Sprinter Vans - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-25-2011, 06:45 PM   #15
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I am not upset about this?
Your comments just make it seem like price is all that matters after some discusiion where price was not part of it?

We all have different needs and ideas which is partly why I like this forum the way it is.
The fact is we were talking about the suitability of Sprinters for towing and then took a turn down the money road.

A Sprinter is not the cheapest way to go to be sure.
I do feel though that you can get a lot of value for the money from one and my favorite feature of mine is its versatility.
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:52 PM   #16
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Well I know that we have gotten off topic but the bargains go like this, the p/u is a 93 my dad bought it when it was 1 yr old with 10,000 miles on it,when my mother passed away in 04 I bought it from him for $1.00, today it only has 63,000 miles on it. The F150 was bought on Ebay, nobody else bid on it and I won it for $800.00,The 4Runner is interesting, it sat for 4yrs my buddy bought it to get the wheels off it then I bought it for $500.00 it's a 95 sr5 limited all power all leather 172,000 miles and you know thats nothing for a yota. It's not all about the price, I had a 07 bighorn ram 3500 with all the bells and whistles and a $1,000.00 payment every month, it sat in the drive most of it's life. I realize the Sprinter is a very capable unit,I just don't think anyone needs that much truck to tow an egg. No hard feelings, I love this site and don't want any bad relationships.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:17 PM   #17
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Let me just say that as the OP of this thread I'm getting what I hoped for...lively discussion on the pros and cons of the Sprinter Vans. (even the segue into Greg's Bargain Beauties...thanks for the explanation, BTW) I am absolutely not put off by courteous disagreement. What a bore it would be if we all thought the same. No bad feelings here.

Admittedly, I was hoping that there might be a few more who actually towed with one to have a rounded view of the capabilities of this vehicle...particularly chugging up mountains. Ed's posts are valuable to me because he has used this as a tug even so it's only been short hauls. I look forward to hearing about his future adventures with the Sprinter on longer trips.

The posts regarding the costs are valuable because I hadn't looked at that before I asked the questions not wanting to be biased at the outset (OK...other than my thinking they're ugly as sin, but I think that about most vans anyway.) But, it's something to consider as we do have a budget in making this dream come true. A gently used Sprinter that falls within our budget will have serious contention among the others we have considered but not yet tested.

Is a Sprinter overkill for a 16 footer? Who knows? We carry a good bit of camping stuff as well as our 14 1/2 foot touring kayaks and gear. There are folks mightily happy pulling their eggs with their diesel dually's. And, we may, over the next 2 years discover that a 16 footer is too small for us old farts to spend living in and out of over the next how ever many years this adventure lasts.

At any rate, there's a Sprinter dealer the next town over and we intend in the very near future to go kick a few tires and drag a salesman on his most unexpected test drive ever.

Thank you all so much for your input. I welcome any other thoughts that you may have.

Josie
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:37 PM   #18
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A Sprinter might be overkill for a 16 footer... and so is a full size pickup for towing a 13 footer, but plenty of people do it!

I just wish the 2.2 liter version of the Sprinter engine was available in a midsize pickup or SUV here in the US. I was a bit disappointed when I found that they put some gasoline engine in the Ford Transit Connect. Like the full size Transit, they are all diesels overseas. Ford Duratorque diesels are nice performing engines.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbrew View Post
I just wish the 2.2 liter version of the Sprinter engine was available in a midsize pickup or SUV here in the US. I was a bit disappointed when I found that they put some gasoline engine in the Ford Transit Connect. Like the full size Transit, they are all diesels overseas. Ford Duratorque diesels are nice performing engines.
I was disappointed by that as well. There do not seem to a lot of diesel options out there. Too bad it would be so expensive to buy one over there, bring it back here and wait for the EPA permitting in order to legally drive it.
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:48 PM   #20
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I had a thought today... buy an old gasser, drive it into Mexico to a shop with inexpensive labor, have a diesel engine installed, drive it back. I wonder if it would be at all practical?
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:41 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee
I had a thought today... buy an old gasser, drive it into Mexico to a shop with inexpensive labor, have a diesel engine installed, drive it back. I wonder if it would be at all practical?
Possible... yes. However, there are usually MANY other things that need to be changed. Wiring harness, electronics, transmission, instrument cluster, etc. I know people who have done it, and it was an open checkbook project. I think it cost him around $30,000 to convert a VW Passat to a V6 turbodiesel with all wheel drive. He did it for the fun of it.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:42 PM   #22
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2yax2go:Josie
First off 2yax2go, we are there now. It's great.

I have a neighbour who regularily tows a loaded 8 x 12 single axle trailer with his full sized, stand up, fully camperized Sprinter with the smaller motor. He says it is OK, as you mentioned it just chugs along with decent mileage. By the way - A strong praire wind can be just as hard on a vehicle as any mountain grade, maybe even harder, if you are fighting it all day.
His biggest concern to date is finding a Dodge/Chysler dealer that can service/repair it properly and not just change parts to remedy the problem. He actually drives 1 1/2 hrs each way just to go to a dealership that deals with the Sprinters. This dealership has a mechanic that is interested in these machines and keeps up on them and their problems.
A local Dodge/Chrysler dealership recommended it to him.

Question for you:
Why a diesel?
I want a diesel also but sat down with a diesel expert, told him what I wanted to do with it and he told me reasons why not to get one.

Generally, diesels are a lot more expensive to buy and to repair. Oil changes cost more. You are dealing with turbos, lift pumps, injectors, all sorts of filters, bigger batteries, getting good fuel is sometimes a problem.
Repairs on a diesel can break your budget very easily. Not every dealer can service or repair them. Parts may or may not be readily available.
You can remedy some of the trouble prone spots before they happen,but it costs $.
What is the break point on the cost effectiveness on the diesel vs gas debate? Lots of information concerning that on the internet.

If you are looking for used (cheaper?)Sprinter, who knows what they have been used for - how many hours they sat idling, etc. I suspect that gently used Sprinters are few and far between and they will command top $.

Have you gone to any of the Sprinter sites and read the comments concerning the performance and some issues affecting them?

"Is a Sprinter overkill for a 16 footer? Who knows?" We all do. If we have the space, we will fill it.

"At any rate, there's a Sprinter dealer the next town over and we intend in the very near future to go kick a few tires and drag a salesman on his most unexpected test drive ever."
I'd suggest that before you do that, you read whatever you can get your hands on concerning the 5 cylinder. Then you can ask him knowledgeable questions. I'll bet that he will do the old soft shoe shuffle. Don't get talked into the 6 cylinder diesel Sprinter, from what I've read, they get poor mileage and not much better performance.


Wayne
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:10 PM   #23
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Not sure what you are referring to. They have never sold the 4 cylinder Sprinter in the US. The previous model (like mine) was only ever brought over with a 2.7L 5 cylinder common rail turbodiesel. The current model has either a V6 gas engine or a V6 turbodiesel. These are "high performance" engines mainly used for the US market and are not commonly found in Sprinter vans overseas. I know that they offered a 2.3L gas engine in some countries as a budget option in the previous model, but never in the US. The 2.2L turbodiesel was also never sold here.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:12 AM   #24
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Wayne....if you're saying you're on the road full-time now...congrats. We've become so excited about this new adventure that I'd quit the stay-put life yesterday if all the ducks were in their place. Soon.

You bring up some very valid points about diesels. We hadn't gotten quite that far in our analysis and appreciate your input in that arena. Possible repair costs are always something to factor in the research. What I know about working on cars would fit on the front side of a single sheet of paper. The Mister is a mite more handy, but neither of us is a whiz.

I, too, was going to say that I didn't think they offered anything other than 5's stateside as that is all I have seen adverted here. Me'n'the Mister have become pretty tough shoppers in our time together and tend to have more faith in fellow shoppers/users than the salesman. We rather get a private kick out of listening to their spiel. The worst was the guy who reflected all his chatter to the Handyman when he was told up front I was the buyer. He had something I was interested in that day, but missed out on the sale. We are both quite contented now with the Vibe we bought from the guy who listened.

We are a couple of years out on this and have time. We'll prolly end up with a gasser in the mean as we will need something more reliable than the workhorse S-10 4 x 4 beater in the drive right now. She's been a good one, but she's seen hard use as an off-road, Scout gear, home & garden hauling, road warrior in her life here at Casa de Chaos. She'll be OK for flatter hauls, but we're not keen on her having her tug Li'l Scamp up I-26 at Saluda Mt.(6% for three miles with two four degree curves), it's cousin Green River Gorge (7% for less than a mile with several four degree curves) or the Nantahala National Forest mtn. roads this summer.

We're not dead set on diesel...it's an option we're considering for the longevity of the vehicle and better mpg than average. So, we may just pick a price point and see what pops up to drive in the interim.

Thank you all so much for your input.

(aside to Mike...that's an interesting thought. When I lived in SoCal as a teen guys went down to TJ all the time for smooth, cheap tuck and roll upholstery jobs. SC is VERY far from that southern border plus my son's US Marshall friend recommends a keep away given the current challenges)
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:30 AM   #25
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All,
Whoops. 4 and the 5 are right next to each other and I didn't proof it all that carefully. Sorry.

2ya2go We are housebound but retired (at last) and are looking for a trailer so enable us to travel more economically and to allow us to stop when and where we choose.

Once I saw my neighbours Sprinter and confirmed his mileage, I got really interestedin the Sprinters. That idea was toast when I finally found out for myself what was available out there - used - in these vehicles.

As time goes on, I have no doubt they will be cheaper. What I am seeing now is that the contractors have discovered these thrifty machines and are buying and using them in place of their traditional service vans.

My neighbour is quite pleased with his Sprinter and he and his wife tell me that it is a pleasure to travel in. He reports that it's no V8 but once it gets up to speed it maintains it easily. I've no experience with them at all.

Wayne
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:22 AM   #26
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I agree that the way to go is to some Sprinter Forum just like this one and learn all you can before really jumping in.
I have a few friends who bought theirs new and that sparked my interest way back and so I began learning about them and searched for a few years for the right one.

The service availibility is tough for sure. Most dealers do not have a lot of experience with them and overall it seems the Freightliner dealers are the best equipped for them in general.

I have a Russian mechanic here in STL that has experience and mechanics with experience as they learned to work on them over seas and without that resource I doubt I would have pulled the trigger.

I also purchased a dealer diagnostic tool and software made just for Sprinters so that I can really see for myself what the vehicle is doing should problems arise.
This is likely beyond what most would do to help have a good experience with a vehicle but I look at these things as just another tool,which I can not resist.

There are something like 13 computers in the T1N Sprinter talking on 3 networks to male the vehicle do what it does and whatever this says I am told the new models have triple that number of computers on board.

The newer ones are a lot more complicated,pricey and get worse mileage to boot.
I also don't think they are as reliable and maintenance is higher too.

Over all a Sprinter is not something you should just jump into lightly probably but I could not be happier with the one I found.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:29 AM   #27
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Here are a few shots
I love the ones with the "Smart" car.
And the T@B is a whole other story!
Attached Thumbnails
sprinter&smart1.jpg   sprinter&smart2.jpg  

Sprinter&Tab1.jpg   Sprinter&Tab2.jpg  

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Old 01-27-2011, 11:57 AM   #28
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Those are the baby Sprinters that replaced the Dodge vans, as far as service yes any Freightliner dealer should be able to work on them, they were sold as Freightliner, Mercedes Benz And Dodge.
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