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Author Topic: Why MB?  (Read 1479 times)

MikeFromMesa

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Why MB?
« on: February 08, 2020, 06:19:48 PM »
Not an issue, but a question.

I see that Winnebago has moved all of their new Class C motorhomes that were Ford chassis to Mercedes Benz. I am not questioning the change itself but am wondering why. I have a 2018.5 Fuse on the Ford Transit HD Chassis and am very happy with the Ford diesel and have seen no issues, so why did WB decide to move completely to MB, especially given the MB large price increase?

I know that there is a small increase in towing capacity but it is hard to believe that they would make such a change just based on that. What do they know that I do not know? I had assumed this was my last RV but if there is some good reason for a change I would like to know before I decide to keep this one for another 5-10 years.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2020, 06:37:26 PM »
Most likely simply because that's what most customers buy. Building on two different chassis is a needless extra expense if buyers prefer one by an overwhelming margin.

However, remember that Winnebago's primary customer is the RV dealer - he's the one that places orders from the factory and promotes the sales to retail buyers. If dealers believe more customers will be impressed with an MB chassis, that's what they will buy to stock their sales lot. That's a self-fulfilling forecast, since  nearly all buyers buy off the lot rather than special order.
Gary
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X-Roughneck

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2020, 08:11:07 PM »
Not an issue, but a question.

I see that Winnebago has moved all of their new Class C motorhomes that were Ford chassis to Mercedes Benz. I am not questioning the change itself but am wondering why. I have a 2018.5 Fuse on the Ford Transit HD Chassis and am very happy with the Ford diesel and have seen no issues, so why did WB decide to move completely to MB, especially given the MB large price increase?

I know that there is a small increase in towing capacity but it is hard to believe that they would make such a change just based on that. What do they know that I do not know? I had assumed this was my last RV but if there is some good reason for a change I would like to know before I decide to keep this one for another 5-10 years.

I walked the Winnebago dealer lot in early 2019 down in Kerrville, TX, Ronnie Bock's I think.  I was talking to a man who had sold Winnebago for a decade stated that the Minnie Winnie was going to be the one and only gas Rep for the Class C Line.  The Aspect 30J which I was searching for and later bought a used 2017 out of Detroit was a Private Sale.  Aspect, the Luxury C last year was 2019.  Everything else was going to the sprinter platform.  We are very happy with our 30J, Gas. 
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afchap

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2020, 09:16:40 PM »
I like Winnebago very much, but if my only option were to buy one with a MB engine/chassis I would be buying another brand.  I have seen too many friends in my area have to drive 100 miles or more just to get simple service or repair sone on their MB chassis. There is absolutely no way I would buy one!
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X-Roughneck

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2020, 06:38:14 AM »
I like Winnebago very much, but if my only option were to buy one with a MB engine/chassis I would be buying another brand.  I have seen too many friends in my area have to drive 100 miles or more just to get simple service or repair sone on their MB chassis. There is absolutely no way I would buy one!

Agreed, plus for me, the German Makers are way too pricey when it comes to any services.  I remember the $300 oil changes when I had BMW service my new car. That was over 17 years ago.  Probably need a bank loan now days for a oil change done by a dealer.

If you have the Benjamin's and Mercedes is your thing, then go for it.  I know that Consumer Reports (2 years back) back when I was a subscriber the Mercedes "cars" did not fair out as super reliable.  A couple years ago there was some bad press on their "electrical systems".  Not sure how they are rating out on current year models or if there have ever been any issues with the Sprinter engine, 6 cyl, 186 HP Blown to 300 - ish range.  To me that just sounds wrong to be the prime mover of a motor home pulling a car.?

I don't like the weight, or lack there of, cargo carrying capacity for the Sprinters.  2 Pairs of underwear and the dogs and your pretty much maxed out on weight. I think there is something about their tow capacity being in the 3500 range as well?  Not sure but I remember it did not take long and reality hit for me.  Gasser... With the DEF and increased cost per mile...Economically....not in the cards for Diesel anything here in my house.  I am self inflicted poor and I have to watch my spending.

I will take my chances with FORD and having someone local fix the problems if and when they arise.  I got the routine maintenance covered here at the house on my 2017 V10, 305 HP, 6.8L. 
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 06:58:03 AM by X-Roughneck »
2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
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John Canfield

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2020, 07:25:28 AM »
I like Winnebago very much, but if my only option were to buy one with a MB engine/chassis I would be buying another brand.  I have seen too many friends in my area have to drive 100 miles or more just to get simple service or repair sone on their MB chassis. There is absolutely no way I would buy one!
This.

One reason for limited service providers is MB's scan tool and annual subscription is very expensive. Winnebago factory service doesn't even have their own, they have to borrow one from Ship-Out (they prep for delivery) when they need to dig into the ECU.

We bought a new MB E320 station wagon many years ago (for European delivery :)) ), even a routine oil change and service was $300.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 07:28:03 AM by John Canfield »
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2020, 09:08:27 AM »
According to repairpal.com, a typical Sprinter oil change runs between $217 & $240 and a Transit 350 diesel runs $204-233.  Those are dealer shop prices, not DIY.   I don't know how accurate their data is, but it's probably as good for one brand as another.   By comparison, I paid $79.95 + tax for an oil change on my late model sedan last fall and that was at an oil change only shop that advertised low prices.  The days of the $19.95 oil change seem to have gone the way of the dodo bird.
Gary
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MikeFromMesa

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2020, 09:11:58 AM »
Our local family owned RV repair shop will do oil changes on our Winnie Fuse with its Ford diesel but will not touch a MB chassis. They said that MB requirements are so difficult to meet that it is just not worth their effort. There is one RV repair shop in this area that will do them, but they want $350 for the oil change.

Our local RV dealership where I bought our Fuse wants $350 as well and the MB auto dealership told me that they would also do an oil change on the RV for about $225. In fact, they said, they had a lot full of MB RV chassis because no one wanted to take their RV to the dealer with their 2-4 week wait and high prices.

We currently get our Fuse's oil changes done at the local Ford dealer (5 miles away) for $220, which still seems pretty high, but gives a free oil change for every 4 paid ones, so it is not too bad. Works out to about $175 per.

I have just not understood what big advantage MB offers over Ford, especially given the extra cost and need for B5 or better, and would rather not find out. My guess is that as much as I like the diesel if I had to replace our RV and my choices were gas or MB I would choose gas.

MikeFromMesa

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2020, 09:13:52 AM »
According to repairpal.com, a typical Sprinter oil change runs between $217 & $240 and a Transit 350 diesel runs $204-233.  Those are dealer shop prices, not DIY.   I don't know how accurate their data is, but it's probably as good for one brand as another.   By comparison, I paid $79.95 + tax for an oil change on my late model sedan last fall and that was at an oil change only shop that advertised low prices.  The days of the $19.95 oil change seem to have gone the way of the dodo bird.

The MB auto dealership changes about that for an oil change, and they apparently do a lot of Sprinter chassis RV oil changes. That is not surprising to me considering that the RV shops charge so much more.

afchap

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2020, 03:39:23 PM »
By comparison, I paid $79.95 + tax for an oil change on my late model sedan last fall and that was at an oil change only shop that advertised low prices.  The days of the $19.95 oil change seem to have gone the way of the dodo bird.
That sounds high I paid $58 for the Fall oil change on my wife's Nissan at the dealership, and I thought that was high for an oil change!
Paul ... (KE5LXU), was fulltimin', now parttimin'...
'03 Winnebago Ultimate Advantage 40e
'17 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited toad
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Blog at www.pjrider.com

MikeFromMesa

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2020, 05:43:08 PM »
I think that the Ford dealer told me that they use 10 or 12 quarts of synthetic oil for a diesel oil change on the Ford diesel (I don't remember which) so the high price is understandable.

Our gas Jeep oil change, including tire rotation, was $50 at the Jeep dealer and the Ford oil change for gas cars is similar. It is the diesel that makes the change so expensive.

Goodspike

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2020, 08:35:51 PM »
Our local family owned RV repair shop will do oil changes on our Winnie Fuse with its Ford diesel but will not touch a MB chassis.

The cost of an oil change wouldn't worry me a bit--I change my own oil even on diesels.  My concern would be this--places on your trip not being willing to touch the vehicle.

Years ago I was driving from Seattle to San Francisco and had trouble with my Fiat X-1/9.  I pulled into a shop and they were willing to let me use their tools, but didn't want to touch it.  Turned out it was just vapor lock, but if it had been something more I might have been stuck.

Ray,IN

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2020, 10:31:48 PM »
I have no idea of how important fuel mileage is to most people, but MB gets better mileage than  other diesel mfgr. for same displacement engine.
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John Canfield

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2020, 07:22:13 AM »
Our former VW Passat Tdi (diesel) would get about 55 mpg on the highway at 65 mph. We sold it back to VW because they were going to diddle with the ECU firmware and who knows how that would affect mpg.

An oil change on my F250 diesel truck costs around $150 at an express oil change, I have a lift in my shop and did the last oil change in the truck but getting rid of used oil is a real hassle.
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depchief

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2020, 09:27:43 AM »
John:  The chain Auto Supply stores all take used oil. Auto Zone, Advanced Auto, O'Reilly's etc. Oil must be water free. Filters accepted also.
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Lynx0849

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2020, 01:47:22 PM »
I would also consider that MB may provide the chassis at a better price than Ford did? The builders negotiate volume prices. MB might have wanted the account more?
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John Canfield

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2020, 07:17:10 AM »
John:  The chain Auto Supply stores all take used oil. Auto Zone, Advanced Auto, O'Reilly's etc. Oil must be water free. Filters accepted also.
I've used them but they will only take five gallons at a time, I did get Tractor Supply to take about ten gallons. My oil catch thingy I use with the lift holds about 30 gallons - I usually fill it up before trying to get rid of the oil  :P. Florida had recycle kiosks at every fire department station (at least in Volusia county) and you could dump five gallons or 25 gallons of oil - that was super handy.

I would also consider that MB may provide the chassis at a better price than Ford did? The builders negotiate volume prices. MB might have wanted the account more?
That's quite possible.

The fit and finish of German vehicles is quite good (my experience at least), I've always liked the View and Navion (on the Sprinter chassis.) Our former Passat was a Rolls Royce compared to our Ford Fusion Platinum (highest trim line.) The Fusion interior looks cheap compared to the Passat.
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MikeFromMesa

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2020, 08:56:55 AM »
The fit and finish of German vehicles is quite good (my experience at least), I've always liked the View and Navion (on the Sprinter chassis.) Our former Passat was a Rolls Royce compared to our Ford Fusion Platinum (highest trim line.) The Fusion interior looks cheap compared to the Passat.

That makes sense. I think our Ford Transit setup is quite nice but the "Captain's chairs" really seem a bit cheesy for a reasonably expensive Class C RV, and less well done than the ones in our previous Class B Ford.

We did test drive a Winnebago ERA on the MB Chassis before settling on the Ford based Fuse and if I remember correctly it was a bit more comfortable. Still, that seems like a small difference for the difference in cost between the Ford diesel and the MB diesel (which I am told is something like $20K).

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2020, 08:16:35 AM »
Quote
difference in cost between the Ford diesel and the MB diesel (which I am told is something like $20K).
I didn't think it was  that much for comparable equipment, but Ford and Ford dealers offers more stripped "work vans" while most of the Sprinters you see on the sales lot are up-level models.    Looks to be maybe $6k-$8k for the lower end models, but not sure how it works out for the van cutaway models used for class C's.
If price were the only factor, they would all be using the Ram Promaster van instead.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 08:21:34 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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John Canfield

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2020, 06:54:46 AM »
I think Winnie was also using the Dodge chassis but they might have dropped them.
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FunSteak

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2020, 07:48:29 AM »
Our Minnie Winnie, on an E450 chassis, costs me around $100 for an oil change and inspection at our local large Ford dealer.  Can't complain.   :)
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FunSteak

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2020, 07:51:53 AM »
Also, I was very keen on the Sprinter chassis models.  That is, until I started really digging in to specs, CCC, etc.  As two quite tall people (I'm 6' 5"), I couldn't get past the smaller size of a lot of stuff in the MB models.  Due to their significantly lower cargo capacity (lower GVWR than the E450), the whole thing is a bit smaller, so smaller bed, smaller head, etc.  The cargo capacity issue along with the cost/distance of service opportunities put me firmly into the Ford camp.

We've been very, very happy with the rig and the Ford chassis.
JP & Karen
2017 Minnie Winnie 26a

John Canfield

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2020, 06:54:09 AM »
....We've been very, very happy with the rig and the Ford chassis.
:)) :))
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Ray,IN

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2020, 04:28:50 PM »
John, I dispose of my used oils at a local tire store and vehicle repair shop. They heat the building with a furnace that burns used motor oil and will accept all they can get. Finding such a place nearby might be a problem though.
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John Canfield

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Re: Why MB?
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2020, 05:42:48 PM »
John, I dispose of my used oils at a local tire store and vehicle repair shop. They heat the building with a furnace that burns used motor oil and will accept all they can get. Finding such a place nearby might be a problem though.
I found a good way to dispose of used oil. A buddy uses my vehicle lift occasionally to change fluids and I give him 15 gallons of oil to dump in our local VFD's bulk oil tank (they service their equipment.) He's a volunteer there, good deal for him and me.
--John
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