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Old 11-13-2021, 02:52 AM   #1
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Mercedes Sprinter Diesel vs Dodge Cummins

Curious to know is one of these diesels more costly and/or time consuming to operate, service, durability, etc. Initial cost not being an issue.

Are there any other obvious benefits, technically, mechanically, or just from a comfort/enjoyment perspective, between the two. Talking just about the engines or chassis themselves, not the coaches they come with.

Also, for you diesel people: do you have any opinion on the Cummins in the Isata 5 compared to the comparable Ford Diesel in the competitions Class C RVs?
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Old 11-13-2021, 06:22 AM   #2
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Curious to know ... ...

...
Hi LittleMoose. My 25' Prism class C is on a 3500 Sprinter (diesel). The six cylinder is quiet, gives me all the power I need, plus, and regularly averages 16-17 MPG.
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Old 11-13-2021, 06:57 AM   #3
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Cummins and Mercedes are both good engines. Iím not a fan of the the Ford. If you do your own maintenance they are both reasonable to maintain. If you have to have a dealer do the maintenance then the Mercedes is very expensive to maintain.
We are kind of comparing apples to oranges here. The weight class is completely different for the two engines. If you want a larger motor home then the Cummins 6.7 is an excellent choice until you get up to the Freightliner class then you would want the 8.9. From my experience both Cummins and Mercedesí are excellent engines.
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Old 11-13-2021, 11:19 AM   #4
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Cummins and Mercedes are both good engines. Iím not a fan of the the Ford. If you do your own maintenance they are both reasonable to maintain. If you have to have a dealer do the maintenance then the Mercedes is very expensive to maintain.
We are kind of comparing apples to oranges here. The weight class is completely different for the two engines. If you want a larger motor home then the Cummins 6.7 is an excellent choice until you get up to the Freightliner class then you would want the 8.9. From my experience both Cummins and Mercedesí are excellent engines.
I agree with both statements. That is to include any repairs to the respective engines. Mercedes probably more expensive due to dealer parts & labor cost. Cummins on the other hand are easier to find repair facilities because many over the road trucks have Cummins engines and should you need service/repair, most of the numerous truck stop facilities should be able to handle it.
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Old 11-13-2021, 08:59 PM   #5
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Bill Davis has it right; apples and oranges. I had Cummins in my 40 footer, now Mercedes my 24 footer. Mercedes repair is expensive, but I put a lot more annual miles on the DP, so hard to measure.

I liked both engines because each was designed for what I owed.
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Old 11-13-2021, 09:51 PM   #6
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LOTS of information on Sprinter forums. From what I've read, some Sprinter engines have had more than their share of problems. Just look in the Owners's Manual re "Approved" oil. I had a 2010 3500 series Cargo Sprinter van I used to tow a fiberglass "egg" trailer. According to the Manual, there were 21 "MB Approved" oils NONE of which could be found locally. I finally found "Petosin" online and purchased three jugs to have have some on the road should the need arise (NOTE: the Mobil-1 oil which COULD be found locally was NOT "MB Approved". A special Mobil-1 was needed!). The 2010 3500 required service every 10,000 miles or 12 months (whichever came first). I had no problems in the two years I owned it but I DID bring it to a MB shop when service was needed. I figure that the "extra" money I spent was worth the peace of mind and, I only needed ONE service a year.

Since 2014, I have a Super-C RV which features a 9.0 liter Cummins ISL diesel. Cummins has been building diesel motors for OVER 100 years. They pretty well have worked out the bugs.
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Old 11-13-2021, 11:12 PM   #7
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I agree with both statements. That is to include any repairs to the respective engines. Mercedes probably more expensive due to dealer parts & labor cost. Cummins on the other hand are easier to find repair facilities because many over the road trucks have Cummins engines and should you need service/repair, most of the numerous truck stop facilities should be able to handle it.
Freightliner is owned by Mercedes. They have parts and service Sprinter vans/motorhomes. You can find them all across the country. Iím not saying they are any cheaper than Mercedes on parts and labor, just that they are probably easier to find and not all Mercedes dealers work on Sprinters.
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Old 11-14-2021, 01:16 AM   #8
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As others have said they are different size engines. The 6.7 Cummins is more than twice the displacement of course.
The MB engine being a v6 uses a balance shaft which can act up, it is also notorious for swirl valves getting gummed up and freezing. That is caused by the egr system making the engine eat some exhaust. A full on repair for that can be 3k. Some do a delete. That usually starts to show up around 80-100k miles. Normal maintenance is pricey because it is slow to work on and some parts like the fuel filter is around $60.
The Cummins is simple and easier to service, they have used the same water pump for example over 35 years. This makes parts easy to find when you are traveling. The Cummins offers an exhaust brake. Lots of differences.
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Old 11-14-2021, 05:49 AM   #9
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The Isata 5 is difficult to get serviced. There are only a handful of Ram service centers in the country that can take a unit that size in. Between, the height, the length and the weight, most dealers cannot accommodate.

Some shops will/can manage small service requests outside in their parking lots but anything needing a lift is a challenge.
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Old 11-14-2021, 11:45 AM   #10
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The Cummins 6.7 is an awesome engine, my Ram 2500 just turned 150k miles and it still pulls like a freight train. It's not a quiet engine, but they are very reliable.


I'm very much looking forward to the Cummins 8.9 in our Dynamax XL.



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Old 11-14-2021, 01:05 PM   #11
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Will this is my opinion only so, take it for what it is worth.

I spent 40 years in heavy equipment design plus between my two sons and I, we own 4 Dodge/Ram trucks with the 5.9L/6.7L Cummins engines in them.

So, my advice is to look at reparability and serviceability on any diesel engine in a motorhome. Can I do the routine maintenance on the engine such as fuel filter, oil filter with oil changes, and air filters easily. Even if you do not do the changes yourself, easier access will equate to lower serviceability hours which should provide lower operating cost.

Another item to consider is reliability; a 6 Cylinder engine will be more reliable than an 8 cylinder engine. This is do to less complexity of the engine drivetrain and lower parts content of the engine. When we calculated reliability numbers in new products the lower the piece part content, the higher the reliability number was (less parts to fail).
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Old 11-15-2021, 08:44 AM   #12
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I posted this on another thread, and will repeat it here, the exhaust brake on the 6.7 Cummins, together with the programming of the Aisin in Tow/Haul, puts the Ford setup to shame. No comparison.
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Old 11-15-2021, 09:16 AM   #13
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I posted this on another thread, and will repeat it here, the exhaust brake on the 6.7 Cummins, together with the programming of the Aisin in Tow/Haul, puts the Ford setup to shame. No comparison.

You should see it with a G56 and double disc clutch.


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Old 11-15-2021, 09:39 AM   #14
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You should see it with a G56 and double disc clutch.


Jim

Oh, one of them thar Southbenders, eh?
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Old 11-25-2021, 07:30 PM   #15
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Curious to know is one of these diesels more costly and/or time consuming to operate, service, durability, etc. Initial cost not being an issue.

Are there any other obvious benefits, technically, mechanically, or just from a comfort/enjoyment perspective, between the two. Talking just about the engines or chassis themselves, not the coaches they come with.

Also, for you diesel people: do you have any opinion on the Cummins in the Isata 5 compared to the comparable Ford Diesel in the competitions Class C RVs?
Friends with Cummins diesels can " NEVER " find repairs on the road....Mercedes Diesels NEVER NEED " repair on the road. On my fourth Ford diesel 2015 F250....does it all good...the 2014 was a great F250 till the Castlerocks blew and the rig rolled....6.0 excursion diesel was super till it blew up in front of New Ford dealership in Kansas ! 97 3/4 ton chev Diesel suburban did 300,000 till I sold it and still running ! Cummins good till they quit !....best wishes juice
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Old 11-25-2021, 11:37 PM   #16
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We currently have both--a 2015 Ram.2500 CC 4wd Cummins diesel (DEF) and a 2020 Winnebago Navion/View Sprinter turbodiesel. The Cummins has 55,000 miles; 33,363 of which are towing the 2016 Rockwood fifth wheel that we just sold. The exhaust brake alone is worth every penny of additional cost (we live in Colorado) and has allowed us to travel roads we wouldn't even consider traveling with a gas tow vehicle (just one example: the westbound US 14A 10% downgrade between Dayton and Lowell, WY--look it up!). Other than recall repairs, normal maintenance, and tires, we have had no downtime or expenses for engine, drive-train, or brake repairs in the 6 years we have owned it. It's by far the best pickup of the many we have owned going back to the 1970's. We are selling it (after snow season!) only because we sold the fifth wheel and no longer need a truck. FYI, I have bought my own filters several times and have paid more than $60 for the two (2) fuel filters alone that are required at each maintenance interval!

We bought the Winnebago used (11,000 miles) last June. Because it had just had complete maintenance by the original owner (we have the receipts), we have not had any expenses so far. And the engine diagnostic data is instantly available on the touchscreen. No exhaust brake, but with the turbo and 7 nicely-spaced gears, we have plenty of power uphill and engine braking ability coming down. We have driven it 2800 miles so far and camped in 4 states, including crossing major mountain passes to10,000' Leadville. We have used 30A hookups and dry camped in four COE and two city park campgrounds plus one USFS and one Denver Water Board cg. So, we have given it a workout for every type of travel/camping that we do and couldn't be happier with it. We especially like the dry camping ability with 300w of solar, a 2,000w inverter, 220 A-H of lithium batteries, and a 12v refrigerator. That will aid immensely in planning stops on long travel days!

So, choose whichever diesel best fits your location, type and destination of travel, and budget, then enjoy!
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Old 11-26-2021, 08:02 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by LittleMoose View Post
Curious to know is one of these diesels more costly and/or time consuming to operate, service, durability, etc. Initial cost not being an issue.

Are there any other obvious benefits, technically, mechanically, or just from a comfort/enjoyment perspective, between the two. Talking just about the engines or chassis themselves, not the coaches they come with.

Also, for you diesel people: do you have any opinion on the Cummins in the Isata 5 compared to the comparable Ford Diesel in the competitions Class C RVs?

Here is my 2 cents-
Mercedes Diesel engine is efficient and quit. Exactly whatís itís designed to be. Problem is not every shop can work on them, parts are scarce and prices inflated.
The Cummins diesel has great torque and can be worked on by any diesel mechanic. Parts can be found readily and many aftermarket parts as well.
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Old 11-26-2021, 10:40 AM   #18
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Two of the best.
German engines cost more to work on but are reliable.
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Old 11-26-2021, 07:11 PM   #19
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Having a Sprinter 3500 Dynamax Isata3 I would have to say in my experience there are alternatives to maintenance from a MB Service center for A/B services.Most Lazydays RV centers can perform the same. Ironically MB servicing from MB for southern AZ beats pricing from any RV servicing by over a hundred dollars. For that a no brainer. The once a year requirement for oil/filter changes should be balanced against longer trips and diesel servicing. Most cases can use the MB servicing level of 20k for oil/filter changes. Long gone are the days of 2000 miles for an oil change in the 60ís and 79ís! 😊
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