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Old 10-15-2018, 07:49 PM   #1
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Default Hello from Vallejo CA..

Hey All

Jean, my gf, and I are looking at our first RV. We'd like to see a bit more of the country and also do a caravan into ol' México. We're a long retired couple with a small mutt, living in the SF Bay Area.
I've been looking at a brand new (2019) SS Agile. It's a little scary, with all of the horror stories I read on the web about the Bluetec engine problems. I've had MB diesels in the past and they were great! But that was before things got so complicated, I guess. Anyone care to comment on the reliability of the new MB Sprinter engines? Also I wonder if anyone around my area has a favorite shop for maintenance, repair, etc. that they might recommend.
I'll be looking around and learning here on the forum...
Happy trails!

Radio
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:10 PM   #2
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Welcome from Santa Cruz! I'm looking for my first class B, as well. Personally, I think I'm going to stick with a gasoline engine for now... maybe electric in a couple of years if someone cares to offer one. Unless someone can convince me otherwise, it seems like the current Mercedes diesels are too expensive to maintain. Happy motoring!
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:26 PM   #3
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Yup, I'm seeing that as well. But I tried sitting in the Dodge based Aktiv and I just couldn't get comfortable in the driver's seat. The Promaster has the telescopic steering column but not an up and down adj. of the wheelv so it never did fit me all that well. The MB feels very comfortable.
Good luck in your search

r
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Old 10-16-2018, 03:34 AM   #4
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At the risk of sounding like a shill for the company that made my van, you might consider the Coachmen Crossfit on the Ford Transit chassis. We knew we wanted a gas engine and my spouse hated the Promaster seating position. Others on the forum have ProMasters and love them so YMMV.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:01 AM   #5
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Thank you for the information. I will look into the Crossfit.
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:04 AM   #6
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Yes, that Crossfit is a nice looking van. And being a Ford, I would imagine that it would be easier to find service (and parts) if you should need it on the road somewhere. I have been looking at vans using the Transit chassis.

But our suburban driveway, where the rig will spend much of it's time, can only fit a ~20' or less vehicle without it hanging out onto the sidewalk. If we pour a concrete pad onto part of our front yard someday, we could look at a much larger selection of vehicles for sure.
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:07 AM   #7
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Thank you for the information. I will look into the Crossfit.
Re the Crossfit

Ford hasn't yet revised the hand brake location to permit the driver seat to rotate. There is a rumor that this will be resolved in 2020 production.

There are two floor plans. The C layout works OK but the D layout provides twin beds that are only 23 inches in width which IMO is not likely to provide a restful nights sleep.

There will be a lithium battery and under hood generator option similar to the Xantrex system currently offered on the Galleria that will eliminate the Onan generator.
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:24 PM   #8
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Re the Crossfit

Ford hasn't yet revised the hand brake location to permit the driver seat to rotate. There is a rumor that this will be resolved in 2020 production.

There are two floor plans. The C layout works OK but the D layout provides twin beds that are only 23 inches in width which IMO is not likely to provide a restful nights sleep.

There will be a lithium battery and under hood generator option similar to the Xantrex system currently offered on the Galleria that will eliminate the Onan generator.
Allow me to expand a little. The Lithium option was announced at the Pomona show last week and they are taking orders. They are, indeed, using Xantrex.

The handbrake location is a PITA, mostly for transferring from the front to the back of the coach. I am mystified, however, as to why one would want the driver's seat to rotate since the bathroom is right behind it. (Apologies for the sideways pic - I tried saving it in various configurations, but it always posts the same here.)

The 22C is a power-sofa and the 22D is the twin bed setup. Both will make into complete beds. The 22D twin beds are narrow but we wanted that configuration so we could load large items like a kayak or bikes through the back door. Bed width is not a problem for us since they are 2"-3" away from the walls under normal setup and we are not large people. If we found them too narrow, we would put a couple of the flat pieces between the beds and slide them away from the walls or use the bolsters to make up the complete bed.

Finally, for anyone who is interested, there is a Crossfit-specific FB page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/coachmencrossfit/
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:30 PM   #9
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I highly recommend Randy's Mobile Mechanical Service, 2750 Cloverdale Ave., Concord, CA, 925-288-0766. He has a shop there that is very busy, usually a 2-3 week wait. I was lucky in getting in to have a propane regulator replaced with a week wait.
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:34 AM   #10
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Hello from Auburn CA
Just retired and looking to buy a small RV to tour the country and also take a trip to Alaska -- driving all the way. The plan is to leave CA sometime in April and take it easy on the drive through British Columbia and Yukon reaching Alaska around end of June. Stay there until end of July and then drive back. After looking at large trucks (Class - A), we decided that this is not going to work for us, and settled on Class-Bs. Have been reading up a lot on these vehicles. Ideally would love a 4x4, but unless one goes with a Tiger Van or a Sports Mobile, the rest of the Class-Bs are not well made. So finally settled on a PleasureWay Plateau FL -- mainly because both the front seats turn around. Has anyone does this trip to Alaska in a RV and any feedback on the PleasureWay vehicles?

-R
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:33 PM   #11
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Yup, I'm seeing that as well. But I tried sitting in the Dodge based Aktiv and I just couldn't get comfortable in the driver's seat. The Promaster has the telescopic steering column but not an up and down adj. of the wheelv so it never did fit me all that well. The MB feels very comfortable.
Good luck in your search

r
I have a Promaster based class B and found it to be a little uncomfortable at first since the steering wheel wasn't fully adjustable. I can say it does feel a lot different from a car where you tend to sink into the seats and get very comfortable with multiple adjustment points. However, after adjusting the seat a few times and getting used to it, I now find it very comfortable. Unless you are very large or have some physical issues that may cause you to have problems adjusting to the posture in the driver's seat, I think you could find the gas vehicles comfortable.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rasriniv View Post
Hello from Auburn CA
Just retired and looking to buy a small RV to tour the country and also take a trip to Alaska -- driving all the way. The plan is to leave CA sometime in April and take it easy on the drive through British Columbia and Yukon reaching Alaska around end of June. Stay there until end of July and then drive back. After looking at large trucks (Class - A), we decided that this is not going to work for us, and settled on Class-Bs. Have been reading up a lot on these vehicles. Ideally would love a 4x4, but unless one goes with a Tiger Van or a Sports Mobile, the rest of the Class-Bs are not well made. So finally settled on a PleasureWay Plateau FL -- mainly because both the front seats turn around. Has anyone does this trip to Alaska in a RV and any feedback on the PleasureWay vehicles?

-R
PW class Bs are terrific. I would recommend looking into how they would handle sub-freezing conditions, though, since you plan to be up north in April and could experience some really cold weather. Most class B motorhomes aren't rated for those conditions. Some have heated tanks and most of the water lines in the coach, but there are low point drains and other things that extend outside the heated areas that could freeze. I own a class B and always have to be conscious of those things. Also, before you set your schedule, check the availability of services (camp grounds, fresh water, etc.) in the areas you want to stop at. I am also planning to drive the Alaska Highway next spring/summer and have found that a lot of services are only available after mid-May
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:48 PM   #13
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Thanks. That is good to know. Will check out the available resources. We may then have to push our departure back by a couple of months. That is no problem. We now have all the time in the world!
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:57 AM   #14
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I've been looking at a brand new (2019) SS Agile. It's a little scary, with all of the horror stories I read on the web about the Bluetec engine problems. I've had MB diesels in the past and they were great! But that was before things got so complicated, I guess.

Anyone care to comment on the reliability of the new MB Sprinter engines?
The only new engine for 2019 Sprinters in North America will be the M274 turbocharged I4 gasoline engine with 9 speed automatic transmission. Being gasoline powered it would avoid the current Bluetec diesel emission system problems. And it should be able to travel in Mexico and Central America without requiring Ultra Low Sulfur diesel fuel to protect the catalytic converters.

The turbo gas engine option will be available only for the smaller 1500 and 2500 series Sprinters, but presumably RoadTrek's Agile should qualify. Because finished RVs typically use the previous model year vehicle chassis you many want to ask RoadTrek if the 2020 model year Agile will offer the gas engine option.
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Old 10-24-2018, 05:32 PM   #15
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We own a 2015 SS Agile on a 2014 Sprinter chassis. To date we've put 50,000 miles on it with absolutely no problems with the vehicle. At first we had a couple of small problems with the coach protion of the rig but they were minor and fixed without too much brain damage. It is my belief, which seems to be generally shared with many RT diesel equiped RV owners, is that the less DPF (diesel particle filter) and DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) equiped diesels are subjected to stop and go driving the better. Almost all the miles on our RT are highway miles usually driven at 65-80 mph for at least an hour at a time. Our usual trip is a 6 hour journey to our favorite fishing spot in Wyoming. Other tips are to never idle the vehicle for very long, including warming it up on a cold morning and add DEF before the low DEF light commands replenishment.
Dennis at Linden automotive in Golden, Colorado (a Sprinter specialist) says this type of driving will ensure many miles of happy traveling ( he guesstimates > 150,000 ), but eventually the DPF will need to be serviced, and as Dennis says "this can be a wallet draining experience". Up until that time we are planning to continue to have alot of fun with our little house on wheels.
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Old 10-24-2018, 05:37 PM   #16
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Post Script;
Our 2015 SS Agile is a 2.1 ltr I-4, 7 speed tranny. Seems to have less problems than the 3 ltr V-6, 5 speed tranny.
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:25 AM   #17
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OK... So I did go with a Promaster after all. Flying to SLC to pick up our new (to us) 2017 Hymer Aktiv. It has 7K miles on it and looks to be in very nice shape. Starting to look around for insurance and find out what paperwork I need to complete the transaction with the seller. Getting excited...!
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:32 AM   #18
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Good to hear Radio, a new b for u! Good for u.

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