After long agonizing research I decided to buy a Class B RV. Mostly for the size, maneuverability, economy. Many improvements in recent years caused me to opt for a new one. Keeping my earlier goals in mind, I shopped for something on a Short Sprinter chassis. The Choice: Roadtrek Agile or Pleasure-Way Ascent. Both are pricey, but I felt the PW was outfitted a bit better, used nicer materials, and was better equipped than the Agiles I had seen, so decided to purchase a new 2008 Ascent TS.
I am not disappointed. I've only had it for 6 months, and 7700+ miles, but I am very pleased with my choice. PW thought of everything. 19" LCD HDTV swings & swivels, but has a neat latch to hold it when on the road. Small wardrobe has a hinged door at the bottom for long items. The bed is an honest 70" X 72" for this 6'2" guy (and his dog).
It is a small unit, but there is plenty of storage, and under the sofa is room for odds & ends like water hoses, electric cables, filters, TV cables, etc. I like the bathroom sink & shower, but haven't used either outside or inside shower yet. I like the fact it has separate black and grey tanks, though I would prefer a fresh tank larger than 20 gal. The cabinets are first-rate, tight and well-constructed, and there is even a shower curtain to protect the inside of the BA door, and another to protect the window curtain. There is an annoying rattle coming from the hardware of the fold-away counter extension, but it only happens with short/quick jolts. I can live with it.
I had some issues with the coach battery, but those turned out to be operator-error. Even so, PW was quick to respond to emails, and offered good advice. I feel confident they will stand by their product.
The Ascent is small enough to drive the Over the Sun Road in Glacier NP, and the 3.0 L MBZ Turbo Diesel easily handles mountain roads. On a recent trip I had to drive through MANY miles of road construction -- no pavement -- but the Ascent handled its off-road adventures stoically and with aplomb.
Most overnights have been in RV parks with all the comforts of home (water, electric, cable TV, WiFi), but I look forward to using the propane Onan generator for power in the wilderness. The generator is much quieter than I had thought it would be (it appears to be encased in a sound-deadening surround), and is not intrusive if watching TV with it on. No A/C or Microwave without an AC source, so that's either shore power or generator. I hear it is difficult to service the generator because it is located under the unit in the rear (can't have an access hatch due to exhaust fumes), and you have to be careful not to submerge the generator if you intend to launch a boat with the rig.
I have played with the air suspension a little (cockpit mounted electric air pumps) and finally settled on 40 lbs. pressure. I had heard those pumps could be used to level the unit, but have not had success doing that. I'm considering bringing along a couple of ramps instead.
The Short Sprinter chassis is very easy to drive, and quite spritely. I can consistently get 22 mpg at 55 mph. I can even get 20 mpg at 60 mph, but it drops off quickly as speed increases.
I realize nothing/nobody is perfect -- but I have absolutely no complaints with the PW Ascent TS. At 1000 miles I changed it over to synthetic oil, and the engine just purrs along. A true delight to drive, and fun to camp in. It cost a lot, but this turned out to be one of those rare great choices.