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Old 10-01-2018, 07:56 AM   #1
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I might be opening a can of worms, but school me on Sprinter quality please

I currently have a Sunseeker on the Ford E450 chassis and really like it. But I am considering downsizing to a B+ or B on the Sprinter chassis. I keep hearing that it is a 500,000 mile chassis but I have also heard there are some issues with them. So I want to hear from actual owners. What is your opinion of the Sprinter? Any real issues with the engine or transmission? Any electrical issues? How well does it tow up and down the mountains? Does it have an exhaust brake? FYI, I have a 4 door Jeep Wrangler as a TOAD.

Thanks.
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:23 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by gmacklem View Post
I currently have a Sunseeker on the Ford E450 chassis and really like it. But I am considering downsizing to a B+ or B on the Sprinter chassis. I keep hearing that it is a 500,000 mile chassis but I have also heard there are some issues with them. So I want to hear from actual owners. What is your opinion of the Sprinter? Any real issues with the engine or transmission? Any electrical issues? How well does it tow up and down the mountains? Does it have an exhaust brake? FYI, I have a 4 door Jeep Wrangler as a TOAD.

Thanks.
Compared to all of the other components of the motorhome, the Sprinter chassis may be the most reliable. The engine and transmission seem to work fine (with the usual caveat that some owners have had issues.)

The Sprinter tows up hill fine. It does not have a traditional "jake" brake or heavy diesel exhaust brake, and it won't hold speed on a steep'ish downhill, but downshifting can hold speed on a not-too-steep downhill and helps a great deal on the steeper ones.

The major limitations of the chassis come with it's narrower rear track, it's somewhat squishly suspension, and the fact that nearly every Sprinter based motorhome is right up against it's GVWR and, if you're towing, it's GCWR. I'm not sure how the B and B+ versions do with these issues - they don't extend outside of the rear wheels the way the class C's do and they may not be pushing so hard against GVWR.

Compared to the Ford chassis, especially with the older V10, they are an absolute pleasure to drive. (I don't know if Ford is offering their E-xxx chassis with the newer turbo V6 - that's a much nicer engine to drive...)

Dave
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Old 10-01-2018, 10:31 AM   #3
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Just got back from a 5 week trip with our Sprinter Class C towing a 2 dr Jeep JK. Worked great, pulling grades like Monarch Pass in Colorado, etc. Dave is correct that you have to watch the downhills using downshifting and moderate braking to control speed and descent. Driving it is very comfortable, handles like a full sized pickup. Very agile and easy to park and usually good MPG 12 - 14+, depending, although we got anywhere from 9 on up depending on where we were and passes pulled. As to the Sprinter Class B, people I have talked with either love them or hate them, based on layout and available space inside. Me - I could not do a class B, but my expectations are different than others. I think that if you are a very active, single person, that likes a lot of outdoor activities / sports, it could be a good fit. Young or older couple - could work too, but you really need to spend some time in one to see if you like to eat where you do absolutely everything else.
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Old 10-01-2018, 01:22 PM   #4
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I have a Forester 2401WS with the tracker cap (no bunk over the cab) B+. Although the hitch is 5,000 lbs the chassis capacity is 4,200 lbs. Your 4 door Jeep probably exceed that l
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Old 10-01-2018, 01:33 PM   #5
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Oops!!! Your 4 door Jeep probably weighs more than 4,200 lbs and could be more than the vehicle can safely tow although I understand that some people have. I tow a Honda CRV that weighs about 3,600 lbs and think the brakes on the Sprinter are marginal on emergency stops. I have a brake system on the CRV but perhaps it is not adjusted properly although it works and is fine for normal stops
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Old 10-01-2018, 02:27 PM   #6
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The new JL weighs between 4000 and 4300 pounds, so you are right at the max tow rating, or over, based on setup. Older JKs with 4 doors is over too. Although I have seen Sprinters pulling a 4dr, I would not. We tow a 2 dr JKS and it does just fine with the Sprinter. You really have to watch the weights and it can get frustrating till you get it nailed down.
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:36 PM   #7
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Pros: Great MPG & torque. The cab sits high and with the big windshield, it gives you a "Class A motorhome" view. Pulls my Jeep great. Chassis warranty service has always been exceptional with loaner cars provided when needed. Mercedes also has a certain "cool" factor.
Cons: Low cargo weight and towing capacities, narrow rear wheel base, and approved Sprinter service centers are few and far between. Sometimes diesel is difficult to find, and MB can void the warranties if a high percentage biodiesel is used consistently.
I recently purchased my second MB chassis in 5 years. It fits my needs. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:02 AM   #8
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In order to keep the multi billion hassles VW went thru,, MB has a shut down sequence ,only 10 starts allowed , should there be a malfunction in the emissions system.

A real fear of being caught some place where te local MB dealer does not service Sprinters , and its a 500 mile tow to a dealer that can help.

Many folks simply purchase an electronic reader tool to be able to reset the computer.

About $125 or so.
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Old 10-02-2018, 12:17 PM   #9
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Have a 2017 MBS 2400WS (2016 Chassis) with 11K miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by g...but I have also heard there are some issues with them. So I want to hear from actual owners.


[COLOR=blue
I be one of them...[/COLOR]



What is your opinion of the Sprinter?



For the FR chassis box you get better inside headroom (6 inches) in bathroom and bed area, which matters to me in the shower and at night not stubbing toes... as for the Sprinter part... no damn doghouse upfront so vaults aren't needed to move to the back.



Mercedes Benz "pricing" at service time (a whopping $800!) at the 10K interval for oil change, oil filter, and fuel filter only! No air filter, nor cabin air filter... so needless the 20K will be do it myself!



Any real issues with the engine or transmission?



Idiot lights galore that do not inform... so I had an intermittent bad sensor behind the catalytic converter (under warranty up to 100K) and a right rear ABS wheel sensor that lights up ABS, stability, and kills cruise control! Caused us to needless shorten a western trip ~1600 miles from home. Go to YouTube on resetting service light and for fuel filter how to-s (about 25 minutes to execute). Engine and tranny are rock solid. you learn what you can get away with as far as the lights, the owners manual is crap to decode while in "crisis" mode. There are some warning lights that must be obeyed pronto!



Love the average of 12.5+ mpg over the life of the RV so far at 70 to 80 mph (love the out west "freedom") mostly on interstates and turnpikes.



Any electrical issues?



nope, unless the ABS sensor was a connector problem



How well does it tow up and down the mountains?


Heavily laden at GVW limits climbed two 10,500 foot passes (Beartooth and in the Grand Tetons) without a hitch at/near speed limits. Lots of torque and decent highway power. Climbing in the Catskills/Adirondacks no problem, but at highway speeds, you won't be accelerating while climbing so enter swiftly and maintain speed and downhill is just that downhill! Brakes work without fading over 5 to 6 mile steep descents. We climb better than the gasoline rigs.



Does it have an exhaust brake?



NOPE ...you'll have to supply your own jake brake noise effects!



FYI, I have a 4 door Jeep Wrangler as a TOAD.


Seen others tow small toads, uphills? dunno, but I don't see why not. We don't need it (i.e., the toad, for weight, and setup hassles)as the 24'11" Sunseeker is good enough in most towns and bearable in traffic. We tow a 8x5 box utility trailer with a 3/4 ton capacity when we need the space. Rides in slip stream so not a noticeable burden to power or economy in most highway scenarios. Smooth and quiet power that is adequate and performs better than a 3 liter turbodiesel should.




Thanks.

You're welcome. And despite the price of service, and the idiot light kvetch, we'd do it again in a heartbeat! Wife concurs wholeheartedly from a driving it and habitability perspective. Oh yeah.... extremely comfortable front seats! Even after a 10+ hour slog.


BUT do a test drive before you buy to confirm!!!
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Old 10-02-2018, 12:29 PM   #10
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More starts than 10 on fault

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Originally Posted by FFred View Post
In order to keep the multi billion hassles VW went thru,, MB has a shut down sequence ,only 10 starts allowed , should there be a malfunction in the emissions system.


I think you get 15 or something like 30 restarts on emission faults then you enter a low power mode (5mph?).




A real fear of being caught some place where te local MB dealer does not service Sprinters , and its a 500 mile tow to a dealer that can help.


We face that in Wyoming, nearest service was across South Dakota in Sioux Falls (~4 to 5 hours away) if you want a M-B dealer for warranty service, but Freightliner (and perhaps Chrysler?) will service Sprinters but you pay (less than at M-B, though most times). Our faults cleared in a few hours of driving. But then, you could be up the creek in a Ford or Chevy or Mopar, too. Location, location, location!





Many folks simply purchase an electronic reader tool to be able to reset the computer.


$25 or so on Amazon, works with your Smartphone. Got one now (OBD2)! BUT reads/resets engine and emission codes only... full capability engine, tranny, and stability readers cost more.


About $125 or so.

YMMV
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