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Old 08-02-2017, 04:40 PM   #1
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Default 2006 2500 handling for women drivers?

We are contemplating the purchase of a a 2006/7 2500 B Great west Legend or PW Plateau. My wife very much wants to be able to help with the driving.

There have been comments that the T1Ns drive like a bus and that some women are not comfortable with their handling. Some posts suggest that one needs to move up to the later NCV3s for a women driver.

With proper suspension, new shock/struts if needed; do women in fact drive these without issue?
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:24 PM   #2
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We are contemplating the purchase of a a 2006/7 2500 B Great west Legend or PW Plateau. My wife very much wants to be able to help with the driving.

There have been comments that the T1Ns drive like a bus and that some women are not comfortable with their handling. Some posts suggest that one needs to move up to the later NCV3s for a women driver.

With proper suspension, new shock/struts if needed; do women in fact drive these without issue?
I have owned both. T1Ns are definitely more truck-like, but I think it is more of a comfort (noise, smooth riding) issue than a drivability one. Neither is difficult.

I don't think gender has much to do with it.
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:35 PM   #3
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I sense that your questions are asked in good faith. I hope nobody takes exception to them, as they tend to do on the internet.

I am 5'6", 133 lbs., in my mid-50's, female, and I'm the primary driver of our T1N 2500 (my husband is basically my relief driver... it's an agreed spousal division of labor thing, details omitted for brevity). Our Class B as built-out and loaded with gear is just a few hundred pounds short of the GVWR of 8,550; I imagine that most other upfit T1Ns would be similar, regardless of Class B brand.

The driving challenges with the T1N are genderless IMO. My husband and I were both equally miserable until we replaced the sway bar and upgraded the rear shocks to the Koni variable kind (I forget the name). Those two simple mods made all the difference. We are planning on air suspension in the future (have the equipment on order), but that's for comfort sake, not because the driving is difficult.

The seats on the T1Ns generally get better than average reviews - very adjustable and no problems whatsoever for a woman of my size there. I actually prefer those seats to almost any other vehicle I've ever driven.

Some people do pick a bone with the steering wheel angle, which cannot be altered, but I've not been aware of any male vs. female difference of opinion there.

Overall, I think more important than gender is the age and physical fitness of the driver. I am more fit than most women my age, but of course I can't hold a candle to the strength of my husband who is 8 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than I am. But if someone has health issues that prevent full mobility, that might be something to think about in the T1N context.

In a few weeks, I'll be driving solo, three thousand miles. The roads through the northeastern US scare the crap out of me, but that's because of the northeast itself - it has nothing to do with the T1N's driveability.
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:35 PM   #4
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I think it was Mike Wendland's wife that had all the issues with their previous single wheel Sprinter. IIRC, she wouldn't drive it but does drive the newer dually Sprinter. I don't know if anyone ever looked to see if there was something wrong with the van, that caused the problems for her.
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:50 PM   #5
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Thanks Avanti,

Still trying to decide whether to keep looking for a 2014/15 I4 like yours or go with the tried and true 5 cyl. There a fair number of T1Ns with around 50,000 miles or so in great shape out there and probably not many like yours likely to come on the market.

The price difference would more than cover some suspension upgrades.
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:54 PM   #6
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InterBlog,

Question asked in good faith and was not suggesting that women couldn't drive well enough. I just don't want to put my wonderful soon to be 60 year old spouse into an unpleasant situation driving a heavy RV.
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:56 PM   #7
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I think it was Mike Wendland's wife that had all the issues with their previous single wheel Sprinter. IIRC, she wouldn't drive it but does drive the newer dually Sprinter. I don't know if anyone ever looked to see if there was something wrong with the van, that caused the problems for her.
I could see some people having a problem if the proper sway bar were not installed, but regarding both shocks and sway bar, I've also heard similar complaints regarding the NCV3. Perhaps the Wendlands just happened to have crap equipment on their 2500 and better components on their NCV3 3500, by the luck of the respective builds.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:31 AM   #8
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My wife has driven both the T1N and the NC3V Sprinter with no problems.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I don't think gender has much to do with it.
I appreciate this comment.
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Old 08-04-2017, 06:14 AM   #10
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First off I will say, I have driven a 40' diesel pusher, that is like a really nice bus! Neither the new nor the old Sprinter drives anything like a bus.

I've driven both, the new 2017 Sprinter and mine which is a 2004 Sprinter. I test drove them about a week or two apart. I decided I preferred not going into debt for a RV so I bought the much older version. Originally I didn't care for the steering wheel on the 2004, it's angled similar to a bus, I worried it would bother my almost chronic tendonitis, it doesn't.

I quickly got used to the steering wheel (I kind of enjoy driving it), put in a wireless backup camera and added bigger convex mirrors and I'm really happy with my choice. I think it handles as well as can be expected for it's size. It has a really small turning radius, which the 2017 didn't.

I doubt my RV has any upgrades to the suspension and I do all the driving as my partner drove it like a sports car and freaked me out. So now he's the navigator. I'm used to driving really small cars, typically sports cars and small trucks, so the Sprinter is huge to me, the height is the thing I'm generally more concerned with and the new ones have the same height. Oh and the dash layout, not my favorite, they did it better in later years, still I made the right decision for me.
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