By Tony Barthel
Class B vans are in short supply nowadays – with customers lined up who want them. This isn’t unusual for anything in the RV industry. But all those Instagrammers who post pictures of their Class B vans in beautiful places while they do yoga poses on the roof have really struck a chord with folks. And I think they’re missing out in some ways.
Take, for example, today’s Coachmen Cross Trek 20XG. This is a Class C RV, but one that has almost the same footprint as a Class B. It’s also less expensive than many Class B’s, and offers a bigger and better interior space. I feel it’s a much more usable rig than most Class B’s.
Coachmen Cross Trek 20XG
Generally, the interior tells the story of a rig but, in this case, it’s more outside than in. And the thing that really “makes” this rig is the rear storage. At the back of the RV body is a large door on both sides leading to a tremendous amount of storage. This is a place where you can put a bicycle or other large items. There are tie-downs here to facilitate this storage.
If you happen to have looked at this RV in the past, you may have been intrigued by this storage space. But you probably also noted that it infringed on the sleeping quarters too much to really be practical. Coachmen listened – and now the ceiling of this storage area is the bottom of the bed. The bed is on a lift mechanism such that you can either prioritize sleeping space or storage space.
Furthermore, there is a pass-through area in the 2021 model. That way you can get from this large storage area to the body of the coach. Why would you want this? A lot of RVers travel with pets. This would be a great place to keep a pet’s bed or other items that it needs. Since the flooring here is water-resistant, it’s perfect for Fido or Meow Meow to spend time back here without ever feeling isolated from their chauffeurs. This is another area where I really like the 2021 version of this floor plan.
The grand tour
Going in through the main entry door of the Cross Trek 20XG you’ll find that there’s a dinette right across from the door. The van’s seats swivel around so that you can have seating for four. Above the cab is the TV with storage on either side.
This is the first area, though, where the Cross Trek falls short compared to a Class B. Most Class B rigs have some table provision for the people in the van seats when those seats are swiveled around. Not that I saw here.
There is that shallow dinette and the forward-facing seat of the dinette does have not only lap belts but also a child safety restraint latching provision. However, they are only lap belts.
Opposite the dinette is the kitchen. It has a small gas-electric refrigerator, a sink, and a two-burner propane cooktop. Below that are two cabinet drawers, one of which has three drawers built into it.
Above that is the microwave and two cabinets with doors that open upwards; However, they’re not counterbalanced so you’ll have to use one hand to hold the door while the other fishes around in the cabinets. Seriously, they could have put some sort of counterbalance on these doors.
Further down the rig you’ll find the shower on the camp side. It’s bigger than most showers in most Class B RVs. But it is only a shower – there is no toilet in here.
That means the toilet is across the hall in a separate room. There’s a surprising amount of storage in it and, hooray, not a wet bath. On the subject of storage, there’s also a good amount outside the bathroom as well in the pantry. This bathroom features a very small sink. I would favor no sink at all to open the space up, although I might be in the minority on this.
At the very back of the rig is a bed on a lift. It’s an east-west bed– and there are windows on either side for a nice cross-flow breeze.
Technology in the Coachmen Cross Trek 20XG
There’s actually a lot of technology built into this coach. There is not a generator on board, but there are four 100 amp-hour AGM batteries included. There are two on either side of the coach on a nice slide-out tray for maintenance. This package makes for 400 amp-hours of power.
In theory, you can run the AC unit using the 400 amp-hours of available power for 24 hours. But – and this is an important but – that’s assuming there’s nothing else running. It’s probably safe to assume you’ll be using lights, the water pump and other electrical loads. I’m also assuming that the AC unit is cycling on and off – which is normal unless you have it on blast chill mode.
There are 380-watts of solar on the roof of the rig with a GoPower solar management system. In addition to the solar, the vehicle engine itself can recharge the batteries as well, but there isn’t a generator on board. Some are going to cheer – others are going to jeer.
The audio system on this is a Furrion Bluetooth speaker – which is preferred to the lousy iRV radio. There are several mounting brackets for the speaker to sit, or you can just place it on a table or whatnot.
The Ford Transit chassis itself is also loaded with technology already. This includes collision avoidance systems and side-view cameras in the body of the coach.
I also like that Coachmen is using an Azdel substrate in the lamination process of the sidewalls of this unit.
So why would you want this instead of a Class B van? The bathroom and storage are much better than almost all Class B vans I’ve seen. There’s a lot of usable technology on this coach that will actually work well while camping in the real world.
You can also order this unit with all-wheel-drive if you choose to.
So why would you not want this instead of a Class B? One of the advantages of a Class B is that it’s an all-steel exterior structure and roof leaks have few consequences. That’s not true here. This is built with a laminated structure, although it does use Azdel. So there’s that. Also, it is wider than a Class B but will still be able to fit in most parking lots.
One of the things I didn’t like about the Coach Trek 20XG was the fully exposed exterior water docking station.
Lastly, the information I based the bed system on was shared by Matt Foxcroft. But the company’s own website, as well as other reviews I saw, do not show the bed lift. So Matt may have the absolute cutting edge on this information – or it may be a special version for his dealership. I’m going to go with Matt having the latest info.
This goes back to Coachmen suffering from Forest River’s lousy website structure. With this much technology and innovation in the coach, you’d think there would be a lot of information about it on the site. Nope. There are dated videos. But, as usual, Winnebago is the leader in disseminating information about cutting-edge features. And that’s why tomorrow we take a first look at the new Winnebago EKKO™, a logical competitor to the Cross Trek 20XG.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
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