Building an Adventure Van

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Geek, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2001
    Oddometer:
    22,219
    Location:
    Uvalde, TX
    What was your fuel mileage like?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  2. Otis the Sasquatch

    Otis the Sasquatch Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,177
    Location:
    Kirkwood, MO
    I think the readout said 14.5 mpg. I run on their fuel card :D, so the only reason I pay attention is to gauge my range for fuel stops. It had a 50-sumthin' gallon tank.

    Disclaimer;
    My job is to move the equipment around the lower 48 and Canada as needed, I drive a different truck or multiple trucks interstate every week. But this is what I remember.
    Details;
    This was a new 4500 w/ 7xx miles on it when I picked it up, 17xx when I dropped it off. Mileage might improve w/ break-in.
    It had a wide box on the back, but did have the "aero roof" above the cab.
    Don't remember the axle ratio, but I think it was the "lower" one. That's what they usually buy.
    Highway speeds, 65-70 all the way, but since I was running down the Mississippi Valley on I-55 it was mostly flatlands.
    But I do remember it pulling well through the southern Missouri hills before I dropped down into Arkansas.
    The 6-speed auto was sweet. Shifted well and at the right time. Didn't hunt, hold too long, or hesitate.

    My guess the 3/4-ton w/ the same drivetrain would do 20 mpg. Might be some reviews out there with actual mileage seen on the 3500 standard body diesel van.

    Otis
  3. ArcticaMT6

    ArcticaMT6 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    493
    Location:
    Seattle
    Geek, I think between your thead and haydukes, you guys have made me want a van instead of a trailer. I've already been buttering up the wife to the idea. Keep it coming.
  4. rebar

    rebar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    270
    Location:
    Iowa City
    You'll want both.. Base camp with the amenities. And the van to take you further..

    That would be sweet but my budget is around 20K and a 4x4 van with a duramax would be around 30K
  5. CrustyD3mon

    CrustyD3mon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    283
    sick van geek...well done!!! you could do that type of assemblys for living...;)

    enjoy your trips....live the life!!

    :freaky
  6. BigEasy

    BigEasy Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,805
    Location:
    South of Indy in the hills
    I always heard " Fix It Again Tony!":lol3
  7. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    32,154
    Location:
    8000ft.
    Sorry.. I've been too busy to update this thread in forever. The van is approaching 40k miles.

    Nothing mechanically to report... a headlight went out.. replaced simple H7.. 4 days later other headlight went out :patch
    I'll replace them as a set from now on :D


    Here's one cool thing:

    The fridge in the van has a plastic latch top and bottom. I broke one of them.
    I was going to take a file and band saw and waste the hours away trying to make a good enough copy....

    A client of mine recently got a 3d scanner and a 3d printer.

    Voila! More fridge latches than I'm ever going to need :rofl

    [​IMG]


    As spring starts to spring.. I'm going to be making a push to take the van to the next level so there will be updates to this thread hopefully soon - but not this weekend - I'm headed to Moab again with the 500 in tow :ricky
    I'm really looking forward to sleeping in the van in the 75 degree desert for the next 3 nights.

    Current priorities:
    Overhead cabinet on passenger side
    Counter tops and drawers
    Awning

    :lurk
  8. jjustj

    jjustj cum petris et choris

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,638
    Location:
    9157 ft Dillon CO
    EH? have fun
    :rofl
  9. Holaday

    Holaday Man of Leisure

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    610
    Location:
    Vancouver's North Shore, B.C.
    Glad to hear no mechanical issues. I was getting worried cause there hadn't been any updates. Got my powder coated wheels done, they look great. Van supposed to be here April 25. Wish I was heading to Moab.
  10. battlecattle

    battlecattle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    271
    Location:
    Tail of the Dragon
    This may be an odd question but do you have a cost of maintenance over the 40k miles?
  11. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    32,154
    Location:
    8000ft.
    What percentage of gloss did you end up choosing? :lurk

    :freaky
  12. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    32,154
    Location:
    8000ft.
    That's pretty easy (off the top of my head)

    (maintenance) cost of ownership in first 40,000 miles:

    10k service - Mercedes of Westminster: $350'ish
    20k service - Mercedes of Westminster: $550'ish
    30k service - Mercedes of Westminster: $350'ish
    ...the 40k service will be another 550'ish

    (as you can see, the service intervals are every 10k and there are two levels of them - every second one includes all the secondary filters so it costs more).

    Two headlight bulbs: $30
    One tail light bulb: $7

    Adblue: $26 each time. I think I've filled it 4 times - call it $100.
    I tell the Mercedes dealer NOT to do it during service interval because they charge a stupid amount of money for the task.

    ---------------

    A footnote worth noting: My van did have a transmission leak - it was repaired under warranty. I don't know what that would have cost sans warranty.

    footnote#2: I think I'm about due for front brake linings (I drive in the mountains a lot). We'll see what that costs; I'll probably just buy the pads and do it myself.
  13. MrGoldfish

    MrGoldfish Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    522
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    :lurk Can't wait!!!
  14. tweetie

    tweetie Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,067
    Location:
    Outdoor heaven
    Insulation

    Okay, maybe that's only my priority. Those walls get COLD when it's in the 20's.
  15. battlecattle

    battlecattle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    271
    Location:
    Tail of the Dragon
    Thanks, looks like there may be another sprinter on the block in the future!
  16. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    32,154
    Location:
    8000ft.
    Just ran into this guy.. He has a nice solar setup. I'm adding solar back to the priority list... The fridge has already used 9ah since I turned it on.

    [​IMG]


    ...phat phingering on my phone.
  17. tweetie

    tweetie Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,067
    Location:
    Outdoor heaven
    He also still has his antenna. :lol3
  18. Holaday

    Holaday Man of Leisure

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    610
    Location:
    Vancouver's North Shore, B.C.
    Went with 20% turned out just the way I wanted them. Thanks for your help with that.
  19. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    32,154
    Location:
    8000ft.
    That's funny.. that's the first thing I noticed when I was walking back to the vans from the store :rofl
  20. FreeTheBeast

    FreeTheBeast Shunpiker

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,068
    Location:
    +1.603
    I pick up my first Sprinter tomorrow. It's an '07 144 with high roof, premium package, and window package.

    Is anyone willing to share the joke about the antenna? :~)