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Old 09-10-2011, 10:13 PM   #31
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Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

Took the Sprinter out for an overnight last week. It was breezy but far from the gusts in the southwest. It seemed as though the Sprinter tracked better, and there was less buffeting from passing vehicles. The crosswinds on the Millard Tydings Memorial Bridge -- which have pushed some of my SUVs around a bit -- were still noticeable but did not rock the Sprinter the way other gusts had . . . but I don't have any way to compare because I don't know the mph of any of the gusts. Airtabs were creating a vortex, because in the rain on the return trip, visibility was better, back windows had much less water on them and I didn't need to use the rear wipers. I plan to take it out again this week, making a visit to the RV show in Hershey, just for fun.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:39 PM   #32
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Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

I don't know if this will help any, but i've driven for Fedex for about 20 yrs. and i put a couple of hundred thousand miles on Sprinters, and Fedex uses the crappiest tires they can afford (basically like truck recaps) with super high pressure, sort of a given for a large corporate fleet. I always found the Sprinter to be dead perfect, whether in the wind or not. I say this compared to most of the other work vans, and personal play vans nowdays, being Ford Econolines, which are all over the road without wind and much worse in it! I'm in the hilly east, not in the wide open West, where i do realize the wind can be worse, but i'm kind of surprised that you're having problems. Lots of my coworkers hated the thought of the Sprinters at first because they LOOK topheavy, but they are a Mercedes Benz design, and i always cornered in mine like i would in a sports car, with very little lean or discomfort. I don't recall wind ever being a problem. I hope you figure out your issue, i'm wondering if it's not tire related.
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:31 PM   #33
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Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty
I don't know if this will help any, but i've driven for Fedex for about 20 yrs. and i put a couple of hundred thousand miles on Sprinters, and Fedex uses the crappiest tires they can afford (basically like truck recaps) with super high pressure, sort of a given for a large corporate fleet. I always found the Sprinter to be dead perfect, whether in the wind or not. I say this compared to most of the other work vans, and personal play vans nowdays, being Ford Econolines, which are all over the road without wind and much worse in it! I'm in the hilly east, not in the wide open West, where i do realize the wind can be worse, but i'm kind of surprised that you're having problems. Lots of my coworkers hated the thought of the Sprinters at first because they LOOK topheavy, but they are a Mercedes Benz design, and i always cornered in mine like i would in a sports car, with very little lean or discomfort. I don't recall wind ever being a problem. I hope you figure out your issue, i'm wondering if it's not tire related.
Several others have mentioned tires and tire pressures. Tire pressures are at 65 for the front, can't remember the rear but I'm told it's the front that counts. I mentioned to the Mercedes salesman that the Continental tires got bad reviews -- even before the wind issue arose -- simply for the fact they don't last very long. He appeared suprised and said, "We use Continentals on all the Mercedes vehicles." When they're ready to be replaced, I'm going with Michelin.

What I'd like to do is figure out the center of gravity. Not sure how to do that. It's not like I can put the thing on a scale as I can to measure weight.

Even though it's now winterized, I took it out for a 40-minute ride earlier this afternoon. There wasn't much wind. It rode well. But that tells me nothing.

Oh, here's something interesting: Go to http://www.dot.state.wy.us/webdav/si...gh%20Winds.pdf
and scroll down to the formulas for determining the amount of wind that will push or turn over a vehicle. Other places in the report explain that it's not so much the wind itself but the sudden gusts, when the gusts are more than 10mph stronger than the steady wind. Fits with my experience earlier this year.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:41 PM   #34
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Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

My son's contribution to the effect of winds.



Wind speed estimated at 175mph!!

In Iceland.

No SMB would stand a chance, though the boats held up.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:45 PM   #35
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Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

Time for an update. I've had the Sprinter out on several long trips and several short ones. It runs better than it did the first time out, but still doesn't have that "on rails" or "dead on track" handling that some have mentioned. I've played with the tire pressures, and I think increasing the front pressure made it worse.

In the meantime, Mercedes has added "Crosswind Assist" (and other new features) to the 2014 Sprinter. So apparently the engineers decided something more was required. So now I'm trying to find out if it can be retrofitted on a 2011 (as it relies on signals from existing Electronic Stability Control systems). No one seems to know and I cannot figure out how to ask the question of the engineers in Germany.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:00 PM   #36
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Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

What is the wheelbase on your vehicle? Wondering if short or long wheel base perform better in the wind. Also, wondering if the low-roof is much better.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:35 PM   #37
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Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

Quote:
Originally Posted by yogiyoda
What is the wheelbase on your vehicle? Wondering if short or long wheel base perform better in the wind. Also, wondering if the low-roof is much better.
It's 144. I wonder if I should have done dual rear tires rather than the singles (though it would reduce space inside).

Taking it out again in a week, so it will be interesting to see how it handles.

Low roof would take away a good bit of the storage space. If I went low roof I'd go for a longer wheelbase.
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:59 PM   #38
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Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

I contacted Mercedes, and asked if the new crosswind assist can be retrofitted to a pre-2014 model. They got back to me and said, "No." They explained that it is on account of differences in the hardware used in the 2014 facelift and used in the 2011.

So perhaps I will sell my van to someone who doesn't drive where it is windy, and then use the sales proceeds to get a 2014 Sprinter. Having had the experience of designing the conversion and then living with it, I could implement the "things I would have done differently" changes.

Maybe.
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:04 PM   #39
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Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

Thanks for the info bluesprinter!
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:06 PM   #40
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Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesprinter
Quote:
Originally Posted by yogiyoda
What is the wheelbase on your vehicle? Wondering if short or long wheel base perform better in the wind. Also, wondering if the low-roof is much better.
It's 144. I wonder if I should have done dual rear tires rather than the singles (though it would reduce space inside).

Taking it out again in a week, so it will be interesting to see how it handles.

Low roof would take away a good bit of the storage space. If I went low roof I'd go for a longer wheelbase.
Is longer wheelbase with low roof an option? I was under the impression that all 170-inch wheelbase Sprinters are high roof.
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