Travel and Adventure: The N6-Active by Roadtrek
RV Based on Nissan NV is Outside the Box, But Spot-On
The Nissan based N6-Active is a multi-utility vehicle that combines the functionality of a family SUV, motorhome, tow vehicle, and a cool mode of transportation. Roadtrek, a Canadian vehicle innovator for the past 40 years, is a company that has been in the business of building state-of-the-art Class B motorhomes on American, German, and now Japanese truck/van chassis. The N6-Active is the latest all-new product it has brought to the motorhome/SUV/family transportation market.
The Roadtrek N6-Active is crafted around the Nissan NV2500 HD chassis. The van is powered by a 5.6-liter V-8 engine married to a five-speed automatic transmission. The NV comes with a 3.54:1 rear axle and rolls on 17- or optional 20-inch wheels. The frame is a boxed ladder structure that features the same rugged design and construction as a medium-duty truck. However, the suspension makes it drive like a luxury town car out on the highway and around town. This bad boy is not a lightweight by any means: Its GVWR is 9100 pounds, and its unloaded vehicle weight (with a full tank of fuel, but without people or cargo on board) is rated at 7850 pounds. Doing quick math, this Class B motorhome has an occupant and cargo-carrying capacity of 1250 pounds, which is plenty sufficient to carry five passengers along with the driver and a respectable amount of personal gear. On top of this, the N6 comes with a GCWR of 16,000 pounds. Subtract the GVWR from the GCWR, and it shows the N6 has the design capability to tow 7950 pounds of toys, boats, utility trailer, etc. For many families heading out on vacation this is hugely important.
In addition to its towing and cargo-carrying capability, the N6 is the perfect vehicle to run around town in or to chauffeur the kids to a soccer practice. In addition to the driver, it has enough seatbelts for six passengers. The interior seat configuration features the driver and front-passenger seats. Immediately aft of these are two more captain's seats and aft of this middle row of seating is a bench-style seat that holds two adults or three kids. Behind the last row of seating is a huge cargo area where suitcases, camping gear, and cargo containers can be stowed. The split rear door opens wide to permit access. One of the nice options available with the N6 is a rear door screen that's perfect for those summer evenings when you want to enjoy the weather, without letting in insects.
The cockpit captains chairs are adjustable forward and back and have tilting seatbacks so that each driver or passenger can tailor the seat to fit their unique body dimensions. Both of these seats swivel 180 degrees to face aft. Both seats in the middle row also swivel, not only toward the center -- where a post can be installed in the floor and a table top added and shared with the cockpit captain seats -- and they swivel 180 degrees, so the same thing can be done with the third-row bench seat. Four adults can sit here and enjoy a beverage, a game of cards, or a meal. When nighttime comes, the aft bench seat folds flat to accommodate two adults for sleeping. An optional panel can be installed across the two front seats to create a sleeping quarter for a youngster. With the pop-up overhead sleeping quarter, a total of five people can spend the night in the RV.
The residential appointments that make the N6 a home away from home won't leave you wanting -- this can truly be a home on wheels. The only facility this coach doesn't come equipped with is a toilet. It comes with an outdoor handheld shower, a freshwater tank that holds 5 gallons, a 110V constant-flow electric water heater, a sink with hot and cold faucet, a 2.5 cubic-foot refrigerator, and a 700-watt microwave oven. These are all conveniently located together in the rear driver-side galley area of the unit.
The utility systems include the unit's electrics, which are two 6V AGM deep-cycle house batteries and a 1250-watt inverter. A 30-amp shore power cable permits you to hook up and stay at a luxury RV campground and the house batteries and inverter allow you to enjoy stand-alone primitive RV camping far from the maddening crowd. It's your choice.
Even with its pop-up roof, the N6 has a very stingy exterior height of seven feet, 10 inches. It's 6 feet, 8 inches wide, which means it's capable of going through the drive-thrus of many fast-food places. We put 500 miles on one of these units, and it averaged 16.2 mpg across a full range of driving experiences (urban, freeway, shopping centers, mountain passes). The 28-gallon fuel tank coupled with this level of fuel economy means it has a good driving range between fill-ups, which is very respectable. It has a wheel cut that makes it possible to do U-turns at intersections and park in most places where anyone with a large sedan would park. With 317 ponies under the hood that develop 385 pound-feet of torque, the N6 can run all day with the big dogs.
But it's what Roadtrek does to the inside when converting the N2500 HD van chassis into a luxury recreational vehicle that caught our attention and is why we pulled the trigger on doing a review of this all-new product. The N6 has another serious side to its personality that is cleverly disguised behind its head-turning exterior and utilitarian functionality. As noted above, it features a pop-up roof (it raises in the front) to create a floor-to-ceiling dimension that permits someone well over 6 feet tall to stand up straight inside. With the pop-top raised, it also becomes a cool place to relax, just like the loft in an A-frame cabin. This is reminiscent of the old VW Westfalias. Ventilation panels are designed into the sides of the roof's fabric material walls so airflow can be personalized and controlled in the pop-top area. Natural convection is part of the beauty of this roof design.
Even though the website doesn't reference this option, Roadtrek tells Truck Trend that the N6 can be augmented with a 4WD aftermarket modification that Roadtrek makes available through Quigley. The base MSRP for the standard basic version of the N6 is $67,470. Fully appointed, the MSRP is $69,860 (excluding the Quigley 4WD). Options can include a folding mattress for the front sleeping area, chrome wheels for the 17-inch OEM tires, or 20-inch chrome wheels and tires.