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Old 09-11-2016, 10:03 PM   #1
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Would you buy another Sprinter chassis motorhome if you had it to do over

Please excuse this long post . We are getting ready to buy our first motor home and are seriously considering the Forest River MBS 2401R. We are special-ordering it from a local dealer that we really like and trust. Friends of ours who own Ford E450-based Class Cs are trying to convince us that Ford is the better choice I think that we could probably order the Forester 2501TS from this same dealer.

We live in North Carolina and our children live in California we plan to make at least one cross-country trip a year. We are tent-campers and will still probably do a bit of that even when we have the motor home. We want to stick to National Forests, state parks and BLM sites. We plan to travel mostly in the spring and fall to avoid temperature extremes. We will also probably do a lot of long weekend trips especially while I am still working.

My concerns are mostly centered around
1. The generator

2. the cost/frequency/difficulty of repairs.

We will be traveling with two elderly dogs and we will need to use the air conditioner when we stop for meals or hikes. Our friends tell us that propane will not last long if we use the generator to power the air conditioner.

I have also heard both good and bad things about the reliability of the Sprinter chassis. I know that we will pay more for repairs when the warranty runs out but would not want to drive something that needed to be repaired frequently or broke down in inconvenient places hundreds of miles from a Mercedes dealer.

We would appreciate any help that you could provide we want to make our decision soon and hope that we can settle on something that will meet our needs.

Cary and Melissa

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Old 09-11-2016, 10:37 PM   #2
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No. I love my MB Sprinter. However, MB states that you void your warranty if you burn over 5% bio Diesel. In some states it is very difficult to purchase fuel containing less than 15% bio. See Bros

Not worth the hassle

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Old 09-11-2016, 10:38 PM   #3
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Having come from a similar style of camping as you, I'll chime in on my limited experience with ours.

On the one hand we love it. I have a lot of pride when I see another MBS motorhome roll down the highway. I think they look good.

I had a great deal of concern about propane consumption and the generator but I've not found anything to complain about. We get about 9 gallons or so of propane - I think the generator burns less than 1/2 gallon per hour under load or so.

Mathematically that's 18 hours, but that's ALOT of generator run time for such a small rig. Install a fantastic fan in the bedroom, get and purchase
To reflect the uv coming in from the biggest Windows and you'll find it stays rather cool except in the hottest of days. We only boondock, and we've not been limited by less 4 day trips. More than that you'll push it.

Personally the ONLY real bother I have that I wish I would have known or better put, understood BEFORE I purchased was the cargo carrying capacity and towing capacity.

Pretty much all the class c type MBS are almost maxed on the chassis weight WITHOUT much cargo room. Ours has 900 lbs. I think without propane or water. With myself, wife and two kids, and food - we don't carry water anymore (found most places we stay has water fill somewhere or we'll fill up close to where we stay) I would venture to say we're at or over our Gross Vehicle weight.

That would have been the deal breaker for me. Tons of places to put stuff. Especially in the "R" but no weight allowance. Can't leave our kids home, have to pack food, blankets, clothes and chairs. I mean I bought this to NOT "rough camp" anymore so what can ya do? In hindsight if I would have known that - I probably would have gone with the 28' Class A I was thinking of.

Towing capacity is small - 4,300lbs. All of our cars weigh more than that. So now we're debating selling a car and getting a Jeep or something that fits in that weight but it has to fit 4.

Those are my observations. Honestly I love how nimble it is for an RV. We've taken it to tons of places bigger rigs couldn't get into. Parking at the store for groceries, restaurant for food (saves weight) or gas station is so easy. Ultimately that's why we chose it - so well live with the negatives.

I'll say this, I know there will be a time I'll sell it, and get a bigger coach with more cargo capacity. How long? We'll have to see on that one. Do I wish I wouldn't have bought it - no not really, I like it.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:28 AM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Canyon Hills CA
Posts: 39
Mines a 17 2401r if there was anything I didn't like it would only be 2 things, the sway needs to be addressed with bigger struts and springs asap, and the main entry door flys open too much dangerously on the opening and exiting the mh on windy days. Way to hat to hold small door handle to avoid.
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:13 AM   #5
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I most likely would not purchase another MBS chassis motorhome.

As has been pointed out, there is little or no cargo capacity. Once you've got a couple of adults and a couple of kids (or dogs...) you best plan on leaving the water at home.

Also, I think the narrowness of the chassis is a major factor in the issues folks have with handling. The problems can be limited by sway bars and suspension upgrades, but the narrow track, coupled with the height of a motorhome, is a difficult problem to overcome.

2015 Solera 24R
2014 Mercedes Chassis
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:28 AM   #6
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Location: Georgetown Kentucky
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Reliability is why I only considered a mbs chassis. FedEx and private carriers use the mbs chassis they don't use Ford. It is accepted that 250,000 miles should be attained without major repairs.

Maintenance cost is higher but you can pay more on the gas end overall driving a ford or Chevy front end getting 5-9 mpg.

Cargo is a common complaint but we are a family of 4 and it just forces us to not over pack. Keeping it simple is how RV life should be.

We don't tow but I had a 20 foot boat that would of been under the weight limit and most cars are as well. People who pull cars over 4300 should consider a larger motor home because they obviously like a lot of space.

The point of having such a nimble RV is so you don't have a toad. I have driven mine all over the downtown hilly streets of San Francisco, New York City, Washington DC and felt comfortable. I have passed other large rvs on inclines so steep they instruct you to turn off Ac to avoid overheat. I hardly had a change in the RPMs. I have parked on street parking and paid two parking meters.

One additional point, have you seen the W floor plan? Make sure you check out before ordering.

My complaints would be centered around the lack of documentation and general dealer knowledge of the RV. This forum has been so valuable and if not for it I would of been lost for the last year. My PDI covered about 8% of what I needed to know as a first time buyer, the forum gave me the rest.

I would still buy the MBS, there are good points to consider however by previous posts on this thread. Just have a clear idea of how you are going to use it. I bought mine to drive cross country multiple times. Mpg was a big factor.

2016 Sunseeker W MBS

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Old 09-12-2016, 06:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Phinias View Post
No. I love my MB Sprinter. However, MB states that you void your warranty if you burn over 5% bio Diesel. In some states it is very difficult to purchase fuel containing less than 15% bio. See Bros

Not worth the hassle
Think you might want to read that brochure again. Bio must be less than 20 percent.
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Old 09-12-2016, 06:45 AM   #8
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Yes, I would buy it again. I fulltime in mine. I've added solar and upgraded the suspension (Hellwig, Sumos and Bilstein). Carrying capacity isn't an issue as long as you can travel light. As a former backpacker, that's not a problem for me. The engine, with normal maintenance, will last a long time. Maintenance is pricy, but doesn't have to be done as often as gas vehicles. I usually get 14-16 mpg. It's good looking and easy to manage on the road (I do not tow an extra car). If you're used to a tent, it's a delightful upgraded to your traveling!
and catpanions, Purrl & Lucy Lu
2014 Solera 24S
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:11 AM   #9
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I would definitely buy again. I tow and the power of that little diesel is amazing. I might change the floor plan but other than that I love it. The chassis cab has more room than the Ford or Chev.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:21 AM   #10
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I had Fords in the past, then I had an MBS Solera 24 for 6 years and after owning that I went back to the Ford. In my opinion;

  • The Ford has more power - effortless going up hills whereas the MBS struggled at times.
  • The Ford has much better brakes
  • The new Ford 6-speed transmission is great
  • The Ford is more rugged
  • The Ford handles better
  • The Ford can tow much more
  • The Ford will be as much or more reliable - for example, on my MBS I had to replace a starter and a PCV valve. I didn't have 20K miles on it. The PCV valve failure caused the turbo to shut down. When the happened the MBS was un-drivable as it could barely get up to a max speed of 35 and couldn't climb hills. I don't want to put up with turbos anymore as a result.
  • The Ford is less costly to repair and service. Less oil to worry about. No need to change fuel filter so often. No DEF needed.
  • Easier to find a gas station! ... and yes, it does get 10 mpg vs. the 14 mpg my Solera got, however diesel was costing (and may again cost) more than gas and the 4 mpg difference really does not add up to much, especially compared to the $10K to $15K initial costs to buy a diesel engine powered MBS.
  • The Ford has much better side view mirrors

My general impression is that the Ford cutaways were designed and built over the years to work well with American needs for motorhomes. I never felt like the MBS quite cut it for that purpose.

2017 Forest River Sunseeker 2250SLE
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