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Old 01-05-2018, 02:14 PM   #1
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Question 3500 pros and cons vs 2500

Hi all

Did some searches and didn't come up with any threads..... apologies if they exist and I just couldn't find them.

Researching what would be the best EB tall roof 4 x 4 Sprinter for us.

According to MB's website - I can get the 4 x 4 in the 3500.

Disadvantages to 3500
- paying $4,200 extra for the 3500
- lose a bit under the bed for the larger wheel wells.
- higher cost to tire replacements when that comes....
- a bit of extra weight for the extra 2 wheels
- maybe a bit more road noise? minimal -?

Advantages to 3500
- never have to worry about weight, within reason
- and I quote " 3500 may reduce some of the “porpoising” (mild bouncing from front to rear) noted in heavy vans"

- a rear wheel blowout on 3500 would likely be a lot less "exciting" with dual wheels in rear - true? false? Curious.

- coupled with 4 x 4 - or even in RWD .... even more traction - correct?

thanks for any and all thoughts.

John

~~~~~~

quoted from Chumley's excellent sticky....

"...2. Standard 2500 or heavy duty 3500 model?
a. RB 2500 is the only model available with the low roof, therefore the penthouse conversion can only be a RB 2500.

b. GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating – maximum allowable legal weight of loaded vehicle): the 2500 is 8,550 lbs., 3500 is 9,990 lbs standard and with option package up to 11,030 lbs. Check the forums to see where the Sprinter outfitted like yours may fall. The weight can add up quickly.

c. Standard rear axle ratio gearing for 2500 models is 3.92. Standard rear axle ratio for 3500 is 4.18. The lower the gearing (higher the number) the more “grunt” you will have for moving out more briskly and getting up hills with a heavy load as well as towing. This will also possibly reduce your fuel mileage by somewhere between 1-2 mpg and reduce your comfortable cruising top speed. Note: Roadtrek orders their 2500 models with the lower, 4.18 rear axle ratio, as stock equipment specification.

d. Heavier suspension settings on the 3500 may reduce some of the “porposing” (mild bouncing from front to rear) noted in heavy vans. Also high roof models may benefit from the “suspension package: high center of gravity” option which includes HD sway bars at both ends and reinforced suspension mounts. Look around here on this site since SMB tends to not address these issues."
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:55 PM   #2
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SMB didn’t even give us the option for a 2500 170WB for what we want our interior to be. Started out wanting a 144 but having a hard time comfortably fitting 3-4 people in that. Then wanted a 170 4x4 (2500) until I was told the weight of conversion would be too much for the 2500. Now we are in a situation where we may have to compromise some off road access to bring everyone along. Plus the added expense and issues of the dually. Can’t find much information on this, maybe because no one is really doing much of this type of conversion - off road boondocking for more than 2 people. Please let me know if you find any good answers out there.
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Old 03-03-2018, 01:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AThompson View Post
SMB didn’t even give us the option for a 2500 170WB for what we want our interior to be. Started out wanting a 144 but having a hard time comfortably fitting 3-4 people in that. Then wanted a 170 4x4 (2500) until I was told the weight of conversion would be too much for the 2500. Now we are in a situation where we may have to compromise some off road access to bring everyone along. Plus the added expense and issues of the dually. Can’t find much information on this, maybe because no one is really doing much of this type of conversion - off road boondocking for more than 2 people. Please let me know if you find any good answers out there.
hi there

Since I posted my original question I met with SMB-west and a very senior person told me that in a built out (cabinets, bathroom, various tanks, etc) 170 i *had* to get the 3500.... the 2500 would be way overloaded.

if it was only a bed and a fridge in a 170 then the 2500 might be ok.

and

all my research makes it clear to me that 2 people are OK in a 144, but we will have 3 people, and a 144 just doesnt have the space for 3 to sleep, and their stuff.

YMMV.
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Old 03-03-2018, 02:57 PM   #4
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The 3500 is available from MBZ in both single rear wheel, and dual rear wheel configurations. I would think SMB would offer the same.

I'm not up on MBZ's per se, but most brands uprate their 3500 rigs to include bigger brakes, transmission cooler, include a class 3 hitch, stiffer sidewall tires and often heavier springs and sway bars as an engineered package. If it were me, the extra $4k, maybe 4% of the rig's over all cost, 2500 vs 3500 is worth it without even a passing thought.

Duallys definitely have their place, I've owned a couple dually trucks. I was carrying a cabover camper on both, and also towed with both. The extra rear tires really help with rear sway because of the wider track, and 4 more tire sidewalls, for a total of 8, to resist lateral movement is really helpful in a stiff crosswind with a high CG rig, and with towing a sail-like slab-sided trailer that has more square feet than a garage door.

The extra two tire increases rolling resistance, my mpg's went down by 20% on a truck I converted from single rear wheel to dually, added all terrain stiff wall truck tires, slightly lower rear end gears, and bigger truck mirrors, pooched out fenders (which all contributed to my lower mpg's). After years of experience chasing mpg's (a former hobby of mine) my educated guess says the extra rolling resistance of the two extra tires were the single biggest contributor to lower mpg's. A rear flat tire usually means you don't feel it, untill several miles down the road. The problem is the non-flat tire takes up the load, and the flat tire flaps along not inflated, and beats it to a pulp, oftten braking the inner cords, requiring it be replaced, not just patched or plugged. The other down side to dually's for offroad is getting into deep ruts on single track trails, or picking your way through serious rocky trails where you need to carefully pick your tire track 'line'. But if you don't plan to do much technical offroading, you'll enjoy the extra rear traction especially if coupled with limited slip differential (LSD), torsen-gleason or air locker third member.
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:26 PM   #5
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LosAngeles, where do you think you might take your 170 4x4? Wooded trails, gravel roads, beaches...? My biggest concern with the 3500 is getting rocks or gravel between the back tires and tearing them up. Also, the weight of this vehicle on sand.
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsBeast View Post
The 3500 is available from MBZ in both single rear wheel, and dual rear wheel configurations. ........
Thanks TomsBeast for all the info. Really interesting and helpful. :-)

and...

As far as I know the Sprinter 3500 = dual rear wheels,

and you could not get a 3500 in a single rear wheel config.

I heard this from what SMB-West told me,

and also if you look at the MB website - and use their interactive "build me" system - when you increase the payload at all, the image of the van immediately changes to dual rear wheels.

You can try it here:

https://www.mbvans.com/sprinter/comm...vans/cargo-van

but i could be wrong. would not be the first time today.



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Old 03-03-2018, 10:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by AThompson View Post
LosAngeles, where do you think you might take your 170 4x4? Wooded trails, gravel roads, beaches...? My biggest concern with the 3500 is getting rocks or gravel between the back tires and tearing them up. Also, the weight of this vehicle on sand.
Hey there

We do not plan on any technical offroading.

I would say dirt roads, and the occasional sandy rocky road...... the places where they say "if it rains, even far away, this sandy wash is impossible to get out of unless you have 4x4."

or dirt / clay roads that get slippy in the rain.

gravel roads.

probably would not brave a sand beach.



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Old 03-04-2018, 07:18 AM   #8
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Hey, I've got no chihuahua in this hunt....but offering a point to possibly ponder:

---> With respect to the off-road issues inherent to the dually rear tire setup (catching a rock between the two tires) ---

Can the MB Factory "Super Single" rear wheel option be utilized as part of a solution to this issue? (Factory option for the 3500 that swaps out the dually rear setup for a single, wider and high-load-capacity tire.)

"Super Single" Factory Option Description:
The Sprinter Super Single Option

Discussion at Sprinter Source about converting 4x4 to Super Single.
Converting 4x4 3500 Dually to Super Single
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=47639

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