Coachmen Orion 2018 20CB – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Last Updated on July 4, 2023

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It was time to upgrade my small Class B RV to a bigger one. After tons of research, I’ve finally purchased a brand new 2018 Coachmen Orion T20CB for full-time living. It was for the right price and it has everything that I missed from my former RV

AC Problem during PDISo when I went to pick up my new RV in October of 2017 (shout out to Scottsdale RV), they found an issue with my AC, during PDI (Pre-Delivery Inspection). My TV also didn’t work. This inspection usually takes a few hours and done by the dealership before they hand the keys over to you. When they cannot fix something they replace it and the manufacturer will compensate them. It’s basically warranty work.

This PDI wasn’t completed the day I was asked to come to pick up the RV, so the dealer (Chris) paid for a night in a nearby motel. It was in the upper 90’s in Arizona and my AC didn’t work in my old RV.

The next day I found out that they replaced both the AC and the TV. It was ready. The guys helped me move all my stuff over and I spent a few hours to put everything away to have it ready to drive. I decided to stay in a nearby park for a few days, to discover my new RV and to move in properly.  OMG, I must say that I love driving the Ford Transit. It is so easy compared to my older Ford Van.

This is not like buying my first RV, now I have two years of experience, it was easy to plug in and set up everything when I got in the park.

After 1 week of living in it, here it is what I’ve discovered:


The Good – these what I love about it so far:

  • The Ford Transit is awesome to drive. You can see everything, very steady, it is like driving a car. Steering control is firm, responsive and confident.
  • Very nice layout, it’s perfect for me to live in it full-time. 
  • I like the many windows, all have screens keeping out the bugs.
  • I love the outside storage space. You can put all that you need in there. It’s very easy to organize. I mean…. I lived in a small Class B, this is huge compared to that!
  • Most new RVs are coming with a convection/microwave combo. This one comes with a microwave only. I need convection/microwave!!! I ordered this through the dealer, they will ship it to me. I hope it will fit the space. It is suppose to be the right size.
  • Love that you have a fold-out counter which gives you some good counter space.

The Bad – those little annoying stuff:

  • There are two weird sounds when I am driving so I already made an appointment with Ford. One is some rattling sound when I accelerate. Another one sounds like it comes from the left side when I am driving slow. I created a PROBLEM AND ERROR LOG that I am planning keeping updated. I hope there won’t be any serious. It’s not easy to fix warranty issues when you actually live in the RV.
  • The side cameras in the backup monitor is totally useless. It glares and you don’t see much. It’s better to use the side mirrors. They are great mirrors by the way.
  • The closets inside won’t stay open when you open them, so with one hand you need to hold their door upwards while you are putting stuff in or taking them out.
  • The original bed the RV comes with is awful. I threw mine away and got mattress toppers, now I have 6 inches high bed made out of toppers (I had to cut the corner with a knife to fit the space). Finally, this is comfortable enough to sleep on.
  • The TVs are 110V (not 12V) and the factory-installed arm is too short, won’t tilt. It’s the wrong angle. I am planning to change it to something that tilts. You cannot use the TVs when dry-camping unless your generator is running. I am planning to get a 12V TV to replace my main one. By the way there is a 12V cigarette lighter plug by the indoor TV which is powered by the batteries. That’s great if you want to change your 110 TV to a 12V one. It’s good to go.
  • The burner won’t come with a ignition. I have to use fire. It’s funny for me, because my 2009 had that built-in. Why can’t that happen in a 2018 RV? Is that luxury? 
  • It would be nice if the awning could be somewhat tilted, not just come out straight.Lazy Susan Corner
  • It has two gray tanks which I didn’t know. This is not a big deal until you discover that there is two that you need to empty. Until I knew that, I was wondering why my gray tank is full when I already emptied it.
  • The corner counter space is almost useless because of the cabinet door is in the way. As soon as you need something from the cabinet, you will need the whole space on the corner counter to use it. Under the corner, you can see through the storage from under the sink – there is a huge unused space. They could have added a Lazy Susan to the corner (something like on this picture)  and moved the drawers to the left. I had that in my apartment, this makes the whole corner useful.  
  • There is a charging station by the bed which has two USB plugs and a cigarette lighter plug. Both are working from the deep cycle battery. This is great when you are dry camping somewhere, you can charge your devices. I wonder though, why is it by the head of the bed? You gotta climb the bed to plug in your laptop or cellphone? I understand that many people are charging during the night, but it would be really helpful to have a charging station by the booth somewhere as well which I could use during the day. 

The Ugly – the ones I really don’t like… What were they thinking?

  • Water Connection Coachmen OrionI don’t like the fact that the water tank cannot be accessed easily, only by screwing the hose in. Basically, the city water connection and the freshwater tank is the same. You have a little blue lever to pick which one you want. This will make it difficult to put anything in the freshwater tank (for example sanitizing it or if I boondock and run out of water, I won’t be able to fill it up again using a funnel. (A solution to this problem is to purchase a drill pump or other type of water pump).
  • On the same note, I don’t like that the freshwater connection is plastic. I have a feeling that it will break. Then I won’t be able to fill my freshwater tank nor can use the city water. You are stuck then.
  • The 12V battery is under the stair you use walking in. I wanted to replace that with 2 6V batteries, but the space is too small for 6V batteries. Those batteries usually an inch higher. So you can only use the space for 2 12V batteries. 
  • The hot water heater is on the right side. Right next to the outdoor TV storage. By accident I touched it and burned my finger. It also emits heat which is not always wanted when sitting outside. I am sure it’s an engineering issue but it would be nice to have this on the other side.


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