View Poll Results: How well does your Sprinter handle in wind?
No Problem 12 30.77%
some buffeting 22 56.41%
nearly undrivable 5 12.82%
Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-29-2006, 08:05 PM   #1
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Default Dodge Sprinter - handles very poorly in wind

I have a 06 Greatwest Sprinter Legend. Generally very good conversion quality. BIG PROBLEM is the van is nearly unsafe to drive in winds of 20mph or more. Anyone else have this issue and any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 12-30-2006, 03:34 PM   #2
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I moved this poll question here to try and get more responses.

I don't remember reading of any particular wind problems with Sprinters. It will be nice to get some feedback from other Sprinter owners.

Just so everyone knows, you can reply to polls in addition to voting in polls.

Ty - have you experimented much with tire pressures?

What tire pressure are all you Sprinter owners using?
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Old 12-30-2006, 06:51 PM   #3
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We've had our Sprinter conversion just over 2 years. As long as we slow down to about 55 - 60 MPH max, we have no problems, even with a strong side wind. Perhaps you should have your tires checked, and also ask your dealer to check the airbags in the rear suspension. If they're properly inflated it makes a big difference.
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Old 12-30-2006, 07:36 PM   #4
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I run the tires at the pressure that it reccommends and have varied the rear airbags from 0 psi to 120 psi with no noticable change in handling. Certainly changes the ride. The unit drives quite nice on good road with no wind, but is scary (wife feels it from the passenger seat also) in a cross wind.
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:45 PM   #5
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On my Chevy RT the recommended tire pressure is 50 psi front and 80 psi rear. I run 65 front and 80 rear because I like they way it handles in corners etc.

I donít know what the recommended tire pressures are for Sprinters.
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dodge Sprinter - handles very poorly in wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty DeBelser
I have a 06 Greatwest Sprinter Legend. Generally very good conversion quality. BIG PROBLEM is the van is nearly unsafe to drive in winds of 20mph or more. Anyone else have this issue and any suggestions would be appreciated.
Which direction of wind do you feel unsafe with; side or front, while driving? Please comment about the feeling while sleeping in the same wind speed.
I wonder if the 2007 new feature of ESP will compensate for winds while driving.
Paul.
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:52 PM   #7
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It is a side wind that really affects driving. Head or tail winds are ok to travel in. Don't notice the wind rocking the unit when parked although we haven't spent many nights in it yet.
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:25 PM   #8
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Default Handling Problems

I would suggest that you see what the front tires will hold as a maximum pressure...usually 80 #'s and then I would inflate them to say 75 and see what that does. Rears should probably be at 80#'s.

I have a dually American Cruiser but if I had your unit the back would be fully inflated when COLD and front I would experiment with from 70# and up to 80#.

I found the steering great with full pressure but ride was little rough on rough roads so I now carry 80 in all 4 rear tires and 75 in the front.

You can then play with the air bags. I have no suggestions there...
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:42 PM   #9
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I picked up my new Great West Sprinter last Friday. Drove 150 miles home on the interstate. My wife and I split the driving. We were both very dissapointed in the wind response and general "wandering" feeling on the interstate.
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Old 04-12-2007, 06:00 PM   #10
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The tires that came on my Sprinter are Michelins and the sidewall is quite soft. I have replaced these tires on other vehicle in the past and found handling much improved.
There are rear anti-sway bars available for Sprinters that I'm sure would help as well.
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Old 04-14-2007, 06:03 AM   #11
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Default Sprinter And The Wind

Our Sprinter is kinda squirrley in the wind. Side winds are the worst and big trucks passing also.

I did have a steersafe installed and it helped quite a bit, but did not eliminate all the problem.

I just slow down a lot if it is really windy
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:35 AM   #12
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Default 2000 sprinter, just home converted.

Weighing in at 3.52Tonne laden.
I had extreme dificulty on the first (night) drive on the open road. 4th November. I was all over 2 lanes just with the bumps on the road at 60mph. Every time the van got bumped on the left it went hard right & vice-versa. When the side winds came a day later it was impossible. The symptom is of toe-out ( I did 2 years servicing wheel alignment machines.. ). I dropped the wife at the shops and went for a drive. I adjusted the right tie-rod in about 0.5mm, and in, and in, and in, until I could drive it with my hands off the wheel most of the time.
It was a gusty day - about 40-50mph cross wind. So I was much happier after that.
I have had air bags installed this week but the pump is not yet wired up. I expect that I will also put a bigger sway bar on the rear later.

In case you wonder, try driving a 6 berth motorhome in the high country in NZ http://www.qualitycampervans.co.nz/campervans.asp
There was a gale the last day from the kerb side and a couple of times the van was on 2 wheels and I was steering sharply to the wrong side to get the wheels back down... 40mph max. Never have I been so frightened except for once going down a long hill on a road made of marbles...
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:33 PM   #13
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Having owned 6 VWs ('61-'87), 3 of them vans, I'm used to driving vehicles that are buffeted around by wind. The '06 Sprinter gets pushed around in a crosswind or the vortex of a passing semi about the same as the '87 Westy. I've owned several types of camping rigs. The least stable was a '72 VW van and the most stable was a small (21') fifth wheel behind a Tundra. The '87 Westy, a 22' Class C, and a Chevy Express fall in the middle of the pack for handling qualities in a wind.

Rick
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Old 11-19-2007, 12:19 AM   #14
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The biggest problems with vehicles "swaying in the breeze" is week suspension and soft tires. Factory tires are almost always very soft so you think the vehicle rides smooth and quiet. Almost no one test drives a vehicle on an open highway with crosswinds. Same with suspension. Soft suspension makes the vehicle ride smoother and quieter.

We bought a van a few years ago and it was quiet and very smooth to drive. Problem was, crosswinds. We lived on the Prairies so we got lots of them. By putting harder tires on, the van was a lot more stable. If I had the money, I would upgrade the springs too. Unfortunately, by upgrading tires and suspension, the ride becomes noisier and rougher.

I use to have a Jeep years ago. It too had problems with crosswinds. I put heavy-duty truck tires on it and upgraded the suspension to 1 ton. It was solid on the road and off. Again, it was noisy and rough but I liked that in a 4X4.
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:41 PM   #15
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My Airstream Interstate was a handful in the wind until I installed rear airbags. These inflated to 30 pounds were a huge improvement. Then I took a suggestion and moved my seat close enough to the wheel to drive with my hands in the 2 and 10 position. This allowed much more control than driving the way most are taught to drive today. I inflate my tires to 65 front and 80 rear. Now even with a large hitchbox on the back I feel comfortable. Remember this is a truck not a sports car. zz
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:04 AM   #16
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Default Sprinter wind problem

the Sprinter blow by wind problem is a known fact withhin the Campervan comunity. that is why Mercedes and VW developed a campervan chassis with stronger swaybars fittet. a great improvement but not the ultimate solution. the main problem is the high centre of gravity which you can feel mainly on the front axle because there is the lowest weight and a soft front suspension. air suspension is also a great improvement but you have to improve your front suspension with an suspension upgrade.
the suspension upgrade makes the vehicle front suspension harder but you can feel the handling and blow by improvement on your steering. it makes you drive and feel safer. changes to the tire pressures cost you life and unequal wear of your tires
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:13 PM   #17
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Default Dodge Sprinter - handles very poorly in wind

Our unit is not a Sprinter, but we found that we had wind problems when we RV'ed througth the mountains. We added the spacers on the PleasureWay Excel TS. We got them at Glenwood RV Center in Saskatoon, Sask. I think the PW newer models (Dodge) will put on spacers In 2008.
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:52 AM   #18
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My Rvs are a 1987 Ford Okanagan Class-B hightop and a '96 Chevy engined Class-A Pace Arrow Vision.

But, I do have some experience driving Sprinters. Our ambulance service has two of them and they are very squirrelly in crosswinds. Two problems with the design: a large sail area and narrow width spells trouble in winds. Compared to the Ford ambulances we have, the Sprinters feel like driving lightweight aluminum cans compared to the feel of being surrounded by Ford heavy metal.

We just live with the Sprinter's troublesome wind handling. On the plus side are the excellent power, acceleration and handling. I have never before handled a rig with the tight turning radius of a Sprinter, and driving them makes you feel like you are sitting on top of traffic, the visibility is great!

The only other problem we have with our diesel engined (Mercedes Benz) Sprinters is that they are not very reliable, tending to be always in need of some kind of engine repair. Of course, we put many hard miles on them and lots of long distance driving.
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:50 PM   #19
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I've driven our Sprinter in 40+ mph crosswinds at freeway speeds and felt the buffeting was no worse than any other van I've driven. I think I get just as much in my Nissan Titan pickup for that matter. We have the rear air suspension and I keep the tires inflated at 79 lbs in the rear and 65 in the front. It's a van! You are going to get buffeting. But I would rather be driving it over a Class A, Class C, truck camper or pulling a trailer.
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Old 11-04-2008, 02:55 PM   #20
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Default Re: Dodge Sprinter - handles very poorly in wind

I have driven over 25,000 miles and except for having to slow down to 55, I did not have problems with the wind. Even while driving cross country where we had strong gusts in the plain states, I did not experience problems. Again, the trick is to slow down to 50-55.
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