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Old 05-03-2019, 06:34 PM   #1
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Cool Need advice

Hi Folks,

I am just starting my research into buying a class B. I would like to hear your advice, stories, and wisdom. I can't afford a new so will be looking for a older van. A salesman at a RV lot told me it's best to get a gas engine because you can't always find diesel in the middle of nowhere. He also suggested staying away from Mercedes chassis because the parts and labor are more expensive and sometimes when you are in boondocks they are very hard to get fixed. I am a single woman who doesn't know how to work on it myself. I would like it to seat and sleep 4, toilet/Shower inside, off grid for up to a week. Please give me suggestions, and things I need to look at before buying. Thank you so much for all your help.
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:58 PM   #2
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A salesman at a RV lot told me it's best to get a gas engine because you can't always find diesel in the middle of nowhere.
The advice is good, but not the reason. I have literally NEVER had trouble finding diesel fuel. The real problem with diesel engines is the nightmare reliability of the diesel DEF-based emissions systems. If you are looking at pre-DEF vehicles (2006 or so), I would not hesitate to buy diesel. After that, I would think twice.
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He also suggested staying away from Mercedes chassis because the parts and labor are more expensive and sometimes when you are in boondocks they are very hard to get fixed.
This is certainly true. OTOH, many people consider the Sprinters to be the class act in the full-sized van world. You will discover that there are many tradeoffs in the B-van world. This is one of them.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:16 PM   #3
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So diesels before 2006 might be ok? Thanks for your reply Avanti
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:47 PM   #4
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So diesels before 2006 might be ok? Thanks for your reply Avanti
Speaking roughly, yes (IMO). But don't go by model year. Ask whether the engine requires DEF fluid. If the answer is "yes", I personally would consider it a significant negative, although not a disqualifying one (I am trying not to exaggerate the risk).

As for older diesels, most of them that you find are going to be Sprinters. You should understand that there are two quite different previous generations of Sprinter vans. The older ones are known as T1N and they came with a 5 cylinder engine. The later are called NCV3, and were introduced in the US in MY2007. They came with a V6 Diesel engine (there was also an I4 available in MY2014 only).

The T1N is highly-regarded as being relatively simple and bulletproof. It is however much more "truck like" in ride and noise than the NCV3. None of them require DEF fluid.

There as a short period in which the NCV3 V6 was produced without the DEF system (which Mercedes calls "BlueTec"). Many people think that the early, non-BlueTec NCV3s were the high-point of Sprinter design. If you manage to find one of them, it is worth seriously considering.

All a bit confusing--hope this helps a bit.
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:07 PM   #5
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I would suggest figuring out what you want (floor plan, model, features) and be ready....good B's don't sit long!
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:33 PM   #6
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Another thing to consider is that pre-DEF diesels are spewing nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, which is why the complex emissions system is now required. Again, itís all about trade offs.
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:44 PM   #7
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Another thing to consider is that pre-DEF diesels are spewing nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, which is why the complex emissions system is now required. Again, itís all about trade offs.
I totally agree with this, fully support emissions controls, and am willing to pay for them. Two things, though:

1) The MB emissions systems are horribly-designed from an end-user's perspective, IMO. They could be much, much more convenient and still be clean.

2) The pre-DEF vehicles already exist and are going to spew said pollutants for the remainder of their lifetimes, no matter who drives them. SOMEBODY is going to drive them, so it might as well be you.
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:02 AM   #8
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I think I will just stick with gas. Easier to find a station and less expensive. Thank you for your help
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:10 PM   #9
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I guess it will be easier to find a station and less expensive
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