I hear ya about wanting to get into the more remote places and campgrounds! That's another reason the B was perfect for me!
Something to keep in mind though is the height - I think all the Sprinters are over 9ft high and some places have a height restriction.
One such place is Baxter State Park in Maine. I was there over the summer and it's AMAZING. They have strict rules and won't admit vehicles over 9th high - I can't remember what the length limit is but I'm pretty sure the Short Sprinter meets it, it's just too high.
Like you I don't want to tow a car - my parents have a big class A and they tow a car so I sometimes travel with them and then we can go places! But I'm not always with them!
So far I've only come up with a few places that my 24ft PW isn't allowed (haven't been looking long and really haven't looked too far off the beaten path) and I think in all those cases the Short Sprinter wouldn't help! I think I'm going to add a page to my blog of places were my van isn't allowed as I discover them just to see how fast they pile up!
I can't speak for the gas models, they may be shorter and therefore comply with the rules.
I don't know how firm you are on the length limit or the reasons behind it, but if you are at all flexible on that, I'd encourage you to explore the bigger Bs. I was pretty set on wanting a short sprinter RV when I was shopping - like you, under 20ft - but when we found an amazing deal on a PW Plateau we snatched it up! MY PW is 24 ft long - no spare tire. It's a DREAM to drive! I prefer it over my Saturn VUE, everyday car! It doesn't feel big, it handles like a car. I can back it up, get it in the campsites, I can park it almost anywhere. I don't think it's a whole lot different from the Short Sprinters. It does have a few feet of "overhang" - it can't fit in a standard parking spot, BUT if you have a place where you can back it in and get the overhang to go over the curb, you are good to go! I've only had it since April, but I've only gotten myself into 1 tight spot and that was my own stupidity and trying to make the van do something I knew it couldn't do!
My PW had an enclosed shower and other than the floor always being wet, I do like it! I'd rather the floor in the bathroom always be wet rather than the floor in the van! The enclosed shower was part of why I'm glad I went for the PW rather than the RT!
Happy shopping! :-)
I have enjoyed my PW for the same reason once already and I anticipate many other times! When my cousin graduated from HS it was great to visit with the family but then head "home" to my own space right in the driveway! Didn't have to worry about being in the way or sleep in a strange bed! I vow to only sleep in my bed at home or in my RV - no strange beds ever again! :-)
I rented a class B from Apollo last summer, and later saw an RV that looked exactly the same on RVTrader under the name "Majestic", I too googled it and couldn't find anything on it. I think you may be correct that after the Apollo rental folks are done they sell the units under the brand "Majestic". Renting the van was what sold me on buying a Class B, however I never would have bought that RV.
For me it had 2 BIG issues...
1) The toilet. It does not have a "black" tank, rather the toilet had a cassette that you have to pull out and empty. It's not very big, I could only go couple days before I had to empty it. The cassette was also heavy and hard to dump - you had to get it lined up with the hole and lift it, without spilling it's contents. Also, it did have a grey tank, which you dumped with the usual hose. So dumping was a 2 step process (3 if you include adding fresh water) and involved multiple opportunities to make a mess. Rumor has it you can dump the cassette in a toilet - although it would take multiple flushes, so that could be a plus if you don't have a dump station handy! By contrast I can go 5-6 days on the tanks in my Pleasure-Way and dumping takes a grand total of 5 min - hook up the sewer hose, pull the valves and done!
2) The Refrigerator. The unit I rented had a 2 way fridge - AC/DC only, no propane. I like to dry camp. The fridge sucked the battery dry in the 1st day and it was a constant struggle to keep the battery charged, made more complicated by the fact that I was camping in a generator free loop. If you primarily camp in campgrounds with hook ups it wouldn't be as big of a problem. I recently dry camped for a week in my PW and ran the generator once! I was driving a bit every day which kept the battery charged, but with the fridge running on propane there wasn't much draw on the battery.
I'm not sure what you mean by brown water, unless you are referring to what I know as "grey" water - the waste water from the shower/sink. In which case, see above, if not please explain!
The bathroom, other than emptying the toilet, was fine. It's a wet bath and I showered in there a few times and it was just fine!
The sleeping arrangement was as to be expected from a B. It was comfortable, but needed to be assembled daily and it could be challenging - the back of the van had benches along the sides with an aisle down the middle. The benches could be used as twin beds, but I found them to be narrow. You slide the backrest from one bench into the middle to make a full size bed. It can be challenging to get the backrest into the grooves by yourself b/c it's long and can be unruly! It was much easier to move and dress in the van with the bed "put away". I found that it was easier to get in and out through the back doors.
I ended up purchasing a Pleasure Way Plateau and I LOVE it!!!!! Although like I said at the beginning, this rental is why I bought the PW! It was easy to drive - and I'd drive 3 other small RVs over the years and the van was the easiest to drive - and park, and it was the perfect size for just me!
One thing the rental van had that I don't have in my PW was a backup camera - the one in the van I rented was in the rear view mirror and it was especially helpful! Also the rental van had an MP3 so I could listen to my iPod, I do miss that in my PW!
The things that were issues for me, just might be perfect for you! I hope you find what you are looking for and enjoy Class B ownership! :-)
Cumberland Island National Seashore is awesome!
The boat leaves from St. Mary's and it's a day trip. You can walk the trails - mostly flat, and go to the ocean.
Also, Crooked River State Park, in St. Mary's, is a great place to camp.
Also, I think you can get into the Okenfenoke (sp?) Swap near there - they have boat rides and canoe trips and such but I can't remember if that was near St. Mary's or somewhere else.
I guess different models have the fresh water fill in different places! I have a 2011 Plateau - Sprinter Chassis, I know Mercedes is very particular about what the converter can and cannot do to the shell of the van so that could be why they did the fresh water the way they did.
The city water hook up is on the driver side, but I rarely use that.
Yes, there is a door & lock on the fresh water fill so it can't be tampered with!
I'd definitely agree that the OP needs to go see some class Bs and decide. It's very hard though unless you live near some dealers. I have a RT dealer relatively close, but I was unable to see a PW before I bought mine! I bought it without having seen it (my parents had seen it, but I hadn't even seen a PW in person!) and have been falling more and more in love ever since! :-) Def try and see some different coaches - maybe even try RVTrader and if there's something close go see it even if you don't intend to buy that coach! Only you can decide what works best for you!
When I was in the process of buying my coach I had my heart set on a RT SS Agile b/c it was smaller. I ended up buying a PW Plateau (Sprinter)and I LOVE it! Now when I compare the 2 models I can't believe I ever would have been happy with the RT!
A few of the features of the PW that make it better for me than the RT:
*All the "tall" stuff is behind the driver - bathroom, wardrobe, microwave/fridge. This means I can use the rear view mirror and see out the back of the coach.
*No "captain's seats" behind the driver - the wardrobe is permanent, not removable, and the rest of the space that would have been a seat is counter space in the kitchen.
*The bathroom is fully contained - the shower does not occupy the aisle. You go in, close the door and that's all that get's wet. My dad though, had a hard time with the bathroom - he's 6ft tall and was very cramped when he tried to shave in there.
*The Plateau is built on a 3500 chassis with the dual rear tires, this gives it better handling and allows you to carry more weight - I have a larger fridge with a separate freezer.
*PW does not put macerator pumps in their coaches, they use good old fashioned gravity to empty the tanks. I like that there's nothing that will fail, I can put my TP into the black tank with everything else, and dump without jumping in and out to check the gauge (that's usually not accurate!)
*The fresh water fill is on the side of the coach (the passenger side, which is a bit odd, but workable) NOT on the inside of the driver door. When you fill the water the surrounding area rarely stays dry - I'd rather the surrounding area not be the driver seat!
There are very few things I don't like about it...
*The in dash radio is just AM/FM/CD - no MP3/AUX input jack or SAT radio - that's an easy fix, I just have to do it.
*There's an electric outlet in the bathroom right where the shower curtain Velcros to the wall. If the outlet was on the other side of the vanity it wouldn't get wet, but where it is it could get wet (although I dry camp more than I plug in so it's not a huge issue)
*The way the cushions on the ottomans attach is dopy - there are 2 strips of velcro that you must contort in order to fasten them to the cushions. I can fix this with more velcro on the wall or by simply placing the cushions on the floor for travel!
I LOVE my PW and would recommend them over RT any day! :-)
oh....when I was looking for a van to buy it seemed that FL was the Used Class B Capital of America! Almost every used van I saw on RVTrader was at Sunshine State RVs in Gainesville FL. I also found a dealer in Nookims (sp? It's on the Gulf Coast near Tampa) that had many brands of new class Bs (and presumably some used. I purchased mine from a private seller so can't offer any advice on the dealers!
I second Bumpy's question...
I bought my RV in FL & I live in VA! Getting the money together for the purchase was a bit interesting with mailing certified checks and such, but was able to take care of all the licensing & registration stuff here in VA before I left, I then mailed the license plates to my parents in FL and they put them on the coach. I'm not sure what Montana's rules are though...
Do what works best for you and your situation!