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Old 10-21-2015, 11:26 PM   #1
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Sprinter 4x4 2500 SMB Cinversion

I am looking at a 2015 Sprinter 4x4 170" wheelbase, Extended Body, 2500, single axle, 8,850 GVWR, as a full van conversion by Sportsmobile. I do not want a dual axle 4x4. I've talked to Fresno and they advised I needed the 3500 dual axle for a full van conversion. Indiana thought they might be able to swing it with the 8,850 GVWR. I haven't talked to Austin yet. I will camping in the winter and do not think the dual axle would be stable on snow and ice. For some reason, a dually 4x4 doesn't seem sensible. I've been advised that if I load the van past its GVWR, it will stress the engine. Any opinions out there?
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Old 10-22-2015, 06:09 AM   #2
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Re: Sprinter 4x4 2500 SMB Cinversion

I have no technical expertise in this area but can certainly agree with you. I don't like the look of DRW Sprinters and wouldn't want a 4x one for sure. It just seems like overkill and much more worry of destroying a tire or getting something caught between them. If someone will do the conversion I would see how it drives and handles after and then figure out whether beefier suspension or tougher tires are needed.

A lot of us are running around in Fords at 10-12k and single rear wheels and having no problems.

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Old 10-22-2015, 06:41 AM   #3
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Re: Sprinter 4x4 2500 SMB Cinversion

Thank you, Scotty. I'll add your advice to my research questions.
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Old 10-22-2015, 08:22 AM   #4
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Re: Sprinter 4x4 2500 SMB Cinversion

More for your research. California has a gross vehicle weight limitation for certain chain control conditions. Dual rear wheels would likely raise that concern with a CalTrans chain control screener. Check with MT and other areas where you plan to drive in the Winter. For the Summer, I personally like the idea of distributing the weight over six tires, but in snow you want the narrowest tire contact patch to roadway possible. So it seems in snow you would be more apt to lose traction on the rear wheels with the weight distributed over four rear tires resulting in less weight per tire and thus less traction per tire. Personally, I am trying to reduce the weight of my vehicle so as to stay within weight limitations of my tires, because I don't want to go to dual rear wheels. carringb is probably one of your best resources. I believe he runs duals.
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Old 10-22-2015, 08:56 AM   #5
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Re: Sprinter 4x4 2500 SMB Cinversion

Thank you, E350. I thought finding the right van would be easy. Ha.
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Old 10-23-2015, 02:44 PM   #6
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Re: Sprinter 4x4 2500 SMB Cinversion

By 170 Wheelbase Extended Body do you mean the Sportsmobile EB definition (274" total length) or the Mercedes Extended Body model (290" total length, referred to as LB in Sportsmobile lingo)?

I know people with 170" wheelbase / 274" length campers on the 2500 series 2wd chassis but they're Outside Van and VanWorks conversions and likely weigh less than a full-on Sportsmobile. Perhaps using lightweight materials, lithium batteries, minimal tankage, and keeping heavy items forward in the unit would allow use of the 4x4 2500.

Note the 2500 series Sprinter is 8550 GVW (not 8850) and 4x4 drivetrain adds additional weight that reduces payload compared to the standard 2wd chassis. It's the suspension, tire and vehicle stability control systems that could be overwhelmed by extra weight on the 2500 chassis, the 4x4 drivetrain and engine are identical.

For 2015 Mercedes did introduce a Super Single version of the 3500 chassis with 10,140 GVW but unfortunately that option appears to be 2wd only.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:18 PM   #7
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Re: Sprinter 4x4 2500 SMB Cinversion

Thank you, PeteM. Great info on effects of overload on the vehicle. It is the EB, not the longer LB, in Sportsmobile lingo and yes, GVWR 8,550, not my 8,850 typo. I saw the Super Single axle already for 2WD models only. Rats. I had received email from Outside Vans-they said most of their work is on the 2500 but they did not specify 4x4. Sportsmobile Indiana did a 2015 2500, 4x4 170' wheelbase, single axle, EB, conversion minus bathroom but with big diesel generator in the rear and fully loaded interior with heavy plywood walls. I talked to the new, proud owner, who received it 10.6.15. He LOVES it.
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