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Old 10-06-2022, 04:47 PM   #1
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Help Me Help My Brother Pick Out a New Sprinter Van

My brother lives in (or what's left of) Cape Coral, FL. He lost both of his cars, his sailboat, and most of his belongings, as he had 3 1/2 feet of water in his house for several days. Luckily, he and his dog Jib are ok...

Prior to the hurricane he was thinking about getting a Sprinter van and eventually having some sort of a build-out done. Although he hadn't looked into it much and hasn't really had time to think much about the build.

He is now wanting to get the van ASAP as he needs a vehicle and will be using it for a while to move furniture and building supplies. In reality, he probably won't be doing anything else with it for at least a year.

He still has no internet and only spotty phone service. Both of our phone conversations so far have been via SAT Phone. He has asked me to help him pick out "the right" van and the fastest way to get it. Fortunately for him, he can afford to get "the right" van and get it as soon as possible.

Not knowing anything about the Sprinters and not really having the time to learn, I thought I'd throw this out to the forum...

He's kinda figured out that he wants a new 170 hightop 4x4, but that's about it.

I know it's a little hard to give advice with so little info. on how he wants to eventually do the build-out and how/where he plans to eventually use it recreationally, but I'm at least hoping to get some ideas on any major do's & don'ts that I could pass along to him.

Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated by both of us...
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Old 10-06-2022, 08:45 PM   #2
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The best bet for a new 4x4 170 high roof Sprinter in stock is Wilsonville Mercedes in Oregon. Or course that’s nowhere close, but outside of the PNW, you’ll be hard pressed to find dealers that keep that configuration as regular stock. Maybe in Colorado too.
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Old 10-07-2022, 01:08 AM   #3
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I agree with carringb, travel to get what he wants.
You say he wants 4x4, but what is his ultimate goal when he builds the van out? On the pavement to the ski resort or running the Mohave Road? In the short term, does he need the weight carrying capacity of dually's on the rear end?
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Old 10-07-2022, 09:42 AM   #4
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Glen, check with the Benz dealer in Knoxville. It's one hard day's drive to the north half of FL but I see a lot of 4x4 Sprinters on their lot when I pass by. No personal experience with them.

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Old 10-07-2022, 10:13 AM   #5
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Drove by Wilsonville Mercedes yesterday, lots of stock in the parking lot, I even saw a VW Westfalia sitting there, though not what you're looking for.
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Old 10-07-2022, 10:51 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the responses...

I was able to talk to him a little bit more last night about what his future plans are for the van. He definitely wants 4x4 as he plans to do a bit of that type of driving at some point. He doesn't think he will be towing but would like to have the capability if the need arose for something short term, and he may need to tow a utility trailer to move furniture and/or building supplies. He thinks he would eventually go with a basic build out, nothing fancy and nothing like an interior shower, but still capable of at least 4-5 days of dispersed camping, so I'm thinking a 3500 may be overkill.

There is the possibility that he buys the van out of state and depending on the distance, I may pick it up and drive it to him, as I might be going to FL to help him out a bit.
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Old 10-07-2022, 10:57 AM   #7
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Any opinions on Sprinter vs Promaster vs whatever else is out there in the way of a 4x4 van capable of eventually being built out for recreational use? He may even be willing to have the 4x4 conversion done at a later date.

At least for right now, he is pretty sure he wants a hightop vs something he adds a pop-top to.
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Old 10-08-2022, 05:16 PM   #8
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If I was going to buy another Sprinter right now, my first stop would be at the nearest Freightliner Dealer. We bought out last Sprinter from a Freightliner dealership and saved money by not using a Mercedes dealer. Freightliner Truck Centers are owned by Mercedes and the only difference in the vans is that there is a Freightliner badge on our front grill instead of a star. I think there is even some advantage with service at the many Freightliner service centers across the country when you drive up with a Freightliner badge. We certainly established a relationship with our Freightliner Service Center by buying the van from them. Our nearest Freightliner Service Center is even open nights and weekends for the truckers and they definitely have the lifting equipment to work on fully loaded RV's unlike many Mercedes dealerships.
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Old 10-08-2022, 05:29 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input...

We're working on getting him to decide a few things before he goes much further.
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Old 10-08-2022, 08:03 PM   #10
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Do some research on the sprinter forums about the issues people are having with the 4x4 systems. Some of it is just comical.

Mercedes is supposed to come out with an AWD sprinter that will replace the 4x4 sprinter soon as well.

Also look into an AWD transit! With the Ecoboost it'll have much more get up and go than the sprinter the AWD system is fairly capable (though not a true 4x4 system).
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