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Old 12-05-2018, 03:01 PM   #11
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I would probably pay the most attention to the people that have owned them. We have had good luck with ours so far. We bought it on our own from our local Freightliner dealer and then took it to Sportsmobile which was no problem at all.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:24 PM   #12
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They are great vehicles with factory 4x4 and tons of aftermarket options. And yeah, some who travel roads far away from big cities would prefer Fords and Chevys and Dodges because it's easier to get service and parts. They are beautiful vans though and I see tons of them on the road filled with people having fun.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:03 PM   #13
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I would probably pay the most attention to the people that have owned them. We have had good luck with ours so far. We bought it on our own from our local Freightliner dealer and then took it to Sportsmobile which was no problem at all.
I put 100k on one. Had one as a work truck for a few years. It was mostly reliable but a huge pain when it wasn't. I loved it because I didn't have to maintain it. That was years ago though, a T1N, pre emissions. Things have improved in general for the Sprinter but all modern diesels are subject to very expensive maintenance and headaches if you have DPF/DEF trouble. Sprinter should be the most sorted give it's longer history than any of the other modern euro diesels. The diesel Transit is BIG trouble and I'm really curious about the newer small Chevy Duramax. Short story is emissions have made all modern diesels much more troublesome and less reliable.

Sorry for the diversion but the trouble with modern diesels is not speculation. Be ready for anything.

If you're putting 5k on it per year as a camper only you might not have much to worry about.

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Old 12-06-2018, 02:39 AM   #14
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In our first five months of ownership, over 5,000 miles, 9 states, one Canadian Province, no issues yet.


However, quite a bit learned from this forum on possible issues. But the good on that is with each issue comes the information on how to be prepared for it and (maybe!) have what you need for a field fix.


I do think the Sprinters have quite a bit of electronic complexity to them. No doubt about that.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:13 AM   #15
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As a further note to this topic: If I had to do it all over again I'd order ours with as few of the electronic ad ons as possible. For example, we ordered it with PARKTRONIC. I really ordered this in order to make my wife Alison feel more comfortable driving the van. But we're never in a place where it's needed. Pretty easy to find wide open parking in places like Winthrop WA and Bozeman MT...


Not only that, the Aluminess rear bumper and new Agile Offroad hidden winch install make the system useless. I deactivate it every time we start as it alarms immediately.


The lane departure is useful, but we could still do without.


The heated front windshield will be nice in the winter @ ski resorts, but again we could do without.


Working down from that I'd keep it as simple as possible if you're able to pick and choose when you order the van.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:07 PM   #16
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Be aware that it relies on computerized LSD rather than locking differentials as part of the 4x4. Your Jeep can edge up to an obstacle, stop, then slow climb the obstacle. The Sprinter needs to encounter the obstacle with some inertial momentum to begin the climb.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:08 PM   #17
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About 6,000 miles and 27 nights in my 144 4x4 and I love it. Too soon to make a call about reliability, but a couple things that might be worth pointing out:


You need to be stopped to engage/disengage 4WD.
I was told it should work at a very slow speed, but the only way it works 100% of the time is to put it in P or N. Coming from a Tacoma and 4Runner, this surprised me a bit.

Stock snow tires aren't great.
I didn't think they would be, but after taking it up in the snow and ice last weekend to test hard stops and quick turns, they are coming off. Blizzaks are going on next Monday.

20,000 maintenance intervals are convenient.
I know they won't be cheap when they come up, but it's nice not having to worry about it often.

I'm thinking hard about suspension upgrades.
I was completely happy until I took it on some beat up fire roads. Ugh. One of these days I'm going to check out Fitz's setup.

I came from a Four Wheel Camper on a Tacoma. Am I glad I made the switch? Definitely.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:53 PM   #18
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Thanks all, super useful information. Having to stop to engage the 4WD seems...archaic - I can live with it though I suppose.

It'll be seeing quite a lot of miles from day 1, almost literally as I'll be loading it up and going to Denver with some friends as soon as I get it. I expect to do 40-50k miles per year in it.

I'm just working on clearing out the shop, getting rid of everything from my Ford and hopefully next week I'll be signing on the dotted line assuming a test drive goes well.

Thanks again for the insight!
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:09 PM   #19
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I'm thinking hard about suspension upgrades.
I was completely happy until I took it on some beat up fire roads. Ugh. One of these days I'm going to check out Fitz's setup.
Come on over...there's always cold beer in the garage fridge...
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:12 PM   #20
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Having to stop to engage the 4WD seems...archaic - I can live with it though I suppose.
The paradigm shift is that you can leave 4wd engaged all the time if you wish. Engage it before you need it is how you drive a Sprinter off pavement.
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