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Author Topic: Sprinter vs Ford (was: Re: Selling your 2350 with dinette? Want to buy used.)  (Read 4727 times)
bigbadjc
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« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2012, 07:11:58 pm »

I bought a perfect condition 2006 PC 2551 that was 4 years old with 4K miles and had been regularly maintained and stored inside.  It was a great bargain.  However, there are two things I've come to regret.  The first is the non-HD TV and cheap entertainment center and the other is storage space. The electric sofa has NO storage available under it.  The power mechanism takes up all the space.  I don't know what the current models have, but the older models with electric sofa beds had no drawer under the sofa.

Jerry
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sajohnson
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« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2012, 07:58:47 pm »

I bought a perfect condition 2006 PC 2551 that was 4 years old with 4K miles and had been regularly maintained and stored inside.  It was a great bargain.  However, there are two things I've come to regret.  The first is the non-HD TV and cheap entertainment center and the other is storage space. The electric sofa has NO storage available under it.  The power mechanism takes up all the space.  I don't know what the current models have, but the older models with electric sofa beds had no drawer under the sofa.

Jerry

Thanks Jerry, that's the kind of info I need!

I don't want to get hyper-focused on the storage issue, but it does seem to be a concern many people have -- especially with the relatively small rigs.

WRT the TV, would it be difficult to replace it with a plasma or LCD HDTV?

Sherman
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sajohnson
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« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2012, 11:07:31 pm »

I spoke with Sandy at M-B in NJ (877-762-8267).

She told me that 13 states are "exclusive" WRT warranty work: AR; CO; DE; FL; LA; NH; NJ; NY; OR; TX; UT; VT;  and WI.

Exclusive means that warranty work must be done by a dealer for the specific brand, M-B for M-B or Freightliner for Freightliner.

The other 37 states are not exclusive and M-B can do warranty work for Freightliner and vice versa.  This might explain the confusion regarding whether or not warranty work can be done by either M-B or Freightliner.

Out of warranty work can obviously be done by any qualified shop.

Sandy gave me the number of certified Sprinter repair facilities for each of four regions in the US:

N.E.:

F: 17
M-B: 29

Southern:

F: 18
M-B: 38

Western:

F: 10
M-B: 31

Central:

F: 16
M-B: 30

When I asked about which dealers will work on Sprinter chassis with a RV on them -- she said as long as the rig will fit into the shop they'll work on it.

Sherman    
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 11:16:43 pm by sajohnson » Logged

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TomHanlon
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« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2012, 07:47:18 am »

Sherman the only sofa with the drawer was the one with the air bed. The air mattress that came with our 2010 2350 was not very good. We ended up buying a $200 mattress that was much better and a whole lot more comfortable, still not the best bed for long term use.

As for storage, don't worry about it. When we bought our 2350 we were downsizing from a 35' Winnie class A with basement storage.  I was amazed at how much stuff we put into the little PC. What happened was, it made us think about how much stuff we really needed to carry all the time. For example if we are going to Lancaster for the weekend, we don't carry the Weber grill (Q100) as we eat out for most of our meals. This saved space for shopping stuff and weight on the way up there. The only thing we had a problem with was the folding chairs for outside. If you search here you will find many different ways that people have come up with to store their chairs. I bought some overpriced chairs that fit laying down over the outside drawer. When I picked up the new 2552 I found out that the depth of that cabinet is shorter and the chairs would not lay flat, but they do stand up OK. I  put some L brackets in the side wall that keeps them from sliding and trying to escape out the door. You will find that there is more than enough storage inside for a weeks worth of food, cokes and clothes. Beer depends on you. After that hit a laundry and a grocery store to resupply. I understand that you live in a 100 year old house, so you are not used to large walk-in closets like some people. If you get a Sprinter weight will be far more important that storage. I am with Stuart on which chassis is best, but to each his own. That is why they make different ones.
You better hurry up and get a PC because you are missing out on some great times RVing.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 07:51:41 am by TomHanlon » Logged

Tom Hanlon
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« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2012, 09:01:07 am »

Just for my own sake I just called my local M-B dealer (Holliway M-B),  they actually own all of the M-B dealers in NH (3), they do not service Sprinters  at any of their locations and have no plans to do so since their service bays will not handle and RV sized vehicle and the volume of Sprinter based RV's in the marketplace would not warrant renovating their garages to handle such a vehicle I would have to venture a guess that many M-B dealers are in the same situation.  The nearest dealer that could perform work on the Sprinter would be 1.15 hours away.  I then called Freightliner of Boston (since MA would have a different M-B status) after being placed on hold for 7 mins the nice service manager said they could do warrenty work on M-B effective in the last few weeks but admitted that it is somewhat confusing on their end and in most cases if a M-B badged Sprinter came in they would most likley send it up the road to the nearby M-B dealer that does Sprinters.  Not sure this is all a "show stopper" but I do not need anymore run arounds in my life and calling my local Ford dealer for any work is worth a whole lot to me.  Again, best of luck and I would agree with other posters that you are sure missing out on a lot of fun by not just biting the bullet and making the big purchase from PC.
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JackD
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« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2012, 09:34:14 am »

Sherman -- back to ya -- I have jacks on my Sprinter, and although new, they seem to function well -- used several times so far.  Also, the milage is based one one trip of 1600 miles - 4 or 5 tanks and mostly interstate driving - I covered this previously, so won't beat a dead horse.

All that said, I heartily agree with others -- go buy something - but buy what YOU want, not what WE think you should have!!! Smile  Good luck, and I hope to see you in your new PC stop by on the way to the beach!!!!
Jack
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TomHanlon
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« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2012, 09:43:08 am »

To be totally fair, not all Ford dealers will work on motorhomes. The dealer in Columbia and Silver Spring will not work on them, but the Mt. Airy will do some minor maintance if you plead with them. Frederick will do anything and everything Ford related to them. Given where you live this might be your closest dealer.

My concern would be when traveling, and I have a chassis problem, will I be able to find a serving dealer within a reasonable distance. This goes for any motorhome chassis including the big boys.
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Tom Hanlon
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« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2012, 12:26:14 pm »

JackD:

I hope you are planning to post your rough MPG's up on Ron D's thread?  Since your Sprinter must have been one of the 50 that Kermit and Stuart purchased from Monaco it must be "spected" out just like my Monaco Covina was....therefore I must ask if you find the cab area excessively loud when doing 65MPH?  There was not much insulation on the firewall on mine and I am sure PC has not done anything extra just like Monaco did not to soundproof the coach any.   Thanks
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bigbadjc
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« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2012, 04:11:37 pm »

I think I see now where the contradictory information on the ability to use hydraulic levellers on the Sprinter based motorhomes came from.  The great majority of the earlier Sprinters were simply the standard long wheebase unibody vans equipped as motorhomes.  The newer Class B and C motorhomes are now on a cab chassis unit resembling the Ford cutaway that has a real frame on it.  The concern as I read it on some postings was that the old unibody did not take well to being torqued by lifting with a leveller and did not have good places to attach the leveller.  I think that all went away with the more conventional frame.

Jerry
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Bob Mahon
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« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2012, 06:04:47 pm »

Regarding a Ford chassis:
As most emergency transport vehicles are based on a Ford Cutaway Chassis, ask your local Ambulance/EMT service where they have their vehicles serviced.

Regarding a Sprinter chassis: When's the last time you saw a Sprinter Ambulance?
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sajohnson
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« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2012, 06:36:59 pm »

Sherman the only sofa with the drawer was the one with the air bed. The air mattress that came with our 2010 2350 was not very good. We ended up buying a $200 mattress that was much better and a whole lot more comfortable, still not the best bed for long term use.

As for storage, don't worry about it. When we bought our 2350 we were downsizing from a 35' Winnie class A with basement storage.  I was amazed at how much stuff we put into the little PC. What happened was, it made us think about how much stuff we really needed to carry all the time. For example if we are going to Lancaster for the weekend, we don't carry the Weber grill (Q100) as we eat out for most of our meals. This saved space for shopping stuff and weight on the way up there. The only thing we had a problem with was the folding chairs for outside. If you search here you will find many different ways that people have come up with to store their chairs. I bought some overpriced chairs that fit laying down over the outside drawer. When I picked up the new 2552 I found out that the depth of that cabinet is shorter and the chairs would not lay flat, but they do stand up OK. I  put some L brackets in the side wall that keeps them from sliding and trying to escape out the door. You will find that there is more than enough storage inside for a weeks worth of food, cokes and clothes. Beer depends on you. After that hit a laundry and a grocery store to resupply. I understand that you live in a 100 year old house, so you are not used to large walk-in closets like some people. If you get a Sprinter weight will be far more important that storage. I am with Stuart on which chassis is best, but to each his own. That is why they make different ones.
You better hurry up and get a PC because you are missing out on some great times RVing.

Thanks Tom, good to hear from you!

Yep, I think it's safe to say that the air mattress was a 'live and learn' situation for the RV mfrs that use/used them.

I suppose the storage situation is similar to with a house.  Any available space will be filled.  Nature abhors a vacuum.  I think we'll be fine, and your post reinforces that.  My primary concern with any sofa/bed or dinette/bed is that it is comfortable (in both 'modes') or at the very least, the bed can be made comfortable with a memory foam topper.  Extra storage is always welcome but I certainly wouldn't get the sofa/bed with the air mattress just for the storage!  ;-)

I'd like to see how you have the chairs stored -- either photos or in person (I'm having a hard time envisioning it).

You're certainly correct about our lack of walk-in closets (we have a grand total of one closet, upstairs).  In fact, any PC coach has more headroom than the second floor of our house -- well, measuring to the bottom of the attic floor joists anyway.  People must have been much shorter back then...  ;-)


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sajohnson
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« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2012, 06:46:18 pm »

Sherman -- back to ya -- I have jacks on my Sprinter, and although new, they seem to function well -- used several times so far.  Also, the milage is based one one trip of 1600 miles - 4 or 5 tanks and mostly interstate driving - I covered this previously, so won't beat a dead horse.

All that said, I heartily agree with others -- go buy something - but buy what YOU want, not what WE think you should have!!! Smile  Good luck, and I hope to see you in your new PC stop by on the way to the beach!!!!
Jack

Thanks Jack, that's good to hear.  I've read many similar posts over at the View-Navion Yahoo group.  No complaints about the jacks/levelers, with the exception of the added weight -- particularly with the early model (2006-'07) I-5 Sprinter with the softer suspension and lower CCC.

It's easy to buy something -- I'm finding it harder to find what we want, but we will.  ;-)

We'd love to stop by and see you -- even if we don't have a rig yet.  We have family coming from Iowa the beginning of June and I know we'll be going to the beach with them.
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sajohnson
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« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2012, 07:09:41 pm »

To be totally fair, not all Ford dealers will work on motorhomes. The dealer in Columbia and Silver Spring will not work on them, but the Mt. Airy will do some minor maintance if you plead with them. Frederick will do anything and everything Ford related to them. Given where you live this might be your closest dealer.

My concern would be when traveling, and I have a chassis problem, will I be able to find a serving dealer within a reasonable distance. This goes for any motorhome chassis including the big boys.

The Frederick Motor Co. is 6 miles from our house -- that's where I bought my car (they sell Subarus also).  That's a good sized facility and very old -- almost 100 years I think.

The service issue is definitely a concern for RVs in general, and particularly the Sprinter.  IIRC, someone on the V-N Yahoo group figured that worst case a Sprinter-based RV owner might find themselves 300 or 400 miles from a service facility.

Of course when assessing risk, it's important to look at the probability as well as the severity of the risk.  It is human nature for all of us to assign wildly varying degrees of weight to various risks that we all face.  The _probability_ of something happening is often disregarded.  Take people who have phobias -- the risk of stepping outside and being bitten by a rattlesnake or a spider is pretty remote for most of us, but there are people who obsess about that. 

I'm not sure that's comparable to getting service on a Sprinter-based RV, but I'm sure you see what I'm getting at.  Yes, it certainly possible that a person might need a 250-300+ mile tow to a service facility, but how likely is it that any modern vehicle will become completely disabled?  Most, including the Sprinter, are pretty reliable these days.  If that does happen, it probably won't be more than once or twice in the first say 100K miles.  If/when it happens, what are the chances that the person will be in the absolute worst spot in the US, or more than say 150 miles from a service facility?

I'm not saying it's not an important consideration -- it is, even more so than with the Ford-based RVs -- just that in the overall scheme of things it doesn't seem to warrant the amount of attention and weight some people give it.

Now, having said that, we will of course suffer total engine failure in Minot, ND.  ;-)

Sherman
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sajohnson
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« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2012, 07:11:49 pm »

I think I see now where the contradictory information on the ability to use hydraulic levellers on the Sprinter based motorhomes came from.  The great majority of the earlier Sprinters were simply the standard long wheebase unibody vans equipped as motorhomes.  The newer Class B and C motorhomes are now on a cab chassis unit resembling the Ford cutaway that has a real frame on it.  The concern as I read it on some postings was that the old unibody did not take well to being torqued by lifting with a leveller and did not have good places to attach the leveller.  I think that all went away with the more conventional frame.

Jerry

Very helpful Jerry, thanks!
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« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2012, 07:58:39 pm »

The 3500 Sprinter is in fact unibody construction.  the difference between the old frames and the newer style is the 3500 has and extra "spine" running thru it that I have been told is to add rigidity to the stamped box channels.  HWH does offer the new low profile jacks specifically for the Sprinter and the jacks come with a saddle bracket that prevents the jack pressure from collapsing the channel.  While a very strong design and what Ford will be offering with their new Transit model since it does lesson the weight considerably there is no comparison to the old frame rail cab on chassis approach that Ford, and GM has used for years.  The local ABC affiliate utilized a couple of Sprinters for satelite trucks over the past couple of years for the increase in MPG.  The frames became very fatigued and actually tore in places due to the torque/twisting caused by the raised antennas, they are back to the E-series. 
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