The Coachmen Cross Trek – Our Detailed Review


So we’ve been at this RVing thing for a long while, and there are two things that have remained constant for us:

  • We prefer the mobility and agile nature of smaller RVs.
  • We always want to bring along our bikes – so we need indoor cargo space.

 

So whenever we see a new rig that combines these two things (and there aren’t many out there), we get more than a little curious.  That’s exactly what’s going on here with the Coachmen Cross Trek.  When we were at the Florida RV SuperShow recently, we sought this rig out so we could learn more.  You’ll see most of what we learned in this video.

 

I don’t want to simply re-hash what you’ll see in the video, but I do want to give you a few key take-aways about this rig.

Things We’re Glad to See

  1. The bike garage.  Okay, Okay.  We know it’s not JUST for bikes, but that’s what we’d use it for.  We are VERY excited to see a North American manufacturer adopt one of the standard European floor plans with a large garage underneath the bed.  The size of the garage is truly impressive.  For Stef and me with two bikes, the garage is actually about twice as big as we would need.  But we’ll take and appreciate every cubic inch of that storage space.
  2. It’s an all-electric coach.  There’s no generator.  There’s not even an option for one.  Brilliant!  You won’t miss the noise.
  3. The extremely large cargo carrying capacity.  It does you little good to have a garage if you can’t spare the weight to put anything in it.  Not the case here – this rig has over a ton of cargo capacity.  That’s literally more than two thousand pounds.  And according to the stickers, they measured that with full water tanks.  That’s impressive.
  4. Two-inch-thick insulated walls.  One of the hardest things to get right on a van is the insulation.  Building a class C RV gets you around that because you can build the walls out of whatever you like.  The walls in the Cross Trek are two inches thick, fiberglass over composite, and well insulated.  During our filming, the door was wide open most of the time, but even with that, the air conditioner had no trouble keeping up because the heat gain inside was so slow… because of the insulation.
  5. Ducted air!  In a class C, building your own roof means you can build in ductwork.  Distributing the air through ducts is quieter, and leads to more even temperatures throughout the coach.  What’s not to like?
  6. The huge propane tank.  We really dislike filling up with propane.  It seems every time we need to, there’s nobody open.  While this rig does have a permanently installed propane tank, at least it’s enormous.
  7. The price.  The “show price” we saw on the rig was so low, we wondered if it was a mistake.

Things We’d Like to See Improved

  1. The length.  At 24 feet one inch – the Cross Trek is technically shorter than the longest extended Sprinter van.  But honestly, that’s too long for us.  We’ve spent the last five years driving an RV that’s a full three feet shorter than that.  We like being able to fit into parking spaces.  We like the maneuverability, the turning radius, and the lack of dread that comes with a really large vehicle.  We’d like to see it shorter.  We could go with something a bit longer than what we have… but not a whole yard longer.
  2. The width.  The Cross Trek is 91 inches wide.  That’s narrower than a lot of class C RVs, but nowhere near as narrow as a class B.  It’s ten inches wider than our Travato, Lance.  Parking and maneuverability concerns come into play for the width, just as they do with the length.  We’d like to see them put the Cross Trek on a diet to shrink it down to van-width.
  3. The single-pane glass windows.  While the rest of the van is extremely well insulated, all of the windows on the coach are single-pane glass.  We have a lot of experience here, and those windows are extremely thermally inefficient.  If you were to take infrared photos of the coach, you’d see the bulk of the heat escaping this rig right through those windows.  We think the windows are a miss.  Alternatives exist, and we’d like to see them put to use on the Cross Trek.
  4. Lithium option.  We really like where they are headed with this all-electric coach.  It’s soooo close to being perfect in that regard.  They’ve got the high-capacity inverter.  All they need is the high-capacity battery to match. (OK, and a second alternator to charge it…)  We realize not everyone wants that lithium capacity (and the price tag that comes with it).  But for us, once you’ve had a high-capacity, all-electric coach, it’s really tough to even think about going back.
  5. Price/Weight balance.  We realize that a lot of the decisions made in building out the Cross Trek were made with the goals of keeping the weight down, and keeping the cost down. They succeeded fantastically on both accounts.  But some of those decisions telegraph themselves too well into the coach.  I’m thinking of things here like the plastic faucets throughout.  While we understand the intent, overall, they don’t give a good “feel” to the coach.  The plastic commode would be another one here.  All of these things work, and they keep the weight and the cost down, but they’re also things I’d find myself changing out – quickly –  for nicer things if I were in the coach.  Maybe this is just personal preference, but there it is.

We’re excited to see smaller Class C rigs with garages, like the Cross Trek, come on to the market.  We like what that says about the direction of things, and we’re thrilled to have more bike-hauling options for us and the other Cyclists who RV.

I have a LOT more observations and opinions about the Cross Trek.  If you’d like to discuss something, sound off in the comments below.

 



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


    34 thoughts on “The Coachmen Cross Trek – Our Detailed Review

    1. Allen

      So what are the measurements of the garage and garage door opening? James, did you forget to bring a tape measure, or is this a trade secret? Can’t find the answer anywhere. Otherwise, great review as always!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Didn’t bring a tape measure to the RV show! We haven’t done that in a long while.
        Thing is, no matter what I measure – someone always wants a different measurement.
        Sorry!

        Reply
        1. Spyke

          Per Coachmen — “The 20XG storage area has a door that is 40″ wide by 44″ tall (a few inches taller once inside the storage area) and roughly 88″ long. We measure it as 130 cu ft.”

    2. Gerral K David

      We’ve been looking at the Wonder and the Wayfarer since we want to travel with a road tandem inside. Since you have done a full review on Wonder and CrossTrek, will you do one on Wayfarer?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We hadn’t planned on doing a review of the Tiffin.
        I’m not saying it will never happen, but it’s not presently on our calendars.

        Reply
      2. Vinh Tran

        Hi guys love your way of doing review, I see that coachmen come out with a new crosstrek 21xg. floor plan Is very interesting. if you guys can do a review on it. I’m thinking of buy it.

        Thank

        Reply
        1. James - Post author

          We went for the floor plan that best met our needs and wants. – It’s all about US, don’t you know? 😉 –
          But if we see the new floor plan out and about, we’ll look into a review!

    3. Dan Morean

      I’m SOO hungry for a Mercedes Sprinter based class B+ or C MH with a large garage, Boldt-like electric and 4 season capability, AND high end fit/finish. I love the garage on this Cross Trek but the fit/finish just aren’t up to standard. Tiffin has the Wayfarer LW with a large garage and nice fit/finish but very little OCC and a sub-standard electrical system. It’s nice to see a couple options but I’m still waiting for a manufacturer to hit a home run.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We’re with you on most of this, but I have to ask… why just a Sprinter?
        This one was built on a 2019 Transit, but the 2020 Transit is much improved. And have you driven one with the EcoBoost? (Go take one for a drive… wow.)
        Don’t get me wrong, we like Sprinters, too. But having driven a gas RV for the past 5 years or so, we like the conveninece.

        Reply
    4. Ken Mcclow

      I saw another review of this coach on a dealer lot which had a 200W solar panel on the roof, so maybe it is an option. I didn’t see a backup camera on this version, but the 21XG appeared to have an aftermarket unit, so I wonder if that is something that has to be added.
      The 21XG had two batteries in slide out trays on each side of the coach, but I think the propane tank was occupying that spot on the drivers side.
      I’m kind of left wanting to smash the versions together to get all the things I want on one coach. I wonder how long the van motor would have to run to charge the batteries versus fankensteining a portable propane generator to keep the AC going more than two hours.
      I wonder with the insulation if the AC needs to run a lot, especially if space was found on the roof for 400-600w of solar.
      I’m so happy to see European style floorplans coming across to the US.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Obviously at the RV show, we didn’t get to tinker with recharge rates and such. I’d expect it to be similar to other traditional RVs while driving. There wasn’t a second alternator or anything.

        We can comment on the AC – with all the insulation, the AC seemed very capable of keeping up with the temperature. The AC was running every time we saw the coach throughout the show. Also – since it was a show – the door was hanging open and about half the windows were open. Even with that, the AC had no problems keeping it comfortable in there. Granted, this wasn’t at the height of summer, but it was in Florida, and we definitely wanted the AC.

        Reply
    5. Neil

      Good review. I road bike but also hike and mountain bike so I occasionally travel some rough roads and even occasionally go off-road, so I’d like to see a bit more ground clearance. Those loose wires underneath are concerning too. But, all in all, I really like it and like it’s price point.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The Ford Transit just doesn’t sit as high up as the Sprinter. (Probably drives better because of that.)
        Anyways, I don’t know what Transit suspension mods are available, but you could check those out. You’d likely have money left over to afford it.

        As to the wires – the only wires I saw hanging were the ones to the tank sensor probes. 5 minutes and a few zip ties would take care of those.

        Reply
    6. Tsippi

      I’ve been waiting for this review! Thanks for doing such a great job.

      Question for you: Since there is already a 3000 watt Xantrex inverter, would switching out to lithium be super complicated? It seems like it wouldn’t have to be. I was thinking I could use the AGMs for a while, then decide if I want to upgrade.

      Coachmen just added a fourth floor plan for the Cross Fit on the Transit. They also have two on the Chevy 4500. The newest Transit-based floor plan has a door at the back and a bed the flips up like on the Travato G. I really like the amount of space I’d have available on a rainy day with the bed up. On the other hand, having more exterior storage makes packing up and getting underway a lot easier. Each of the floor plans has pluses and minuses; it’s good to have options!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Having the inverter already on board would make the switch to lithium easier – particularly if you put the battery in the same place as the existing one.
        But if it were me, I’d wind up changing more than just that. I’d swap the inverter for an inverter/charger. Dump the converter. Add a second alternator.
        And each of those requires cabling changes.
        But none of it is all that hard.
        And yes – options are a good thing!!

        Reply
    7. Scott

      Nice.
      The garage is great (rear door and access from inside would make it even greater).
      I’m curious what Stef thought of the high counter over the fridge. Jennifer didn’t like it one bit and didn’t pay much attention to the rig thereafter.. cooking would be tough.
      I also agree with shrinking the width and length a tad to make it more nimble.
      With the 3way fridge, and propane cooktop, I’m betting the battery power (with the solar upgrade) would be ample for most users. Personally, I’m really fond of “upgradeable” rigs. The “campground queen” option for those who want it, Solar for those who boondock often, and lithium upgrade for the hot weather/power hungry campers.
      Shaving down the size of this rig would make it a contender to replace a B van for me…

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I agree – the 3 way fridge and propane cooktop would reduce electrical demands and make the battery last longer.

        I’ll let Stef answer about the high counter. She didn’t mention much about it during our time in the rig, but history has shown that I’m not very good at predicting what thoughts are inside her head. 😉

        Reply
      2. Stefany

        I understand Jennifer’s misgivings about the high counter as it’s certainly not ideal for cooking. But that right there is another example of the small-space trade-offs. What’s more important? A big fridge or a regular height countertop? For me hands down no question I’ll take a big fridge, and deal with the inconvenience of a high countertop any day. 🙂

        Reply
    8. John Lockhart

      I feel like the Cross Trek has a lot of good ideas, but is built to a price point. If Coachmen would add another series at a slightly higher price point with solar, thermopane, lithium, EcoBoost, etc. they would have a winner in my eyes. That would actually be competition for the Wonder RTB.

      Curved sidewalls add cost, but make for a more aerodynamic rig. A few inches less width and 6-12″ less length and suddenly the maneuverability issues go away. Simple silver paint scheme to be more stealth.

      If my wish list sounds like a morph of a Pleasure-Way and LTV, well…is Coachmen or maybe Russ Garfin listening? I know Pleasure Way is revamping their wide body line for 2021 so we’ll see.

      I’ve been studying the galleries on the Advanced RV website and an idea that George at Humble Road has also put into use may soon be ready for prime time… The induction cooktop fits in a drawer and only comes out for use, leaving you with extra square feet of counter space. I’d rather cook outside with it anyway!

      I apologize in advance to Stef if any of my comments cause another round of mods….

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        All good ideas about the design of the coach. We hope this is a step in the right direction for the industry.

        I can speak about the induction cooktop bit though. We prefer having it just mounted in the countertop. We have no qualms about using it as countertop space if we need it. And not having to store it saves cabinet/drawer space, as well as time taking it out and setting it up every time you want a cup of coffee. The one thing we can’t do with it that way is cook outside. If that’s a deal breaker, then a portable is a good choice.

        Reply
    9. Stan Laskowski

      Hi Stef, I enjoyed your intro to the “Road to wellness”. It is amazing that something written so long ago still has application today. Keep up the good work. Do you guys ever use snail mail?

      Reply
    10. Graham Smith

      While I appreciate their cost cutting efforts here, I am more than a little concerned about the construction quality that could imply. As to “all electric”, that’s a bit absurd when you only have about 1,800Whr of useable battery capacity. An hour of running the AC and you would have most of your capacity and without an easy way to recharge. I appreciate where they are going with this, but it looks to me like they need to up their game to make this any more than a campground queen.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Hi Graham – You have to admit… your views (and ours) on battery capacity are probably skewed a bit higher than most folks! Lol. But we agree with you. Additional battery capacity would make this a more functional coach. Although… it does have the same battery type and capacity as the Revel.

        We didn’t see this being built, and didn’t take it on the road, so I can’t really speak to build quality. Except that we did notice that some of the doors seemed rather well made, and they don’t put wood in their side-walls. So at least there’s that.

        Reply
    11. Chris G

      The build quality seemed very cheap. Any impressions on that? How are the walls and roof framed? Thank you.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We’d have needed to take a factory tour or made more in-depth investigations to answer that properly. Sorry!

        Reply
    12. Matthias Gemeinder

      We have learned over the years, that 2 separate beds mounted longitudinally in the coach are better, as you don’t have to crawl above each other if you need to go to the bathroom at night. That would of course increase the length of the coach, but makes it so much more comfortable. We also prefer for the garage one side door to the right and the other door to be on the backside of the van. It makes reaching into the garage so much easier than with 2 side doors. Rest of the comments I agree with James. Wonderful review, as always, thanks so much! Matt

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Good point about the orientation of the beds. We imagine there would be some discussion about who has to climb, and who gets climbed over. Lol.

        We wondered about a door on the back as well. It would make it a lot easier to get in the garage if you were in a parking space between two other vehicles.

        Reply
    13. Will

      I agree with James’ analysis. Close, but still a miss. It’s an odd mix of cutting edge and old technology. It’s all electric, but without a significant solar panel presence, so you’ll be tethered to a RV park. Bike riders are boondockers. Why not make this rig a bit more boondock friendly? How about a composting toilet option? Dual pane windows? And get rid of the outdoor TV option, which is an assault on the neighbors and the environment.

      Reply
    14. Rich Ambrose

      We completely agree with all of your points, especially the things you’d like to see improved. We love our lithium Travato and wouldn’t want to give the best parts of it up, including the large battery capacity and the compact size. I could go a little longer – we have to carry our bikes outside, so it is longer with the bike rack anyway – and maybe a little wider, but not too much or we’d lose too much of the compactness we value so much. But I love to see how the RVs with bike garages are evolving – we are getting closer to the ideal!

      Reply
    15. Ted

      One modification I think Coachmen should consider is putting in a large access door to the garage directly below the bed (or just make that entire panel easy to remove). You’d lose the shelving in the garage, but i can see some folks wanting to use that space for dog kennels.

      I think Coachmen experimented with a different layout I saw in the California RVIA show. That one had a rear door giving access to store bikes or kayaks between twin rear beds (kind of like the Airstream Basecamp). I haven’t seen that layout show up anywhere else, so they may have given up on that concept. .

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I thought of access to the garage as well – for Mel the Cat. I figured I could just cut a hole in there or something like that.
        They do have additional floor plans of the Cross Trek available. We just reviewed the one we liked the best. 🙂

        Reply
    16. Bryon Richard Smith

      Coachmen needs to make the CrossTrek 4 season capable. They also need to offer it with the 3.5L Ecoboost engine and the AWD. For full-time living, the CrossTrek also needs roof top solar and more battery capacity.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The Cross Trek is already very close to 4 season capable. I could trick it out for cold weather camping in a week.
        AWD on the Transit is only available for MY 2020 and beyond. I don’t speak for Coachmen, but I would bet that they are considering offering AWD as an option.
        Solar is already an option.

        Reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Comment moderation is in use. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear once we have had the chance to review it.