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Old 09-24-2016, 09:10 PM   #1
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A Question For Everyone

I don't mean one question for everyone, but I think I have enough questions that there may be one to which you may well have an answer/opinion.

I have been looking at various RVs for over a year. It is just for me and my dog and I would be a full timer. I probably won't buy new as I like the more costly ones and a few years saves a lot of money. I am looking at the Pleasure Way Plateau XLs and the Leisure Way Unity. A driving factor is ceiling height and light, bright, spacious-feeling interiors. I will still be working so some of the time will be spent in town, or just on the outskirts.

The thing that has me most concerned about those two models is the Mercedes Sprinter platform/engine. I will probably keep my unit past 100K miles (and beyond), or I would at least like to plan on it lasting longer than that, and my research indicates that repairs are frequent and expensive. Is the Mercedes engine better on the earlier Dodge and Freightliner chassis'? Are some of the gas engines more reliable? Any information about the units on the new Ford Transit platform (I have noticed it has a considerably lower GVWR)? I am thinking 2008 or newer and 20-30,000 miles or fewer.

Reality questions: How much does it cost at dump stations? How fast does a person go through water and convert it to grey and black? If there is a website with averages, please provide the link.

I know there were more questions... If you have any "What I wish I would have known then that I know now" things you could care to pass along, I'm listening!

Thank you for your thoughts.
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Old 09-24-2016, 09:32 PM   #2
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I had read an article regarding the sprinter vans with the diesel engines. It was very negative in regards to maintenance costs. The article was written from a high ranking person working for a delivery company. The maintenance costs were very high, mostly dealing with the emissions system.

I would consider looking a gas engine for this size coach. I would power the coach well and be substantially less in maintenance costs and provide a lot more options for getting repairs or maintenance done.

Gray & Black water tank sizing will play into how often you have to dump. We have 60 & 40 gallon respectfully. We can go a couple weeks if we are conservative on usage.

It's all about water management, especially when you boon dock. No unnecessary water down the drains. We catch the water out of the shower in a kettle until it gets hot & then do a navy style shower. The water we catch in a kettle is used for coffee or doing dishes. Minimal water for washing dishes, which we do in a small plastic tub and then pout down the toilet.
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Old 09-25-2016, 11:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
I had read an article regarding the sprinter vans with the diesel engines. It was very negative in regards to maintenance costs. The article was written from a high ranking person working for a delivery company. The maintenance costs were very high, mostly dealing with the emissions system.
Read that same article. He is/was bashing MB over 100,000 hard miles PER YEAR out of his MB Sprinters You can thank the EPA for the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) it's not something the manufacturers decided to add because they felt like it. They had to if they wanted to sell diesels in the US.

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Originally Posted by https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/fatal-flaw-mercedes-benz-sprinters-tom-robertson
Please understand that these vehicles are used in a commercial trucking application with annual average mileages exceeding 100,000 miles, and that I am not an automotive or diesel expert. The majority, but not all of the problems occurring with these vehicles occurred after the initial 100,000 miles. It is my belief that the problems I have experienced, will occur with a vast majority of every Sprinter as the mileage of each vehicle approaches 120,000 miles.

Prior to 2008, when the United States Government mandated diesel exhaust regulations, the Sprinter, manufactured by Mercedes Benz and sold as a Dodge was a real workhorse. These vehicles performed admirably, providing us with lifetime expected mileages of 500,000 and more. The cost for maintaining these vehicles while slightly higher than their American made counterparts made up for these differences with their reliability and long term service.
Overall, Mercedes diesels are well known for their reliability and excellent fuel efficiency. There are lots of people very happy with them.

Any time you have that three pointed star on the hood, there will be a premium. If you don't want to deal with the DPF/DEF requirements get one made before 2008.

Sprinter Mercedes Trouble Survey pls contribute

Sprinter reliability - Sprinter-Forum

Do your own research and decide what's right for you. Also, most people don't post up when everything is going great, only when they have problems...
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Old 09-25-2016, 11:14 PM   #4
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I would suggest Freightliner, Spartan, Cummings, Cat. How many Mercedes 18 wheelers do you see ?
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:42 AM   #5
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I would suggest Freightliner, Spartan, Cummings, Cat. How many Mercedes 18 wheelers do you see ?
How many Cat, Cummins, Freightliner, Spartan powered Class Bs do you see rolling around?
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:04 AM   #6
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I would suggest Freightliner, Spartan, Cummings, Cat. How many Mercedes 18 wheelers do you see ?
I see them all over the place! For some reason they say Freightliner on the front though?

Also Freightliner sells vans that look suspiciously like the Mercedes Sprinter.



(Freightliner is owned by Daimler. . )


Anyways, I'd buy a Transit based unit. Better parts sourcing at a larger dealer network.
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Old 09-27-2016, 08:30 AM   #7
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The $30k + you spend on any diesel will buy a lot of gas and oil changes! Also some of those van style RVs have wet baths. That would not be nice for full time living!

Best bang for the buck would be a lightly used small gad coach with one or two slides. Look at the Phoenix coaches!
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:34 AM   #8
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The $30k + you spend on any diesel will buy a lot of gas and oil changes! Also some of those van style RVs have wet baths. That would not be nice for full time living!

Best bang for the buck would be a lightly used small gad coach with one or two slides. Look at the Phoenix coaches!
Agreed! I have never (and will not) consider a unit with a wet bath unless it is a huge one, which rather defeats the purpose.

I'll peek at Phoenix. Right now, I am looking at some low mileage Chinooks. I really need to figure out exactly how small I can go and how large I will go.
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:52 AM   #9
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Reality questions: How much does it cost at dump stations? How fast does a person go through water and convert it to grey and black? If there is a website with averages, please provide the link.

.
It depends. Some dump station charge a fee, some are free. There are lots of phone apps and/or website that have locations (and cost, if any) of dump stations.




Water usage, that also depends on the person. You can practice boondocking at a campground with water and electric hookup (but don't use, unless you need to)

Fill up your water tank and see how long it takes to use it, fill up your black tank, how long you can run on house battery, propane, etc). That way, if you run out sooner than expected you can top off, refill, dump blackwater, recharge batteries etc.

That way you can gauge how long you can boondock.
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:08 PM   #10
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I have a Winnebago Fuse built on the Ford Transit. I like it, but I do not tow a toad. Drives really nice and gets 15.5mpg at 70mph.

Dump stations - Generally included if you stay at a campground. I just dumped at a Flying J last week. $10.00 retail, $7.50 with good sam card, $5.00 with the Flying J gas card.

Water use - For my wife and myself. Usually put 10 gal in the water tank. Lasts 2-3 days. We use bath house to shower. Drink bottled water (generally 1-2 gal per day). Water in tank is generally used for washing hands and flushing toilet. Wind up dumping tanks at about the same rate. Black tank fills much faster than grey in our case.

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Old 04-03-2017, 12:14 AM   #11
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It depends. Some dump station charge a fee, some are free. There are lots of phone apps and/or website that have locations (and cost, if any) of dump stations.









Water usage, that also depends on the person. You can practice boondocking at a campground with water and electric hookup (but don't use, unless you need to)



Fill up your water tank and see how long it takes to use it, fill up your black tank, how long you can run on house battery, propane, etc). That way, if you run out sooner than expected you can top off, refill, dump blackwater, recharge batteries etc.



That way you can gauge how long you can boondock.


Thank you. This is great.
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