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Old 10-09-2015, 04:50 PM   #1
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Thumbs up 7000 Mile Test Drive

OK, I already own it, so it was not a test to see whether or not I'd buy it, but it was a good test and our 2016 Solera 24W passed with flying colors. The route was sort of a circular trip around the USA, starting and ending in Pennsylvania. We went west to Idaho, south to Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas; east to New Orleans, and north to Pennsylvania. Along the way we went as high as 9200 feet above sea level in Bryce Canyon National Park, and as low as below sea level in New Orleans. We encountered temperatures in the 30s at West Yellowstone and over 100 in Arizona. The little 3.0 liter diesel and 5 speed transmission performed flawlessly under all conditions. The coach part of the RV also performed well. Everything worked as it should and nothing broke down. We had heat when we needed heat. We had AC when we needed AC. The fridge kept ice cream frozen for the entire duration. We covered 7200 miles in 27 days. It was an enjoyable trip and I must say that I enjoyed driving the Solera.

Our Solera came with the Helwig sway bar installed. I think I will add the Sumo springs as the chassis did bottom out occasionally on uneven terrain. Handling was never an issue, even in severe crosswinds and headwinds. Crosswinds were so strong on the way out that it tripped off the cruise control and the anti-sway control. Yes, you had to hang on and be prepared, but the big box stayed upright and under control. We are looking forward to our next trip.

I topped off the DEF tank before we left on the trip. After a bit more than 7,000 miles, the light for DEF Low came on. It took about 3.5 gallon to fill it again. Restarted the engine after filling and the light went away. I have no complaints about the Sprinter. Now, it's time for its 10,000 mile service.
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:14 PM   #2
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Sun Motors is the place. Brain Young handles Sprinter. They will pickup and deliver.
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:11 AM   #3
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Nice write up .. very encouraging. On our 2015 Solera 24S we use about 1 ounce of DEF per gallon of diesel burned. This would translate to your getting about 16 mpg. Would that be a close estimate?

Having replaced the stock shock absorbers with Bilsteins I'd highly recommend doing the same. The stock shocks can be compressed by hand very easily. The Bilsteins REALLY control the tipsy, rock and roll oscillations much better. Especially combined with the Hellwig.
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:05 AM   #4
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We averaged very close to 14 mpg for the entire trip (as low as 11.87 and as high as 16.25). Cruising speed was about 66 mph. With the changes in elevation, head winds and cross winds that we experienced, I am happy with 14 mpg.
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