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Old 05-21-2020, 06:52 PM   #1
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New Vechile Questions

I have a 2005 SMB and I am getting into my late 70ís and so I am thinking of a new rig with more creature comforts and fancy gadgets. Iíve been looking at advertisements of already made B campers on Mercedes and Ram chassis since I would like to avoid long waiting time frames to have a special specs one built again. I have come up with a couple of questions.

1) I have heard that Mercedes are not real reliable and harder to find repair centers and expensive to repair also Ė true or false? (Especially versus a Dodge.)
2) Can one get these rigs retro-fitted with 4-wheel drive? My current SMBís Quigley 4-wheel drive has been handy in snow and sand.

I suppose I would need to sell my current rig. It is a 2005 GMC 3500 extended body with a fixed high roof (~9í4Ē tall) with slightly larger and more aggressive tires than original, ~106000 miles on frame, Quigley 4-wd drive. All GMC mechanical items very well maintained and documented since easy to fine good mechanics in area. All camper/house stuff works well (except solar panels) but maybe not so pretty. Hard to find assistance here and being in my late 70ís I cannot do some things as I did with our 1997 SMB or 1974 SMB. Answers to above or suggestions?

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Old 05-21-2020, 07:12 PM   #2
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You might consider a Transit AWD van with SMB or some other conversion. There are options for Transit 4x4 conversion as well.

1. There are fewer places to work on Mercedes Sprinters and they can be more expensive to repair as other European vehicles. You might ask the reliability question in the Sprinter Chassis forum.

2. Sprinters are available in 4x4. I don't believe anyone is converting them reliably.

2008 GMC 3500 Quigley Weldtec 4x4 Savana SMB
2006 BMW HP2 Enduro
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:23 AM   #3
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Quigley will also do retrofit 4x4 on some Transit vans if you find a completed one that suits your needs. I would call them about which ones though.
2008 Ford E-350 Quigley 4x4 V10 - 164,000 miles
RB50, PH Top, Dual AGM Group 27 Deka, 2000 Tripplite Inv., No Propane or Water Systems
Van Weight 8,100 pounds, added one rear leaf spring, BFG AT KO LT265/70R17 E Tire press 50psi.
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:36 AM   #4
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Transit - get w Eco Boost engine. Very nice.

Transit Swivel seats need to be looked at SUPER carefully. Lots of the aftermarket units leave much to be desired. Most raise the seat by at least an inch or more. They also rattle. Make sure to try the swivel out before committing.

QuadVan in Portland does a nice Transfer cased 4x4 Conversion for the Transit. Main issue for me is ground clearance and tire size limitations.

With your 45+ yrs of vanning I am sure you know your way around!
Beastie 3: 2002 7.3 EB Cargo: Agile TTB, CCV Mid Top, Custom Walk Through, Lots of stuff added.
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Old 05-22-2020, 12:57 PM   #5
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X3 on the Transit. The EcoBoost + 10 Speed is by far the best powertrain combo available for any van.

The Sprinter does have some issues with diesel emissions, as do all the automakers (the big ones are mostly figured out, but the small ones from all the OEMs regularly have issues still). But the bigger deal is sparse repair center coverage.

The AWD in the Transit can transfer 100% torque to either axle, where the MB system has a 1/3-2/3 F-R torque split. Van Compass has a 2" lift available.

But for trails, true 4x4 on the Transit is even better, in which case I'd recommend the Transit system. Quigley's are more readily available, but the QuadVan setup uses more stock Ford wear parts, and less custom stuff, so repairability in the future should be easier.

The new 2020 Transit has a factory seat swivel option, and also a push-down-parking-brake option so adding an aftermarket swivel won't require the seat-lift anymore.

The Ram ProMaster isn't really in the same league. It's Front Wheel drive only, with a transverse V6.
2000 E450 dually V10 wagon
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