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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.