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Old 01-06-2017, 07:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Gibralter View Post
Fitz - Interested in what kind of mileage you have been getting. Thanks for the link - both for being considerate enough to post it and for providing exactly the kind of information I was looking for.
With the van first built out (50 interior with PH) and not fully stocked we saw 16-1/2 mpg.
With the front bumper and etc. added and fully loaded we are right at the weight limit (a tad over, truth be told) and we are seeing 15-1/2 mpg. The engine only has 6,000 miles on it, we will see how things change over time. We are about to go on a trip that will add a few miles, I will pay attention and see what it works out to be on a typical trip for us - lots of highway miles back and forth with some desert off-roading at our destination.

Regarding servicing, my thoughts: There are more and more Sprinters on the road all the time, just look around. I can keep a vehicle maintained and will do so, if a catastrophic failure occurs I will deal with it just as I have with every other vehicle I have owned in the past. My limited experience with the Sprinter is that it is a well-built vehicle that does its job well.

And for perspective, visit a SMB site. I have been to both Austin and Fresno within the past four months, both facilities contained far more Sprinters than any other vehicle.

The Sprinter is not a rock crawler, look elsewhere if that's what you want.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:22 AM   #12
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Great advice from Fitz above IMO. Sprinters are literally all over the highways nowadays. Someone is servicing them and I guarantee it isn't dealers. I think his advice should be taken literally. For a mild off-roader it's hard to beat the advantages of a Sprinter, but it's not equal to a hardcore converted E-series. I don't think most of us need a hardcore rock crawling camper, we just want one.
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:35 AM   #13
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Hello - Where to Start

Consider also the new Ford Transit. 4x4 available from Ford via Quigley.

For some it's a good alternative to 4x4 Sprinter. Gas motor option with lots of torque, cheaper to buy and maintain, perhaps more reliable, many more service locations. First model year was 2015. Quigley Transits started hitting the road early 2016. SMB is seeing more of them.

There's pros and cons perhaps but if a 4x4 Sprinter is on your list, also look at the 4x4 Transit.

(btw, like the Sprinter, the Transit will probably never be as rock-crawler capable as an upfitted E Series van).


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Old 01-06-2017, 11:42 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Sheriffdoug View Post
Fitz & Others,
We have had Mercedes Vans here for over 20 years. MB vans took over from F350 Cab Chassis built Ambulances here in Australia more than 15 years ago. The Ambulance service here Australia wide have 4x4 & 2WD MB diesel vans performing day in day out.
An Australian RV builder have also been building with german built 4x4 Right Hand Drive MB Vans for over 15 years called Trakka.
If you go to German web sites with Videos of MB Vans
in mud & snow performing amazingly well.
The MB diesel van in the thousands is the biggest selling Courier vehicle in Australia for over 10 years, hardly ever breaking down.
Cheers Doug
And yet, you went through a LOT of trouble to have a Ford instead!
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:26 PM   #15
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G'day,
Mine certainly has been a long build journey.
I 've allways wanted a V8 Ford diesel with Rock crawling capabilities, even though
it will probably be used for that fairly infrequently, the option is there.
The Econoline has an amazingly strong steel chassis, for towing & attaching winches too!
My Ford is currently configured with 4"lift, but after State Licensing that will be upgraded
to 6", which will give my 285x17x70 wheels better movenent/articulation from the vans
wheel arches.
My Ford leaves New Zealand 20th january and arrives Fremantle, Western Australia on the
5th February and I should have it two-four days later, ready for Australian Engineering and
Federal & State approval and final vehicle licensing & registration.
Mileage now with roof rack and eventual roof box, I expect to be about 15.5-16 mpg, sitting
on road speed of 65mph. Our open road speed limit is 68mph/110kph. In my Subaru Liberty sedan, I sit on 115kph/71mph, and get 40 mpg/17 kpl.. Amazing. But for the size of the
Econoline box, 15.5 mpg is not bad.
For the size of the MB engine and van box size, the vehicle ecenomy received by Fitz is very good
and watching his posts regularly, the van journey performance has been amazing, together with excellent Sportsmobile West build, supervised by Fitz.
Some of you who are new to this Sportsmobile van build, should look seriously at the new Chev V8 diesel Duramax 4x4 vans! Or go MB or Recycle an Econoline. Choices Choices!
Cheers Doug
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