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Old 01-02-2012, 07:57 PM   #1
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Default Help Me Decide on a RV

I am in the process *of comparing the Great West Van Sprinter Legend to the *Roadtrek SS-Agile Sprinter Van and Pleasure-Way 2010 Plateau. Does anyone have thoughts *that will help me.
Thanks, and Happy New Year!
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: Help Me Decide on a RV

The Roadtrek SS-Agile would be more similar to the Pleasure-Way Ascent. They are based on a shorter Sprinter. I don't see the Ascent listed on Pleasure-Way's site. Anyone know if they still make them?
The Pleasure-Way Plateau and the Great West Van Sprinter Legend would be more similar to the Roadtrek RS-Adventurous. All are based on a longer Sprinter.

Davydd posted some good info about the Great West Van Legend here: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...hp?f=24&t=1749
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help Me Decide on a RV

Thank you, it look likes the Roadtrek SS-Agile Sprinter Van is what I am looking for.
Thanks
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help Me Decide on a RV

Great West Van is developing a short Sprinter similar in size to the RT SS-Agile and P-W Ascent. You might want to contact a GWV dealer about them if a short wheelbase Sprinter is what you want. The other option is Sportsmobile will build you a short Sprinter to your custom design preferences. P-W may be out of the short Sprinter market if they no longer feature the Ascent on their website.

I haven't seen the GWV short Sprinter design yet but think it could have great potential if they use their tri-fold electric sofa. The electric sofa with ottomans design all the other manufacturers use is not as efficient in use of space and function when space is dear.

All the converters are quality manufacturers. It really comes down to features and floor plan design that best fits your desires. That's difficult to determine if you never had a B, a tad easier after you had some experience. If one of the converter's stock plan works that's best. If not, and you are confident, design your own by Sportsmobile would be the way to go. The one caveat is it is not that easy to do. I've seen some very unique and clever designs and I have seen some horrendous designs making me scratch my head wondering what the owner had in mind.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help Me Decide on a RV

Hi Davydd,
I have been impressed with your responses to the form, thanks so much for taking your time to help others like me. I I am locked in to buying a short Sprinter because of my parking restrictions in my driveway as well as being easier to handle as a 2nd vehicle. I am also trading my sailboat for a land yacht, my age 70 is not feeling as comfortable working with wind and sails etc. as driving an RV. My wife and I have had extended cruises in close quarters so I don't think we will have marital problems living in a B-RV. I will contact Great West Van and inquire about their short Sprinter, I am hoping that I will have several manufacturers to choose from.
Again thanks for your time and efforts.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:10 PM   #6
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I was looking over a RT Agile SS at Yosemite a couple of weeks back and it looked like a very nice rig. In fact it got me going on finding a class B myself. It has been a few years and I miss the functionality. So many questions!
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:01 AM   #7
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My wife threw out an interesting question. I had been looking at RT and GWV sprinter models. She asked if there were compelling reasons to got with the sprinter frame over the Chevy frame. Some of of the comments about finding service for Chevy almost anywhere, caused me to take a step back and re-think.

Am I missing something important?
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Help Me Decide on a RV

Your DW is wise, and asks a great question. It's been asked, and kicked around before.
The only issues I'm aware of was, after the split of Daimler/Benz and Chrysler a few years back,
some Sprinter owners were left dangling by their local Chrysler dealers regarding chassis service.
That was a rough period for some of the class B converters who now had to find more expensive ways around Chrysler's refusal to service Sprinter vehicles.
I believe Roadtrek was on the hook for covering some additional costs of repairs at the (probably) more
expensive MB and Freightliner shops, or had to pay premium prices to get Chrysler to service them after the breakup.
As she has suggested, most towns (in North America) probably have a GM/Chev dealer. Perhaps the same is not true of Daimler/Benz/Mercedes or Freightliner? The latter might be more prevalent in larger urban centers. All depends on where you live, and where you break down, I guess. Reliability becomes a factor, when choosing a class B.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help Me Decide on a RV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Reliability becomes a factor, when choosing a class B.
How do you define reliability? Reliability in that you can readily find a dealer because your B has a greater chance of breaking down or reliability in that your B is...well...reliable and may rarely need service.

Just speaking with the experience of 80,000 miles over two Sprinter Class Bs and never needing but the routine service every 10,000 miles as scheduled.
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Help Me Decide on a RV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Reliability becomes a factor, when choosing a class B.
How do you define reliability? Reliability in that you can readily find a dealer because your B has a greater chance of breaking down or reliability in that your B is...well...reliable and may rarely need service.

Just speaking with the experience of 80,000 miles over two Sprinter Class Bs and never needing but the routine service every 10,000 miles as scheduled.
I think the terminology he was really looking for was "repairability", as in how many places have the skills, and parts availability to fix the van. By all accounts, all the vans, Sprinters, Chevy, Ford, have been quite reliable. You will find some that have had no problems, some that have had problems. The Chevy and Ford will be more easy to find a repair shop if needed, particularly if you are out in the boonies a lot. Would it stop me from buying a Sprinter, no, but it is one of the items to consider in the overall picture when making the decision. Our decision to go with the Chevy (07 C190P Roadtrek) was mostly based on being able to get it through the garage doors (height), which made the Chevy the choice, and available storage in the unit, which made Roatrek 190P the choice. We found all the Sprinters to have leaned toward "openness", and enclosed bathrooms, at the expense of storage, which was a priority for us. They were a foot longer than the Chevy in the past, but most now are somewhere in the 3 feet longer, and on a dually chassis, which also causes some limitations.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:09 PM   #11
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Yes, to both. Or, all of the above. Reliable out of the box for many years of problem free use, and
repairable in that you can find someplace nearby to fix them if they break.

I generally agree about the interior of the Sprinter. To me, they just seem longer and narrower than their Chev/Dodge/Ford siblings (which I guess they are), and the one or two I've had the pleasure of inspecting reminded me of a long hallway in a house, front to back. I don't really like the feeling of that layout, but as stated, that's just my opinion.
Personally, I also agree that most of them seem pretty reliable, but everyone has their own definition of reliable. They've had their recalls and problems over the years, just like the rest of the family of conversion and commercial vans. Davydd, you've never had to get any recall work done on either of your Sprinters? Wow ! You must have been lucky, and got the good ones. I just googled "sprinter van recalls" and got pages of hits. Perhaps they were all minor issues, and/or MB knew which customers had the affected units, so as you say, you weren't affected.
Just speaking as someone who has only had one major engine intake manifold gasket issue, which was admittedly a possible design flaw supported by a class action lawsuit, with over 104,000 miles on the same Chev 3500 Express Van chassis. Everything else was either regular scheduled maintenance, longevity related wear and tear, or RV related. :P

While we're touting the pros and cons of our respective choices, I've always wondered why Daimler/Benz/Mercedes decided to double up the rear wheel configuration on them(dually), since I read somewhere on here that Edmunds thought they were fine, and the best handling van on the road as they sat, with just the 4 bits of rubber on the pavement? Customer feedback/complaints? Or did they make them too large and heavy to keep the 4 wheel configuration? Perhaps they're so much heavier, that the dually configuration works better for the added weight and the inherent handling issues that go with it. I don't know why they did it, I just find it interesting that they changed their design.

Having said all of that, I'm off now to look at travel trailers. Hold my calls.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:10 PM   #12
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All recall items on a Sprinter were minor and got taken care of at the 10,000 mile service interval. The only one I remember with any specificity was a tire valve stem recall. If you are going to inflate a tire to its maximum you need steel lined valve stems.

I like the open level floor design of the Sprinter vs. the dark cave like stoop walking and head bumping of the Chevy and I am not even a tall guy. I would venture to guess I could store more in my GWVan Legend Sprinter than a Roadtrek 190. None of the manufacturers provide any real hard cubic inch numbers for storage.

There is no mystery to dually. The manufacturers went to dually Sprinters simply because the new body 2007+ got slightly longer, wider and taller and I presume heavier. Like almost all Bs including Ford and GM, I thought the old body 2002-2006 Sprinter was right at the cusp in conversion weight. From 2007-2009 the manufacturers except Great West Vans and Pleasure-way tried to get by with the 2500 4 wheel van. I think they made a serious mistake and I would avoid those models for anyone buying used. The worst offender was Winnebago with the ERA and Four Winds with the extended body models. Both dropped building Sprinter Bs on the QT. Winnebago re-entered this year with a 3500 dually. The 3500 dually Sprinter is by far the best driving and handling B on the market with the most safety features in handling. It's just newer technology over 60s design era based vans by American manufacturers. Dodge and Ford have figured that out. It is just a matter of time for GM.

Service is a silly argument for making a decision on a B. Most of the time if you are out in the boonies and you drop a transmission you are going to have to be towed and you are going to be incapacitated and have to find alternative transportation. The only difference might be towing distance. Selection ought to be based on desires and what feels best for you. Since there are a variety of Bs on the market we obviously all have different priorities.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:48 PM   #13
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The DW's question about service came from some history. The transmission went out in our Eurovan pop-up in the middle of the Mojave Desert. AAA would cover towing as far as Needles, CA. After a day on the phone at a motel, we found that the nearest place that worked on VW transmissions was in Las Vegas. The dealer told us that a new policy was to replace not repair transmissions and asked for $6,700 up front. The AAMCO shop quoted less than half of that and said a week. 5 weeks later, I was still in that motel and my DW had flown home.

On our next Christmas Tour, the transmission went out in Nashville, exactly 13 months later and 1 month out of warranty. We rented a car to complete the trip. It still wasn't ready two weeks later. We rented a car to drive back to California. It took another month for the repair to be completed.

I know that this was a rare occurrence. We had always been able to find repair for our Coachmen Ford class-B, our Westfalia pop-up, and our two home made camper vans. But it made a lasting impression that is difficult to shake when looking at a new rig.

She asked another question that had me scurrying. Our Coachman had a full bath, but we probably only used the shower in it a few times, compared to the outdoor shower connection and mostly quick sink wash-ups. Part of that was because the tub made such a good storage space.

Right now, the RT 190P is at the top of the list, but we're still looking. Visiting the dealerships to see the models is a one or two day trip each.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wabbit
She asked another question that had me scurrying. Our Coachman had a full bath, but we probably only used the shower in it a few times, compared to the outdoor shower connection and mostly quick sink wash-ups. Part of that was because the tub made such a good storage space.

Right now, the RT 190P is at the top of the list, but we're still looking. Visiting the dealerships to see the models is a one or two day trip each.
We have the 190P with the aisle shower, but rarely use it. Mostly campground showers of sinks wash ups, but it is there if we need it, and it works just fine. Saving the space of the full bath is well worth it, as the the toilet with the aisle shower takes very little space.

Ours came with the power sofa, which wastes a lot of storage in the rear with its supports. We would have preferred the twin bed setup, but the deal was too good to pass up. As it turned out, we built a full time bed anyway, so now we have more storage than either setup. Our 07 still came with the audio cabinet on the kitchen side of the van, which gives space there, and saves some of the opposite side overhead space. We added the armoire in place of the 3rd seat, and made the seat base outside accessible, so that also increased our storage. On trips up to two weeks we only use about 1/2 or space, so we are hoping to have plenty when we leave for months at a time, once we are both retired. DW is claustrophobic, and contrary to general logic, she finds the Roadtrek to be less confining than any of the other B's that have the entire driver's side wall with cabinets, and bathroom, floor to ceiling. All we can figure is that on the Roadtrk, the openings in the sides move from side to side as you go to the rear of the van, making it more balanced than having one side open and the other a full wall. Hard for me to understand, as tight spaces don't bother me at all. She can spend many hours at a time in the van without any issues at all, but when we were shopping for a B, there were quite a few she could not stay in for more than few minutes.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
Service is a silly argument for making a decision on a B. Most of the time if you are out in the boonies and you drop a transmission you are going to have to be towed and you are going to be incapacitated and have to find alternative transportation. The only difference might be towing distance. Selection ought to be based on desires and what feels best for you. Since there are a variety of Bs on the market we obviously all have different priorities.
Each to his own I guess. I said reliability and repairability, not service, were important.
Not breaking down, and if you do, finding a nearby competent repair shop with replacement
parts is important when picking your sled. To ignore it as a consideration when buying would
be foolish, IMO. Economy, comfort, reliability are probably the big three for me. After that it
becomes a popularity contest based on features and gadgets. Fit and finish is last, as long as
everything works, and it doesn't look like it was built by children.
However, if you're not limited by budget and time to repair (like many of us, who don't have to
get back home or to work or have other commitments), maybe it really doesn't matter to them.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
She can spend many hours at a time in the van without any issues at all, but when we were shopping for a B, there were quite a few she could not stay in for more than few minutes.
Perhaps that was just good taste and a discerning eye?
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Ours came with the power sofa, which wastes a lot of storage in the rear with its supports.
One of the thinks my DW loved about the power sofa was that it can be partially reclined. She loves her power recliner at home and immediate asked the sales guy to demonstrated this functionality.
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wabbit
Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
Ours came with the power sofa, which wastes a lot of storage in the rear with its supports.
One of the thinks my DW loved about the power sofa was that it can be partially reclined. She loves her power recliner at home and immediate asked the sales guy to demonstrated this functionality.
I guess that would certainly settle that :P
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:52 AM   #19
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Default Re: Help Me Decide on a RV

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
Quote:
Originally Posted by wabbit
Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
Ours came with the power sofa, which wastes a lot of storage in the rear with its supports.
One of the thinks my DW loved about the power sofa was that it can be partially reclined. She loves her power recliner at home and immediate asked the sales guy to demonstrated this functionality.
I guess that would certainly settle that :P
There are some other pluses. We can ride three additional people with legal seatbelts with our electric sofa. I think most all do that now though a few in the beginning did not have seat belts. We only do that when using our B in town with family and friends though last July we did take our son and two grandsons on a thousand mile trip to Washington DC. I don't recommend it as the ride can be pretty bouncy but they were young.

Our sofa rides on side rails so there is uninterrupted storage underneath the sofa.
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:10 PM   #20
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Great West does a good job with sliding coach, as it moves the hardware out to the sides, and clears the area underneath. The thing to remember is that the opened up storage when the coach is forward, blocks that area in front of the couch. You also have to remove any larger things stored there, and presumably put them outside, when you want the couch back, or to make the bed, so it has to be stuff that is weather and theft proof. It is definitely better than the standard sofa from a storage point of view. I don't know if it is usable partway down. I think you will see more of this type of design on other brands. One of the brands (Pleasure-way?) has a bed, couch that swings up from the rear to give more space, with the same removal issues.

If you like a permanent bed, which we also use as a lounger with pillows to watch TV, you can gain a lot of space in a B.

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