Advanced RV - General price premium over other brands?

Keyne

New member
I have been researching Sprinter van conversions and I am impressed with the Advanced RV approach and product. Also, it appears that they have satisfied customers, however it does appear that you get what you pay for. I haven't found any specific information on A-RV pricing on the web, but I am assuming they are more expensive than other brands.

Wondering how much more (e.g. 20-40% over RoadTrek?)? I am not at the stage of savings where I can invest in an RV yet (we are renting for some trips to see how it goes), and in an effort to not waste anyone's' time with quotes, etc. I am just looking for general ranges (e.g. typically $160-200K range)? I know I couldn't make a complete comparison (specific options, etc.), but just looking for a ball park figure for comparison purposes would be really helpful.
 

Ulter

Member
How does the saying go.."If you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it"? Not saying that fits your scenario but the last time I checked AdvancedRV Sprinters were $200k on average. I'm sure there are several over $500k. Do you get what you pay for? That's up to you to decide. I would say there is no better Sprinter upfitter than AdvancedRV.
 

Mein Sprinter

Known member
How does the saying go.."If you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it"? Not saying that fits your scenario but the last time I checked AdvancedRV Sprinters were $200k on average. I'm sure there are several over $500k. Do you get what you pay for? That's up to you to decide. I would say there is no better Sprinter upfitter than AdvancedRV.
I pretty much agree... have a 2010 Roadtrek Agile..oh, my what :thumbdown: quality build.

Hope the takeover by the German firm will improve it's image; quality and detail. :thumbup:

If I had the $$$ I would in a heartbeat get ourselves an Advanced BUT they do not outfit an 2500, only the 3500 models.

cheers..
 

rdominy

New member
Last December, a year after we ordered, we cancelled our ARV order due to an unexpected price increase. Expect over $220K for new orders. We have a Roadtrek CS on order now.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
Advanced RV has a very curious business model of high prices but personally I don’t think it is sustainable in long term. It is still a very new business so resale value did not kick in yet.

$220K is a neighborhood of an A diesel pusher based on, I assume, far more expensive chassis. Cabinetry work is at best average, nice soft close sliders on drawers, I think Barker drawers which I have in my DIY drawers, wow. Yes, suspension and diesel (no LPG) could cost maximum $20K (suspension $10K and Rixen $10K).

So $220K - $50K for a Sprinter - $20K = $150K for what?, maybe they have expensive lithium batteries.

George.
 

Keyne

New member
I have also seen Outside vans fully kitted out for $280k.

Thank you for the responses. It's helpful to have a range. I know they say the builds are custom but an online build sheet with typical options would be helpful. Also, it looks like the builds have custom options built of a standard core so IMO it wouldn't be hard to put a build sheet out there.
 
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chromisdesigns

New member
Consider Coach House as alternative
 

petem

Member
Last December, a year after we ordered, we cancelled our ARV order due to an unexpected price increase. Expect over $220K for new orders. We have a Roadtrek CS on order now.
RDOMINY - So you had an ARV on order for a year and then they increased your original price? Wow, that does seem inappropriate! Although I suppose if some component cost had gone up it would be appropriate to pass that on.

How much did they increase your agreed upon price?
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
In 2013 my wife and I searched for a B-class based on 144WB, all windows, no inside shower. We talked with Van Specialties. I believe that at some point they were cooperating with Outside Vans. Their product did not match my expectation, garage like (versus factory engineered) fit and finish, heavy, and a rock & roll bed not available. We live for a few months each year in EU so our point of reference was broader than just one based on the NA market.

The closest van which fit our needs was from the Safari Condo Co. but purchase from Canada was possible but difficult in 2013. I did not see the van so a fit and finish quality was and is still unknown to me.

Not finding an actual B-class van (we did not want a B+ or C) we decide to venture to DIY conversion to be based on 2013 passenger van which from the get-go gave us factory trim and all windows. The van has the transom shower, diesel furnace, diesel/shore power water heater, 300W PV, electric fridge, electric/alcohol stove, 3M Thinsulate, projection TV, 1000W inverter, microwave, cassette toilet, and high quality aluminum framed cabinetry including rock & roll bed.

Our costs were:

1. Sprinter $50K
2. All components $20K
3. 6 months of my engineering $60K
4. 4 months of my assembly labor $20K
5. Sold seats $3K

Total $147K. With engineering cost distributed over 10 units it would be $93K which should better reflect actual costs of the mom and pop conversion companies. My aluminum framed furniture was expensive and most likely would not be not used by commercial companies.

I understand that cost and price have little in common, but the price north of $300K for fully kitted Outside Van would represent about 200% profit or 120% profit for Advance RV. Unfortunately, neither of these mom and pop companies are listed in NADA so resale values is a big question.

Good luck in your search,

George.
 
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rdominy

New member
How much did they increase your agreed upon price?
Total increase was around $30k and after accounting for things like increase in cost of the Sprinter and my changes, it was about $15K with justification as "unanticipated costs of business ". It gave us a good chance to reflect on overall experience and whether a $75K difference over a comparably equipped Roadtrek CS was worth it to us. Adding up the features, I could at best account for $30k of benefits. And the CS has its own positives like significantly more interior storage, so it became an easy choice. And yes I'm aware of some of the Roadtrek quality issues, but our 1 year rental unit from ARV wasn't exactly trouble free. Don't get me wrong I like the ARV product, but not at their cost of both money and customer frustration. I hope they do well and help drive innovation.
 

773captain

New member
Average ARV builds are running around $250K these days. Having previously owned an Airstream, I genuinely believe you get what you pay for with ARV. Their (I believe unique) integrated Silverleaf Touch Panel control system for ALL coach functions is just one of many upgrades that makes their product so special. Their website does little justice to their capabilities, anyone seriously considering a custom build should go visit them for a day first.
As to whether it's worth it is really a personal choice I believe. Some people are quite happy with a $47,000 Chevy Tahao, while others literally pay twice as much for a Cadillac Escalade.
 
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Taratupa

New member
Rdominy, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I've been looking at both Advanced RV and Roadtrek. The new Roadtreks seem to have addressed a lot of the technical advances ARV offers that are important to us, like Lithium batteries and all electric options. I'm new to the RV world, but the biggest differences that I can divine are ARV offers a better finish level, more customization, VB air suspension and a few more tech upgrades (e.g., Silverleaf), but at a very substantial increase in cost - as you pointed out. Roadtrek also seems to be able to deliver a vehicle much faster, even a special order.

You mentioned "customer frustration". I don't suppose you'd be willing to elaborate on that, as you apparently went through the process for over a year. Is it the lead time, communication issues, complexity of getting or understanding pricing, or something else? If you're not comfortable elaborating further, I understand and I don't want to put you in an awkward position.
 

Davydd

Well-known member
I guess it really comes down to what you want. Roadtrek could never meet and deliver 773captain's requirements he got in Solar Womp. I know Roadtrek or anyone else could not match what I designed and ordered in Alvar (my ARV). If a Roadtrek Adventurous CS is an OK answer I would suggest you should not have been looking at Advanced RV at all.
 

Taratupa

New member
Davydd, I'm not sure why you would suggest that it is inappropriate that someone might look at both Advanced RV and Roadtrek. From a systems innovation standpoint, they seem to be the two best Class B Sprinters on the market, although with different strengths and weaknesses. I think it would be a mistake not to look at both of them and evaluate each option. I've spent a lot of time trying to learn about both.

ARV clearly is more technologically advanced, has a higher finish level, offers VB air suspension, and provides an opportunity for extensive customization, but also carries a substantially higher price tag, has a longer lead time and involves the inherent risks of dealing with a smaller upfitter. There's not a lot of information on ARV's pricing, but rdominy indicated it would be upwards of $220,000 for any ARV, and I've seen other posts indicating that one might expect over $250,000, and perhaps $300,000, for a reasonably well-equipped 4x4. ARV's lead time is apparently around 12 months, although I've also heard rumors that it can be more than two years. Two years is a long time to wait for an old man like me, although if I died in the interim, it could serve as a pretty nice mausoleum.

Roadtrek's 2016 CS, when properly equipped, has the opportunity for more solar, more battery capacity, and an undermount air conditioner. Roadtrek also can provide an all electric RV, with an underhood engine generator/alternator, a large inverter and diesel radiant heat. Not bad. A 4x4 XL CS with every imaginable option offered by Roadtrek can be had for about $160,000. I'm told a special order unit can be delivered in three to four months. Roadtrek is a larger, more established upfitter, and now has Hymer backing it financially.

I've seen posts about Solar Womp, and it is indeed quite the vehicle. Congratulations to 773captain on his design and vision. Clearly it would not be available from a production upfitter like Roadtrek. I've also read many of your posts here and elsewhere, and realize that Roadtrek isn't the right upfitter to provide articulating beds and many of the other customizations that you've described. ARV is clearly the leader in full customization, and that's a real plus.

Admittedly, Roadtrek's finish level is a bit dated and doesn't appear to compete with ARV's in any objective analysis. It's floorplan isn't ideal (for me) and the ability to customize Roadtrek's product is limited to a set of factory options. Roadtrek doesn't offer VB air suspension, although I've checked and there apparently are authorized VB shops that can add it at a reasonable price. There are a lot of people out there who think Roadtrek's product, despite its limitations, is still a nice RV.

Compromise is the basic calculus in anything relating to a Class B. I don't think that my considering both ARV and Roadtrek is irrational. Rdominy seriously looked at both, and eventually chose Roadtrek. I'm sure he isn't alone. I assume you looked at various upfitters and chose ARV, and I don't doubt you had a good reason to choose ARV for your needs.

I can easily afford an ARV, but that doesn't mean cost and value (which is admittedly a purely subjective analysis) should be completely discounted. And there are other factors, like having something to enjoy now, rather than a year or two from now. Finally, there is the factor of the buying experience, which for me is an important consideration. Rdominy indicated that he had some concerns regarding "customer frustration", and that's why I asked that he elaborate on his experience. I don't think that's unreasonable.

I'd welcome any thoughts you might be able to provide as an ARV owner, just as I asked for rdominy's thoughts on the ARV process. I don't, however, agree with your position that anyone who would consider a Roadtrek is some sort of unenlightened Philistine who is unworthy of even considering an ARV.

Why do so many people get so defensive and critical on these websites? We're talking about an RV after all, not each other's wives and children.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
....................................
Why do so many people get so defensive and critical on these websites? We're talking about an RV after all, not each other's wives and children.
I think it is just a human nature, more money folks spent their need for justification goes up so they don’t become too exposed in their decision. Roadtrek was on my list before I decided to do my own conversion in 2013. Primary reason was to have windows all around.

These 2 companies have a very different business models, one is commercial and other one a sophisticated mom and pop shop. Lead times of 1-2 years will bite them at some point, I am not sure it is sustainable.

I spent a few months each year in EU and am very familiar Hymer. Their influence on Roadtrek in product design and manufacturing likely will make Roadtrek more successful. Just look at Hymer’s extensive use of plastic moldings to speed up the manufacturing and improve and the overall fit and finish, these molds are often share from one product line to another product line.

George.
 

rdominy

New member
You mentioned "customer frustration".
Your levelheaded posts and thoughtfulness deserve a response.

It was nearly all about communication, lack of response and having to constantly escalate to the owner, Mike. If they could create about 5 clones of the Mike, we'd probably be an ARV owner today. He's awesome but he can't do everything.

I'm sure we'd be dragging down Davyyd's sense of ARV owner class with our lack of articulating beds and our willingness to wave and smile at the RoadTrekers on the road (let alone consider buying one, *gasp*), but he might have lost some of his attitude if he hadn't gotten in so early and been slapped with a take it or leave it price increase a month after his van was due for delivery and after trying to diligently arrive at the spec and price months before. I'm sure he would have sucked that up and still be crowing about his decision.

When we began our purchasing decision in 2014, there was no RoadTrek CS with underhood generator or lithium battery technology, so indeed we quickly gravitated toward ARV. We really didn't particularly want any custom features, but we liked the consolidated control system (silverleaf), the air suspension, the craftsmanship, the propane free energy system, the very functional screen door design, and the 360 camera system. And I really liked seeing the company driving neat innovations.

If you do chose the ARV route, perhaps try to do as much communication in person and on the phone. We may have tried to rely too much on email. And hopefully they'll have hired and improved that by now. But be prepared to have to do a fair amount of dogging and pushing.

In the end I know we'll have fun with either choice and if I get so tired of flipping manual switches I'll use my software skills to build my own silverleaf system with a touchscreen that works on the first press :).

Hope to see you on the road!
 

773captain

New member
I appreciate the compliments about SolarWOMP but realize it is not for everyone, not even most. Hell I'm not even sure I would do it again if I was starting over lol. I will say that when I went with ARV, Roadtrek offered the closest thing to what I was looking to start with among "standard" builds.
 

Davydd

Well-known member
All I said is ARV can deliver things you might desire that no other company, especially a dealer network company, can satisfy. But if a Roadtrek CS meets your desires and criteria, you were wasting your time with ARV. That is pretty simple. But I see in rdominy's case it really did come down to money and readily switching horses when Roadtrek came out with a similar ecoTrek offering.

To answer rdominy, if I could not have achieved what I set out to build with Advanced RV I doubt I would have given up my former Great West Van Legend by this time. I definitely would not have bought a Roadtrek CS because I could not live with their design layout or quality for that matter compared to my former Pleasure-way and Great West Van. After a decade of Class B RVing I had some definite goals I wanted to achieve especially in extended time RVing in a Class B. I think I achieved that in being out on the road for 209 nights in first 14 months covering 37,000 miles and not tiring of it. I got my money's worth because I know I would not have done what I did in that Great West Van like traveling in remote areas for an extended time off season, off grid, and in extremely cold weather. Yes, people can argue I can do that but there is a difference in doing it relaxed, comfortably and not mentally wearing out. There is a huge difference spending a night in a Walmart parking lot between my old Great West Van (and I suspect a Roadtrek CS) and my ARV in sound and light blocking. I knew on a cold, inclement day my articulating beds were going to give me total comfort cooped up inside a small Class B. That has panned out. In effect I settled for the best I could get and not compromise. And yes, the mind does not stop. I am already thinking about my fourth Class B. :)
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
I appreciate the compliments about SolarWOMP but realize it is not for everyone, not even most. Hell I'm not even sure I would do it again if I was starting over lol. I will say that when I went with ARV, Roadtrek offered the closest thing to what I was looking to start with among "standard" builds.
I like your attitude, learn and move on. Marrying to an RV is not good.

Cheers,

George.
 

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