Originally Posted by joelm
I put down a deposit about 6 months ago for a Gas Sprinter (RB, High Roof) conversion. Gas is pretty important to us given all the issues with Diesel.
I've been set on a Sprinter for many years before ordering, but now, with Mercedes being vague about when gas engines will ever ship, I'm starting to have second thoughts.
This may be the wrong form, but I'd love to hear people's thoughts on current Sprinter vs Transit? What would I give up or miss if I switch my build to a Ford?
(Transit EB - High Roof -- Probably all wheel drive) would be the option.
We had the same quandary; Sprinter or Transit. We initially ordered the 2019 diesel Sprinter 4x4 EB High Roof but subsequently flipped to the equivalent 2019 Transit due in part to the ambiguous delivery date for the Sprinter. The other reasons were the greater availability of parts and service for a Ford vs. a Mercedes, the 3.5 twin turbo engine in the Transit and the availability of the Quigley 4x4 conversion. As others have mentioned, we liked the exterior styling of the Sprinter more than the Transit but style ain't everything. We took delivery of the Transit from SMB West in January 2020.
You will not regret getting the 3.5 twin turbo. With 400 lb/ft of torque it accelerates the 7,500 lb van incredibly well. Paired with the 10 speed automatic transmission in the 2020 vans it will be quite smooth.
We worked extensively with SMB to equip the Transit properly. We had the van shipped directly to Quigley from the factory for the 4x4 and then to SMB in Fresno. We did not get the 2nd alternator opting instead for two solar roof panels which have been working great so far.
Wanting to avoid an onboard propane system we have the Espar B5 gas water heater/furnace. It really works well in spite of the return air vent being right next to the hot air output vent and fuel use is pretty much negligible. We have not used it in sub-freezing temps yet but expect it to work well as evidenced by others. The only odd thing about this unit is the sound the burner makes when it is firing up; it's like a jet turbine slowing ramping up. It's not really an issue because the burner part is mounted outside under the van and it's not really that loud. We use one of those single burner butane stoves for cooking.
To date we have only 3,100 miles on the van after one month with it and are quite happy with our decision to flip from the Sprinter to the Transit. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask.