to opine on the utility of one over the other in that range of conditions. I’ll see the Revel this Friday in Asheville so maybe I can find out more there. Thanks.

      2. Stefany

        Hi Kate! Maybe I can help a little. So much of it depends on HOW you’re going to use the rig, and I think that’s what James was referring to. It’s a very different type of customer for the two rigs. With the Revel, it seems geared more towards true adventures…and short term ones at that. Pretty much all your storage is under the bed. With the Travato, you’ve got organized storage throughout so it’s more long-term-use-friendly. Another difference, the Travato G has a larger table and dinette area. This is great for people who work remotely from the road and need to set up a mobile office. The Revel dinette is functional, but smaller. And then there’s the showers. The Revel shower is very small, mostly because the Revel-type customer isn’t really concerned with a shower inside the rig, while the Travato gives lots more space to its bathroom. Really, the Revel isn’t trying to be anything more than a vehicle for the adventurer. The Travato is more for the traveler. Yes, the Travato has less clearance and isn’t 4×4…but really think through where you plan to take your rig. Will you really be going so remote that the Travato wouldn’t be able to make it? If the answer is YES, then the Revel is the one for you. But! If you think the most remote you’ll get is forest service roads in national forests, then maybe the 4×4 isn’t as important as you think? Again, it all comes down to HOW you use the rig, and where you plan to take it. Once you think that through, you’ll probably know which one is more appropriate for you! Glad you’re going to see it in person. I think that’ll help your decision a lot. Best of luck! xoxo

  10. Michael

    James, just read your analysis of Diesel vs Gas. Thinking about a Class B, but worried that Gas Engines will need repair around 80-90K. Any concerns on paying 80-90K for a rig that will need repair around 80-90K?

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Modern gas engines fare much better than the ones we grew up knowing.
      I guess the final answer to your question depends on how many years you think it will take you to get to 90k miles. How much difference you’d be looking at for diesel. And your own personal finance situation.

      Though I can tell you, the diesel we had in our Sprinter wasn’t exactly miraculous. It had problems just like any engine might.

      Reply
  11. Ernie Frates

    Hello, and thank you for your rv tips and videos. I happened to see your video about rv generator noise levels, but the comments were disabled for that post. Anyway, I know you like to experiment, so I wanted to mention an idea a former employer of mine had. He mounted a small car muffler onto his generator, and it was amazing how quiet it was. Now this was not a generator for an rv, but it should work on an rv gen, right? I wondered if putting a muffler on would cut the performance of the generator.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Comments are disabled on all our YouTube videos (it would be too much to keep up with). But there is always a corresponding post on our web site.
      A number of people have mounted the Onan generator resonator, which is sort of like a muffler, onto the generator. It’s the Onan-approved solution.
      The results are typically that it makes the *tone* of the exhaust more tolerable, but doesn’t change the volume that much.
      Interesting idea to try a muffler meant for a different vehicle. Wonder if that voids the generator warranty?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        No big secrets really. My job allows me to work remotely. Nobody really knows or cares where I am physically – as long as I’m available and get things done on time. So we just plan to always stay within “civilization” Monday through Friday and all is well. In person meetings still require an airport though. No more complicated than that!

  12. Wolfe

    I enjoyed your clear tank cleaning experiments on YouTube, and they proved what I figured would be the case (that nothing drain-side could wash the tank). What I haven’t seen you do yet (?) is a similar experiment with a toilet-insertable stationary spray stick or “swivel stick” (basically Tornado on a stick), both of which “go with the flow.” I’m guessing the swivel stick to be the best you can do short of a full-on pressure washer cleaning, but I bet other viewers would enjoy seeing whether that’s true.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Several folks have suggested this, but I haven’t planned on doing it for one main reason:
      The effectiveness of that solution depends on the user directing the hose at the debris. But, since nobody actually has a clear tank and a clear floor, inserting this through the toilet would be just *random*. Maybe you’d hit the target… Maybe not. There’s not much to be gained by testing random.

      Reply
      1. fred sachs

        Have you tried Rid-X to clean your black tank?
        I’m considering putting Rid-X in the tank followed by enough water to cover the crud and letting it “stew” for a few weeks.
        Any thoughts?

      2. James - Post author

        Never tried Rid-X.
        We don’t have a black tank now, as we have a composting toilet. I don’t know that Rid-X would work with simulated waste.

  13. Doug & Mickie

    Hi,

    We found your site while we were researching which RV to purchase. Thanks for all the insight and great videos. Well done!

    Your work helped us feel confident in making a decision. As a result, we pick up our new Travato this weekend!!

    I do have one question that I cannot find on your website. What is the name of the external, metal storage container you have on Lance. We are looking for something similar if it doesn’t impede the bike rack.

    Thanks again for all your excellent work. Very, very helpful.

    Reply
      1. Christina

        Hello James
        Your excellent video on fixing solar panels to the roof of your camper has persuaded my husband to request the same fixing for the class B camper we have on order. My question is – and you might consider it trivial but it isn’t to me – is: have you found having a rack (+ various attached components) produces wind noise when travelling – for instance a whining sound? Our current camper has the solar panel sycoflexed on to the roof so hasn’t interfered with the aerodynamics and doesn’t produce a noise when travelling. We’re enjoying your YouTube videos and blog and learning all sorts of tips. Take care. York, UK

      2. James - Post author

        Hi!
        We’ve always had a roof rack on this motorhome, so I couldn’t do a proper before/after comparison on road noise.
        I did add a wind fairing of my own design up top, and I think that probably helps keep things quiet. You can read about that here: Roof Rack Fairing Post
        I have had owners of the same model get in our van and tell us that it is quieter than theirs, so I think the fairing and all the soundproofing I’ve done helps.
        Thanks for the question!

  14. Ed

    Hello guys,
    Thank you for you informative and entertaining site. My wife and I are seriously considering a class B, and your experiences and advice are a treasure. Unlike you, James, I’m a arts and humanities guy, somewhat allergic to math, science, and serious tinkering. I’ve come to realize in our search, that rving necessarily involves a regular dose of maintenance and “stuff” that will invariably need attention. I can’t seem to find an “idiot-proof” rv. Anyway, you mentioned in one of your responses about the Roadtrek parasitic draw from each battery bank. Considering you might as well be speaking to a child about these matters, can you explain what you meant, and is this something that can be fixed/changed. Again, thanks for your work.
    Ed

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      OK. But bear in mind I don’t have a Road Trek and I haven’t tested one, so… all this is based on heresay that I’ve seen on the internet. (And we all know how reliable that can be…)
      Anyway, a parasitic draw is something that runs the batteries down even when you swear you don’t have anything turned on.
      It’s like the TV that still uses 40 watts even when it’s turned off.
      So, in the case of RoadTrek, I’ve heard that there can be a significant drain on the system even when it’s not doing anything that you’re aware of.
      But… to be really sure about this, you may just want to call Roadtrek and ask them?

      Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hello!
      Well, that’s certainly… interesting.
      But I don’t think I’ll be one of the first to try it! 🙂

      Reply
  15. Smiley El-Abd

    I am seriously researching Class B RV’s and thank you both for this VERY helpful website and reviews. As a mechanical engineer and cyclist I very much love the changes you have made to your rig. Now I also LOVE the Eco Trek and Volt Start features that the Road Trek and Hymer’s have because we plan to travel with a dog and want to boondock as much as possible.
    Ecotrek and Volt start are features exclusive to RoadTrek Hymer although you smartly added the car alternator Do you think Winnebago or others will get with the program and get rid of weighty and costly generators?

    Love to get class B manufacturers pushing technology for the betterment of all consumers. Thoughts please and if every in the DMV look me up http://www.bikefitbysmiley.com we can certainly host you guys and take you on some great rides in the area.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      I do think some day, most RVs (especially Class Bs) will all have an electric power system similar to what we use. I wish I could give you a timeline – but there are a lot of things to consider, and each manufacturer is approaching the problem differently. Give it a few years maybe? Or you could look to Advanced RV now.

      Reply
  16. Matt

    Hi!

    I just bought a new 2500 159 Promaster and will build it out. I run a production company and want this to be able to handle charging batteries etc along with all the other functions (pump,fridge,leds,microwave, etc) off solar and batteries. DO you have any recommendations on how many watts of solar I would need and how many amp hours of battery I will need? I want to stay away from generators. I am however thinking of installing a diesel heater and a separate diesel tank for that.

    Reply
  17. Eric

    Hey FitRV! New Promaster owner here, trying to make the most important decision of all in my forthcoming camperization, that being, which bike rack am I going to use?! I have found your YouTube review of the Fiamma Carry Bike very informative, thank-you for making it. Most bike racks I’ve had over the years tend to show their age after 5 or 6 years of use. This concerns me somewhat with a rack that’s screwed into the door of the van. Should it? Do you forsee any issues with having to replace the rack if it ever came to it? Thanks for your sharing your knowledge.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Our rack is holding up well two years in.
      If we did have to replace it, the rack itself can be removed from the parts that bolt through the door. So if I bought another, I could leave the door bits, and just replace the rack.
      Not planning on that any time soon though.
      Does that help?

      Reply
      1. Eric

        It does, thanks James. I think there’s so many advantages in using the Fiamma rack on this van compared to any of the hitch mount racks out there that I think I’m going to take the plunge and get one. As a side note, my thoughts are certainly with the survivors of the tragedy that befell Fiamma USA not so long ago. Hoping the best for them.

  18. Don Hester

    We’ve been shopping RVs for our 1st RV and I’ve seen several of your videos- thanks!
    Drawn to B class (Era, Galleria) but friends with C class caution us.
    Can you summarize why you like B class vs a small C class.
    I need reinforcement.
    Thanks! Don

    Reply
    1. Stefany

      Hi Don! So excited to hear you’re on your way to your first rig! Choosing between a B or a C really is a personal preference and completely depends on how you’re going to use it. James and I prefer Class B because they are the most mobile of all the RVs. We can go anywhere, fit in any parking space, and can zip around cities as if we were in an SUV, not an RV. We also end up with higher carrying capacity…and that’s a big issue with Class C’s! You want to pay attention to the weight of the rig and how much is left over for your things; some Class C’s don’t leave much at all. Another reason Class B works for us is we don’t stay put. When we’re RVing, we stay in a different place each night…that’s just how we roll. Our trips usually revolve around biking or hiking, so we move to wherever the next day’s ride is. We DO sacrifice space, the wonderful space you’d get with a Class C though! And a Class B isn’t really all that great for more than 2 people. Sure, families do it, but Class C is better suited for families. Have you seen James’ article about the 8 steps for choosing your first RV? It’s really a great article and I’d suggest you check it out as you continue your shopping. Best of luck and keep in touch! xoxo

      Reply
  19. VIALLET

    Hello STEF & JAMES I’m BRUNO from FRANCE and I Love pour Rv’s Vidéo .
    I’m a Happy honer of American 30′ class A RV .Euro liner on P30 CHEVROLET chassis
    Don’t change pour great !!

    Reply
    1. VIALLET

      Not Honer but owner !
      and not pour but you’re 🙂 it’s not too easy to write in inglish on French computer!!!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Hi Bruno!
        We’re glad you like our videos. Welcome!
        What part of France are you from? We will be at Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf next month. I know some of our German readers are planning to go.
        It would be great to have a European Meet-Up!

      2. VIALLET

        I’m in Alsace near Germany.
        Unfortunatly I’ll can’t be there for Düsseldorf meeting.
        you’re welcome in Europa !!!

  20. Vince

    For the past year and a half, we have been researching which class b to get. Your videos were instrumental in helping us make the decision to get a Travato 59G.

    We just picked up a 2017.5 yesterday, and I saw the outdoor light above the drain and thought of your input for this and other elements in the camper. So the James Drain Light will be a constant reference for us.

    Thank you for all of your information, and I wish you much success with all of your efforts with The Fit RV.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Welcome aboard! The Travato seems to gather a fun group of owners.
      Ideas from lots of owners have been (and continue to be) incorporated into the Travato. It’s a group effort. Who knows, maybe your next mod will make it in to the standard product!

      Reply
  21. Laura

    Hi, I would absolutely love the code for this clothing line, everything is stunning! I tried to email you but it says you don’t respond during travel, I hope this gets to you!

    Reply
    1. Stefany

      Hi Laura! I just sent you a code for 60% the Aventura Clothing website! Glad you messaged when you did, I’ve only got one code left and I’m guessing it’ll be gone by tonight! James and I both love being ambassadors for their clothing line; not just the eco-friendly thing, but also great quality and comfort. Hope you get something you love!

      Reply
  22. Harold Miller

    Hey James – any chance you can do your black tank flushing with a tank wand? I use the Valterra A01-0184VP Master Blaster Tank Wand http://amzn.to/2eGTYW7 I’m convinced this is the best way to flush a black tank but figured your experiment would be great for it.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi Harold – I don’t have any plans to test the flushing wands in the simulator. Besides that we have a composting toilet these days and no longer have a black tank… I never could figure out how to get a fair test with a wand. You either hit the stuff, or you don’t. I’d have to cover the tank, or use the wand blindfolded to mimic the black tank that we can’t see into.

      Reply
  23. J. B.

    Hi James and Stef, we’re hoping to become 1st-time RVers soon via a basic Class B for two adults (like the Hymer Sunlight V1or possibly the less basic Coachmen Crossfit). I’m concerned about costs that would be a surprise for 1st timer’s. We’d like to avoid becoming RV-Poor due to lack of foresight regarding standard expenses of owning an RV. Do you know of a list that describes what sort of immediate expenses new RVers should expect in the short term (e.g. special tools, essential supplies such as those that would be needed for the operating systems inside the coach, e.g. the toilet/pluming). Many thanks!

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      I’ve never compiled such a list… but that’s not a bad idea for a post!
      Something like: “So you bought an RV… Now what?”

      Reply
  24. Warren

    Paseo does not have an inverter, so no 120V AC power without shore hook-up or gen running… What are your thoughts on that? Air conditioning aside, I’d like to brew drip coffee in AM and run my iMac. With 200W of solar in good sun I think I can break even on the 12V compressor fridge off house batts. But I just don’t know if inflexibility of no inverter is a deal breaker. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Many class B RVs do not contain an inverter from the manufacturer.
      Adding one is a common modification. There are also portable ones that you can run from a cigarette lighter plug that may work for you.

      Reply
      1. Christine & Alan LaFoy

        Hello fellow RVers,
        My wife and I just purchased our first RV. It is a 2018’Winnebago Travato that we couldn’t take delivery of due to a faulty air conditioner. Does our Travato have an inverter? We are interested in dry camping especially, but our A/C is vital. We purchased the start up single solar panel, which I believe is 150 watts. I read your article on solar to battery to inverter to AC current to power our A/C unit. I believe that our solar capacity is 450 Watts. I agree that the best way to check on power usage is to do an actual camping trip and monitor battery voltage and depletion rates. Being as green to RVing as any couple can be, I wanted to know a little of what to expect. We do not plan on changing engine alternators, but are interest in what upgrades we can do to RV without shoreline power using our AGM house batteries and recharging with solar and generator, which is now gasoline powered.
        Another unrelated question…
        I have read not to store the RV with shoreline power attached. Can you tell me why?
        We thank you for any advice and skills that you two could teach us.

        Christine & Alan

      2. Stefany

        Hi Christine and Alan! Congrats on your new Travato, how exciting! I remember when we were RV rookies…kind of a scary time too; so much to figure out! The best advice we can give you is to come join our Facebook group for Travato owners. http://www.facebook.com/groups/travatoowners. It’s an excellent resource for new Travato owners!

  25. Abu George Adel

    Hello ,

    Why not redesign the black water tank . The problem is in the tank design. Instead of flat area in the down of tank try to make it slid from the down edges to the exhust. If you need a design I can make it for you just a 3d model and layout for free . If you are interested send me the dimensions of your tank and pipes hols. Thank you for your videos in YouTube.
    Abu George

    Reply
  26. Larry

    Stef–
    A lot of RV people are seniors and many use gyms to stay fit and to shower. I wanted to let you know about two programs that are offered by many health insurance plans that provide gym memberships for free (or at least heavily discounted) for seniors. They are “Silver and Fit” and “Silver Sneakers.” You don’t have to have a super-duper health plan to get this benefit, either. You may already have it and not know it. I certainly didn’t know I had it and I don’t have anywhere near a high-end plan.

    You have to ask your health insurance company and the gym that you want to join to see if they participate in either program (many do). Rather than looking through lists of gyms online, I decided to ask the places that I was interested in directly. The gyms that I spoke to were all very knowledgeable about it, whether the programs were shown on their websites or not. I was surprised to learn that even gyms that are part of national chains participate in the program. Getting info from your health plan may not be easy, however. It’s likely that you’ll have to either dig around your health plan’s website or spend some time on the phone with them. They’re not well known programs, but you can’t beat free.

    Reply
    1. Stefany

      Silver Sneakers rocks! I was an instructor for the program for years. The free gym membership and specialized fitness classes are an incredible perk for sure! Thanks for mentioning it!

      Reply
  27. David White

    I’ve been watching your vids in preparation for buying an RV. I’m leaning toward the Winnebago Bs for various reasons.

    The insulation videos you have are intriguing because it seems no matter what is done that RV HVAC cannot really run for long no matter what solar panels are used.

    | ordered an aerogel mat sample and it does indeed black a propane torch heat with a finger pressed against it (stupid I know – but I did it). Have you considered some aerogel type material in the roof to block the heat, etc?

    http://www.buyaerogel.com/product/spaceloft-10-mm-cut-to-size/

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      I had looked at Aerogel in the past, but it wasn’t available in the convenient blankets on that site.
      I stopped looking at it when I read something that said it may breakdown in an RV environment and may be hazardous.
      Perhaps they’ve improved it since then. Thanks for the link!

      Reply
  28. Kong

    Guys on that toilet. Use twice the chemicals and a really good brand of chems not this environmental stuff. All the waste will be liquefied from the drive home. We used them for years boat and campers. (our RV had big tanks but we use plenty of chems there also. Seriously. LMAO fun vid though.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      If we had used more (OK. LOTS more) of the chemicals, the results may well have been different.
      But my first rule when testing a new product is: follow the directions to the letter. And we did.
      This may be one of those cases where “used according to manufacturer’s directions” isn’t the best way to go…

      Reply
  29. Other Steph

    James –
    Did you ever do a post on weighing your rig on a CAT scale? I know you’ve mentioned it in some posts, so I apologize if I’m just unable to find it. But I’d love to know what that process looks like! I still haven’t pulled the trigger on buying anything yet, so everything in the next few years is research… but you two do a LOT of research, so I thought I’d use your expertise to my advantage! Thanks!

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      I’ve never done a post on weighing your rig. That’s not a bad idea, but I always use the same place! I don’t know if the procedure is different at different locations.
      I do know that the CAT scale people have an app now that makes it very convenient. I tried to use it last time, but I was in a hurry so I didn’t.

      Reply
  30. David Pinkham

    Hi Stef & James,
    Very good to have found you. I retire from the FD job in March 2018. We were set on the ERA 70a but now after following your posts am considering the Travato 59G. Wondering if you have an inside on fall 2018 changes coming such as
    – window over the sink?
    – larger compressor driven fridge?
    – anything else you may know?
    Thanks and peace and good health. Oh and I just printed out Stef’s resistance band workout and plan to give it a try. Dave & Melissa

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Welcome aboard!
      We don’t have any hard info on any 2018 upgrades yet. But they’re always upgrading and improving, so any of those things could be coming. We just don’t know.
      And congrats on getting started with resistance band training! It really is the easiest thing to bring along in the rig.

      Reply
  31. Damian

    Hi Stef and James ,
    Love watching your videos , great reviews !
    Could you guys please do detailed review on Avion Azur Class B ( king size bed with storage under ) .
    Thanks ,
    Damian

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      First – Thanks! 🙂
      Second – Trolls!

      Seriously though – we both have day jobs, and moderating comments in multiple places gets to be too much. Something had to give. We always put a link to a post on our web site which usually has more information. We encourage people to comment there. Keeps us sane.

      Reply
  32. Warren

    Hi Stef and James, I can’t find a review by you or even comment regarding the Paseo; did I miss it, or is that on your to do list? Thanks for a great site and posts!

    Reply
  33. David White

    Hey Stef & James:

    I’ve been watching all of your videos and reading about the changes you’ve made to Lance. Looks like you are mimicking the Roadtrek charging system. I’m curious what you would buy RIGHT NOW if you were getting another Class B if

    1) Money didn’t matter
    2) Money does matter

    Look forward to your views – David

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      I didn’t set out to mimic Roadtrek. In particular, I chose not to mimic the ridiculous 6 amp parasitic draw from each battery bank. Lol.
      I actually like tinkering with RVs, and don’t feel like the a manufacturer has to make exactly what I want for me to be happy. So the answers to your questions may not be what you think.
      If money were no object, I would probably go to Europe, and pick something that had a “garage” for the bikes, bring it over to the US, convert the electrical system to 120v instead of 250, install similar upgrades to what I have in Lance, and get the vehicular parts licensed in the US.
      If money mattered, I’d get another Travato and do exactly what I’ve done. The Travato G is the only floor plan that meets our needs.
      Although, in either case, building from scratch would be a solid option. (But you didn’t ask about time not mattering…)

      Reply
  34. Ken Martin

    I am new to RV’ing. I have been studying hard, and I a looking hard for my first one which will be a class C.

    You are an outstanding teaching and I appreciate your direction and research you have done. I thoroughly enjoyed your YouTube Videos and have watched them multiple times. I have been taking a lot of notes. Thank you

    Job Well Done!

    PS… I watched the movie RV and am a little intimidated that I will fall short and do those same things. Have a nice day and again, thank you…

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi Ken –
      I’ve seen a lot of black tank mishaps, but I’ve never seen a real-life “poo explosion” like they created in the movie “RV”. So you’re probably safe there… 🙂
      And we’re so glad that you like the website and YouTube videos. There’s lots to learn, so we plan to keep going with it.
      Cheers!

      Reply
  35. MB Warner

    Thanks for all the RV info. I can’t tell you how much we’ve appreciated your tips and tricks.
    We just purchased a 2004 Dodge Sprinter(may have to rebadge)Pleasure Way Plateau XL TD.
    I know James installed XM radio in Das Bus. Is there a link to the unit you bought or any helpful hints somewhere on installation?
    I hate to admit it I could die without The Loft and Meg Griffin on my radio.

    Thanks a bunch for everything – really!
    MB & Jim

    This is an invite of sorts
    Also, if you’re in Steamboat Springs, CO. on July 22, 2017 join us for the
    Tour de Steamboat. It’s not a race but a ride with choices. 116 mile Gore Gruel
    66 mile – 44 mile etc. you can park at my off grid house and meet my neighbors -Bill Gamber – Honey Stinger creator / Kent Eriksen founder of Moots bicycles and Kent Eriksen Cycles / Katie Lindquist World Class Biker. All Tour de Steamboat fees support local nonprofits. That sounds like an advertisement.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      I had installed an older Kenwood unit in Das Bus. Any single-DIN flip out nav unit should work just fine.
      We went to Steamboat a couple of years ago. Maybe it’s time for a repeat?

      Reply
  36. ELBERT SCOTT

    James, did Winnebago move the Gen set from underneath the 2017.5 coach? If not, how to check the oil in the Gen Set on a daily or monthly basic?
    Can the oil be changed with out lifting the coach on a Rack?

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      The generator is still there – and still in the same place – on the 2017.5 Travato.
      I know people have changed their own oil on them – but we’re not the best ones to ask, as we got rid of ours!

      I do think it would be helpful to build a set of ramps out of 2×12, to drive the rear end up onto, before working under there.

      Reply
  37. Debra Rose

    Hi,
    I’m on a limited budget and looking at older Roadtreks (after loving a VW camper van for a few decades). I’ve found a 1998 Roadtrek 190 Popular with 43k miles and in nice shape but with no generator. The seller has mounted a carrier rack onto the rear door that holds a portable Honda 2000 generator. We’re thinking that locking straps and anonymous cover might afford us some theft protection, but it certainly would be vulnerable. I’m concerned that the extra weight might strain the rear door. Dry weight of the generator is about 47 pounds, plus rack and gas in generator. Do you have some advice on this?

    Also, the shower curtains are often missing on these older models. Is there a place to get these older accessories?

    Many thanks,
    Debra

    Reply
  38. Warren

    I’ve been researching RVs for about two years but feel I have made more progress in the last two weeks since finding your site than ever before! Loved your LTV Wonder review, think I’m a Transit fan. Until LTV makes a propane-free coach, I think that is my unit. I’ve read all about the eTrek, consumed the Advanced RV site (too poor, sad face), finally here is my question:

    In a propane gen/fridge unit like the Wonder, what is the utility of 200W solar on roof? Should I immediately add another for 400W, maybe two more? Battery bank through inverter won’t run the A/C or accessory induction cooktop, so practically speaking what does minimal solar do for me? Will 200W be enough to keep the fridge going (off propane) while I’m parked?

    You can tell I’m a rookie, confused by so many power sources and current draws and three-way adsorption fridges. I like clean energy, but know 200W ain’t much.

    Thanks for any info and understanding. Again, love your work!

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      The fridge will use VERY little battery power while running on propane. I wouldn’t worry about that.
      The 200W of solar would be mainly to keep your house batteries topped up from other uses (lights, TV, water pump, furnace fan, etc.)
      Before you go immediately buying more solar panels, make sure you need them. I’m working on a post that will walk you through exactly how to figure that out. Expect it within the month.

      Reply
      1. Duane Pandorf

        Looking forward to your solar report as my wife and I have decided on a new 59G. We’ve spent the last week reading and watching everything we can on the Class Bs and especially the 59G. We’re downsizing from a 34′ Airstream and 3/4 ton truck as we’ve traveled all over the US with that rig for the past 10 years.

        I see the 59G does not come with an inverter and would like to add one plus additional panel/s. Already talking to a Winnebago vendor and want to do things right.

        Duane

  39. Bill Orfitelli

    Hello all,

    I have been trying to find a suitable small RV to take my quadriplegic wife on road tours. The Travato 59G is tantalizingly close. Here is what I would have to do to make it suitable. She would enter by the rear doors using a fold down ramp or lift in her power chair. I would want to remove some or all of the bathroom wall and put in a curtain. I would need to make a small ramp to transition from the raised to lowered floor, or make the whole floor raised. I would remove the passenger seat and put in an ezlock to dock her chair into the passenger position. And lastly ( and very difficult according to your blog) I would have to remove the bench seat and move the water tank so that there is a larger floor area behind the passenger seat for her to turn around her chair.
    You are truly the master at Travato mods…. help me Obiwan!

    (of course then I would move on to the lithium batteries, induction cooker, compressor fridge, …. )

    Bill Orfitelli

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Oh my! Those changes are so significant, you’d basically be building an RV from scratch.
      Here’s a thought for you: There is a division of Winnebago that deals in special builds like what you describe. I would give them a call and see if they can help you figure something out. I don’t remember the name of the group, but I know they do it.

      Reply
  40. mesa mitch

    Who could not love Stef & James! You guys gonna review the Hymer Sonne? I’m curious why they didn’t put a cassette in the shower stall, seems like waisted space. As well it’s only $5k less then the Aktiv with much less stuff, I understand it’s 2′ shorter. Would like what you guys think. Safe travels

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      We haven’t seen one in person to review, except what seemed to be a prototype at last December’s RVIA show. Not sure what I think about having to use the toilet with the door open (if I’m seeing that right). Might work for singles – which we’re not.

      Reply
  41. Jose A. Suarez

    Stefany and James

    Greetings again from San Diego. Thank you so much for your advice on the Fiamma Long Wheel base roof rack. We received the ladder and the bike rack today. But the roof rack should be here next week.

    We are making an attempt to outfit our new Travato. My wife found this Cargo carrier that comes with a grill and cutting board. They are removable so you can use the carrier for cargo when not traveling with the grill. It attaches to the hitch but has a hinge so you can swing the frame laterally allowing access to open the back doors. See link.

    https://www.stowaway2.com/hitch-grill-station

    Your thoughts or any words of wisdom you can offer.

    Thank you so much.
    Cheers,
    Jose

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi Jose –
      I avoid putting anything on the hitch that sticks out like that. It makes the vehicle longer, which sort of defeats the whole purpose of the short RV. Plus, I’m worried I would back it into something.
      There are others who use the Stowaway products, and like them. I’d ask on the Travato Owner’s Group (on Facebook) for suggestions from actual Stowaway users.

      Reply
  42. Warren

    I’d love to read about RV security systems if that ever becomes a topic in which you are interested. Obviously, secure parking is the number one priority. But if an RV must be stored somewhere or left for the day in an unfamiliar area, robust intrusion detection and notification would be awesome. This seems to fit your expertise in engineering and user case definition. I’d guess noise detection and a motion capture camera with full-time cell data transmission capability would do it. What do you think? Any quality turn-key solutions out there? Thanks, enjoy your site and blog.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Ya know, a security system has been on our “to do” list for quite a while.
      Believe it or not, I’m actually not a fan of those all-in-one-motion-camera-that-requires-an-always-on-internet-connection systems that seem to be heavily marketed these days. I don’t really want to WATCH someone rob my van. I want to PREVENT someone from robbing my van… It’s a good idea for a post, and I’ll probably get to it sometime this season.

      Reply
  43. Sista Keight

    Hi,
    I have a suggestion regarding the urine smell for your composting toilet. When I worked in clinical trials, patients would bring back a test in a 2.5 litre bottle of a 24 HR urine collection , which we would have to sample into test tubes for pathology . Some trials required pre- filled thymol bottles, I’d say about 50 mls maximum. This urine was not malodorous . Thymol is a pleasant smelling liquid that was used as a cheap mouthwash before chlorhexidine was found to have more comprehensive bacteriocidal properties. It has a negligible environmental toxicity and quite safe when in contact with humans but should not be ingested. I think it would be quite cheap and could be ordered through a chemist .
    Having just watched your composting toilet review on you tube, I will definitely be purchasing this model in about two years when we commence our tiny house build . Thank you for your honesty . Do let me know if you decide to try the thymol .

    Reply
  44. Kate

    Hi James and Stefany,

    We’ve just bought a Travato 59G and want to duplicate the pull-out drawers you installed in your closet. I am certain I saw this modification on one of your videos but I cannot now find the video. Can you please direct me to more information on how you made this modification? Specifically, I’m trying to ascertain whether the drawers were custom manufactured or if there is an off-the-shelf product that fits. Thank you for your time and any information you can give me.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      I don’t think I ever made a video of it. Stef may have posted it on Facebook in the Travato Owner’s Group, but good luck finding it there. (Facebook stinks for finding anything.)
      I made the drawers myself. Didn’t post any plans or anything. Depending on how the new cabinet turns out, I may be willing to sell them if I can’t re-use them.

      Reply
  45. Brian Prince

    When I have commented on various articles, I see “spam deleted” when I post the comment. Is that normal?

    Brian Prince

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Weird. Your comments are coming through just fine.
      If you want to try to figure it out with comments with a different browser or something, you can use this post for that. I’ll delete them and email you any results.

      Reply
  46. Jose A. Suarez

    Stef and James

    Greetings from San Diego !!!
    .
    I have been viewing your You Tube videos for a while. But always thinking about going to a Class A RV because of the space and probably comfort. However, to keep things simpler and through much encouragement from my wife we purchased a 2017 Trovato 59G yesterday. it will be at the dealership for the initial work up and we are schedule for the orientation on Friday.

    Our Travato did not come with the Bike or Roof racks and we would like to purchase them and have them installed by the dealer. We surfed the net and we understand Fiamma were or are the standard provided by Winnebago. We will welcome and appreciate guidance since we are new to RVing. We are Fit oriented. Biking, swimming, paddle boarding and kayaking are our preferences.

    Your videos are GREAT !! We are hooked !!

    Kindest regards, Cheers !!
    Jose and Martha Suarez

    Reply
    1. Stefany

      Woot! Congrats on your new Travato, Jose and Martha! You made a great decision size-wise, especially since you’re active people like us. The smaller rigs allow you to be so mobile and get anywhere. The bigger rigs are great when you’re parked and hanging out IN the rig…but campervan people are more concerned about being out doing stuff than staying in. James might want to chirp in here, but we love our Fiamma bike rack, and recommend it, so I’d say go for it. Also, please come join our Facebook group for Travato Owners! You can find it here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/travatoowners It’s a private group so you’ll have to “request to join.” You’ll get some automated questions in your “notifications” once you do. Those are mostly to make sure you’re not selling or spamming. Once you answer the questions, the vetting admins will admit you and you can chat away with other owners!

      Reply
      1. Jose A. Suarez

        Stefany

        Appreciate your kind response. I found and ordered the bike rack from Panther RV products in Washington State. They also carry roof racks. However I did not know the model number that fits the 2017 Travato with one solar panel. They have two roof racks.

        1) Fiamma 05808-02 XL Promaster Long Wheel Base
        2) Fiamma 05808-01 Promaster Short Wheel Base

        Any suggestions would be great.

        Hope this finds you well.
        Cheers,
        Jose

  47. Bud Brown

    Just discovered your site! Thank you for all of your effort, it has helped us decide to get a LTV Unity U24MB. We have a 28′ Airstream trailer that we enjoyed for 15 years with our collies and look forward to changing to the Unity.
    Have you ever thought about of using a Toto Washlet to minimize or eliminate the use of toilet paper in the holding tank? With the energy saving setting and other digital controls the Washlet may be perfect for the RV with the new battery technology.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi Bud – Glad you like our site! And we know you’ll love your Leisure Travel Vans Unity.
      Honestly, we’ve never thought of installing a washlet or anything similar.
      For us, toilet paper in the holding tank was never really much of a problem. Conserving water and things not freezing are much bigger concerns for us.
      (We have a composting toilet now – which has its own set of challenges…)

      Reply
  48. Forrest Maynard

    Extended Warranty, are they worth it? If so, which ones. It seems like ever one that buys one has problems. This is my wife and I first RV and we want it to be pleasant one.
    Thanks

    Reply
  49. Chuck

    We have looked at the Travato’s, both G and K .
    K doesn’t seem to have enough storage.
    The G looks pretty good, but we really don’t like the lack of a window above the sink.stove that would let in more light.
    Lance has that window.
    Did you get Winnebago to put that in for you or did you do it yourself?
    If you did it yourself, what was involved?

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Winnebago actually put that window in for us, but ours was a custom build. I know there were some complications in putting it in, but don’t remember exactly what they were.
      But trust us, Winnebago has heard that people want a window there. They know…

      Reply
  50. Paul & Martha Harris

    Hello James and Stef,

    My wife and I have enjoyed your videos on motorhomes and dream of one day getting out on the backroads of this great country. I have a question for you since you have your finger on the pulse of the RV Industry. Winnebago builds the Class A Via on an F-50 Mercedes Chassis. Why do you suppose no other manufacturer builds a Class A on the Mercedes Chassis? Many build B and B+ Sprinters but I can’t seem to find an answer anywhere. Thought you might have some ideas since you attend Louisville. Thanks for sharing your RV life with us all.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      I don’t have any “real” information on this, but just my opinion.
      That Mercedes chassis is basically a Sprinter. It’s got a more limited weight rating than most other Class A chassis.
      My thinking is that there’s a significant amount of engineering that went into that rig in order to keep the weight down. Winnebago has been able to make it work, but my guess is that other manufacturers aren’t willing to invest what it would take to build a coach on that platform.
      Totally my guess though.

      Reply
  51. Mic Blackwell

    I’m looking for the 12v heating pad that you use. Would you please send me the name brand and where I can purchase it.
    Thank you, Mic

    Reply
  52. John Barker

    Hi James & Stef, … I’ve been viewing a lot of your reviews on different models of RV’s. I like the way you seem to thoroughly check them out. We are interested in a new, (2017), Leisure Travel Van either model Unity U24 IB, (island bed), or the new Unity U24 MB, (murphy bed). I would like to hear your unbiased account rather than Dean’s from the factory. Would it be possible to hear your comments on those models? …
    John Barker,
    British Columbia, Canada

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi John –
      We haven’t done a detailed review of a Unity in a while. We did a Wonder recently, and a Serenity before that.
      I can tell you that every time we’ve taken a good look at a Leisure Travel Vans product, we’ve been impressed by the quality that goes into their builds. We think they’re one of the good ones.

      If I had to find one thing to watch out for with Leisure Travel Vans, it would be that solid wood cabinets and real Corian aren’t light. Their vehicles tend toward the heavier side. So if you have special cargo needs, you’ll want to pay close attention to the OCCC. Non-slide models will fare better in this regard than models with a slide (as they would for any manufacturer). Apart from that though, we haven’t found anything that would make us hesitate to recommend Leisure Travel Vans.

      Reply
  53. A Reader

    Hi I was glad to see your Vidio on the lithium battery inverter solar system is there a possibility you could tell me where you acquired the lithium battery from and the rest of the components. Cheers

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Lithium Battery: Lithionics
      Inverter: Xantrex
      Alternator: Nations Alternator
      The rest of the components are pretty standard things.

      Reply
    2. Elizabeth B.

      Keep up all your hard work .You guys are fun! I watch a lot of your videos on Youtube and learn so much! I don”t own an RV but your reviews will help me make an informed decision when the opportunity comes to have my own. P.S. great game show voice on the 59k (?)review.

      Reply
      1. Stefany

        Awww, thanks Elizabeth B! We appreciate your kind words! Best of luck in your own RV hunt…keep us posted!

  54. Michael Soloway

    Searched everywhere for Cu Ft size of Travato 59G fridge. Comparing to Hymer Aktiv @ 3.1 cu.ft. Cannot find answer anywhere. I know that you will know. Help? Love ur site. Deciding on our first RV between these two.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      The Travato 59G refrigerator is a Dometic RML 8330. It is 140 liters which translates to 4.944 cubic feet or just say 5 cubic feet.

      Reply
    2. Michael Soloway

      We are torn between the 59G and the new Hymer Aktiv with the EcoTrek/Lithium ion /volt start system. First RV. Cannot seem to make the final decision. Like the extra bed in 59G and that big fridge. Then the electric system in the Aktiv and a great bed. In Lance you seemed to combine the two units but we have to chose. Any thoughts that might move us one way or the other?
      Help?

      Thx

      Reply
      1. Stefany

        Well I know for me, I love our G! Plus, there’s an amazing Travato community that has evolved over the past year…it’s nice having a tight-knit support network. You can find them here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/travatoowners . Non-owners are welcomed to join so I’d recommend it to help you make your decision, perhaps you’ll find some useful information there!

    1. James - Post author

      Hmmm… It’s loading for us both on our computers and on phones.
      Our videos are just hosted on YouTube. Can you see other YouTube videos without trouble?

      Reply
  55. JB

    Have you covered or have a blog entry or article on what happens when your crash/wreck your RV (motorhome)? Say someone crashes into you and the body get damaged. Seems like these RV like the LTV and such are unibody. So lets’ rule out the chassis part (Sprinter) as being damaged; referring to the custom RV part. Thanks

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Yikes No!!
      I hope I never have the occasion to write an article like that!
      That would be an interesting topic if a reader who wrote well wanted to submit something though.
      Do you have experience in this?

      Reply
  56. Luisa Sherman

    Dear James and Steph,
    Thanks so much for your honest, candid and detailed account of life with a composting toilet After one year. It seems like so many have extolled their virtues…but no one has been so open and honest about the pros and cons. We had considered one but now will not after noting the considerations and issues you mentioned. Even the whole thing about being..NG if you have a stomach flu was never something we would have ever known or thought about without your candid experience.

    So they might be a perfect solution for some RVers but for us….we would rather plan for dump stops on the whole than some of the other issues with a composting versus regular black tank system.
    Thanks so much for your info. Safe journeys!!

    Kevin and Luisa Sherman
    1973 Vintage Avion 28′

    Reply
  57. Chuck Harmon

    Hi James and Stef, my wife and I are retiring (class of 2017) and we will be purchasing either a class B RV or a small 16 foot Airstream camper (perhaps the basecamp). We have both enjoyed your videos and they have reinforced our desire to graduate form tent camping.

    I like the Travato because we can almost afford one and it does not seem so overwhelming in size. Because I am circumferentially challenged I think that the bed on the 59G would be too tight for us and we would do better with the 59K but there seems to be so little storage room and we would like to bring along two bicycles as well as some hiking gear, outdoor cooking gear, some chairs etc.

    I guess that I have two main questions. 1) Do you carry your bicycles inside your van or do you carry them outside and just accept the fact that they will get rained on? 2) have you ever towed a small add on storage compartment?

    Thanks in advance for your reply and we will continue to follow you entertaining and informative blog.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi Chuck – Glad you like our videos and web site!
      Quick answers to your bike questions (because I ALWAYS have time to answer bike questions…).
      1. Yes, we do carry bikes inside. AND we carry bikes outside. The expensive racing bikes go inside. The mountain bikes go outside. Seems like lately, we always travel with 4 bikes. But! Our Travato is a bit different from the standard 59G. Our bed is higher up than normal to allow us to keep the bikes inside, even with the bed down.
      2. We’ve never towed anything! (Although, if we needed to bring 5 or more bikes, I guess we’d have to.) In the event we ever did, we’d tow a small enclosed trailer. But that would defeat the whole purpose of us choosing to have such a small and mobile RV. So we’ll probably try to avoid that at all costs.

      Hope this helps you!

      Reply
      1. Matthew

        Hi James and stef I am looking at getting a travato 59 g and I would like to raise my bed like you guys did. I am wondering what the height is from when the bed is folded down to the roof of the van?

      2. James - Post author

        Umm… Not huge?
        I know that the bottom of the bed is about a meter off the floor of the rig. Don’t know how much height our mattress and the Froli system add. (Winnebago is using a different version of the Froli now, so it will be different on newer rigs anyway.)
        But the 1 meter number is the one I remember. The rest of the dimensions fell out of that one.

  58. Mimi S

    I just stumbled upon your video regarding composting toilets – how we really feel after a year later. I just want to thank you for this video. It is the most honest, most comprehensive review I have seen and I have looked at quite a few of them in my search for information regarding this subject. I found it tremendously helpful! Thanks again!

    Reply
  59. Steve Day

    Hello James, hope this question is not redundant from an earlier post. Was wondering which Advanced RV facility assisted you in your solar upgrade of Lance. I have one semi-nearby in Thousand Oaks, CA. I’m closing in on a new 59G purchase and want to do an upgrade similar to your excellent layout. ALSO, wondered where Winnebago tied in your composting toilet fan power and where does your vent hose exit the van? I’ve seen some folks on the FB page that vented laterally via the wall. Rather roof it and use a solar/battery vent fan if possible. How did you accomplish it? Love your site and have found it to be THE reason I am getting a Travato! Winnebago should cut you both commission checks. Thanks.
    Steve, Los Angeles

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Lol – it would be sweet if we got commissions on Travatos… but I don’t think that’s in the cards.
      As far as solar upgrades – I did them myself. I almost never use an RV service facility.
      The composting toilet fan is – I presume – wired into some of the wires that run through the rear wall. There is a switch, but I’ve never traced it.
      The vent for said toilet is through the roof. I like it there.
      Look forward to seeing you on the road in your new rig soon!

      Reply
  60. kenneth clarkson

    watched the toilet paper challenge and it was awesome with a lil Benny hill theme to boot that was classic.
    now my question is this it is now November and im out of our rv park for winter i i have winterized the trailer,just wanted to know when i pull it out in march would it be a good idea to put 2 pails of hot water down it to get it flushed for summer use and can you recommend a toilet treatment for me …right now ive been using kronen premium but im not sure it does anything just makes it smell ok.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      The only treatment I recommend these days (and I don’t get any kickback for it) is NoFlex Digestor. I’ve recommended it to several readers with severely clogged black water systems, and it’s worked every time.
      It’s not very readily available, but you’ve got all winter… 🙂

      Reply
  61. Char OConnor

    Hello James & Stef: I have a question about some hardware that I just KNOW James will be able to identify. We have MCD shades in our Era and some have a gap on the sides when the shades are down. Looking at a Leisure Travel video today I saw the best idea for turning clips to hold those shades down on the sides. What are they called????? We could maybe purchase some and install in our Era, but I have tried without success to find. The video is here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga8WA3yMlFs&feature=em-subs_digest-vrecs
    And Dean shows the clips in the bedroom area. They are white and they turn to hold that shade down…… Help !!!
    James is awesome with building and hardware and lots of things – I hope you can help. Thanks so much!!!

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Interesting. They’re just simple turning cams, I guess. I don’t know what’s behind the window trim in your Era, but you could make something similar with just a couple sticks of wood (imagine thicker tongue depressors) and a couple screws or bolts. Heck, you could probably just call the Leisure Travel Vans parts department and order the parts!
      Attaching them may be the difficult part though.

      Reply
  62. Paul

    James, I always enjoy your work on systems. I have a question- how is the cabinetry in Lance secured, fastened to the Promaster body? I am doing a van build, and want to be minimize UFOs!
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      For the most part, RV cabinetry in the class Bs I’ve seen is secured to the wall with screws into framing members (metal) on the van. Either that, or cleats are secured to the metal frame members, and the cabinets are secured to the cleats. So, screws, mainly.

      Reply
    1. James - Post author

      It was nice to finally see the face behind the humor.
      And that sushi definitely looks better than the not-so-good-sushi we had three days ago!
      Do let us know if you’re ever passing through Utah!

      Reply
  63. richard gin

    Hi.

    I love your RV reviews. Would it be possible to do a review of Coach House on the Sprinter chassis please?. I’m doing a lot of research, and will probably purchase a Class B+ by the end of next year. So far, Leisure Vans and Coach House are the front runners. Your reviews are systematic and thorough. It would be much appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Rick

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      We actually did sort-of a review of a Coach House when some readers stopped by with one. Since they sell direct, and don’t have a dealer network, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see one that we could review. I suppose we could maybe visit their factory or something, but Florida is a LONG way away from our home base in Salt Lake City!
      You can see our experience with our Coach House readers in this video.

      Reply
  64. JB

    Hi Stef and James, we’re retired and looking for the smallest Class-B around. In essence, we will use it as a portable hotel room on overnights enroute to seeing children/grandchildren/friends. The main requirements: Bed/beds for two adults (large enough to fit a 5’11 sleeper), a toilet, a/c, and microwave. The smallest I’ve heard of that may fit those requirements is the Roadtrek 170 Versatile. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Pleasure-Way also makes a model on the short-wheelbase Sprinter. They’re known for their quality builds. I’d check them out as well!

      Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Uh… I’m sure I could. But you probably wouldn’t like my rates or timelines.
      (Plus, I don’t think Stef would approve)
      But… if you’re serious, shoot me an email and let’s take it off line. If it’s an easy enough project, maybe we could work something out?

      Reply
  65. mike quirk

    We just bought a “barely used” 2015 59G and love it. However, I think they should publish a “quick start” user’s guide. I would like to know how to drain and sanitize he fresh water holding tank.
    Thanks for your help and look forward to your newsletter.
    Mike
    Ventura CA

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hey Mike – I actually sanitize the fresh water tank using this product: http://amzn.to/2bWv1C8
      I just follow the directions on the label, and it works great. I do it once or twice a season, depending on where we’ve filled up, etc.

      Reply
  66. Jay

    I think you put your “Sewer Solution” on backwards. Mine has the water input in between the tank and the 3 inch open/close valve/flap. That way you can close the main flap and fill the tank, then open it to let out all the water. My new RV has water sprayers in the black tank to assist, but my old one didn’t. So we would have to drag a hose into the RV and fill the tank through the toilet. The Sewer Solution made it possible to do it from the outside. It didn’t help to move the pile out, so the best way was to get to it from the inside. But the SS does give you a way to fill the tank for numerous dumps. Great job with the videos!
    Jay

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      The “Sewer Solution” only has bayonet fittings on one side, and a garden hose on the other.. There’s no way to put it ahead of the 3″ valve. Perhaps you had one of the other products?

      Reply
  67. Chuck Leonard

    James/Stef,

    I found your site because someone posted a comment about our product, LevelMatePRO. The LevelMatePRO is a Bluetooth® 4.0 device that mounts in your RV and displays information on your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet. After looking over your other RV product reviews I thought I would contact you about doing a review on our product. I think you guys do a nice job on your video reviews and it would present our product in a professional manner. The product was originally designed for use with towable vehicles but we have recently added features to support driveable vehicles (ie. Class B, B+, C, etc.). These new features display the height required to reach level for each wheel. So you just stack your blocks at each wheel and drive up once and you are level. This eliminates the multiple attempts usually associated with leveling a driveable vehicle. We have a number of customers that have automatic leveling systems that use our product when they are dry camping so they can find the most level spot before they leave the driver’s seat. The accuracy of the product far exceeds traditional automatic leveling systems so we have a number of customers that use the product to “tweek” each jack after using the automatic leveling feature of their existing system. You can learn more about how this accuracy is achieved on “The Tech” section of our website. We have had a few other bloggers do reviews and the RV Geeks are putting out a video in about a month.

    You can learn more about the product by visiting our website at http://www.command-electronics.com or by searching LevelMatePRO on Google or any other search engine.

    Customers love this product and we are selling a good number of them, but we are always looking for opportunities to get the word out to more people. Please contact me if you are interested in doing a review on the product and we will get a unit heading your way.

    Thanks for your consideration and happy RV’ing!

    Chuck Leonard
    Command Electronics, LLC

    Reply
  68. Sherry in MT

    I found your website a few days ago and have watched a ton of your videos and I just have to say – you both have the most fabulous sense of humor, a great writing style and love love your videos. You are now on my reading list and I can see I’ll be popping back here a lot for humor and inspiration and information! Thank you for sharing well, YOU!

    Reply
    1. Stefany

      Sherry!!!!!! Well, that just made me feel all warm and fuzzy all over you are SO NICE! It isn’t often James says, “did you see that comment that came in???” but yours was one of those he did. I cannot tell you how much that means to us to hear. It’s how we get paid around here! Please do come back, and keep in touch! Happy and healthy travels, Sherry! Thanks for making my day! <3

      Reply
  69. Sue Ann Jaffarian

    I went RV window shopping for the first time this past weekend and now know exactly what I want – definitely a Class B! I did not like the bulkiness of the Class Cs at all. I have it narrowed down to the Travato 59K or the Roadtrek 210 Popular. Both have solar. The Roadtrek has an inverter but the Travato does not. Do you guys use an inverter in your Travato 59G? I can’t see firing up a generator to charge my laptop or run my crockpot. But maybe I’m missing something in my newbie status. I need a simple solution. Help!

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Yes, we have an inverter, but ours was installed after the fact. You can get portable inverters relatively cheaply. Those should power a laptop, etc.
      You’ll need to check the wattage of the appliance you want to run, and purchase a portable inverter accordingly.
      But once you start getting to 800-1000 watts, you’ll probably want to go to a built-in inverter.
      We’ll have a new post on inverters coming out in a couple months or so. Stay tuned!

      Reply
  70. Saed Almuhairi

    We would like to visit your factory can you please send us your location
    We are from Dubai we are are staying for two weeks only

    Reply
  71. Sue Ann Jaffarian

    I have decided to become a full-time rv’er when I retire in 2 years. I’ll do it until it’s not fun anymore. 🙂 Can you advise me on what RV you feel would be the best for a single woman in her 60’s hitting the road? I’m thinking one of the small Class Cs. I want a dedicated bed, good galley and dry bath. There are just so many choices!

    BTW, I found your youtube videos on RVs to be invaluable. And the fitness ones are great too. Thanks for all the great info!

    Reply
    1. Stefany

      How exciting, Sue Ann! Two years goes by quickly, good for you that you’re starting shopping now. It can easily take that long to find the rig that’s right for you. As for which rig to get, James wrote a thorough article on how to choose the right rig here: https://www.thefitrv.com/rv-tips/8-step-program-for-choosing-your-first-rv/ Choosing your RV is SO individualized! There are tons of considerations you need to make based on your own specific needs. That’s why it would be impossible for us (or anyone else) to suggest a rig for you. James’ article explains it better. Hope you’ll check it out! And thanks so much for stopping by our website. Keep us posted on your journey!

      Reply
      1. Sue Ann Jaffarian

        Stefany, I have viewed James’s article and even made the geeky grid (make sure you tell him that!). I found it so interesting and informative, and I know exactly what I need (rather than want) in features to be a happy camper. I’m also renting a rig in October and going camping to try it out. In addition, I’ve been boning up on the various RV systems such an electrical and plumbing and how they work. (Guess I’m a geek too!) Thanks for all the great info!

      2. James - Post author

        You’re not a geek… you’re BRILLIANT!!! 😉
        Thanks for reading, and here’s hoping you wind up with the awesomest RV ever.

      3. Stefany

        You made the grid, Sue Ann!!! That probably made James’ day…analytical minds think alike?!? Seriously, that’s awesome. Doing the legwork ahead of time will save you from any potential buyer’s remorse later. KEEP US POSTED, geek girl! We want to know how this saga ends for you (and what rig you end up with!). <3

  72. Doug Moore

    James

    Sent you a simple solution (you probably thought of it yourself) but it was the use of a 6 gal portable black tank to dump into.

    This way you have either a cassette toilet to dump anywhere or a basic RV set up with a large black tank you can use at a park or dump station

    I like the composting toilets, but thought this might be better. I sent the pics and write up (my unique way) on your Facebook Page

    I am going to Zion on 6-15-16 to hike up Angeles Landing with my daughter and son and then may head out to Durango, Fruita, Crested Butte, Boulder for some trail riding (mtb) and hikes. I know your in Utah. Who knows we may run into each other.

    I also get the Yoga Vibe from you. I have done 2 Teacher Training’s. One with Rusty Wells out of Yoga Tree in the Castro (SF) and the other with Mynx with Yoga Works.

    We sorta roll the same way. Let me know what you thought of the the modified cassette way.

    doug

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi Doug.
      I get the idea of the small portable black tank. We’ve switched to a composting toilet, so we don’t really deal with that any longer, but I understand how your option might work for some. I’d be a little concerned about overfilling a portable black tank if the capacity was less than my primary tank. Yikes!

      But most importantly, if it’s working out for YOU, well, that’s what really matters, and we’re glad you’ve settled into something that meets your needs. Have a total blast on your upcoming trip to Southern UT!

      Funny you should mention yoga. Stef is working on a couple yoga pieces right now. The first one will likely be published on Winnebagolife.com in the next week or two. Be on the lookout for it!

      Reply
      1. Kristen

        I love what you’re sharing and have been searching for the solution you came up with for your (mysterious) composting toilet issue. I am new to this site, so I’ve likely overlooked it. Where do I find all your composting toilet info, raves, issues, warnings, and solutions? Thank you so very much!!

      2. James - Post author

        You haven’t missed anything. We keep talking about making a video. We just need to get on it! (The video project, not the toilet…)

  73. Brian L.

    I realize this is a bit of a long-shot, but my google-fu is failing me, and you guys are just RV-nerdy enough that you may have an answer.

    Do you know anywhere online that shows a good photo of the exterior roof of an Era 70C? The kind of photo one might use if one was trying to eye-ball how many solar panels and antenna one could fit?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Brian Lojeck

      This is about the best I can find, so far. There’s a quick glimpse of the roof in a crane shot:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=uLZXsgLkn4Y

      They also have a shot of the top of a travato:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RFX4UCyMtE

      Now I’m highly interested in exactly how you two placed 3 solar panels on your travato… there just doesn’t look like there is room!

      Could I trouble you good people for a video (or a set of photos) showing where you put the stuff, and how it fits around all the stuff on the roof? I promise I won’t complain if there isn’t any snappy dialog.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        There’s a video showing our third solar panel install. If you go here: http://winnebagolife.com/articles/video there is a picture of the roof of our Travato as the thumbnail for the video.
        Do keep in mind our Travato is a bit different. We have no TV antenna on the roof. This isn’t an orderable option, it’s just how Lance is. That provided room for one extra panel. The third panel is NOT a ZAMP panel – it’s a narrower 100 watt panel.

  74. Thom

    Love all the info. Thanks for sharing. I think we just talked ourselves into a 59G. It’ll be great to take to triathlons. Just waiting on your final list of all the mods you had done. 🙂

    People always looked at me funny when I insisted that our next vehicle needed to carry the bikes inside. Finally, somebody else who understands.

    Did you ever look at the Winnebago factory in Google maps? If you look at the north end of the lot in satellite view, you might see something familiar.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@43.2558878,-93.6470722,114m/data=!3m1!1e3

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Awesome!!! Love the link!!! That one’s going on Facebook or something.
      We certainly do understand bringing the bikes inside. Heck – when talking to most RVers, I feel like I invented the idea.
      As for a final list of mods, well, they’re still going on. I don’t know if I’ll ever be done. All the things Winnebago did for us are in the Meet Lance, and Juicy Details posts. Though there’s no guarantee they would make those modifications again. Some of them were likely troublesome.
      As far as things that might scare you off from a Travato – we haven’t found any yet.

      Reply
  75. lisa phenix

    hi folks: I have a 2000 dodge ram 18 ft camper van that used to have a roof leak. I have an interior mold problem. I’ll have to remove carpet, upholstery and all things particle board, and padded. any suggestions on how to eliminate mold and some diy help in the sacramento, ca area. thx much 🙂 lisa phenix, at lisaphenix.com (fun music there ) 🙂

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Well, if it were me, I’d likely just gut the vehicle and rebuild with mold-free materials. I don’t take chances with stuff like that.

      Reply
  76. Ray Brown

    I could not think of a better couple to test a pedal generator for an RV. Fitness (Stef) and Gadget Testing (James) in the same unit! The first question is practicality. Would it be practical to use for a workout and how long would it take to charge a deep cycle battery or two? The creator of 5-hour Energy says that his large unit can power a home for a day with an hour’s pedaling. A more modest RV friendly unit made by K-Tor (https://youtu.be/cLS5LWN-63w) weighs less than 5 lbs. Other units can hook up directly to bikes (also your bailiwick). What say ye? Up for this challenge?

    Reply
    1. Stefany

      I am very, very intrigued, Ray! I’d actually love to put it to the test, what do you think, James? A future video perhaps?

      Reply
    2. James - Post author

      Interesting, but I have my reservations…
      I sort of doubt you could power a home for a day with any kind of bicycle powered generator. It’s just a matter of power output. I’d be doing really well to put out 250 watts of mechanical energy for an hour on a trainer. That’s one-quarter kilowatt hour. That’s maybe 21 amp-hours back into a 12v battery system – or, just enough to keep our propane valve solenoid open for one day. (A pro could do probably twice that.)

      But after that, I’d be blown up! I couldn’t do it again until the next day. None of this has anything to do with the generator itself or the efficiency thereof. It has to do with how much energy I can put into a bike.

      So while it sounds interesting, just from a gadget perspective, we get a lot more bang for the buck from our solar panels.

      Still, if someone has one that they want us to try out – and they’re willing to send it to us – I’m game! It would be fun to test out.

      Reply
      1. Bill R.

        I have a very old Schwinn ergometer where the wheel powers an alternator and then varies the load to get resistance. 66,000 miles on original chain.

  77. Alain Roy

    Hi,

    I would like to support your website when I purchase on line, but I have to use the Canadian Amazon website. If it’s possible, add an Amazon.ca link . I’m pretty sure I’m not your only Canadian fan.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      That’s so kind of you Alain! On the technical side, Amazon has different affiliate programs for each country. Doubling up the links would get pretty ugly, so I’ll have to work on a way to generate different links depending on which country a visitor is coming from. In the mean time, we’re joined the Amazon.ca affiliate program. You can use this link to make purchases from Amazon.ca that will credit our affiliate account (we think… we haven’t tried it yet).

      And thank you again – you’re too kind.

      Reply
  78. James Ira Thompson

    I would like to get the window shades for the front window that magnet to gether. What is the name and company and cost.?

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Uh… you’ll have to be a little more specific. Which RV are you talking about? We don’t sell anything on this site, but I could point you in the right direction if I knew what you were interested in.

      Reply
  79. Hal Smith

    A few questions. Did you ever get your radio fixed? What was the cause or recall involved. Have others had the same problem? We were looking at 59K and the radio did not work on the unit we were considering and salesman did knothole clue..

    Do you have any news on an ignition recall from Dodge?

    We will be getting a new 59K but want to wait till the fall when we have more time to use it and get the full benefit of the warranty? Almost pulled the trigger 2 days ago but after reading all of the little problems people have with Winnebago products, and we decided having the full warranty was worth any potential price increase that might occur.

    Has anyone else gotten “caught” on the hand brake while exiting the driver’s seat on the 59?

    Hal Smith

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Yes, we finally did get an entirely new radio from Dodge. It works, and we have sound, but unfortunately, it’s led to some incompatibilities with our cool JBL subwoofer. We’re still working on that one.
      We do have the letter from Fiat about the ignition recall. No parts available yet, and we have experienced no problems.
      I’ve never gotten “caught” on the emergency brake – but I can completely visualize what you mean! Now I’m going to be on the lookout for it!

      Reply
  80. Jacqueline Milton

    james when are you going to share your review on the pleasure way plateau twin bed that you took video. please edit and share. I am near a pleasure way dealer here in Atlanta ga and I am thinking about purchasing a rv. please hurry!!!!!!!!!. I love your site. keep up the good work and we appreciate your reviews.

    jacqui

    Reply
  81. Michael Moore

    Hi James,
    Love your site. Lots of useful information there. As a couple,you work well together. Thanks for doing what you do.
    My question is, why can the Aussie caravan industry produce a 12 volt airconditioner and we can’t? Here is a site showing a caravan with this unit. Am I missing something?
    Thanks.
    http://youtu.be/yy4KPjCSKog

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Well, a 12 volt air conditioner would suck your batteries dry in pretty short order. It probably wouldn’t work for someone camped in Florida or Houston. We here in the US have different ideas about air conditioning than those in Europe or other parts of the world. I think that’s reflected in the products that are available.

      That said, we would like to see some innovation in the RV/AC department. We hear that Truma makes an air conditioner that’s super efficient and quiet. We’ve all but begged them to provide us one that we could test out, but no dice. Slowly but surely, innovation is coming to the North American RV scene. Just be patient. (It’s not easy for us, either.)

      Reply
  82. Al and Sherryl

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We are off to visit family so thought we had better wish you our best now. Be safe, have fun, and of course, don’t eat too much 😉

    xo

    Reply
    1. Stefany

      Hey you two, safe travels! It’s been so fun having you hang out around our website. The support means a lot. Thanks for becoming a part of our Fit RV family, we can’t wait to take you up on your offer to visit! Hope you have the best holiday season EVER!

      Reply
  83. Ian

    James – I understand you’ve got a load of stuff from the latest RV show, and I’m sure there’s a queue of stuff after that, but I’ve got another one for ya. And perhaps something that’ll need to wait until spring (or at least a warm spell).

    I’d wager that you’re the kind of guy that likes to keep things neat and clean. So… what’s your experience and preference for washing your RV? Any techniques or equipment you’ve found that works better than others?

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      You’ll be disappointed to know that I either just run it through a spray wash booth, or have it detailed. Generally, it just gets dirty again pretty much immediately, so I don’t worry too much about the outside.
      (The yellow color is actually pretty good at hiding dirt!)
      The INSIDE. Now that’s a different story. A spotless, different story. 😉

      Reply
  84. Daniel

    Hi Stef and James,

    Although we don’t live in the States, we live in the Netherlands, we still love visiting and travelling, your wunderfull country. Did this already with a rental MH twice! One time the west, LA-LA a roundtrip of 3500 miles, and this year we drove a factory new MH from Chicago to SF, took the Route 66, direction Flagstaff, Sedona, then Page, North Rim GC,Valley of Fire, Vegas, Death Valley, Reno, Lake tahoo etc ….

    We found your Youtube’s and website with all those nice and good advice, I must say: WE LOVE IT! Very interesting and well presented in a very admirable way. We also have a Fiat Ducato based MH a Hymer T698CL (Fiat is almost the same as the RAM Promaster) Although we here in Europe have almost non-gas based, only diesel-based Fiat’s, ours is the four-cylinder 2-staged-turbo charged diesel, the 150 Multjet with 150 HP and more then 400 NM Torq.
    Since they are rare with automatic, I equipped ours with an easydrive automatic clutch system. So the only thing I have to do, is stickshifting 😉

    In all your MH testing I hear your wish for more bike-storage and better winterinsolation. I am some amazed, that so little american and canadian MH builders have those MH to offer ….
    Ours has an swedish Alde-heating, even heated tanks and a double floor that all is heated, as an extra package, the artic-package. The swedisch ALDE warm-water heating with a connection to the engine of the MH, so you can use your motorheat during the drive, and even when you want to, preheat the MH-engine before leaving, using the central heating of the living-area.

    Keep up both, your very nice youtube channel and blogs. We love it, and thanks from, Daniel and Marjon.

    Reply
  85. Al

    Okay, we confess, we haven’t scrutinized all of the entries to find the answer, so here’s our question. Are you two much happier with a Promaster (gas) over the MB 2500 (diesel)? We would love to hear your comments. 🙂

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Actually, yes. The ProMaster is so much easier to drive. By like a factor of 5 – no kidding. We may be paying slightly more in fuel costs, but we can fill up at ANY gas station, and service is cheaper as well.
      The one negative is the range. I seem to be filling up more often than I would like to.

      Reply
      1. Al

        Good to hear! We are a bit concerned about how our MB experience will play out but we needed the towing capacity for our boat. Always trade offs I guess 🙂

  86. Helen

    I watched your video on the black water tank. I was curious to see if you tried a degreaser after emptying it, to clean the tank…possibly added from the inside of the camper. I thought of Dawn dish cleaner, but may result in to many bubbles. What is your take on this?
    Helen

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi Helen – I haven’t tried adding any other cleaners to the black water tank. My feelings are: the next residents of the tank aren’t going to care if it’s perfectly clean or not. So as long as there’s nothing accumulating down there, I don’t see the need to get it “squeaky clean”. If you really wanted to add the dish soap, my feeling is it couldn’t hurt. Don’t know what it would do, but I’m fairly certain you wouldn’t cause any harm.

      Reply
  87. Ted

    If you’re at the Pomona RV Show this weekend hopefully you’ll spot new rigs built on the Ford Transit chassis. So far I’ve only seen the new Thor Gemini and Compass built on a cut-away chassis online. At 23 ft, these come pretty close to the dimensions of euro campers (no giant rear garage for the bikes, so your Travato is still a better fit). I just saw them listed on an Iowa dealer’s website for ~$77K so the diesel Transit’s look like they are going to be a lot more affordable than Sprinter based rigs.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      We’ve seen two. Rigs by both Thor and Coachmen. We plan to shoot a couple videos.
      The show isn’t a great place to do detailed videos though – too many people, plus, it’s been over 100 degrees out – so they may be “quick look” type vids.

      Reply
  88. vance preman

    I understand you’;re coming to the Northland Nightmare ride on Oct 3, 2015 in North Kansas City. I’m the ride captain. I will probably have my Sprinter Van there and we can compare notes. Travel safe.

    Reply
  89. Al

    Hey you two. Thanks so much for your detailed and fun to watch RV reviews. We are both very involved in an active fitness lifestyle and find ourselves really connecting with you guys and your reviews. Having just retired, we are starting to look at Class B vans. We loved your review of the Travato 59K and in a perfect world we would have the diesel model. The other unit we really like is the Pleasure-Way Ascent, which we will be checking into closer. Keep up the awesome reviews! 🙂

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Thanks, you guys!
      The Pleasure-Way Ascent? You like the short ones! We’ve never reviewed a shorter wheelbase model. Maybe we should? It certainly would be extremely maneuverable. No room for bikes though, which is why we’ve never gone there. But if you were marathoners or something, it might make a great base camp at a crowded start/finish area. Hmmmm…..
      Anyway, thanks for watching!

      Reply
      1. Al

        Hi guys. We just ordered a 2016 Ascent. We ordered the 195 watt solar package and the 2.1 diesel/7 speed trans on the Mercedes chassis. Very excited… 🙂

        Question for Steph. Have you been following Dr. Kelly Starrett at all? He is in our opinion on the cutting edge of fitness and rehab. Check him out as he has several books out (we have them all… ha!) and lots of stuff on YouTube…

      2. Stefany

        Hi Al! Wow, congrats on your new Ascent. We definitely approve, and think you’re getting an AWESOME coach. Smart to get the solar package. And yeah…Crossfit Kelly, so glad to hear you’re fans! Kelly does amazing things educating fitness enthusiasts on functional training and proper biomechanics, and has a huge following. “Knees out”!!! 😉

        Keep us posted on your new Ascent and how it goes. It’s so great hearing from a fellow RV AND fitness enthusiast!!!

      3. James - Post author

        Gee – we didn’t know anyone wanted any!
        IF (and that’s a big “if”) we were to do it, I think it should be a fitness/workout item. Or were you looking for more of a cotton tee?
        No promises. Just kicking ideas around.

    2. Al

      Yes, we are thinking (because we live off grid) that the van will be our only vehicle on the mainland. So it will be used for shopping, visiting family/friends, etc. So, while the extra room would be nice, a shorter van and maybe a small trailer to carry equipment, when required. Oh, and while we agree the gas and diesel argument is a tough one, everything else we own (boat, home generator, F350 truck on the island – are all diesels) so we have become accustomed to dealing with diesels over quirky gas and gas engines. Ha, but that’s just us. 🙂 Thanks again.

      Reply
  90. rob0615

    We are considering the Dodge Promaster Class C with the REV 24RB build out. Any thoughts on the performance of this unit and the quality overall? Any real world experience someone could share?

    Reply
  91. Gene

    Liked your generator test, but my question is do you know anyone that has added an extension pipe with additional muffler for use when parked, and do you think it would be detrimental to the generator? Thanks

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Onan makes an exhaust resonator (like a muffler). It’s an Onan part, and won’t void any warranties. I had added one to a previous RV. It helps a little, but it’s no silver bullet.
      I may add it to this generator. If I do, I’ll be sure to do some before and after testing.

      Reply
  92. Kip Downen

    I was wondering if you might test the Probiotic Black tank treatment called TankTechs RX. The manufacturer claims that their treatment breaks down solids to liquid, eliminates odors, prevents the build up of, and helps soften existing struvites, the hard mineral deposits formed by chemicals in holding tanks. I thought it would be interesting to see what happens in your clear testing tank. Supposedly, solids are liquefied, not turned into a sludge… Thanks, Kip

    Reply
  93. Crystal Robertson

    Your new Travato looks sweet! We are envious of it fitting the bikes! Every van we see we want to just raise the bed to store our precious road bikes and maybe even our mtn bikes. (those mtn bikes can always go outside.) We’re up against the clock hoping to find a home for November on…but our wish list of bike storage, 4×4, winterized package, wet bath and some solar power all in a class B…is a tough one. Especially with the 4×4 just coming out on the Sprinters. We are building or hoping to find an ultra adventure mobile to take off and Road bike, mtn bike, surf, ski and snowboard… We have learned a lot stumbling upon your site so thank you for giving us tools to make this process easier. If we had time we would purchase and wait but we don’t have the time and were not handy builders at all. Wish us luck! I love the yellow van named Lance!

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Lance has all your wish list items except the 4×4. That’s going to be the tough one for you.
      But I’ve gotta say… road bike, mountain bike, ski, surf, and snowboard?? Maybe you need a trailer! 🙂

      Glad we’ve helped in some small way. We’d be interested to learn what you ultimately wind up going with. Please come back and let us know, or just give us a shout on our Facebook page.

      Reply
  94. Doug Sanders

    I just wanted to say thank you for your videos on you tube. I have been living in my RV for 5 months and after watching your video on different techniques to clean the black tank i think i got mine clean for the first time. The sad part is I was able to build a wand for 5 dollars, I have probably spent a hundred in products that did not work.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Sounds like you could make a video or two yourself! Glad to hear we were helpful in some small way.
      Thanks for watching!

      Reply
    1. James - Post author

      You know, we haven’t. That’s not a bad idea for a post though.
      But I wonder – Our list of RV things to do would include things like “Take an RV onto Alpe D’Huez and watch the Tour de France go by”. Would stuff like that even be relevant to others?
      Anyway, thanks for the idea!

      Reply
  95. Mark Roberts

    I have another test/experiment for you James. As a fellow Travato couple, we find the tank sizes limiting, and are thinking of ways to reduce water use. I’d like to find a quick rinse soap bar. Wondering about glycerin soaps, water types, and other considerations.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Interesting. I’ve never thought of such.
      Stef and I have our shower technique pretty much down. (And with our composting toilet, our waste tanks are effectively doubled.)
      I’ll put this one in the queue. But it’s a long queue….

      Reply
  96. Debra

    Hi Stef and James, I enjoy your videos, thank you for your opinions. Hope you can help me with a couple of questions….

    I have been researching Class B choices for about 9 months, reading everything I can get my hands on. Buying a class B RV is expensive, so want to pick the best one for the long term. Once I zero in on ‘the one’, then can look for a quality used one. 😉 I do have a couple of questions and hoping you would give me your opinion.

    First, what size. Obviously the 22 to 24’ versions have more “stuff.”, but I want to park and drive with ease, BUT maybe there isn’t much difference between a 19-20’ v/s 22’ etc…..what do you think is the best size, in general?

    Then, what is your opinion on what is best, engine generator or not?

    And lastly, would like to boondock in the snow and colder weather, so need 4 season construction. I actually got this awareness from you…..thank you, so important! Do you have a short list of those rv builders that build for 4 seasons, or do I need to plan on retro-fitting?

    Appreciate your help! Ding-ding-ding

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      OK. Let me see if I can put some thoughts down that might help you.
      Our last RV was 22 feet 9 inches long. Lance is 20 feet 11 inches. 90% of the time, I don’t notice a difference. Where I do notice is now, in Lance, most of the time, I fit inside a single parking space, and don’t have to look for two spaces so I can pull through. That’s nice. But it wasn’t all that much of a handicap in our Sprinter, and on a recent trip to San Francisco, there were delivery Sprinters everywhere (and that city is tough). SO slight edge to the shorter RV, but I don’t think I would let it change my mind if I found a coach I really liked.
      Realize, my opinion on the “engine generator” is coming from someone who has never owned one. But I have owned alternators, and I wish they’d call it that and quit the “engine generator” marketing. There are good arguments either way. On the one hand, it makes sense not to bring along and maintain another engine. I get that. But on the other hand, from what I understand, there are warranty issues with adding a second alternator and extended idling (depending on who you talk to – I’ve heard different things from different reps). But then on the third hand, those who have them say that if you have enough battery capacity, they rarely run the “engine generator” anyway. So honestly, you could go either way.
      The 4 season thing is probably the toughest requirement. At this point, there aren’t any mainstream manufacturers (that I know of) who make an “off the shelf” 4 season unit. Ours is modified to be so, but it’s a one of a kind deal. To get the 4 season capability in a current RV, you’d either have to go to a more custom builder (Advanced-RV, Outside Vans, Sportsmobile, etc), or get an “off the shelf” unit that lends itself to tweaking that way (don’t know which unit I’d pick for that, and I don’t know your capabilities in this area).
      Well, I hope I helped, but realistically, I probably just made things more confusing!
      Thanks for reading/watching!

      Reply
  97. Michael

    Thank you for your meticulous reviews. It was great to discover your enthusiastic and independent voices as I have started dreaming of weekend hiking out of cell phone range with the wife and dog.
    I appreciate your attention to details on craftsmanship, hose routes and technical specs. I love your philosophy of “smaller is better” for the vehicle and admire how you manage to organize your lives in a Class B. The outdoors is as large from a Class B as a Class A, so why worry about the interior size?
    The one aspect that I would love to get your insights on is how to use the kitchen effectively. Could we get a video of the two of you cooking a real meal in Lance as if it was pouring rain outside?

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Glad you’ve found some things to like on our site.
      I like your idea about “The Class B Kitchen”. I brought it up to my bride, and she’s down to make a video.
      We just have to come up with an appropriately healthy and realistic recipe.
      It’s on my list!
      (I have to warn you though, my list is long…)

      Reply
  98. Chris

    I just want to thank-you for your black tank series of videos. Very informative and eye-opening. I thought my BT was clean but now I see that a little more work is required to truly flush the system. thx

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Glad you found them useful!
      I’ll be doing some more later this summer on tank additives. (I hope)

      Reply
      1. Jean Painter

        I’d love to be notified when your video on tank additives is ready. Is that possible?

      2. James - Post author

        Not that post specifically, but if you sign up for our newsletter, you will receive one email per week with whatever new content we’ve posted. You can see the first few words of each article, and decide for yourself if you want to click through and read the whole thing. We don’t do anything else with the mailing list, so one per week is all you’ll get – on Mondays, at 6pm Mountain time.

  99. Chunan

    Hi Stef and James,
    I really like your RV reviews, especially your extra effort to crawl under those RVs to take shots and provided your comments. You also try to identify space for adding extra batteries and etc. Those information are unique, somewhat technical, and valuable. I wonder if you can add a camera extension pole to take roof shots for additional solar panel space as well. Those information are not always available in manufacturer website. I wish I am lucky enough to see your review on Winnebago via, Winnebago View, and Thor Axis in the future. They are sized similar to the Dynamax Rev and Leisure Travel Van Unity you already reviewed.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Glad you like the reviews! The roof shots are interesting, and I try to get them when we can.
      Via, View, and Axis are good suggestions. But the next motorhome you’ll probably see us review is our own new one!

      Reply
  100. Johnnie Johnson

    James,
    Your new up coming RV, the Pro Master desiel . How would you compare it with the up keep of the Mercedes sprinter diesel , cost and dependability ? From your report the pro master is wider , that’s a check in my book . I would greatly appreciate your input.Thanking you in advance and keep up the good work……From Chicago , Johnnie and Mila Johnson

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Well, technically, our new Travato will be built on a gas ProMaster – not diesel. So I’m just guessing in my answer to you here.
      But I would anticipate it being similar to the Sprinter in reliability. It’s not a new engine – it’s been used elsewhere.
      Cost of service however, I would anticipate to be lower than the Mercedes. Because, you know, Mercedes…
      (Of course, I don’t expect gourmet coffee and fresh croissants at my local RAM dealer, but I get those at Mercedes.)

      Reply
  101. Terry Lee

    I have a project for you – a piece of cake compared to cleaning the black tank.

    Do internal refrigerator fans really do anything? If the refrigerator is already running 100%, they cannot make it any colder. If they do, in fact, reduce stratification, top to bottom, by how much if any. See the latter part of this thread http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39398 for more discussion.

    A simple experiment that anyone could do, but you have the creds.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      I LOVE THIS IDEA!!
      When we get our Travato with the 3 way fridge, this is so on my list.
      Thanks for the tip!!

      Reply
  102. George Master

    Dynamax Rev Versus Winnebago Trend.

    Hello! Need some help. If you were buying a Promaster Class C, would you buy the Dynamax Rev or Winnebago Trend. I know that you have reviewed both. You seemed to have liked both. Was quality of one better than the other. Were features in one better than the other?

    Thanks,
    George

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi George –
      We’ve never really done a “this vs. that” comparison type review, so we’ve not ever gone to look at an RV with that mindset. We just try to look at each RV on its own, and let people decide what’s important to them.
      You’re right, we did like both of those ProMaster class Cs we looked at. But we looked at them a year apart from each other! (and we haven’t revisited either one since)
      When we originally saw the Trend, it was the corner-bed floor plan – and the Dynamax floorplan we saw would have worked better for us. But Winnebago now offers the same floor plan! That’s usually our biggest criteria, and it’s a toss-up.
      I know this sounds like a cop-out, but the best advice I could give you would be to have a look at each. Most likely, something will click for you with one that doesn’t with the other.

      Reply
  103. Doug Higbee

    Great vid- PM diesel. No park is nutty but it is what it is. At the end of the vid you asked about building your own PM and leave a comment, but, the comments are turned off. (And Steph, please tell James that…..well, all beds are horizontal; east/west, north/south, we get it, but up/down. lol
    Considering a gas/3.6/136 build myself. It would be nice if FCA dropped the 300 AWD in and make it more camp/ski-capable but demand…can’t see it but GM did do the AWD Express/Savana so…………. . Good work and gook luck.

    Reply
  104. Dave Debraga

    Hi my name is David owner of Great West Vans, I really enjoy reading info on website and love what you guys are doing for the industry. As you know we have moved and love to see if you guys would like to come to Alabama for a visit and while you are here we have a big announcement to make please let me thanks again

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi Dave! We love Great West Vans – thanks for reaching out.
      I actually went to school in Alabama (Auburn, BAE ’89; UA, MBA ’92). It would be fun to get back there.
      Let’s take this to email and we’ll discuss.

      Reply
  105. Roland Segers

    You two are such a cute young couple and your vid on the REV was the deciding factor for my wife and I to buy one. Steph, if I understand the facts correctly you are a grandmother? If so, holy smokes you look great.

    Please keep up the vids, their very informative.(black tank experiment) for example. I told Joe (co. rep for Dynamax) about your REV video, of course he loved it. Take Care Roland and Clare fans of TheFitRV.

    Reply
    1. Stefany

      Roland and Clare, this just made my day! I’m feeling pretty bigheaded right now that we actually played a role in your decision to purchase a Rev! We really really love the Rev, and hope you’ll stay in touch and tell us how it is out on the road. It’s such a homey & cozy-feeling RV, incredibly spacious, and I would be thrilled to own one.
      And yes! I’m a grandma! Amelia, the 4 year old (you can see her in our toilet paper video back when she was 2), is right now as we speak riding a horse for the first time! I told my son Tyler to send lots of pictures. I’m sure she’s over-the-moon excited. I know I am!
      Please stay in touch. We’d love your feedback on what’s it’s like owning a Rev! Health and happiness…Stef

      Reply
  106. Chip Doolittle

    Luv yer stuff. Practical and not weird – well maybe a little weird. I’m not to worried about where I store my Schwinn Continental!!!
    Have a 2013 Serenity, and use it for business. In fact I just went through SL twice in the last 2 wks on trip to West Coast form Omaha.
    As you have a Sprinter based RV, would you think it advisable to pull the front seats out and the carpet pad and install something like Hushmat to cut down some of the road noise? I’m not trying to make it like a tomb, and after all, it’s just a big box rollin’ down the road. But thought this might be semi-practical.
    Keep up the great work.
    Chip

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Chip! Absolutely yes! I pulled the carpet, vinyl flooring and headliner out of Das Bus and installed a layer of Dynamat against the metal. Then, on top of that, I installed a layer of ProDex insulation. We talk about it (but don’t show it) in our RV Tour Video. I even made Stef help with it. It made quite an improvement in the road noise. So I vote yes – go for it.

      Glad you like the site. We’ll try to keep it weird! (Well, a little weird.) 😉

      Reply
  107. Lloyd

    James, really enjoy the videos keep em coming! Have you tried the Camco part # 40128 Tornado Tank Flusher??? It look like it might work on most RV tanks.
    I have a 34′ Bounder and it sways back and forth in high wind, trucks passing etc. There are lots of products out there that claim to help? I have replaced the sway bar bushings front and back, and thats helped some. Any recommendations on other equipment that might assist?

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi Lloyd –
      I actually did test out the Tornado. It’s one of the products in my tank flusher comparison video!
      As far as reducing sway – I’m no suspension expert, especially on the bigger rigs (on the Sprinters, I know a bit more). But!…
      On our Class B, the one thing out of all the things I tried that helped the most was adding a leaf to the rear springs. I don’t know the Bounder’s suspension, but the ones I’ve seen all have a good bit of overhang past the rear axle. Maybe something like SuperSprings would help?

      Reply
    2. Lloyd

      Thanks James, I’ve looked at Safe-T-Plus, Blue Ox and others, and of course they all claim to resolve the sway problem? all for just a mere $700.00. An expensive guess dont you think? Some reviews of the CAMCO product say that the spinner can get stuck, do you know if they have made a brass one?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I’ve never seen a brass Tornado. I never tested a “non-spinning” in-tank rinser. I don’t know that they might not have done almost as well. I like the idea of “no moving parts” in the black tank, so one of the stationary systems with good nozzles may be a viable alternative.

        And I hear you on the prices for the suspension parts. It’s an expensive experiment.

  108. William Stumpf

    first, really enjoy your videos, especially the RV reviews. Am considering the purchase of a class B or B plus RV. My goal or plan is to spend a couple of years traveling the country with an 860 lb. motorcycle in tow, since I can’t find a small class B toyhauler. I enjoy riding and have traveled extensively on the bike of the past 40 years, but in my retirement feel I could do and see and do more with a small RV as a home base. I need a cost efficient, dry bath, self contained unit. I think I would prefer a Diesel platform unit and believe I would prefer the tank less water heater and the electric cook top. Also very interested in Solar Power. Since I have never owned an RV or spent much time in one I an assuming these are the features that I would like. The Dynanax Rev has caught my attention, but again the gas power has me Leary. In you videos I see you are going to do a build with the Ram Promaster Diesel, which I will be very interested in, also did you consider the 2015 Ford Transit Diesel ? I can’t find anyone who is building on the Ford yet. Any help in finding the right RV for my adventure would be helpful. Keep up the good work, enjoy your videos. PS. Get Steh a bigger fridge !!!

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi there – glad you like the site and videos!
      I don’t know anyone who is building on the Ford Transit yet either. I’ve thought about that one, and in the interest of completeness, I should probably take one for a spin. But the ProMaster is wider, and would allow for sleeping cross-coach. The Transit isn’t quite wide enough to pull that off.
      And trust me, whatever next RV we wind up with, Stef will get her fridge… 🙂

      Reply
      1. William Stumpf

        Thanks for the reply …. if you hear of any towing info on the ProMaster Diesel , keep me informed….Thanks Bill

  109. lew laurie

    My husband and I bought a Winnebago TREND. We love it. It is so much better that what we had before. The problem is that as you drive down the road the RV pulls to the left (THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD). We have taken it everywhere the RV dealer told us to take it. The conclusion from the dealer is that there is a problem with the drive train causing it to pull left. The Chrysler/Dodge dealer who builds the body has no fix for the problem. Basically they said they are working on fixing the problem. Is there LEMON LAW for RV’s? is THERE RECALLS FOR UNSAFE RV’S?

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi there. Glad you like the Trend, but sorry you’re having problems!
      They do post recalls for motorhomes. You can find them in industry magazines or online. I did a quick search (results here), but none of them seem to be related to what you describe, which sounds like a problem with the Dodge parts more than the Winnebago parts.
      I’m certainly no lawyer, so I can’t advise you on what the laws might be where you are. I am sorry you’re having problems, but the best advice I can give you is to keep trying to work the problem with Winnebago and Dodge. Sorry we can’t be more help!

      Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi David – We’ve only ever seen Phoenix Cruisers online. If we ever catch one in the wild, you can bet we’ll try to do a review.

      Reply
  110. Sandy Jackson

    Hi Stef and James,
    I contacted you 4/27/14 when we were trying to decide between a Leisure Travel Unity, Winnebago View Profile and a Coach House Platinum II.
    We narrowed it down to a Unity or a Coach House. However, Dean let us know that the Unity is not a 4 season RV which led us to purchasing a Platinum II from Coach House. For good measure, we also had them add heat tape to the plumbing for the bathroom sink that exits through the rear storage area. So far we have taken a couple of extended trips in the South and love the RV. We will be visiting a son in Boulder in August and then traveling to McCall, Idaho via Utah. Would you like to meet up with us. We are looking at RV Parks in the vicinity of Ogden. We will be in the area for 2 nights; August 13th and 14th. Contact me via email if this works for you.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Congratulations on your RV Sandy!
      We’re interested – I’ve never had the opportunity to look at a Coach House up close. I’ll take this to email.

      Reply
  111. Alvaro Perez

    Greetings from Mexico City, I really like your YouTube channel, you both are fresh and nice. The review of the winnebago Travato was a hit and I hope to buy one soon, Despite the taxes and other issues to get a RV to my city. Keep going! I´m Iooking forward for the airstream interstate 3500 EXT or Grand Tour review, as a see the most beautiful class B today, besides a few inconvenients that makes it an RV for short distance use.

    PS. here in Mexico already have ultra low sulfur diesel, in fact, the sprinter van is a very popular cargo and passenger van here, the main problem would be the lack of service parts for the adecuatte RV maintenance like pumps, furnace, etc.

    Saludos y felicitaciones desde México

    Reply
    1. Alvaro Perez

      By the way, the “ding” in the Travato´s review wasn´t annoying at all, but it was so fun to see you guys.

      Oh and one more thing, the refrigerator in the Das Bus is very small, I´m with you Stephanie.

      Best regards

      Reply
    2. Stefany

      Thanks for stopping by our website, Alvaro! It’s so interesting to hear people’s perspectives that live outside the US. Yes, we agree the Airstream Class B’s are beautiful coaches, and we really hope to review one soon. As for getting Sprinter parts, it’s even difficult here in the US. We broke down in Oregon and had to wait a week for the parts to arrive from Germany! If we had a Travato or any RV on the ProMaster chassis, we wouldn’t have had to wait that long. At least it made for some funny blogging! Our Oregon Misadventure Blogs
      Keep in touch and definitely let us know when you make the big leap and purchase your next RV!
      (And thanks for backing me up about our TEENY TINY fridge!)

      Reply
  112. Jeff Becker

    Have you done a review on the Airstream Class B Interstate 3500 Grand Tour?
    It’s their very latest model. We left Winnebago Class C in the dust for this new
    Airstream.
    I don’t like to read my own reviews, but I sure would like to know what you think.
    Thanks, and Keep On RV’n!
    Jeff

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      We haven’t done a proper review on the airstream. We did get a few pictures of one while we were in Pomona last October, but it was too hectic to get in a real review. If I can find one on a lot somewhere, we’ll do it.
      I’ll have to go back and look at those pictures. Maybe there’s enough there that I could draw a few conclusions from the few snaps we got.

      Reply
  113. Raymundo Lombera

    I am from mexico city, I practice trihatlon at all distances including Ironman, so I need an Van RV like your. let me know if you can get me one.

    Bestr Regards

    Raymundo Lombera

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Raymundo! It’s nice to have some readers from south of the border. Unfortunately, our RV is a one-of-a-kind since I remodeled it.
      The newer Sprinter-based RVs will require Ultra Low Sulfur diesel, which I understand is harder to get in Mexico. (Haven’t tried, that’s just what I hear.)
      Your best bet would be to look through online ads for a “Forest River MB Cruiser”. That will have the same basic floorplan.
      There were not many of them made, but they do show up for sale from time to time.

      Reply
  114. Dan Beaton

    We have a 2004 Roadtrek and are planning a trip to the Yukon this summer. We have heard horror stories about rock damage, and suggestions to protect headlights and the windshield with screens. (Not to mention carrying a second spare.)

    Your thoughts?
    Thanks,
    Dan

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi Dan – I’m not really an expert on Yukon travel, but here are a couple thoughts. I would definitely look into getting some “Clear Bra” like material for the headlights. That should at least protect those. Not sure what to do about the windshield. If your Roadtrek is a Sprinter-based one, be sure to bring all the fluids – motor oil, antifreeze, etc. The Sprinters call for very specific fluids which might not be available when you’re so remote.

      Reply
  115. Paul Dunsby

    Hi James. I saw your video on the tank waste flush systems and I was wondering if you are open to an idea I have.I have installed a rinse system that I came up with and have used for the last four years and works perfect.But I would like to get your feed back on it.I don’t know how to go about giving the details to you without you not seeing it.Would you be interested in more info?

    Reply
  116. Francis

    Hi James… Have you ever heard of anyone using a fish tank heater to prevent the RV lines from freezing? These heaters are submersible with its own thermostat built in. You just have to set it once, forget about it until it dies (hopefully years later)… i would like to hear your thoughts on this…

    Francis

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi Francis – I used to keep fish. (Used to work in an aquarium shop a long time ago.) I don’t think I’d use the aquarium heaters for waste tank heating. First off – I don’t know what temperature range their thermostats can hold, but the ones I used kept things in the 60-90 degree range. You only need to keep a waste tank a few degrees above freezing to keep things moving. The other problem is that the only ones I know about run on 120v AC. I don’t know of any that work on 12v DC. So you couldn’t easily use an aquarium heater while on the road or boondocking.
      They make tank and pipe heaters that are specifically meant for RV use that don’t have these problems. I installed some from Ultraheat when I remodeled Das Bus. All things considered, they weren’t that expensive, and they’re meant for RV use. We haven’t had any problems with them at all.

      Reply
      1. Mark H

        Wish I could see how/where you installed pipe heaters. Most interested in how electricals were attached. Thanks.

      2. James - Post author

        I didn’t take pictures of that. Sorry. But basically, I used an empty slot in the 12 volt fuse panel, and I ran wires through an existing opening down through the floor. To make the connections underneath the RV, I used some of those push-to-connect waterproof connectors (like these). I did make sure to tie up the wires neatly so they wouldn’t snag on anything, and I put them in some flexible wire loom (like this stuff). The heat pads on the tanks and piping are just adhesive based – and it’s been a couple years and tough winters and I haven’t seen any signs of de-lamination. It was a lot of time on my back underneath the RV, but overall I’d give the project a 6 out of 10 for difficulty.

  117. Van Williams

    Just stumbled onto your blog. Similar to what I’m doing.
    Looked at your conversion and I have to say ‘Great Work’! Found some inspiration for my own project.
    I’ll put a link up to your site, if you have any objections, you know how to reach me.
    Keep on RVing!

    Reply
  118. Wayne

    Hi James, My wife and I just purchased our first RV- a 2001 Chinook Concourse 4×4 with only 8000 miles. It’s in great condition but there is so much to learn about the use and care of an RV. Stumbled upon one of your You Tube vids (Ice Cubes in Black Water Tank) while trying to increase my RV IQ. Loved it and immediately had to check out your web site. Loved that even more! The approach you and Stef have to RVing is very much how we hope to do it.
    We both will be spending a lot of time on your site learning from your experiences. Keep up the good work. Thanks

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Welcome aboard Wayne! Glad you found us and like the site. With a Chinook 4×4, you’ll be getting off the beaten path for sure. Stay active – Stay fit – and hopefully we’ll see you on the road many years into the future. Cheers!

      Reply
  119. Josh Freeling

    Hi Guys. Have been looking at your site the past few months and really enjoy it! You are doing a great job! This morning I found your video about ice cubes in the black tank on the GR8 Lakes Camper site. It got me thinking that lots of your info would be helpful to my network of Classic RV owners and enthusiasts at ClassicRV.net and some of my info could be valuable to your peeps. Wondering if I could share some of your videos and link to some of your articles? Thanks, Josh.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Share away Josh! That’s why we put it out there. Looking forward to welcoming some new readers from Classic RV!

      Reply
  120. cees beers

    Hi i found the pleausre rv expensive
    As owner of a extended sprinter 316 cdi , i bought a amerocan rv since after touring and rv for years with the sprinter from bike race to bike race simply to small
    And fot the price 21. 000 $ beats evry other option
    Now we have a 30 foot resl rv
    And always a bed to sleep, and not haasle with befs
    Well love your reveiws tough.
    And love traveling usa.
    Greetings from another cylist

    Reply
  121. Jesse

    Hi James,

    With all your research into RV waste management, have you looked into composting toilets?

    Keep up the great work.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi Jesse – No, I haven’t looked into composting toilets, and the simple reason is, I don’t believe they would work for us. We’re not full timers. We take quite a few shorter duration, long weekend type trips. I just don’t see waste I deposit on a Sunday morning being “compost” by Sunday evening when I put the RV away. It would be pretty much… well… just what I put in. The holding tank system meets our needs better. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
      1. Jesse

        I’m voting for a video addressing composting toilets. I’m sure Stef would love that. I had not thought about how long one should be using a composting toilet for it to be effective. Thanks for the response.

      2. James - Post author

        Hi James – it’s future James!
        Actually, in a few months you do look into them more, and you figure out how to make one work.
        You get one in your new Travato!
        Have fun getting there!
        Future James

  122. McKay Sleight

    I see that you have a really nice workbench with and end vice and face vice. Do you do woodworking? I have a 1000 ft shop that I spend 6 days a week in. Thanks for the vids.
    I do have one question for winter here in the Wasatch. Do I dare keep water in the tank for camping during nov. or should I just carry 5 gal. tanks in the heated toy hauler?

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Good eye. I made that bench out of hickory and purpleheart, and she’s a beast at over 400 pounds. I’ve been woodworking for 15 years or so – but I wish I could spend 6 days a week doing it like you!
      As far as water: I would count on it freezing here in November. I would be winterizing by then, so I wouldn’t leave water in it for storage. If you’re actively using it, then if your tank is inside, you’d probably be OK. But you probably don’t keep it heated when you’re towing it. So, to be completely safe, I would go the 5 gallon jug route, with some antifreeze in the grey and black tanks.
      Glad you like the videos. Cheers!

      Reply
  123. Tom

    Hi James and Stef –

    Love reading through the site; lots of shared attitudes and interests.

    We have a 23′ Airstream but am thinking about a Class B. The challenge: getting what we have on the roof of the tow vehicle into the Sprinter.

    We’d adjust a few things, like swapping the sea kayaks for 2 folding kayaks (which each fit into a big duffel bag) and (sadly) going from our mountain bikes to folding bikes. Wondering if you’ve seen designs that would let us stow all of this stuff inside the van.

    Looks like the Great West Legend might do it, after sliding the couch/bed forward, or maybe the Interstate EXT or Advanced RV. Am also guessing that the twin bed Unity might pull it off too, but like the smaller footprint of the “true” Class B.

    Finally, have you seen any Class B with a propane oven?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Advanced RV (and possibly Great West) should have room for bikes behind the sofa inside the rear doors. I’ve seen it on the Advanced; it works for bikes – non folding ones even. Twin bed Unity would be tough. I haven’t figured out how to make that one work. On the Unity Island Bed, I was able to get a bike in beside the bed. You’d have to get up from the foot of the bed, but it did work – again, with a non folding bike.

      Propane oven is something I have not seen on a class B here in the US. Not even in a B+. We did see some in Italy though…

      Reply
  124. David Lee

    Hi, Stef and James,

    I really enjoyed your presentation at the Dallas RV Show today. It’s too bad there’s not that many people interested in the fitness aspect of the RV lifestyle, but I hope you guys are able to make an impact. I told my wife about the resistance bands you were touting, and she’s really interested in them, so I’m sure we’ll be ordering a set through your website. Thanks for the tip of using a fork mount to secure the bike in the coach. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that. I guess I’ll chalk it up to having a senior moment.

    Thanks again!

    David Lee
    Fort Worth, TX

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hey David – Glad we got the chance to connect. I always tell Stef, if we reach one in a hundred RVers and can get them to pay more attention to their fitness, then we’re doing something right. It’s a tough sell, but hopefully, that will change in time. And the resistance bands are the bomb. You (and you wife) will love them for the RV. Next time we’re down this way, I’ll have to hit you up to go ride. Thanks again for coming!

      Reply
      1. David Lee

        James, you betcha on a ride. The Fort Worth RV show is usually in the middle of January. Maybe you and Stef can do a seminar there. One of the reasons Sherry and I moved here is for the marvelous trail system. The Trinity Trail (it’s 90% paved) weaves it’s way throughout Fort Worth, with different paths branching off in several directions for a total of around 50 miles. You’d get in a great workout. Just shoot me an email.

      2. James - Post author

        I don’t know when we’ll get back this way, but paved bike trails will definitely have Ft. Worth on our list. Cheers!

  125. Lynn

    Hello James and Stef,
    Love your blog. We are new to the RV world, doing research, many of our must haves follow the ones you have described. We were initially drawn to Class B sprinters, but the price tag is high given that RVing is not the only type of travel we plan to do, also we are concerned with being stuck at camp once we set up. Now considering a towable. Have you seen the Alto Safari Condo models? They look very cool, probably not suitable for winter, but we live in California. If not, what small towable would you recommend? Thanks, Lynn

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hi Lynn – Stef and I are NEVER stuck at camp. Even at full service campsites, we rarely hook up anything except maybe electricity – and then only when we’re in for a while. We consider it one of the advantages of the small RV. If you had a towable, and you wanted to explore the town, you’d need to transfer things (camera, jackets, water, etc.) from the RV to the truck, and then hope you didn’t forget anything. In the class B, you’ve got EVERYTHING with you, all the time. I suppose it might be a problem at a first-come first-served campsite, but we could just leave a couple lawn chairs if we were concerned about keeping our claim.

      But, we get it… Class Bs are expensive. You can get a lot for your money with a towable. Besides the video we did where we picked a small travel trailer, we’ve not shopped towables much. The Alto Safari units look interesting – but I’ve never seen one in person so I can’t really comment. You’ve got me kind of curious about what you’ll wind up with though. Come back and let us know!

      Reply
      1. Lynn

        Thanks for your reply, turned my husband back to the Class B Sprinter, where we started! We want separate sleeping and eating areas, storage, good galley, will live with wet bath. Layout in Pleasure Way Plateau FL unit seems best for us. Like the openness behind the driver seat that allows for full table access. Great over the shoulder viewing for the driver too. Will need to investigate further on tech specs, solar, all season? etc but they seem to have good quality. Any thoughts? Will download your eval sheet to use when we visit. May rent first, would buy in 2015. Lynn

      2. James - Post author

        The Plateau FL seems like a good match for what you describe. The bed in the very back will let you continue to use the rest of the coach even while the bed is down, that’s a plus. The pictures make it seem very open, which is tough to do in a B. Word on PleasureWay quality is good. I’ve seen a couple at shows, but have not done an in-depth review of one. They have a dealer in Las Vegas that isn’t too far away. Might be a road trip in our future…

  126. Andrew

    hi, I watched one of your videos regarding draining and flushing out / cleaning out the rv blackwater tank… the comparison between the sewer master and the 3″ stinky slinky.

    I have a couple of comments…

    You ROCK! is the first one. WOW, who would have thought that all of that junk got left behind. And, when you add that to a cold northern Canadian climate where your poor old rv sits outside in -40c weather… wow! It’s no surprise that sensors stop working.

    Second… really??? you have 120 psi water pressure! Dude, that’s not good!
    It should be like 16… two digits long, not three!! (well, maybe that’s just us in northern Canada)

    Third… the only thing I would have like to have seen different is that you use big globs of toilet paper. I know when I wipe, I don’t use a 1/2″ wide piece of tissue… and I would have to guess my wifey doesn’t either. I would think that large globs of not broken down tissue would cause more grief in draining and cleaning.

    Anyhow, thank you for the education… really was an eye opener.

    Andrew

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Thanks Andrew! If you check out the second video in the series, I do change the toilet paper in the setup and use more wads. And the funny thing about my water pressure… I use a regulator in the second video, and then had people tell me I shouldn’t have used a regulator!

      Anyway. Thanks for looking. And yeah… If my tanks were going to freeze up for a long winter, I would certainly want them cleaned out.

      Cheers!

      Reply
      1. Gary

        Just watched the second video and I do have a few comments. I used the sewer solution in our last three month trip and decided I love it. It is good to know that its not the greatest at cleaning up, however I do one thing that you did not show. To flush, I just pick up the discharge hose above the level of the tank, and then all the water then goes back into the tank, and allows me to flush, as many times as I want or until the drain water is clean. I really just got tired of hauling the stinky 3″ hose in and out. Two garden hoses are so much easier. Finally, once home I just use a toilet wand to flush the tank clean. Using a 1″ garden hose on the end of sewer solution hose I run it 50′ away to our sewer cleanout. No dump stations needed. Again, I use it not so much for cleaning, but for convenience, and not needing to take the motorhome to a dump station once we head home. Thanks for such an informative video. It is greatly appreciated.

      2. James - Post author

        Glad you liked the video!
        The Sewer Solution does offer benefits beyond tank cleaning. I didn’t cover those in the video, but it sounds like you’re sold on them.
        It’s all about finding what works for you, and you have.
        Thanks for reading!

  127. Jim Duce

    We bought a 26 foot Springdale last year with the idea of pulling it down into the sunshine when we become Snowbirds this winter. We’re Canadian, eh, from Alberta, As retirement looms the winters become more difficult to tolerate.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can about the RV experience. Found your web site via Youtube. It is very informative and a lot of fun. Especially enjoyed the mysteries of the black tank episode.

    I will keep tuned.

    Jim

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Awesome Jim… Welcome! I have even more excitement planned for the clear black tank. I’m just waiting on something from a manufacturer that will make the dumping easier so I can run the experiment indoors. They said they’re sending it – I’m just waiting now.
      We took Das Bus to Banff a couple years ago and loved it… but that was in the summer. Be sure to shout hello as you’re rolling back and forth through Utah in the spring and fall!

      Reply
  128. Rick Zolla

    Enjoying your vids. Especially interested in your comments on four season RVs as I plan to use mine extensively in Montana.

    Hope you can do an extended review on the E-Trek.

    Cheers,

    Rick

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hey Rick – I’d love to get some “alone time” with an E-Trek, especially after seeing similar concepts on the vehicles at Advanced-RV. But finding an E-Trek on a lot is just about impossible! If I ever find one though, you can bet I’ll be all over it.
      Thanks for reading!
      James

      Reply
  129. Brett Karst

    RVtankdoc…. We are in the final stages of inception and in the next few weeks will be on the road spreading the solution for holding tanks.

    Please call me anytime to discuss the missing step that will completely eradicate the tanks. I will give you a hint we are not using enough PSI. 120 PSI is simply not enough to rid the solids from the tank. Struvites in debris will not leave the tanks without a through cleaning. Next the chemicals are deadly to the water supply. Finally, I have a solution that will liquefy the solids by harnessing a natural source that actually helps the entire sewage system both in RV and the septic system at the RV station.

    In closing I really admire the experiment and would like to demonstrate this for my company. Let me know if you think that it would be okay to borrow some of the footage you shot in the presentation. Other wise I could do the same experiment but since you did this already so well we would like to use it.

    Thank you for your time excellent work here love the demo video.

    Regards,

    Brett Karst President of RVtankdoctor sanitation co.

    Reply
  130. Tom Boles

    Hi guys,

    I just read this and thought of you. Seems to me someone at Winnebago has been reading your site and blog!
    “The Travato is the newest Class B motorhome to join the Winnebago Touring Coach lineup. At 20′ long, Winnebago says the Travato is agile, while still offering a full-feature RV experience. Featuring the Ram ProMaster chassis, the Travato features a floorplan with a rear double bed that is designed to flip up, out of the way to allow for large items like bicycles to be stored inside, while making them easily accessible through the large double doors at the rear of the coach. Other features include swivel cab seats, LED ceiling lights, standard touch-screen navigation, and split dinette.”

    Keep up the good work!

    Tom

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Awesome! Thanks, Tom. I’m looking forward to seeing a Travato in person, but I can’t find one yet.
      I’ve also noticed that Dean, from Leisure Travel Vans is now giving a nod to bicycle storage in some of their newer videos.
      When someone finally offers one of the floorplans with a “garage” – I’ll know we’ve really hit the big time.

      Reply
  131. Beth Robertson

    Hi Stef and James,
    This is Beth from RV Parking. I just wanted to introduce myself – I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and I think it’s fabulous.

    I’m not sure if you’ve checked out our site yet (or our iPad/iPhone Apps) – we welcome any feedback or suggestions you might have.

    Also, we’re working on a photo contest that will be launching in a few weeks – you have tons of great photos, so I’d encourage you to enter. The grand prize is an iPad! I’ll post the details on our FB page as we get closer to the giveaway. Or feel free to email me for more details.

    Thanks and Happy Trails,
    Beth

    Reply
  132. Sherri Albritton

    Have you reviewed the Coach House Platinum II 240 RV? I’d be interested in your thoughts. I’ve looked at several of your video reviews and I’m looking for similar things in an rv….small enough to take to cycling events, a permanent bed, and storage for bikes. Please add this rv to your To Do list to review. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. James - Post author

      Hey Sherri – If I can ever find a Coach House RV in the flesh – you can bet I’ll jump all over it! I’ve looked at them online; their one-piece fiberglass shell really intrigues me, and seems like a very smart way to do things. They have an Island Bed model – the DQ – that might work for us. The critical detail would be if I could work out someplace inside to store the bikes. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
      1. Sandy Jackson

        Hey Stef and James,
        We stumbled upon your site and absolutely love it. We are not looking for bike storage but looking for dependability and right floor plan on a diesel chassis. We are looking at Winnebago View Profile, Leisure Travel Unity Twin Bed, and Coach House Platinum II. We toured the Florida Coach House factory two months ago and they are a quality build. We like the View Profile floor plan and the Coach House Platinum II floor plan. However, there is a considerable difference in cost. We want quality and reliability and are concerned about some of the problems people have written about on various blogs with their Winnebago Views. They have a lot of happy customers but also some very dissatisfied ones leading us to wonder if they have a quality control problem leading to a few too many lemons. Any thoughts? We like the quality of the Leisure Van Unity but it may be a tad cramped. Thanks for your comments.

      2. James - Post author

        I haven’t seen a Coach House in the wild yet, so I can’t comment on those. But the one piece fiberglass shell is a super idea. I hope to see one soon, but since they don’t have a dealer network, that’s easier said than done.
        I’ve seen the Winnebago/Itasca models, but I haven’t done a proper review/climb-through. A review of one of those models is on my to-do list. I think you can probably find satisfied and dissatisfied customers with any brand. I would read the reviews and problems of others, and consider then, but be careful to take a balanced view.
        Now, I DO have experience climbing all over the Leisure Travel Vans models. If you’re concerned that the Leisure plans are too small – which one are you looking at? The Unity Murphy Bed is actually very spacious when you get inside it. If you’re worried about space, that’s the one I would look at first. As far as build quality, I’m a woodworker, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them for build quality.
        Whatever you decide, I think you’ll love the Sprinter chassis as a platform for a small motorhome. Thanks for reading, and come back and let us know what you decide on!

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