Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-06-2011, 04:41 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 109
Wind and High Roof Sprinters

What's the experience with high roof Sprinters dealing with typical afternoon winds in the southwest. It rode well until I reached western Oklahoma, and then it was ok in the mornings but in the afternoons it was knocked around by gusts coming from every which way, some feeling as though someone had smacked the side of the van with a dump truck. I had no probllems when the van was empty (pre build) and would think the build would add weight that would create stability. Center of gravity is low. Could it be the solar panel on the roof? Even reducing speed to 55-60 (a dangerous thing on roads with 70 and 75 mph limits that few people observe) did not make things better. At 40 on ramps and at 45 on city streets and outlying areas, no problem. Aside from limiting trips to the morning (is that why I see far fewer Rvs on the road in the afternoon than in the morning), is the answer to drive at 45? To do something with the solar panel? I had not seen anything about this when doing my pre-purchase research, and as I've not had this problem with my rather large SUV (not quite the same profile but far from a sedan or sportscar), I didn't think to ask. Now I am trying to pick the collective brain of the Sprinter owners on the forum. Thanks.
__________________

bluesprinter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2011, 06:58 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 79
Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

Hi

There are a number of things you can do to make your Sprinter more stable. First, check tire pressure and also check to see if you have a rear sway bar; there are a few conversions (non-SMB) that don't have this. The stock tires on the Sprinter are known to be a bit soft when it comes to the handling of the vehicle. Changing tires may help, but it's probably best to check into the suspension first. The Sprinter can be ordered with a number of heavy duty suspension kits. Given that you've already got your Sprinter, I'd recommend giving John at The Sprinter Store a call. He sells a variety of after market sway bars and shocks that should help your Sprinter handle better.

The Sprinter Store/Upscale Auto
19460 SW 89th Ave.
Tualatin, OR 97062

503-692-0846 Fax 503-691-2763

There also is a wealth of Sprinter info over on Sprinter-source.com

HTH!

Rick L
__________________

RickL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2011, 09:10 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
carringb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 3,533
Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

I can't imagine the solar panel being a factor, unless for some reason you mounted on edge like a sail....
__________________
2000 E350 extended wagon dually
V10 w/ Banks Powerpack, Diablo Predator
Buckstop Outback bumper/grill guard
Reunel rear bumper
carringb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2011, 10:26 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 109
Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

Thanks, Rick and carringb. I will check out sprinter-source.
I ordered the sprinter with "suspension w/ H.D. frt & Rr Stab" and "Vibration absorber" but I don't see sway bar on the option list.
bluesprinter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 09:34 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
Posts: 398
Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

i realize i'm a non-sprinter poster but wanted to chime in and also wish you the best on your build and adventures.

My wife and i live on the Oregon coast and drive up/down the Columbia gorge, arguably one of the windiest places in the west. We are the same height as a 2010 high roof sprinter and knew this going into our design. What we chose was to not have cabinets up high in our design and keep the main weight low in under-bed/under-sofa storage. When fully loaded for adventure the van has ~1200lbs of weight sitting low (below dash height) and it rides like it is on rails with stock sized tires. We drove in ~50mph headwinds down the gorge at ~65mph and still got ~20mpg and survived the buffeting. It can still be a bit tiring in a wind like that, but never have we felt unsafe or motion-sick.
__________________
Greetings from the WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
2010 Chevy Express AWD Light Overland Vehicle
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
Parkliner Trailer Build Thread @ FGRVForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 11:37 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
carringb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 3,533
Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

A Sprinter that tall could probably really benefit for wider/lower-aspect-ratio tires. Skinny-ish tires are not good for wind (the trade off is fuel economy though). I think the tires are probably more of a factor than the body roll, since the Sprinter are mostly immune to bump-steer.
__________________
2000 E350 extended wagon dually
V10 w/ Banks Powerpack, Diablo Predator
Buckstop Outback bumper/grill guard
Reunel rear bumper
carringb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 11:45 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 109
Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

Much of the weight in my Sprinter similarly is below the dash. There are roof cabinets, but what's in them is very lightweight. Below the dash are the batteries, inverter, the tanks, cabinets, sofabed, even the a/c components are under the floor.

What's tiring is the constant readjustment of the steering wheel to compensate for crosswinds. Headwinds don't seem to be anywhere near the problem. The worst are the out of nowhere high gusts that slam against the side and push the vehicle sideways. If there's a big rig in front of me I sometimes get a warning when I see it wobble, but most of the time even the 18 wheelers roll through the wind with no apparent effect on the vehicle, and I'm bouncing and wobbling.

I'll need to look into the tires. If that's the answer, it's worth giving up 1 or 2 mpg, as at 65 mph I'm getting near 22mpg.
bluesprinter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 11:25 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 109
Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

Looked at the sprinter store. Sent an email to ask about more specific information, as the problems solved by their products seemed to be not quite what I'm experiencing.

As I was searching at sprinter-source, I discovered several threads claiming that airtabs not only provide a small mpg increase, but significantly reduce crosswind effects and the push that comes from vehicles passing the Sprinter. Anyone here have experience with airtabs?
bluesprinter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 11:27 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 109
Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

Oh, I searched sportsmobileforum for "airtab" and it came up empty.
bluesprinter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2011, 11:28 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 109
Re: Wind and High Roof Sprinters

I should be able to get all of this into one post, but ....
Here's the airtab url: http://www.buyairtab.com/
__________________

bluesprinter is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.