Sprinter Chassis- Benz Diesel Class C and Towing

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X-Roughneck

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We have purchased our new downsized home, sticks and bricks, and are in the process of downsizing and moving so a smaller town in Texas in June this year (Step 1- complete).  Builder is modifying back gate for me at 16' wide and no HOA (No storage fees)!  I will retire 30 June 2019 (Step 2).  Initially I knew for sure I wanted a Class A, then knew it was going to be a Diesel Pusher used, for sure.  After crunching numbers and looking at registration fees, storage fee, insurance quotes, and looking at disposable income in retirement we are now coming back and realizing the cold hard facts of reality and are focusing on the Sprinter Chassis/ Mercedes Winnebago products View, Navion and the likes or possibly a Winnebago  C (Gas) Aspect or Cambria. (Step 3) After we sell our current house we will purchase a RV in November or December this year (Sound strategy in my mind after alot of research).  We will eventually do short trips 4-6 week and return to sticks and bricks, exploring Texas initially.  The more I look at the MFG process of Winnebago the more I am impressed.  Just like everybody out there.  The only thing holding me back is Cash.  :)

Now- Getting to the question.

From the board's perspective, towing with the sprinter Benz 188 HP engine.  Is there any feedback from actual owners, or actual second hand stories from RVrs?  Later I  going to try and get me a year model 2009 Smart car, or a lightweight car that can be 4 towed after the move and RV purchase is completed.  I  realize capable of towing on a spec sheet my MFG brochure and my real world experience could be drastically different.  I am eventually going to roll over those Mountains in Colorado and outwest.

I also know that anything with Mercedes Benz name on it means break out some extra cash when getting service performed.  Is the Benz Sprinter platform reliable and durable for towing and everyday wear and tear?  The Winnebago Sprinters are all short, stark, Eat Sleep, bathroom configurations, with no frills. The Winnebago Gasoline Aspect, Cambria series (30') offer a little more living areas and the Ford v10 may make more sense for a guy and gal who is now thinking 4-6 week trips from our home and returning. 

Would love to hear what the board thinks.

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I personally think that all the Sprinter-based RVs are more for weekend use than multi-week living, but individual needs and tolerances vary widely.  I'd much prefer a larger Class A, and the gas chassis is less expensive to maintain as well. Fuel economy is probably the best reason for choosing the smaller Sprinter-based models.

As for your performance and reliability concerns, I don't think you need worry much about the Sprinter.  Towing a car on the level is a very small load, so it's only the mountain grades that will slow you down. And they will slow you down no matter what coach you buy.

I'm guessing you want to buy a new coach.  You really ought to consider a late model used rig, both financially and for reliability.  You probably have used car paranoia, but the used vehicle is only a modest part of RV purchase.  By far the more important aspect is the "house", and a clean, lightly used house should not be a reason for fear.
 

grashley

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Please continue doing your homework!  You already have shown some of the wisdom gained.

You are wise to pay cash for the RV.  It will leave you in a MUCH better financial position.
As Gary said, look used.  Many new RV have issues covered under warranty, but getting warranty service can take weeks or months - literally!  Used rigs have these things fixed and you are under no obligation to return to a RV dealer for service .  It will also leave the retirement account in better condition.
We have a 39 ft FW and plan some longer trips after our granddaughter no longer needs daily baby sitting, keeping us home.  It is great for short trips.  I can not imagine 6 - 8 week outings in anything smaller!  We could survive a medium size class C, but we would not do well "crammed" into a Sprinter that long. :-*  YMMV
 
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X-Roughneck

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Thanks for the input everyone.  Been busy lately.  Going to take the RV plunge soon.
 

Gizmo100

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X-Roughneck said:
Thanks for the input everyone.  Been busy lately.  Going to take the RV plunge soon.

Well I'm a little late to the party ...But I'll throw in my 2 cents anyway.

I would favor the biggest RV that within the budget. On those pretty days you won't notice or care. But get into a few rainy cold days and that  B - Class will get really small.
 

debsmg

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SE Minnesota
I have an Aspect 27 k. I too looked at Navion/View and also Via. The cargo carrying capacity of the Sprinter Chassis was a con for me. I went with the E450 as CCC better, less costly to maintain, and the difference in price-about $20,000 could buy a lot of gas since mpg is worse in a gasser. The E450 is easier to get serviced and repaired- I have been lucky just needing maintenance only. I have friends who had a lot of trouble with the Sprinter chasis but know others who love theirs.
 

Arch Hoagland

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My son in law is an EMT and he is dead set against the Sprinter Chassis.

They have about 25 ambulances using that chassis and he said it's difficult keeping them all running.

 
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X-Roughneck

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Went out and walked the lots yesterday to see some models of interest.  I can say I am back leaning towards a gas models.  The sprinters are nice but they seem small on the inside.  We looked at the Entegra Qwest 24L on the Sprinter chassis, nice floor plan but too small.  The Sprinter that really seems do-able is the Winnebago Navion I think it is the 24G with Murphy bed drop down.  I have talked to people that make sense when saying Ford service and parts are plentiful.  Mercedes Benz I know are going to be pricier if there are ever issues out of warranty.  Starting to really set a focus on the Jayco Greyhawk (Never stepped foot in one) and the Entegra Esteem lines with the J-Ride / Beefed up suspensions. Like what we saw in the Entegra Esteem 29v with the beefed up suspension.  Also liked that the kitchen sink and other water area were fixed and not on slides.  I do not think I would buy anything where the water / drainage area are on a slides.  That just seems like a problem waiting to happen and those areas being immobile seem smarter to me, the rookie with no real world RV experience.    Our house in San Antonio goes on the market this week.  Had the stager and the photographers in on Friday.  We need to sale the house, get settled a bit at our new place.  Starting to set filters for used on RV trader.  Still being here in Texas if I go new I will try and get a close out that did not sell.  MHSRV out of Alvarado carries the Entegra lines and their advertised prices seem like a great starting point for negotiation.  Probably not too much fat / money to be trimmed off advertised pricing but they are starting out much more reasonable than their competition.  Again, thanks for the input from the board.  I appreciate you taking time for the advice. 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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One can always argue that a fixed item is less trouble than a moving or motorized one, but it is helpful consider the likelihood of a problem as well. Galley slides have been around for 20 years now, and the design methods have been pretty well worked out. Problems can occur, but they aren't any more common than a long list of other things.  Heck, the slide itself is a potential moving problem, so maybe they should be avoidied altogether?    Minimizing your risk exposure is a worthwhile thing, but I would not disqualify an otherwise good floor plan simply because the fridge or sink was on a slide.
 

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