Roadtrek RS-Adventurous Class B motorhome
Roadtrek RS-Adventurous Class B motorhome. Click image to enlarge

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Review and photos by Howard Elmer

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Roadtrek RS-Adventurous Class B motorhome

Based on the Dodge Sprinter 2500, this is the largest Class B motorhome that Roadtrek currently builds. While this is now the second generation model to be sold in North America, it’s important to remember that this van is the staple of the European parcel and vocational market, and has been for at least the past twenty years. In fact, the Sprinter is the top selling cargo and passenger van built as a Mercedes-Benz in Europe.

This is a three-quarter-ton platform powered by a Mercedes-Benz 3.0-litre diesel engine pushing power to the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission. This diesel makes 154 horsepower and has a peak torque rating of 280 lb-ft and comes with a new aluminum crankcase, a balance shaft and two overhead camshafts per cylinder bank. Dodge says this smooths out vibration, and I’d agree with them. Also part of this new diesel powertrain is a diesel particulate filter that makes it compliant with new Canadian environmental regulations. Fuel economy is said to easily top 11.8 L/100 km (24 mpg Imperial).

One of the best things about using the Sprinter as a base for this motorhome is that with its mega-roof option and large doors (meant to accept full pallets), the Roadtrek can concentrate on the interior decor and systems with no need to raise the roof or lower the floor. What this means from an engineering standpoint is that all the chassis components, suspension parts, running gear and powertrain were designed and tested to work best within the shell that the builder designed. No body changes means this best handling package remains in place. And this point is the one that I want to stress as the RV’s handling was well demonstrated.

Roadtrek RS-Adventurous Class B motorhome
Roadtrek RS-Adventurous Class B motorhome. Click image to enlarge

The Sprinter is a tall vehicle, but with a low centre of gravity and a long wheelbase it held to its own lane despite the buffeting of 60 km/h crosswinds. This feeling of solid control was enhanced by a new standard rack-and-pinion power steering setup that also includes a height and tilt-adjustable wheel. In addition to the steering being power assisted it is also speed-sensitive and applies a variable-ratio response to steering input; the key benefit here comes during parking and tight manoeuvring, but on the highway I could just hold the wheel and even though the unit rocked hard with the force of the wind, it never wandered.

The layout of the cockpit is similar to any pickup truck’s with the added benefits of a very large windshield, a blunt nose that drops out of sight, excellent heated mirrors and a short shift lever that is mounted almost at the driver’s right knee. It slides in and out of gear seamlessly and it can be shifted manually by the driver with a flick of the lever- right or left. Working with the engine braking, this feature is particularly handy on long downhill grades holding a steady speed and saving the brakes, which are discs all around.

Many of the impressions I picked up while driving the RS-Adventurous were processed with the idea that RVers who would be interested in a unit like this will do a lot of driving. Frankly, that is what this unit is best for, as opposed to spending weeks at a time parked. I found that along with its easy road manners, I loved the Sprinter for its easily-negotiated square body. I’d take this unit down through Manhattan or up through old Montreal without a second thought. I felt completely comfortable behind the wheel. In fact, many people who are drawn to a vehicle like this have professions and hobbies that require towing a trailer. For them the Sprinter will also tow up to 5,000 lb, and it can be ordered with the hitch and electrical couplings right from the factory.

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