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Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by raindog, Jan 30, 2008.
Drop me a PM with your contact information please.
Thanks! The sportsmobile I have used is arranged similarly and without the shower, toilet, etc so I can visualize both the differences and similarities. The big difference of course is the permanent mount verses removable. Important concept is to think in 3D regarding the curvature of the van walls and ceiling. The owner of the camper I've used was more concerned about storage and usability than he was with frills so it is pure utilitarian camper but permanent. You've given me some things to really think about.
I really like the sportmobile utilitarian version..tons of storage..add the 'Penthouse" extension and you have a sleeping loft and an 8' ceiling height.
this would be the perfect rig for me, rainwife, the ailing raindog and the pituitary nightmare rainspawn
I have 2 short/low 1 long/low and 1long/tall. They are awsome trucks but not for everyone. I had enough of the POS full size vans with gas v-8s getting 8-10mpg. Even with the ladder racks on top we are in the 20 range. Be careful with maintenance and they will last us 10 years and 500,000. If I had unlimited funds all 8 of my service vans would be sprinters.
Some day soon we will all get small deisel engines that run on the smell of your shop rag but for now we'll deal with the heavy vehicles.
How about a 650 dual sport deisel that gets 100mpg or better.
Find a dealer and ask about buying their demo or show model. Friend did that and bought his as a "demo" unit. It was very lightly used and he saved over $20K.
Sprinter Forum is a helpful site, I've found:
Mine would/will be a low-roof model with windows, to fill the niche my old VW Bus occupied.
The thing is made by Mercedes Benz. My pal Crazy Charles has blinged his "Dodge Sprinter" out with a kit that includes Benz tri-stars for all over the thing... hub caps, grill cover, steering wheel, shift lever and so forth. When he took it to the dealer for service, the service writer chided him on the tri-stars. Charles opened the hood and pointed to the tri-star on the valve cover and asked, "So... you have factory trained mechanics for this vehicle, right? Were they trained at the factory in Detroit or in Stuttgart?"
BOURKECO on this site has a killer one, all Mercedes.
They say golf balls are very aerodynamic - that fucker aughta FLY!
PM Rockbreaker if you want to know about the newest generation. He has a new high top panel version.
I own two of 'em, earlier Freightliner-badged models. They're in ambulance service, and each racks up over 100K miles annually. I have a lot of experience and opinions about these units.
First, I wouldn't buy another for commercial duty. That said, I'd consider one for personal use. In contrast to the Fords that comprise the rest of our fleet, these highly-engineered Teutonic wonders are built like spacecraft rather than like trucks. Our guys have battered the shit out of 'em through daily use...sheetmetal is all dented from hands slamming doors, door handles pulled off, controls broken, doors literally falling off the hinges. The Fords get ridden hard, too, but are much stouter and require much less upkeep.
Second, the vaunted Mercedes drivetrains really let us down. Our Fords go hundreds of thousands of miles without problems or major maintenance (well, after we sorted out all the crap E40D trannies in the early '90's). These things both went through complete engines and trannies in the first 100K miles! No diesel should do that, much less a commercial van. These aren't even in front-line 911 duty, either. They clock miles doing mostly long-distance runs...easy duty. Dodge did acknowledge some partial responsibility and cut us a check for a portion of the work.
When things go wrong...little things, like headlights and tail lamps...it's a major PITA to fix them. We feel that they're over-engineered and underbuilt for commercial service.
OTH, they are nicely powered, get good fuel economy (21 mpg pushing a raised top and lightbars fore and aft), handle nicely, turn practically in their own length, and show very nice fit and finish. They are NOT plush at all, but clearly built for commercial service. That's why we've been disappointed in them. Others have enjoyed great success with them, but it's the fleet managers that have the real perspective on these things. Overall cost of ownership, in our experience, has been outrageous. You can buy an awful lot of damned diesel for the price of a new MB 5-cyl turbo diesel and transmission!
thanks for the tips all . interesting on the commercial experience. There are two here locally. one a daily driver, hauler and one kitted out for RV. Both are 2 years old and both owners have completely drank the kool-aid..they love em.
Thinking about getting one. Gonna get one that is pretty bare and make a toy hauler / camper out of it. DanWife just isn't into the 12 hour (or 22 in one case) marathon rides. And bitches when I leave her home (which is why I won't be at the bugscuffle this month). So what's the concensus.
The good, the bad amd the ugly.
l think that's a wonderful idea & you should both be very happy,& it will lead to a closer relationship when you have to share a chemical toilet.
There was a thread on the Sprinter a few months ago....... there was some good info and links.
What I see as bad:
no manual transmission
PM Wagonpilot. Remember, Chris brought his to the Blood Moon Bounce Bash last fall, nice rig!
I think sas drives one. I remember a ride report where there weas a breakdown and Sprinter to the rescue.
talked to Fedex & UPS guys driving 'em . . . pretty good fuel economy (diesel), but finding a dealer that will service them was the complaint . . . . and they are a Mercedes design, so you'll pay M-B prices for parts & such