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Possible New Rv'er

Hello All,

I'm looking for feedback from experienced LTV users prior to committing to a large purchase (RL model). I thank you for your time and response ahead of time.

1.   Annual ownership cost when following LTV and Mercedes annual preventive maintenance plans?
2.   Three greatest pro's & con's of the Unity?
3.   Average mpg?
4.   Boon docking concerns with only 12 gallons of usable LP; under a full amp load of .7gph, the LP generator (diesel unavailable in RL model) will only be available for 17 hours prior to a required refill.  Not sure I understand the power management options. Also, confirm a home can handle the RV's load while connected to the home power.
5.   Looking to rent prior to purchase. Willing to pay a daily flat fee of $500.00 to rent a Unity (RL first choice) for our summer vacation July 1 - July 12, departing from our Sarasota FL home.

Thank you,
Debbie and Rick Michaels

Re: Possible New Rv'er

Reply #1
Good idea, to research the Sprinter chassis and the LTV products.
Several comments:
1. Stick with the warranty requirements, and after that take your vehicle to a generic truck repair shop -- they're much less expensive. But forget about extended warranties unless you're rich and you have trouble sleeping at night. CAA is a good idea, but of course they're not going to help you if you get stuck on an abandoned logging road.
2. Use semi-synthetic crankcase oil instead of the liquid gold that Mercedes recommends, once the warranty has expired.
3. We have the Unity Murphy bed model, and I took out the Murphy bed and the electric lounge chairs because they didn't suit our idea of what camping is about. I installed a conventional dinette table in its place. (Just like home ownership, if you are a handy person, you can save a lot of money on maintenance and improvements.
4. The electrical system is akin to a 747 cockpit -- be prepared for a very steep learning curve. The older 2010, 2011 models had numerous modifications during manufacturing and the present owners, Triple E, who took over the company can't always answer questions about how things were done back then. If buying a used unit, demand an honest answer to whether the inverter produces "pure sine wave" alternating current. Some of today's electronics don't work well with the older "modified sine wave" AC.
5. The 24-foot size of the Unity model is perfect for 2 people, and it fits into almost any camp site. My wife and I found it to be a sensible, practical layout. A bed over the cab for another two people is not a good idea, because it affects your fuel consumption tremendously. Having a pull-out bed right at the back, which converts into a day couch, is also a very dumb concept because passengers back there get launched into orbit whenever the vehicle goes over a big bump in the highway.
6. Our RV has been to Tuk on the Arctic Ocean, on the Dempster "highway" which is a third-world kind of experience:  mud, permafrost, severe ruts, and worst of all, washboard gravel left by the heavy trucks. The Mercedes chassis and the truck tires are well-suited to this kind of challenge. Severe dust, however, can cause the generator, the electric steps, and the refrigerator to fail.
7. Expect around 17 - 20 litres of diesel fuel per 100 km -- that's 25 cents per kilometre, or over $120 a day in fuel when you're traveling to the east or the west coast. Depreciation is where your bank account gets hurt a lot more:  we paid $96,000 for a 2-year-old vehicle and 8 years later it's worth $56,000 at best. That's a depreciation rate of $5,000 per year, or about 40 cents a kilometre. Campgrounds with electricity are between $40 and $60 per night, even for seniors.
8. Used RV's are not easy to sell privately, because the buyers want easy terms, or stringent inspections, or generous return policies. Beware especially of fraud in either direction, because both owners and buyers could be somewhat nomadic.

Re: Possible New Rv'er

Reply #2
Hello RCMikes, we had rented a Unity MB in Montana for a week before we ordered our Unity RL last year. We really like the size of the vehicle as it allows to get through any tight and windy roads with ease. The Mercedes base vehicle is very easy to drive and has enough power to move with traffic pretty much anywhere. The Rear Lounge Concept is awesome as the sofa converts very easily to the comfortable Bed and  the area is a great siting area during the day, for watching TV or doing some work on the computer. Only area of concern so far has been the new Control System. While it is very nice to have all controls in one touch panel (four of them allow access from any area inside the vehicle), it seems this system is so new that the dealer/service teams do not know enough about it to be helpful yet. May become a non-issue by the time you would have your Unity RL delivered.