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Old 02-09-2017, 11:53 AM   #1
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Default Sprinter vs Chevy

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This is a very nice write-up.

The author is an engineer; you can tell by the objective way he describes each vehicle and experience.

Detailed Comparison - Sprinter and Chevy Camper Vans

Roadtrekking 210 - http://roadtrek210.blogspot.com/: Camper Van Comparison
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Old 02-09-2017, 03:25 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting, it was really informative. We bought the 210 this time, after looking at the Sprinter. We had an '05, really like it, so moving to the 210 was logical. One of the big things for me is it is a Chevy, and I can get parts and service performed at any Chevy Dealer, or garage for that matter.
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:01 PM   #3
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I'll point a neighbor to that- thanks.

he is looking at my PW on a chev and the other nieghbors PW sprinter to see what appeals to him.

As above parts, service and DIY make me favour the chev. But I think for an owner who is going t depend on a shop for even oil changes, that would be less a factor...although the chev would likely cost less for each equivalent service than an MB

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Old 02-10-2017, 12:55 AM   #4
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.

This is a very nice write-up.

The author is an engineer; you can tell by the objective way he describes each vehicle and experience.

Detailed Comparison - Sprinter and Chevy Camper Vans

Roadtrekking 210 - http://roadtrek210.blogspot.com/: Camper Van Comparison
The comparisons are not completely accurate because the standard equipment profiles for both builders using these platforms have changed in current production in addition to the addition of recent options.

IMO, one thing in favor of the Chevy 210 is that Roadtrek has been building and refining this model for close to 25 years which most likely has served to correct shortcomings in the original design. They also have a lot more flexibility regarding modifying the platform (e.g. lengthening it) that Mercedes prohibits for Sprinter van builders (e.g. you are not permitted to drill any holes in their chassis).

I doubt that the Chevy 210 will stay in production much longer and will be resigned for the Promaster or Transit platform.
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Old 02-10-2017, 01:17 AM   #5
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It was pretty much an apples to oranges comparison with different miles and conditions driven. I think a better comparison would have been with a 3500 22'-9" Sprinter Roadtrek of 1'-3" difference than a 2500 Sprinter that is 2'-0" shorter and seemingly of unknown converter.
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Old 02-10-2017, 02:36 AM   #6
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It was pretty much an apples to oranges comparison with different miles and conditions driven. I think a better comparison would have been with a 3500 22'-9" Sprinter Roadtrek of 1'-3" difference than a 2500 Sprinter that is 2'-0" shorter and seemingly of unknown converter.
Good point. The 210 (and the 170/190) is at this juncture the only Class B game in town for the Chevy platform, but there are a dozen of Sprinter builders that provide significantly different products.
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Old 02-10-2017, 02:46 AM   #7
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I think it could also be very probable that when the Chevy based 210 goes away, it could be replaced with a Hymer style small C on a Promaster or Transit cutaway. The 210 has as much in common, or more, with a class C as it does with class b units, so it would be a natural way to go.
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Old 02-10-2017, 03:18 AM   #8
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The 210 has as much in common, or more, with a class C as it does with class b units.....
Uh oh, is this going to result in an executive order banning 210 owners from the forum?
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:24 AM   #9
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Nah, they let the Roadtrek 200 owners be here, and those are totally a C, so 210s will still be able to get in, and they do start with a full van, there just isn't much of it left when they are done.
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:49 AM   #10
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Nah, they let the Roadtrek 200 owners be here, and those are totally a C, so 210s will still be able to get in, and they do start with a full van, there just isn't much of it left when they are done.
OK, I gotta make sure I've got this right. If you start with a cutaway, even if it ends up looking like a dead ringer for a Sprinter, it's still a class C but as long as you start with a full van, even if it ends up looking like a bloated white whale, it's still a class B?
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Old 02-10-2017, 05:55 AM   #11
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Yes if you want to put it that way but no cutaway design ends up looking like a dead ringer for a Sprinter van other than the cab front end. It is a tired old argument if you have been on RV boards for some time.

This forum broke its own description rules a long time ago since no one has ever moderated small Class C or B+ discussion out and the new forum A owners migrated technically Class C Rialta boards here.

About the only place it has not been tolerated was on RV.net where there seems to be territorial management between the sub forums and the Class C Forum there created its own sub-forum labeled Class B+. Of course there are always exceptions to every rule and the Roadtrek 200 has historically been one in the grey area zone.

Wincrasher set up a Class B Forum on Facebook and has pretty much stayed with the van vs cutaway differentiation. That forum creation was partially in reaction, I believe, to another so called Class B forum that quickly became a Class C forum and Class B owners were kicked out when they questioned it. Seriously, one can argue about B+s being similar and all that but there are a lot of differences as well and by sheer numbers of almost 5 to 1 any such forum would quickly become a predominantly Class C forum as that example on Facebook.

I've got bigger issues. I head up a 13,000 member Pursuing pork tenderloin sandwiches group on Facebook and people get out of bent over that single sandwich.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:07 PM   #12
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The more I look, the more I like the 210.

I know it is old tech, but the engine is updated, the transmission is updated. I believe it will be more trustworthy than the alternatives.

It has a fiberglass body; it will never rust. That's another bonus.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:24 PM   #13
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It has a fiberglass body; it will never rust.
the similar concept PW Excel on a Ford does seem to have rust issues in the upper rear corners where the steel meets the fiber- I've seen this on a few.

as far as class my neighbor's PW XL is a "legal B"- i think the 200/210 would be similar, no?
who has one and the paperwork handy

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Old 02-11-2017, 12:36 AM   #14
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the similar concept PW Excel on a Ford does seem to have rust issues in the upper rear corners where the steel meets the fiber- I've seen this on a few.

as far as class my neighbor's PW XL is a "legal B"- i think the 200/210 would be similar, no?
who has one and the paperwork handy

Mike
On a 210, the front, side and rear doors, fenders and bumpers are factory. Everything else is fiberglass. Producing this coach must be pretty labor and material intensive compared to the 190/170 or the Sprinters and I'm surprised that they can make much profit at the 115k price point.
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Old 02-11-2017, 02:30 AM   #15
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I just checked my Title...states Motorhome. Went back and looked at the paperwork on a '05 RT190P...states Motorhome also. I would never had bought anything labeled as B+ or C - I would have bought an A before those two. Like I mentioned earlier, it was an easy buy (purchased without seeing it from Leisure Time in FL). I shopped Van City, their 210 had a generator under the hood, and I wanted the rear mounted Onan. It is Chevy, easy to get parts, if needed, service available almost anywhere, excellent performance, and it handles like a large SUV. Due to health reasons, we won't camp so much, but it is ideal for travel and have everything you need. The upgrades offered since '05 - priceless.
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Old 02-11-2017, 02:47 AM   #16
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We down-sized from a Class A. We tow a 6500 lb double axle horse trailer with approx 900 lb tongue weight. The only class B chassis that would handle this trailer was the Chevy Express 3500, so we went with a 2016 RT 210. We've been on about 6 trips and really like it so far.
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Old 02-11-2017, 03:26 AM   #17
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The more I look, the more I like the 210.

I know it is old tech, but the engine is updated, the transmission is updated. I believe it will be more trustworthy than the alternatives.

It has a fiberglass body; it will never rust. That's another bonus.
I know what you mean. When we first surveyed the market, the 210 didn't particularly stand out but as time went on, after comparing its pluses and minuses with other models it just kept looking better and better.

The beefy box frame and the 6.0 Vortec are older technology but it's bullet proof and in the event the drive train needs some maintenance or TLC, you can find a qualified repair shop in virtually every town in the country. There are lots of Sprinter service facilities in the larger metropolitan areas but there are parts of the country where you might have to drive or be towed for long distances to get to a Mercedes facility.

The fiberglass body won't rust which certainly is a plus, but the flip side is if you ever need body damage repairs, they just can't order some localized portion to replace it. Repairs like this will take time and specialized expertise and if not covered by insurance, will involve multiple fists full of dollars.

The ride provided by the Chevy platform is very pleasant throughout the coach. Apparently, Sprinters are equally good up front but the ride in the rear is less comfortable in the longer wheelbase dual wheel version unless modified by the builder which unfortunately is an expensive aftermarket fix. However, the flip side is that the cargo capacity of the 210 is quite low and you have to pay attention to how much stuff you cram into it, whereas the Sprinter has a lot more cargo capacity.

The 210 has a lower profile and IMO is more attractive than the Sprinter profile which seems to me to be too tall for its width. But there is a price. The Sprinter provides much better access to and from the street. You can go in and out of the coach standing up. The 210 requires hunching over getting in and out. Also, while you have to hunker down to get into the driving compartment of either of these coaches, the Sprinter provides more headroom clearance when clambering into the driving compartment and once in the driving compartment, the Sprinter seems to be more spacious.

The Sprinter is typically delivered with the latest safety features, i.e. blind side monitoring etc. These features are not available in the 210/190/170 which I think is unfortunate.

If you want a Roadtrek Etrek but don't care for the Sprinter platform, the 210 is the only other Class B coach that offers the Etrek features (800ah lithium/2.5k inverter/underhood generator). Getting this option on a Chevy platform was what swayed me toward the 210.

At idle, the 210 engine noise level is virtually inaudible and I think would provide few if any nighttime complaints in a campground. The Sprinter engine at idle seems louder. Perhaps it's more a matter of the timbre than the actual db level.

The Sprinter backup camera is located up topside where it should be. Roadtrek, in their infinite wisdom, doesn't relocate it from the license plate and as a result, the camera is useless when backing up if you have bikes in a hitch on the back.

If you're a citrus lover, the 210 is the coach for you because their paint job is full of orange peel. The Sprinter paint looks better.

The 210 has an amazing amount of outside storage compared to the Sprinters.

The 210 is not available with 4WD. The 190 was but no longer is. If you want 4WD capability, Sprinters, Sportmobile et al can provide it.

The additional 8" width in the rear of the coach provides a sense of spaciousness that belies the modest increment it provides. An annoying consequence is that they don't take this into account when installing their side view mirrors and as a result vision from these mirrors is partially compromised.

The Sprinters provide for under chassis mounting of a spare. The 210 doesn't provide any spare as standard equipment unless it is ordered as an option with a Continental spare which interferes with the use of the hitch unless a hitch shank extender is employed.
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Old 02-11-2017, 03:41 AM   #18
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Anyone can service your Chevy anywhere, but
funny thing about the competition ProMaster...

Not all the Chrysler dealers can service the RAM ProMaster; they are not trained for it, and they do not have the equipment and/or computer software to do the job. So much for the nationwide network of dealers.
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Old 02-11-2017, 04:09 AM   #19
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Anyone can service your Chevy anywhere, but
funny thing about the competition ProMaster...

Not all the Chrysler dealers can service the RAM ProMaster; they are not trained for it, and they do not have the equipment and/or computer software to do the job. So much for the nationwide network of dealers.
I think that time will eventually fix the Promaster issue. If memory serves wasn't there also a period where some Mercedes repair facilities would not work on the Sprinter RVs?
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Old 02-11-2017, 02:47 PM   #20
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It is a physical problem for repairs of Sprinters and I suspect the same to the Euro style Promasters. Unless the dealer is selling them they probably don't have the garage door heights and proper lifts to service them. Also, if they don't sell them they don't have the technicians and diagnostic equipment. My local Mercedes Benz dealer who just started servicing and selling Sprinters last year told me it was a million dollar investment minimum and they had to go so far as to convert (build?) a building to service them. It was a big difference than servicing sleek sedans.

Dodge dealers could have a leg up because many were servicing Sprinters a decade ago and had made the necessary physical conversions for the higher vans. But not all Dodge dealers were servicing Sprinters back then because of those limitations I mentioned. The first Dodge dealer I went to in Fairfax, VA 11 years ago who sold Sprinters discovered on a valve stem replacement recall they had to use floor jacks because their lifts were inadequate. Their ramp lift was fine but they couldn't change the tires. They told me they were not happy about that recall.

I've had Sprinter service around the country in Scottsdale, AZ, Fairfax, VA, Littleton, CO, Shreveport, LA and four places in Minnesota. All have been top notch service and they treat you like a VIP. My first Minnesota experience was with a Dodge dealer 30 miles away with a Dodge dealer 2 miles away who could not handle them. Then I had to switch to a Freightliner dealer 40 miles away who treated Sprinters like stepchildren. Then I went with a new Mercedes Benz dealer 100 miles away in Rochester, MN and it was like going to heaven for service. They were convenient in a way because we make monthly trips to La Crosse, WI and it is on the way. Finally, last year my local MB dealer 10 miles away started servicing them and I used them for my 40,000 mile service. They were OK but were only two weeks into servicing and still didn't have everything setup.
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