No, we don’t have a mid-bunk 5er. Yet.
Yes, we still have our 2015 CrossRoads Elevation toy hauler. This is the story of why we bought it, what we went through with it, why we still have it, and why you do NOT want one. 😉 (as well as why we don’t have a mid-bunk yet 😉 )
In the spring of 2015, we had problems with our previous toy hauler, and needed to replace it. We spent months talking to people in campgrounds about their rvs, and what they though of the build and the manufacturer. We were looking for another toy hauler to mod to fit our family of 10 (and with a little extra room for visiting bigs and grands). We came across the Crossroads Elevation Las Vegas, and loved the master bedroom – lots of floor space, along with a couch and a front picture window made it a great second gathering area – a family room for the tribe! We loved it – at least enough of it to make it worth the extra modifying (which would entail ripping out a bathroom and modding in a loft, which is stock in many models, but not this one). We asked around about Crossroads, and the responses were mostly positive. When there was a problem, they would fix it. We also searched online for any issues with the Elevation line, but it was new in the second half of 2014, so there wasn’t much online about them. We hoped that Crossroads would live up to their reputation, hoped that their 5er building history would give them enough experience to engineer a sturdy toy hauler, and mostly hoped that we were making the right choice.
We found a 2015 Crossroads Elevation Las Vegas to purchase, and moved in! We knew that if we modded the RV that it would void our year-long warranty, so we didn’t make any changes to it at first. Less than a month after purchasing it, and our first real trip in it, from Texas headed north, we found a crack in the exterior while in Oklahoma. Thankfully we knew enough to take pictures and email them immediately to Crossroads. We hoped it was nothing, but we also knew that it had to be frame related to cause a crack like that. We finished our trip to Montana, and scheduled it for repair up there. We took it in to have the crack fixed and some minor adjustments made, and it was in the shop for a month. Vaughn went to pick it up on a Friday afternoon, and when he stopped 45 miles down the road to fuel up, the crack was back, as ugly as ever. We knew we had a frame issue despite Crossroads vehemently stating it was just settling and cosmetic. About a month later, we took a road trip to ‘grampa and gramma’s’, and when we arrived (4 hours on nice blacktop), we had a large crack on the INSIDE of our rv, through the plywood on that same slide-out corner. During all this time, we were keeping in constant contact with Crossroads, emailing them pictures, as well as letting them know about the issues that were compounding in our rv, such as a squeaky subfloor upstairs, slides sticking, and problems with caulking on the outside.
We got the ok to have the outside fixed. again. The dealership would inspect the new crack, take pictures for the manufacturer, and submit a claim to get it fixed when they fixed the outside crack for the second time. So, again, we had to drive 2.5 hours each way to the repair shop, on our own time and own fuel dime, knowing that everything would not be fixed. We set up an appointment, and the dealership fixed the crack and some other issues (including fixing our ladder, which they ripped off on our first visit). They also took pictures and confirmed with the manufacturer what was going on with the interior. We were also starting to have problems with our slides sticking upstairs, and the squeaking floor was getting worse. The interior crack had Crossroads dragging their feet on admitting that this was a big issue, and we needed to head south before our MT repair shop could get to it (and Crossroads wouldn’t come out and admit it was structural yet), so we headed south with a cracked wall and ongoing slide and floor problems.
It took months for us to get CrossRoads to admit that there was a big problem. They wanted to Band-Aid it until our warranty was up. During this time, we did research online, and other Elevation owners were also having problems with their front frame. We finally got them to ok us taking it to our purchasing dealership in Louisiana to get it fixed. We made an appointment, and drove it over. The dealership had said that they needed it for 3 days to take pics and figure out the problem (as well as make a few small, 10 minute adjustments). When the dealership found out that we were NOT renting 2 hotel rooms a night and were planning on staying in our rv at night, they suddenly only needed it for 3 hours, and couldn’t get to the little fixes. 😉 So we had driven 300 miles, each way, for a 3 hour visit where they simply repeated the photos that we had already sent to Crossroads (and of course, Crossroads didn’t reimburse us any of our fuel expenses, like usual for us).
We finally got Crossroads to admit that this was an issue with their first year and a half of toy haulers, and to agree to fix it. Y’all, we had to get UGLY to get them to admit that there was a problem. We had to get forceful, not take excuses or blame for an answer, initiate contact constantly, talk lawyers (and mean it), and be NOT nice on the phone. In the end, we TOLD Crossroads that we were bringing it up to Indiana for THEM to fix. Period.
We made an appointment, hauled our rv from Texas up to Elkhart, Indiana, and pulled in for them to fix it. We footed the bill for about $1200 in fuel, and also for 2 hotel rooms each night while it was in the shop. Crossroads refused to pay for our fuel or hotel rooms. We certainly didn’t expect them to pay for fuel for both rigs, or foot the bill for both hotel rooms, but it would have been appropriate for them to reimburse us for the truck’s fuel and one hotel room as they would have for a retired couple. Even the hotel staff (from several hotels) was shocked that they would not cover any of our stay.
In the end, we were very happy that we paid to take it up to the factory – we felt that it would be fixed better than had we taken it to a dealership, we were in and out in 3.5 days, and the head of our work crew went the extra mile for us. HE did, not Crossroads. He replaced the floor in one of our slides that he found mold in (we knew there was a leak, but not mold), he replaced and reinforced a slide motor that we had had tons of problems with because of the flexing of the upstairs from the inadequate frame engineering, he had Lippert come in and check out our suspension – they upgraded our suspension and hitch, he pulled apart our upstairs sidewalls, and went beyond just putting in new bolts through the sidewalls into the frame and welded in extra bracing for us too. Randy went above and beyond with our rig – not Crossroads, not Crossroads warranty policy.
The problem with the first year and a half of this line is that they were build with inadequate fasteners, and if the rv is actually used instead of parking it in a driveway (like they hope you will do so they don’t have to fix anything under warranty 😉 ), they break off and your front flexes and moves and causes all sorts of problems with your floor, slides, and sidewalls. We were able to see what was used in the initial build, and what they replaced them with – more and much heavier fasteners were used in the fix (think drywall screws replaced with bolts 3 to 4 times their size).
Honestly, despite the approximately $1500 it cost us to have ‘warranty work’ done, we are really happy with the build of our Elevation AT THIS POINT. This issue is big enough that Crossroads should have done a recall on ALL 14 and 15 Elevations. They did fix OURS, but what about everyone else? We had to get very forceful and ugly to get them to agree to fix it (and that was not pleasant), we had tons of our readers call in and demand that they fix our rv (THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EACH OF YOU THAT PULLLED FOR US), and we had articles published about our problems on RV sites. But what about the owners that don’t have the social media support that we got? They are stuck with a poorly engineered RV that is designed to fail with use; and they are probably not going to realize it until their warranty timeframe is up because they only use their rig a couple of times a year! Had Crossroads fixed our issue cheerfully, and taken responsibility for their poor engineering, we would have been the first to say that these are great rigs for families – but the truth is that they don’t stand by their quality of their products, and have no qualms about cheating buyers by giving them flawed product. We cannot recommend any Crossroads product due to their customer service and lack of ethics in (not) standing behind the products that they design.
So, why do we STILL have our Elevation? I guess because now that they fixed it, it IS built well enough that we feel good about the quality! We are almost afraid to sell it to get what we want, despite the fact that we have no emotional ties to this rig thanks to the turmoil that we went through to get it repaired! We would love to sell it and find a mid-bunk, but we are not looking forward to possibly getting another under-built rig (this is our 2nd!) and having to fight a dishonest manufacturer again. We were going back and forth with Augusta RV on a Luxe mid-bunk build, but when they merged earlier this year, the ball got dropped.
Plus, we’ve put a lot of work into making this rv work for our tribe of 10! (you can see our ‘garage’ mod, into a boys’ bunk room, here )
So, yes, The Tribe is still looking for a mid-bunk design that will work for the 10+ of us: we want a loft, and a bathtub, and a bunkroom big enough to make some mods to (because we will always have to mod our rigs! lol.). We really want the open living area with all the windows and floor space that the mid-bunk offers. We really want a quality product. We really want a manufacturer that we can feel good about recommending to other traveling families who also can’t afford to lose $70k (or more) on a poorly built rv.
So, that is why you don’t want a Crossroads Elevation. And why we don’t either, but still have one for now. :/