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Author Topic: Sprinter vs Ford (was: Re: Selling your 2350 with dinette? Want to buy used.)  (Read 4585 times)
bigbadjc
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« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2012, 08:19:30 pm »

This is what I was referring to as apparently a nonunibody Sprinter.  This clearly has a frame on which to build your motorhome just as the Ford cutaway chassis.

http://www.mbsprinterusa.com/sprinter/cab-chassis/gallery

I assume this is what is now being used for motorhomes?

Jerry
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ragoodsp
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« Reply #31 on: March 28, 2012, 08:48:50 pm »

I hope someone can chime in and help explain the differnces in frame constrution because obviously I am not getting the point across.....Ford and GM use "C" channel steel rails that are cross memebered up and the cab is afixed to the rails.  the Sprinter utilizes a stamped box rail that gets it strength from the fact it is a closed "box" with cross memebers as well for more rigidity, the cab is and intregal part of the frame with the cab floor being stamped at the same time.  The stamped and welded sheet metal is of course much thinner compared to the C channel and therefore the greater load capacity of the E series.  Is one better that the other, I can not answer that for I am not and engineer but it sure would appear that the thicker C channel would take the punishment of todays roads better over time. Where am I wrong here?   thanks
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bigbadjc
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« Reply #32 on: March 28, 2012, 09:03:22 pm »

Maybe it's all semantics, but this quote regarding the original Sprinter and the cab chassis models seem to me to indicate, as does the picture in the previous url I posted, that the originals were unibodies and the newer heavy duty versions were cabs on a chassis.  To quote Wiki, Cargo and passenger versions comprise of a unibody steel construction. Chassis versions come in cab or crew cab versions with frames that extend beyond the back of the cab.   No big whoop, but it sure looks more substantial than the original tin cans on wheels.

Jerry
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JackD
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« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2012, 10:29:20 am »

Hey Ragoodsp!!!

This discussion has become far too technical for me, but I'm enjoying the hell out of all the comments!  I guess that's one of the benefits of this forum!!

For clarification, I just received my sprinter in Feb -- the date of manufacture is Nov. 2011.  the date on the tires indicates the 28th week of 2011, so I don't think it is one of the 2008 chassis Stuart & Kermit bought in the sale.

Since I've only had the PC for a couple of months, and am waiting for the new sofa bed, we've only taken one trip to visit friends & plan a trip to Newfoundland this summer -- from MD to below Macon, GA - about 1500 miles (I think 1477 actually, with a few additional to the local station to top off the fuel).  I didn't notice any exceptional noise in the cab at any particular speed (65-75 or other), in fact, much quieter than the 2006, 2350.  There is insulation under the hood, and though I didn't check the firewall, there is no where near the heat from the floor.   there was in either the 2350 or 2552.  Most of the trip was on interstates, and 2 days each way -- 4 tank fills, yielding 14.3, 16.4, 16.8, & 17.6 mpg, for an average of 16.3.  I'm hoping this will improve since the 17 figure was the last tank, and to be honest, I was driving 55-60 instead of 70.

I hope this helps -- I will try to post this on Ron's thread, but it's so "young" it may not be a good representation.  I will be going to Elkhart when PC gets the new sofa, and will have more data.

Best,
Jack   
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2012, 12:14:07 pm »

Jack, that is very intersting data.  Like you say, maybe your fuel consumption is improving as your drive through the break-in period.

Be sure to keep track of whole trips, considering all-around driving conditions, city, byway touring, etc.  Those are most intriquing to me.
You know the statements like "I drove 5000 miles on vacation and averaged 00.0 considering sightseeing through Yellowstone, San Fransisco, across the great plains, all combined as a total vacation experience".
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ragoodsp
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« Reply #35 on: March 29, 2012, 12:28:21 pm »

JackD:  Thanks for the update.  There is no doubt the PC coach is a far better fit on a Sprinter vs's some other manafacturers.  The Monoco Covina had a full wall slide and bed over the cab and she was pushing her max weight limit when you loaded it all.  Otherwise, a great looking coach
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #36 on: March 29, 2012, 04:16:07 pm »

There is no doubt the PC coach is a far better fit on a Sprinter vs's some other manafacturers.
I always felt the same.

The only thing that is a pet peive of mine about the Sprinter, is how the rear wheels are inset so much farther on the Sprinter than the E350.
It just does not look right, seeming to be missing a tire.  Nothing can be done about it.  It is what it is.


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sajohnson
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« Reply #37 on: March 29, 2012, 05:38:57 pm »

I agree Ron, the rear track on the Sprinter does seem narrow -- the Ford looks better.  Most mfrs' class C coaches look a bit too wide for the Sprinter.

I recall that this came up over on the RV.net forum a while back.  Some people were questioning the relative stability of the Sprinter.  Everything being equal, it would make sense that the Ford would have more inherent stability.  The Sprinter may have more sophisticated electronic stability control (ESC) -- or not, I don't really know, but that might be a factor.

Both chassis seem to be able to 'keep the shiny side up' as the truckers say.   
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« Reply #38 on: March 29, 2012, 05:47:44 pm »

Regarding Sprinter service:

I emailed the guy I know who owns a 2006 WGO View that he bought new.  He has over 100,000 miles on it (and is on the road right now with his wife).  He had this to say:
 
"Dodge Sprinters must all be out of warranty by now. Mine is Dodge (of course) and I have no problem getting MB or Freightliner service, providing they sell Sprinters. The woman @ MB was confused. Moreover, I am treated as royalty."

I find it interesting how people have such wildly different experiences getting their Sprinters serviced.

Sherman
 
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ragoodsp
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« Reply #39 on: March 29, 2012, 09:58:03 pm »

The Sprinter was engineered for European roads that for the most part are much more narrow compared to US roads.  E-350,450's could never get where they thread Sprinters in those old Italian towns! 
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Bob Mahon
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« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2012, 10:19:57 pm »

As an unbiased engineer, I don't credit stability control as having a complete ability to compensate for the difference in the rear track/wheel width to height ratio between the Sprinter and the Ford. Electronics cannot completely compensate for the physics regarding the moment of lever difference (the center of gravity is considerably lower on the Ford than the Sprinter and that is what, pound for pound, counteracts inertia/swaying once initiated).
I've driven both and the Sprinter is not as stable as the Ford on secondary roads. Try a fast lane change on both and you can easily experience the difference.
This is not an opinion but a statement founded on facts.
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« Reply #41 on: March 29, 2012, 10:55:31 pm »

As an unbiased engineer, I don't credit stability control as having a complete ability to compensate for the difference in the rear track/wheel width to height ratio between the Sprinter and the Ford. Electronics cannot completely compensate for the physics regarding the moment of lever difference (the center of gravity is considerably lower on the Ford than the Sprinter and that is what, pound for pound, counteracts inertia/swaying once initiated).
I've driven both and the Sprinter is not as stable as the Ford on secondary roads. Try a fast lane change on both and you can easily experience the difference.
This is not an opinion but a statement founded on facts.

As an unbiased technician I agree.  ;-)

All the electronics in the world cannot overcome the laws of physics -- only make the best of any given situation.  Everything else equal, it stands to reason that the the vehicle with the wider track would be more stable.  If the Ford also has a lower center of gravity then it should be even better yet.

I'm not doubting what you said about the center of gravity, just curious -- where did you get your information?  I could search but I'm being lazy.  ;-)  It isn't something that comes up frequently in RV forums.  In fact, IIRC, this is the first time I've ever discussed it with anyone.  With the E-350/450 being heavier duty vehicles with much higher GVWRs I would have thought they might have the higher center of gravity -- or are you referring to the complete 2350/2400 rigs?

Thanks,
Sherman
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« Reply #42 on: March 30, 2012, 07:34:23 am »

Unless special ordered, the 2350 and 2400 models are built on E350 and Sprinter chassis. Consequently, the E450 chassis is irrelevant for this example.
The PC models built on the Ford E350 chassis are 9'10" high.
The PC models built on the Sprinter chassis are 10'1" high.
Simply judging from photos on the PC site, the rear extreme wheel width of the Sprinter is 10 to 12" narrower than the Ford.
A taller object on a narrower base results in a higher center of gravity and reduced resistance to sway and/or rollover (draw the triangles).
Granted, these are extremes and electronic stability control can help. But it cannot change the physics involved.
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ragoodsp
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« Reply #43 on: March 30, 2012, 09:14:14 am »

rmmpe:

Thank you very much for putting everything in perfect perspective and explaining very clearly physics 101 in regards to center of gravity theory.  There is no doubt the Sprinter chassis is a durable chassis that I am sure will give years of service to the owner that maintains it well.  No matter how advanced the electronic stability control sysyetm might be or how much after market equipment one should choose to put onto the chassis the bottom line is the chassis is still classified as  "light duty" compared to the E series that is "light med. duty".  M-B designed and engineered, and by the way did a great job creating a delivery van chassis that is now being adapted to RV use and in my opinion pushing the limits of the chassis.  I guess I am ultra conservative in that I always think and plan for the worse case and hope for the best when it comes to driving and equipment safety.  Having owned a Sprinter that despite that "Germany touch" that one has to appreciate I could not reconcile in my own mind that the chassis would perform the way I would want it to perform in that worse case situation.  In closing....I would have to say the "upcharge" on a Sprinter is not due to the chassis/cab but all for that 3.0L engine that if you were ever to have to replace completely would cost you upwards of $17,000!  It is a world class engine that is most likley worth those dollars I must say.   Thanks
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Bob Mahon
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« Reply #44 on: March 30, 2012, 05:23:44 pm »

Please don't, for a minute, take what I said about the Sprinter in a negative manner. I've heard many good things about them and for those that prefer a bit better fuel economy and/or travel lighter than we do, the Sprinter appears to be a viable decision.
I just prefer the Ford chassis for many of the reasons stated by others. And that it supports the 2551 & up boxes.
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