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Old 05-13-2018, 10:36 PM   #1
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Default Short Sprinter Class B

Starting a new thread to discuss options for a Class B on the Short (144" WB) Sprinter. Like Davydd I'm considering buying another Class B, but interested in down sizing to a shorter Sprinter model. I'm initially limiting my consideration to another diesel Sprinter because I like the idea of a single fuel using diesel heating systems and an all electric coach using a large lithium battery pack with second alternator for charging. Having the galley on passenger side is the my preferred layout.

There are only a few manufacturers offering short Sprinter Class-B's.

One is the Pleasure-Way Ascent TS.
Pleasure-Way Ascent Class B Motorhome - Pleasure-Way Industries

Another is the Roadtrek SS Agile.
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The new Winnebago Revel.
https://winnebagoind.com/products/cl...revel/overview

The SafariCondo L19-LX.
https://safaricondo.com/en/motorises...rinter-l19-lx/

Sportsmobile, ARV and OutsideVan will also convert a short Sprinter as a custom job. Anyone know of other short Sprinter Class B's available "off the shelf"?

Owners of short Sprinter B's feel free to comment on what you like best about a short Sprinter B.
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Old 05-13-2018, 10:41 PM   #2
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.

4x4 is available in RT Agile (option) and Revel (std).

Unfortunately Pleasureway would not build their Ascent on the 4x4 chassis.

I am not sure of the reason. Maybe it is something they added that is in the way of the 4x4 transfer case?
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Old 05-14-2018, 12:07 AM   #3
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The Advanced RV Facebook page (not the ďBĒing in and Advanced RV group) is conducting a SurveyMonkey survey on the short Sprinter to determine direction. Right now they have about five (a few spoken for) and the customer is pretty much dictating the layout. Sooner or later they may settle on a base plan like their RB and EB models where you can only modify to an extent.

I think my design is totally different and I donít know if they will adopt it for others. The survey may decide that. I sent my plans and 3D Sketchup to them last October and they were interested enough to build a mockup and initiated Solidworks 3D design and engineering the day after the Advanced Fest was over. So we stayed over two days. We are kind of in a holding pattern because I donít necessarily want the 2018 4x4ís duallies they have on order. In fact my design wonít work with duallies. Iím waiting to order a 2019 as soon as ordering opens up the middle to late June I understand. All indications is the box inside is little or no change. Another rumor is an all wheel drive model will be offered that doesnít hike the van 4Ē higher. I would be interested in that. We donít know the performance of the gas offering yet but I favor the Rixen Espar diesel-fired heat and hot water system that takes up no precious space inside the box. We are traveling right now and when we get home in June we will commit with a deposit. Then you will see all. Still a lot of design decisions and refinement by us and feasibility to come from ARV.

The more you stand in an empty 144 cargo Sprinter van the smaller it seems. Iím lopping off 5 feet! I keep telling myself a lot of it is empty air.
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Old 05-14-2018, 12:27 AM   #4
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We donít know the performance of the gas offering yet but I favor the Rixen Espar diesel-fired heat and hot water system that takes up no precious space inside the box.
There are gas-fired versions of the Espar hydronic heaters.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:44 AM   #5
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Default SS Sprinter

We started out wanting a C/B+....specifically A Leisure Travel Unity. Then thru 18 months of research we changed to a B and there were lot's of manufactures and layouts.

My wife really like the perceived build quality of the LTV but they stopped making true B's when we started looking.

When finally seeing a B in person (CS Adventurous I believe) they had an Agile and Acsent on the lot so we checked them out. Some things that jumped out at her:

- Felt more open than the larger vans. In some of the full size B's, the extra few feet is often filled up with some form of cabinet/wardrobe making it feel more cave-like to her.

- Nimbleness - Although we never drove a van around town she believed it would be easier to navigate in town. We live in down-town Tampa.

- Minimalistic - We both like to travel "smart". Meaning if we have a bunch of stuff we feel closed in and cramped. We have not gone anywhere more than a week thus far (we have been practicing using the van for 18 months leading up to retirement) and we have had plenty of space. Depending of the trip, we try and reconfigure the type of storage in the rear. We have 7-8 plastic containers with pull-out drawers that we use or not depending on the trip, backpacks/bulky versus smaller stuff better organized in a drawer.

The biggest driver in our decision was we could fit it into our parking space underneath our condo building. However if she did go to an Adventurous someday she would have it built without the rear closet to preserve the window.

She actually liked the Ascent's traditional kitchen layout but not much else. Cushions too soft for her. Cabinetry looked from the 70's despite it being well made. The flooring was old-style as well. Most folks on this site say that Pleasure Ways have far superior build quality to others but we just didn't see it although we might be thinking so due to the aesthetic choices selected for the coach decor. Also liked the Lithium options at the time. Not sure we needed them but tend to be on the "front-side" of tech stuff.

For the standard manufacturers we felt these were the best in terms of build quality.

Airstream
RoadTrek
PleasureWay - Old style and not in a good way.
Coachman - We liked the twin bed and ability to get in thru the rear if desired.
Winnebago - There build quality actually looks better now than it did 2 years back when we were looking

No regrets yet on opting for the shorter sprinter model. I still bet we would have gotten a larger unit if we had a single family home with parking only because the short wheel base models are not much less $$ so I feel like they cost more in comparison. However, like my Winni comments, this seems like it may have changed since we purchased as most stickers on the 170 WB seem to be approaching the $180 plus (MSRP) for a well optioned version.
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Old 05-14-2018, 03:25 PM   #6
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There are gas-fired versions of the Espar hydronic heaters.

As Davydd mentions we don't yet know which USA Sprinters will be available with the gas engine. I would imagine the short models would be good candidates as they are lighter. Buy if Daimler sticks with the current limitation of only V-6 diesels in USA 4x4 models it would limit choices. I guess we will see the available options next month.


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Old 05-14-2018, 04:36 PM   #7
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We spent a lot of time investigating and more importantly deciding on how WE wanted to use a Class B. For us the shorter Sprinter was and is a perfect fit. I think it is the ideal size for two people. We bought a RT Agile with nopropane so we have induction cook top and Alde diesel heat. With this option we have the spare tire underneath in the OEM MB location so no spare on a carrier off the rear, so we are as short as possible.

The van has been great for the two of us. We found that the standard layouts from RT, PW, etc. really had just more seats in them... something we really didn't need. With a convertible sofa and RV super sack, making the bed is super fast and comfortable. The van has more than enough storage for us (mostly long weekends and a longer 10 day+ trip each year) and driving and parking has been perfect.

If we were to do this again I would love to have an ARV built 144 van with similar appliances to what we have now (all diesel and no propane). I would be very interested in a less complex gas Sprinter (no diesel, no DEF, less complication), but would need to figure out the diesel appliances... maybe just a small fuel tank for the appliances.
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:27 PM   #8
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We just went through re-thinking RV's. The Coachmen 22C Ford Transit started the process. To try and make a long story short, here's we came out. Our Sprinter 2500 Agile SS is a 2014 we bought used with 10,700 miles on it and great condition. As a 144" wb we can park it just about anywhere. The bed is virtually a kingsize and extremely comfortable. We did a few upgrades like a heavier sway bar to help deal with high winds better; got rid of the Vanco tire and put on the Michelin Defenders M+S for far better rain and light snow handling, superior ride and great wear. On the Sprinter they gave us a first class ride and helped mileage slightly. The 2014 has more storage than more current models because of larger batteries in the newer ones.
As for the Coachmen Crossfit, we like the gas fuel, and the ability to have it serviced at the local Ford Dealer, our nearest MB mechanic is about 125 miles away. The shower is marginally the same size and would only be used if the campground or park didn't have modern, comfortable restrooms. The Crossfit has the 3.6 v6 turbo and a great transmission.
With our slight changes, took the tv out because we like the quite. Anyway, we opted to stay with the SS Agile, because it is agile, gets better mileage(fuel costs are about the same). The Sprinter 2500 is like the sports car of class B's. Great power to weight ratio compared to the Transit and we would have to start over with the modifications on the Transit. The Transit needs to use its space better and have more storage, and shower creativity and the driver seat needs to swivel. The bed in the Sprinter is more comfortable than we have at home. All these things are akin to living in a sailboat i.e. minimize stuff, and "a place for everything and everything in it's place."
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:38 PM   #9
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I would be very interested in a less complex gas Sprinter (no diesel, no DEF, less complication), but would need to figure out the diesel appliances... maybe just a small fuel tank for the appliances.
My take on this is that using a gas-fired hydronic Espar (or equivalent) setup for heat and hot water, with a propane stove fed by a small (maybe 1lb) canister would be just about perfect. Close enough to "single fuel" for government work, avoids the power hassles of induction cooktops, and allows a welcome path away from the problematic world of modern diesel.
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:24 PM   #10
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My take on this is that using a gas-fired hydronic Espar (or equivalent) setup for heat and hot water, with a propane stove fed by a small (maybe 1lb) canister would be just about perfect. Close enough to "single fuel" for government work, avoids the power hassles of induction cooktops, and allows a welcome path away from the problematic world of modern diesel.

X2 for us, also. We are already on a shorter 155" wheelbase and 20.5' plus the spare tire, so we can relate to all the things mentioned in the above posts, that we have found out over the last decade.


Davydd's comment of realizing how much of a 24' van is air is something that we have been saying for long time. It never really made much sense to us to haul around empty air. Of course, we are not quite as short as the short Sprinter.
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