RV Review: 2009 Roadtrek SS-Agile

June 18, 2009
Filed under RV & Trailer Reviews, RV Reviews

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Diesel has caught on big-time in smaller coaches with the U.S. arrival a few years ago of the Sprinter van distributed by Dodge and Freightliner. Powered by the Mercedes Benz 3.0L, V-6 turbodiesel, the Sprinter is showing the U.S. that small-displacement diesels ARE an economical option to power any vehicle and still meet ever more strict emission laws. Add a custom conversion by the leader in Class-B coaches to this equation and you have the newest member of the Roadtrek family.

The SS-Agile gets its name from the “Short Sprinter’s” 144-inch wheelbase, which makes campground or city parking lot maneuvers a breeze. The paddle-shifted, 5-speed tranny keeps the torquey turbodiesel in a happy place whether cruising the neighborhood or the interstate, but also allows spirited manual control with a slap of the shifter, especially handy for making use of the considerable diesel engine braking power that’s available from this Benz.

The dash layout is uncomplicated, with a pair of large speedo and tach gauges surrounded by numerous warning icons continuously monitoring a shopping list of engine and chassis functions including tire pressures. Stability and traction control systems sense weight and attitude changes in the vehicle and seamlessly assist the driver in maintaining control in less-than-perfect road conditions. A small central driver information screen keeps track of the odometer, fuel mileage and other time and radio-related functions. The comfortable and supportive captain’s armchairs ($611), in OptimaLeather, complete the cockpit, providing excellent visibility, and rotate for in-camp cabin use while the rear couch seats three more in belted positions making trips to soccer practice safe and simple.

The 2009 Roadtrek SS-Agile is especially attractive to a couple searching for an off-the-ground camping experience, but it has many of the amenities found in larger rigs. And the vehicle can be a good choice as a family’s second vehicle, too.

Roadtrek’s design for the SS-Agile is well suited for this task starting with the nicely equipped galley that will bring a smile to any cook. It offers a recessed, glass-lid double-burner cook top, a single-basin sink set in the granite countertop, and a 3.8-cubic-foot three-way power fridge and 1-cubic-foot convection/micro oven recessed in real cherry wood cabinetry found throughout the cabin.

Cabinet storage is provided not only in the galley cabinet module but around the ceiling perimeter creating adequate room for a weekend jaunt or even a longer trek depending on your packing expertise. But while the SS-Agile’s many features may mirror those in larger coaches, the Agile’s comparatively diminutive OCCC (Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capacity) rating of 1069 pounds still requires you to seriously “weigh” the value of every item you pack including potable water and passengers. If you tow a trailer with the SS-Agile, tongue weight needs to be watched carefully, as well.

During the heat of the day, 11,000 BTUs of cooling breeze from the rooftop AC unit will be welcome relief while connected to camp power. Or at the push of a button, you can energize the optional ($2860) 2.5 kW propane generator behind the rear axle to power the cooler.

Sleeping In the Roadtrek SS-Agile

Sleeping accommodations for two are also available at the touch of a button. The sofa’s back drops down to create either a very comfortable king-size bed, or twin-like beds when the center foot cushion is not used. In the sofa position, a tabletop stowed under the side bench cushion creates dinette seating and is also used to support cushions in the king bed configuration. In either position, the optional ($910) 19-inch flat screen on its rotating mount offers entertainment in any direction, and is connected to the home theatre-style surround sound system.

A hot shower after a long day is always welcome, and the SS-Agile offers a complete “efficiency” wet bath with shower, RV toilet and slide-out sink using a bi-fold door that allows passage through the aisle when it’s open. While small, the “facilities,” do provide generous room for larger campers.

On the road, the SS-Agile is a quiet and rattle-free ride allowing normal conversation levels and cell phone use without any need to shout. Cruise control mileage at 65 mph averaged 21 mpg at freeway speeds, and the abundant frameless awning-style windows makes driver vision in this “TAV” or Travel Adventure Vehicle, as the staff at McMahon’s RV likes to call it, as good, or better than most full-size SUVs.

Regardless of what you call it, with a very long list of standard features, and built on an innovative, economical chassis, the new Roadtrek continues to offer proven Class-B mini-coach versatility and agility that has created a legion of loyal enthusiasts and repeat buyers.

Roadtrek SS-Agile Major Standard Features

Mercedez Benz turbodiesel V-6, cherry cabinet doors and fronts, 11,000-BTU roof AC, 16,000-BTU furnace, RV-style toilet, granite countertop, stainless steel sink with residential style faucet, three-way power frige, six-gallon water heater, AM/FM/DVD/CD with dual use rear speakers, I-Pod ready radio, 750 watt inverter with charger, macerator pump-out waste tank discharge system, Class III receiver hitch, automotive glove-box cooler, awning.

Roadtrek SS-Agile Major Optional Features

Coffee maker, Onan propane generator, hanging pantry, rear door screen package, 19-inch flat screen TV, OptimaLeather captain’s chairs.

What’s hot:

21 mpg, quiet ride, excellent interior fit and finish.

What’s not:

Camp power conduit in rear wheelwell, trailer tongue conflict with rear mount Continental-style spare tire.

Base MSRP: $89,440

Price as Tested: $101,227

Overall Length : 20’ 3” (w/opt. $416 rear spare tire/mount

Overall Width: 6’ 8”

Overall Height: 9’ 7” (w/roof AC)

Wet Weight: 7880 lbs.

GVWR: 8550 lbs.

GCWR: 13,550 lbs.

OCCC: 1,069 lbs.

Fresh Water (incl. 6-gal. water heater): 36 gals.

Gray/Black Water: 20/10 gals.

LPG: 6 gal. bottles

Sleeping Capacity: 2 persons

Seat-belted positions: 5

Unloaded weight w/o options: 7,100 lbs.


Roadtrek Motorhomes, Inc.

888/ROADTREK (762-3873)


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