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Old 11-14-2018, 02:37 AM   #1
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Curiosity question: As a current owner of a MB Sprinter based RV, would you purchase a

My answer is yes, he'll yes!
and you?
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:39 AM   #2
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another?
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:17 AM   #3
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No - though I'm not sure what I'd get.

Three major reasons...
  1. Lack of cargo capacity
  2. Insufficient suspension
  3. A bit too small
Numbers 1 and 3 should be pretty clear to anyone who's got one of these. As to # 2, just look at how many folks have upgraded some (or all) of the suspension. But, even so, it still suffers a basic problem because the wheel track is so narrow.

This is not to say that there aren't loads of good reasons to go with the Sprinter...just that the three items noted above are a bit too much for me.

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Old 11-14-2018, 10:26 PM   #4
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We now have about 90K miles on our 2012 MBS (Solera). Many great experiences on our two Alaska trips, cross country trip, Canadian Rockies trips, Utah NP trips, etc.

We rented a Ford based Class “C” MH before we bought. The MBS drives and handles much better than the rental did. Quite comfortable to drive on long trips. Mileage at 13 mpg overall has been quite reasonable (experienced about 7.5 mpg with the Ford). Wife hated driving the Ford; is comfortable driving the Solera.

Issues:
First, reliability. Have experienced three significant breakdowns. One was attributable to a maintenance error by a “qualified” (but not Mercedes or Freightliner) shop; the other two were Mercedes part failures. Sure wish Toyota or Honda made a cutaway MH chassis- from my experience with cars and other’s reports of breakdowns here, I doubt Ford or Chevy would be much better... (our two Toyota’s have been great).

Second, Diesel and particularly Biodiesel. Diesel in general can be hard to find “in the boonies”. Complicating things, Mercedes says 5% max biodiesel. Some states say 20% min. I have not yet been unable to find B5 or below, but have had to exit one station and search out another to meet the Mercedes requirement. I carry 5 gallons of diesel in cans, and have had to use that “reserve” to get to a diesel station (saw several gas only stations). Suspect the B5 issue will get to be more of a problem going forward. I actually doubt occasional use of B20 would cause a problem, but...

Third, on-road support. Especially in the boonies, finding a Sprinter repair or maintenance facility is challenging. My experience - a non Mercedes or Freightliner shop that claims to be Sprinter capable may well not be - and can cause future problems.

Fourth, the very complex and expensive emissions control system (diesel exhaust fluid, diesel particulate filter, filter regeneration cycles, dual catalytic conversion, etc). Issues with this system can result in “limp home mode” and require (expensive if past warranty) dealer intervention. Also, I’m not entirely comfortable that Mercedes won’t fall into a legal issue similar to the Volkswagen mess.


So - I enjoy our MBS and am glad we bought it when we did. Three significant breakdowns in 90K miles, I guess, isn’t terrible - and is probably as good as I would have experienced with the alternatives. To answer your question - I would look at all options and weigh issues like diesel, biodiesel and maintainability, but would not rule out another Sprinter.
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:19 AM   #5
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We are 10,000 miles and 1 1/2 years into our ownership of our Sprinter and we love it. Very comfortable to drive and gets great gas economy. We have had zero issues with the Sprinter or the RV since we picked it up May 2017. Had the regular service at our MB dealer at the one year mark and very satisfied. They had a separate section just for RVs and made it easy in and out in a little over an hour.

I do think it’s best suited for couples and not families due to the limited CCC. Our full wall slide opens up to create ample space for living.
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Old 11-16-2018, 12:43 AM   #6
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We use whatever diesel is available. There is an information sheet from MB floating around on the forum re: B5 is not available everywhere.
We love ours *except* I hate how difficult it seems to be to level it. I would love auto levelers but like DaveJordan says, CCC is small.
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Old 11-16-2018, 07:45 AM   #7
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Probably, since we are on our second one. Our first one was a 2016 Solera. We put 36,000 miles on it and the only problem we had with the Mercedes part was an oxygen sensor failure. It was replaced under warranty. The Forest River part was plagued with many problems from the day we picked it up: water leaks, plumbing leaks, waste valves, slide-out, ... . We had a lot of great trips in it, but I spent a lot of time fixing it. Our current one is not a Forest River product (Sorry),. It is a 2019 model and we have about 10,000 miles on it. The Mercedes part had some minor issues with vibration, which the dealer blamed on tires. They replaced all of the tires and it's now acceptable. The coach part has been nearly flawless and we love it. As somebody else mentioned, it is perfect for a couple but I think it would not be well suited for more people. Cargo capacity is not great, but it is adequate. I weighed our Solera when we were loaded for a trip and we had 110 pounds to spare. I did suspension upgrades on my Solera, but have not felt it to be necessary on my current one. I like the ride and handling as it came from the factory. It rides and drives very well. I like the size as you can get into any campground or fuel station with no problems. We don't tow a dingy, so we even drive it for our sight seeing outings at times and it's not a problem. Sometimes we'll rent a car if we want to do a lot of touring around an area. So, yes, we are happy with our MB Sprinter based motor home.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLeising View Post
Maybe:
We now have about 90K miles on our 2012 MBS (Solera). Many great experiences on our two Alaska trips, cross country trip, Canadian Rockies trips, Utah NP trips, etc.

We rented a Ford based Class “C” MH before we bought. The MBS drives and handles much better than the rental did. Quite comfortable to drive on long trips. Mileage at 13 mpg overall has been quite reasonable (experienced about 7.5 mpg with the Ford). Wife hated driving the Ford; is comfortable driving the Solera.

Issues:
First, reliability. Have experienced three significant breakdowns. One was attributable to a maintenance error by a “qualified” (but not Mercedes or Freightliner) shop; the other two were Mercedes part failures. Sure wish Toyota or Honda made a cutaway MH chassis- from my experience with cars and other’s reports of breakdowns here, I doubt Ford or Chevy would be much better... (our two Toyota’s have been great).

Second, Diesel and particularly Biodiesel. Diesel in general can be hard to find “in the boonies”. Complicating things, Mercedes says 5% max biodiesel. Some states say 20% min. I have not yet been unable to find B5 or below, but have had to exit one station and search out another to meet the Mercedes requirement. I carry 5 gallons of diesel in cans, and have had to use that “reserve” to get to a diesel station (saw several gas only stations). Suspect the B5 issue will get to be more of a problem going forward. I actually doubt occasional use of B20 would cause a problem, but...

Third, on-road support. Especially in the boonies, finding a Sprinter repair or maintenance facility is challenging. My experience - a non Mercedes or Freightliner shop that claims to be Sprinter capable may well not be - and can cause future problems.

Fourth, the very complex and expensive emissions control system (diesel exhaust fluid, diesel particulate filter, filter regeneration cycles, dual catalytic conversion, etc). Issues with this system can result in “limp home mode” and require (expensive if past warranty) dealer intervention. Also, I’m not entirely comfortable that Mercedes won’t fall into a legal issue similar to the Volkswagen mess.


So - I enjoy our MBS and am glad we bought it when we did. Three significant breakdowns in 90K miles, I guess, isn’t terrible - and is probably as good as I would have experienced with the alternatives. To answer your question - I would look at all options and weigh issues like diesel, biodiesel and maintainability, but would not rule out another Sprinter.


We have only had our Sprinter for 6 weeks, we downsized from a 34 foot Coachman which I hated. As a woman I wasn’t comfortable driving it in large cities and I feared the length with towing, so my husband pretty much did all the driving. Now I drive our Sunseeker that has the full slide more then my husband. I responded because of you comment on getting the diesel gas, when you wrote that a fear came on me. I never considered not being able to get gas, I live in Northwest FL and all our gas stations have diesel. Do have the problem getting diesel in the US? We love our tiny house.
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Old 11-18-2018, 08:29 PM   #9
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Didn’t intend to alarm anyone wrt diesel availability. Interstate highways seem to have diesel readily available (out here in the west the exit signs often specify if fuel is available, and if the stations have diesel). I did have a stretch on the California coast highway through Big Sur when I used my backup 5 gallons. One stretch of the Alaska highway I got close - but found a station with ULSD before I resorted to my backup fuel. Seems like there was another time, but I can’t remember it right now. Again, a “boonies” issue.

As I mentioned I have yet to resort to >B5 ULSD, but I understand some midwestern states are mandating higher biodiesel. While Mercedes warns against >B5, they seem to say (paraphrasing) “use it if you must, but use as little of it as you can - switch back to B5 or below ASAP and monitor your oil level closely - biodiesel may dilute your oil causing increased oil level”. (They also warn about other possible problems from using >B5 ULSD.) (Believe they say they won’t honor the warranty if they decide >B5 caused the problem.)

Since diesel is somewhat less available than gas, I am more conservative on miles between fill ups. At a (conservative) 12 mpg, the 26 gallon tank should be good for over 300 miles. The low fuel warning light comes on at about 20 gallons used or 6 gallons remaining. The 6 gallons should be >70 miles. I usually start looking for fuel at ~200 miles on an interstate, 150 miles on non-interstate roads.

Of note, the vehicle periodically does a diesel particulate filter regeneration, which dumps raw diesel into the particulate filter to “burn it clean” (sort of like a self-cleaning oven). This action reduces mpg significantly- I see some 10.5 to 11 mpg tanks which I believe are related to DPF regen.

So - my advice - be conservative on miles between fill ups, and enjoy your motorhome!
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Old 11-18-2018, 08:42 PM   #10
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