Meet The Trek: Boldly Going Where No RV Has Gone Before

Dec 2, 2014

\ˈtrek\
noun: a long journey for pleasure and adventure
verb: to migrate or journey with one’s belongings; travel constantly from place to place; lead a nomadic life

As many of you may have heard, we’ve been keeping the details of our next RV a secret for a while now – an excruciating 3 months, to be exact! When we posted on our blog in July that we were selling our Airstream and looking for a different RV, we never anticipated over 10,000 people viewing that article in just a couple of days!

At that time, we didn’t have a clue what kind of RV we’d end up in next. We had tossed around vague ideas, like buying a smaller used motorhome and sprucing it up a bit. Before we got too far into that process, we were sidetracked by a few unexpected emails we received from RV manufacturers, containing invitations to come tour their factories and headquarters.

A couple new models of motorhomes that we viewed came very close to being our new home (more details on those in a future blog), but one in particular really piqued our interest – and quite surprisingly, too, as it hadn’t even been built yet!

First Contact

We talked to the manufacturer in question by phone a bit first, and they insisted that the prototype of this proposed RV was something we’d really have to see in person to get the full effect. We were willing to give them the benefit of the doubt – even without anything more than a verbal description to go on – and drove 6 hours to Decatur, Indiana to visit Allied Recreation Group, parent company of Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler, Monaco, American Coach, and retired brands Safari and Beaver.

At the time, “the full effect” was a rough mockup of an RV interior, built out of plywood in the middle of a warehouse. It looked and felt more like a kids’ playhouse than an RV, and we had no idea what the exterior would look like. Immediately in love with the concept they showed us for the interior and excited about the opportunity to contribute a little in the development of this and future RVs, we decided to go for it – so we’ll be leasing the Trek for the next year. Now that we’ve finally seen it in person after three long months of waiting, our instincts were proven correct: this is one heck of a cool RV!

The Original Series

Photo courtesy of http://www.usedrvs4sale.co/

2003 Safari Trek – photo courtesy of http://www.usedrvs4sale.co/

The Trek was originally produced under the Safari brand in 1991 and has had many loyal fans over the years, thanks to its smaller size, features designed for active and outdoorsy RVers, and an adventure-seeking look and feel. It was sadly discontinued in 2008, with the Trek name later acquired by ARG, along with the Safari brand.

One of the most distinguishing features of the original Trek was a bed that lowered from the ceiling in the front living area of the coach, creating a combined living room/bedroom without the use of a pull-out sofa sleeper. Not needing a dedicated bedroom in the rear, the Trek could stay under 30′ long and still have the luxury of a queen size bed with a real mattress. Those of us who live in an RV full-time or for extended periods know how quickly a pull-out sofa can become a literal pain in the neck (and back, and shoulders, and hips..)!

One drawback of this layout is that it limited the living space’s usability when the bed was lowered (only problematic if one person wants to go to bed and the other stays awake) and there wasn’t a good place for guests or kids to sleep. We like to have friends and family come visit us, and occasionally they spend the night or several in our RV, so the older layout is less appealing to us at this time.

safari-trek-bed

The powered bed in the original Trek

Today, at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s national trade show in Louisville, Kentucky, we’re so excited to be involved in the reboot of the Trek! We believe this updated model, while quite a bit different than the original Treks, will be a worthy successor. We’re so sure of it, in fact, that we’ll be spending the entire next year taking some pretty big adventures in one – from Florida to Alaska and everywhere in between – reporting our experiences and providing feedback to ARG for future designs. We’ll also be happy to show it off to anyone who wants to check it out, so if we’re in your neck of the woods please let us know!

Without further ado, we’d like to welcome you to tour our new home on wheels!

2016 Trek

The Next Generation

The new Trek has solved the bed inconvenience with what they call the Trek Room – a mixed-use room in the rear of the RV, once again featuring the signature queen size bed that raises and lowers from the ceiling.

trek floor plan

By night, a pretty normal bedroom:

_DSF4252

By day, the raised bed exposes a closet that stretches the entire width of the RV. There are also two dressers.

_DSF4357

_DSF4394

The two dressers double as supports for the bed (when lowered) with space between them for a chair, so we’ll be adding a section of tabletop and creating a flat workspace that can be used as an office desk (as non-retired RVers, we’re so excited about this!) or for sewing, crafts, and other hobbies. It would also be a great area for kids to play (it would make a fantastic fort with the bed down!), or for pets to sleep in or be crated. Another idea – and this one’s for cycling enthusiasts – is to install a stand for a bike or bikes to be stored in the RV, upright between the dressers while driving.

_DSF4365

Here’s a quick video showing the front and rear beds being raised and lowered. Watch carefully to see the closet raising and lowering with the rear bed:

 

The new Trek features a split bath, with a sink and toilet room on one side of the hall, and a shower stall with a swing-open glass door on the other.

_DSF4279
_DSF4290

We personally love this layout, because the sink/toilet room door is actually dual-function, and when swung completely open can close the bathroom and bedroom off from the rest of the living space. You can step out of the shower with privacy, then into the adjoining bedroom, using that area as a large dressing space when the bed is raised and closets are accessible.

A sliding wood bedroom door allows someone to sleep or work in the back room with relative privacy while others use the rest of the living space.

 

_DSF4287

A few more features we love about our new Trek:

  • The overall length is only 27′ 10″ – we’ll be able to fit easily in most parking lots and campgrounds, including those at state and national parks.
  • There’s only one smaller slide-out, minimizing maintenance and making it easier to park in cramped areas.

_DSF4453

  • There’s the second Hide-A-Loft queen bed that lowers from the ceiling at the front of the RV, and the dinette turns into a bed as well – lots of sleeping options for guests! We’ll convert the dinette into a bed and line the wall with pillows to turn it into a cozy couch for movie watching. There’s also a comfy recliner up front with a reading light overhead. A sofa is optional instead of the dinette (keep scrolling for a photo).

_DSF4306
_DSF4336

  • The kitchen feels residential with solid surface countertops, an under-mount stainless double bowl sink, and a chrome faucet with pull-out sprayer.

_DSF4324

  • Roller shades for extra privacy and room darkening

_DSF4374
_DSF4377

  • Well-thought-out kitchen storage, like big pantry drawers and a pull-down cutlery drawer. Big drawers under the cooktop are great for cutlery and utensils. There’s lots of storage under the dinette as well, which is where we keep our pots and pans and small appliances.

_DSF4312
_DSF4327

  • Thoughtful touches to make life easier, like this pull-out table next to the bed.

_DSF4267

  • The Trek boasts bus-class aluminum side-hinged luggage doors – a very nice upgrade from fiberglass, and typically only seen on high-end diesel pusher RVs. No more doors falling on our heads!

_DSF4445

  • The Trek Trunk, their name for the multi-functional rear exterior storage compartment, features easily accessible storage via a huge door on the back of the RV. During travel, the raised bed and closet in the Trek Room (bedroom) provides a massive amount of storage for RV tools and supplies, entertainment and patio items, adventure gear, and more. When you reach your destination, you’ll need to unload that area to lower the bed/wardrobe. We plan to use this space for items we’ll unload anytime we arrive at a campground. If we’re doing a quick overnight stop and can’t unload things outside, we’ll store those items in our car instead.

_DSF4429

  • Vetrolite® ultra-thick wall fiberglass, interlocking aluminum construction, and Vacu-bondTM wall lamination
  • Full-body paint – no decals to peel or fade, and easy washing and waxing
  • 18′ power awning with integrated LED lighting
  • Back-up camera
  • Premium driver and passenger seats – very comfy!

_DSF4381

  • Flush-mount LED interior ceiling lighting

_DSF4294

  • Tinted, frameless dual-pane tilt-out windows
  • Ducted air conditioning
  • Exterior entertainment center with TV. 28″ living room and 19″ bedroom TV’s with DVD player. LCD touch control dash stereo with AUX input on the front.

_DSF4440

  • Optional foldout sofa instead of dinette (in our case we preferred to have the dining table and storage drawers beneath it)
Photo courtesy of http://americanrv.com

Photo courtesy of http://americanrv.com

  • Hose with sprayer in the wet bay for cleaning out the bay, washing dogs, gear, etc.

_DSF4416

 To see more Trek tech specs (say that five times fast!) and options click here, or the brochure below to download a PDF flyer:

trek brochure cover

We’ll be working with ARG on adding some upgrades to the Trek for our preferences, like extra batteries, an inverter, solar panels, a tankless water heater, and a few other items on our wish list. While these items don’t come standard, they may become a factory option someday. For now, and mostly to keep the price lower, they opted to leave it up to the customer whether they wanted those items installed by the dealer or someone else later on (like their factory service center, who’s doing ours). Overall, we’re very impressed with the items that are standard, however, so we aren’t going to nitpick these things that not everyone would need.

We’d like to extend a huge “thank you!” to all our followers for your support so far as we take on this new experiment of living in a motorhome instead of a trailer, and we hope you’ll tag along for all our upcoming Trekking! Please feel free to ask questions..and help us think of a name for our awesome new RV!

_DSF4447

Advertisements

64 comments

  1. Comment by Karen

    Karen Reply Dec 2, 2014 at 9:25 am

    OMG, so cool! Very happy for you guys. The pups are gonna love it, too!

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Dec 2, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Thanks so much, Karen! We’re very excited and the dogs definitely will be too when they see it. 🙂

  2. Comment by Jeanette

    Jeanette Reply Dec 2, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Looks awesome guys!! Very practical use of the space and I’ll be curious to see your comments on real-world use in the coming months. Happy housewarming!

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Dec 2, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Thanks, Jeanette! We’re looking forward to putting it to the test and of course having you over for drinks when we meet again!

  3. Comment by dalees107

    dalees107 Reply Dec 2, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Amazing! What a great year ahead for you. We’re starting to imagine our “dream” RV, so we love seeing the new ideas and extras. Can’t wait for more feed back for what is working and what more you may need…or less!

  4. Comment by nikkiwynn

    nikkiwynn Reply Dec 2, 2014 at 11:08 am

    It looks awesome! So excited there is finally something small and smart on the market!!!

  5. Comment by jonathonbarton

    jonathonbarton Reply Dec 2, 2014 at 11:34 am

    GAH!

    The one and only thing I *don’t* like on that coach is the insistence (by so many manufacturers, on coaches of all sizes, it seems) to move the door back, then put a recliner behind the front seat, with a cabinet overhead. If you don’t have a need or desire for a recliner, that winds up being a dead space once you remove it, and the smaller the coach, the worse it is (since it’s a higher percentage of the coach overall.

    If the door and the recliner positions were swapped, you could easily remove the recliner and have many more flexible options for that space, including some pretty crazy ideas, like replacing the entire kitchen counter with an extended version, and using the additional cabinetry to add more drawers (or even a dishwasher underneath! A DISHWASHER, IN A 28′ COACH!)

    Alas, it is not meant to be. Instead, (just like my 10 year old Hurricane) you basically get a recliner, or space for a catbox. =(

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Dec 2, 2014 at 11:41 am

      That’s a good point! They do plan to offer additional layouts in the future, so it may be an option. We like the recliner because now that we’ll have the extra workspace in the back, we don’t feel the need to add a desk up front like we might have without the movable bed. We’re avid readers, so between that chair and the driver’s seat we’ll be happy to have real chairs to sit in. The person in the driver’s seat can share the recliner’s leg rest when they’re turned to face each other, which is nice. There are reading lights above both seats too. It will also be a favorite dog sleeping spot, we suspect. 😉

      • Comment by jonathonbarton

        jonathonbarton Reply Dec 2, 2014 at 4:33 pm

        I’m also a reader, and I can see how that’d work out!

        Since I figure that ARG will have *someone* looking at your comments on this post at some point, and a comment might well wend it’s way back to the Product Team…
        Some more feedback!
        *grins*

        For me, I was such a minimalist in my apartment that I didn’t have a dining room table – I ate on the couch, or at my desk – and I find the dinettes to be pretty uncomfortable with their “Yep. That’s Definitely Vertical” backrests.

        In the Trek, as shown, I’d opt for the current Jackknife sofa, which I might still remove and replace with a 70″ Residential sofa with a pair of recliners on the ends.
        OR…if it were offered from the factory…the 65″ Reclining Loveseat/Couch out of the Fleetwood Discovery 40X (with suitable upholstery for the price point of the coach), and an additional 5″ of pantry space.

        But…that would make the space in front of the curbside door even *more* redundant, since (as you pointed out) you could build yourself a nice little desk in the back without changing very much.

        As an IT Consultant in the Rocky Mountain Region, the other thing that I’d love to see in this coach is the option to replace the 6.8 Liter Triton V-10 (362hp/457 torques) with a 6.7 Liter V-8 Powerstroke Diesel (440hp/860 torques), but I think that’s something for ARG to take up with the Chassis manufacturer…

        Given that the largest group of RV owners are currently 35-54 years old, and that the median age of motorhome owners has dropped from 60 in 1997 to 48 in 2011 – it seems like it’s been about “one product development cycle” since the U Mich/RVIA study came out in 2011…so it’s nice to see that ARG appears to be experimenting with/implementing features for younger, more active RV owners!

        It’s really interesting reading! (Well, for me, anyway!)
        http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu/fetchdoc.php?docid=49063

        • Comment by Kristin

          Kristin Reply Dec 2, 2014 at 9:56 pm

          Vertical can definitely be bad, though we just bought stands for our laptops to bring them up to eye level and are trying to improve our posture, which a dinette definitely forces you to do! I find myself sinking lower and lower on a couch or in a chair, whereas the dinette is pretty prohibitive of that bad habit! 😉

          A residential sofa would be great! Most of the RV sofas as sofa-king-uncomfortable, if you catch my joke there. I don’t need it to be a bed, just a sofa!

          A diesel would be great, but to our knowledge there isn’t currently a chassis that would work well for the 27′ that this one is. We’re hoping to see something like that soon! They unfortunately build for the masses, and the masses aren’t buying 27′ diesel class A’s.

          We agree that the younger generation is only going to benefit from these changes! We had several people walk up and say “So this RV is for the younger crowd, then?” as if that was a weird thing. We had several people fail to understand the concept of active RVing as opposed to parking something for months at a time at one RV resort. One dealer only wanted the Trek in beige. Eventually they’ll come around, but right now the dealers are stuck as much in the traditional mindset as the manufacturers, making you wonder if it’s a chicken or the egg scenario – they won’t buy the trendy new stuff because they’re afraid of it not selling.

          Thanks for the link, we’ll check it out!

    • Comment by debinvenice

      debinvenice Reply Dec 3, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      As a future solo rv traveler, I would too would love to lose that recliner and reconfigure to kitchen in favor of a washer/dryer. I’d also prefer an L-shaped dinette. Add diesel and I’d be sold!

  6. Comment by Lynn Bonelli~Tales From the Mutiny

    Lynn Bonelli~Tales From the Mutiny Reply Dec 2, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Congratulations guys! We look forward to checking it out in person soon. Can’t wait to meet up again.

  7. Comment by renekipp

    renekipp Reply Dec 2, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    How about naming her Star. Looks like a well thought out floor plan for a smaller overall length coach. I hope you enjoy her in the upcoming year.

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Dec 2, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      That would be a funny name – we’ll definitely consider it! Thanks so much – hope to see you on the road somewhere! 🙂

  8. Comment by these50

    these50 Reply Dec 2, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    That is pretty cool. We are in a 5th wheel full time because of the needed space for a family of 4. That would be a great feature both front and back. The added space would be fantastic. The only problem I see is my wife closing the rear bed on me because I stay up late and she gets up early =)

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Dec 2, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      Haha I actually asked about that because I considered doing that to Jason, but they built it with a safety feature so it can’t be raised when a person’s weight is on it. Oh darn! 😉

  9. Comment by Ray

    Ray Reply Dec 3, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Perfect for one person! Lets hope they make a 35′.

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Dec 4, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks! Stay tuned – there may be more floor plans and sizes in the future! 😀

  10. Comment by kategilbert2014

    kategilbert2014 Reply Dec 4, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Thanks for sharing. Some innovative ideas here, the elevated bed is especially cool.

    I wonder if when you were dealing with them, did they talk at all about the interior styling. Given that many RV buyers are younger now than the traditional market I wonder why the manufacturers are reluctant to have more modern design inside. This definitely is better than some I have seen, but I’d love to see less wood, and cream leather and more Dwell-like styling. That would fit with the minimalist mindset.

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Dec 4, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      We agree, Kate! Some better interior options would be great. Thankfully with this one they kept the walls, counters, and floors VERY light, and the wood isn’t bad either. Modern looking cabinet pulls help, as well as solid colored valances and curtains – no more paisley or flowers! Yay!

      We saw a couple awesome interiors, we’ll be posting a blog talking about our favorite RV’s at the show (some of which are exactly what you described) and some great products we saw. Stay tuned. 😀

  11. Comment by Steve

    Steve Reply Dec 5, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    The new Trek looks great and I agree with the comment about the interiors, it would be nice to see some different thinking for a change. I will also be looking forward to seeing a slightly longer floorplan that would allow a dinette and a couch instead of having to choose.

    Another question you might be able to ask them is if they plan on having a drivers door as an option? Having two doors is a must have for us. Thanks!

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Dec 5, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      Thanks for the input, Steve! We’re looking at the baby steps in interior design that they’re making with the Trek, such as the lighter interiors and solid fabrics, and hoping that it just continues to get better. Change doesn’t happen fast in the RV industry. We’ll ask about the driver’s door, but they seem to have moved away from that in most coaches, unfortunately. We’d love to have one too. 🙂

  12. Comment by Eric W

    Eric W Reply Dec 6, 2014 at 12:57 am

    When will these be available for sale to the general public? What will be the MSRP?

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Dec 6, 2014 at 1:00 am

      Hi Eric! We don’t have a sale date yet – dealers are just placing orders for them now and they will be in production in a few months. We’ll be getting one of the first two that are produced, which is why we’ll have ours sooner. The MSRP should be around $100,000 but we don’t have a firm number there yet either as they’re still finalizing the standard features and options. You can see one in person (as well as meet us!) at the Tampa RV show in mid-January if you’re anywhere near there. We’ll be sure to let everyone know on our blog and social media when it’s available, so be sure to subscribe if you haven’t yet! 🙂

      • Comment by Eric W

        Eric W Reply Dec 6, 2014 at 1:07 am

        Thanks for the information. I wish I could see it in person, but I am currently deployed with big plans for RV livin’ when I return. The Trek at first glance is along the lines of what my wife and I are looking for. I will be following your posts though.

        • Comment by Kristin

          Kristin Reply Dec 6, 2014 at 1:39 am

          No problem – thank you for your service. Let us know if you have any questions about the Trek or RVing, and we hope to see you out on the road somewhere when you get your RV. 😀

  13. Comment by Patricia Davidson

    Patricia Davidson Reply Dec 7, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    This is amazing! I love the idea of the bed in the back. We’ve seen the older Trek’s and wouldn’t work for us. I am so glad RV manufacturers and listening and have incorporated work space into it. Looking forward to following your travels in the RV.

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Dec 7, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      Thanks Patricia! We’ll be sure to update often with how it’s working out for us. 😀

  14. Comment by Greg E

    Greg E Reply Dec 9, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    That is a pretty sweet ride guys! Lots more room and some very handy features. Look forward to some boondocking information in the near future 😉

  15. Comment by Sam Hotchkiss

    Sam Hotchkiss Reply Dec 30, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Sweet rig! Let us know if you pass through New Mexico, we’ll have you over for some co-working!

  16. Comment by Jay

    Jay Reply Jan 30, 2015 at 8:29 am

    What are the dimensions of the opening in the rear for the “Trek Trunk?”
    Still have not seen a photo anywhere of what that space looks like from the rear with the bed up.

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Jan 30, 2015 at 10:57 am

      Hi Jay,

      We unfortunately aren’t moved into the Trek yet but should be in a week and I can measure it for you then and take pictures. It’s a unique space in that there are two removable walls on either side of the Trek Trunk, so it can become true pass-through storage if you want, or you can maintain two smaller compartments on either side of the RV and one in the middle that’s only accessible from that rear door. We will most likely be storing things in there that we take out every time we stop, because if you don’t, it gets crushed when the bed is lowered. As a safeguard, we plan to remove the key for the bed operation mechanism and not re-insert it unless we know for certain the trunk is empty..maybe we’ll just keep it in the trunk! 😉

  17. Comment by Roger B

    Roger B Reply Jan 30, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Wonderful blog post! I understand why you’re so excited. This is an amazing RV! I’m thinking I just don’t understand the Trunk though. Does that huge access door just open directly into the back of the bedroom? Or is there actually a separate storage compartment? Do you have another pic showing it open instead of just the TrekTrunk sign? Also wondering about the mechanism to raise/lower the bed. I assume it’s an electric lift. They’ve done a great job of concealing the mechanism. Is there a manual override in case it get’s stuck in the up position? Would really be unfortunate to be halfway across the country and have no access to the main bed.
    Finally, what does the dealer network look like? I found the one page web page at http://www.trekmotorhome.com/index.asp Glad it’s there, but it definitely doesn’t provide much info at this point.
    Anyway, thanks for posting. I’ll definitely be following your adventure!

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Jan 30, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      Thanks, Roger!

      The Trunk is a storage bay lined with a felt-like carpet that’s under the bedroom closet, with a rubber seal around the top corners to keep bugs and heat/cold out of the bedroom. When the bed is lowered, both it and the closet lower together, and the closet fills the Trunk. Think of it like a vertical slide, just it’s the closet sliding into the storage bay. If you opened the Trunk door on the back when the closet and bed are down, you can only see the back of the closet. I’ll be sure to take a video of it when we pick it up! We nicknamed it “the car crusher” because you can’t leave anything in the storage area when you lower the closet.

      The mechanism to raise and lower the bed does have a manual override, and it’s in the closet next to the bed. They’ve been using this system for a while on their Hide-a-Loft beds in the front of the coaches (which the Trek has too). We’ve heard people who owned the older Treks recommend carrying an extra motor “just in case”, but we’ll price those and get our hands on a manual to see how hard they are to service ourselves should something happen.

      The dealer network is just being formed – the Trek is in production now and should be at dealers soon. Because it has been split out as its own brand, a dealership doesn’t have to already sell Monaco, Holiday Rambler, Fleetwood, etc to sell the Trek. You may even be able to ask a local dealer if they would order it or carry the line. If you have specific questions, we can pass them along to the manufacturer for you. We saw quite a few dealers signing up to carry the Trek when we were at the industry trade show, so hopefully you’ll start seeing them on lots soon! If we’re close to where you are let us know and we’d be happy to let you see ours!

      Thanks for following and hope to cross paths sometime!

  18. Comment by Roger B

    Roger B Reply Jan 31, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Ah, I understand now Kristin. Thanks! Went back and looked at the video. Had not noticed the mirrored doors on the closet moving up and down as well. That’ll take some planning for sure, but it is a useful feature.
    I’m looking forward to hearing how well it handles in traffic and cross-winds. It has a relatively short wheelbase/length ratio. Up to now, we’ve been considering the Winnie Aspect 27D Class C. It has a very similar floorplan with the bed lift system, but I think I like your floorplan better. The Aspect is a couple of feet longer but it has a significantly higher wheelbase ratio (axles further apart). I’ve read many accounts that it handles very well and they point to the long wb as an important factor.

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Feb 1, 2015 at 9:15 pm

      No problem! We have a very similar wheelbase/length in the 28′ Fleetwood Storm that we’re borrowing right now, so I can verify that it can be a bit hard to handle in the wind, but it has a pretty impressive turning radius on the Ford chassis. Every RVer we’ve talked to says the same about theirs being difficult in wind, so I don’t know if it’s any worse without driving other RVs in similar conditions. Obviously a heavier RV like a diesel pusher will handle a bit better just because of the added weight.

      The Aspect is very nice! We looked at a lot of C’s too, but chose the class A to have the bigger windshield and dash, front seats that turned around for extra seating when parked, and the extra bay storage. We LOVED Born Free’s class C’s, but a new one is pretty pricey. There are some great used ones out there, though, and their build quality is second to none. We drove their 27 footer and it handled well. We really like some of the Sprinter and Dodge ProMaster based class B’s/B+’s where the seats do turn around. We loved the Winnebago Trend, but wished it had a queen bed, and the cargo carrying capacity wasn’t enough for full-timing. So many RV’s out there, but nothing is perfect! 😀

  19. Comment by Susan

    Susan Reply Feb 9, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    The potenetial for a pass thru from the back of the Trek into the bedroom would be fantastic. We kayak and the thought of loading the kayaks from the outside once the bed is raised to the ceiling is a very appealing option. I believe Airstream had a rear trunk door many years ago. I love my Holiday Rambler Traveler (Trek’s cousin) but the new Trek has some options which are appealing. Happy Travels in your new rig. Hope the power is sufficient for those steep grades out west.

  20. Comment by Gary

    Gary Reply Mar 1, 2015 at 1:02 am

    This looks like a wonderful choice for your you guys! When you come to Alaska, please be in touch with us. We can hopefully advise you of some of our favorite places we visit with our Airstream, and share some time.

  21. Comment by Bob

    Bob Reply Mar 12, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Kristin: Thanks for your blog. We saw this unit at the GS rally in PHX. We have owned a 92 28ft Trek(Isuzu 4cyl Diesel) before retirement. Slow turtle uphill. However, this 2015 Trek is a much improved unit. I cannot see how the wardrobe/bed will work in real life. Seems like one will be raising and lowering the bed several times a day..maybe not? Good to have a manual override.
    Diesel vs Gas: Be happy this is a gas unit. The costs for a diesel with todays regs would be high. The gas is much more practical for overall costs and general operation. Need more power? Try a chip.
    We have a 40 ft mid door Safari 350 Cummins with propane injection. Believe me…the gas unit is a no brainer. Check out the torque levels. Yes, more grunt on the diesel at the low end, but climbing the hills the gas wins on RPM. I know this discussion could go on, but the point made earlier is the price from the MFG has to align with the buying public. Good Job on the TREK.
    BTW, if someone wants a diesel(read more $$), then look at the TIFFIN Breeze in a 28 or 32 foot unit. I have driven the 32 ft model and it handled great and drove like a van. However, a different cost level.
    The one overdone furniture mistake on the TREK is the recliner! Saw this at the show and I remember the early 2000 models from Monaco having the same oversize recliner. Takes too much room in ANY MH. It needs an Ekornes recliner.
    I have had short wheelbase units that were tricky in the wind. However, one doesn’t have to travel in very windy conditions. The ride quality in directional stability can be minimized by weighing the coach and setting the tire pressures to spec for the load. I can’t remember if this new TREK has Michelins as std equipment. If not, I would insist on the Michelins. My neighbor bought a new Winnebago 27 ft gas unit and had all sorts of handling problems. No one, including the dealer, ever checked the tire pressure. Of the 6 tires 4 were way under or way over. After the correct tire pressure was set the MH was spot on. The basics are important especially on a short wheelbase unit..
    My full time friend really liked the new TREK at the GS rally. He is looking to downsize and not give up the lifestyle. I know he has many more miles in MH’s than I do and his opinion shows some insight.
    Will be anxious to see how your travels work.

    I think the SAFARI CLUBS would be interested in your travels, too. Safari International in the FMCA would be a good start.

    Have fun with the journey and thanks again for the Blog!
    Bob

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Mar 12, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Hi Bob! Thanks for the comments and we’re so glad to have you here following along with us. 🙂

      We find that since we use the wardrobe for hanging clothes but keep our socks/undies/coats/shoes and other necessities in the side wardrobe and dressers, we only raise and lower the bed once each per day. We use the back room as our office, so the bed is up all day, and that gives us full access to the closet.

      We are very happy with the gas RV. In addition to cheap gas right before our huge drive to Alaska, it’s pretty easy to get a Ford engine worked on by nearly anybody, and to find parts if need be. So far we’ve been happy with the power – obviously we’re not going to win any races uphill while towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but who will besides a diesel pusher? We just installed a Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer to help a little with the extra “play” in the wheel and sway that we didn’t like when being passed by trucks. It’s still a harder drive than a big rig because of the short wheel base, but we can hold the wheel now one-handed with the steering control added. We have a blog coming soon about all the modifications we’ve made so far – stay tuned!

      We have Goodyear tires on the Trek and they seem to be okay for now – we check them constantly with the tire pressure monitoring system that we installed. We still need to get the coach weighed fully loaded though and make sure we’re good on our pressures, given the distribution of weight on the axles.

      We looked at the Tiffins but didn’t like the floorplans at this stage in our lives. For now, we like having that extra room when the bed is raised to have a real office or desk for hobbies and crafts. At 27′ we can go almost anywhere, and have even done a U-turn on a two lane road a couple times! Gotta love that Ford turning radius.

      The recliner is pretty big in this one, yes (much to the dogs’ pleasure!), and we might be tempted to replace it if we were going to be living in it for a long time. The nice thing is, it’s only attached to the floor by a small bracket with a knob that you unscrew to position the recliner in different places within the coach, so it’s an easy switch if you don’t want it and desire a different chair, a second desk, a cabinet, etc in its place. Smart thinking on their part – it really is an easily customizable RV. If you did the jack-knife couch instead of dinette (a factory option), you wouldn’t even really need a slide at all.

      We’ll be sure to look into the Safari club – we’re thinking of attending a Trek club rally up in the Pacific Northwest this spring too.

      Thanks again for the follow, and stay in touch!

  22. Comment by tom

    tom Reply Mar 25, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Trek seems to have thought this one out. Where do you put golf clubs? Article makes me think it is a good idea for first time rv buyers to purchase a used unit.you learn from your mistakes,breaking something used does not hurt as bad, and you will learn the tricks/benefits of the different types of units trailer vr motor home etc

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Mar 25, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Hi Tom! Thanks for the comment. We think it’s a good design for many people, but certainly not for all. The best way to store golf clubs would be in the huge trunk at the back, but the downside is you’d have to empty it when you lower the bed to sleep. There would be room in the corner of the bedroom for them if you wouldn’t get in trouble for that. 😉

      There’s one bay that has some pass-through space. We can fit a couple folding chairs stacked on top of each other in that area, so it might be big enough to lay the clubs on their side, depending on how big your bag is. We don’t carry anything bulky except our bikes that are on our hitch, and two inflatable stand up paddleboards, which live in the cargo area of our Jeep most of the time, partly because it’s more secure than storage bays on an RV.

      It is probably a good idea to buy a used RV for your first one if you’re unsure of what you’ll want long-term, but you don’t have the added benefit of a warranty so the repairs are all on you. If you’re just a single person or couple it’s probably less risky that you’ll change your mind later, but for a young or growing family you might find that you outgrow something rather quickly. For non-fulltimers, it’s a lot less of a risk since it’s not your 24/7 home too. We’re considering buying a van next, so we can’t speak to what people typically progress to in regards to RV size, but we know some who started too big and downsized, and others started too small and moved up. The beauty is that there are tons of options out there, so there’s almost something for anyone. 🙂

  23. Comment by David Fallen

    David Fallen Reply Apr 3, 2015 at 5:34 am

    That is one gorgeous RV. Do like the recliner and the pantry storage. Where is the generator?

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Apr 3, 2015 at 10:45 am

      Hi David! Thanks for the comment. We love the recliner and pantry too, though the pantry is usually more full of wine than anything else. The top drawer is the perfect height for bottles. Priorities! 😉

      The generator is on the driver’s side, under the slide in the second bay from the front. We haven’t used it much yet since we have solar for most of our needs.

  24. Comment by Trish

    Trish Reply Apr 5, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    What is the weight capacity for the loft bed?

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Apr 5, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      600 pounds. 🙂

  25. Comment by Paula

    Paula Reply May 28, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    While it’s pretty… I am seriously disappointed. I was hoping beyond all hope that the new Trek would be a narrow body, 25 foot or less, with a height of no more than 10’6″. While it would be nice to have a back bed area… I don’t want to give up kitchen functionality, let alone a nice living area.
    The main reason I even want a motorhome is due to dietary restrictions… I have to have a great kitchen with a microwave/convection that isn’t mounted so high that I can’t see inside the microwave. I am 5’3″ tall. I want a class A, that is short in length and height. I would like to be able to travel back roads throughout our great country… sightseeing! I don’t want a class b or c. I love the spaciousness of a class A. I love the early Safari Treks.I would rather dump major bucks into refurbing an old narrow body Trek and get what I want. I am in the target age group for the market. I just don’t want to camp along the Interstate. I want to be able to easily drive through a neighborhood… park in a driveway, turn around easy, be able to find a campsite, Drive through the city streets of Chicago, Seattle & Toronto (to name a few) without any issues!

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply May 28, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      Yeah, with all that in mind it sounds like this wouldn’t be the right fit for you – ours is pretty solidly aimed at the younger market now, especially small families and younger couples who like having the extra bed for guests (ourselves included). We place the most value on having comfortable workspaces, since that’s so important to us being able to travel at all, so this is a good fit for us. Our next RV will be a step down in size, as this one is bigger than we wanted it to be too, and that restricts where we can go to some degree, though it still hasn’t stopped us from driveway camping in cities and boondocking lots of places. We’ve just trimmed a few trees along the way. 😉

      We’re looking at Class B’s next because they’ve come a long way with the interior layouts on those. Some of our new favorites are the Leisure Travel and Pleasure Way vans with a murphy bed. It has a good sized kitchen and bath, and a living room/bedroom where you don’t have to tear down the bed every day – just remove your pillows. Neat concept! The Pleasure Way especially, because it doesn’t have a slide, and is great for street camping.

      Part of the issue with RV size nowadays is the chassis availability – they really only build on a couple chassis, compared to all the options that were available a decade or two ago. They just don’t build them any narrower than this anymore for the RV market. We’d love to see a smaller Class A too, but for now this is about as small as it gets, unfortunately. 🙁

  26. Comment by Lou Whitaker

    Lou Whitaker Reply Nov 8, 2015 at 11:16 am

    I like what your company has put together for 2016, I will be buying my net motor home within the next two months, I would like to have a current color brochure of your Trek motor home, if it possible, plus a ball park figure on your 29 ‘ unit.

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Nov 9, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      Hi Lou! You can head over to http://trekmotorhome.com/ to find a dealer and fill out a form to request more information. We aren’t the manufacturer, we’re just RV lovers like yourself. 🙂 Good luck with your motorhome search, and let us know if you have any questions about our experience test driving one to Alaska.

  27. Comment by Don Wheat

    Don Wheat Reply Mar 24, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    I’m primarly looking for a very short diesel pusher. How does the Trek handle with cross winds and passing semis? Do the ruts on some of the interstates cause it to “hunt”. I’ve been to Alaska many times in a truck camper and I’m looking for something with more accommodations.

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Mar 27, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      I wouldn’t recommend it for highway driving and rough roads if you want to relax and not be making adjustments to the wheel all the time. The short wheelbase, while great for maneuvering in small spots, makes for a lot of body roll when you’re in high wind, passed by trucks, or on uneven roads. I wish they’d use a longer wheelbase chassis on the shorter class A’s so there’s less rear overhang to cause that roll. We did install a steering control bar on the front axle, which you can read about here, and that helped a lot, but it’s not a “one hand on the wheel and coffee in the other” kind of driving experience. You really only get that with a big diesel pusher. Our new class B is way easier to drive, but much less spacious. It’s always a trade-off! 😉

      • Comment by Don Wheat

        Don Wheat Reply Mar 27, 2016 at 2:21 pm

        Thanks, that ties in with what I have experienced. I’ll probably look more closely at the Country Coach 37′ with the tag. Tag only because it offers better straight line performance.

        • Comment by Kristin

          Kristin Reply Mar 27, 2016 at 2:35 pm

          That’s probably a good plan – all our friends who went up in 30-37′ class A’s had no more problem than we did with driving and maneuvering, with the wide open roads and big campsites. The main benefit for us was in more crowded campgrounds in the lower 48, those with size restrictions, and easier street camping and navigating in cities. Good luck and happy travels! Can’t wait to get back up there someday 🙂

          • Comment by Don Wheat

            Don Wheat Mar 27, 2016 at 2:43 pm

            We live South but spent much of our time in the NW. Much of in spent in Alaskan Camper, for obvious reasons, but need a little more room now.
            You might enjoy the following: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4rcb5g_6Ss

  28. Comment by ROY LOOMIS

    ROY LOOMIS Reply Jun 26, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    just bought a 2016 trek hmd – pick it up Wed 06/29/2016 – will use mostly as a weekender. Much enjoyed all the great info here. looking forward to more on your adventure in the trek. how do I follow you? Roy & Michele Loomis

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Jun 27, 2016 at 11:48 pm

      Congrats on the new Trek, Roy! You can sign up on our homepage to get emails when we publish new posts. All our Trek posts are on our site under the Trek category at the top. We only had it for a year and have since returned it, because it was leased to us as a test drive situation, but we’re happy to share any experiences or answer questions for you! Happy travels! 🙂

  29. Comment by Dewey

    Dewey Reply Jul 9, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    So far I like everything I see and read about the new Trek. There is one piece of information I cannot find. What type of roof does the coach have? Is it fiberglass or rubber?
    Thank you and enjoy your time together.

    Dewey

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Jul 9, 2016 at 6:53 pm

      Hi Dewey! The roof on the new Trek is fiberglass. Let us know if you have any other questions about it – it’s a nice RV, and got us to Alaska and back last summer with no major issues! 🙂 Happy travels!

  30. Comment by Donald Ford

    Donald Ford Reply Jul 28, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    I was told by an agent at the Monaco display area at the FMCA rally in Perry, GA in March that the 2016 Trek production had ended soon after it began. He told me I might be able to still find a new one on the lot of a few dealers because they didn’t sell well. He offered to show me what he had but I told him that as a Trek owner, I wasn’t interested in seeing anything else. I understand a survey was done among previous Trek owners but the 2016 offering failed to incorporate any of their suggestions and none of them were interested in trading down to this new offering. If you’re looking for one of these 2016 Treks, better hurry or resign yourself to looking for a slightly used unit.

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Jul 31, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      Hi Donald! We’re no longer traveling in the new Trek – it was a lease from the manufacturer to evaluate it for them, and unfortunately I haven’t heard any news from them since returning it, regarding their plans for the model going forward. There was an opportunity for them to make some really great modifications to make it more like the older models, but it sounds like they won’t be giving it the chance. 🙁 It’s a shame – we really liked it, other than a few issues we pointed out in our review here, and we made a lot of recommendations based on our year living in it.

      The sad fact is, the industry usually caters to the lowest common denominator so they can sell a lot of units at the highest margin, not to the niche markets, other than super high-end and high-dollar coaches. It was too narrow of a market for them to keep trying, it sounds like. Hang onto yours, and hopefully someone in the future comes out with something more similar in the future. That’s why we just moved over to a class B, for the innovation and quality that seems to exist in that market, versus the class A’s of recent years. Thanks for your comment!

  31. Comment by Trish

    Trish Reply Sep 4, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    We are dissapointed with the new design. As you mentioned in your description of what we loved about the original design was its compact size. For many of us 28 feet is too long and contrary to the comment above that length does not fit in many forest service campgrounds. Please bring back the original design with the bed in the living space. And really you plan to store items in the back and move them every time you want to use the bed? Looks like any other oversized rv. Too bad

  32. Comment by M

    M Reply Jul 1, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Many thanks for having this site. I am a future (hopefully very near) solo (for now) RV traveler & know next to nothing about the various vehicles. Your blog has helped me, at least very fundamentally, assess what would suit me. Of course, LKing for the perfect fit. I like your idea of the leisure travel/pleasure way vans, class b & naturally have much more research to do. I’m a senior, 5’1″ female living in Hawaii now & expect to be traveling the mainland visiting family & friends with absolutely no expectations of them offering to put me up in any way. Being able to find a facility nearby to hookup is ideal, as well as be able to comfortably park outside their home. I’m a minimalist by nature, so any feedback as to what would be Cost effective in total care & use, and maneuverability, is very much appreciated. Aloha, “M”

    • Comment by Kristin

      Kristin Reply Jul 3, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Hi M! Thanks for reading! A class B van is a perfect size we think, especially for a solo traveler, since it fits nearly anywhere you want to park. For cost effectiveness, a slightly used van may be the way to go. A new van is nice for the warranty, but if you don’t plan to keep it many years, it may not be worth the extra cost of buying new. Used Pleasure-Ways, Roadtreks, Leisure Travel Vans, and Winnebagos are all great choices. We’ve only had the Winnebago, but there are owners groups for all of those on Facebook if you’re on there, and they share a lot of personal experiences with their vans. Good luck, and happy travels when you buy one! 🙂

We Love It When You Leave a Reply!

Go top
%d bloggers like this: