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Old 02-03-2014, 07:46 PM   #11
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Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveTOaks

On my ODB2 app, I see two parameters that might be the percentage load - Calculated Load Value, and Absolute Load Value. Which one, if either, would be the right one to watch?

Thanks for the tips on manual shifting. I'll give that a try. BTW, my rig has 12000 miles on it so I guess it's fuel mileage has stabilized, or is close to doing so.
Are both "Calculated" and "Absolute" Load Values displayed in same units? Or are both shown as a percent? Or is it just a number without any units? Just curious what display implies.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:17 PM   #12
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Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

We have a 2012 2500 PH SMB. At 11K miles the total avg according to the on board computer is 19.5 mpg. We have a wabastco diesel cabin heater that taps the fuel tank so the avg mileage might be a bit higher than reported. We have seen up to 23 mpg when speed was restricted by endless Alaska road re-construction to 40 MPH. Our van build is pretty heavy with the hydronic heater, 15 gallon water capacity and solar inverter, refer and solid surface counter. We usually haul a lot of firewood and extra water and a couple of mountain bikes on the back with us.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:43 AM   #13
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Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayBea
SteveTOaks:
OK, here are some "real world" figures from my experience with the following baseline parameters:
1. SMB Sprinter, 2500 EB, High Roof
2. Gross weight 7900 to 8500 lbs
3. 18 month, 16,000 miles experience

The figures:
1. Overall: 19.5 to 20.0 mpg average (high 24.5 low 14.5)
2. City Driving: 14.5 to 17.5 mpg
3. Highway Driving: 17 to 22.6 mpg (17 at 65 mph into a headwind, 22.6 at 65 to 75 mph on interstate)

Actually, I feel pretty good about the mileage that I have seen. When driving where I like to drive at speeds I like to drive (blue highways at 55 to 65 mph) I see 20 to 22 mpg when I compute at fill-ups.
So your mileage is not too far off, be sure you'r not overloaded and your tire pressure is at MB specs and just enjoy the fact that you can get this kind of fuel economy while "moving your house".
JIM
I generally get the same MPG as Jim. 2012 sprinter high roof EB 2500. Mostly back roads and hilly drives at approx 19-21 MPG. Best I got was 23 MPG coming back from Florida at 68MPH.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:44 AM   #14
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Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

Fuelly.com is a great website to compare vehicle gas mileages. When searching for Sprinters be sure to look at Dodge for the early Sprinters and Mercedes-Benz for the later years. Wish there were more Sprinters on there. C'mon folks, sign up.....keep track of your own mileage.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:35 PM   #15
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Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveTOaks

On my ODB2 app, I see two parameters that might be the percentage load - Calculated Load Value, and Absolute Load Value. Which one, if either, would be the right one to watch?
It turns out that Absolute Load Value isn't supported on the Sprinter, only the Calculated value is. It goes from 0 - 100%. When idling in park, the value is 21%. In drive, 27%. When driving, it mostly stays 60 - 80%, but jumps up to about 90% briefly just after shifting. After falling quickly back to about 80, it slowly drops down while accelerating until it shifts again. When I take my foot off the gas and coast, it drops to zero.

I wasn't able to get to a long hill that I could cruise up at 60 mph and watch when it shifts, so I'll have to watch out for that.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:41 PM   #16
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Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spenard
We have a 2012 2500 PH SMB. At 11K miles the total avg according to the on board computer is 19.5 mpg. We have a wabastco diesel cabin heater that taps the fuel tank so the avg mileage might be a bit higher than reported. We have seen up to 23 mpg when speed was restricted by endless Alaska road re-construction to 40 MPH. Our van build is pretty heavy with the hydronic heater, 15 gallon water capacity and solar inverter, refer and solid surface counter. We usually haul a lot of firewood and extra water and a couple of mountain bikes on the back with us.
Sounds like our rigs are pretty similar, except I don't haul firewood. Sometimes I do haul a 300 lb motorbike and cargo carrier, which itself weighs maybe 80 lbs.

After I go on a few more freeway trips with the ODB scanner, I'll have a better idea of fuel mileage, but with just one measured trip under my belt, it sounds like I'm getting a little worse than most folks. Strange that the bigger vans, presumably heavier, get better mileage. Maybe the PH top and solar panels increase the air drag enough to make the difference.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:14 AM   #17
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Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveTOaks
......cut........ Strange that the bigger vans, presumably heavier, get better mileage. Maybe the PH top and solar panels increase the air drag enough to make the difference.
Steve, it seems that as long as you compare a 2500 vs 2500 or a 3500 vs 3500 that van length itself doesn't add much weight. Obviously longer vans have more room to add stuff inside and also underneath, so on average they probably weigh more. We'd have to know actual rolling weight because there could be exceptions. Besides, on the highway weight doesn't make much difference anyway -- in order of about 20 pounds per ton.

Your question on the PH roof's and solar panels' relative drag is a great one since aerodynamics is more important on highway. The factory high roof looks cleaner at front compared to PH but at rear it probably doesn't make much difference. I haven't seen solar panels up close, but it would be disappointing if they cost more fuel energy in wind drag than they save versus a generator.

Unfortunately, short of testing in a wind tunnel it's tough to get good data because there are so many variables that affect a van's MPG.
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:25 PM   #18
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Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

I went on a little trip last week, watching the ODB2 display. Total mileage was 266. I got 18.71 mpg on the way out and 18.25 on the way back, which surprised the heck out of me because the destination was about 1500' higher in elevation than my home. But it was blowing a gale on the way back through the desert and that might have been the difference. I thought it was a cross-wind, but maybe it was coming in from the front a bit, creating some headwind. It was all freeway driving, 65-75 mph.

I was watching the engine load whenever I thought it would be heavy. I had it in full automatic. The only time the load was pegged to 100% was when I used the cruise control to up my speed, say from 65 to 70. For some reason, cruise controls think I want to get from the slower speed to the faster one as quickly as possible. Out of four vehicles I've had with cruise control, they all behave that way.

I didn't see 100% load like that when I was climbing hills, except maybe momentarily.
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:18 PM   #19
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Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

Here are a couple more Sprinter mpg measurements to throw into the mix:

We rented a 2011 Sportsmobile Sprinter NCV3 high top regular wheelbase in March and got 18.3 mpg average over one week and 850 miles of mixed high speed interstate and lower speed National Park cruising. That unit included a Wallas marine diesel cooktop/heater but it was very efficient, perhaps consuming 0.1 mpg equivalent? The turbo diesel V6 in that relatively small Sprinter resulted in lots of passing power on uphill two lane roads!

Last week we purchased a 2006 Sprinter T1N (first generation) high top regular wheelbase Sportsmobile conversion in Philadelphia and drove it home 1800 miles. That was all interstate speeds, pushing to get home against headwinds in Missouri and Kansas for an average 21.1 mpg. It got about 23 mpg on a shorter (and lower speed) camping excursion this weekend, but the tank refill was small enough it's hard to compare to the longer trip averages above.

The old Inline-5 turbo diesel certainly isn't as powerful or refined as the new V6, but I do appreciate its simplicity and extra fuel mileage.
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