Roadtrek and RV Direct – Buyer Beware

Roadtrek makes several small, attractive RVs. They are compact and can go places larger RVs may not be able to.

After shopping around for over a year, I finally ordered a Roadtrek 210 Popular from RV Direct. RV Direct advertises heavily on the internet and has relatively low prices when compared to sticker prices at dealerships. I also thought it would be a fun shake-out to pick it up in the midwest and drive it back to Oregon with a friend of mine from England.

When I picked the Roadtrek up at the Elkhart IN facility, I discovered that it was missing the generator I had ordered. RV Direct and Roadtrek argued about which was responsible, and neither accepted fault. I asked to have the unit returned to the factory, the generator installed and the unit shipped back to me in Oregon. RV Direct refused to do this – they would only pay for an after-market generator and would not pay to ship it back to Oregon.

After returning home and hiring a lawyer, RV Direct agreed to have the generator installed after-market and shipped back to Oregon.

When buying an RV, be aware of the following potential problems:

1) If you special order a vehicle, the contract may relieve them of any obligation to take it back – it is yours regardless.
2) If an item does not specifically say “factory installed”, the vendor has the option of installing it after market. Make sure your contract specifies “factory installed” for all features you want installed at the factory.
3) If you get plates for it, it is considered “used”. It you discover that the vehicle you get is not what you ordered, they are not obligated to take it back. If they do take it back, they may give you a much lower price that they charged, even if you have not taken delivery.
4) If you have it delivered, very carefully go over the vehicle before accepting delivery. The storage drawer on my unit was badly bent and slid open while driving. The factory refused to pay for the repair because it had not been noted on delivery.

To avoid these problems:
1) Have all contracts reviewed by your lawyer.
2) Don’t get plates for a vehicle until you have personally inspected and approved it.
3) Make sure that all expectations are specifically spelled out in the sales contract.
4) Avoid buying big-ticket items through the internet – problems are much harder to resolve from a distance.

The Roadtrek is a nice (though in some respects flimsy) vehicle. Poor customer service from both factory and dealership also made it an expensive, unpleasant learning experience.

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  • Bob Jones December 17, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I agree completely. I bought a Roadtrek this year and it came with a number of non functioning parts and many fit and finish issues. Dealing with Roadtrek on warranty issues is worst than having teeth pulled. They nickle and dime you at every turn and their authorized service dealers force you to pay administration fees on your warranty work. Do not buy from Roadtrek!!!!!!!!

    • Ken Richardson April 3, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      I have a fully loaded 2008, 210 versatile also. Put on10 K miles with no problems. It takes an engineer back ground to understand all the functions available. The electrical system is complex as well as the water, duel tanks and heaters. The generator, converters and inverters with two sets of batteries with different function is a marvel. Much to learn, then I can enjoy it.
      Had a troubling scare my last trip when I was accelerating from 5 M P H to 60 M P I had very annoying grinding sound or rubbing noise under the center of the vehicle. After the best examination possible at that time we found nothing visible. No shops open to put it on a lift so I keep driving. The noise was bad when starting out but lessened as I let up on the gas. After 20 more miles at 65 M P H the noise went away and I drove 400 miles home. I still can’t find anything that would cause this to happen. Maybe Carrier bearing or U-joints. I’m looking for suggestions and a fix. Ken

  • Edmund McGrath November 2, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Road trek salesman at the Pomona show Ken Mitchell some suppose it head of whatchamacallit division for this company met with me at the show and show me a versatile 170. He opened the cabinets and the handle broke off he tried to turn on the air conditioner wouldn’t turn on. He turned on the generator and it had a grinding sound and he stated “whoops must be a problem there”. He went out to get something and left me sitting in the versatile 170 with the doors locked. I could not get out of the vehicle as the electric door openers did not work. I had to bang on the Windows for 10 minutes and 110° heat to get somebody to finally respond. They had actually break one of the windows to get me out. This was a 2017 model???

  • Ron March 11, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    I bought an ’05 RT190P thru RVDirect, it was truly amazing. Like others, we went to Elkhart for pickup. The walk thru was complete and appreciated. I kept it twelve years…..never had a problem. As for the generator missing – if it was in the contract……then again maybe not! I am sure the quality of build has changed today, like most things, you really have to pay attention to everything.

  • Craig September 14, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    I purchased a 2017 SS Agile which I picked up in April and I have had multiple problems. The coach electrical system often shuts off when driving causing the refrigerator to defrost all over the place. In my last 3 hour drive it shut off 4 times which I had to pull to the side of the road and reset the ecotrek. This is not the quality I was hoping for. Now rather than enjoying traveling I am having to troubleshoot this vehicle and stay close to my dealer for servicing. Also one of the tank valves are stuck in the open position and waiting on a part for that. The AC stopped working soon after I picked it up while I was in 100 degree weather. There were many fit and finish issues when I picked it up (marks in the wood, damaged edges of cabinets). This was a brand new unit which had taken twice as long to deliver than was estimated. Yesterday my inverter started making a new vibration noise. I regret my decision to purchase this vehicle and I would not recommend buying one to anyone. On the positive side I do like the layout and the chassis is great. I feel as though my vehicle was rushed through the production process. It was six months of waiting and only few weeks of building it. There needs to be a focus on quality. I am unsure what my next steps will be for this vehicle. I am very disappointed.


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