Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-13-2013, 03:53 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2
Default Mercedes Sprinter Chassis in Mountains

We are thinking about buying a LTV Unity (Mercedes, Sprinter Chassis). We will not have a tow vehicle.

How well do these small Mercedes diesels climb in the Rockies?

I have a 400 HP cummins now diesel pusher and it got down to 35 mph 3rd gear on a couple of the long climbs in the Rockies.

How do you control your downhill decents with no engine break?

Thanks!
__________________

hawk6868 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 05:59 PM   #2
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 89
Default Re: Mercedes Sprinter Chassis in Mountains

I just got back from 3 weeks in Colorado in my Pleasure Way Plateau Sprinter and I have to say she did great!

I drove her over Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park and it was fabulous! The van just went right up and I put it in 2nd and coasted right on down! Later in the trip I climbed Hoosier Pass & Monarch Pass - both were fine, however the up on Hoosier pass was steep (I was heading south from Breckenridge on whatever road that is) and had me paranoid about the trip down - the downs are more intimidating to me than the ups b/c I'm paranoid (probably overly) about overheating the brakes and have a hard time getting it in the right gear to hold it and go an appropriate speed! I'm more likely to super slow! Luckily the down from Hoosier Pass wasn't nearly as steep as the up. Monarch Pass was really easy! In fact about a 1/4 way down there was a truck going about 10 mph - I put my van in 1st and didn't even have to apply the brakes sitting in traffic!

For me, the key was just going slow on the downhill and not worrying about the other cars - usually there are places to pull off and let people pass. Going up I was usually able to mostly keep up with traffic...

I will say that while CO has the higher mountain passes, the roads are better out there than over the mountains in West Virginia! My theory is that by the time roads were built over the Rockies the people building them knew what they were doing...out here the roads were built over wagon roads and probably not graded as well! I don't think I encountered a grade greater than 7-8% in Colorado! Even still, I've tackled 9-10% grades in West Virginia and had no problems with the van!
__________________

teachergal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 06:32 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,496
Default Re: Mercedes Sprinter Chassis in Mountains

Hoosier Pass? No problem.



teachergal described it well. I can vouch for the Sprinter van Class Bs. The bigger, heavier LTV Unity Class C might be a different experience. So I will defer to someone with that experience.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 07:59 PM   #4
Rok
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 356
Default Re: Mercedes Sprinter Chassis in Mountains

This brings about a great question. The LTV Unity is a much larger rig than the Plateau, but I think they have the same size of engine. The difference is that a Plateau or any "Sprinter Van" based unit will have a lot of steel because of the original Mercedes shell. I think that the LTV Unity is built on a flatbed "chassis" rather than from a Sprinter Van. I believe the shell is fiberglass or plastic or something, but I don't know that for sure. I don't know how the weights compare.

Does anyone know whether these B+ vans are as capable as our "true class Bs"? Are they heavier? Lighter?

All of this information would be great to know, and I'm sure someone on this forum probably has researched the situation.

I have to say that whenever we're feeling cramped in our GW Legend SE, I always wonder what it would be like to be in a Unity (or Serenity) either of which would be my first choice if I went B+, or the Winnie Via (similar, but cheaper).

I've heard that the B+'s are a bit harder to maneuver, but I've also heard that they are about the same price that our Class B's are.

Just wondering if there is anyone out there who has used both and can flesh out my limited experience.

............Rocky
Rok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2013, 05:16 PM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2
Default Re: Mercedes Sprinter Chassis in Mountains

Thank you all for your quick replies!

Teachergal: Amazing, we just did the Trail Ridge Road yesterday in our Ford truck! We also did the 9 mile trek on the Old Falls River Road leading into Trail Ridge Road. I would not had the courage to take the 24' 7" Unity on the Old Falls River Road, even though it said you could a 25' on that road, and indeed we did see a 25' Freelander do that trail! Thanks for your comments about how will your Pleasure Way did climbing and descending in the Rockies! That was very helpful. Yes, descending even in my diesel pusher I own now, takes a lot of experience to reduce the use of your brakes. I'm getting better using my engine breaks on my MH and my transmission together.

Just a non-related note, we drove back from Rocky Mtn NP to Loveland and came apon a heard of Elk numbering over a hundred at 11,000 feet! This was at twilight with 1/2 a bright moon above the shadow of the mountain peaks. That is why we love to travel. Not to mention we stopped and took pictures of 2 different Moose families earlier that day!

Davydd and Rok: Thank you both for your comments as well!
I need some clarification on what defines B, B+, and C class. I formed in my mind over time the following definitions, but I have no proof, and I mean no disrespect to anyone:

B - Van 22' length, 9' height

B+ - Bigger 25' - 28' length, 10' height, no over hang over windshield, but enough room for entertainment center.

C - Bigger 25' - 32' length, 10' - 11' height, overhang above windshield for extra bed.

Listed below are specs for a Pleasure Way B Van and the LTV B+ Unity:

Pleasure Way TS B Van:
MEASUREMENTS AND CAPACITIES
FRESH WATER CAPACITY 30 U.S. GAL
GREY WATER CAPACITY 35 U.S. GAL
BLACK WATER CAPACITY 12 U.S. GAL
PROPANE TANK 12 U.S. GAL
EXTERIOR LENGTH 22 FEET 9 INCHES (Bumper to Bumper)
EXTERIOR HEIGHT 9 FEET 8 INCHES
EXTERIOR WIDTH 7 FEET 10 INCHES INC SIDE MIRROR
INTERIOR STANDING HEIGHT 75 INCHES
QUEEN BED SIZE 70 X 76
11,030 LB GVWR WITH DUAL REAR WHEELS

LTV B+ Unity
GVWR - lbs. 11030
Wheelbase - in. 170"
Length Not Incl. Spare - ft. 24' 7"
Width - ft. 7 8.5
Height Inc. A/C - ft. 10' 5.5"
Interior Height 6' 5"
Fresh Water Cap. - Gal. 36
Black Holding Tank Cap. - Gal. 29
Grey Holding Tank Cap. - Gal. 37
Fuel Cap. - Gal. (L) 26.4 (100) 26.4 (100) 26.4 (100)
Propane Cap. - Gal. (L) 13.2 (50) 13.2 (50) 13.2 (50)
Exterior Storage Capacity 70 / 62 CU.FT. 40 CU.FT. 34 CU.FT.
hawk6868 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2013, 06:05 PM   #6
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,496
Default Re: Mercedes Sprinter Chassis in Mountains

Technically there is no such thing as a B+ other than dealers and manufacturers trying to sell you a bill of goods that the RV can perform like a B. Some dealers call their Class Cs a B+ that are over 30 feet long. Ridiculous. Simple explanation. A Class B is built off a van chassis. A Class C is built off a cab chassis as is the LTV Unity. Spec wise they may seem similar but when you get an RV over 10 feet in height and nearly 8 feet or more wide no matter what the length (as there are Class Cs shorter than 20 feet) they simply will not be able to travel on a lot of roads comfortably if at all like the Needles Highway, Going to the Sun Road, deal with oncoming traffic on extremely narrow roads, parallel park on a street with mirrors sticking into the traffic lane, etc. People adapt well usually to what they drive but the so called B+s seem to attract toads since they lose their drive anywhere appeal.

Even some of the Bs are starting to get up in size. The Sprinter van extended body is 24'-1" but it is still a B. That is kind of pushing the comfort limit of a B and exceeding parking stalls and making you more cognizant as to where you drive. But when you put a cargo hitch carrier on a shorter B you run into some of the same constraints.

Saying all this, I'm not trying to dissuade you on an LTV Unity. They are in my opinion the best of the small Class Cs, B+ if you want to call it that. Just don't convince yourself it is and expect it to be a B.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 01:41 PM   #7
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 29
Default Re: Mercedes Sprinter Chassis in Mountains

The real issue as far as size goes seems to be the width rather than the length. Our ERA is normal van width all the way back at 6'6". Thus driving it in tight construction zones, etc is not really a problem. The length of 24' is not really an issue. When parking in a Walmart, etc, we just park at the end of a parking row and walk a bit. We did pass on some model Roadtreks and others because the often "build out" wide behind the drivers area, just like a class C. We just had a couple stay with us and they bought a short class C about 8' wide. They are not happy with the width. The 24' length does not concern them.
georgelesley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 02:48 PM   #8
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 89
Default Re: Mercedes Sprinter Chassis in Mountains

My PW is 24' and I have found that I can get it into a regular parking spot as long as I can back in and there's room for the overhang. Usually I aim for the edges of a parking lot, just gotta watch for trees and the height of the curb - the generator is in the back and hangs kinda low - I've never hit it, yet, but I'm always cautious. I haven't perfected getting into a spot with cars on both sides, but I can easily get into one spot if there are 2 spots next to each other. I don't mind walking, actually I prefer it, I'm always trying to get in more steps, and usually park as far as I can from the destination whether I'm driving the RV or my SUV. I prefer however to just park in a big lot where I can take two "head to head" parking spots.
teachergal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 03:29 PM   #9
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,566
Default Re: Mercedes Sprinter Chassis in Mountains

I do think that some towns have been shrinking the on street parking, especially the inline ones. When I retired, I got rid of my compact commuter and bought a big old Buick Roadmaster wagon, at 18' long, so we could haul stuff better. A recent trip to the city of Anoka to take care of some county registration stuff, I found there was no way to parallel park it on the street, except on an end spot where you could get in and out. Maybe a foot at each end of the car when in the spot. I also looked and saw that there were no pickups or big SUVs like Suburbans parked anywhere but at the ends. There is no way our Roadtrek C190P would have fit in any of the spots at just over 21' with the spare tire carrier.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 07:22 PM   #10
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 973
Default Re: Mercedes Sprinter Chassis in Mountains

I've noticed that too. I guess towns assume everyone drives a SMART car these days.
__________________

mlts22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 06:25 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.