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Old 11-07-2016, 03:05 PM   #1
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Default 4w or Not 4 - That Is The Question

If I'm buying new, which is probably the case, should I look at going to 4WD?

Chances are it will be a Sprinter and will be driven 12 months a year across mainly western Canada, US and maybe Mexico.

Of course most of it will be on the tarmac but most camping will be off the beaten path and not in campgrounds. Logging roads, BLM roads etc would be the extent of the off-roading.

I would think with the weight and traction control that 4wd is not a requirement but driving over piles of walking dead and not getting stuck would be nice.
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Old 11-07-2016, 03:09 PM   #2
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Well, one disadvantage of the 4WD Sprinter is that it is not currently available with the spectacular I4/7-speed drivetrain. Just about everybody (including us) who owns one loves it.
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Old 11-07-2016, 03:28 PM   #3
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I think davydd posted an ARV test of the MB 4WD in a muddy field, and it appeared to get stuck pretty easily. That would make sense if it doesn't have a locking rear differential, as you would be trying to move non rotating duallies out of a sunk hole, and they are very wide. I think it also had highway tires on it. I have heard the utility company service trucks with duallies have the same problem.
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Old 11-07-2016, 04:11 PM   #4
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This is that video from April, 2015 the month the 4x4 first came available. I was at that forest in late March helping with the Maple sugaring collecting and there was two feet of snow. So that field had to be a mud quagmire with a very recent snow melt.

The extra 3" to 4" ground clearance would be a plus. I would be more interested just to have more assurance driving on beaches. The debit side is it puts the van over the magic 10 foot clearance mark. I would never attempt to drive into a muddy field like that video. I don't see it for off-roading period given the investment and the delicate interior storage of a typical B.

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Old 11-07-2016, 04:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
I have heard the utility company service trucks with duallies have the same problem.
Yes I have heard duallies are an issue too. Sprinter 3500 doesn't come with single wheels does it..?
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Old 11-07-2016, 04:28 PM   #6
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4wd adds alot of weight: a tranfser case and a front diff, solid axle or half-shafts- very quick look at the sprinter website shows reduced payload of about 300 pounds on the 4wd versions.
on my 73 Blazer, the 4wd added about 900 pounds ( I also had a 74 2wd- much more fun to drive)



4wd compromises the front end in that it not only suspends and steers but now has to pull.

on a 2wd ground clearance can be had by raising the suspension

but higher center of gravity had it's own effects


and I think any vehicle on a track where 4wd is really needed, is going to knock the cabinetry off the walls.

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Old 11-07-2016, 06:16 PM   #7
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.

I know the North American Sprinter 4x4 only comes in v6 diesel.
Isn't there a video (or website) somewhere saying the i4 is actually a better engine than the v6?

The v6 has 50% more cylinders and displacement, but only a marginal increase in power and torque.
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:20 PM   #8
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The more I research this, the more I know.
The more I know, the more I want.
The more I want, the more impossible it is.

Now back to my original principle: is it fantasy or reality?
Fantasy is me wandering carelessly across the land, a happy hippie in a camper van.
Reality is being lost, in the dark, batteries dead, cabinets on the floor, no cell service, an unhappy wife and a busted up expensive house on wheels.
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
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a happy hippie in a camper van.
to qualify budget would top out at $6000.

to go a little deeper, my neighbor had a 4wd 1998 ford sportsmobile poptop- it burned down in the driveway.

he bought a 99 PW excel ( 98 chassis) and swapped over the running gear- it was pretty straight forward with brain sweat only need for mods to the tanks and gas tank

his useage is baja, where he wants the 4wd on the beaches/sand.

but he is compromised for normal USA highway speeds.

trade-offs



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Old 11-07-2016, 06:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley View Post
The more I research this, the more I know.
The more I know, the more I want.
The more I want, the more impossible it is.

Now back to my original principle: is it fantasy or reality?
Fantasy is me wandering carelessly across the land, a happy hippie in a camper van.
Reality is being lost, in the dark, batteries dead, cabinets on the floor, no cell service, an unhappy wife and a busted up expensive house on wheels.
Why do you think it is more impossible???


The Sprinter 4x4 doesn't cost that much more than a regular one.


The decision is more on the body size you want -- Short, regular, extra long.
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