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Old 01-08-2014, 03:05 AM   #21
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Default Re: 2014 agile vs ascent

I do like the Agile's pull out sink. It costs space because it shoves the sink above the passenger side bed, but that isn't too bad, as the space saved in the bathroom is more useful, and for a single guy like me, I'd just leave the bed in the back down as one large one anyway.

I also like the solar panels on the Agile. During this time in Texas where the weather is cool (I hate to say cold, as it isn't "cold" in my book until it hits 0 degrees F or -18 degrees C), the 300 watts is good enough to keep enough charge in the batteries to keep the furnace fan spinning for a weekend in the wilderness.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:20 PM   #22
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I do like the Agile's pull out sink. It costs space because it shoves the sink above the passenger side bed, but that isn't too bad, as the space saved in the bathroom is more useful, and for a single guy like me, I'd just leave the bed in the back down as one large one anyway.
I commented from experience. I too thought the slide out sink was seemed unique and space saving as I have it on my GWVan Legend. If like GWVan the movable drain line can eventually cause problems since it is a moving part subject to failure. It grows old after a while and you have to tuck your feet under the lav in bed. That, believe it or not, is kind of claustrophobic bothersome and it eliminates the possibility of sleeping head toward the front. With the Agile, that bed is already a short 6 ft bed. The stored lav and the hanging closet above it kills the use of the ottoman below it and blocks part of the window. On balance it is not a great idea.

Another problem with the Agile is the bathroom is too narrow. They compensate with the bifold door set out when the bathroom is in use. My GWVan Legend originally had a bifold door but that was one of the first things I altered to swing out doors. The Agile bifold is a rather clunky thing to open, close and secure.

I thought about the situation with the bathroom on the driver's side some more. It fully blocks the driver's view looking over his/her right shoulder. That is the worst blind spot when trying to move a lane right. With windows there I can sense cars trying to pass or cut me off without totally needing to rely on mirrors. The bathroom also cuts off half the sliding door completely. The Agile actually stops the sliding door halfway.

I mentioned earlier about plan orientation. The Ascent allows for indoor/outdoor direct and visual communication at your campsite and privacy for the most part to the campsite next to you on the driver's side which can be critical in the sardine like parking in the private campgrounds. The Agile is just the opposite but I am sure a first time buyer stepping inside and initially seeing an expansive view to the outside would get subdued. With such a small B I would want as much expansion of indoor to outdoor communications and function to my camp area as I can get.

A problem with the Ascent is with the bathroom jammed up toward the front behind the driver it makes it much less functional for two persons sitting up front in camp seats turned around. That, on the other hand, is the plus for the Agile with the fold out table two people can use. GWVan and Advanced RV have a similar plan to Pleasure-way and Leisure Travel Vans but put the bathroom back near the bed on the driver's side rather than tight to the driver. This gives more flexibility up front for two people in camp. But those are all standard length vans.

Which brings up a point. The Ascent and Agile cause great sacrifice to save about 3 feet in length which on analysis is 3 very critical feet. I'm not sure how much it saves in cost but at the prices paid it could be proportional peanuts. The ProMaster and upcoming Transit might make the shorter B market more attractive. Just cutting down a regular length Sprinter B plan as the Agile and Ascent attempt is not cutting it, IMO. They need more innovative planning.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:30 PM   #23
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Default Re: 2014 agile vs ascent

I think the bathroom discussion gets a bit tedious sometimes. Roadtrek has, per Marko's info, something above 38% of the market, so lots of folks are choosing the bathroom on the passenger side. I certainly wouldn't call it a design error.

The visibility out of the side windows really shouldn't be an issue. You don't have full length windows on that side, and the van is taller than little cars, so you can't trust the window view and need to use the mirrors anyway.

The design of B's in the last few years has morphed from being centered on efficiency and storage capability to being open and airy. If you put cabinets in a B with the kitchen on the passenger side to equal what you used to (and still can somewhat) get with a driver side kitchen, and the traffic view is gone, as is the conversation, and the campsite view is either gone or limited to a very small window. So there are sacrifices to putting the kitchen there. Of course the same can, and does, happen in a driver side kitchen, too. I think all the passenger side kitchens are wide open now, giving up the cabinet space. The Roadtrek Adventurous CS is the first B in a long time to start back toward having more storage space. It is actually quite close to the floor plan of the traditional Roadtreks on the Dodge and Chevy platforms like the Populars. It looks like they are selling pretty well based on what is coming and going on the Lake Regions site. I would bet some of the old Dodge B's with drop floors and maximized storage can load up more stuff than a lot of the much longer and taller Sprinters being made now.

At least for us, we spend tiny fractions of an hour a day (week?) at the counter preparing food. We are camping, so 99% of what we do is outside. Popping something into the micro while watching TV at night is the major kitchen time for us. We wouldn't give up storage and utility space for openness or to move the kitchen. Of course, we also feel the same way about monster bathrooms

It really is surprising to me (us actually) that folks would be so passionately against drivers side kitchens, as there just seem to be so many more things that are much more important in a B, and there does seem to be an awful lot of folks that do like having the kitchen on the drivers side. There are also a lot of folks who like the front sleepers with the kitchen in the rear. Class A's and C's seem to use both sides for the kitchen, so there is no consensus there, either. IMO, personal choice, just like the perennial argument about diesel or gas
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:26 PM   #24
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Default Re: 2014 agile vs ascent

The 38% argument is the same argument that McDonalds makes the best hamburger in the world.

I think it is legitimate to point out the major design differences between the Agile and Ascent and the plan layout with flipped kitchen/bath design is the biggie. Instead of dismissing that difference as unimportant why don't you explain why the Agile would be better or more advantageous with the bath on the passenger side and the kitchen on the driver's side. I'd like to know. I would guess the OP would like to know. I pointed out one major difference in that the driver's seat could be fully turned around and be useful in the Agile, but I am at a loss for anything else.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:49 PM   #25
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The 38% argument is the same argument that McDonalds makes the best hamburger in the world.

I think it is legitimate to point out the major design differences between the Agile and Ascent and the plan layout with flipped kitchen/bath design is the biggie. Instead of dismissing that difference as unimportant why don't you explain why the Agile would be better or more advantageous with the bath on the passenger side and the kitchen on the driver's side. I'd like to know. I would guess the OP would like to know. I pointed out one major difference in that the driver's seat could be fully turned around and be useful in the Agile, but I am at a loss for anything else.
I you happen to be a bit claustrophobic, like DW is, the big floor to ceiling, driver seat to rear couch, wall somehow puts the entire space into an out of balance, claustrophobia generating condition. It doesn't matter if the other side is wide open, as it appears to be balance aspect. Our Roadtrek 190P has much, much less open area than Sprinters. Ours still has the audio cabinet in back of the kitchen, we also have the armoir in place of the third seat, but DW does not have problems inside it. We think it is because as you go front to rear in our 190 from behind the front seats, you first have a widening with a window to the left (the door), then you almost immediately have a midheight widening with a window to the right (kitchen counter, and then both sides widen out at just below midheight (above the bolsters, below the cabinets), and then full width at the bed. No big, dark almost full length wall. We have spoken to other folks that are claustrophobic that feel the same way. Our kitchen counter, micro, frig, are all in the same place, with lots of storage all around them, so very convenient. We don't expect other folks to have the same opinion or feel of space that we do, and don't expect others to tell us what we should feel or think.

But---the bottom line is we like the kitchen where it is, and don't have the intense desire to fish for every little thing we can think of to justify it, or convince other folks they are wrong, because they aren't. As I said before, and often, it is personal choice and opinion, whichever side the kitchen is on, and neither side is a "design error".

Sure it is part of the Agile, Ascent, discussion, but the OP needs to get into each and see what he likes, not just believe others. Either side may, or may not, be an issue for him.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:28 PM   #26
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Default Re: 2014 agile vs ascent

One of the things we did in evaluating units and models was to have a little list of scenarios based on our previous experiences and lifestyle. It had scenarios such as cooking, rainy/stormy days in a campsite, watching a movie, each of us with our laptops at opposite ends of the vehicle, pulling over for a quick lunch, etc. We'd explain to the salesman what we were doing and asked him not to hover while we evaluated. Then we would basically walk through / act out each of the scenarios and compare notes later.

The pull-out front table in the Agile surprised us both in functionality and ease for a few scenarios. Compared to pulling out a table post and table top and setting it up, it was fast and easy.

The kitchen placement didn't bother us in our cooking scenario, nor did the low microwave. We like that the Agile has a combo microwave.

The pull-out sink wasn't a factor. In fact, we could do nicely with no sink in the bath unit. The bed wasn't an issue because she is so short.

We rented an Adventurous for a few days, to get up close and personal. We test drove an Agile and an Adventurous on tight twisty mountain roads (our favorite).

Having owned a B and a Westfalia camper and travelled extensively in each, we were prepared to evaluate the trade-offs that come with a B. One of those factors was handling on tight twisty roads. Another was ease of parking in the cute little towns we like. The trade-off for that handling and ease was knowing that heavy gusty winds on a Interstate highway would be less fun. But we usually stay away from the big roads when feasible just because they are boring.

The solar, extra batteries, and electric fridge were big plus factors. The spare on the rear was a negative factor. The lack of a screen door for the side door was also a negative factor.

All in all, it is a matter of picking the unit that comes closest to being right for the largest number of scenarios on the list and each person or couple's list is going to be different.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:48 PM   #27
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One of the things we did in evaluating units and models was to have a little list of scenarios based on our previous experiences and lifestyle. It had scenarios such as cooking, rainy/stormy days in a campsite, watching a movie, each of us with our laptops at opposite ends of the vehicle, pulling over for a quick lunch, etc. We'd explain to the salesman what we were doing and asked him not to hover while we evaluated. Then we would basically walk through / act out each of the scenarios and compare notes later.

The pull-out front table in the Agile surprised us both in functionality and ease for a few scenarios. Compared to pulling out a table post and table top and setting it up, it was fast and easy.

The kitchen placement didn't bother us in our cooking scenario, nor did the low microwave. We like that the Agile has a combo microwave.

The pull-out sink wasn't a factor. In fact, we could do nicely with no sink in the bath unit. The bed wasn't an issue because she is so short.

We rented an Adventurous for a few days, to get up close and personal. We test drove an Agile and an Adventurous on tight twisty mountain roads (our favorite).

Having owned a B and a Westfalia camper and travelled extensively in each, we were prepared to evaluate the trade-offs that come with a B. One of those factors was handling on tight twisty roads. Another was ease of parking in the cute little towns we like. The trade-off for that handling and ease was knowing that heavy gusty winds on a Interstate highway would be less fun. But we usually stay away from the big roads when feasible just because they are boring.

The solar, extra batteries, and electric fridge were big plus factors. The spare on the rear was a negative factor. The lack of a screen door for the side door was also a negative factor.

All in all, it is a matter of picking the unit that comes closest to being right for the largest number of scenarios on the list and each person or couple's list is going to be different.
Very well stated. While we, or others may or may not agree with what YOU find important, and thus chose differently, it is very obvious that you did your homework well, and knew what you were getting in to. Because of that, I would bet the likelyhood of you being very satisfied with your choice are very high. We went through similar drills, but didn't have previous van experience to refer too, like you did, so it was a bit more of a challenge. In the end, we did decide on what was necessary, nice, or not important and got what has worked out very well for us.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:38 PM   #28
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Default Re: 2014 agile vs ascent

wabbit,

In your Decisions, Decisions... thread searching extensively for your B I did not see a decision. How did it end?
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:10 PM   #29
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wabbit,

In your Decisions, Decisions... thread searching extensively for your B I did not see a decision. How did it end?
Illness and family problems caused a bit of a delay. The "ending" is going on now, with negotiations for a 2014 Agile on the 2013 Sprinter chassis. Months of Sportsmobile design talks and travel to see various models ended with the decision. Now it is just a matter of how much I end up paying.

Then the fun part can commence...
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:24 PM   #30
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Congrats on your new rig and an end to the hunt.
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:36 PM   #31
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Congrats on your new rig and an end to the hunt.
Hopefully, the OP will also be able to come to a comfortable decision so he can start enjoying the ride!
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:27 PM   #32
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Default Re: 2014 agile vs ascent

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
wabbit,

In your Decisions, Decisions... thread searching extensively for your B I did not see a decision. How did it end?
Illness and family problems caused a bit of a delay. The "ending" is going on now, with negotiations for a 2014 Agile on the 2013 Sprinter chassis. Months of Sportsmobile design talks and travel to see various models ended with the decision. Now it is just a matter of how much I end up paying.

Then the fun part can commence...
Are you sure you don't want to go for a 2014 chassis w/the 4cyl 7 speed combo? Considerably cheaper maintenance, and 3 to 5 mpg better fuel mileage at least.

Just sayin......
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:35 PM   #33
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Has anyone other than Advanced RV said anything or contemplated offering the 4 cylinder Sprinter for a B? Without checking I would assume Sportsmobile too, but in looking at Agile and Ascent info I haven't seen anything. The short 2500 Sprinter would be the first logical choice to go to 4 cylinders.
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:57 PM   #34
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All of the RT Agile units built on the 2014 Sprinter chassis will be with the 4 cyl engine. I wanted the 6 because we spend so much time on mountain roads and the 6 is a known performer in the US. Some changes were made to the 4-cyl and trans for the US market, so it would be like buying version 1.0 of anything (something I try to avoid).
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:12 PM   #35
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My concern is for that little four-banger to keep things going, it is going to have to be hitting higher RPM numbers, even with a good transmission, and in general, the more movement, the more wear. I'd be more confident with the six just because it has been around a few years, and its issues are known.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:33 PM   #36
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My concern is for that little four-banger to keep things going, it is going to have to be hitting higher RPM numbers, even with a good transmission, and in general, the more movement, the more wear. I'd be more confident with the six just because it has been around a few years, and its issues are known.
I agree. While the 4 comes with a 7 speed trans, 2 of those speeds are overdrives. I haven't seen any data or reviews showing performance on the 4 with a fully loaded B and it will be a long time before there will be any data on the longevity of the new engine or trans.

Since I live less than 200 miles from Yosemite, we spend a lot of time on the steep mountain roads (Tioga Pass is 9,900'). That's a lot of strain on an engine in a loaded B.

I'll be interested to see how the 4 (and trans) perform, but for possible future units.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:04 AM   #37
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We'll probably know more soon. Mike and Marcia Neundorfer, the owners of Advanced RV are driving from Ohio to Tampa for the RV show in a long body Sprinter B with a 4 cylinder engine. Hopefully they will give an honest report. Or we will know if they continue to offer that option.

I don't worry much about fuel mileage but I sure would like to go back to those 500 mile plus driving ranges between fill-ups.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:43 AM   #38
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My understanding is the 4cyl has already been here a couple years in MB SUV's, along with the 7spd. Since I haven't actually read anything with my own eyes on this it's all from seeing other post this on Sprinter forums.

DavyDD, Mike & Marcia are already south. The Roadtreking couple either ran in to them at a rest stop, or had planned something with them last weekend somewhere down south. They spent a hour or so looking over each others' vans and having a quick meal together. Hard to believe, but the Roadtreking writer actually mentioned it was an Advanced RV, and was nice.....
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:27 PM   #39
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Default Re: 2014 agile vs ascent

I would joke that maybe Mike Wendland would switch horses but he already has too much vested with Roadtrek and already had reported last year on Advanced RV pretty favorably. He is no stranger to it.

I understand the owners of Great West Vans are driving their new ProMaster B offering to Tampa.
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:30 AM   #40
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I would joke that maybe Mike Wendland would switch horses but he already has too much vested with Roadtrek and already had reported last year on Advanced RV pretty favorably. He is no stranger to it.

I understand the owners of Great West Vans are driving their new ProMaster B offering to Tampa.
Yeah, Mike W's website and blog has a link on Roadtreks' home page. Is he getting perks??

Heard any specs on the GWV Promaster?
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