Roll Call: Mercedes Sprinter Owners!

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9/9/2020 9:13 AM

Getting the itch to replace my 2000 E-350 with a new high roof Mercedes. Any owners care to share their thoughts/opinions on them in general as well as their thought process on gas vs diesel and 144 vs 170?

My plans would be to do a mild build out; water tank, pressure washer, water pump, a few deep cycle batteries, lights, fan, etc. Don't plan to wall it off as I like the open space and would keep gas/bikes outside at night. Most of the tracks I go to are 1-2.5 hrs away and my trips will vary between day and weekend. Would like to have room for 2 to sleep.

Thanks!

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9/9/2020 2:19 PM

ridinbeast932 wrote:

Getting the itch to replace my 2000 E-350 with a new high roof Mercedes. Any owners care to share their thoughts/opinions on them in general as well as their thought process on gas vs diesel and 144 vs 170?

My plans would be to do a mild build out; water tank, pressure washer, water pump, a few deep cycle batteries, lights, fan, etc. Don't plan to wall it off as I like the open space and would keep gas/bikes outside at night. Most of the tracks I go to are 1-2.5 hrs away and my trips will vary between day and weekend. Would like to have room for 2 to sleep.

Thanks!

Mercedes Sprinters are hands down the best choice in the high roof van category. Buy '19 or newer, they made major changes. 100% diesel, it's a motor well refined. 170 or 170 ext (16" longer) would be best for the weekend warrior.

There's room for water tanks under the chassis on each side. Install an AGM battery w/ inverter, that way you can run a water pump for washing and fans for sleeping. Put a 110 outlet by the rear doors, bluetooth your phone to a plug-in speaker so you have tunes. That'll keep you on the AGM battery and off of the ignition battery (which will shut off after 15min anyway).

Hope this helps.

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9/9/2020 3:19 PM

I'm about finished doing a basic build on a '19 170" ext. 4x4. Coming from a 7' x 16' enclosed trailer that was pretty dialed so there has been some buyers remorse a couple of times so far and have to keep telling myself to chill out until its finished. We plan on using the van for moto but also mountain bike trips so want to keep it fairly versatile and modular.

I have two Transits as work vehicles, have driven a Promaster, and the Mercedes hands down for me is the better choice. The overall driving experience is so much more comfortable that the other vans. Only bummer is driving in gusty wind which is sketchy in any high roof long wheelbase van. Road noise is not great, but have added Noico foam insulation under the plywood floor, 3m Thinsulate throughout and the rubber sound deadening material on all sheet metal. Then carpeted plywood walls and ceiling and road noise is quite a bit better. Still have to build a partial wall behind second row seat and that will help even more.

Next up will be some sort of cabinets/overheads for gear storage, build homemade water tank mounted under chassis and batteries, inverter.

Just got back from the second big cycling trip last weekend and the van works so good for that. No hassle of taking gear and bicycles into hotels and easy to park at most trailheads. For now I am keeping my enclosed trailer and can see using that for longer trail ride/campouts or bigger mx races, especially if needing or wanting to take multiple bikes like for vintage races.



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9/9/2020 3:25 PM

I just replaced the Econoline last month the best choice I could’ve made. I can’t believe I waited this long. I went with cargo 4x4 and added windows myself. Added some wheels. Photo

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9/9/2020 3:28 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/9/2020 3:29 PM

I would love to get one but they're so damn expensive & the resale seems atrocious

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9/9/2020 3:32 PM

Bigoldbeef wrote:

I would love to get one but they're so damn expensive & the resale seems atrocious

We'd been kicking around the idea of a van for a long time, and due to Covid Mercedes had 0% interest so we pulled the trigger basically for that reason.

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9/9/2020 3:58 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/9/2020 5:22 PM

...May I suggest an alternative?
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I love this thing, Had it 2 years now and its great.

Seems like this is the only van Amazon is using now, I don't see the sprinters out anymore.

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9/9/2020 4:46 PM

Just bought a Nissan NV high top for work and if I hit the lottery I’d buy another for moto in a heartbeat

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9/9/2020 5:19 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/9/2020 5:20 PM

Don’t do it. You’ll never be able to use a regular van again. If ya don’t know. Ya don’t know.
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(There’s actually two bikes in this photo)

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GP740
Since 1987

9/9/2020 5:23 PM

ridinbeast932 wrote:

Getting the itch to replace my 2000 E-350 with a new high roof Mercedes. Any owners care to share their thoughts/opinions on them in general as well as their thought process on gas vs diesel and 144 vs 170?

My plans would be to do a mild build out; water tank, pressure washer, water pump, a few deep cycle batteries, lights, fan, etc. Don't plan to wall it off as I like the open space and would keep gas/bikes outside at night. Most of the tracks I go to are 1-2.5 hrs away and my trips will vary between day and weekend. Would like to have room for 2 to sleep.

Thanks!

7eleven wrote:

Mercedes Sprinters are hands down the best choice in the high roof van category. Buy '19 or newer, they made major changes. 100% diesel, it's a motor well refined. 170 or 170 ext (16" longer) would be best for the weekend warrior.

There's room for water tanks under the chassis on each side. Install an AGM battery w/ inverter, that way you can run a water pump for washing and fans for sleeping. Put a 110 outlet by the rear doors, bluetooth your phone to a plug-in speaker so you have tunes. That'll keep you on the AGM battery and off of the ignition battery (which will shut off after 15min anyway).

Hope this helps.

Solid info! Leaning towards the 170 as the ext won't fit in my driveway without overhanging the sidewalk. Checked one out after work today and it was sweet!

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9/9/2020 5:26 PM

Brent wrote:

...May I suggest an alternative?
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I love this thing, Had it 2 years now and its great.

Seems like this is the only van Amazon is using now, I don't see the sprinters out anymore.

I've taken the transits into consideration but I've been drooling over sprinters for months now. Transit cost is too close to the sprinter for me to justify going that route. Appreciate the input!

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9/9/2020 5:54 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/9/2020 6:07 PM

I have a 2WD 170 Crew and put about $30k into the upfit. My van has a 200 amp hour aux battery setup, 22 gallon water tank, air compressor, two auxiliary heaters, two roof fans, interior lights and wall paneling and raisable platform bed system.

Look into Adventure Wagons upfit kit. It’s a worthy investment if you do plan to actually spend time in the van. Consider a Joe Hauler or equivalent bike hauler to keep the bike outside. The fuel smell sucks and hauling a bike in the van makes a platform bed a challenge. I would actually opt for the Adventure Wagon cot beds instead of the platform bed with motos in the mix.

You really need to consider the cost of ownership for a Sprinter. They aren’t cheap. You’ll spend $2000 a year on routine maintenance, registration, etc.

I’ve already had my van in the shop for two warranty issues. I sure hope the ‘19s have improved DEF systems because those are honestly the Achilles heel of these things. They do not like excessive idling and city driving. The warranty extension is worth paying for.

The 170 drives like shit. If you live in a high wind area, it will drive you nuts. It’s a white knuckle affair in cross-winds. Suspension upgrades are a worthy investment.

I can’t say I’ve ever needed 4WD. The long wheel base doesn’t beg for any real off roading. Be smart in bad weather and you can get through most anything with 2WD.

My 170 is a daily driver. Never had an issue with parking. You just don’t park it where you can’t. If you get a Crew with windows, coverings are a must. I never worry about shit getting stolen. You can’t see into my van save for the front windshield.

If you plan to sleep in the van in cold weather you will definitely want to consider insulation and a heater. They are an ice box otherwise.

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9/9/2020 6:39 PM

Jeremy Macbeth wrote:

I have a 2WD 170 Crew and put about $30k into the upfit. My van has a 200 amp hour aux battery setup, 22 gallon water tank, air compressor, two auxiliary heaters, two roof fans, interior lights and wall paneling and raisable platform bed system.

Look into Adventure Wagons upfit kit. It’s a worthy investment if you do plan to actually spend time in the van. Consider a Joe Hauler or equivalent bike hauler to keep the bike outside. The fuel smell sucks and hauling a bike in the van makes a platform bed a challenge. I would actually opt for the Adventure Wagon cot beds instead of the platform bed with motos in the mix.

You really need to consider the cost of ownership for a Sprinter. They aren’t cheap. You’ll spend $2000 a year on routine maintenance, registration, etc.

I’ve already had my van in the shop for two warranty issues. I sure hope the ‘19s have improved DEF systems because those are honestly the Achilles heel of these things. They do not like excessive idling and city driving. The warranty extension is worth paying for.

The 170 drives like shit. If you live in a high wind area, it will drive you nuts. It’s a white knuckle affair in cross-winds. Suspension upgrades are a worthy investment.

I can’t say I’ve ever needed 4WD. The long wheel base doesn’t beg for any real off roading. Be smart in bad weather and you can get through most anything with 2WD.

My 170 is a daily driver. Never had an issue with parking. You just don’t park it where you can’t. If you get a Crew with windows, coverings are a must. I never worry about shit getting stolen. You can’t see into my van save for the front windshield.

If you plan to sleep in the van in cold weather you will definitely want to consider insulation and a heater. They are an ice box otherwise.

I wish I could say I planned on going all out like you! Don't have a true budget yet but I know I'll get carried away lol.
Adventure wagons has some cool shit but damn it's expensive. We'll see what I feel like dealing with and what I don't. My E-350 is super basic but just making templates and cutting plywood for the floor was a PITA. Do you know anyone that makes templates for a sprinter?
I'd still like to put a wall right behind the front seats so hopefully fuel smell and road noise will be minimal while driving. Surely there's a way to uhhh...bypass/delete the DEF system? We have our windy days in NC but not too bad.
I can't imagine dd'ing a 170, props!

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9/9/2020 6:53 PM

cwel11 wrote:

Just bought a Nissan NV high top for work and if I hit the lottery I’d buy another for moto in a heartbeat

I second this, My parents own a Mercedes 2018 3500 sprinter and Nissan NV V8 2016 hightop. I've driven them both for daily drivers for months and I'll take the Nissan NV for how low maintenance it is. They have had zero problems with 300k miles on it! Sprinter has had a lot problems for 80k miles on it. The only thing good about sprinter is gas mileage and room it has everything else has been a nightmare on it. Maybe we just got a lemon sprinter tho.

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9/9/2020 8:36 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/9/2020 8:37 PM

Anyone running the low roof model and shorter wheel base. Would also be my daily. Been considering heavy the last few weeks. Possibly consider a pro master as well.

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9/9/2020 8:47 PM

I say don’t do it.... it will be another hobby!!! You will find other great ideas on sprinter/transit set ups on this site that feeds into your motorcycle addiction...: trust me. Purchased a 2015 ford transit med roof! Absolutely love it! My search history goes from motorcycle wants to van ideas daily!!! There is no end.
In my area. Sprinter/transit get great resale value. Especially around the holidays when the package carriers are looking for 3rd party contractors. Great time to sale. Terrible time to buy.

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9/10/2020 6:46 AM

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9/10/2020 6:52 AM

I had the Transit for a little over a year. It came with the 3.5L eco boost (Amazing engine), but the chassis and drivers cockpit are not even close to the Mercedes Sprinters fitment.
I bought the Benz last December and have not added a drop to DEF yet. If you drive it like a van, it'll run forever, but if you lean on that turbo all the time, it's going to give you trouble. Don't drive it like a car, it's heavy and has to push a ton of wind to get down the road.

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9/10/2020 6:59 AM

yz25 wrote:

I say don’t do it.... it will be another hobby!!! You will find other great ideas on sprinter/transit set ups on this site that feeds into your motorcycle addiction...: trust me. Purchased a 2015 ford transit med roof! Absolutely love it! My search history goes from motorcycle wants to van ideas daily!!! There is no end.
In my area. Sprinter/transit get great resale value. Especially around the holidays when the package carriers are looking for 3rd party contractors. Great time to sale. Terrible time to buy.

You must be fun at parties! laughing I've already done a ton of research and my brain is bursting with ideas of what I want to do. Dreading adding up how much it will all cost.

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9/10/2020 7:12 AM

Just picked up a 2020. Just starting on building it. So many add ons you can do, it’s mind blowing. Heading to Big Bear this weekend for a van-expo.I will post some picks later. Just added rear step bumper made by Vannon. Photo


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9/10/2020 7:16 AM

ridinbeast932 wrote:

I've taken the transits into consideration but I've been drooling over sprinters for months now. Transit cost is too close to the sprinter for me to justify going that route. Appreciate the input!

We have had both, plus I've worked at FedEx for a friend who owns 10 routes. Transits are cheaper to own and maintain. They part are easier to get and they drive better. Get a 350 transit HD and never look back. The ECO Boost engine is awesome and a dime a dozen to replace. The Diesel sprinter engine is $9000.00!!! There is a reason 90% of Amazon and FedEx trucks are Transits. Plus, this happened to my last Sprinter. Photo

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9/10/2020 8:18 AM

Just a quick question to sprinter in transit owners. There’s been many threads on here about pulling even a small 6 x 12 V nose trailer and how it murders fuel economy in a pick up. When you guys pull something small like that , and because of the size of the van does it do much to fuel economy?

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9/10/2020 10:48 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/10/2020 10:49 AM

Doing research on these things now.....The horror stories that go along with Sprinter's is enough for me to avoid those. The Ford engine (in the Transit) is in other models (F150)

This was written in 2015 (a lifetime ago and I know MB made updates) but I have moto buddies that have dumped the Sprinter for the Transit. (One buddy had it go into limp mode on the way to LL! Almost missed practice waiting on service!)

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/fatal-flaw-mercedes-benz-sprinters-tom-robertson/

Tons of highway driving? The Sprinter would be fine, driving around town stop and go? I would be leery.

This is just my .02 and I see them all over, so who knows.....




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"Hope is not a strategy"

9/10/2020 11:12 AM

I got an ”old” -09 built by a company in belgium and its perfect for us, however i live in bumfuck sweden so the rust on these older mercs is terrible.

Yes its a mess inside right now but who cares

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9/10/2020 12:22 PM

piscokid wrote:

Doing research on these things now.....The horror stories that go along with Sprinter's is enough for me to avoid those. The Ford engine (in the Transit) is in other models (F150)

This was written in 2015 (a lifetime ago and I know MB made updates) but I have moto buddies that have dumped the Sprinter for the Transit. (One buddy had it go into limp mode on the way to LL! Almost missed practice waiting on service!)

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/fatal-flaw-mercedes-benz-sprinters-tom-robertson/

Tons of highway driving? The Sprinter would be fine, driving around town stop and go? I would be leery.

This is just my .02 and I see them all over, so who knows.....




Insightful article. Seems that gentleman picked the wrong type of van for an expediting service. Luckily, most, if not all of my drives will be an hr or more and very little around town. Plenty of options for DPF deletes and tuning out there as well.

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9/10/2020 7:45 PM

ridinbeast932 wrote:

Insightful article. Seems that gentleman picked the wrong type of van for an expediting service. Luckily, most, if not all of my drives will be an hr or more and very little around town. Plenty of options for DPF deletes and tuning out there as well.

Good luck finding someone out there to sell you a tune for deletes. There have been huge fines levied on some tuners here in the U.S. If you live in a state that tests your emissions you won't be able to pass.
There's this too, a partial list.

List of Companies Fined By The EPA (Updated 2020)
The EPA publishes a list of the fines it has issued to companies within the year. Only the names of companies are released, individuals are often spared from the public ‘disparagement’ but not always. Here is a list of some of those companies and the fines they were ordered to pay:

Volkswagen: As the primary manufacturer of diesel-powered passenger vehicles there are multiple lawsuits against Volkswagen by government agencies. One such example is $108 million in the State of Illinois.
Detroit Diesel Corporation: $ 14 million civil penalty.
GoPlus Corp: $17,600 penalty.
Ryan’s Diesel Service LLC: $19,950 penalty.
Edgewater Four Wheel Drive, Inc: $14,247 penalty.
Mr. Si Sun of Ricky Power Sports LLC: $5000 penalty.
Schuch Heavy Lift Corp: $32,000 penalty.
Rathbun Musser Inc: $16,500 penalty.
Mr. Victorio Monarrez: $1,200 penalty.
Bandit Industries Inc, : $3 million civil penalty.
Husqvarna AB: $2.85 million civil penalty
Freerksen Trucking Inc.: $37,500 civil penalty
Moke America: $8,900 civil penalty
New Flyer of American Inc.: $575,000 civil penalty
Edge Products: $500,000 settlement agreement

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The older I get, the faster I was.

9/10/2020 8:31 PM

cwel11 wrote:

Just bought a Nissan NV high top for work and if I hit the lottery I’d buy another for moto in a heartbeat

HRoot11 wrote:

I second this, My parents own a Mercedes 2018 3500 sprinter and Nissan NV V8 2016 hightop. I've driven them both for daily drivers for months and I'll take the Nissan NV for how low maintenance it is. They have had zero problems with 300k miles on it! Sprinter has had a lot problems for 80k miles on it. The only thing good about sprinter is gas mileage and room it has everything else has been a nightmare on it. Maybe we just got a lemon sprinter tho.

I bought a used NV a year ago and it's been great. $13k and it had 100K miles on it. I actually getting the cargo area redone by Custom Upfits tomorrow for free. I won a contest they had on Instagram for a free motovan refresh. Really excited to see how it turns out. It's nice now but I'm sure it will be amazing when they're done. Here's a current picture.Photo

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9/10/2020 9:33 PM

The Ford chews up rear brakes
But....the cup holders👌

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9/11/2020 3:52 AM

Lastander wrote:

I got an ”old” -09 built by a company in belgium and its perfect for us, however i live in bumfuck sweden so the rust on these older mercs is terrible.

Yes its a mess inside right now but who cares

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That’s a beautiful build out. Curious what something like that cost?

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9/11/2020 7:39 AM

Brent wrote:

...May I suggest an alternative?
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I love this thing, Had it 2 years now and its great.

Seems like this is the only van Amazon is using now, I don't see the sprinters out anymore.

ridinbeast932 wrote:

I've taken the transits into consideration but I've been drooling over sprinters for months now. Transit cost is too close to the sprinter for me to justify going that route. Appreciate the input!

I bought a cargo van with max tow package, 3.5 twin turbo, and a few other options from a fleet dealership in Colorado. Saved thousands over the local dealers. Spent about 1000 in materials to build up the way I want. I spent alot of time looking over the sprinter and transit on various forums. The first gen emissions(def issues) on the diesels are way to finicky for me at the point.

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