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Olddud

Lost in Kansas

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Posted: 12/11/19 09:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not sure this has been mentioned, but if you want to turn a tight corner when towing, say you get in trouble or make a bad decision, the Sprinter will turn much quicker than the other units. I have had both a E450 and Sprinter and would never go back to the larger unit, just for that reason alone (test drive them both, and you will see). And, if you get the J model (Winnebago View or Navion), the interior opens up nicely -- the other units have walls and other things in the way, and they felt cramped to me. And the cabin seems much easier to move around in than the E -- I can move the seat much further back, and my spine is much happier.

As for mileage, it is similar to other observations. Tow a Jeep Wrangler (4000+ pounds), and mileage goes down about 2, and you know it is there, just like I knew it was there in the E series.

The above is just one simple farm boy's opinions.

pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 12/11/19 12:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ron.dittmer wrote:

pnichols wrote:

.....but what makes me nervous about their construction is their height versus the width (stance) between their rear dually sets.

The Sprinter based motorhomes look too tall for their width. They look to me like they could be blown over if caught just right in a sudden violent cross-wind. Even in moderate highway cross-winds, the ones I've observed from behind seem to lean a lot from the wind pushing.

However I'm pretty sure that most owners or prospective owners of Sprinter based Class C (B+?) motorhomes don't notice, or pay any attention to, or pay any heed to ... this.
I have to agree with you concerning this point.

My own observation of Sprinter motor homes is that most of them are constructed too tall for their narrow width dual rear wheel axle. I have watched them maneuver around on irregular unpaved parking areas in truck stops. More than once my heart skipped a beat watching them tip sideways so extremely. I can't imagine what goes on inside the cabinets. I also see them getting tossed around on the open road from passing trucks and significant cross winds.

I am perplexed that Sprinter owners don't complain or discuss any of it on RV forums like this one. There are plenty of E350/E450 discussions over the same thing, with replies sharing practical and very affordable solutions.

I wonder if there are after-market heavy duty front and rear stabilizer bars available for the Sprinter. It would not surprise me if there is nothing available because MB is very stern on keeping everything MB down to the motor oil. Anything not MB voids their warranty. What a scam MB has going there.

I lead a team of volunteer mechanics at THIS AUTOMOTIVE CHARITY within our church. We work on all kinds of older high-mileage vehicles including Mercedes and BMW. Those two brands will never be seen in my garage at home.....and I am 100% German. The Germans can keep their German engineering.

PS: If you click on that link called THIS AUTOMOTIVE CHARITY and scroll down, there is a 2 minute video on the charity. You might find the video interesting because there is no other charity that actually uses the donated vehicles to help people with their transportation needs. CARS for kids, CARS for vets, those types of vehicle-donation charities liquidate the vehicles at wholesale auctions to support another mission. This charity goes deep with their donated vehicles. Your donated vehicle could be gifted to someone in need of reliable transportation. The most common scenario is a single mother with small children, but all kinds of people qualify. Whether given another vehicle, or repairing a vehicle already owned (helping owners with repairs is most popular) the recipients do go through an extensive screening process to assure the charity is helping the right people. It is one of the most rewarding things I have ever been a part of, been serving now in my 23rd year.


Ron,

I'll bet that the Sprinter's "narrow" chassis - along with that of some new U.S. small vans from Dodge, Ford, etc. - was designed primarily for more practical use in delivery/commercial vans to be used in the crowded and/or narrow streets in towns and cities ... especially for situations in Europe with respect to the Sprinter's design.

As such IMHO they are marginal, if not bordering on risky, for use in RV's to be used on the open road in the widest possible variety of situations (such as in open windy country). I don't see how a stiffer suspension system will help to stop wheel lift on one side should a high power cross-wind hit one of these narrow-framed and tall motorhomes.

I've driven our 24 foot, 11'5" tall, E450 based Class C in 50-60 MPH cross-wind gusts in the U.S. West and sure, I could feel the side-hits from the wind and of course held the wheel with both hands, but I did not feel at any time that our motorhome was in danger. However our rig does have it's heavy coach components and tanks down at or near frame height, and also I like to travel with near-to-full fresh water and 18 gallon propane tanks -> all of which keeps the overall center of gravity low. These things, combined with the Ford E-Series wide rear dually stance, makes for a great feeling of lateral (side-to-side) stability in open road cross-winds, roadway curves at speed, and when transiting into and out of parking lots.

* This post was edited 12/11/19 03:08pm by pnichols *


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca Spirit 24V

ron.dittmer

North-East Illinois

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Posted: 12/11/19 02:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pnichols wrote:

Ron,

I'll bet that the Sprinter's "narrow" chassis - along with that of some new U.S. small vans from Dodge, Ford, etc. - was designed primarily for more practical use in delivery/commercial vans to be used in the crowded and/or narrow streets in towns and cities ... especially for situations in Europe with respect to the Sprinter's design.

As such IMHO they are marginal, if not bordering on risky, for use in RV's to be used on the open road in the widest possible variety of situations (such as in open windy country). I don't see how a stiffer suspension system will help to stop wheel lift on one side should a high power cross-wind hit one of these narrow-framed and tall motor homes.
Sprinter offers a DRW cargo van to carry extra heavy loads. I believe MB had narrow European city streets in-mind when designing it.

It appears that same narrow-stance rear axle (or something very close to it) is used on their RV cut-away chassis for the US market. It surely is not ideal on USA interstate highways and national parks and such.

Concerning suspension upgrades....Because of "the Sprinter lean" I see them experiencing, I believe it will help stabilize Sprinter motor homes if owners replaced their stock front and rear stabilizer bars with stronger versions....if such upgrades exists. I don't fear Sprinter RVs would actually tip over on their side, but rather remain steady, under better control, and with improved stopping power. But I just don't read of Sprinter owners having any such concern. Maybe they don't realize what's going on with the house in back because it feels fine up front.

My brother did not realize how bad his old 1998 E350 Starflyte leaned until I convinced him to install a rear Helwig bar. After we installed it together, he noticed a huge improvement in handling. But even with that, he didn't want to spend ~$200 more to replace his wimpy stock front stabilizer bar with worn-out grommet ends, thinking it can't get much better. If he did both front and rear stabilizer bars, his control and his stopping power while on the curves, would have been dreamy. He's had the rig so many years since. He would have enjoyed his ride for all that time. He's got around 140,000 miles on the odometer now.

Sometimes you don't realize how poor something is until after it's been made right.


2007 Phoenix Cruiser model 2350, with 2006 Jeep Liberty in-tow


gemsworld

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Posted: 12/11/19 07:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To the OP. Do yourself a favor and ignore the opinions of those that have never owned a Sprinter motorhome. Some people like to spout about things they know nothing about. Test drive the Sprinter Winnebago View model you like, spend time in it to make sure it will suit your lifestyle. Good luck!





Ray A

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Posted: 12/12/19 06:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is a huge difference between a 2500 Sprinter and a 3500 Sprinter in stability and handling, the dual wheels make a big difference.

JaxDad

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Posted: 12/12/19 06:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

gemsworld wrote:

To the OP. Do yourself a favor and ignore the opinions of those that have never owned a Sprinter motorhome. Some people like to spout about things they know nothing about. Test drive the Sprinter Winnebago View model you like, spend time in it to make sure it will suit your lifestyle. Good luck!


We’ve got a few of the original dozen Sprinters we bought a few years back still in the fleet of my company. All the rest of them were replaced, mostly with Ford Transit vans, because the bodies were literally rotting off the Sprinters.

One of them failed the annual safety inspection because there were so many holes in the body above and below the windshield they said it was no longer structurally sound.

The drivers all agree the Transit is a far superior truck.

bobndot

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Posted: 12/12/19 01:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jthorn2225 wrote:

Anyone have any thoughts or experience with Mercedes Benz chassis?


Sprinter delivery vehicles are popular in larger cities where network facilities are more available. They get better fuel mileage but you need to weigh that against the other odds regarding rv use. As already mentioned weight, stability and GVWR are factors to consider.
In most cases owning an rv is for pleasure rather than business reasons. Service appointments at rv dealerships tend to be hard to come by during the season. My experience doing this has showed me that the alternative truck repair shops with large enough bays to fit our rigs tend to take care of their 'big spending fleet customers' who's living depends upon having their equipment back on the road and not someone playing like we do. We are not the priority [emoticon]

2. Check to see how many miles your road service will tow you for a repair.
Our M/Benz car dealership along with many others do not work on Sprinters due to specific needed software and limited garage door clearance. That leaves only Sprinter $$$, Freightliner $$$ and maybe a limited specialty shop $$$ for repairs especially involving clearing codes.
If a repair is needed while on the road, why would you want only a limited network of dealers with the proper software to help you.
If you have a GM or Ford rv you have the option to take it to any willing repair shop . I use my local gas station who charges me $50/hr no matter what he repairs for me. Bagels, coffee and some friendly conversation sometimes go a long way. [emoticon]

Zhidoni

Santa Fe, NM

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Posted: 12/12/19 03:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Currently in a 2016 Navion built on a sprinter chassis. No toad. Bought used with 24k miles, now have 48k miles. no problems with the drive train. get approx 15mpg at 60-65, lower in the mountains. The one thing to be mindful of when purchasing this vehicle, new or used, is that Winnebago neglected to correct front end camber, so tires wear out unevenly. Have it checked! previous owner learned the hard way, and i have heard this story from numerous other Mercedes/Navion owners. Otherwise, it's a great vehicle. We drive it in cities (LA, Denver, Sacramento) in the desert, mountains, on good and bad roads.


Currently in a 2016 Navion 24 J no toad. Formerly a 2004 Hallmark Ute on 2002 4wd Ford 3/4 ton; before that a 2014 Tiger Malayan, before that a 2003 Chevy 1/2 T 4X4 with Four Wheel Grandby pop-up

EV2

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Posted: 12/23/19 10:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have to love the speculation as opposed to facts, Waiting for all of the photos of MB chassis motor homes blown over along the road.
In high gust crosswinds, any stock chassis can benefit from upgraded rear stabilizer and shocks. This statement is exemplary of no-knowledge speculation, “ I wonder if there are after-market heavy duty front and rear stabilizer bars available for the Sprinter. It would not surprise me if there is nothing available because MB is very stern on keeping everything MB down to the motor oil. Anything not MB voids their warranty. What a scam MB has going there.” A simple web search would provide the answer prior to posting incorrect speculation. All manufacturers provide oil specs and several suppliers meet those specs. Also can readily be found with a web search.
Full disclosure: I did upgrade the rear stabilizer and shocks (yes they are sold) and the improvement is substantial removing cornering tilt and making passing semis in wind a non-event. Apparently all of the stabilization parts for other makes of chassis just sit on vendor shelves and are not actually sold as the vehicles are perfect from the OEM. Sorry, but what a bunch of ****.

pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 12/23/19 11:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

EV2 wrote:

Have to love the speculation as opposed to facts, Waiting for all of the photos of MB chassis motor homes blown over along the road


Speculation has nothing to do with it: The poor rear wheel spacing width-to-coach-height ratio is real - just take a look at one. Then compare that visual ratio to, say, the visual ratio of a Winnebago 22M Class C built on a Ford E450 chassis ... which one would you rather be unexpectedly caught in during high cross winds in the the Western U.S.? The answer should be obvious. ... and BTW ... a stiffer suspension cannot of course change this ratio - which is based on pure physical measurments.

Some of us don't need it to have "already happened" in order to try and be proactive at purchase time -> to ensure that it never ever would happen to us.

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