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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.
Thank you for the review. It’s greatly appreciated. You should do a revisit RV since they did a couple updates. They announced an new floor plan (20CB) with very close length and width specs compared to the Ekko .
I am looking at the 21XG model with 380 Watt’s of Solar and the 800 AMP hour (not sure how many usable watt’s as of this writing) option. The storage space is insane in this RV. I am curious of the build quality in the transit version compared to other Class C’s. Especially for the price point they are asking.
Do you know if the hitch is replaceable for a larger 5000lb hitch? I’m looking to take a dirt bike with me carried behind on a motorcyle carrier.
You’d have to check the weights on the door label and then take the vehicle to get it weighed to see if a 5000 lb hitch was feasible or not.
I am four months fulltime in my 2021 XG. This vehicle has been reliable and very economical, considering how I have it loaded with the items to support my business of itinerant firearms instructor. The Coachmen appointments have been adequate to the task as well. So far, very good!
I revisited the Crosstrek 20xg. The 2021 models have an oopen garage with the electric bed (up/down), leaving the garage area open to the interior.
That design is a big “No” for me. I don’t want my gear out in the open to my living quarters. And I don’t want to rely on an electric bed. If that is what I was seeking I would go with a true Class B setup.
Coachman lost me on that design change.
Yeah, I haven’t seen the new electric bed and open garage, but I didn’t dig the idea when I heard about it.
For us, it would be about keeping the cat out of there.
Seems I’m not alone.
Has anyone heard what the weight limit is on the electric bed?
800 Lbs. You Can See and Hear What The Coachmen CrossTrail Mgr saying so at thee 21:00 Minute Mark. I Personally Love it More Than The EKKO who has NOT Real Closets To Speak of, Especially in the Galley and Head/Shower,
And for the Price Just Around or Below 100K, I could put in another $35K and Still Out Perform For A Much Better Off-Roading or Overlanding VehicleThan the EKKO Provides… PLUS SAVE Some Money Too… $30K to $50KK As Well.
I bought the 2022 20XG. The up & down bed and garage open to the interior is just what sold me on this model. I can run the bed up to load up to 6+ bikes and then lower and install ladder to sleep. If it’s raining when I arrive at destination, I can put bed up and work on bikes from inside where it’s nice & dry. And in economy mode I can get 15 mpg! 6 seat belts and 6 bikes mean a lot of folks get go out and play and have a bathroom everywhere they go.
Single traveler here. The Crosstrek 20xg meets 85% of my wish list. I am thinking I spend an additional $25k in upgrades/mods, and I have a near perfect RV. And my base cost is half the price of a Winnebago Ekko.
– solar lithium upgrades
– thermal window replacements
– upgraded bath fixtures
– a few other tweaks
Is my thinking wrong?
The lithium upgrade will be more of a challenge than just dropping in batteries. But do-able.
Window replacements may be a challenge. Efficient RV windows are only available in certain sizes. I don’t know if efficient windows are available in the same size as the ones in the Cross Trek.
Bath fixtures are easy.
It’s not a bad approach. The big thing you can’t change is the size. The Cross Trek was a bit too big for us.
I’d suggest talking to dealers before getting final prices on any rig. Remember, the S in MSRP stands for “suggested”.
We’re first timer and are renting a 2021 21XG for almost a week in April to try out the brand. The 20XG is more likely a fit for us but there are none available to rent anywhere in our vicinity (Southern CA). I saw another review of this model that really slammed the cheap finishes and cost cutting measures and took it out of contention for their needs. What are your thoughts on this?
Also, a BIG issue for us is bed size and our wish list includes a real queen bed or two twins and indoor storage for bikes. We love the Wonder LTV RTB but chances of getting one within the next 18 months are so slim we’re looking elsewhere for now. Any other recommendations for something not more expensive than the Wonder? We loved your Ekko but it’s just too much money unless you know something we don’t about the price.
There’s no doubt that the Cross Trek is built to meet a different price standard than some other RVs. Our opinion on that was (and remains), that for the price, it was reasonable. I don’t particularly care for plastic sinks, for example, but in an inexpensive rig, I could easily swap out the faucet myself. It isn’t hard.
I rather like this approach: Build an inexpensive rig, and let me change the things on it that are inexpensive that bother me. The other approach would be to put the best of everything in it – but then I’ve bought a $300 TV that I don’t care about and will never use. At least with the cheaper rig, I have the option to spend the money where it matters to me. But that’s just my way of thinking about it.
As far as the EKKO – I’d really recommend checking with your local Winnebago dealer on pricing before you write it off just based on the MSRP on the web site.
James is exactly right. The Cross Trek is an entry level RV which is priced and equipped accordingly. And as mentioned, if your not adverse to doing mods, you could easily correct anything you don’t like. Concerning pricing, we looked at a new 2021 21xg at Lazyboys RV in Mesa, AZ that included AWD and lithium. The dealer was only asking $92K. An online search shows the base model is available at Texas RV for $77K. The EKKO can’t compete against those prices, but it is also not an entry level rig. Lastly, while a few Cross Treks are at dealers, good luck finding a B or B-plus Winnie in stock.
Hi I always enjoy your reviews. They are informative and entertaining. Could you explain what you would do to the cross trek to trick it out for 4 season use? Thanks
I’d really have to get to know the rig a bit better to give detailed advice, but briefly:
Beef up heating pads on all underside plumbing and tanks. But if the fresh tank is underneath (I don’t remember offhand), I’d pass and look at another rig.
Get insulated window coverings.
Look for and relocate any fresh water plumbing that’s outside the coach.
does the cross trek come with a spare tire,20xg…21xg…22xg..?
If it does, it was not mounted in it’s typical location underneath on the models we saw.
Perhaps an owner will chime in here if I’m incorrect.
What make and model that is 3 feet shorter do or did you own?
James, did you measure the height of the storage area in the back? Like you, I am 5’10” and need about 37″ in height to mount my bikes with front wheel off without lowering the saddles. LMK if you have any info on this. Cheers, Paul
Didn’t have a tape measure with us at the RV show. I’m 5’10” and Stef is 5’5”, so you’ll have to estimate from there. In my opinion, there’s plenty of room for bikes without changing saddle height.
I want a rig that can be taking to snowboarding trips.
Are there any other similar RVs that you could recommend?
I want something small-ish but not as small as Revel.
Ideally it would have AWD or 4×4, 4 seat belts (but 2 is Ok), good insulation, solar panels with big batteries.
Some of the options I came across so far are:
Winnebago EKKO, Leisure Wonder RTW AWD, Coachman galleria 24A 4×4.
All, however, are twice as expansive as Coachmen crosstrek…
Well, we’re getting the EKKO, so you can imagine what our advice will be.
The Cross Trek will be the least expensive of the options you’ve listed. I’m not aware of any others.
Great review. We just purchased the cross trek 21cg. We arevtryingbto figure out what sheets the Murphy bed takes. Its full size but is angled. Are there special sheets or just full size sheets?
I think most people would just go with full size sheets and try to bungee the extra material or something like that.
RV mattresses come in all sorts of weird sizes and shapes. There are some custom RV sheet makers out there… but I’ve never looked into it.
The bed on a shelf was a deal breaker. Can’t imagine trying to use the restroom at night and crawling over your partner. The lithium battery extends battery usage 3-4 times that of regular battery.
If you cross-breed a Winnebago Travato 59GL with a Winnebago Minnie Winnie 22R you get the Coachmen Cross Trek 22XG; a dynamic and versatile Compact Class C which is an ideal little beginner RV.
Are you going to be reviewing one of those?
No immediate plans to review the 22XG. But if one showed up someplace we were, we wouldn’t rule it out!
Totally new to this – regarding no generator – how much running time for the air conditioner etc will you get from the battery system once you are parked for the night?
There are a lot of variables needed to answer that question. What is the battery capacity? What is the draw of the air conditioner? How hot is it outside? How cold do you have the AC set? How humid is it? What else is running in the coach? All of these things will affect the answer.
Generally speaking, you can divide the watt hours of the battery by the watt draw of the air conditioner, and it will give you a rough idea. They’ve come up with some new battery options for the Cross Trek, so I can;’t’ answer directly. Sorry!
I am looking at getting the 20XG here in Canada. Meets my requirements. But no one, mentions anything about batteries and solar. This unit has no generator. Right? Yet the Coachman manual, states, turn on generator before activating the auto levellers, There is no Generator, there is no slide and no levelers. It’s just a cut and paste of other manuals, contains few technical details.
Any details on Batteries, such as type, AMPS, location and consumption is appreciated. I would likely increase bank and max solar.
Correct – no generator.
I think the batteries are in transition. There were 300-something amp-hours of AGM capacity available before. But I’ve heard (from Coachmen) that they are offering (or are going to be offering) a lithium option in the near future. Even with the same size battery, that would double the effective capacity.
But you’ll want to contact Coachmen for the final specifications.
As of February 2021, I have seen lithium battery as an option with the price tag of $7k or in that area
I take delivery the 9th. Which wireless camera did you go with? I am looking at the Garmin solution.
Looking for AC in the garage if anyone is going to sleep out there. Also, is there a way to open up the doors to the garage from the inside? Screen inserts?
I have heard that in future versions of the Cross Trek, they will be using an adjustable bed. That would mean there was not a fixed wall under the bed, and it might be possible to get the bed high enough to have air travel back there.
I haven’t seen this first hand, but it might accomplish what you’re after.
You could confirm with Coachmen for timing and availability.
I pulled the trigger tonight and will take delivery in two weeks. Just enough time to perform some mods (that toilet has GOT to go!) and make a few shakedown runs before I start my training circuit at the end of January.
I spoke with a Coachmen sales rep, Nate, who confirmed the news about the electric bed. I was also crushed to learn that Coachmen no longer provides ducted air in units under 27′. That was sort of soul crushing but I guess I’ll get over it. (Eventually.)
On the way out is struck me that I just bought a vehicle that didn’t test drive…I put a lot of faith in the positive reviews I found here.
Nate? The same Nate who was with us in our video?
Yup! We talked about you two!
Confirmed that Coachmen is modifying the 20XG with a bed that raises/lowers electrically over the cargo bay. I find this really undesirable…I’ll have a bunch of targetry, a generator, etc. in that bay.
And I wonder how long before that electric lift system fails?
The good news here is that I will get my coach a month earlier! More time to mod and shakedown cruise before I set off on my national circuit.
The crosstrek 20xg would probably be the rv for me if I can find a solution to put a bunk above the dinette. I’ve got two littles but the rv world seems to only cater to kids on vehicles bigger than 24 feet. I want to stay below that!. If the interior cabinet “walls” could hold a mounting bracket. One could keep the bunk (think holding less than 75 lbs)platform in the storage area and bring it out at camp. Anybody seen this solution done in a crosstrek?
Perhaps some current owners will comment?
My family were minutes away from putting a deposit on a Cross Trek a couple weeks ago. We wanted to take one last test drive to make sure everyone could sit comfortably and safe. We had a heck of a time getting my daughters car seat anchored through the metal channel behind the dinette seat but it was doable. We made it about a 1/2 mile away from the dealership before hearing a loud noise. Turns out the awning was half way out and flapping in the wind. We had to stop and the sales person let us know that the motor had burned out and they thought they had is secured with some zip ties. We then tried to get the anchor strap back up the channel only to find it was caught on the metal. We had to remove the fuse box to get to the anchor. Needless to say I was very disappointing in experience. Now my wife is unwilling to move forward with this RV and really any other stating she does not trust the build quality. I agree that the Cross Trek has questionable quality when it comes to the fit and finishes but also know all RVs have issues that need to worked through. Now I am stuck because as much as I would love to invest in something like a Unity LTV with better quality I know we cannot afford it. I mostly wanted to vent as I was pretty excited about getting out there and seeing the country in our new RV. Thanks for listening.
WE FEEL YOUR PAIN!
Awnings are notoriously problematic – more than any other part of an RV, and we wish we could just do without them altogether.
Check out this video we made on how much we hate awnings – it’s hilarious!
We just purchased the Cross Trek 20 XG. Seems that nobody at the dealership or Coachman can tell us how to anchor a car seat as you mentioned. It appears to be just a round hole in the wall!
I am retiring in January to become an itinerant firearms instructor, driving from range to range across the country. My original plan had me purchasing an LTV Wonder RTB and retiring from the .gov in May of 2022. Well, my timeline has moved up to January of 2021 and there’s no way I couldv get a Wonder With the garage and Transit features, I think this vehicle will be a reasonable substitute and certainly allow me to try out my business model. Thank you for this review and informative comments.
Best of luck on this new phase of your life!
This seems like a solid alternative to the LTV – which does have some really long lead times.
Thanks for your through and fun to watch reviews. We’ll be traveling with pets and will need 4-6 hours of battery AC to keep them safe while we take in the sites. We need power capacity of the Travsto L’s but need more storage.
From what I’ve read, current Cross Trek configurations don’t offrt that. Any idea if Coachmen is looking at this or is upgrading the only option?
Coachmen does offer a large lithium battery system in its Galleria Class B line.
So they know how to do it.
Question is – will they bring that system to a Class C rig that is, frankly, more budget minded?
I’d guess not – but I’m not an official spokesman. It’s always something you could add yourself.
Would you guys buy one of these? I can’t find one to physically see here in the Orlando area. But I like what I see in your and others videos. Problem is, nobody has one to sell/buy. My wife wants to get on the road ASAP, but after reading many horror stories about Class B’s and the like, I have cold feet. The 20XG seems to have what I would like in a smaller RV. Until I physically see one, my verdict is out…But I prefer the B+ and the incredible garage in the 20XG…I think!
We’d certainly consider a Cross Trek. Our main concern with it was that it’s just a bit too long and certainly too wide for us. After a decade of rolling in Class B Vans, we’d have a hard time getting used to the extra size. The garage and the size are our two biggest drivers for a new RV. Now if they’d make one that’s the same size as a van… we’d really be talking!
Bob- I’m in Central FL too and just discovered this rig this weekend. Ready to quickly put my 2016 Orion on the market and snatch one up. Were you able to locate any around here? I definitely need an AWD ecoBoost 3.5. Better HP and torque than a Sprinter.
I was thinking about getting an Orion… I do not like the bed in the crosstrek 20xg or the lack of outdoor storage in 21xg… what do you not like about your Orion
we have a 2016 Orion and absolutely love it except for the fridge which needs 12.5 amps of electricity when running on propane or it goes off. We will need to install solar sooner than later as we like to boondock. We would like to be able to charge the house batteries while driving. has anyone on this forum worked this out?
A dealer I’ve been talking to says the 2021 20xg is now being produced (after the Covid shutdown) with AWD and a second 250amp alternator. That, and a garage that will fit 2 road bikes and 2 MTB’s is pretty dang tempting. Almost to the point of dealing with a bigger RV. Any thoughts that would talk me down from pulling a trigger?
For the price, it’s a nice rig.
Since I feel like I can change most anything about the rig that I don’t like (refrigerator, for example), my calculus would be different from yours.
I’ve been waiting patiently for the 2021 AWD version. Finally got a chance to see one in person. I really liked the new Transit chassis, and Coachmen appears to have spec’d it with the 11,000 lb GVWR chassis and the motorhome prep package – so plenty of power, cargo and tow capacity, and—bigger tires! (205/75R16C). Unfortunately, the A/C in the rig I saw was not ducted. Not sure if that was anomalous or the new normal. Hoping that’s not normal!
I hope so too! Ducted AC is the bomb!
does the crossflex utilize a backup camera..?
I just took another look at our raw footage, and the model we looked at did NOT have a backup camera.
It may be an option, but you’d have to ask Coachmen about that.
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!
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.
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.”
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
I put a down payment on one of these last week, so I can perhaps answer some of Ken’s questions. The 20XG comes pre-wired for solar, so if your particularly rig is lacking solar panels, you can add Go Power panels or something similar. The 21XG comes with a backup camera, but for some reason the 20XG does not. I’m researching wireless cameras and will have one installed. There is a bracket under the 20XG for a second battery, so you can either add a second AGM or get two lithiums if you ever upgrade. I’m going to travel around a bit before I decide if/how to upgrade the batteries. I’ve heard Coachmen may move the 20XG’s batteries to a pull out configuration similar to the 21XG’s at some point in the future. That would be better in some ways, but you would lose the two smaller exterior storage areas, which would be a bummer. I’m looking forward to getting my new second home later this week!
Thanks for chiming in with the details!!
I take delivery the 9th. Which wireless camera did you go with? I am looking at the Garmin solution.
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.
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.
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!
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!!
Thank you. Maybe this is because of a difference in the 2021 model (?), but Xantrex says the inverter that comes with the Cross Trek is already an inverter/charger (Freedom SW?), and so that a new one would not be needed if one wanted to go to lithium. Is this correct?
Well, if it is an inverter/charger, and you have access to the control panel to program it properly, then yes, you have what you need to go lithium and charge from shore power.
You’d still likely want a lithium-capable solar charge controller – if you use solar.
And a second alternator that’s got a lithium charge profile available.
But if you’re only going to charge from shore power, then you’re set.
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…
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. 😉
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. 🙂
I see it as a good place to put the coffee maker or toaster oven, not necessarily as prep space.
Ok I’m the odd ball because we aren’t bikers ( bicycles) but we are bikers (motorcycles) and hikers. So we don’t need the outside garage. We have been recently looking at LTV Wonder rear longer and after your review looking at cross trek 21xg. Prefer AWD and need to tow at least 3500. Question is could these models be upgraded to the Volta pure 3 lithium. We are in Houston Texas area and concern if the system on the cross trek would keep it cool all night. Saw a video and cross trek dealer said the AC could be powered continuously for 4 hrs. Not long enough for our heat. The LTV has generator and lithium battery option. But really sounds like you would be using gas generator or propane generator for AC. Would propane vs gas generator be better? I’m always conscious of environment I have a camary hybrid but also practical and maybe lithium battery for this environment wouldn’t be best. Any feedback appreciated. I believe the new Transit besides AWD option can tow 4000lbs.
I can’t see any reason why Volta would not be able to retrofit them – but you’d need to put in a call to Volta to be sure.
If you’re seriously considering generator options, then you’ll want to look at the latest (gasoline) generator we took a look at – here.
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….
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.
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?
Hi Stan! Glad you enjoyed it! Hopefully you were able to take something away that helps you on your own wellness journey. We try to keep everything digital as far as mail: [email protected] We’re on the road so much it’s just easier that way. ❤️
Here’s the Road to Wellness introduction for anyone else interested! https://www.thefitrv.com/fitness-tips/the-road-to-wellness-introduction-to-the-8-stef-sutras/
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.
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.
The build quality seemed very cheap. Any impressions on that? How are the walls and roof framed? Thank you.
We’d have needed to take a factory tour or made more in-depth investigations to answer that properly. Sorry!
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
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.
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.
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!
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. .
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. 🙂
I just drove a 2021 Ford Transit eco boost AWD Crosstrek. It was the smoothest, most quiet, and fastest rv I’ve driven. Much better than a earlier model Ford Transit I drove two years ago. In my opinion , this new Transit is far superior to the Mercedes or Dodge Ram . The Crosstrek now has 4 AGM batteries along with a second alternator. Furthermore, you can always bring a small Honda generator along for longer boon docking. They weigh less than 50lbs and the rear garage has plenty of room to store it. The 20xg, with the raised bed in the back will soon be changed to a “magic “ bed that raises and lowers. I do wish that they had upgraded the rv to “real” faucets and toilet . I also would have liked nicer cabinets along with better fabrics and cushions for the dinette. The stock ones just don’t cut it for lengthy sitting . The driver and passenger seats could also use an upgrade to a more plush seat with better fabric or leather. I suppose that a good upholstery shop could resolve the seating fabric and cushion issues. I may buy it because of the incredible drive ability, size compromise, and the rear garage. It offers so much more than any “B” van with its extra storage, dry bath, and larger living area and yet I still consider it a nimble rv. I just hate campground showers and wet baths , so this and being able to store my expensive bikes inside appeals to me in comparing the two.
Fantastic Comments! And all good points.
We can’t wait to drive one of the new Transits…
If they change the bed out for something that raises and lowers, will the garage go away? Or will it somehow be incorporated into the living space? I kind of like the garage being walled off from the living area.
James, in regard to the magic bed; the garage remains intact. The bed will have the capability to lower down to 28 inches off the floor and of course raise up higher. I also like the idea of having the capability of plugging in a spare portable electric cooler in the garage area to supplement the cabin refrigerator Meanwhile, the new Transit was simply awesome. There were five of us in the rv and not one squeak or rattle going down the road. The engine was very quiet and the suspension supple, not overly soft or firm. I’ve driven all of the vans and this one stands out for power , smoothness, gas mileage, and serviceability. Just for serviceability and maintenance costs , I would never own the Mercedes. There’s simply not that many dealers that service them in our country. They drive nice, but the downside is just too much. In regard to the Transit, I speak without prejudice because I’ve owned nothing but Chevy trucks !
Did they fix that center cupholder thing?
Previously, you couldn’t get up and into the rear of a coach from the driver’s seat without putting the seat all the way back.
Looking forward to driving the new Transit for myself sometime soon.
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.
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.