Popping the top on one of the industry’s most popular class B motorhomes
RV Lifestyle Road Test by Norm Rosen
RV Lifestyle Magazine had the opportunity to take a close look at the 2021 Roadtrek Zion Slumber motorhome, a compact class B unit built on the ProMaster chassis, powered by a 3.6L V6 gas engine.
This is a distinctly different version of the very popular Zion series, thanks to the addition of a pop-top that encompasses a queen-size sleeping area – bringing the accommodation capacity of the vehicle to five.
We visited the Roadtrek plant in Cambridge, Ontario to take a test drive with Karyn Torcoletti, Head of Marketing and Communications. It was a beautiful autumn day, and the winding roads in the Cambridge area were lined with the spectacular colours of Canada’s signature season.
On the Road
Slide into the driver’s seat of this beautiful camper van and you will enjoy the full range of automotive convenience – including Uconnect 3 with GPS navigation and a 5″ touch screen, Bluetooth connectivity, an AM/FM/SiriusXM/ stereo system with USB, aux input, voice command and steering wheel controls, and the usual automotive heating and cooling systems.
Our road test vehicle was a stealthy charcoal grey colour with 16″ polished aluminum rims – it was a beauty, to be sure, but it did not shout “RV” or “Motorhome”, which could be a definite plus when you travel in areas where security from theft could be a consideration.
The Zion Slumber rolled quietly and effortlessly, crossing railway tracks, negotiating the uneven pavement of secondary roads, and tackling the roundabouts and suburban traffic with confidence. To get an idea of what your ride will be like, watch the video on our RV Lifestyle Magazine YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_6-vM8yIKQ
Design and Construction
The Zion Slumber is built on the RAM ProMaster 3500 extended van chassis, which has proven itself throughout the North American RV industry to be a very reliable and versatile platform for class B motorhomes. We were particularly impressed with the way the Roadtrek team integrated the best aspects of the RV components into this relatively new platform. From the power steps that extend to ease your entry into the vehicle, to the full array of driver controls that are literally at your fingertips, the touring experience is top-notch in every regard. If you enjoy taking your toys with you, the ProMaster 3500 chassis is equipped with a standard class IV trailer hitch with wiring for trailer lights. The chassis comes with standard stability control, rear park assist, and a rear-view auto dim digital display mirror. If you travel fully loaded, you may want to order your Zion Slumber with the optional SumoSprings® to enhance load carrying ability, stabilize sway, and improve overall driver control and ride comfort.
The Zion Slumber is the first model in the Roadtrek line to feature a pop-top bunk. This hard-top canvas side design is reminiscent of the Westfalia concept that has been popular around the world for decades. You simply hook the ladder onto the clips on the slumber bunk access port, unlatch two seatbelt style clips and lift the roof to the raised position. It only takes a few seconds and the gas-assist shocks take most of the weight, so lifting or lowering the roof is a breeze.
Bright and spacious interiors reflect the decades of experience Roadtrek designers bring to the new Zion Slumber model. Note the position of the stowable ladder, ready for one of your family to climb into the ‘penthouse’ .
The power rear sofa makes an elegant dining area and transforms into a 74” x 76” king-size sleeping area.
With a queen-size mattress in the “pop-top” bedroom, your Zion Slumber provides a ‘penthouse’ view! This bunk can accommodate two people.
The RV systems in the Zion Slumber are controlled by a Firefly touch panel, located above the sliding side door. It can be controlled remotely from your smartphone or tablet.
Two of the clever features on our road test vehicle were an optional “pet friendly” magnetic bug screen covering the main entrance, and a rear bug screen that lets you open the van doors for a nice breeze. The magnetic attachment is strong and secure, and we found it to be faster and easier to use than similar zippered designs.
When the weather is too warm for comfort, the 13,500 BTU roof air conditioner is ideally suited for a vehicle of this size.
Our Zion Slumber road test vehicle had a power awning that extended and retracted in a matter of seconds. With the awning out, and the easily accessible RV system hookups connected, the van became a little campground castle on wheels… and in a matter of minutes, you could stow your gear, disconnect the water, sewer and electrical systems, and be on the road again for another RV adventure.
In the Campground
We have always enjoyed the manoeuvrability and convenience of the class B motorhome models for quick trips as well as extended RV vacations, and the Roadtrek Zion Slumber is an excellent example of decades of camping experience, applied to create a motorhome that can also easily fill the need for a “daily driver”.
We were impressed with the convenient placement of all the RV hookups, and the ease of movement in and out of the motorhome in a campsite location. Everything is just where you need it to be – from the outside shower to the exterior storage compartments for your campsite gear.
For those who enjoy the ultimate “green camping” experience, the Zion Slumber is pre-wired for rooftop solar panels.
While you would not expect a motorhome of this size to compete with the larger class A and C vehicles in terms of interior space, the Roadtrek line of class B motorhomes offer a surprising amount of comfort and interior convenience features.
Large windows and well-placed interior lighting make the Zion Slumber a very home-like environment, and let you enjoy the scenery as you drive, and when you arrive at the campground.
The Zion Slumber model is available in two floorplans, each offering a different rear sleeping configuration. The twin bed model features two rear bench seats that convert into separate beds or into a king-size bed; the “forward-facing sofa” model provides a manual sofa that converts into a king size bed.
The twin bed floorplan offers a large rear cargo capability. Mattresses are 25” x 78”. Swivel the captain and navigator chairs for an enroute snack.
The front-facing rear sofa expands to sleep two adults.
Both floorplans transform into a king-size master bed. (Note the optional single bed across the front seats.)
Each of the Zion Slumber floorplans features the “pop top” bunk with a queen size mattress. You can order a unique front bunk option that converts the driver and passenger chairs into a single bed – this is a really clever idea that is ideal for children (or small adults).
Which floorplan is ideal for your needs? Perhaps the best way to decide is to envision your family adventures… if you enjoy golfing and hiking and you don’t need the interior space for large items, the rear sofa models would fill the bill nicely. If you enjoy kayaking and require the most interior space possible in the van, you might be better served by the twin bed floorplan.
In the Galley
Your first impression when viewing a class B motorhome might be that it would be a pretty small RV when it came time to prepare dinner for the family, but the Zion Slumber certainly challenges that thought, with a very nicely equipped galley and a relatively large countertop for the camping gourmet. There is a substantial amount of cupboard and drawer space for a vehicle of this type, and the flip-up counter extension adds to your food preparation space
The Zion Slumber galley includes a two-burner range top, and a stainless-steel sink, both with convenient covers, and an eye-level microwave oven. The 5-cubic foot refrigerator holds enough food and beverages for an average family to eat well for at least a week. We really like the slide-out pantry – it has shelves that don’t let your food fall behind the cabinet, which is a typical problem in many RV models.
In the Bathroom
Compact but fully-equipped, the front washroom in the Zion Slumber provides all of the necessities, and gives you enough space to do what you have to do… this is an area where Roadtrek has led the industry for many years, and the bottom line here is that the washroom is, indeed a “comfort station”. The sink, shower, and toilet are all designed for form as well as function – and the area is nice and bright thanks to clever use of lighting.
The Bottom Line
The Roadtrek Zion Slumber is covered by a two-year comprehensive, no mileage limit warranty. The various appliances and RV components are covered by their individual manufacturer warranties. Please contact your nearest Roadtrek dealer for complete details. The RAM ProMaster 3500 chassis is covered by a 5-year/60,000-mile or 100,000-kilometer Gas Powertrain Limited Warranty covering the cost of repairs on all covered powertrain components – engine, transmission and drive system for most new Ram vehicles. A 3-year/36,000-mile or 60,000-kilometer Limited Warranty, provides bumper-to-bumper coverage, from the body to the electrical system. Please refer to the chassis manufacturers’ website for complete details.
The Roadtrek brand has earned a very loyal following among class B motorhome fans since the original vans were built in the 1970s. Over the years, Roadtrek has changed ownership, but the ingenuity and quality that made this the #1 class B motorhome brand in North America is a major asset that is very much understood and appreciated by the current owner, Groupe Rapido, from France, one of the world’s most respected RV manufacturers.
The 2020 and 2021 Roadtrek models built since Groupe Rapido acquired the company certainly embody all of the traditional quality and design features that long-time Roadtrek fans would expect, along with some excellent innovations that are inspired by the parent company’s extensive experience in the European RV market.
The result is a fascinating blend of North American and European style, in a very well built and very well-designed motorhome.
Specifications, Roadtrek Zion Slumber:
Chassis RAM ProMaster 3500 Extended Van
Engine V6, 280 HP/209 kW
Transmission Automatic 6-speed 62 TE
Torque 352 Nm/260 lb.-ft. @6400 RPM
Tires LT225/75R16E black wall
Exterior Length 20’ 9”
Exterior Width 6’ 11”
Exterior Height (w/AC) 9’ 5”
Interior Headroom 6’ 2”
Rear Axle Ratio 3.86
Seating Capacity 5
GVRW 9,350 lbs.
GCWR 11,500 lbs.
Fresh Water 37 US Gal.
Black Water 8.5 US Gal.
Grey Water 18.5 US Gal.
MSRP, as tested, F.O.B. Cambridge, Ontario $153,986 US
For more information on Roadtrek and the Zion Slumber visit: www.roadtrek.com